Strong Girls, Superb Wives

08 strong girls

“Waah,” my baby’s screams woke me up with a jolt. “What? Who? Where? What happened?” I fumbled to the cot, groggy with sleep.

Life was chaotic. I had hardly slept. The baby was up all night crying for no apparent reason. The laundry was piled high. I had no time to cook, and my husband preferred take-outs to my cooking anyway. I hardly had time to shower, and he was tired of a home that had no semblance of order.

Life wasn’t meant to be like this. I had been an outstanding student, a star intern, and a brilliant MBA graduate. However, I was barely able to cope with real life now. No one warned me about this. No one prepared me for child-bearing or giving birth, or taking care of a tiny life that was entirely dependent on me. Such big shoes to fill and I had had no time or will to prepare for them all these years.

My grandmother’s words rang out in my ears now: “What will you do after marriage, Nadia? You can’t even take care of your own self!” I would always brush her off with an affectionate hug, saying: “We’ll see when the time comes, Nani – don’t worry.” I was always too busy studying for school and then college, too busy going out with friends, and then working nine to five. Even when I got engaged, all I was really preparing for was the grand wedding day. In retrospect, I wasted so much time, effort, and planning for a few hours of limelight. All of that didn’t do me any good today in this mess I had landed myself in.

Nadia’s story is not an uncommon one. Many girls find themselves in a similar situation when they step into practical life. Marital bliss turns into a nightmare all too quickly. This has many devastating outcomes that we see around us more and more frequently:

  • Quick and all-too-easy divorces soon after marriage.
  • Strained marital relations, where partners are deeply unhappy with the marriage.
  • Severed relations with extended family.
  • Poor family nutrition and other health issues.
  • Women completely consumed by household work to the point that their own physical and mental health, intellectual, and spiritual growth suffers.

The problem may seem insurmountable, but the solution is a simple one: inculcating good habits in girls from an early age to prepare them to excel in their vital role of nurturing future generations.

Charles Duhigg in his book “Power of Habit” says: “One paper published by a Duke University researcher in 2006 found that more than 40% of the actions people performed each day weren’t actual decisions, but habits.”

Habits are the key. If inculcated from an early age, habits will become second nature and leave a woman’s mind free to pursue other matters that require actual decision-making. However, if ‘what to cook daily’, and managing other daily chores takes up all of her time and decision-making skills, she will be left with little to contribute to her own or her family’s development.

You might argue: why do we need to prepare only girls for this role and not boys? This argument, I’m afraid, was biologically settled for us much earlier. Every mother is honoured with the task of bearing her child for nine months and then nursing him or her for around two years. She is physically and emotionally attached to the baby for an extended period of time in a way that a father simply cannot be.

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New Mommies: Beware and Prepare!

8 beware prepare

  1. Keep your energy level boosted.

Breastfeeding, sleepless nights, unexpected visitors, home chores, and tending to older kids’ needs is undoubtedly taxing. This might not be a very suitable time to crash diet or dream of fitting back into your wedding gown. Please eat nutritious home-cooked food, fruits, nuts, vegetables, and energy-boosting snacks. Keep them handy in your bedroom. An already fatigued mind and body cannot afford to starve. The outcome is frequent ailments, horrible mood swings, and strained relationships. Later, as you mature from being a new mommy to a veteran, you will manage your diet more effectively and shed the extra pounds, too.

  1. Let the Iman thrive.

A new mother has a myriad of emotions bottled up. They can whip up a storm of tears. At other times, they may send her on a guilt trip. The changing body and volatile hormones are no help either. And, of course, Shaitan strikes with full force seeding evil and negative thoughts about everyone and everything you care for. The best remedy is to play Surah Al-Baqarah daily. Keep your tongue moist with Allah’s (swt) Dhikr. Watch and listen to Islamic videos and talks for spiritual uplift. Recite to your baby, as the child is listening. After Nifas (post-partum bleeding), return to your prayers regularly. Read at least one page of Quran daily with its translation. Only Allah (swt) knows, listens to, and understands what a mother braves.

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10 Best Energy-Boosting Habits

healthHabits are the ways which we repeatedly do. It is a common saying that,

“First we make our habits, and then our habits make us.”

They have profound effect on our life and relationships. Following are some easy going tips which truly give a pop up and refreshing effect to our stagnant life; and also help us to be a better person and a good Muslim.

1. Sleep

Sleep is an integral part of our routine. Studies recommend catching  6 – 7 hours of sleep daily. An uninterrupted good night sleep boosts up energy levels and mood. Make a habit of giving a signal to your brain at Maghrib (sunset) that you are going to sleep at 10 p.m. or 11 p.m. Put off all the gadgets and devices half an hour before your sleep time.

2. Recite the Quran

We, as Muslims, recite our holy book- but the idea is to develop it as a morning ritual before engaging into any other activity. Do it daily – you will notice that the whole day will be quite different and blissful from the previous one.

3. Work out / Exercise

Twice a day workout is the best thing to boost up your energy levels. Even a simple brisk walk for 30-thirty minutes is a way to keep apart a number of diseases and your weight in control. It also boosts self-confidence and is known to cure mild to moderate depression.

4. Drink plenty of water

Don’t wait till you get thirsty. Drink before the urge comes and in small gulps to avoid bloating.

5. Never skip the breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day to keep the energy levels constant throughout the day- but I am talking about a healthy breakfast. Oatmeal and porridge should be a must-have-everyday part of the breakfast.

6. Healthy meal plan

Include as many vegetables and fruits in your diet as you can. They not only make you full and release your urge to eat more, but also provide with the necessary nutrition and maintain weight- making you and your weight machine happy. Also meat should be limited to once a week.

