Sunnah of Healthy Lifestyle

Allah SWT has made this world beautiful for us to enjoy. He says in the Quran, “We put in this world, the means for you to live well”. He has given us Islam, which doesn’t deny us the opportunity to live well in this world, to enjoy and attain pleasures here.

Is Allah saying that this is the whole purpose of us being here? Not at all. This life is not just about acquiring physical things or physical pleasures. Rather, it’s about attaining the purpose of finding the one who made us and then see how He wants us to live our lives.

So every moment we spend in this world should have something more than just enjoying that moment. Everything we do must be done to strengthen our relationship with Allah.  That’s the main purpose of our life – to strengthen our relationship with Allah SWT.

How can our body help us strengthen our relationship with Allah ? The answer is :

The answer is, by improving our Ibaadah, our worship.

With our Ibadah, we will find things getting easy for us, making our life better. We will find peace and harmony not only within ourselves but also in relationships around us.

What does ‘Ibaadah’ mean?

Ibaadah is ‘Obedience with submission to Allah’. In one word ‘Worship’.

Ibaadah does not end with the acts of worship such as Salaah, Hajj and Fasting etc. In fact, Ibaadah starts from here.

When you pray your 5 daily prayers you are doing Ibadaah. When you fast or when you perform Hajj, you are doing Ibaadah. Ibaadah is also when you take care of your parents, when you love your wife, when you go to work to earn for your family, when you study hard to make your parents proud, when you are kind to your neighbours, when you do good to others.

So, Ibaadah is everything, that Allah is content with and which He loves.

How can we improve our Ibaadah and come closer to Allah?

Our Ibaadah, such as Salah, Hajj, Fasting, loving and taking care of our loved ones etc. has been made Fard on us by Allah. And what better way to improve them, other than following the Sunnah of Rasoolallah SAW. And one of the Sunnah of our Prophet Rasoolallah SAW was to follow and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Yes, following a healthy lifestyle does improve our Ibaadah and brings us closer to Allah SWT. 

How does a healthy lifestyle improve our Ibaadah and bring us closer to Allah SWT?

Many of us don’t realise that eating a healthy balanced diet, doing regular exercises and providing proper rest to our body can affect our Ibadah and in turn affect our Aakhirah.

Our prophet Rasoolallah SAW encouraged us to provide our body with proper food, proper rest and physical activities that give us the strength and energy to improve our acts of Ibaadah and come closer to Allah.

Allah says in theQuran, “O mankind! Eat of that which is lawful and good on the earth and follow not the footsteps of shaitan. Verily he is to you an open enemy. (2:168)”

With this Ayah, Allah not only tells us to eat what is halal but also what is healthy. Here Allah mentions how the shaitan uses food to trick us, making us eat unhealthy which has adverse effects on our ibaadah.

Our Prophet SAW said, “The worst vessel to fill is our stomach”. He always discouraged overeating.

Prophet SAW used to exercise. Taking part in sports was one of his Sunnahs. He personally engaged in and encouraged others to be a part of sports such as wrestling, running, horse racing, camel racing, swimming and archery.

He always had a flat stomach. When he saw someone with a bulging stomach he would say, “that excessive weight which you are carrying will look better on someone else”, meaning on someone skinny.

Overeating, eating unhealthy and lack of exercise make our body weak and lazy. A weak and lazy body prevents us from performing our Ibaadah effectively and prevents us from coming closer to Allah.

Maintaining healthy sleeping habits is as important as eating healthy and exercising in order to improve our Ibaadah. Prophet SAW used to go to bed right after Isha, and used to wake up before Fajr. We must follow this Sunnah of going to sleep early so we can wake up fresh for the Fajr prayers. Staying up late at night, deprives the body of proper sleep. As a result we either miss our Fajr prayers or are not able to concentrate at all, being half sleepy. Lack of concentration in our prayers takes away the opportunity to come closer to Allah SWT.

