In societies characterized by the lack of Qur'anic morality, it is considered quite normal that people's behavior will change according to circumstances. They will exhibit good behavior when they can meet all of their physical and spiritual needs easily and ensure their own comfort, but will change completely when faced with any problem that may endanger their comfort. They cannot meet even a temporary affliction with patience. This becomes very clear in the case of illness.
How people behave during times of illness, hunger, exhaustion, and similar events are clear indications as to whether they do—or do not—possess sound morality. Given this fact, difficult times are very valuable opportunities for people to prove their faith in, devotion to, and trust in our Lord. Allah states that among the conditions for true morality and true goodness is showing correct behavior by being patient in times of trouble and sickness (Surat al-Baqara, 177).
When faced with such a problem as illness, what enables the faithful to behave steadfastly and with patience is their deep attachment to and faith in Allah. Prophet Ibrahim (as) expressed this truth by saying "and when I am ill, He heals me" (Surat ash-Shu'ara', 80).
Like Prophet Ibrahim (as), believers also know that Allah creates both the illness and the cure, and so they are not seized with despair when they fall ill. On the contrary, they are grateful to our Lord for those years in which He allowed them to live in health. Understanding that a healthy life is only one of Allah's many gifts to them, they continue to behave gratefully even when they are ill.
They also continue to be extremely grateful and steadfast in cases of accident and injury. They hope that after they enter Paradise, Allah will re-create them in such a fine form that it cannot be compared with their worldly bodies. This is their hoped-for reward for their steadfast patience when confronted with various difficulties. For this reason they do not forget that whatever they have suffered here will entitle them to a great recompense in the afterlife.
Those who are precluded from having faith, due to their attachment to the world, cannot show patience in the face of such events and so sink into great hopelessness and grief. For example, those with crippled limbs say that they would rather die than live with such a body; some even try to commit suicide. Believing that this life is the only one that they have, they think that living with certain defects and deficiencies makes life meaningless. Even if they do not try to commit suicide, they develop a very unpleasant personality and try to create problems for those around them. Whether they accept their situation or not, there is no way that they can avert such an event. If they put their trust in Allah, however, they may hope that He will allow them to be reborn in Paradise with a brand new body that is flawless, imperishable, and cannot be damaged. But if they do not trust in Allah, their present life and their future life in the Hereafter will be destroyed, for their ignorance will cause them to rebel against Allah and be "rewarded" with Hell.
The behavior of those who live the Qur'an's morality is completely different. When they are injured, lose an organ, or experience a similar disaster, their behavior does not change. Knowing that they are being tested and that the end result will be positive, they remain patient and do their best to earn Allah's approval. Even if they can no longer make any physical effort to realize this goal, they try to develop ideas that can benefit people and remind them of the Hereafter.
Those who turn away from Allah when they become ill or when they are injured are not aware of their great error, for only Allah can heal them or rescue them from their illness. Doctors, medicines, and treatments can be provided only with Allah's permission. Understanding this, the faithful face their illness with patience and patiently ask Him for a cure. They also make the best possible use of doctors, medicines, and treatments, and always remember that these will be of benefit only if Allah wills it.
The Qur'an gives the example of Prophet Ayyub (as), who always sought refuge in Allah when faced with illness. Allah praises his morality, as follows: "We found him steadfast. What an excellent servant! He truly turned to his Lord" (Surah Sad, 44). His patience and devotion to Allah are described, as follows:
And Ayyub, when he called out to his Lord, [said]: "Great harm has afflicted me, and You are the Most Merciful of the merciful." We responded to him and removed from him the harm that was afflicting him, restored his family to him and the same again with them, as a mercy direct from Us and a Reminder to all worshippers. (Surat al-Anbiya', 83-84)
The superior morality shown by Prophet Ayyub (as) when he was faced with this situation can be understood from his sincere prayer to Allah. When he was in trouble and sick, he turned to Allah with steadfastness and patience, knowing that only He can achieve anything and without forgetting that he is subject to Allah's mercy and compassion.
As we can see in these and all other cases, Allah helps those who are patient. One verse expresses this assistance, as follows:
And be steadfast. Allah is with the steadfast. (Surat al-Anfal, 46)