And if at one time, through the care of an able physician, a member of that body was healed, the rest remained afflicted as before.
And if at one time, through the care of an able physician, a member of that body was healed, the rest remained afflicted as before.
Do not neglect medical treatment when it is necessary, but leave it off when health has been restored. Treat disease through diet, by preference, refrain from the use of drugs; and if you find what is required in a single herb, do not resort to a compounded medicament...Abstain from drugs when health is good, but administer them when necessary.
Thou hast written concerning the Tablet of Baka Ya Ali -- Baka Ya Vafi (Tablet of Protection). This Tablet is for the healing of ailments. Whenever one is anxious about the recovery of an ill one, he may read this prayer with a melodious voice while in a state of the utmost attention and concentration. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v2, p. 469)
"In His Name, the Exalted, the All-Highest, the Most Sublime! Glorified art Thou, O Lord my God! O Thou Who art my God, and my Master, and my Lord, and my Support, and my Hope, and my Refuge, and my Light. I ask of Thee, by Thine Hidden and Treasured Name, that none knoweth save Thine own Self, to protect the bearer of this Tablet from every calamity and pestilence, and from every wicked man and woman; from the evil of the evil-doers, and from the scheming of the unbelievers. Preserve him, moreover, O my God, from every pain and vexation, O Thou Who holdest in Thy hand the empire of all things. Thou, truly, art powerful over all things. Thou doest as Thou willest, and ordainest as Thou pleasest. O Thou King of Kings! O Thou kind Lord! O Thou Source of ancient bounty, of grace, of generosity and bestowal! O Thou Healer of sicknesses! O Thou Sufficer of needs! O Thou Light of Light! O Thou Light above all Lights! O Thou Revealer of every Manifestation! O Thou the Compassionate! O Thou the Merciful! Do Thou have mercy upon the bearer of this Tablet, through Thy most great mercy and Thine abundant grace, O Thou the Gracious, Thou the Bounteous. Guard him, moreover, through Thy protection, from whatsoever his heart and mind may find repugnant. Of those endued with power, Thou, verily, art the most powerful. The Glory of God rest upon thee, O thou rising sun! Do thou testify unto that which God hath testified of His own Self, that there is none other God besides Him, the Almighty, the Best-Beloved.
Verily, I say, fasting is the supreme remedy and the most great healing for the disease of self and passion.
At whatever time highly-skilled physicians shall have developed the healing of illnesses by means of foods, and shall make provision for simple foods, and shall prohibit humankind from living as slaves to their lustful appetites, it is certain that the incidence of chronic and diversified illnesses will abate, and the general health of all mankind will be much improved. This is destined to come about. In the same way, in the character, the conduct and the manners of men, universal modifications will be made.
Different maladies occur which each have a special remedy. The skillful physician does not give the same medicine to cure each disease and each malady, but he changes remedies and medicines according to the different necessities of the diseases and constitutions.
For even as Christ said of them in the Gospel, the people are blind, they are deaf, they are dumb; and He said: "I will heal them."
I ask God to strengthen thee in comprehending the mysteries deposited in the reality of existence, to lift up the veil from before thee and thy sister, so that the concealed mystery and the hidden reality become manifest as the sun at noon, and to confirm thy sister and thy husband in entering the Kingdom of God, and heal thee from all physical and spiritual disease in the world of creation.
If thou wishest the divine knowledge and recognition, purify thy heart from all beside God, be wholly attracted to the ideal, beloved One; search for and choose Him and apply thyself to rational and authoritative arguments. For arguments are a guide to the path and by this the heart will be turned unto the Sun of Truth. And when the heart is turned unto the Sun, then the eye will be opened and will recognize the Sun through the Sun itself. Then man will be in no need of arguments (or proofs), for the Sun is altogether independent, and absolute independence is in need of nothing, and proofs are one of the things of which absolute independence has no need. Be not like Thomas; be thou like Peter. I hope you will be healed physically, mentally and spiritually.
If we are sick and in distress let us implore God's healing, and He will answer our prayer.
In the hearts of men no real love is found, and the condition is such that, unless their susceptibilities are quickened by some power so that unity, love and accord may develop within them, there can be no healing.
