Physical Health in Islam

Mental Health Series

Our body is an amanah. It is a gift from Allah (SWT) and we must take care of it while we are still alive.

Moreover, taking care of our body through consistent efforts with diet and exercise will allow us to reap the full blessings of this life. But wait.. aren’t we supposed to be talking about mental health?

Exactly. There are many physical and emotional benefits to exercise. When we feel better physically and emotionally, then we have a greater strength and drive to worship Allah (SWT) while also having the energy to fulfill both our worldly duties and the duties in our deen.

Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying:

“A strong believer is better and is more lovable to Allah than a weak believer…” [Sahih Muslim].

Therefore, we should try and do all that we can to build up our physical strength to ensure that it can emulate strength in our worship and dedication to Allah (SWT).

Recall that the Prophet (SAWS) was physically very active throughout his life as he participated in numerous physical activities. He also encouraged the believers to engage in physical activity.

In a hadith narrated from Hazrat Ibn Umar (R.A) in which our beloved Prophet said:

“Teach your children swimming, archery and horse riding.”

In Sahih Muslim, the Prophet (SAWS) said, “Practice archery and horseback riding.” The Prophet (SAWS) said “Any action without the remembrance of Allah is either a diversion or heedlessness except four acts: walking from target to target (during archery practice), training a horse and learning to swim.” [Reported by al Tabarani on good authority]

He also encouraged eating and drinking in moderation. Miqdam bin Madikarib said:

“I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) say: ‘A human being fills no worse vessel than his stomach. It is sufficient for a human being to eat a few mouthfuls to keep his spine straight. But if he must (fill it), then one third of food, one third for drink and one third for air.’”

Additionally, being physically well can contribute positively to our mental health and in turn our spiritual health – the core of it all: our Iman. We should have a strong desire to achieve a healthy lifestyle and to take care of our bodies for the sake of Allah (SWT), so that we can have increased strength and energy to worship Him.

InshaAllah, this holistic approach to health can shift our mindset and drive us to have this innate desire to keep steadfast and continue worshipping Allah (SWT) in every aspect of our life.

Worship does not have to be compartmentalized. Rather, it should be implemented in every aspect of our life. There is not a second of our life that our body and soul are not in servitude to Allah (SWT). Therefore, we should prioritize the manner in which we nourish and care for our bodies as it can greatly impact our worship, and the way in which we exist in this world as active, energetic, and keen believers.

To refresh your memory on our previous Mental Health Series post, use the following link:

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