Water: An amazing blessing!

waterOne of the great blessings that human beings cannot manufacture, despite having all the raw materials available, is water. This, the greatest requirement for life, is provided ready-made for us by Allah (swt). We cannot watch water forming in a laboratory nor produce it ourselves. Water came into being one time only during the creation of the Earth; the same water has been allowing living things to survive ever since.

It is impossible for life to exist without water.

Water is a substance specially created by Allah (swt) as the basis for life, and with all its physical and chemical properties created in such a way as to support life. Millions of different life forms on Earth survive by means of water, and all the balances necessary for life are maintained by means of its presence.

Water is a molecule that results from two hydrogen atoms bonding to one oxygen atom. Oxygen and hydrogen atoms are abundant in nature, but they don’t just bind together to form water; these atoms need to collide in order to produce water. The bonds that form the hydrogen and oxygen atoms weaken and these atoms come together to produce a new molecule – water – during such collisions. This collision essential for the formation of water is only possible at a very high temperature and at a very high level of energy. The high temperatures needed to produce water are not currently present on Earth. It is therefore impossible for new water molecules to form. The water on Earth which we drink and use, and that constitutes the seas and oceans, is the water that formed as the result of the high temperatures during the creation of the Earth. However, that is by no means the end of the miraculous properties of water.

The importance of reflecting on the existence of water

There is no water, the precondition for life, on any of the other 63 celestial bodies in the Solar System. Yet a large part of the Earth is covered in water; indeed, the seas and oceans represent three quarters of the surface of the Earth. There are also countless lakes and rivers on the land. The glaciers on the peaks of mountains are the frozen form of water and a significant amount of the Earth’s water is also in the sky. A cloud contains tens of thousands and sometimes even millions of tons of water. Part of that water sometimes descends in the form of droplets, rain. There is also a certain amount of water vapor in the air you are breathing now.

Rains, seas, rivers, streams, oceans, the drinkable water that appears when you open the faucet: most people are so familiar with the idea of water that they may never think of the importance of much of the world being covered with it. Yet, water is a very rare compound in space. The fact that of all the known celestial bodies only the Earth has water – and the fact that this water is drinkable – is a most miraculous state of affairs.

Although human beings can survive for one or two weeks without food, they cannot go any more than three or four days without water. The body consists of 55-75% water, and can lose up to two to three liters of water per day through activities such as perspiration and respiration. The water lost is made up by the water drunk in the wake of feelings of thirst.

The hypothalamus: the water detective in the body

The human body possesses systems that detect the slightest change in the amount of the water that is so essential for it. The most important of these is the region known as the hypothalamus, no larger than a pea, in the brain. The hypothalamus immediately senses if the level of water in the blood has gone down. In response to this, the gland known as the pituitary, just one centimeter in size, releases a hormone called “ADH.”

This hormone sets out on a long journey through the blood stream and eventually reaches the kidneys. The kidneys contain special receptors for this hormone, just like a key fitting a lock. When the hormones reach these receptors, water conservation is immediately initiated in the kidneys, and water expulsion is reduced to a very low level.

Were it not for the pituitary hormone and the kidney cells that understand and act on the command to “reduce water consumption” carried by this hormone, we would need to drink 15 to 20 liters of water a day, in order not to die of thirst.

Water is the most essential source of life for humans and all living things. It is involved in almost all bodily functions, such as the regulation of body temperature, transportation of nutrients and oxygen, the removal of waste products from the cells and facilitating digestion. It also facilitates the protection of organs and tissues; for example, when we lose just 2% of the water surrounding our cells we suffer a 20% energy loss and begin feeling fatigued. That alone is enough to show how important water is for human life.

Sunnah Living is Healthy Living – Gems

sunnah#Gems 1: Holistic food is a natural food which works in a natural manner.

#Gems 2: Human beings are holistic because they have a body, mind and soul.

#Gems 3: God has provided humans with holistic facilities in their surroundings for their survival.

#Gems 4: Natural foods, herbs, exercise and natural therapy can give holistic benefits.

#Gems 5: Religion and spirituality always heal holistically.

#Gems 6: What is a lifestyle modification?

  • Correct eating
  • 6-8 hours of night sleep
  • Stress management
  • Body-compatible exercise
  • Food supplements

#Gems 7: Objective of lifestyle modification -To connect internal environment with external environment or microcosmos (human body) with macrocosmos (universe).

#Gems 8: Health equation:

Food                50%

Sleep               20%

Exercise           20%

Genes              10%

#Gems 9: Fact – Your entire body rebuilds itself in less than 2 years! Every cell in your body eventually dies and is replaced by new cells.

#Gems 10: Everyday is a new opportunity to build a ‘new body’.