7. Take Dinner Early

The dinner should be light and taken at least two hours before sleep. This will give enough time to the body to digest it- thus, preventing heart burn.

8. Be Positive

Try to be a person who can face any situation with

“Allah (swt), what an opportunity!” rather than, “Oh! What a Problem!”

Every person has difficulties, but whoever greets them cheerfully, will be the winner in the end. Count your blessings every day- this will be push you to next step.

9. Meditate

Give yourself sometime just before sleep to meditate. Close the door, take deep breaths and think about your day, yourself, your achievements and goals.

10. Get back to your goals 

Last but not the least- there are situations and happenings where we all lose our daily routine; but the best person is the one who reverts back to his routine as soon as possible. Stick to it!

Wish you all good health because without this bounty we can’t enjoy the blessings of our life.

10 Reasons to Be Positive in Life

optimismIt has become a very common thing in our lives that if we face discouragement, disappointment or a set-back, we simply move towards the “negative zone”- that is towards the dark side of our existence. We tend to believe that it is the last stop of our life, and no good will ever happen to us again. But, we forget that life is a road of opportunities- one goes, other comes. Moreover, while being in the zone of negativity, we overlook the good things that have or had happened to us in our lives. This negative zone lead us to the path where we start to believe that “We are good for nothing”, and nothing good will happen to us again. It is the height of negative thinking.

Instead, after a disappointment or a set-back, people should remain positive. It will help them remain calm and composed emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually. Also, it will bring a new outlook of life which will be based on optimism.

Here are the ten incredibly motivating reasons to acquire a positive approach towards life.

1. Feel Better

One of the peaceful reasons of being positive is to feel better.  During a set-back or hard time, you usually feel down and powerless, because negativity is all around you- making feel like nothing will ever change. But, if you remain calm and take that set-back or hardship as a phase which will fade away. Then, this thought would surely make you feel better.

2. Ability to cope up

Well, hardships are a part of life. They will never go away. But, with positive attitude, you can cope up with the hard times which will help you to remain strong, calm and compose during tough times.

3. Motivation

Your positive approach will help you stay motivated towards your goal or aim in life, and no obstacle or hardship will ever de-motivate you.

4. Regain self-esteem

With positive attitude- you believe in yourself; you value yourself; you do not underestimate your potential or strengths, and you trust your decisions.

5. Attain Good Health

Positive approach keeps you away from tension, depression, and many mental illnesses. It gifts you a good health.

6. Happiness all around

Optimism is one of the charms that even during hardship, it keeps you happy and content with your life.

7. Gratitude

Positive perspective makes you grateful, thankful and pleased with all the blessings and gifts you have. It creates a huge distance between you and negativity or ungratefulness.

8. Gift of Courage

While acquiring this beautiful approach in life, it grants you one of the tremendous tendencies such as courage. It helps you to remain strong against every obstacle; it gives stamina to keep on fighting and eliminates our fears.

9. Make impossible, possible

Whether it is a test, exam, interview or an assignment, sometimes we feel it is impossible to accomplish. But, with positivity we can make impossible, possible.

10. Farewell to Stress

Usually, we feel stressful during important tasks or difficult times, which disables us to remain focus and determined. But, with optimistic attitude, we can say farewell to stress and welcome a happy life!

Fasting: A Gift for Muslims with Healing Powers

healthyThe month of Ramadan, that we are currently in, is a holy month that is eagerly and enthusiastically awaited by the whole Islamic world. It is so because the Quran, which brings people from darkness into light, to the path of our Lord- the all Merciful and Most Beneficent, was sent down in this month. Fasting during this month is an obligation for Muslims, and an opportunity for them to praise the infinite grace and blessings of Almighty Lord. It is also a physical and spiritual healing; a gift, and a month of blessings, abundance, an opportunity to repent for past behaviour and to seek for mercy from our Lord.

Biological benefits of fasting

All Muslims fast to gain our Lord’s pleasure. Moreover, it also is very beneficial for our bodies.

Stomach at rest

First of all, fasting allows the organs to take some time off and rest. For instance, during fasting, the digestion processes are reduced, and the stomach gets to rest for quite some time. Its epithelia tissue can be renewed completely, which helps the stomach to function in a healthier manner during the rest of the year.

Live with a healthy liver

Fasting also allows the liver, which works non-stop in normal times, to rest for six or more hours. Normally, it is active even when we are asleep, but while fasting, it also finds the chance to rest. Since the volume of blood circulating drops, the heart and the primary veins feeding it are regenerated.

Cell Regeneration

Fasting helps cell regeneration, making our bodies and minds healthier and it slows down aging. It also helps protect us from obesity, fat building, cholesterol, and cardiovascular diseases. It contributes to purging our bodies from harmful toxins. While fasting, fat enzymes kick in and help burn fat, creating a condition similar to the effect of a workout session. Even after the 30 days of fasting, the body continues to burn fat at this rate. Normally, during the day, an individual eats without thinking, causing an imbalance in the body. However, when one fasts, because he or she eats only at certain times during the day, the immune system will not have to function unnecessarily, which in turn gives enough time to the immune system to renew itself. The body, because it doesn’t have to deal with time-consuming metabolic activities, can more easily identify harmful cell formations like cancer; and hence, destroys them at the beginning.

Spirituality intensified!