In this new year new fruits must be forthcoming, for that is the provision and intention of spiritual reformation. The renewal of the leaf is fruitless. From the reformation of bark or branch no fruit will come forth. The renewal of verdure produces nothing. If there be no renewal of fruit from the tree, of what avail is the reformation of bark, blossom, branch and trunk? For a fruitless tree is of no special value. Similarly, of what avail is the reformation of physical conditions unless they are concomitant with spiritual reformations? For the essential reality is the spirit, the foundation is the spirit, the life of man is due to the spirit; the happiness, the animus, the radiance, the glory of man -- all are due to the spirit; and if in the spirit no reformation takes place, there will be no result to human existence.
It is incumbent upon everyone to seek medical treatment and to follow the doctor's instructions, for this is in compliance with the divine ordinance, but, in reality, He Who giveth healing is God.
It is, therefore, evident that it is possible to cure by foods, ailments and fruits; but as today the science of medicine is imperfect, this fact is not yet fully grasped. When the science of medicine reaches perfection, treatment will be given by foods, ailments, fragrant fruits and vegetables, and by various waters, hot and cold in temperature.
Know that there are four kinds of curing and healing without medicine. Two are due to material causes, and two to spiritual causes.
1. Of the two kinds of material healing, one is due to the fact that in man both health and sickness are contagious. The contagion of disease is violent and rapid, while that of health is extremely weak and slow. If two bodies are brought into contact with each other, it is certain that microbic particles will pass from one to the other. In the same way that disease is transferred from one body to another with rapid and strong contagion, it may be that the strong health of a healthy man will alleviate a very slight malady in a sick person. That is to say, the contagion of disease is violent and has a rapid effect, while that of health is very slow and has a small effect, and it is only in very slight diseases that it has even this small effect. The strong power of a healthy body can overcome a slight weakness of a sick body, and health results. This is one kind of healing.
2. The other kind of healing without medicine is through the magnetic force which acts from one body on another and becomes the cause of cure. This force also has only a slight effect. Sometimes one can benefit a sick person by placing one's hand upon his head or upon his heart. Why? Because of the effect of the magnetism, and of the mental impression made upon the sick person, which causes the 255 disease to vanish. But this effect is also very slight and weak.
3. Of the two other kinds of healing which are spiritual -- that is to say, where the means of cure is a spiritual power -- one results from the entire concentration of the mind of a strong person upon a sick person, when the latter expects with all his concentrated faith that a cure will be effected from the spiritual power of the strong person, to such an extent that there will be a cordial connection between the strong person and the invalid. The strong person makes every effort to cure the sick patient, and the sick patient is then sure of receiving a cure. From the effect of these mental impressions an excitement of the nerves is produced, and this impression and this excitement of the nerves will become the cause of the recovery of the sick person. So when a sick person has a strong desire and intense hope for something and hears suddenly the tidings of its realization, a nervous excitement is produced which will make the malady entirely disappear. In the same way, if a cause of terror suddenly occurs, perhaps an excitement may be produced in the nerves of a strong person which will immediately cause a malady. The cause of the sickness will be no material thing, for that person has not eaten anything, and nothing harmful has touched him; the excitement of the nerves is then the only cause of the illness. In the same way the sudden realization of a chief desire will give such joy that the nerves will be excited by it, and this excitement may produce health.
To conclude, the complete and perfect connection between the spiritual doctor and the sick person -- that is, a connection of such a kind that the spiritual doctor entirely concentrates himself, and all the attention of the sick person is given to the spiritual doctor from whom he expects to realize health -- causes an excitement of the nerves, and health is produced. But all this has effect only to a certain extent, and that not always. For if someone is afflicted with a very violent disease, or is wounded, these means will not remove the disease nor close and heal the wound -- that is to say, these means have no power in severe maladies, unless the constitution helps, because a strong constitution often overcomes disease. This is the third kind of healing.
