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  • Writer's pictureMohammad Yusri Yubhi Md Yusoff

Muslim Healthy Lifestyle.

Updated: Sep 28, 2023

How to maintain Muslims' Healthy Lifestyle According to Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.

Healthy Lifestyle According to Prophet Muhammad

Muslims' Healthy Lifestyle is Part of Sunnah

Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. was sent to guide humanity to the path of enlightenment and virtues. As his followers, we follow Prophet Muhammad s.a.w in many of his actions and practices. His lifestyle provides us with guidance on how we can live up our lives to the fullest - spiritually and physically, Insya’Allah.

Allah s.w.t mentions in the Quran,

لَّقَدۡ كَانَ لَكُمۡ فِي رَسُولِ ٱللَّهِ أُسۡوَةٌ حَسَنَةٞ لِّمَن كَانَ يَرۡجُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَٱلۡيَوۡمَ ٱلۡأٓخِرَ وَذَكَرَ ٱللَّهَ كَثِيرٗا

“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.”

(Surah Al-Ahzab, 33:21)

Prophet Muhammad s.a.w did not only provide us with moral guidance, but the healthy lifestyle that he led throughout his life provided us with a good reference for us to emulate in our lives. The Prophet s.a.w. was known as someone who was physically fit and mentally strong. He was able to wrestle those that had tried to attack him during the many wars that he had to fight. He was also a tactical and strategic military leader. Beyond that, spiritually, he was strong such that he stand in prayer for long hours during the nights, which led to his legs becoming swollen.

We must be wondering what led the Prophet s.a.w to be physically fit and lived his life in a good state of health. Here are four key insights that we can learn from the Prophet’s life for us to stay healthy:

Healthy Lifestyle is Part of Sunnah
Healthy Lifestyle is Part of Sunnah

1. Nutritional Diet

There are several hadiths detailing the sunnah of Prophet s.a.w. that encourage us to maintain a nutritional diet.

Rasulullah s.a.w had advised his companions not to overeat that will fill our stomachs more than what we need. In the hadith narrated by Ibn Majah, the Prophet s.a.w recommended that we only allocate one-third of our stomachs for food, while the other third for drinks and the last third for air.

Based on the hadiths, the Prophet's daily diet mainly consists of bread made from wheat, milk, vinegar, honey and dates. Imam At-Tirmizi discussed this topic in-depth in his famous 'Syamail al-Muhammadiyah'

If the benefits of honey, milk or dates are mentioned, many people may already know the benefits. But what about vinegar? What is the efficacy of vinegar so that it is among the favourites of His Majesty s.a.w.?

In a hadith, Rasulullah s.a.w. mentioned, in a hadith narrated by Jabir bin Abdullah r.a.,

"The best food is vinegar, the best food is vinegar!"

(Hadith by Imam Muslim)

Prophet's Diet

The vinegar referred by Rasulullah here is the vinegar that is derived from fruits known as 'Khal' and it is not a vinegar that is artificially produced. According to the book entitled 'The Beauty of Islamic Nutrition and Medicine' written by Dr Faszly Rahim, Dr Wan Nasyruddin Wan Abdullah and Prof Dr Aminah Abdulla discussed that,

“Fruit vinegar has a variety of its nutrients, and the ones that are often used are apple cider, dates, grapes and also pomegranate. These kinds of vinegar are often used for health purposes as well as in cooking. The benefits of apple cider vinegar can break down fat molecules and indirectly help a person lose weight.”

Therefore, let us not misunderstand this hadith and start consuming any vinegar which may actually upset our stomach and be detrimental to our health.

2. Active Fasting

Apart from fasting during the month of Ramadan, Prophet Muhammad s.a.w had also fasted regularly. He used to fast every Monday and Thursday. He also practised fasting on 'Ayyamul Bidh' or the white days - fall on the 13th, 14th and 15th of each Hijri month.

Prophet's Active Fasting

In addition, he also fasted on specific days such as fasting on the day of 'Arafah (9 Zulhijjjah), fasting on the day of Tasu'a and 'Asyuura' (9 and 10 Muharram), or fasting for six days in the month of Syawal and others.

