The Foundation's Word
Praise be to Allah Whose divine legislation defined the lawful and the unlawful, allowed the good things, and forbade the filthy things. Blessing and peace be upon our Master, Muhammed, who conveyed the laws and guided humanity, and upon his pure progeny and righteous companions.
The current materialistic cultures, both Eastern and Western, present the ugliest pictures of social corruption, and the cruelest stage of political despotism that man has ever experienced since the very ancient times Though the present Super Powers take pride in their attaining a record degree of technological progress, yet the materialistic cultural concepts holding the reins of power, and standing behind this scientific progress, have deteriorated to the lowest possible degree of moral meanness and backwardness. What perfection can one expect from man dominated by vague ideas and materialistic concepts that drag him down to the level of animals in society, and cause him to aim at exterminating millions through political schemes and formidable military arsenals?
One may ask: Isn't Islam present and known in the world? So, why doesn't Islam play its role of Salvation? The answer is easy and explicit: The medicine is there, but if not used by the patient, would avail him nothing whatsoever. Nay, there are even international pressures against using this healing medicine, and the patient might even be prescribed what makes him worse. The Glorious Qur'an does away with all confusion which may befall man concerning ((Why do people go astray?)) It says that they, of their own accord, have chosen the path of Satan, kept away from the path of the Beneficent, rejected the signs of Allah, disregarded His right method and straight path, stuck to the earth, and shunned Allah's Islam. Allah, the Almighty says:
(( سأصرف عن آياتي الذين يتكبرون في الارض بغير الحق , وإن يروا كلّ آية لا يؤمنوا بها , وإن يروا سبيل الرشد لا يتخذوه سبيلا , وإن يروا سبيل الغيّ يتخذوه سبيلا , ذلك بأنهم كذّبوا بآياتنا وكانوا عنها غافلين )) ( الأعراف / 146 )
'' I shall turn away from My revelation those who magnify themselves wrongfully in the earth.
And if they see every sign they will not believe in it.
And if they see the way of righteousness they do not choose it for (their) way,
And if they see the way of error they choose it for (their) way.
That is because they denied Our revelations and were heedless of them.'' Sura Al-A'raf (7:146)
((Al-Balagh Foundation)), while presenting to its respected readers this study on ((Islam and Physical Care)), as a witness to the universality of Islam, its efficiency and perfection, asks Allah the Exalted to provide us with the power enabling us to carry out His commands, perform what brings His consent and reward, and support our Jihad with clear triumph.
Allah is the Hearer, the Responder!
The body is the storehouse of man's energy, and the generator of the power of motion which participates in the fields of goodness, construction, colonization and ref ormation of the earth. Man can perform no work, whether religious, reformative or constructive, without the use of physical strength. The one who prays, the one who fasts, the pilgrim, the fighter, the businessman, the thinker, the merchant, the worker, the farmer, the scientist, the student, and the others, all need some physical energy to perform their roles and duties. Physical energy is the means and instrument by which man can implement his goals and aims. So, the body is the storehouse of this energy, and the
generator of all movements carried out through the body's different instruments, such as hands, legs, eyes, ears, tongue, etc.. Allah the Exalted has given man his body so that he may be able to implement his aims and goals in life. It is one of Allah's blessings and creations, given to man to use it to enact the decisions of his life according to Allah's plan that defines his dealings in life, and charts out his way of living; as man's body is created in such a shape to suit the natural conditions and circumstances surrounding him:
(( لقد خلقنا الأنسان في أحسن تقويم ))
( التين / 4 )
"Surely We created man of the best stature. '' Sura Al- Tin (95:4)
In order to suit the human responsibilities imposed upon him, it is a sacred duty of man to care for, and look after the physical soundness of his body duly stressed and encouraged by the Glorious Qur' an:
(( وأبتغ فيما آتاك الله الدار الآخرة ولا تنسَ نصيبك َ من الدنيا ... )) ( القَصص /77 )
"But seek the abode of the Hereafter in that which Allah hath given thee and neglect not thy portion of the world... '' Sura Al - Qasas (28:77)
This is for the sake of keeping man's natural system and its balance, which is to regulate nature's laws in the human body. Actually, this is to enact these laws on a harmonious balance with other laws of the natural existence around him. The body is a portent of innovation, creation and activity. To contemplate its order, its astonishing structure and the wonders of its making, expands the horizons of knowledge, of heading for Allah the Exalted and of discovering the secrets of existence, by which man would have stronger faith and would enjoy life much better.
(( فلينظر الأنسان ممَّ خلقَ )) ( الطارق / 5 ) ( 4 )
"So let man consider from what he is created . '' Sura Al-Ta riq (86: 5)
(( قلْ هوَ الذي أشأكمْ وجعل َ لكم السّمعَ والابصار والأفئدةَ قليلاً ما تشكرونَ )) ( الملك / 23 )
"Say (unto them 0 Mohammad): He It is Who gave you being, and hath assigned unto you ears and eyes and hearts : small thanks give ye! '' Sure Al - Mulk (67:23)
(( سنريهم آساتنا في الآفاق وفي أنفسهم حتى يتبين لهم أنه الحق ّ, أولم ْ يكفِ بربك أنه على كلِّ شيء شهيد )) ( فصلت / 53 )
"We shall show them Our portents on the horizons and within themselves until it will be manifest unto them that it is the Truth. Doth not thy Lord suffice, since He is Witness over all things? '' Sura Al- Sujda (41:53)
How Does Islam Handle the Body? (( قال له صاحبه وهو يحاوره أكفرت بالذي خلقك من تراب ثم من نطفة ثمَ سوّاك رجلا )) ( الكهف / 37 )
"And his comrade, while he disputed with him, exclaimed: Do you disbelieve in Him Who created you from dust, then of a small life-germ, and then He made you a perfect man?''
Sure Al - Keht (18:37) (( ... هو أنشأكم من الارض واستعمركم فيها ... )) ( هود / 61 )
"... He brought you into being from the earth and made you dwell in it...'' Sura Hud (11:61) ( 5 )
(( وجعل فيها رواسي من فوقها وبارك فيها وقدّر فيها أقواتها في أربعة أيام سواء للسائلين )) ( فصلت / 10 )
"He placed therein firm hills rising above it, and blessed it and measured therein its sustenance in four Days, alike for (all) who ask.'' Sure Ha Mim (41:10)
(( هو الذي جعل لكم الأرض ذلولا فامشوا في مناكبها وكلوا من رزقه وإليه النشور )) ( الملك / 15 )
"He it is Who made the earth smooth for you, so walk in the paths thereof and eat of His providence. And to Him will be the resurrection (of the dead).'' Sure Al - Mulk (67:15)
( يا أيها الناس كلوا مما في الأرض حلالا طيبا ...) ( البقرة / 168 )
"0 Mankind! Eat of that which is lawful and good in the earth...'' Sure Al - Baqara (2. 168)
( ... كلوا من رزق ربكم وأشكرو له ... ) ( سبأ / 15 )
"... Eat of the provision of your Lord and render thanks to Him...'' Sure Sabe'(34: 15)
(( كلوا من طيبات ما رزقناكم ولا تطغوا فيه فيحل عليكم غضبي ... ) ( طه / 81 )
"Eat of the good things which We have provided you, and transgress not in respect to them, lest My wrath come upon you...'' Sure Taha (20:81)
(( يا بني آدم خذوا زينتكم عند كل مسجد وكلوا واشربوا ولا تسرفوا إنه لا يحب المسرفين )) ( الاعراف /31 )
"0 Children of Adam! Look to your adornment at every time of worship, and eat and drink, but be not prodigal. surely He does not love the prodigals.'' Sure Al - A ref (7:31) (( قل من حرم زينة الله التي أخرجت لعباده والطيبات من الرزق قل هي للذين آمنوا في الحياة الدنيا خالصة يوم القيامة كذلك نفصل الآيات لقوم يعلمون )) . ( الاعراف/32 )
"Say: Who has forbidden the adornment ot AI1ah which He has brought forth for His servants, and the good provisions? Say: These are for the believers, during the lift' of the world purely (theirs) on the Resurrection Day. Thus do we detail Our revelation for people who know. SuraAl-Arat (7: 32)
"And certainly We sent messengers (to mankind before you, and We gave them wives and offspring... SuraAI-Rad (13:38)
"And of His signs is this: He created for you mates from yourselves that ye might find rest in them... Sura Al - Rum (30:21)
"0 Children of Adam! We have sent down to you clothing to cover your shame.... " Sure Al -Araf (7: 26)
"And of !Iis signs is your sleeping and seeking of His Grace by night and (by) day.... " Sure Al - Rum (30:23)
These wonderful Qur'anic verses mentioned above reveal a number of interesting laws and concepts. Going through their meanings, connecting them together, unifying their implications, and infering their ideological and legislative goals, we reach the following facts: A. Man, because of his physical structure and nature, is a part of the natural world: the earth being the origin of his creation, he is its son and its most advanced living being, in respect to his structure and different physical organs:
"... Do you disbelieve in Him Who created you from dust....'' Sura Al - Kahf (18:37)
"... He brought you into being from the earth....'' Sure Hud (11:61)
B. This body which has been created of the earth, cannot by its nature, do without the provisions of the earth such as food, drink, clothes and dwelling, etc.: "We did not give them bodies that would not eat food...'' Sura Al - Anbiya (21:8)
C. There is a complete coordination between Man and Nature. Whatever is needed by man to sustain him is plentiful and increasingly available in the world of nature:
"...and blessed it (the eGrth) and measured therein its sustenance in four Days, alike for (all) who ask.'' Sura Ha Mim (4 1:10)
"He It is Who made the earth smooth for you...'' Sura Al - Mu/k (67:15) So, in the expanse of the earth there are provisions for all creatures in general, and for particular - paved and prepared for everybody: "...a like for (a ll) who ask,'' Sure Ha Mim (41:10)
".... and measured therein its sustenance...'' Sure Ha Mim (41:10)
Here, in the order of creation, the equation of existence is proportionally equal between the human needs and the quantity of provision offered in nature, in perfect harmony to its balance and accuracy: "Surely! We have created every thing by measure.'' Sure Al - Qemar (54:49)
D. Whatever amenities are there on this earth are lawful, good and permitted to all mankind, without discrimination or prejudice, since Allah's wisdom and justice ordain that every being should be provided with his requirements and shares allotted to him in life: "0 Mankind! Eat of that which is lawful and good in the earth...'' Sura Al - Baqara (2:168)
E. Man, as an individual, has been created_as a biological unit with complete organs and potentialities. Man is an independent world by himself, practicing his natural relations according to this creative fact connecting him to nature from every angle. So, he has to perform his personal activity and continue his efforts in harmony with his surroundings:
"... So walk in the paths thereof...'' Sure Al - Mulk (67:15)
He moves here and there on the earth, interacts with nature and its energies and wealths, so as to build a connecting bridge between his body and the provisions of the erh. These natural elements take their positions inside his body, playing the role of a human energy presenting humane offerings and human efforts, different from their free and natural existence outside. Thus, these offerings appear in the shapes of thought, worship, arts and other different works, such as husbandry, life reformation, multiplication of species, etc.
In this way man interacts, through his physical nature, with nature itself, to change its stagnant materialistic energies into a humane power ( 9 )
that flows with good ideas and vitality, and fills the world with values and means for culture and civilization. F. As man requires nourishments in order to live, he is also in need of other requirements which participate in keeping life going on, such as matrimonial relations, clothes, comfort, sleep, etc., which are regarded as the basic necessities of life, and hence to satisfy them is part of the human creation system, ordained by Allah.
Islam, as a religion, is keen on preserving life, and responds to the needs of creation. Through its teachings and laws it covers all these needs of the human nature, and organizes them:
"And of His signs is that: He created for you mates from yourselves that you may find rest in them...'' Sure Al - Rum (30:21)
"o children of Adam! We have sent down to you clothing to cover your shame...'' Sura Al -A rat (7:26)
"And of His signs is your sleeping by night and by Sura Al - Rum (30:23)
In this way Islam understood man's physical requirements, legislated rules and regulations, decided on values sufficient for him, and arranged its laws and concepts revolving around three axes,each depending on the other:
- Providing the body with its different physical needs, such as: food, drink, dwelling and clothes.
- Preserving and protecting the human body against whatever endangers its existence.
- Employing physical powers in their natural channels defined for them.
The above points are dealt with as below: