Ubaidullah ibn Mihsan reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Whoever among you wakes up secure in his property, healthy in his body, and he has his food for the day, it is as if he were given the entire world.” (Tirmidhi)
The human body is a gift. It consists of a brain to educate ourselves, eyes to appreciate the beauty of this world, a tongue to taste the exquisite cuisines of the world, legs to carry us to the corners of the world, a heart to feel the warmth and love of those around us – each part of the body allows us to do something special. Life is such that we become naive to the gift that we have; we live and breathe is this vessel whilst failing to acknowledge how amazing and unique it is. It is only when we encounter a situation whereby we experience life without a fully functioning part of the body that we realise how lucky we are. For many of us this is temporary, in the form of an ear infection or a broken leg. However, there are many beautiful souls amongst us who live the reality of a permanent end to a part of their body that once gave them the gift of a particular function or sensation. This gift is one that requires special attention on a daily basis; it is a machine that functions at its best having been polished from the inside and out.
My points today are a reminder to myself foremost, before anyone else. As a Muslim, I believe this body is a gift given to me by God and with it I have achieved so much. If a gift is given to you by a loved one, should that gift not be looked after? If we were given a Porsche as a surprise, how would we behave? I doubt I would casually use the car, perhaps only on special occasions. I know I would only employ the best of car cleaners to ensure it maintained its shine. I sure would not let me next door neighbour’s spotty teenager lean against it to show off to his friends. I might even wake in the middle of the night to look out the window to admire the shine of the car. Though I doubt anybody will ever buy me a Porsche (never say never though!), my point is when we have a material product of high monetary value our mindset is to be careful in how we use the product. This same mentality should be applied to how out bodies because it is a greatest transport material we will ever be given. It is the vessel that provides us with means of getting to our final destination – Jannah (Heaven)
This is a topic that I could write a 10,000 word thesis on. Tempting as it is, I won’t. Instead here are some quick bullet points that I feel are worth pondering upon. I am no scholar nor am I here to preach; I write this with the sole intention of highlighting the importance of us looking after our bodies so we can be the best Muslims and humans we can be. You may also find this blog piece “10 easy ways to get fit” of interest.
In all of our 5 daily prayers, our head goes down in prostration; I personally find this the most peaceful of positions throughout my day. It reminds me of my humble position on this earth as well as giving me time to empty my mind to focus on my inner self. A distant, yet vivid, memory of mine is a time when I was unable to perform this position due to a health issue; the only word to describe my feelings “heart broken”. When I reflect on this, I think of the many people I have seen sitting on chairs when praying or those who are unable to bend down to perform prostration in the traditional position. Though the reasons for this can vary considerably, obesity and the preceding effects on the body is one high up on the list. For many, as blunt as it may sound, is a self-inflicted phenomena. Whilst eating our big portions and fast food, we do not ponder how this could leave us in a situation where we can not perform a fundamental aspect of our worship. I pray that none of us fall into a state that prevents us from performing prostration and may those who are in such situations find a way to win the battle that stops them from doing so.
Energy for Quran & Prayer
During the periods where I may be unable to exercise or maintain as healthy diet as I would like (i.e. exam time!), I find I am more tired, drained and unmotivated. What you put in, is what you get out. Energy is important in order to maintain the habit of praying the 5 daily prayers on time. In addition, praying is not just an external set of movements but rather a time to refresh ourselves. This can only be done successfully when we focus on what we are saying and reflect upon the words. Keeping our bodies in a good conditions helps to maximise the connection you develop through prayer and Quran recitation.
Ok – not really just about babies but I am sure that word caught the eyes of you broody readers! Many of us, Insh’Allah (God Willing), will be blessed with children. Our mothers play the biggest role in strengthening us to stand on our own two feet and straightening our backs to stand as tall as we can. Now, there are two points I want to raise here. Firstly, mothers need to be on their feet to cook, clean, change nappies, scrub stains off the carpet – all sorts. Mirroring what was said above, having energy makes you more productive and less irritated when carrying out these tasks. Surely, that can only have a positive effect on your little ones? Secondly, and in my eyes very importantly, as children grow they pick up habits that stay with them for a lifetime. For example, how many of us learnt to eat with out right hand and have continued doing so without a second thought? I was never allowed to leave home without eating a good breakfast, a habit that has stuck with me until today.
Part of religion
” And eat and drink but waste not by extravagance” [al-A‘raaf 7:31]
This is a verse from the Quran; eat and drink but do not waste. It makes me so sad when I see plates half full of food being thrown away. It reminds me of those who would do anything for 1% of what is on our plates and also makes me wonder why we have become so complacent in understanding how much food we actually need. We make or order big portions of food and will stuff it down our gullets, not because we are necessarily hungry but because we want our monies worth or are just bored! We eat so much we end up being tired and bloated, leading us down the path of productiveness. As this verse demonstrates, it is a commandment from Allah to eat and drink as we need but to not indulge unnecessarily. I leave you with this to ponder: how often do you over eat? how often do you throw away food?
ABOUT THE GUEST POST WRITER
Aishah is a health, fitness & productivity blogger. She believes as Muslim women we should strive to better ourselves in every aspect of our lives. She writes to inspire both Muslim and Non Muslim readers with motivation words and practical tips. Read more of her writing at www.grainsandgains.com and follow her on Instagram/twitter @grainsandgains