#Gems 11: You need to focus on food if:

  • food is not natural/ processed foods
  • mindless eating
  • no food timings
  • difficulty in controlling the food quantity
  • have food cravings
  • specific food addictions
  • indifferent to various food groups
  • you are struggling with your wt/ health issues
  • your disease is not under control
  • sleep less than 6 hours at night/ poor quality
  • suffer from hyperactive mind syndrome
  • mental aging
  • find peace in smoking, sedatives, sheesha or alcohol
  • not happy with life
  • have fears, guilt, insecurity or inferiority complex
  • no morality, can do negative deeds freely
  • behavioral disorders
  • faith confusions

#Gems 12: Healthy food becomes holistic

If the source of food and medium of cooking is natural, method of cooking is simple and is body-compatible, you are able to digest, assimilate, utilize and eliminate the holistic food fully.

#Gems 13: Good nutrition isn’t just about what goes into the body, it’s about everything that flows forth from heart and soul, and how we feed and nourish the world.

#Gems 14: What are junk foods?

– when we change the structure of a natural food, it becomes junk

– foods which are made with white flour and hydrogenated oil are called junk foods

#Gems 15: Processed or dead foods –

  • long shelf-life foods
  • fortified foods
  • junk foods
  • GMO foods
  • scientific foods


#Gems 16: 8 genetically engineered foods you should avoid* –

  1. Soy
  2. Corn
  3. Cottonseed (used in vegetable cooking oils)
  4. Hawaiian papaya
  5. Crookneck squash
  6. Some varieties of Zucchini
  7. Canola (canola oil)
  8. Sugar (from sugar beets)

*Eight foods you should almost never, ever eat by Dr. Joseph Mercola (May 5 2011)

#Gems 17: Junk foods – Cookies, crackers, baked goods, bread, chips, snack foods, fried foods, etc.

#Gems 18: Artificial manures lead inevitably to artificial nutrition, artificial food, artificial animals and finally to artificial men and women.

– Sir Albert Howard | English agronomist (1873-1947)

#Gems 19: Food for thought: How can science-designed artificial foods really benefit us over God-designed natural foods?

#Gems 20: Artificial foods/ diet can lead to animalistic behaviour and eventually to major crimes. Hence we find today, in the history of criminals that they had bad/ artificial diet in their past.

#Gems 21: SLP (Shagufta Liver Program) | 8 rules of diet correction –

  1. Selection of natural foods
  2. Food preference
  3. How much to eat
  4. Correct food timings
  5. Correct food combinations
  6. Food rotation
  7. Food temperature
  8. Correct water intake

#Gems 22: Placed within a spiritual context, the ultimate goal of any dietary philosophy is to take us fully into the body, and beyond the body.

#Gems 23: #FoodMyth – Excess water is good for skin and kidney.

#Gems 24: #FoodMyth – For weight loss, we have to eat less and follow low-calorie foods and heavy gym.

#Gems 25: What are the first steps?

  • replace white flour with whole wheat
  • replace packaged milk with organic
  • replace white sugar with ‘shakar’
  • eliminate cooking oil; use mustard oil, white butter or desi ghee
  • replace broiler chick/ eggs with organic
  • replace processed salt with natural
  • eliminate bottled water with fresh water

#Gems 26: Call a cease-fire on the war against your own body, your weight.

#Gems 27: Stop complaining. Appreciate your body and be happy – it is a creation of Allāh (subhānahu wa ta’āla)!

#Gems 28: Recommended book: Living as Nature Intended (by Dr. Shagufta Feroz).

#Gems 29: Good habits are as addictive as bad habits, but much more rewarding!

#Gems 30: Some tips to reduce radiation emission with cell phone use:

  1. Use a headset
  2. Use speaker mode
  3. Hold phone away from your body
  4. Text more, speak less
  5. Call only when signal is strong
  6. Limit children’s phone use
  7. Skip the ‘radiation shield’
  8. Use a special phone case like Pong
  9. Put your phone on ‘airplane mode’ when your children are around
  10. Keep your phone away from your room when you are asleep

#Gems 31: Do not turn on A/C immediately after entering your car.

#Gems 32: How to relax your eyes while studying or working on a computer?

Relaxing eyes is very important as it not only relaxes your eyes but also takes away other health problems such as headaches, eye strain, poor vision, migraines, etc. and hence it should not be underestimated.

  • Palming is a good relaxation technique. In palming you simply warm up your hands by rubbing them and cover your eyes for a few minutes everyday
  • Looking at a wide picture stress the eyes. Healthier option is if the eyes focus on a centralized portion of the picture
  • Look away every 2 minutes for 4-5 seconds and then get back to work
  • Get up every hour. Take a 5-minute break every hour.
  • Wash eyes with cold water frequently
  • Try to take Vitamin A and C
  • Blink your eyes every few seconds. It relaxes them by giving moisture to the eyes
  • Apply two moist cotton balls that are squeezed in milk to your eyes

“Your Body Has A Right Over You…”

Body has Right

Human beings are essentially made up of three basic parts: mind, soul and body. The human body not only comprises and connects the other two, it also depends on them. Taking care of the body would be incomplete without caring for the mind and the soul as well. Although the thought of caring for ourselves seems selfish in a way, it actually is not. Our own self is tied with many other lives. Allah (swt) created human beings in a way that makes it inevitable for them to be social. If you are sound and healthy, you will be able to look after your loved ones and society thereupon.