Apart from being an act of worship to draw closer to God, fasting also has certain benefits in terms of our physical health. Scientists and health experts acknowledge that the practice of fasting can cleanse the toxins found in a person's body.

Today, one of the practices some of us are practising is the practice of ‘intermittent fasting’ or IF - where we fast for 16 hours usually from night till noon the next day and we can only drink plain water and/or non-sugary drinks.

Fasting on the day of 'Arafah

As Muslims, we can continue doing our IF, but we can also explore certain days to fast according to how the Prophet s.a.w had practised and do it with the best of our ability such that it will bring health benefits to our lives. We can do this both as a spiritual exercise where we will get spiritual rewards from Allah s.w.t as well as gain health benefits as we try to lead a healthy lifestyle insya’Allah.

3. Exercises Through Prayer

The Prophet s.a.w. often prays at night for a very long time. It was not surprising, his wife Aishah r.a. narrated that the Rasulullah s.a.w was praying until his feet were swollen.

Prophet Muhammad s.a.w was physically strong with high physical and mental resilience.

Rasulullah performed long night prayers - and this includes a long qiyam (standing) routine. It is evident through the hadith narrated by Huzaifah bin al-Yaman in Sahih Muslim, which states that the Prophet prayed at night with the first raka'ah, he would read until the 100th verse of surah Al-Baqarah before he ruku' (bows). He then continued the remaining verses from surah Al-Baqarah and followed by Surah An-Nisaa' and Ali 'Imran in the second raka'ah.

Exercises Through Prayer

Imagine how long this prayer of the Prophet was? It was probably no less than two hours or probably more.

The same goes for the ruku' of Rasulullah. In another narration, it was mentioned that, that he bowed for a very long time equivalent to Surah Al-Baqarah during the night prayer before reciting the following tasbih:

‏سُبْحَانَ ذِي الْجَبَرُوتِ وَالْمَلَكُوتِ وَالْكِبْرِيَاءِ وَالْعَظَمَةِ

Subhaana Dzil Jabaruut wal Malakuut wal Kibriyaa wal ‘Azhamah

"Glory be (to the God) who has the right to Force and Power and who has Pride and Majesty."

(Sahih Muslim)

Imagine how long Rasulullah's bow during night prayers? Then, imagine the length of surah Al-Baqarah is 286 verses and covers more than two juz and almost 50 pages.

As we know, prayer itself is packed with physical movements. These movements benefit our limbs, veins, and blood flow. In a study conducted by several scholars at the University of Malaya in the published book, 'Prayer: Benefits From a Scientific Perspective', they claimed that the 'bow' position in prayer keeps the spine in good condition, while the movements performed in solat can restore muscle function as usual, as well as can be used as a therapy for the treatment of back pain. The position during ruku ', sujud and sitting tahiyyat in prayer can provide rest to the heart, with the heart rate recorded lower than when in a standing position.

Therefore, one is encouraged to extend the period of prostration because it will produce a lower heart rate. Thus those who suffer from high blood pressure are encouraged to prostrate longer and more often to reduce heart rate and lower blood pressure.

According to the study, during ruku', more blood can flow to the brain, while the brain's veins can receive more blood than under normal circumstances. The brain will also become healthier and fitter and get an adequate supply of oxygen. Thus, the prostration position is perfect for obtaining a healthy heart rate, prolonging the heart's life, and avoiding the narrowing of blood vessels that lead to diseases related to the arteries of the heart.

Indeed, there is a relationship between the practice of performing regular prayers (solat) and maintaining good physical health as demonstrated by Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. We can include this as part of our practice in being physically fit.

We should continue to practice other forms of physical activities, fitness regimes such as going to the gym, regular running and/or brisk walking and getting active with sports. At the same time, let us also increase our prayer and supplement it to achieve spiritual and physical fitness, Amin.

4. Dua to Attain Good Health

Once we know the advantages of prayer from a scientific perspective and the relationship between solat and health as taught by Prophet s.a.w, let us also look at other practices of Rasulullah s.a.w.

Rasulullah practised a lot of specific dua and tasbih in his prayers, especially in the position of ruku' and sujud.

