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Habbaba Al-Walibiyya and the ‘Evil Disease’

Ahmad b. al-Mundhir narrated from ‘Umar b. ‘Abd al-Aziz from Dawud al-Raqqi, who said: I was with Abu ‘Abd Allah al-Sadiq, peace be upon him, when Habbaba al-Walibiyya entered. She was a righteous woman. She asked him questions dealing with the lawful and the unlawful, and we marvelcd at the beauty of those questions. He [al-Sadiq] said to us: “Have you seen questions better than those of Habbaba al-Walibiyya?” We replied: “May we be your sacrifice, it has left an impression on our eyes and our hearts.” Then her tears flowed. Al-Sadiq, peace be upon him, asked: “Why is it I see your tears streaming?”

She replied: “O son of the Messenger of Allah, one of the evil diseases that would afflict the Prophets and the friends has afflicted me. My relatives and the people of my family say: ‘The “evil disease” has afflicted her, and if her master is as she says, it is incumbent that he pray for her, so Allah, the Exalted, will remove it from her.’ By Allah, I was pleased with that and knew it was a purification and an expiation, and that it is the illness of the righteous.” Al-Sadiq, peace be upon him, said to her: “Is your affliction chronic?” She replied: “Yes, O son of the Messenger of Allah.”

He [Dawud al-Raqqi] said: Al-Sadiq, peace be upon him, moved his lips with some prayer I did not know and said: "Go into the womens' quarters so that you may look at your body.” He [al-Raqqi] said: She went in and removed her clothing, then rose. Nothing remained on her chest or her body. He [al-Sadiq] said: “Go now to them and tell them: This is the one who, by his Imamate, seeks nearness to Allah, the Exalted.”

From Abu al-Hasan, the first [Musa al-Kazim], “Whoever eats the broth of meat (maraq bi-lahm), Allah, the Exalted, removes from him vitiligo (al-baras) and leprosy.”