Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Moulana Khalid Dhorat

 |Moulana Khalid Dhorat| 09 May 2016 |02 Sha’ban 1437

Its flu and cold season now, and you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that a person with a weak immune system will fall sick faster.

Toxins, germs and antigens collect in our bodies, waiting to attack it at the slightest change of weather, a cold draft or even just drinking a glass of cold water.

Many people, especially children, experience recurrent colds and sore throats, and either the doctor or the pharmacist smiles at the cash every time we visit them, or our mum’s have become experts in home remedies!

Apart from the inconvenient fact that one needs to regularly clean out the garbage overflowing with wet tissues and empty bottles and sachets of medicine, people are now searching for ways of HOW NOT TO GET SICK, instead of what to do when we do fall sick.

Remember that doctors are there to manage your sickness, and you are there to manage your health so as NOT TO FALL sick. Understand the difference well.

There are many causes of falling ill like bad nutrition, sleep deprivation, dehydration, poor hygiene, bad oral health, stress and contact with others, but in this short article, I would like to point to a new modern culprit: our lack of fitness due to our laid back sedentary lifestyle. Our lack of outdoor activity and exercise, and our addiction to gadgets such as iPods, iPads, smart phones and laptops.

As our fitness levels drop, our tummies bulge and our minds are under stimulated, so will our levels of sickness increase.

Our most noble Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alai wa Sallam) informed us that a strong believer was better than a weak believer. (Muslim)

In this tradition, our noble Prophet wasn’t talking in terms of faith only, but he also indicated that physical strength, optimum health and fitness were desirable. Our bodies, the most complex of machines, are given to us by Allah Ta’ala as a trust. They should be maintained in good order so that we can perform our religious and social duties without interruption and report for our daily duties.

It’s interesting to note that fulfilling the obligations of three of the five pillars of Islam requires that Muslims be of sound health. The daily performance of five prayers is in itself a form of exercise. Its prescribed movements involve all the muscles and joints of the body, and concentration in prayer relieves mental stress.

Good health is necessary if one intends to fast the month of Ramadan and the performance of the Hajj (the pilgrimage to Mecca) is an arduous task that requires many days of hard physical effort. If we are not on a reasonable level of fitness, we will actually be failing in our duty of being a Muslim!

Our noble Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘Alaihi Wa Sallam) advised his followers to start their day early, which is only possible of a healthy person: “O Allah, make the early morning hours blessed for my nation,” he prayed. Laziness and weakness are afflictions for which we will be called to account.

As for our children hooked onto their gadgets that keep them homebound, our noble Prophet actually encouraged a degree of heedless play and fun for them. He (Sallallahu ‘Alaihi Wa Sallam) said: “Any action without the remembrance of Allah is either a diversion or heedlessness excepting four acts: Walking from target to target [during archery practice], training a horse, playing with one’s family, and learning to swim.” (at-Tabraani)

Our noble Prophet Muhammad and his Companions never fell ill in a hurry. They were not a chronically ill generation of Muslims like us, hooked on a whole hotch potch of medication daily. They were physically fit. Life was tough, long distances were covered on foot, men hunted and farmed their food to survive, and there were no useless recreations to produce laziness and waste many hours of otherwise constructive time like the 21st century.

Our respected scholar, Imam Ibn ul-Qayyim al-Jauzi has said in his Zad al-Ma’ad that movement helps the body to rid itself of toxins and strengthens the body’s immune system. He also stated that each bodily organ has its own sport (or movement) that suited it and that horse riding, archery, wrestling and racing, were sports that benefitted the whole body.

Exercise in general increases muscle tone, improves flexibility, enhances endurance, strengthens the heart and fights depression. It also helps to achieve significant weight loss. Aerobic exercise fights heart disease and high blood pressure, and reduces the risk of diabetes, while weight training increases muscle strength and reduces fat, increases bone density, fights back pain and arthritis, and improves overall mental health.

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