So, in order to strengthen our relationship with Allah we must follow the Sunnah of our prophet to eat, sleep and exercise right. When a healthy body is able to make proper wudhu, is able to walk to the masjid, is able to stand in Jama’ah for salah, no doubt all of this bring khushu in our prayers and no doubt brings us closer to Allah SWT.

Not only does a healthy body and mind improve our prayers, it also enables us to perform our daily duties such as taking care of our family and helping others with ease and improve our overall performance as a true believer.

Our Deen emphasises a healthy life for both men and women. This fact is supported by a hadith reported in Sahih Bukhari, where Prophet’s wife, Aisha (RA) expresses their love for sports saying, “I raced with the Prophet and I beat him. Later, when I had put on some weight, we raced again and he won. Then he said, This cancels that (referring to the previous race).”

Why can’t we just enjoy this world ? Why does Allah need our Ibadah ?

One of the names of Allah is Al Ghani. Ghani means somebody who doesn’t need anything. In an ayah He tells us that we need everything and that He needs nothing.

Allah says, do good deeds and He will free us of needs. Not only our good deeds benefit us in this life but also in our Aakhirah. For example Salah, just like Hijab, and fasting keeps us away from sins and brings us closer to Allah. That’s why Allah made it Fard upon us and that’s why he made a punishment, because He refuses us to go away from Him, He refuses to give us away to the Shaitan.

In Surah Nisa 4:28 Allah says that He wants to lighten our burden and because human being was created weak. ‘Yureedu Allahu An Yukhaffifa Ankum Wa Khuliqal Insanu Da AAeefan.’

Keeping ourselves healthy not only benefit our body in this life but also improves our Ibaadah and benefits us in the Hereafter. This is the reason why we must follow the Sunnah of Rasoolallah to improve our Fard and gain the best of both the worlds.

I am different from others. How will Allah reward me?

Allah knows that each one of us is different. Each one of us face a different situation. Some are more capable than others. Some of us will be able to do a lot more than others and some of us will be able to do a lot less than others. We have to convince ourselves with the fact that Allah doesn’t want perfection from us. Allah only sees our efforts and not the results.

We must start from ever we can, to follow the Sunnah of Rasoolallah SAW and maintain a healthy lifestyle, in order to improve our Ibaadah. For example, if you can’t run, then start with walking. Put in your effort for the sake of Allah and Allah will make it easy for you.

Always remember that our success lies in two things- our efforts and Allah’s help. ‘Allah will not change the condition of  people until they change what is within themselves.’ Quran (13:11) . And Allah promises the best for us. 

How do I know that I am getting closer to Allah?

When you take care of your Ibaadah by following the Sunnah of our prophet, Allah will show you signs that He is pleased with you. He will show you signs that your efforts are getting results and that you are getting closer to Allah.

So what are those signs?

You will start to find comfort in Allah’s words. You will find discomfort in things Allah doesn’t like. For example, you will find discomfort when somebody is backbiting. Your ears don’t want to listen to it. Your eyes don’t want to see anything haram. Your hands doesn’t want to touch anything haram, your legs refuse to walk to places except to where Allah loves. Allah becomes your sight, your hearing, your hands and your legs.

When we feel close to Allah, we are aware of His presence everywhere and sins then become difficult for us. Our relationship with Allah then starts getting stronger and stronger.

But is my Ibaadah complete?

Your Ibaadah is incomplete if you aim to benefit only yourself. Your ibaadah doesn’t end with you. You need to motivate others too, starting with your family, your loved ones. You cannot give up on them. Don’t forget, you were not motivated yourself sometime back.

Allah says, “You can’t guide whom you love”. But when Allah puts power in our words and efforts it can change lives. Motivation comes over time. So be patient. You do your part, guidance will come. In Shaa Allah.

But to inspire others you need to start from yourself. So start eating healthy, sleeping well and begin your exercise from where ever you can. Take your Ibaadah to the next level. Feel the presence of your Lord in your life. And see how everything becomes easy for you in this world and in the Hereafter. In Sha Allah.



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