Just like all other religious practices, fasting also intensifies the spirituality of Muslims. It makes them witnesses to each other’s sincere faith in their Lord, their loyalty, patience and sincere efforts, making their fraternal bonds even stronger; and it also reinforces their love and compassion for each other. Muslims, due to this brotherly bond they have, work to eliminate all kinds of negativity that can disturb the sense of calm; and try to build atmospheres of love, peace and serenity for all. They know that their Muslim brothers are also poor servants of Almighty Lord- just like themselves- hoping to gain Allah’s (swt) pleasure; therefore, their feelings of love, solidarity and compassion for one another only intensify in this holy month.

Muslims shun not only eating and drinking during fasting hours, but they also shun bad actions, such as lying, gossiping, saying hurtful words, insulting people or getting angry. They ponder about thirst and hunger; and remember that poor people need their help and understand the importance of helping them.  Regardless of their financial standing, they begin to make their greatest efforts to help the poor. They follow their conscience and not their lower-self; and constantly improve themselves in their quest for complying with the Quran even more sincerely.

Earn a life-time validity for spirituality

A pious Muslim, who fears his Lord, deeply displays this beautiful character of fasting in every moment of his life. He follows the Quran fully throughout his life, and works to live by the morality he hopes that Allah (swt) will approve of.

It should not be forgotten that this is a behaviour that Allah (swt) approves of. However, anything to the contrary – in other words, observing religious practices only in the month of Ramadan, and then walking away from the Quran’s morality after it ends – is something that displeases Allah (swt) greatly. Therefore, let us endeavour to keep the spirit of Ramadan alive throughout the year, and always strive to earn Allah’s (swt) good pleasure, no matter what month we are in.

Cherish before you Lose: Health and Free Time

On_TimeHealth is wealth

Today, we would like to talk about something very important- something we take for granted; and this is why RasulAllah (sa) has warned about it as well. Many of us have good health, thank Allah (swt) for it. We should use it to achieve the pleasure of the Almighty.

  • Your eyes, you can see with. There might come a day when you cannot see. Read the proper books; read that which will be beneficial. Look at that which will help you. Don’t look at that which will make you earn the wrath of Almighty.
  • The same applies to your hands- today you can move them, so move them to achieve the pleasure of the Almighty. Tomorrow, you may not have that mobility. Today, Masha’Allah we can walk, we can read Salah; people are crying because they cannot read Salah as they reach to an age when they cannot bend their backs anymore, or they cannot do Rukuh, or they cannot do Sujud.

Why is it that we sometimes become oblivious of the gift of health? Really, the gift of health is a gift that many of us take for granted. Some people cannot eat a lot of the food stuff, so when we can eat, let’s eat in moderation. Thank Allah (swt). Say the prayer before eating and after eating as well. Let’s make sure we eat from that which is permissible and Allah (swt) will not be upset by it.

What is important that we realize that our organs inside operate automatically. They have no batteries; no human being has a remote control in his hand. It’s the control of Allah (swt). The heart pumps in a magical way. More than a hundred thousand heartbeats in no time Subhan’Allah! It is just that control of Allah (swt).

Then, look at the brain. How sophisticated it is. Look at the ears, the mouth, the lips and the tongue and its taste buds. How medicine and science is discovering new things every single day. This is all the gift of Allah (swt). We have it, but still we don’t thank Allah (swt) for it. We don’t use it in the right direction. We, as believers, know that it will come to an end. I might not be able to see with my eyes one certain day as we all have to die. I have to return to Allah (swt), Alhumdulillah. I have to return back to my Creator, Maker. So let’s use his gifts in order to please him not to displease him.

Many people are becoming conscious of it. We have the voice, let’s try and recite the Quran. Whilst we can, let us try Insha’Allah, to do the best of things.

Time is precious

Another thing we take for granted is time. We have free time. People use it to watch television and see the soaps. And, you know the soaps wash. What do they wash? Your brain! May be we can spend our time to watch beneficial programs. Or spend time at the Masjid and listen to the Duroos that the Ulema, scholars or Mashaykh give. May be we can spend time and sit in Halaqa. We can spend time rectifying and learn something from the Quran. It might not be directly related to religion. If a person has free time, and he can opt to improve his hand writing and do a course in calligraphy; do something that will benefit you somehow. You can use that talent not just to earn little bit of money, but even by the will of Allah (swt), to build your Akhirah, to build your paradise. May Allah (swt) grant that to us.

It is important for us not to waste our time because as the Prophet (sa) has said, the two gifts that Allah (swt) has bestowed upon us, many people take for granted. First one is health and second one is free time.

When there is free time, use it. Do not abuse it. Subhan’Allah! People sometimes say, “Oh I have got some free time, let me go to bed. I can go and sleep.” Are you depressed? If you are may be, you might think sleeping will help you. But it won’t. To be honest with you, we all need sleep. We all need a certain amount of it. Sometimes, we need to correct ourselves. We need to develop a link with our Maker. In order to understand that we have a short space of time, to pack in it as much goodness as we can before time and our health expires.

These two things are definitely going to go because even if I die as a healthy person, I am dead. When I die, what happens? My health is irrelevant, completely irrelevant.

Even time will definitely come to an end.

May the Almighty bless us all, and may He make us use our time whilst we have it in the best possible way. Ameen.

A transcription of a talk by Mufti Ismail Menk by Mariam Saeed.

Sunnah Living is Healthy Living


Changing of habits takes time. Lifestyle modification according to the Sunnah requires a lot of effort, perseverance, and most importantly, Duas.

Diet Correction

A renowned Arab doctor, Al-Harith, states that “diet is the head of medicine”. We should begin the change by incorporating whole wheat or multi-grain breads, Chapati (Roti), raw milk or natural dairy, cane sugar, rock salt or Himalayan salt, white butter and mustard oil, organic chicken and eggs in our diet. Olive oil should be used, but avoid overheating it, as it then becomes toxic.