How do we know it is our religious duty to look after our body? Several references in the Quran and Ahadeeth either directly or indirectly point to this fact. The Prophet (sa) said: “Observe the fast sometimes and also leave (it) at other times. Stand up for prayer at night and also sleep at night. Your body has a right over you, your eyes have a right over you, and your wife has a right over you.” (Bukhari)

Although this is related to excessive praying or fasting, it also holds well in every other aspect of life. “Your body has a right over you” speaks for itself. We already know that everything bestowed upon us is a favour of Allah (swt), and we, as trustees, will be held accountable for it. That’s the reason why we have to give the body its due rights. Being indifferent to these rights is, in essence, a sin. How can we carry out this duty?

As mentioned in the above narration, the Prophet (sa) had to direct the Sahabah not to exceed human limits in worship. It is human psychology that in order to correct our souls and also to be thankful to our Lord (swt), we tend to go for long and tiring acts of Ibadah. This is apparently a very commendable act, especially in this time of Fitnahs (trials), when a man’s strong contact with Allah (swt) is needed. The purity of intention of our Sahabah is admirable, too. However, the teachings of our Prophet (sa) show that Islam requires us to keep a healthy balance between body and soul. Islam’s beauty is in the consistency of acts, no matter how small they may be. We can discern what our practice should be in the worldly matters like our education, jobs, businesses and household chores, when our religion stresses so much on maintaining moderation in worship.

The importance of purity and cleanliness in Islam is evident. We cannot stand for our prayers, unless we have performed Ghusl or ablution. According to a well known Hadeeth, cleanliness is half of faith. A clean body ensures good health. The second revelation of the Quran comprised the first few Ayahs of Surah Al-Muddaththir: “O you (Muhammad (sa)) enveloped (in garments)! Arise and warn! And your Lord (Allah) magnify! And your garments purify! (74:1-4)

We can see that the Quran instructs Muslims to observe cleanliness. Personal hygiene includes clean teeth and use of good scents. Our Prophet Muhammad (sa) used Miswak for his teeth.

In our daily routine, we can observe that we often neglect our health in different ways. Most of us don’t follow a timetable. This eventually leads toward a stressful and unorganized lifestyle. Getting up and staying up late (especially on weekends), delayed or skipped meals, delayed prayers and mismanaged or undone chores are sure to affect our health adversely.

Similarly, most of our Pakistani cuisine includes a host of spices and reckless use of oils or ghee. The only result coming forth is more obese, less active bodies and disturbed stomachs. One of my friends suffers from stomach ulcer. The doctor recommends her simple food and no carbonated drinks. However, being a fan of spices, she would not give up on them and says: “When death is obvious, why not die after having my favourite things instead of abstaining from them?” Her theory is misleading, because such an attitude kills you numerous times before the ultimate death. Also, indulging into such injurious habits as smoking, addiction to prohibited things and preferring to go against a sincere physician’s advice can all be suicidal. The fact that committing suicide is Haram also reflects that our body and life is Allah’s (swt) trust.

Another important component of our being is our mind. We all know the impacts of our thoughts on our bodies and, hence, our performance. It is very crucial that we understand the importance of positive thinking. If we look closely at the Prophet’s (sa) model, we come to know how positive his thoughts were. He always relied upon Allah (swt) and had complete faith in good or bad fate. As Muslims, we should never lose hope, as it amounts to Kufr (disbelief). The Quran states: “So do not become weak (against your enemy), nor be sad, and you will be superior (in victory) if you are indeed (true) believers.” (Ale-Imran 3:139)

Our dear Prophet (sa) has said: “Nothing can change the Divine decree except Dua.” (Ahmad, At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah) If we turn to Allah (swt) in all afflictions, we are sure to get His blessings and success. We witness around us numerous examples of how positive thinking saves someone in an impossible looking situation, whereas negative thinking makes people dull and weak even in the healthiest environment.

The Prophet (sa) taught us many supplications for seeking protection for the body. This Dua should be recited thrice in the mornings and evenings: “O Allah, make me healthy in my body. O Allah, preserve for me my hearing. O Allah, preserve for me my sight. There is none worthy of worship but You.” (Abu Dawood)

Allah (swt) created man with utmost love. Our life is a precious gift. We have to realize its value and be obedient slaves of Allah (swt) Almighty. Allah (swt) tells us He created man in the best form:

“Allah, it is He Who has made for you the earth as a dwelling place and the sky as a canopy, and has given you shape and made your shapes good (looking) and has provided you with good things. That is Allah, your Lord, then blessed be Allah, the Lord of the Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists).” (Ghafir 40:64)

Be thankful to Allah (swt) for His bounties by taking care of them, especially your bodies, so you may be rewarded!