Preserving one’s good health requires the help of wetness that resists heat. The wetness resists heat while
the heat helps mature various substances and rids the body of its wastes. Otherwise, without wetness, the
excessive heat would harm the body and would not allow its organs to function normally, while excessive dryness allows the heat to burn the body and make it dry. Each one of the two conditions, wetness, and heat, thus needs the other to sustain and allow the body to function.
Further, since the heat feeds on wetness, it preserves the moisture from rotting and decomposing. When one of these two conditions is more dominant than the other, the constitution of the body will be altered and changed.
As we have stated, heat decomposes wetness, compelling, the body to seek to replace the lost moisture with food and drink, which In addition provides the body with sustenance. When moisture is present in excessive amounts, the heat is not able to decompose the excess wetness and thus the moisture decomposes and rots, causing harm to the body. In this case, various ailments attack the body, as much as the body and the various organs are susceptible to accepting these ailments. All these facts are taken from what Allah said:
“And eat and drink, but waste not by extravagance…”
Allah directs the slaves to consume what helps the body with food and drink and to replace lost energy. The amount [of food and drink] that should be consumed should not exceed what the body has lost plus what the body needs to function properly. Otherwise, the excess food will be an extravagance that brings about ailments and will not preserve health, and such is the case when one overeats or does not consume sufficient amounts.
Therefore, the few words that Allah stated hold the key to staying healthy. There is no doubt that the body is always going through the process of decomposing and producing waste. The more the decomposition occurs, the less the heat will be effective, since decomposition feeds on moisture (which feeds the inner heat). When ‘the Heat is weak, the digestion efficiency decreases until the moisture dissipates.
“The goal behind the person seeking a cure for himself and for others is to preserve the body until everyone reaches their final destination (death), not because preserving the necessary moistures and heat will keep the youth and health forever, for this goal is not attainable in this life. The goal that the doctor seeks to achieve entails preserving the existent wetness from what might spoil it and preserving body heat from what might weaken its power. The doctor thus preserves the balance between the two powers or conditions in the body, just as Allah has created heaven and earth with justice and perfect balance. In fact, the entire creation thrives on and by justice and balance.
Those who study the guidance of the Prophet will find it the best guidance with which the health of the body can and will be preserved. Preserving good health depends on eating and drinking sensibly and on utilizing one’s clothes, place of residence, the air, sleep, being awake, mobility, idleness, sex, extracting the excess material of the body, and keeping whatever is necessary and important in the best form and shape. When these aspects are satisfied in a manner that is suitable for the body, area, age, and custom, the person is more likely to have good health and well-being until it is his time to die.
Good health is one of the best bounties that Allah bestows on mankind and In addition one of His best rewards. In fact, good health is the best earthly bounty of all, and those who have been bestowed with sound comprehension should strive to preserve their health and protect it against what might oppose or alter it.
Al-Bokhary narrated in his Sahih that the Messenger of Allah said:
Further, At-Termezey narrated that Abdullah bin Mihsan AI-Ansari said, The Messenger of Allah said:
” ‘He who reaches the morning while health in his body, safe in his residence and having the day’s sustenance, will be as if the entire life of this world was granted to him.”
In addition, At-Termezey related from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet said:
“The first blessing that the slave will be asked about on the Day of Resurrection will be the saying to him, ‘Have We not made your body healthy and drove away your thirst with cold water?!
This is why some of the (righteous predecessors) stated that the Verse:
“Then on that Day, you shall be asked about the delights (you indulged in this world) .” (102:8)
It is referring to health. Imam Ahmad narrated that Abu Bakr As-Siddig said, I heard the Messenger of Allah saying:
“Ask Allah for certainty and good health, for indeed, no one will have a better possession after certainty
of Faith than good health.”
The Prophet sg joined the well-being of this life and the Next Life. Further, the slave’s success cannot be complete in both lives except by joining certainty of faith and well-being. Certainty of faith fends off the torments of the Next Life while well-being fends off the ailments of this life that might attack the body or the heart.
An-Nas’‘ay narrated that Abu Hurayrah related from the Prophet said:
“Ask Allah for forgiveness, well-being, and health. Indeed, no one acquires a better possession after the certainty of faith than good health.”
The three matters mentioned in the Hadith entail removing the ills of the past with forgiveness, of the present with well-being, and of the future with immunity (from error and thus from the Torment). Indeed, these words entail the continuity of well being always.
Abdur-Rahman bin Abu Laila said that Abu Ad-Dardaa said, “O Messenger of Allah it is more beloved to me to acquire good health so that I am thankful for it rather than being tested and then observing patience. The Messenger of Allah said:
“The Messenger of Allah b likes good health just like you.”
Further, Ibn Ab‘ass is reported to have narrated:
“A Bedouin man came to the Messenger of Allah and said to him, ‘What should I ask for after I finish the five prayers?