Abu Hazim narrated: I asked Sahl bin Sad: “Did Allah’s Apostle (sa) ever eat white flour?” Sahl said: “Allah’s Apostle (sa) never saw white flour since Allah (swt) sent him as an Apostle, till He took him unto Him.” I asked: “Did the people have (use) sieves during the lifetime of Allah’s Apostle (sa)?” Sahl said: “Allah’s Apostle (sa) never saw (used) a sieve since Allah (swt) sent him as an Apostle, until He took him unto Him.” I said: “How could you eat barley unsifted?” He said: “We used to grind it and then blow off its husk, and after the husk flew away, we used to prepare the dough (bake) and eat it.” (Bukhari)

Prevention strategies

Imam Ibn al Qayyim, in the light of Prophet’s (sa) guidance, explained the phenomenon of preventive measures hundreds of years ago. There are two kinds of prevention strategies: first is to abstain from what might bring illness (for a healthy person); the second is restricting one’s self from something which might intensify the illness (for an ailing person).

Foods and healing

Imam Ibn al Qayyim says that the type of food that one finds tasty and is preferred by the person will be accepted by the body and, hence, digested in the best possible way. As recorded in Ibn e Majah, Ibn Abbas (rtam) narrates: “Once, the Prophet (sa) visited a sick person and asked him: ‘What do you have a taste for?’ The man said: ‘I have a taste for wheat bread, or I have a taste for a cake.’ The Prophet (sa) then said: ‘Whoever has wheat bread, let him send some to his brother.’ He also said: ‘When your ailing patients have a taste for something, give them some of it.’” (“Healing from Medicine of the Prophet (sa)).

The two-meal concept

Extensive research has been carried out on the benefits of fasting. The two-meal concept is being embraced globally, especially by naturopaths, integrative medical doctors, and holistic nutritionists. The scientific roots of this lie in the body clock that Allah (swt) has placed in our brains, that is, the suprachiasmatic nucleus, which regulates the peak times of dominant body functions. Breakfast should thus be consumed from four to nine in the morning, which marks the peak of digestion. From nine in the morning till four in the afternoon is the time for intellectual functioning, when the system is best for educational tasks, religious duties, household tasks, and office work. The harmony of mind, body, and soul enables a person to experience these peak timings. Lastly, dinner should be taken from six to seven in the evening. During the day, when the brain and body are performing intellectually, small snacks can be taken to boost the brain and maintain energy.

Hot and cold foods

Consumption of extremely cold or extremely hot foods is a grave error. Boiling soups and chilled drinks, for example, give a shock to the stomach. The temperature of the food is of utmost importance, as it helps in digestion. If we take very cold foods, the stomach contains them until the temperature is normalized, and, hence, digestion is delayed. We have to remember that Allah (swt) has naturally made the internal temperature warm.


During summers, most of us are in the habit of drinking juices and refrigerated water in large amounts. Excess water intake can be dangerous for the kidneys and skin, and can cause water retention. One should abstain from commercialized bottled water, and use filtered or boiled water at home instead. Water intake is healthiest if taken half an hour before meals and one and a half hour after meals.

Other lifestyle changes

Lastly, proper stress management and sleep is also very important for the overall health of an individual. Spiritual people have more healthy eating habits than others. We should apply the concept of Sabr and Shukr (patience and gratitude) while we make the necessary changes in our daily life. Also, we should contemplate over the Prophet’s (sa) way of eating, sleeping, and worshipping Allah (swt) in order to realize that our body is an Amanah and it has a right over us.

Adapted by Mariam Saeed from “Sunnah Living is Healthy Living” – A Webinar organized by Hiba Magazine and Fasiha.


[Free Webinar] Sunnah Living is Healthy Living

webinar Sunnah Living

You may download the presentation of this webinar by clicking on the link below:

Sunnah Living is Healthy Living – Powerpoint Presentation

About the speaker

Dr. Shagufta Feroz is an internationally known holistic family physician and nutritionist. She offers individualized nutritional healing programs for all kinds of diseases. She is a frequent speaker at educational institutions, public seminars, health clubs and various television shows. She currently lives in Lahore, Pakistan where she runs her Integrated Holistic Care Centre. She is the Founder of SLP (Shagufta Liver Program) and Holistic Health Awareness Movement. She is the author of a book: Living as Nature Intended.

She holds the following qualifications:

  • M.B.B.S.M.C.P.S (Family Medicine)
  • PhD (Holistic Nutrition) U.S.A.
  • Certified in Nutritional Wellness (American Naturopathic Certification Board)
  • NES Scan Certified (UK)
  • Chapter Leader Pakistan for Weston A. price Foundation (USA)
  • Member American Holistic Medical Association
  • Member British Holistic Medical Association

For more details, visit her LinkedIn profile at

Sina – Health, Education and Welfare Trust


Hiba got in touch with Sina, a team of committed, educated and privileged experts who have chosen to reach out to the slums of Karachi to offer relief

1) Why was Sina born? What was your basic aim and vision?

SINA is named after Ibn Sīnā/Avicenna (980-1037), the Persian polymath who wrote almost 450 treatises on a wide range of subjects. His The Canon of Medicine, which was a standard medical text at many universities until as late as 1650, provides a complete system of medicine. With our inspiration coming from this pioneer in the field of medicine, we started our first clinic in 1998 when Dr. Asif Imam returned to Pakistan after practicing medicine in the USA for over two decades. The vision guiding this beginning was simple – to provide quality primary healthcare to those in need regardless of financial means available. The Clinics gradually grew with SINA Trust formally coming into being in 2007.

