Preventive Medicine

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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General Prophetic Guidelines in Preventive Medicine

The Balance of Moisture and Heat

Moisture is essential for a healthy body, and the body depends on it to resist and balance heat. On the other hand, heat helps its coction to expel ejecta and extract the needed nutrients. otherwise, unbalanced moisture will vitiate and hamper the body’s natural functions. Moisture is an essential element for heat, and without it, temperature will rise, and the body will dry up and spoil. Therefore, moisture and heat complement one another, and together they help balance body’s functions. Any increase in either one of the two will generate imbalance. Heat constantly consumes and depletes moisture and the body requires food and water to renew its balance. On the other hand, excess moisture lowers body temperature and affects the process of coction and elimination of ejecta. Otherwise, if such matters remain in the body, they become putrescent and spread to cause various kinds of illnesses. The degree of their effectiveness depends on their kind, the body’s condition, and its disposition to accept related illnesses.

Such knowledge comes from the divine words of guidance: { Eat and drink, but avoid excess, for Allah does not like the intemperate. } (Qur’an 7 : 31) In this revelation, God Almighty directs the believers (1) to observe balance in their intake of food and drink; (2) to take in what is beneficial and control their desire for excess; (3) to balance their diet; (4) to eat and drink healthy food; and (5) to take in what the body can easily digest in kind, quantity, and preparation. Both deficiency in nutrients or their saturation can hinder absorption and cause illness, while avoidance of such formula is considered excess. Unbalanced absorption of nutrients also lowers body temperature and affects coction. Lower body temperature hinders food digestion, while prolonged lowers temperature will eventually exhaust the required balance of heat and moisture, extinguish body heat and lead to the end of one’s life term in this world.

The foremost intention in preventive medicine is to preserve a healthy body throughout the stages of its existence of the longest possible period until the conclusion of its life term in this world. This is to say that one’s endeavors cannot permanently sustain perfect balance of heat and moisture, both of which are essential to preserve body strength and youthfulness, for such permanency has never been the lot of any creature in this world. Nevertheless, the goal of a physician or a physical therapist in preventive medicine is to support maintaining the needed balance between heat and moisture in the process of supporting the real goal of one’s life in this world -that is, to worship his Lord. Hence, preventive medicine is aimed at protecting body moisture against vitiation caused by the presence of adulterated or putrescent elements, among others, and to guard the level of body temperature against rising or dropping, to eliminate the possibility of any complications.

Because of such important balance, the human body subsists throughout its life, and in a similar process of balance and divine justice, the heavens, the two earths, and the entire creation continue to exist. Nothing can harm such balance more than nurturing the body with excess, injurious, or unlawful substance. Similarly, nothing can harm the innate purity of the heart more than polytheism, sins, and heedlessness. Owing to such afflictions, the heart becomes worried, sorrowful, anxious, distressed, dissatisfied, burdened, concerned, discontent, and weak, and because of such weakness, the heart becomes unable to fend for itself, or to reverse the lethal action of any injurious substance. In such case, after recognizing one’s illness and embracing the avenues of repentance, only Allah can turn to the human being with mercy, forgive him, and shift the course of his destiny for the better.

In essence, when contemplating the prophetic guidance of God’s Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم, one can easily recognize it as the best of guidance in preventive medicine. In it, one learns to maintain a healthy body, heart, and existence by correctly addressing the issues of balancing one’s food, drink, clothing, living conditions, clean air, proper rest, vigilance, exercises, sexual habits, purgation, and abstinence, etc. When such issues are correctly balanced to reflect the correct needs of the human body, and when one’s intake of food also respects his age, available healthy food, his common habits, environmental conditions, and land, he can maintain good health until the end of his life in this world.

Furthermore, since good health, strength, and well-being are the most prized, precious, and generous gifts God Almighty bestows upon His servants, and particularly the lucky ones, it is incumbent upon the grateful servant, and the temporary custodian of the human body, to protect it against abuse, and to properly guard it against over indulgence. On this subject, Ibn ‘Abbãss, God be pleased with him and his father, narrated that God’s Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم said: “There are two divine favors of which most people defraud themselves of their benefits: these are (1) Good health; and (2) constancy.” (Reported by Imam Bukhãri) In another narration by ‘Abdullah bin Muhsin al-Ansãrï, God’s Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم said: “Whoever wakes up having a healthy body, safe in his home, and has the needed supplies for that day, he is as wealthy as if the treasures of this entire world were put at his disposal” (Reported by Imam al-Tirmithi). Also on this subject, Abu Huraira, God be pleased with him, narrated that God’s Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم said: “One of the first questions which the servant shall be asked on the day of judgement is: ‘Have We not given you a healthy body, and quenched your thirst with cold water?'” Some of our predecessors arrived at the interpretation of the same subject in the Qur’anic verse: { And on that day, you shall be asked about the favors (you enjoyed) } (Qur’an 102 : 8), meaning: good health. Also on this subject, we find in the Masnad of Imam Ahmad that God’s Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم said to al-‘Abbãss, “O ‘Abbãss, O uncle of God’s Messenger: ask Allah for good health and well being in this world and in the hereafter.”

Abu Bakr al-Siddïq, God be pleased with him, narrated that God’s Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم said: “Ask Allah to grant you certitude and well being, for after certitude, no one has ever received a blessing greater than (health and) well being” (Reported in Masnad of Imam Ahmad). In this narration, God’s Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم has associated between the benefits of the two most precious divine gifts in this world and in the hereafter, for success in both abodes cannot be attained without having certitude, health and well being. Certitude (yaqïn) will help the servant eschew the punishment for his sins in the hereafter, while health and well being (‘ãfiya) will help him avoid the illnesses of this world, both of his body and heart.

In another prophetic saying narrated by Abu Huraira and reported in Sunan al-Nisã’i, God’s Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم said: “Pray to Allah to grant you pardon, health, and well being, for after certitude, no one has ever received a blessing greater than (health and) well being.” These three treasures of Allah’s infinite mercy eoncompass: (1) elimination of the evil consequences of past wrongdoing and sins through absolution; (2) halting the effects of evil consequences and heart to overcome present dangers; and (3) elimination of evil consequences of future wrongdoing by granting him faith and certitude to guard himself against such posibilities, and to help him pursue this course until the term of his life in this world. Imam al-Tirmithi reported that God’s Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم said: “There is no supplication that is more pleasing to Allah than (that of his servant’s) asking Him for (health and) well being.”

Abi Darã’ narrated that ‘Abdu Rahmãn, son of Abi Laila, once said to God’s Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم: “O Messenger of God, to be healthy and grateful is more pleasing to me than exercising patience during adversities.” God’s Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم replied: “God’s Messenger agrees with you, and he too prefers to have good health.” Also on this subject, Ibn ‘Abbãss narrated that an Arab came and asked God’s Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم: “What should I ask Allah upon concluding each of the five daily prayers?” God’s Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم replied: “Pray for good health. ” The man further asked: “Then what?” God’s Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم reiterated: “Pray for good health.” The man asked again: “Then what?” God’s Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم again: “Pray for good health and well being in this world and in the hereafter.”

Therefore, if good health and well being are such prized treasures, then, God willing, we shall in the following sections study the prophetic guidance in maintaining them. Such divine gifts are essential for one’s physical and spiritual success in this life and in the next. Allah is our helper, in Him we trust, and there is no will or power except by Allah.

2 thoughts on “Preventive Medicine

  1. Muhammed Nazim

    salaamullaahi ‘alaikum – May Almighty Allah Bless you and all your loved ones for this great website. Allahumma Aameen.

    Reply

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