The Taste of Taste By: Issa Abbasi

Taste BudsIt was Tuesday morning, September 1, 2009. I woke up at the sound of my mother calling my name from downstairs for suhoor. It was 4:25 AM. I woke up and felt horrible. My throat was throbbing, I felt sluggish, my nasal passages were clogged and thus I could smell nothing. As I descended down the stairs and sat in my chair at the table, I began eating my scrambled eggs my mom had prepared for me. Up to that point, I figured I had just another cold or an allergy attack based on my dad’s diagnosis on Monday. Either way, this was just another cold that will pass, inshaAllah. That was my delusional self’s thought at the time. But that thought would suddenly change.

My fork commenced its cutting and lifting of my scrambled eggs to my mouth. That was when I knew something was wrong. I chewed my scrambled eggs, but they tasted like…like…absolutely nothing! Am I dreaming? Why do I only feel the fluffy texture of my eggs and taste absolutely nothing? This must have been because I was sick and couldn’t smell anything either. Oh well, my sense of taste I figured would come back soon enough, right? Wrong. I lost my sense of smell and taste for almost the entire day. Even at iftar, I couldn’t taste the surf of turf I had or any of the sauces on either piece of meat. I never experienced anything like this before and it was just downright frightening. What if I couldn’t taste or smell anything, ever? I thought. Would everything carry the same cardboard and bland taste? Would I only feel the texture of my food and use that as a guide to satiate my pallet? When I got into my car to leave for taraweeh, I couldn’t even smell my new car freshener tree. InshaAllah I figured, tomorrow would be a new day and maybe I would be blessed with my sense of taste and smell. 200498831-001

The next morning, I awoke for suhoor feeling more miserable, but alhamdullilah, my senses were coming back. Slowly but surely, I regained my sense of smell for everything from food (and taste) to my car freshener. But the next morning, I would awake to a new set of problems; a wretched cough and a lack of desire to do anything but rest that day. After resting for a few hours, I woke refreshed and knew I had just gone through the turning point of my sickness. By iftar that night, alhadmdullilah my sense of taste and smell was virtually back to normal, but my reflection didn’t stop there.

Before iftar, as I completed my Quran reading for the day, I came across some ayat that I felt were pertinent for the topic of sickness. In surat Al Shuara (the poets) ayah 80, we are reminded that when we are sick, Allah (s.w.t.) cures us, “And when I am ill, it is He Who cures me.” It’s not the TheraFlu or the Niquil or Tylenol, it’s the grace of Allah (s.w.t.) that cures us. Sure, Allah (s.w.t.) helped people create these over the counter and prescription drugs to cure our illnesses, but not every illness has a cure and sometimes these treatments don’t work. Even if they did work, your healing is in the hands of Allah (s.w.t.). Your senses, your eyesight, your hearing, your body’s state of health, it’s all in our Creator’s hands. To anyone who practices their faith and fears their Lord and ultimately seek His approval, that statement should be very comforting. It was at least when I crossed that passage in the Qur’an.

But wait, there’s more to sickness than just being sick and being healed by the Sustainer of the universe. Let us examine the following hadith: Narrated ‘Aisha: (the wife of the Prophet) Allah’s Apostle said, “No calamity befalls a Muslim but that Allah expiates some of his sins because of it, even though it were the prick he receives from a thorn (Bukhari, 544).” Sick

If any calamity, especially sickness, falls on a Muslim, it is beneficial to him as it is a path to having their sins expiated. Imagine that! Even if this calamity were the prick of a thorn! For something so small, subhanAllah, look at the mercy Allah (s.w.t.) gives us for our afflictions. But wait, there are more narrations on the topic of illness and afflictions:

Narrated Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri and Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, “No fatigue, nor disease, nor sorrow, nor sadness, nor hurt, nor distress befalls a Muslim, even if it were the prick he receives from a thorn, but that Allah expiates some of his sins for that (Bukhari, 545).”

Narrated Aisha: I never saw anybody suffering so much from sickness as Allah’s Apostle (Bukhari, 549).

The Prophet (s.w.s.), according to Aisha (r.a.), would be the sickest of people, but thus would have more sins expiated from him. What a blessing this was. And to think, even the Prophet Muhammad (s.w.s.) would get sick! This should serve as a valuable reminder to all of us (including myself), that none of us is above anyone else. We all become sick, we all eat, we all breathe and we will pass away.

Finally, if someone you know is sick or ill, visit them, for the Prophet (s.w.s.) said:
“The rights of one Muslim on another are six,” it was said: What are they Oh Messenger of Allah? He (the Prophet) said: “When you meet him greet him, and when he invites you accept, and if he seeks your advice then give it. And when he sneezes and says alhamdulilah then say yarhamku Allah, and when he is sick then visit him, and when he dies follow his funeral” (Bukhari)

So the next time you’re sick or an affliction hits you, just think of all the sins you are having washed away for you and how compassionate Allah (s.w.t.) is for allowing such mercy on us in times of illness or unease. And the next time someone you know is ill, visit them, for it is of their right to be visited by their brother or sister. Visitation Hours


~ by Yousaf on September 5, 2009.

2 Responses to “The Taste of Taste By: Issa Abbasi”

  1. May Allah always grant us good health, ameen.

    The Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him) said in his divine wisdom about the Black seed:

    “Use this Black seed, it has a cure for every disease except death”. (Sahih Bukhari)

  2. Mashallah, Very beautiful and captivating.

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