Health awareness in Islam (Part-1)

Muhammad Anwar Hossain

23 April, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Health awareness in Islam (Part-1)

Human being is ‘Ashraful Makhluqat’ i.e. the best creation of Almighty Allah. Man has gained this superiority because of knowledge. Allah has given knowledge for leading a beautiful life using this knowledge. He created human beings to worship Him.  Physical and mental health is important to worship. It is onlypossible to worship  Allah  Taala with concentration if anyone is physically and mentally sound. Islam emphasises that a believer should be physically and mentally sound for worshiping sincerely. Health is an asset. It is a precious blessing of Almighty Allah in human life.

 There are five fundamental objectives of Islamic Shariah which include protection of life, protection  of wealth, protection of knowledge, protection of raceand protection of “Deen” i.e. religion. We know that our beloved Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is the ideal for all mankind for all the time. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, 'A strong believer is better and dearer to Allah Taala than a weak believer. But there is welfare in both. (Sahih Muslim.)

 According to the hadith, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: Most people are careless and deceived about the two blessings. Those are - wellness and leisure. (Sahih Bukhari)

Our beloved prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) was very much conscious about health and he instructed us to follow the health rules. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: ‘‘Among the blessings that will be asked of the servants on the Day of Resurrection, the first question will be asked about health. He will be told I did not give you physical well-being? (Sunan Tirmidhi)

In the eyes of Islam, 'it is better to follow the rules of hygiene to maintain good health than to receive medical treatment when you are sick.' In the modern age, medical science accepts the theory of Islam and declares that ‘prevention is better than cure.’ It is important in the eyes of Islamic law to seek immediate treatment in case of illness. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to seek medical treatment when he was ill and encouraged his followers to seek treatment. He (peace be upon him) used to say, 'O servants of Allah! You get treatment. Because Allah Ta'ala has not created any disease for which there is no cure. But, there is a disease for which there is no antidote, that is old age. (Sunan Abu Dawood)

Everybody wants to maintain sound health. But healing is inevitable if all the instructions given by the Prophet (peace be upon him) to keep mankind healthy about one and a half thousand years ago are followed. So, the guidelines that can be followed to stay healthy are mentioned below:

 Awareness about food and drink: People are usually infected by food and drink. As such, the main centre of all diseases is the human stomach. So, in case of food intake, a moderate amount of food should be taken. Islam has instructed moderation in this regard and discouraged overeating. Allah Ta'ala has said: "Take good food that I have provided for your sustenance, but commit no excess therein."

(Surah Ta-Ha: 81)

Covering food and drink: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) urged us to always cover food and drink. Because there is a risk of illness as well as human death. 

Eating without blowing on food: Breathing in food and water can cause many diseases. Narrated from Hazrat Abu Saeed Khudri. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade blowing on the water. One pleaded what to do if sometimes dirty garbage is seen in the container? He (peace be upon him) said, 'Pour it out.' (Tirmidhi, Riyadus Salehin) Modern science has suggested that the matter should be emphasised. Because, if we drink it by blowing it in water, there is a danger of mixing carbon dioxide in it and creating harmful complications in our body.

Cleaning hands: Everyone needs to have the habit of keeping their hands clean through which illness can be easily avoided. Hands carry various types of germs and increase various health risks. So, we need to wash our hands regularly to stay disease-free. The practice of handwashing with proper rules works more than a good vaccine. That is why, Islam has instructed to wash hands before and after eating one and a half thousand years ago. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) ordered to wash his hands before eating. 'Narrated from Hazrat Ayesha( R.A). The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to wash both hands up to the wrists before eating and drinking. (Musnad Ahmad). After using the toilet he would rub his hands on the ground.

Narrated from Hazrat Abu Hurairah. He said, "When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) would use the toilet, I would take water for him in a brass or leather container." Then he would rub his hands on the ground. (Sunan Abu Dawood).

Physical and mental well-being: In addition to physical well-being, mental well-being is also important. Rather, mental well-being is a prerequisite for physical well-being. Because, peace of mind and happiness increase the body's resistance to disease. Mental anxiety and restlessness reduce the body's resistance to disease. Therefore, Islam has given great importance to the system of marital life with a view to maintaining sound mental and physical health. Apart from that, peace of mind can also be achieved through the worship system of Islam and Dhikr-Azkar. In the Holy Quran, Allah Ta'ala says, “Those who believe, and whose hearts find satisfaction in the remembrance of Allah. Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest. '' (Surah Ar-Ra'd: 28)

Everyone will face punishment for showing negligence and unwillingness toward health on the day of resurrection. Besides this, Islam has shown more encouragement for sound health by avoiding health rules instead of taking treatment of being sick.

It is the duty of every believer to become aware and alert about health and sanitation. First of all, every believer must give emphasisto physical and mental health. If anyone becomes sick, he/she should take treatment immediately without any negligence. Our beloved prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) has encouraged his companions for taking treatment immediately. It is a part of ‘Ibadah’ i.e worshiping to take medicine when sick.  

Therefore, it is an obligatory duty of every believer to take care of his body and health. According to the command of Islam, the believer must first take care so that he never becomes physically or mentally ill. Of course, if you ever get sick for any reason, you will get quick treatment. There should not be any kind of laziness in this regard.

In the light of the hadith, it is understood that it is the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) to seek medical treatment when he is ill. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, 'Allah has given disease and sent down the cure for it. There is a cure for every disease. So, take treatment, but do not take treatment with haraam products. He added, "Allah has not cured you of anything forbidden" (Jadul Maad).

(To be continued)


The writer is a banker. E-mail:[email protected]