If this is how significant health is, we should then mention and study the Prophet’s guidance on preserving health and well-being, for we will come to realize that his guidance is the most perfect in this regard. With the Prophet’s guidance, one attains the health of his body and heart and their very existence, both in this world and in the Next Life. Allah is sought for all types of help, and our dependence is on Him, and there is neither power nor strength except Him.
The Prophet b did not restrict himself to eating one type of food This would be harmful to one’s nature. In addition, the body could face weakness and even death if one consumed only one type of food. In addition, when someone is used to only one type of food his body does not accept any other type. Restricting the diet to only one type of food, even if it is the best type, is harmful and dangerous.
The Prophet used to eat what his people used to eat in their regular diet, such as meat, fruits, bread, dates, and other types of food that we mentioned. When one type of food needed to be made milder the Prophet s* would use its opposite, such as neutralizing the hotness of ripe dates with watermelon. If he did not find what neutralized the effect of a type of food, he would eat it in the necessary amount without excesses.
When the Prophet b would not like food, he would refrain from eating it and would not force himself to have it. This is a great aspect of preserving health. When one eats what he does not have an appetite for, the food’s harm will overweigh its benefit.
Abu Hurayrah said, “The Messenger of Allah b never criticized a food. If he had an appetite for it, he ate it. Otherwise, he did not eat from it,” When the Prophet b was presented with lizard meat (Dhabb) he did not eat from it. He was asked, “Is it disallowed?”
He 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.”
The Prophet “ used a regular diet when he was offered a type of food that he was not used to eating and which he had no appetite for, he refrained from eating it. Yet, he did not prevent those who were used to that kind of food and who had an appetite for it from eating it.
The Prophet used to like eating meat, especially the arm and the upper parts of the sheep. This is the part that was poisoned and offered to the Prophet b.
In the Sahihain it is narrated that the Prophet m, was once brought some meat and that he was given the arm, which he liked. Furthermore, Abu ‘Ubaid narrated that Dhiba’ah bint Az-Zubair said that she slaughtered a sheep in her house. The Messenger of Allah sent to her.
“Feed us from your sheep.” She said to the messenger, ‘Only the neck is left, and I feel shy to send it to the Messenger of Allah ’.ط The Prophet’s emissary went back to the Prophet b to tell him what happened.
The Messenger said, ‘Go back to her and tell her to send it because the neck is the part that guides the sheep and is closer to the good things and far away from the septic things.
There is no doubt that the lightest barren nature of the sheep’s meat is the neck, arm, and thigh. These parts are In addition the easiest to digest and the softest on the stomach. The method the Prophet observed in this regard satisfies the three basic rules regarding food, which are, the food being beneficial and helpful to nature, being light on the stomach and not heavy, and being quickly digested. This is the best type of food to consume and consequently, eating a small part of this food is better than consuming a large amount of the other types of food.
The Prophet used to like eating sweets and honey. Meat, honey, and sweets are the best foods and the most beneficial for the body, liver, and various organs. In addition, eating these types of food has a profound effect on preserving health and strength, which is why only those who already suffer from an ailment would be harmed by consuming them.
The Prophet used to eat bread with whatever condiment happened to be available. Sometimes he would eat bread with meat, sometimes watermelon, and sometimes with dates. One time, the Prophet b placed a dried date on a piece of bread and said that this, the date, is the condiment of that, the bread. Barley bread is cold and dry while dates are hot and wet, so eating both foods together is one of the wisest decisions, especially for those used to this type of food, such as the people of AI-Medina. Sometimes, the Prophet * would eat bread with vinegar, saying, “What a good condiment vinegar is.’ This praise for the vinegar came because it was the only available food in the house then, not because vinegar is better than the other types of foods, as some ignorant people think. The Hadith states that the Prophet as once came to one of his wives and asked if she had any condiments when they offered him some bread. When she said that they only had vinegar, he said, “What a good condiment vinegar is.”
Eating bread with a condiment preserves health unlike eating only one type of food. Condiments are called such because when they are added to the bread, the bread tastes better and the food helps preserve health.
In addition, the Prophet * used to eat from the fruits that were in season in his land, as this, is one of the best methods of preserving health, Allah’s wisdom, decided that every land has its own fruits that are suitable and beneficial to that land when in season. When people consume these fruits they will help preserve their health and well-being and it serves as several medicines. On the other hand, those who refrain from eating the fruits of their area will be among the most ailing persons and the farthest from good health and well-being.
The wetness that the various fruits contain represents the favorable heat of the season, and the land the favorable heat of the season and the land. The stomach would then be able to bring the fruits to maturity and would fend off their harm if one does not eat them excessively causing nature to bear what it cannot bear. In addition, one should not spoil the food that his stomach is digesting by eating fruits, nor drink water with it. Fruits should be eaten only after the food in the stomach is digested to prevent constipation. For those who consume fruits in the proper manner, at the proper time, and in the proper conditions the fruits act as a cure and a remedy for them.