2) How is Sina different from similar work that others are doing in the field of healthcare?

What differentiates us is our focus and our quality system. We are focused exclusively on primary healthcare delivered by building clinics in the heart of urban slums. On quality, Sina’s greatest asset is its quality management system. This system is unique, as it has adapted quality international healthcare protocols, used in developed healthcare systems for application in low-income settings. Simply put, this is the foundation, on which we believe a scalable quality primary healthcare system can be created for catering to the needs of less-privileged communities across Pakistan. Our aim, therefore, is to take this system of quality primary healthcare across Pakistan.

3) Can you tell us about your team members?

The Sina Board of Trustees include highly committed professionals, who have joined hands to provide quality healthcare to those in need. Our trustees include Dr. Asif Imam (Allergist & Immunologist), Dr. Naseeruddin Mahmood (Pediatrician), Mohammad Fazil Bharucha (Lawyer), Sohail Ahmed (Industrialist) and Jalauddin Idrus (Educationist/ Social Worker). Our CEO Riaz Ahmed Kamlani has held positions of Chief Operating Officer and Vice President at The Citizens Foundation prior to joining Sina.

4) How can others help you in your work? Would you need human resource or financial assistance?

Our key focus is to help save children from critical illness and help women look after their health, who constitute 80% of our patients. A majority of our patients are Zakah eligible, based on Zakah eligibility evaluation conducted under the guidance of our Shariah Advisor. Our greatest need is to fund the cost of treatment which is Rs. 350 per patient. We, therefore, encourage individuals to help treat as many patients as they can through Zakah and other contributions.

Our future aim is to take this system of quality primary healthcare across Pakistan, Insha’Allah. For this, we would continue to be in need of both financial and volunteer time contributions for eg. from female doctors who have not been able to consistently practice given family commitments, but are keen to contribute to our cause. We would, therefore, invite you to support us in bringing quality healthcare to those in need.

5) Can you tell us more about your projects in slum areas?

Sina is a not-for-profit organization, focusing on providing primary healthcare in less-privileged communities. Our vision is that quality healthcare should be accessible for all. To achieve this, we build clinics in the heart of deserving communities and provide both curative and preventive care. As of 2013, Sina has seven clinics in the urban slums of Karachi, in areas including Baldia Colony, Ittehad Colony, Machar Colony and Old Sabzimandi. Over 80% of Sina’s patients are women and children who benefit from quality healthcare provided at their doorstep. This costs us Rs 350+ per patient whilst the fee from patients is Rs 5-30 with free medicines, test and follow up care.

6) Would you like to share with us any of “Sina’s” success stories?

Two-year-old Sahil was born blind because of bilateral congenital cataracts. While being treated for the flu at Sina clinic, he was diagnosed and referred to an ophthalmology hospital and recommended for surgery. With a diagnosis of severe anemia combined with intolerance for oral iron supplements, our experts initiated a blood transfusion process prior to surgery, which was successful. Today, for the first time, Sahil can experience the joy of seeing with both eyes.

We pray to Allah (swt) to grant Barakah and life to “Sina” as a critically needed project for the forgotten and less-privileged segment of our society. Individuals who can add any value to their mission can reach Sina at:

F-3/3, Block 2, Clifton, Karachi.
Website: Email:
Tel:  +92 21 35861320 / +92 21 35861331

Rescuing Health with Self-Knowledge

Sunnah foods

My life has changed completely since I invested my resources into integrative medicine. I am grateful to Allah (swt), Who has blessed me with knowledge resources and made me discover a holistic health practitioner in Pakistan, Dr. Shagufta Feroz. Her book ‘Living as Nature Intended’ is a panacea for those in search of optimal physical and psychological health. Unfortunately, the significance of nature is often not deeply absorbed by us.

Thinking about the magnificence in Allah’s (swt) creation, I asked my friends through Facebook and text messages what popped up into their mind when they hear the word ‘nature’.

Majority responses were beauty, peace, greenery, purity, and signs of Allah (swt). My cell phone was being updated with responses while I was being assailed by doubt, embarrassment and awe. We all have an association with nature but we neglect the most supreme form of Allah’s Qudrat in front of us, with us, inside us! You and I are Allah’s (swt) masterpiece! Ashraf Al-Makhlooqat. Nothing is more awe-inspiring than human beings. If we ponder over the human body, the human brain or human behaviour, we will be startled at how our Creator is Al-Musawwir the Fashioner, the Bestower of Forms, the Shaper. Allah says: “Verily, We created man of the best stature (mould).” (At-Tin 95:4)

Some of the precautionary changes that I took when I woke up from this sound sleep were to transform and check the sources of my food, cosmetics and clothing.

Imam Ghazali, while counselling the believers, states that a human being’s share in the name Al-Musawwir lies in understanding his existence, and the intricacy of his soul, body and mind. Furthermore, he advises to learn from whole details commencing from body membranes, types of organs and the wisdom and skill in their creation. The turn of studying soul, intellect and abilities comes much after understanding the minute details of body.

If we neglect our bodies, can we attain what we call serenity? If we don’t understand or appreciate ourselves can we comprehend the beauty in nature otherwise? Timothy Leary says: “One cannot understand the rhythms and meanings of outer world until one has mastered the dialects of the body.”

To value nature in the real sense of the word along with the creations of Allah, we need to probe into self-knowledge. We’re composed of an amazing network of systems: nervous, muscular, skeletal, reproductive, and digestive and so on. The elements of nature we are associated with like fire, clay, water and air have been created for our quality survival. The immune system is a blessing in disguise, Alhumdullilah. Our body’s healing properties are much stronger than any drug treatment or antibiotics and we need to nurture with pure, simple Sunnah foods.

