Iyaadat (Visiting the sick) is an act of high merit. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said that if a person visits the sick in the morning, 70,000 Malaaikah (Angels) supplicate on his behalf (make Dua of Maghfirah for him), until the evening, and if one visits the sick during the evening, then the same process is repeated by 70,000 Angels.
In another Hadith, it is mentioned that after visiting the sick, one emerges purified of sins as one was on the day of one’s birth. While the thawaab of visiting the sick is considerable, — it is an act encouraged by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) — it should be understood that Iyaadat too has aadaab (etiquettes and rules) which have to be incumbently observed.
Most people nowadays consider visiting the sick as just another occasion for outgoing, meeting and idle conversation. It has become the custom to congregate at the home of the indisposed person supposedly for Iyaadat, but the intention is not Allah’s Pleasure nor to gain thawaab.
The assembly of people and their prolonged stay cause takleef (inconvenience and distress) to both the sick person and to the family. The peace of the sick person is disturbed when people sit around, staring at him/ her or indulge in idle talk and even in gheebat. Instead of the visit being a source of comfort which assists the curing process, it leads to further deterioration in the condition of the indisposed person. The Hadith therefore prohibits lengthy visits. Thus, it is mentioned that the best Iyaadat is that the visitor remains very briefly and leaves quickly unless it is someone who’s continued presence the sick person desires.
When visiting the sick, silently make a dua for his/her health. The dua should not be made with hands raised and with ostentation. A silent dua in the heart suffices. There are also Masnoon Duas to recite when visiting the sick. But of great importance is to remember not to prolong the duration of the Iyaadat. A couple of minutes are adequate.