Nourishing the body properly is necessary for everyone in order to live healthily and happily. However, malnutrition has been one of the biggest epidemics that the world experiences today. Malnutrition means bad or wrong nutrition. As a student of Nutrition and Dietetics, ways to combat this epidemic is what I learn every time I step in the university. Although there are various scientific ways to cure people with malnutrition, I believe that healing this global epidemic falls into two things, education and discipline. We must allow ourselves to be educated about proper nutrition and discipline ourselves to practice what we learn. I would consider this as the formula of proper nourishment of the body.
However, I write this post not to talk about the proper nutrition of the body but about the overlooked epidemic and that is the malnutrition of the soul. Looking beyond the idea of body malnutrition, we can see that there are too many souls afflicted with malnutrition perhaps even more than bodies that are deprived with proper nutrition. Malnourished souls aren’t that noticeable, some of those hide inside healthy bodies that display deceiving smiles. Some of those souls live inside silent bodies that aren’t willing to learn how to nourish their souls. They pretend to be okay when their souls are screeching for help.
What makes a soul malnourished?
Just like how the body is being improperly fed by food, the malnourished soul is a result of improperly nourishing the soul with various factors such as false beliefs, lies, ignorance, disobedience, haraam doings, etc. Obviously, just comparing the two kinds of malnutrition we can say that there are more malnourished souls than malnourished bodies. Today, most of us feed our souls in believing to myths and beliefs although we are told several times that these are false, we hold on to these beliefs because these have been a tradition even during the time of our ancestors. We listen, talk, and spread lies. We close are minds from learning the truth. We hardly accept that what we believe might be false and so when the truth knocks on our door, we don’t welcome it. Today, although we know the truth we don’t act according to it, we disobey and continuously do the forbidden. And these are just some of the reasons why our souls are malnourished.
How to nourish the soul?
There are too many cures that Islam has given us. Prayer and Qur’an are the greatest of the cures. When we disconnect ourselves from these two, we are among the most malnourished beings. It’s like totally depriving our body from water and food. Just like how a body gets weak, the soul weakens if it doesn’t meet the essential nutrients it needs. Imagine how long we deprive ourselves from prayers and Quran. Imagine a day not eating and drinking. It is fatal, isn’t? The soul, like a body, needs nutrients for it to function well, and these essential nutrients are the 5 pillars of Islam, and 6 articles of faith which include daily prayers, reading and understanding the Quran, following the Sunnah, living according to Islam, etc.
Just like body, the soul too, gets malnourished when it lacks one essential nutrient. We should not just focus on achieving a healthy body while our souls’ needs are ignored. Nourishing both the body and soul is among our responsibilities as a person and having both nourished makes our total well being.