How did I change? Five years back, like every average youth in Pakistan influenced by westernization, I had deep-rooted complexes. I found it hard to look at myself in the mirror, being bulky and tall and ‘fitting’ into the society’s acceptance limits. I found beauty around me but not inside me, until I realized I am Allah’s masterpiece. I have been created by Al-Wadud, The Loving-Kind. It is hard to alter eating habits or resort back to Allah’s super-foods; it is hard to understand the natural circadian rhythms of the human body but I have found all the changes completely worth the investment. The need of the hour is that to become sound and healthy, we need to take our mind off obesity stories and health dilemmas inside our brain and focus on Al-Khaliq’s creatures; to begin with, I’ve chosen the masterpiece! What about you?

My mother went through the conventional process of treatment chemotherapy and radiation, but it was the binding link with Allah through the Quran and intake of healing foods that she was blessed with recovery.

Over and above, in combating sickness, we can suppress symptoms by neglecting health in the first part of life and then restoring it in old age with a substantial monetary investment or as the Sunnah medicine suggests, we can address the root cause. We need to know what it means to be a healthy Muslim. Islam puts utmost importance on healing physical and spiritual diseases; a Muslim practitioner should know the uniqueness of the immunity of the patient and highlight the far-reaching effects of positive emotions (Islamic Guideline on Medicine by Yusuf Al-Hajj Ahmad).

Allah says in the Holy Quran: “We will show them Our Signs in the universe, and in their ownselves, until it becomes manifest to them that this (the Qur’an) is the truth.” (Fussilat 41:53)

So what are your plans about being a healthy and a productive Muslim? To get closer to Al-Bari, The Producer, we need to understand our systems, our soul and our mind.

Another life-enriching trial in my life was my mother’s chronic cancer. Narrated by Jabir (rta) the Messenger of Allah (sa) said:

“For every disease there is a remedy, so if you find the right remedy for the disease, you will be healed by the leave of Allah.” (Muslim)

My mother went through the conventional process of treatment chemotherapy and radiation, but it was the binding link with Allah through the Quran and intake of healing foods that she was blessed with recovery. I’ve seen the magnanimity of neglecting health and well being through her. We should not be victimized by the modern concept ‘nature deficit disorder’ such as psychological, physical and cognitive costs of alienating from nature.

Eliminate worry from your life as it can weaken your faith.

Imam Ibn al Qayyim Al-Jauziyah prescribes health over sickness, youth over old age. Leaf through his book ‘Healing with the Medicine of Prophet (saw)’ and enlighten your health instincts. In the tough journey in this world, health, time management, patience and gratitude are the tools to march forward. Understanding body and evaluating the Nafs or psyche is mandatory to become the beloved of Allah Almighty. The paradigm in front of us lies in the Seerah of Prophet Muhammad (sa). Allah says:

“Indeed in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes in (the Meeting with) Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much.” (Al-Ahzab 33:21)

Let us resolve and respect the laws of nature and try to implement them. Some of the precautionary changes that I took when I woke up from this sound sleep were to transform and check the sources of my food, cosmetics and clothing. I am still discovering farms in my city and organic food sources. Many people in our honourable Ummah love home gardening. Allah’s creation can do wonders if blessed by Him!

We tend to go all green to preserve natural environment, but we forget to preserve ourselves. Let’s please Allah (swt). Stay holistically healthy and protect your family members from consuming processed, convenience foods. Another step you have to inculcate is being patient in adapting and promoting healthy behaviour. Try to inculcate the attitude of gratitude each time Allah (swt) gratifies your thirst and hunger. Praise Allah (swt), the Most Deserving of praise, when you like the colour, the taste or the aroma of any food. Cherish the times when you are healthy and equally thank for the times when Allah (swt) puts you into sickness for a while.

Lastly, eliminate worry from your life as it can weaken your faith. The following Hadeeth is the most soothing of all,

Narrated by Abu Hurairah (rta), Allah’s Apostle said: “If Allah wants to do good to somebody, He afflicts him with trials.” (Bukhari)

Treating Dengue the Herbal Way


Dengue fever is an infectious disease caused by a virus transmitted through a particular type of mosquito. It can also be transferred between humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. High fever, skin rash, dehydration, and severe joint and muscle pains are early symptoms of dengue fever. There is no medical cure for dengue. Prevention is the only cure, except a few herbal treatments available for patients.

It is suggested to take fresh juices, lots of water and other fluids as soon as the symptoms are evident, without waiting for test results, as the disease may progress and cause damage to vital bodily organs. Dengue fever can cause deficiency of fluids in the body. Fluid replenishment is essential to reinstate liquid loss and lower the fever.

Fruit Juices

Juices of sweet melon, orange, apple and pomegranate are effective for increasing the platelet count. Add a few drops of lemon juice and a tablespoon of honey in apple juice to increase its therapeutic properties. These juices nourish the body and strengthen the immune system in order to build up resistance against the virus.

Extract of Papaya Leaves

Papaya leaf extract is very beneficial for natural treatment of dengue fever. Take two fresh leaves of papaya, pound and squeeze out the juice and take one tablespoon twice a day. If it tastes bitter, add a few drops of some other juice.

Holy Basil

Holy basil (Tulsi) is a powerful healing herb and can also be used for the treatment of dengue fever. Juice of holy basil leaves mixed in fresh water should be given to the patient every 2 to 3 hours. This will help bring down the fever. Tea of basil leaves is also very effective in reducing the temperature.