4. But the fourth kind of healing is produced through the power of the Holy Spirit. This does not depend on contact, nor on sight, nor upon presence; it is not dependent upon any condition. Whether the disease be light or severe, whether there be a contact of bodies or not, whether a personal connection be established between the sick person and the healer or not, this healing takes place through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Knowledge of human conditions and the needed remedy for them is not the cause of their betterment. To admit that health is good does not constitute health. A skilled physician is needed to remedy existing human conditions. As a physician is required to have complete knowledge of pathology, diagnosis, therapeutics and treatment, so this World Physician must be wise, skillful and capable before health will result. His mere knowledge is not health; it must be applied and the remedy carried out.
Naturally, new spiritual thoughts and inclinations must also become manifest. If spirituality be not renewed, what fruits come from mere physical reformation? For instance, the body of man may improve, the quality of bone and sinew may advance, the hand may develop, other limbs and members may increase in excellence, but if the mind fails to develop, of what use is the rest? The important factor in human improvement is the mind. In the world of the mind there must needs be development and improvement. There must be reformation in the kingdom of the human spirit; otherwise, no result will be attained from betterment of the mere physical structure.
Now let us speak of material healing. The science of medicine is still in a condition of infancy; it has not reached maturity.
Observe the human body, its limbs, its members, the eye, the ear, the organs of smell, of taste, the hands, the fingernails. Notwithstanding the differences among all these parts, each one within the limitations of its own being participateth in a coherent whole. If one of them faileth it must be healed, and should no remedy avail, that part must be removed.
Spiritual feelings have a surprising effect on healing nervous ailments.
The Báb hath said that the people of Bahá must develop the science of medicine to such a high degree that they will heal illnesses by means of foods. The basic reason for this is that if, in some component substance of the human body, an imbalance should occur, altering its correct, relative proportion to the whole, this fact will inevitably result in the onset of disease. If, for example, the starch component should be unduly augmented, of the sugar component decreased, an illness will take control. It is the function of a skilled physician to determine which constituent of his patient's body hath suffered diminution, which hath been augmented. Once he hath discovered this, he must prescribe a food containing the diminished element in considerable amounts, to re- establish the body's essential equilibrium. The patient, once his constitution is again in balance, will be rid of his disease.
The majority of the diseases which overtake man also overtake the animal, but the animal is not cured by drugs. In the mountains, as in the wilderness, the animal's physician is the power of taste and smell. The sick animal smells the plants that grow in the wilderness; he eats those that are sweet and fragrant to his smell and taste, and is cured. The cause of his healing is this. When the sugar ingredient has become in his constitution, he begins to long for sweet things; therefore, he eats an herb with a sweet taste, for nature urges and guides him; its smell taste please him, and he eats it. The sugar ingredient is his nature will be increased, and health will be restored. "It is, therefore, evident that it is possible to cure by foods, ailments and fruits; but as today the science of medicine is imperfect, this fact is not yet fully grasped. When the science of medicine reaches perfection, treatment will be given by foods, ailments, fragrant fruits and vegetables, and by various waters, hot and cold in temperature.
The powers of the sympathetic nerve are neither entirely physical nor material, but are between the two (systems). The nerve is connected with both. Its phenomena shall be perfect when its spiritual and physical relations are normal. (1. Answer to a question of a physician regarding the sympathetic nervous system of the human organism.) When the material world and the divine world are well co-related, when the hearts become heavenly and the aspirations become pure and divine, perfect connect shall take place. Then shall this power produce a perfect manifestation. Physical and spiritual diseases will then receive absolute healing. The exposition is brief. Ponder and thou shalt understand the meaning. Although, on account of lack of time, the answer is short, by close reflection it shall be made long.
The prayers which were revealed to ask for healing apply both to physical and spiritual healing. Recite them, then, to heal both the soul and the body. If healing is right for the patient, it will certainly be granted; but for some ailing persons, healing would only be the cause of other ills. And therefore wisdom doth not permit an affirmative answer to the prayer.
There is but one power which heals-that is God. The state or condition through which the healing takes place is the confidence of the heart. By some this state is reached through pills, powders and physicians. By others through hygiene, fasting, and prayer; by others through direct perception.
What is the benefit of prayer that man should stand or kneel three or five times a day and read or chant certain words?'
