The Quran reminds us that our bodies are an amanah, a trust from Allah, and so we have a duty to take care of our health. Looking after our bodies will enable us to perform good deeds and also keep up with our religious obligations. Remember the food we eat not only effects our body but also our nafs (soul), but what do we need to do to take care of ourselves?
Diet is extremely important in controlling diseases such as diabetes and coronary heart problems but actually eating well helps us lead a healthy life. The saying, “you are what you eat”, holds very true, as our body reacts 100% to what we consume, and so if we consume unhealthy foods, your body will become unhealthy. You may not notice it initially, but the changes begin to occur inside and may surface many years later.
One of the philosophies that Islam is based upon is moderation and the Quran also encourages moderation in eating and drinking. Allah says in Chapter 6, verse 141, “Eat and drink, but do not go to excess; He does not love people of excess”.
The Prophet himself would generally eat light and balanced meals. The prophet taught us “a few morsels of food are enough for a person to keep his spine upright; but if you must eat more, then the most should be such that 1/3rd of his stomach is for food, 1/3rd of his stomach if for his drink and 1/3rd for air”. When we are faced with delicious food do we using the 1/3 rd rule?
As communities when we get together there is an emphasis on eating, especially meat and fried foods. There is hardly any fresh fruits and vegetables to complement our meals. Every meal should be balanced from all the food groups. Too much fatty foods can lead to cholesterol levels increasing in the blood which can lead to heart disease. Another way we can become more healthy in by exercising. Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) recommended swimming, archery and horse-riding as sports, but actually doing any exercise has multi-faceted benefits. The obviously one being it helps reduce body fat, it improves your mood, it can aid stress relief and finally can boost concentration levels. It is so important we encourage our children to be active from a young age, as habits formed early in life are more likely to stick.
Medical research has shown that people from south Asian communities have a higher risk of developing certain diseases. Here are some statistics:
- 6 times is the likelihood of British Asians to develop diabetes or heart disease over the general population.
- 30% of British Muslims are considered to be in bad health, nearly double of the national average.
Previous studies on 1st generational Asians showed that the incidence of certain cancers were lower than the British White population, however, this is changing and recent statistics show that 2nd generational Asians are just as likely to develop cancer. A large study in being carried out by Oxford University of 250,000 British Asians from ages 18-80 to understand the causes in the changes in the disease occurrence. One theory is that we have started adopting western lifestyle habits.
Think about your lifestyle, are you living a balanced life? Do you live in moderation and follow the teachings of Islam?
Thanks for sharing such an informative piece of writing. I am amazed with how much islam has already said about healthy eating and a healthy life style, Subhannallah x
Soraya – Thank you so much for sharing. So true about balanced living and moderation. Very interesting to hear about the Oxford study. I shall be looking forward to reading more on your blog. Great work! Keep it up!
Thank you so much Soraya for this interesting article on Qur’an and our body. I loved it. Surely, if our body is His Amanah, we should follow the Guide He sent for us. It’s a treasure. Looking forward to read more. Jazakillah.