Saudi Gazette report
One should take into account the etiquette of visiting patients in hospitals to preserve their comfort and privacy. This is the advice being given by several experts who spoke to Al-Riyadh daily on the importance of abiding by hospital rules and not disturbing others while fulfilling one’s Islamic duty of visiting the sick.
Visiting the sick is something encouraged in Islam, as it is a gesture that can help elevate a patient’s spirits and ease recovery. But many visitors fail to adhere to hospital policies on visitations and exhibit negative behavior, which can affect both patients and the hospital environment.
On the Islamic duty of visiting the sick, Dr. Ali Al-Johani, vice president at Naif Arab University for Security Sciences, said: “Our society is a closely-knit community where everyone becomes eager once they know or hear that a neighbor, friend or relative is hospitalized. As an Islamic obligation, they tend to visit the patients in the hospital, but there are wrong practices that may cause inconveniences to the patients themselves or the hospital staff and even relatives. Hence people must understand and follow the rules and be courteous so as to not inconvenience their patient or other patients in the hospital.”
Regarding the most important rules to keep in mind when visiting a patient, Al-Johani said there are several factors that people should consider, which include making sure that the visit is allowed and the health of the patient allows such visit.
“Visitors should always say things that raise the morale of the patient. Anything negative, especially related to the health of the patient, should be avoided as a topic of conversation. The purpose of visiting someone in the hospital is to lift their spirits, not cause additional worries,” he added.
Talking about the importance of visiting the sick in the hospital, Dr. Saleh Abu Arad quoted a Hadith, narrated from Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him: “The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said: ‘The rights of one Muslim over another are five: returning the greeting of salaam, visiting the sick, attending funerals, accepting invitations, and saying Allah Yarhamuk (may Allah have mercy on you) to one who sneezes’.”
Abu Arad said visiting the sick “is one of the doors to earning a great reward and it is a prophetic tradition that softens the hearts and relieves pains for the patient. It also works to build bridges of love and empathy, and strengthens the bonds between relatives, neighbors, friends and other members of society.”
He however said it is unfortunate that some people are unable to use common sense when visiting a hospital.
Some of the unacceptable behavior he has seen over the years includes visitors sleeping in green spaces, parking in no-parking zones, eating and drinking in the corridors and breaking visitation hours.
“The goal of visitors must be to greet the patient and check on his health and to pray for his recovery and reassure him that Allah knows best. It is preferable that such visits are short and concise to allow the patient enough time to rest and recover,” he said.