..the ordinances and precepts of God are for the purpose of promoting humanity to a higher station. Therefore, the benefit of praying must be something which elevates man to a lofty and spiritual station, and to set him free from the prison of this immortal world of nature. These Divine ordinances are like the remedies and medicines, which the skilful doctor gives to the patient (the sick). Consequently, it is better for the patient to simply obey the physician, use the medicine, in order to recover from his sickness. Now, the Divine Doctor, God, knows the sicknesses of the spirit of humanity, which is imprisoned in this material body. The ordinances and precepts [given through His Mouthpieces and Prophets] are the remedies for the sicknesses and one of the ordinances is -"to pray"."
When the material world and the divine world are well co-related, when the hearts become heavenly and the aspirations grow pure and divine, perfect connection shall take place. Then shall this power produce a perfect manifestation. Physical and spiritual diseases will then receive absolute healing.
Healing through purely spiritual forces is undoubtedly as inadequate as that which materialist physicians and thinkers vainly seek to obtain by resorting entirely to mechanical devices and methods. The best result can be obtained by combining the two processes: spiritual and physical.
I am deeply sorry to hear of your continued ill health and wish you to concentrate for the present on the ways and means that enable you to recover fully and speedily and resume your valued labours for the spread of the Cause.
The generality of mankind, blind and enslaved, is wholly unaware of the healing power with which this community has been endowed, nor can it as yet suspect the role which this same community is destined to play in its redemption.
There is no such thing as Bahá’í healers or a Bahá’í type of healing. In His Most Holy Book Bahá’u’lláh says to consult the best physicians He never gave us to believe He Himself would heal us through ‘healers’, but rather through prayer and the assistance of medicine and approved treatments.
We have no reason to believe that the healing of the Holy Spirit cannot be attracted by ordinary human beings. But this is rare, a mystery, and a gift of God.
Of course, no healing technique which would lead the practitioner or the patient to contradict the Laws of the Faith is acceptable. We must be careful not to fall prey to quackery or to unnecessarily endanger the lives and health of either ourselves or of the loved ones with whose welfare we have been entrusted because of an arbitrary distrust of scientific methods of healing. If one feels that one is unable to make valid distinctions, it would be well to turn to others for advice, whether to Assemblies or to individuals possessing good judgement.
Regarding your question about the term "scientific system of healing", that phrase was first used by the beloved Guardian; subsequently the Universal House of Justice was asked whether the meaning of "scientific" might not vary from country to country. In response, the House of Justice concurred that the term "scientific" is not fixed, its connotative meanings may vary.
The basic instruction in the Writings to one who is ill is to find a doctor in whom confidence can be placed, to follow his advice and to put one's trust in God through prayer.
The statement defining health practitioners from a Bahá’í point of view is given in a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer on 8 June 1948: "In His Most Holy Book (the "Aqdas") Bahá’u’lláh says to consult the best physicians, in other words doctors who have studied a scientific system of medicine." It is clear from other statements made by the Guardian, as well as from the practice of Bahá’u’lláh, the Master and the Guardian himself, that by "a scientific system of medicine" he was not limiting the choice to the medical theories currently dominant in western countries. The House of Justice, therefore, does not exclude the use of traditional native healers, who have often gone through a rigorous training in their craft. There is, nevertheless, an important borderline between unorthodox medical practice and sheer quackery or superstition, and this we should be careful not to cross.
What the friends must try and grasp, however, is that the Bahá’í Faith at this stage in its evolution cannot place its seal of approval on any one of the plethora of healing techniques. In the rising Bahá’í society of the future, it may then be possible to make definitive judgement or to evolve practices more directly predicated on the Bahá’í Writings. However, there is at present enough development in the medical field and a wide record of experience to enable a person after reasonable investigation to choose a suitable doctor or medical institution to deal with a case of illness.
In God must be our trust. There is no God but Him, the Healer, the Knower, the Helper. ... Nothing in earth or heaven is outside the grasp of God.
There are two ways of healing sickness, material means and spiritual means. The first is by the treatment of physicians; the second consisteth in prayers offered by the spiritual ones to God and in turning to Him. Both means should be used and practised. ... Now, if thou wishest to know the true remedy which will heal man from all sickness and will give him the health of the divine kingdom, know that it is the precepts and teachings of God. Focus thine attention upon them.