Q: On reading Al-Da`wah Magazine, issue no. 778 dated 22/2/1401 AH., p. 32, I came across a phrase saying "As it was remarked earlier, there is no doubt that the greater the medical care, the lower the death rate; and accordingly, the higher the population will be."In response to this, I say that it is true that medical care has a positive impact on health and helps eliminate some types of diseases, yet it cannot control death, for death is something that falls under the knowledge and disposal of Allah, just as Allah (Exalted be He) says,
For every Ummah (a community or a nation), there is a term appointed; when their term comes, neither can they delay it nor can they advance it an hour (or a moment)." (Tafsir Al-Qurtubî).
For this reason, me and many others would like that this issue be discussed more extensively:
does medical care have any effect on delaying death
as mentioned by the writer? If not, and the above-mentioned Ayah strictly proves this, I hope that you would clarify this matter.
Allah has prescribed to relate the results (Part No. 24; Page No. 386) to the causes, so He has related reproduction to having sexual intercourse, plantation to sowing and watering the seeds, and burning to fire, and drowning or wetness to water, besides other results and causes. Allah (Exalted be He) says,
And We have made from water every living thing.
And We have sent down from the rainy clouds abundant water.
That We may produce therewith corn and vegetations,
And gardens of thick growth.
He also says,
And We send down blessed water (rain) from the sky, then We produce therewith gardens and grain (every kind of harvests) that are reaped.
And tall date-palms, with ranged clusters.
A provision for (Allâh’s) slaves. And We give life therewith to a dead land. Thus will be the resurrection (of the dead).
...and He caused water (rain) to descend on you from the sky, to clean you thereby and to remove from you the Rijz (whispering, evil-suggestions) of Shaitân (Satan), and to strengthen your hearts, and make your feet firm thereby.
All these Ayahs and the like have included tangible causes and both tangible and non-tangible results which Allah has related to each other and made the former control the latter; however both are created by Allah according to His Predestination and Decree. Moreover, there are non-tangible causes upon which Allah has set tangible and non-tangible results, despite the fact that He has the ability to (Part No. 24; Page No. 387) create such results without their respective causes, but His Divine Will (Glorified be He) has prescribed to create the former by the latter, for a wisdom that is only known to Him. He (Exalted be He) says,
(This is) a Book, the Verses whereof are perfected (in every sphere of knowledge), and then explained in detail from One (Allâh), Who is All-Wise, Well-Acquainted (with all things).
(Saying) worship none but Allâh. Verily, I (Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم) am unto you from Him a warner and a bringer of glad tidings.
And (commanding you): "Seek the forgiveness of your Lord, and turn to Him in repentance, that He may grant you good enjoyment, for a term appointed, and bestow His abounding Grace to every owner of grace (i.e. the one who helps and serves the needy and deserving, physically and with his wealth, and even with good words). But if you turn away, then I fear for you the torment of a Great Day (i.e. the Day of Resurrection).
He also says about His Prophet Hud (peace be upon him) when he was calling his people to Allah,
"And O my people! Ask forgiveness of your Lord and then repent to Him, He will send you (from the sky) abundant rain, and add strength to your strength, so do not turn away as Mujrimûn (criminals, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allâh)."
And his Prophet Nuh (peace be upon him) when calling his people as well,
"O my people! Verily, I am a plain warner to you,
"That you should worship Allâh (Alone), fear (be dutiful to) Him, and obey me,
"He (Allâh) will forgive you of your sins and respite you to an appointed term. Verily, the term of Allâh when it comes, cannot be delayed, if you but knew."
And His Messengers (peace be upon them) when calling their nations:
Their Messengers said: "What! Can there be a doubt about Allâh, the Creator of the heavens and the earth? He calls you (to Monotheism and to be obedient to Allâh) that He may forgive you of your sins and give you respite for a term appointed."
(Part No. 24; Page No. 388) In addition, He (Glorified be He) mentions that a group of hypocrites said about their fellows who were killed in the battle of Uhud,
If they had stayed with us, they would not have died or been killed
Therefore, He (Glorified be He) commanded His Messenger (peace be upon him) to tell them,
"Even if you had remained in your homes, those for whom death was decreed would certainly have gone forth to the place of their death,"
Thus He (Exalted be He) clarified that death is linked to its cause, and that a person will die according to their death term, not before it, not without a cause. Furthermore, it is authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,
Whoever likes to be granted more wealth and that their term of life be prolonged, should keep good relations with their kith and kin.
Abu Dawud and
Al-Nasa'y. Accordingly, it becomes clear that medical care has its effective role on health and fighting diseases as the inquirer has said, but with Allah's Will and Predestination, according to His Eternal Knowledge, and by rendering this care a cause for its results. This is evident bearing in mind that Allah predestined for them to be so. (Part No. 24; Page No. 389) On the other hand, Allah ordered man to apply the means hoping that they would lead to their results, without relying on them. For if Allah wills, He may strip the causes of their effects, as He (Exalted be He) did when making the fire, prepared to burn His beloved Servant Ibrahim, become cool, it turned into a peace and safety and coolness for him. Likewise, He (Exalted be He) suspended the liquidity and drowning feature from sea water until Musa (Moses) and his people passed safely through it. It was then returned to natural state on the passage of
Fir`aun (Pharaoh) and his people, leading to their drowning. Thus, effects are dependent on their causes by means of the Divine Decree. Even life and death are dependent on the causes represented in care or negligence in accordance with Allah's Eternal Knowledge (Exalted be He). Accordingly, what the inquirer said that care has no effect on death is absolutely untrue, for it does, according to the details mentioned above.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.