I was recently reading in a book and came across a quote from a great Sufi mystic and philosopher, Imam al-Ghazalli: “Illness is one of the forms of experience by which humans arrive at a knowledge of God; as God says, ‘Illnesses are my servants which I attach to My chosen friends’.”1 This quote has stuck with me over the past few weeks and made me reflect on the role of health and illness in our lives. I’ve always believed there is a spiritual component to health. In fact, it’s just as important as our physical, mental and emotional well-being. To me, including the spiritual is what makes health holistic. Without it, we might be healthy, but we won’t be whole. So, this puts a whole new spin on illness. Instead of viewing it as an enemy to be conquered or suppressed, we should embrace it as a way to cleanse, purify and balance the body on all levels – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual. Whether you are suffering from a cold, flu or longstanding illness, I hope you can embrace your condition as something positive that is helping you become a healthier, more whole human being. May we all find true healing in our lives, increase our capacity to love and develop a closer connection to God, whatever that may mean to you.
1 Chishti, Shaykh Hakim Moinuddin. The Book of Sufi Healing. Inner Tradition International, 1991.