Dear blessed Friday jemaah,
Let us strive to increase our taqwa towards Allah s.w.t. by carrying out all of His commands and leaving behind what Allah has prohibited upon us. Let us be grateful for the all the bounty and pleasures that Allah has given us, especially that of our health.
Today, I would like to take the opportunity to call upon all of you to reflect upon a famous advice of Nabi s.a.w. On the authority of Ibnu ‘Abbas r.a., Rasulullah s.a.w. said:
Which means: “Take advantage of five matters before five other matters: your youth, before you become old; and your health, before you fall sick; and your richness, before you become poor; and your free time before you become busy; and your life, before your death.” [Narrated by Al-Hakim]
Through this hadith, the Prophet s.a.w. reminded us on the importance of the blessings Allah s.w.t has bestowed upon us. And among these blessings is that of our good health. With good mental, physical and spiritual health, we will be able to worship Allah s.w.t. and perform our ibadah. Health is something that cannot be bought with money and wealth. Thus, that is also why Rasulullah s.a.w. said in a hadith on the authority of Ibnu Majah, narrated by Anas bin Malik that a man came to see the Prophet s.a.w.: “Ya Rasulullah, what is the best (most afdhal) doa?” Rasulullah s.a.w. replied “Ask Allah for forgiveness and health in this world and the hereafter.” It was reported that the man asked for three consecutive days and was given the same response. And the Prophet s.a.w. advised the same doa and said: “When you are forgiven and granted health in this world and the hereafter, then you are truly successful.”
Imam At-Tirmizi in his book Asy-Syamail Al-Muhammadiyyah, described how the Prophet s.a.w. had a well-balanced figure. This shows that Nabi s.a.w. looked after his health. The purpose is to ensure that he can continue to worship Allah s.w.t. and perform his ibadah comfortably, and have the strength to continue his mission.
My brothers, perhaps we often get too caught up with work and our busy schedules that we have overlooked the importance of taking care of our health. Hence, I would like to remind myself and all of you on the sunnah of maintaining and looking after our physical and mental health. Maybe there are some basic things can we do to enliven this Sunnah of Rasulullah s.a.w.
First: Let us try to eat in moderation with a balanced diet.
When Allah s.w.t. stressed upon the importance of consuming halal food, He also stressed upon eating what is “toyyib” or "good", balanced and is not harmful. Allah says in surah Al-Maidah verse 88:
Which means: " And eat of what Allah has provided for you [which is] lawful and good. And fear Allah , in whom you are believers. "
Hence, ensure that the food we consume and feed our families is not only from halal sources but is also nutritious and well-balanced so that we will have the energy to continue to worship Allah and carry out His commands.
We can emulate the example of how Rasulullah s.a.w. looked after his diet by eating a well-balanced meal. The Prophet reminded us, “Eat with one third of your stomach and drink with one third and leave one third of your stomach to breathe..” [Narrated by At-Tirmizi]
Secondly, we need to make time for exercise.
Rasulullah s.a.w. once said: “The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah than the weak believer although there is good in each…” [Narrated by Muslim]
This hadith reminds us that a believer (Mukmin) has to be spiritually awakened, mentally resilient and that also applies physically. Thus, we must ensure that we maintain our fitness level and health through regular exercise. We cannot simply sit back and let our bodies weaken without physical exercise.
If we are not able to do strenuous exercise, we can simply do moderate or light exercises, depending on our abilities and fitness levels. If we cannot jog, perhaps we can do brisk walking. By exercising, Insya’Allah our bodies will feel lighter and thus easier for us to perform our ibadah and feel closer to Allah s.w.t.
In relation to the sunnah of taking care of our health, we are also encouraged to fast. We should grab the chance to fast during these first ten days of Zulhijjah, and specifically on the Day of Arafah which can be performed on the 9th of Zulhijjah, which falls on 14 October. Nabi s.a.w. once said that fasting during the Day of Arafah can expiate our sins from the previous year and the coming year.
Third: Observing aspects of spiritual health.
My brothers, a strong believer also needs inner strength which comes from his spirituality. Thus, give our complete focus only to Allah s.w.t. when we stand up in prayer, or make doa to Him. Neurologists have found that prayer (solat) can restore mental stability and a sense of calmness in a person. Thus, when we pray to Allah s.w.t. do so with all our heart. Clear your hearts of any feelings of hatred, anger, jealousy and so on. Let our hearts talk to Allah s.w.t. and gain a newfound strength from our prayers.
My brothers, let us bring ourselves closer to Allah s.w.t., who has granted us with our good health by taking good care of ourselves, as this health is essentially a loan or amanah from Allah s.w.t. Let us continuously make doa and ask from Allah s.w.t. to grant us lasting physical and spiritual health so that we may use the bounty that Allah s.w.t. has given to us for the benefit of the hereafter. Amin Ya Rabbal Alamin.
Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura
Friday Sermon, 11 October 2013 / 6 Zulhijjah 1434