Each age has particular characteristics. In this age of neglect misfortune has changed its form. In certain ages and for certain persons, misfortune is not in reality misfortune, but rather a divine favour. Since I consider those afflicted with illness in the present age to be fortunate – on condition that their illness does not affect their religion – it does not occur to me to oppose illness and misfortune, nor to take pity on the afflicted. Whenever I encounter some afflicted youth, I find that he is more concerned with his religious duties and the hereafter than are his peers. From this I deduce that illness does not constitute a misfortune for such people, but rather a bounty from Allah. It is true that illness causes him distress in his brief, transient and worldly life, but it is beneficial for his eternal life. It is regarded as a kind of worship. If he were healthy, he would be unable to maintain the state he enjoyed while sick and would fall into dissipation, as a result of the heedless youth and the dissipated nature of the age.
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