Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Prophet's guidance on staying healthy

Allah (swt) says in the Qur'an, 'And eat and drink but waste not by extravagance' [7:31]

Excess food is considered extravagance, and brings about ailments to the body. These few words are the key to staying healthy. How often have we eaten our full, and then continue to eat, just because of taste? Not thinking twice about what really goes on inside our body. Not thinking about stopping and thanking Allah, that he has given us bountiful, and that we have overcome our desires.
Al-Bukhari narrated in his Sahih:
Rasoolullah (saw) said: 'Two bounties regarding which many people cheat themselves: Health and free time'.
Preserving good health depends on many factors: eating and drinking sensibly, and on utilising one's clothes, place of residence, the air, sleep, being awake, mobility, idleness, relationships in the best possible manner.
Abu Bakr (ra) said that he heard the Messenger of Allah (saw) say, 'Ask Allah for certainty and good health; for indeed, no one will have a better possession after certainty of Faith than good health.'
This statement of our beloved Prophet (pbuh) joined the well being of this life, with the next life.

The Prophet (pbuh) did not restrict himself to eating one type of food. This would be harmful to one's nature. Abu Hurairah (ra) narrates that the Prophet (saw) never criticised a food, even if he disliked it.' If he did not like it, he would refrain from it. Once he was offered lizard meat, that he declined and said, 'No, but this food is not among the foods that my people used to eat, and I do not have an appetite for it', when asked if it's disallowed.
The Prophet (saw) used to especially like eating the arm and upper parts of the sheep. (This was also the part that was poisoned and offered to him).
The lightest part of the sheep is the neck, arm and thigh, and is most easily digested.

The sunnah method of eating involves:
- The food should be beneficial and helpful to the nature
- Light on the stomach
- Quickly digested

Meat, honey and sweets are the best foods and the most beneficial for the body, liver and various organs.
The Prophet (saw) used to eat bread with whatever type of condiment was available- sometimes with watermelon, meat or dates.
Eating barley with dates is one of the wisest decisions.
A lot of the times only vinegar was available, and the Prophet (pbuh) used to praise it.
He also used to eat the fruits of the season. Allah's wisdom has it that every land has it's own fruit, in every season. Eating fruits from your own land is very beneficial.
Fruits should be eaten after the food has been digested, to avoid constipation.

The Prophet (pbuh) said:
'I do not eat while leaning on m side.' He also said, 'I only sit like the slave sits and eat like the slave eats'.
He used to place his knees on the ground and would place the bottom of his left foot on the upper part of his right food in humilty for the Lord. This is the best way of eating.
The Prophet (pbuh) used three fingers while eating. How beautiful. If you used lesser fingers, the food in a bit would not be enough, and if you used all five, it would be more than the stomach could handle.
One final note before I depart- The Prophet (pbuh) never mixed fish and milk, milk and sour foods or two hot dishes, or two cold dishes, two sticky dishes, two constipating dishes, two laxative dishes, two heavy dishes two liquid foods or two types of food that produced the same condition.
He did not eat salty or rotten foods, such as pickles. Also, he neither ate a food when it is rather hot, nor old food that was heated for him the next day.
He did not join foods that cause opposite reactions, such as diarrhea and constipation, dry with fresh foods, eggs and milk or meat and milk, easily digested with heavy foods broiled with cooked foods.
All these types of food are harmful and cause the health to change for the worst.
La ilaha illallah.

No comments: