c.Islamic Diet and Health
A healthy nutritious diet must also be balanced, in order to maintain the balance that God has established in all things, this is addressed in the Quran when God says:Eat of the good things which We have provided for you. (2:173) Eat of what is lawful and wholesome on the earth.(2:168)
And He enforced the balance. That you exceed not the bounds; but observe the balance strictly; and fall not short thereof. (55:7–9)
As we know, eating excessively causes harm to our systems. Many aliments are related to uncontrolled eating habits such as, diabetes, vascular diseases, stroke, heart attack etc. It has been said that the ‘stomach is the home of ill health’ and is usually responsible in some way to ill health. Islam teaches us to eat moderately:
Eat and drink, but avoid excess. (20:81)
Over indulgence and wasting of food are further dissuaded in the Hadith of the of the Messenger of God:
‘ No human being has ever filled a container worse than his own stomach. The son of Adam needs no more than a few morsels of food to keep up his strength, doing so he should consider that a third of his stomach is for food, a third for drink and a third for breathing’
Fasting during the month of Ramadan from dawn till dusk, is undertaken to seek the pleasure of God and to practise self control and restraint in all aspects of living, with the idea being to continue this state of God consciousness and piety after Ramadan is over. It is an ideal time to remove the impurities and shortcomings in ones life.
‘ O you who believe fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you so that you can learn
Taqwa (God consciousness)’
Fasting in Islam is not like crash dieting, it is adequate in calorie intake and involves no malnutrition. All foods are permissible to eat in moderation, once the fast is over. Many processed foods we eat contain chemicals which over-time can be stored by our bodies as toxins within cells. Fasting can assist our body to purge these toxins while also allowing our body and digestive system to rest. Research has indicated that fasting can lower blood sugar levels and cholesterol, suggesting it may be advisable for moderate, stable, non-insulin diabetes, obesity and essential hypertension.
Prohibition of Intoxicants
Islam strictly forbids indulgence in intoxicants such as alcohol and drugs for good reason. The limited pleasure of such vices causes immense long-term damage to both mind, body and the social fabric of society. Particular schools of thought include smoking within the list of prohibitions because of its harmful affects on the body. It seems that if Muslims adhere to the teachings of Islam, they would automatically lead a healthier lifestyle. God says in the Quran:
Satan’s plan is (but) to excite enmity and hatred between you with intoxicants and gambling and hinder you from the remembrance of Allah and from prayer, will ye not then abstain? (5:90)