“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!

Most Beloved People to Allah – Al-Mutabaeun


Adapted for Hiba Magazine by Tasneem Vali

“Say (O Muhammad to mankind): “If you (really) love Allâh Then follow me (i.e. Accept Islâmic Monotheism, follow the Qur’ân and the Sunnah), Allâh will love you and forgive you of your sins. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” (Al-Imran 31)

 Ibn Kathīr explains this verse: “This verse gives a verdict in the case of anyone who claims to love God but does not follow the way of life laid down by Prophet Muhammad (sa). His very claim is an absolute lie unless he follows the Sunnah in all his actions and statements. This is endorsed by the authentic tradition of the Prophet (sa) which states: ‘Anyone who does something which is not in conformity with this matter of ours will have it rejected.’ ”

The dilemma here is that no one has an issue with loving Allah; the real test is to follow the Prophet (sa). The ayah makes a clear statement; Allah has connected following the Prophet (sa) as a condition to gain His love– so it is essential (in a way obligatory) to follow Prophet Muhammad (sa). The point is not to let your ego prevent you from gaining Allah’s love.

أَشْهَدُ أن لا إلٰهَ إلَّا الله وَأشْهَدُ أنَّ مُحَمَّدً أعَبْدُه وَرَسُوْلُه

I testify that there is no god but Allah and I testify that Prophet Muhammad is His messenger

 The testimony of a Muslim’s faith has two aspects, one is that we bear witness to the Unity of Allah; the other part is that we also acknowledge that Muhammad (sa) is His messenger. Thus, following the Prophet (sa) is a very important matter because Allah has connected His love to it; it is a matter of completing one’s faith.

How do we follow Prophet (sa)?

  • Following the Sunnah of the Prophet (sa)
  • Following the Prophet’s (sa) commands without any questions, any debate, any excuse– but do not follow anyone else blindly
  • React/behave the way he used to behave in certain situations; in all matters of worship and life

The Prophet (sa) was only a man, so why can we not question his authority/way? Very simple, because he never did anything in his life unless it was revelation from Allah, our goal is to worship Allah. This is achieved by following the Sunnah of the Prophet (sa).

What are some situations we follow the Prophet (sa) in?

Worship is divided into two categories: obligatory and recommended.

Allah mentions obligatory forms of worship in the Quran – Salah, Hajj, Zakat etc. but the correct way to perform them is shown by the Prophet’s (sa) Sunnah. Regarding these acts we must follow his way.

For the recommended acts, for e.g., the fast on 9 Dhul Hijjah, how Prophet (sa) slept, how he prayed Tahajjud prayer, how he ate, what dua he recited when he left his house, etc. It is suggested that we follow what Prophet (sa) did. The more you try to follow the Prophet (sa) – the more your rank with Allah is raised, and Allah’s love for you increases.

Allah mentions in the Quran: “There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allah often.” (Al-Ahzab 21).

Following the Prophet’s (sa) Sunnah is the fail-safe. Since we are just a follower, we will not invent something new, alien to the deen of Islam. If there is something Prophet Muhammad (sa) did not do – we should not do it. Allah has reminded us that in following the Prophet’s (sa) example we are safe and no one can possibly do more for Islam than what he has done, so don’t do anything unless you are sure he did it or endorsed it. Small deeds that follow the Prophet‘s (sa) Sunnah are more beloved to Allah than doing multiple acts of worship that are recommended by some scholar (away from the Sunnah).

When you follow the Sunnah, Allah will make your life easy for you, love you and forgive your sins. However, when you follow Bidat (innovations in deen) your life will become complicated and you will not be among those who Allah loves. All your hours of devotion and acts of worship will be wasted as they will not be acceptable to Allah.

“Every innovation is a misguidance and every misguidance goes to hellfire.” (Muslim)

“Say (O Muhammad ): “Obey Allah and the Messenger (Muhammad).” but if they turn away, Then Allah does not like the disbelievers.” (Al Imran 3:32)

Allah says in this verse; those who don’t obey both [Allah and the Prophet (sa)] they are like the disbelievers and Allah does not love the disbelievers. Satan encourages people to innovate in religion and because it’s a matter of religion – extra prayer, extra dhikr –people are caught off guard that how can extra prayer be unacceptable to Allah?

Rewards for being among Al-Mutabaeun

  • Allah’s love
  • Guidance in this world and the Hereafter- to have a knowledge and act upon it (Hidayah)
  • Special mercy from Allah – makes your life smooth and easy; no difficulties
  • You will be among the successful (Al-Muflihoon): people who struggle in life and get the success in the Hereafter
  • You will accompany those people on whom Allah has bestowed His blessings, the Prophets, Messengers, the Martyrs, the Truthful ones, the righteous people etc.
  • Entry into Paradise

Sins cause us to feel guilty but Bidat  (innovations) do not leave a guilty feeling, so they are difficult to give up or recognize. May Allah protect us from all Bidat. Ameen.