Fenugreek Leaves

When it comes to natural remedies for dengue fever, fenugreek leaves (Methi) cannot be ignored. Herbal tea made with fenugreek leaves is good for relieving fever. Slightly roast fenugreek leaves, powder them and use two teaspoonfuls when preparing tea. Strain and drink warm with a bit of clarified butter.

A dengue fever patient should rest and use mosquito nets to prevent bites and help break the cycle of transmission of disease. It is essential to follow a healthy diet based on liquid juices. Besides the aforementioned home remedies, consulting a qualified doctor is very important.

Cupping for Cure – Sunnah Treatment

Cupping for Cure - Sunnah Treatment

By Dr. Mrs. Shahnaz Sikander Jangda – Doctor, Workshop leader and professional Hijamah therapist

Origin of Cupping

Cupping is a method of treatment method that can be traced back to ancient times; it was developed in the process of struggle against diseases. It is an important component in non-drug therapies.

Aim of Cupping

The aim of cupping is to extract harmful blood from the body. The Arabic name for cupping is Al-Hijamah. It was widely practised by the Prophet (sa) and his companions; the method is still alive in many countries, especially Asia and the Middle East. In the UK, the practice of cupping has a long history, with one of the leading medical journal, “The Lancet”, being named after it.

Principles of Cupping

At the time of the Prophet (sa), the Arabs viewed disease as a disturbed area in the equilibrium of body fluids. The Greeks believe that illness is caused by harmful and dirty blood, which must be removed in order for the disease to heal completely.

The whole process of cupping can take about 10 to 15 minutes and should be done on empty stomach. There are two types of cupping: dry and wet. The Prophet (sa) practised wet cupping and recommended this as the best treatment. Wet cupping (Hijamah) is the process of using vacuum at different points on the body. The skin is lacerated with blade, so that unclean blood is drawn into a cup.

Cupping in the Light of the Prophet’s (saw) Guidance

Numerous Ahadeeth highlight the importance of cupping. Some are as follows:

The Messenger (sa) said: “Indeed the best of remedies you have is cupping.” (Bukhari) He also said: “I did not pass by any group of angels on the night of Isra (night ascension), but all of them said to me: O Muhammad (sa); order your Ummah with Hijamah.” (At-Tirmidhi)

Cupping as a Preventive Treatment

Cupping can also be utilized as a preventative maintenance for the body. It cleans the body’s cardiovascular system, so diseases never get a chance to develop. Where disease already exists, cupping cleans the system to help it fight better and recover from it.

Benefits of Cupping

Cupping successfully treats the following conditions:

  1. Blood disorders.
  2. Rheumatic diseases like arthritis, sciatica, back pain, migraines and vomiting.
  3. Depression, insomnia and other psychological disorders.
  4. Lung diseases.
  5. Digestive system disorders.
  6. Skin problems.

It gives a feeling of deep pleasure and relaxation, so it can be used by a healthy person for general physical and mental wellbeing.

Cupping is also recommended for pain relief, varicose veins, deep tissue massage, and it results in up to 50% improvement in fertility levels. An investigation into the effect of cupping therapy as a treatment for anterior knee pain and its potential role in health promotion was done with the results revealing major improvements. Moreover, a recent systematic review included five trials on the effects of wet cupping on musculoskeletal problems. Its finding suggested that wet cupping is effective for treating lower back pain.

Al-Hijamah, or cupping, is a wonderful therapy packed with enormous benefits of the Prophetic Sunnah and an excellent method for detoxifying the body of harmful substances; this is a medical advantage which should be utilized to its very best.

Treating Constipation the Herbal Way

Hot ginger tea

What is constipation?

Constipation is a problem of the digestive system, which is troubled when food is not easily digesting and bowel movements are delayed. Constipation is not an illness, but it is the root of many diseases.

Causes of constipation

There are several factors that contribute to constipation: stress, spicy food, irregular meal times, insufficient water intake, unhygienic food, lack of exercise and low fiber diet.

Natural remedies

  • The easiest available natural remedy is water. Drink eight glasses of water daily.
  • Drink two glasses of warm water daily in the morning on an empty stomach.
  • Pears, grapes, guava, and papayas have the properties to fight constipation. Therefore, include these fruits in your daily diet.
  • Ginger tea is effective in alleviating constipation. Make tea by steeping five slices of ginger in hot water.
  • Try a grandmother’s remedy for constipation: mix one tablespoon Ispaghol in one glass of lukewarm water and drink in the morning.
  • Have a glass of water with lemon juice and pinch of salt to help reduce the discomfort of digestive system.
  • Soak 5-6 figs in water overnight. Eat the figs and drink the water in the morning.
  • Take a glass of warm milk along with dates every night before bed. Chew a date then take some sips of the milk.
  • Green tea is also a natural remedy for constipation.

Prevention is better than cure

  • Stick to a healthy diet.
  • Stay away from junk food, cakes, and caffeine.
  • Load your meal with fruit, green vegetables, whole grain, beans, and other fiber rich food to beat constipation.
  • Chew your food properly.
  • Adopt a healthy and well balanced life style.
  • Engage in regular physical activities, especially walking and jogging.

Dealing with Insomnia

Apr 11 - insomnia

By Amber Saleem

Causes and Symptoms

People suffering from insomnia can notice its symptoms during the day: lack of concentration, confusion, memory lapse, emotional instability, daytime sleepiness, and/or anxiety.

Causes of insomnia differ from person to person. Most common causes are excessive stress and anxiety, tension, anger, physical pain, constipation, over-eating before going to bed, excessive intake of coffee or tea, and anger.

