Shifa in the Quran

Shifa in the Quran

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Shifa in the Quran is a concept that has been mentioned in a few verses of the Quran. The meaning of shifa (شِفاء) is cure or healing. The Quran names itself as a source of cure for the believers.

In this article on Islam4u, we will take a look at:

The Quran is Shifa and Mercy for Believers

Allah says in surah Isrā’ (سورة الاسراء):

وَنُنَزِّلُ مِنَ الْقُرْآنِ مَا هُوَ شِفَاءٌ وَرَحْمَةٌ لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ ۙ وَلَا يَزِيدُ الظَّالِمِينَ إِلَّا خَسَارًا ﴿82﴾

We send down in the Quran that which is a cure and mercy for the faithful; and it increases the wrongdoers only in loss. 1

In other words, the Quran is not just a healing and shifa for the body, but also for the heart and soul. The Quran contains many things that serve as guidance for the human being and bring about his salvation in this world and the Hereafter. Specifically, surah Fatiha, which is also known as al-Shifa (healing), can be recited if one is sick. Narrations state that if you recite surah Fatiha to a sick person, God willing he will be cured.

In another verse, God mentions the fact that the Quran is healing for the hearts:

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ قَدْ جَاءَتْكُم مَّوْعِظَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَشِفَاءٌ لِّمَا فِي الصُّدُورِ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةٌ لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ ﴿57﴾

O mankind! There has certainly come to you an advice from your Lord, and a cure for what is in the breasts, and a guidance and mercy for the faithful. 2

Indeed, the Quran is a cure for the ailments of the heart and soul. If one is sad and depressed, reciting verses of the Quran can lift one’s spirit. If a person has jealousy in his heart, he can learn that jealousy will not avail him anything by reciting surah Yusuf and reading the story of Prophet Joseph and how jealousy brought the brothers of Joseph nothing but regret. And, if a person has a habit of committing sins, he can recite verses that promise a painful punishment for sinners. Many other ailments of the heart can be cured through the Quran.

Shifa in the Quran: Honey

God mentions one of the blessings that He has bestowed on mankind through the honeybee, namely honey. Honey in the Quran is named as shifa for people:

وَأَوْحَىٰ رَبُّكَ إِلَى النَّحْلِ أَنِ اتَّخِذِي مِنَ الْجِبَالِ بُيُوتًا وَمِنَ الشَّجَرِ وَمِمَّا يَعْرِشُونَ ﴿68﴾

And your Lord inspired the bee [saying]: ‘Make your home in the mountains, and on the trees and the trellises that they erect.

ثُمَّ كُلِي مِن كُلِّ الثَّمَرَاتِ فَاسْلُكِي سُبُلَ رَبِّكِ ذُلُلًا ۚ يَخْرُجُ مِن بُطُونِهَا شَرَابٌ مُّخْتَلِفٌ أَلْوَانُهُ فِيهِ شِفَاءٌ لِّلنَّاسِ ۗ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَةً لِّقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ ﴿69﴾

Then eat from every [kind of] fruit and follow meekly the ways of your Lord.’ There issues from its belly a juice of diverse hues, in which there is a cure for the people. There is indeed a sign in that for a people who reflect. 3

Science has proven that honey is a very nutritious food that contains many nutrients, antioxidants, and antibiotics that can cure many illnesses. Many people have cured illnesses that seemed incurable just by consuming honey. That is why God says that honey is a source of cure for people, not just believers, whereas the Quran is shifa only for believers.

Shifa in Surah Fuṣṣilat

God mentions the word shifa four times in the Quran in surahs:

  • Yūnus (10)
  • Naḥl (16)
  • Isrā’ (17)
  • Fuṣṣilat (41)

God says in surah Fuṣṣilat the following:

وَلَوْ جَعَلْنَاهُ قُرْآنًا أَعْجَمِيًّا لَّقَالُوا لَوْلَا فُصِّلَتْ آيَاتُهُ ۖ أَأَعْجَمِيٌّ وَعَرَبِيٌّ ۗ قُلْ هُوَ لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا هُدًى وَشِفَاءٌ ۖ وَالَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ فِي آذَانِهِمْ وَقْرٌ وَهُوَ عَلَيْهِمْ عَمًى ۚ أُولَـٰئِكَ يُنَادَوْنَ مِن مَّكَانٍ بَعِيدٍ ﴿44﴾

Had We made it a non-Arabic Quran, they would have said, ‘Why have not its signs been articulated?’ ‘What! A non-Arabian [scripture] and an Arabian [prophet]!?’ Say, ‘It is guidance and healing for those who have faith. As for those who are faithless, there is a deafness in their ears and it is lost to their sight: [to them it is as if] they were called from a distant place.’ 4

Similar to the verses in surah Yūnus and Isrā’, this verse also states that the Quran is a cure for believers. Indeed, the Quran is a source of healing and cure for not just the heart and mind, but also for the body. Muslims seek help from the Quran when they get sick and recite surah Fatiha or al-Shifa and they feel well again. However, those who do not believe in the Quran and Islam will not find any benefit in it. Therefore, belief in the Quran is a prerequisite if one wants to derive the healing benefits of the Quran.

Shifa in the Quran: Shifa of Jacob From Blindness

One of the instances where shifa has taken place and mentioned explicitly in the Quran, has to do with the story of Prophet Joseph and his father Prophet Jacob. When Joseph was the treasurer of Egypt, his brothers went to him to ask for grain. Joseph gave it to them but said, “I will not give you grain the next time you come unless you bring your younger brother with you.” So the brothers persuaded their father to take Benjamin, Joseph’s only full brother with them to Egypt. Joseph made a plan to keep Benjamin.

He placed the cup of the king in his sack and while they were leaving for Egypt, they said that someone has stolen the king’s cup and that they must search their sacks. Consequently, they found the cup in Benjamin’s sack. Based on the law of the Canaanites, Benjamin was to be held. When the brothers came back and told their father what had happened, Jacob wept so much that he went blind. Then he told his sons to go and search for Joseph and bring his brother back.

When they went back, Joseph revealed his identity to them, and gave them his shirt and said rub it on your father’s eyes and his blindness will be cured. And, that was how Jacob was cured from his blindness.


  1. Quran 17:82 (Qara’i).
  2. Quran 10:57 (Qara’i).
  3. Quran 16:68-69 (Qara’i).
  4. Quran 41:44 (Qara’i).
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Abu Mahdi
Abu Mahdi
I'm Abu Mahdi, one of the writers of this blog. I have a BA in English literature and an MA in English language teaching. I am also a teacher and reciter of the Quran in the field of reading the Quran, tajweed, and maqamat. Currently, we are working on a course for learning tajweed of the Quran here on Islam4u.

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