The following dua and tasbih, according to the study on the practising of solat based on the Sunnah among Singaporean Muslims, is something that is very rarely practised by our Muslim community, and most of them does not know the existence of this dua and zikrullah in our Prophet's solat.

Nonetheless, the prayers practised by the Prophet s.a.w. very significant indeed with scientific studies that explain the benefits of prayer to our bodies. Among the prayers often recited by Rasulullah s.a.w. in his ruku' are as follows:

اللَّهُمَّ لَكَ رَكَعْتُ وَبِكَ آمَنْتُ وَلَكَ أَسْلَمْتُ خَشَعَ لَكَ سَمْعِي وَبَصَرِي وَمُخِّي وَعَظْمِي وَعَصَبِي

Allahumma laka raka’tu wa bika Aamantu, wa laka Aslamtu, Khasya’a laka sam’ii wa basorii wa mukhkhii wa ‘Adhmii wa ‘Asobii

Meaning: "O Allah to You I bow ', to You I believe, to You I submit, khushu' my hearing, my sight, my brain, my bones, and my veins.

(Sahih Muslim)

اللَّهُمَّ لَكَ رَكَعْتُ وَبِكَ آمَنْتُ وَلَكَ أَسْلَمْتُ وَعَلَيْكَ تَوَكَّلْتُ أَنْتَ رَبِّي خَشَعَ سَمْعِي وَبَصَرِي وَدَمِي وَلَحْمِي وَعَظْمِي وَعَصَبِي لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالِمِينَ

Allahumma laka raka’tu wa bika Aamantu, wa laka Aslamtu, wa ‘Alayka Tawakkaltu Anta Rabii Khasya’a Sam’ii wa basorii wa damii wa lahmii wa ‘Adhmii wa ‘Asobii lillahi Rabbil ‘Alamin

Meaning: "O Allah, to You I bow ', to You I believe, and to You, I submit. Gives khusyu' to my hearing, my sight, my blood, my flesh, my bones, my joints are all submissive to Allah, the Lord of the Universe."

While the prayers recited by the Prophet in his prostration are as follows:

اللَّهُمَّ لَكَ سَجَدْتُ وَبِكَ آمَنْتُ وَلَكَ أَسْلَمْتُ سَجَدَ وَجْهِي لِلَّذِي خَلَقَهُ وَصَوَّرَهُ وَشَقَّ سَمْعَهُ وَبَصَرَهُ تَبَارَكَ اللَّهُ أَحْسَنُ الْخَالِقِينَ

Allahumma laka sajadtu wa bika Aamantu, wa laka Aslamtu, sajada wajhiya lilladzi khalaqahu wa sowwarahu wa shaqqa sam’ahu wa basorahu tabaarakallahu ahsanul kholiqiin.

Meaning: "O Allah, only for You do I prostrate, only to You do I believe, and only to You do I surrender. My face prostrates to the God who has created and brought forth His Hearing and Sight, so blessed is Allah, the best of creators. "

(Sahih Muslim)

Dua to Attain Good Health

Imam An-Nawawi, in his book 'Raudhah al-Talibin', mentions these duas as the most afdhal in the practice of ruku' and prostration of our prayers according to the Shafi'i school of Fiqh.

So clearly here, the secret of the health and physical fitness of the Prophet s.a.w. does not come by chance but can be summed up because of healthy lifestyle practices, including diet, fasting, exercise (prayer), and even prayer.

As his ummah who professes great love for Rasulullah, who certainly wants to follow his sunnah as a whole, namely not only his moral guidance but also the healthy lifestyle practices of Rasulullah s.a.w. so that we do not belong to the Prophet's warning about the people who often forget his two greatest blessings; leisure and health, Amin.

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Usayed SEO
02 de abr.

As members of the ummah, we express deep affection for Rasulullah and strive to emulate his entire sunnah. This includes not only his moral teachings but also adopting the healthy lifestyle practices he advocated. By doing so, we ensure that we do not fall into the category of individuals warned by the Prophet about forgetting the two greatest blessings bestowed upon us: leisure and health. May it be so.

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