Home Remedies

  • Drink a cup of warm milk with honey. It will act as a tranquillizer.
  • Mash a ripe banana, add roasted cumin seeds and mix gently. Eat this before going to sleep.
  • Make your own oil by mixing half cup of gourd juice with half cup of sesame oil. Apply on head and massage for at least 5-7 minutes.
  • Boil 375 ml water with 1 tsp of aniseed and cover it to simmer for 15 minutes. Strain and drink it as hot tea.
  • Ensure intake of calcium, magnesium and vitamins found in green leafy vegetables, bananas, almonds and figs.
  • Exercise helps prevent insomnia. Do such exercise as cycling, walking and jogging, making them a part of your daily routine. However, do not exercise close to your bedtime.

A Diet Plan

  • Eat a good breakfast that contains sufficient protein, calcium and vitamins.
  • Try to use less fat in lunch.
  • Do not eat spicy or heavy foods for dinner.
  • Drink 8-10 glasses of water daily.
  • Try to avoid junk food, tea, coffee, caffeinated cold drinks and chocolates.

Dos and Don’ts

  • Use a comfortable bed and pillows.
  • Take a bath before going to bed.
  • Don’t watch television before your bedtime.
  • Turn off your cell phone when going to sleep.
  • Avoid taking sleeping pills which can affect mental health.
  • Dip your feet in water for 10-12 minutes. It will help induce good sleep.
  • Ensure consistent sleeping and waking hours daily.
  • Read a book to relax yourself.

Treating Sore Throat the Herbal Way

Jan 11 - Treating sore throat the Herbal way

By Amber Saleem

Home Remedies

  • Squeeze out the juice of a sweet pomegranate and cook it, until it gets thick. Use this thick liquid many times a day.
  • Chop dry ginger and mix with honey. Take this mixture in the morning and evening for seven days.
  • Pure honey is the most common cure for sore throat. It also provided resistance against germs.
  • The Prophet (sa) liked honey and recommended it for many diseases. Jabir Ibn Abdullah has narrated that he heard the Prophet (sa) saying: “If there is any healing in your medicines, then it is in cupping, a gulp of honey or branding with fire (cauterization) that suits the ailment, but I don’t like to be (cauterized) branded with fire.” (Bukhari)
  • When we have sore throat, we usually feel lethargic. In order to strengthen your body, take one tablespoon of honey every day.
  • You can also mix ¼ cup of vinegar with ¼ cup of honey and take one tablespoon six times in a day.
  • If in addition to sore throat you are suffering also from cough, take one tablespoon honey with 2-3 whole black peppers once a day.
  • For relieving pain in throat, chew 2-3 whole cloves to release the juice. This juice will take away the pain of throat for hours. Remember not to eat the cloves!
  • Apple cider vinegar also is a good remedy. Take one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar twice a day to relief throat pain.

Hot Beverages

Try these hot beverages for reducing swelling in throat:

1)      Honey is a great soother, which will relieve your throat irritation. Add one tablespoon of honey and one tablespoon of lemon juice in your tea.

2)      Boil some pomegranate rinds and drink as a tea. The pomegranate rind contains astringents, which will help your throat problem.


Gargling has amazing healing powers and is very useful for curing sore throat. Try these gargle tips:

1)       In half cup of water, mix ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp turmeric powder and ¼ tsp honey. Gargle with this water in the mornings and evenings.

2)       An age-old gargling recipe is to mix warm water and salt. Gargle with this saltwater.

Treating Fever the Herbal Way

Oct 10 - Treating fever

By Amber Saleem

Rafi Ibn Khadij has narrated: “I heard Allah’s Apostle (sa) saying: ‘Fever is from the heat of Hell, so abate fever with water.'” (Bukhari)

Fatima Bint Al-Mundhir has narrated: “Whenever a lady suffering from fever was brought to Asma Bint Abu Bakr (rta), she used to invoke Allah (swt) for her and then sprinkle some water on her body, at the chest and say: ‘Allah’s Apostle (sa) used to order us to abate fever with water.'” (Bukhari)

Home Remedies

  • Saffron is good for treating fever. Boil half a teaspoon of saffron in half cup of water. After the water boils, use this as tea – take one teaspoon every hour.
  • Raisins are also effective for curing fever. Soak 25 raisins in half cup of water. Once they get soft, crush in same water. Strain the mixture and add ½ tsp lemon juice. Take this mixture twice a day.
  • For lowering the temperature, take one tablespoon of honey, with a few drops of lemon and ginger juice.
  • Soak 6-7 potato slices in vinegar for ten minutes. Lie down and place these vinegar slices on your forehead with a wash cloth on top for 2-3 minutes.
  • A simple tip for lowering high fever is to place a slice of raw onion on the patient’s soles and cover the feet with socks.
  • Put one teaspoon of mustard seeds in one cup of hot water, steep for five minutes and drink.
  • Abu Hurairah t narrated that the Prophet (sa) said: “Eat the olive oil and massage it over your bodies, since it is pure and holy.” (Ibn Majah)
  • Apply a mixture of lime juice and olive oil all over your body.
  • Warm two tablespoons of olive oil with two crushed garlic cloves. Apply this mixture on both the soles and keep your feet wrapped with plastic all night long. You will see wonderful results of this remedy.

Diet in Fever

Along with the aforementioned tips, you can also take the following precautions:

  • Avoid eating such solid foods as Chapatis, until fever is gone. Replace solid foods with rice, bread, fruits and juices.
  • Drink as much water as you can – it will lower your temperature.
  • Mix half a glass of grapefruit juice with half a glass of water. Drink this once a day for relieving burning body and quenching thirst.
  • If your fever does not go down for several days, consult your doctor.