“…It may be that you hate something when it is good for you and it may be that you love something when it is bad for you. Allah knows and you do not know.” (Surat al-Baqara, 216)
Pain is a component of body’s defense system. This sensation signals the existence of a situation negatively affecting the health and ensures that precaution is taken against it. This way it aids to reduce the possible physical injury that may be inflicted on body to minimum. Indeed a person who feels pain takes a measure to put an end to that pain and thus eliminates the harm given to the body. For instance a person whose hand is burned by boiling water immediately withdraws his hand from that water and thus prevents further damage to his skin. In case the sensation of pain continues, he takes medical measures. Alternatively a sudden pain occurring in body alerts a person; often a visit paid to a doctor in becomes instrumental in the early diagnosis and treatment of a disease that may ‐ if left untreated ‐ cause serious consequences in the future. Although pain is quite unpleasant, in the absence of this sensation, the body would not respond to conditions causing pain and more severe health problems would arise. The fact that reminds us how great a blessing pain is the condition known as congenital analgesia, where a person cannot feel any physical pain. As Almighty Allah relates in the verse, “…It may be that you hate something when it is good for you and it may be that you love something when it is bad for you. Allah knows and you do not know.” (Surat al-Baqara, 216) the pain which is perceived as an unpleasant sensation is, contrary to the perceived wisdom, a sheer blessing.
What would happen if we did not feel any pain in our body in the case of a disorder?
Congenital insensitivity to pain is a state of being insensitive to outer physical pain. These people have senses of touch and feeling but, as if almost filtered, the nervous system of the brain obstructs the flow of information and in situations of emergency such as sudden injuries or situation that demand urgent reactions it prevents the body from showing reaction and taking any precautions. This is one of the most beautiful examples of Almighty Allah’s flawless creation.
A flaw occurring in the communication of the nervous system may lead to problems that are impossible to solve. Indeed a person suffering from this disease does not feel pain since no signal pertaining to pain is transmitted to brain. In some cases, on the other hand, pain is sensed but the source of pain in the body cannot be determined. No doubt both of the situations pose great risk for the person. That is because not being able to determine the location of pain is also as serious as not feeling any pain. For instance a person who is about to have a heart attack but is unable to understand the location of the pain may be face to face with a life-threatening situation.
The reducing in the sensation of pain during injuries:
Some people do not feel pain when they receive an injury or afterwards. This way, despite his injury, they can have the strength to protect himself or flee from threat. The transmission of the sensation of pain is also carried out by nerve cells. The cells in question include “endorphin”, which is a hormone that reduces the sensation of pain and affect emotions. Endorphin is almost a pain killer produced by our brain. It is secreted at the instant the pain is first felt and it loses its effect once the first crisis is over. This way even people who are seriously injured do not feel a severe pain for a certain period of time. Pain killers also function according to the same rationale. Most of them are not instrumental in treating diseases or injuries; they are the chemicals that merely prevent us to feel the sensation of pain. Reduction of pain during injuries is an example of Allah’s mercy upon people.
When we hit our leg to the edge of a table or when we step on the cracked piece of glass on the floor we feel pain. Sensation of pain occupies a very important place in our life because it alerts us about a problem in our body. When receptive cells in our skin react to harmful things – when they send urgent messages- we feel pain. Upon this we take measures to remove this unrest.
Why is it dangerous not to feel pain?
There are three types of pain: superficial pain, deep pain (of bones, muscles, ligaments and joints), and pain of internal organs (visceral pain). Superficial pain is initiated by activation of nociceptors in the skin or superficial tissues or when faced with a heat more than 45 degree centigrade. If this type of sensation was absent;
A person could easily lose great quantities of blood when he has a cut in his skin, since he would not feel pain and thus could face a life-threatening situation.
Likewise if a pain would not arise as a result of a burn in the body, one would not feel the need to receive any treatment since he would proceed with his daily works. This would make the epidermis more vulnerable to infections and thus cause serious disorders.
In case of absence of pain a person can involuntarily harm himself or get inquired because of not recognizing the severity of a harm. For instance he may not notice a fracture occurring in his metatarsus as a result of an accident and thus cause permanent defect on his body since he would continue to walk on his feet.
If pain did not have a cautionary feature, many diseases could proceed unabatedly; it could start as a simple disease but develop into a very serious and complicated one in time. For this reason pain is the first and sole symptom of many diseases.
For instance if we did not have stomach ache we could not understand that there is something wrong in our appendicitis or if we did not feel pain or a feeling of pressure in our heart, we could not understand a heart attack.
If we did not feel any pain when we fall down or lift something heavy, we would neglect to have a rest, continue to put strain on our joints and thus give damage to them.
There is a certain purpose and wisdom in the creation of everything
All Mighty Allah creates everything with wisdom and good. Congenital insensitivity is also one of the perfect examples of this creation of Allah. That is because, if Allah did not create such a sickness, no one would be aware of pain’s significance for the protection of body, which would be instrumental in one’s gratitude to Allah. The traits that exemplify the good Allah creates in everything are surely not limited to these. Our Lord also creates an important inspiration for the medical world to correct a disorder that some people suffer. That is because in the process of research of this disorder connections among signals and reactions and the details pertaining to them can be resolved. With this data scientists can produce new drugs that will reduce the pain caused by some certain diseases.
In the Qur’an, our Almighty Allah relates that everything He creates has a reason:
We did not create heaven and earth and everything in between them as a game. If We had desired to have some amusement, We would have derived it from Our Presence, but We did not do that. (Surat al-Anbiya’- 16–17)