5 Religious Imperiatives on Preserving Health and Life

By Yūsuf Badāt

A Healthy Believer is Better and More Beloved to God

“A strong [healthy] believer is better and dearer to God than a weak [unhealthy] one, and good can be found in both. Be desirous of things that benefit you while seeking God’s help. Never give up!” – Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim

Your Body Has a Right Over You

The Prophet of Islam, Muḥammad (peace and blessings upon him) forbade ‘Abd Allāh Ibn ‘Amr Ibn Al-‘Ās (may God be pleased with him) from fasting every single day and standing in prayer throughout the entire night, saying,

“Do not fast every day nor pray all night rather fast some days and stay without fasting other days. Stand in prayer some parts of the night and sleep the rest of the night. For indeed, your body has a right over you and your eyes also have a right over you. Fasting three days a month is more than enough for you.” – (Ṣaḥīḥ Bukhārī)

“Protection of life [and health] is second in merit after preservation of religion in the list of the five objectives (maqāsid) of religion.” – Muftī Khālid Saifullāh Al-Raḥmānī

Protecting Oneself from Injury, Danger, Sickness, Harm and Accidents is a Religious Obligation

“Do not throw [yourselves] with your [own] hands into destruction [and harm].”- (Qurʾān: 2:195)

The Prophet of Islam, Muḥammad (peace and blessings upon him) advised the following:

  • Turn off flame-lanterns before going to bed to avoid house fires. – (See: Ṣaḥīḥ Bukhārī)
  • Refrain from walking with weapons in the open to prevent accidental injury or death. – (See: Ṣaḥīḥ Bukhārī)
  •  Avoid letting children play outside in the dark to avert the assaults of devils and attacks.   – (See: Musnad Aḥmad)

“[As a safeguard,] one should stay away from the diseased, as one runs away from a lion.” – (Ṣaḥīḥ Bukhārī)

Nourishment to Sustain Life and Health is an Islamic Responsibility    

“Eat and drink but do not waste.” – (Qurʾān: 7:31)

“If one abandons eating and drinking to the point where it causes death, they will be sinful.” – (Ibn Ābidīn in Rad Al-Muḥtār)

“In light the Qurʾānic verse 2:172 if one is in a compelling situation with no chance of survival unless one consumes islamicaly forbidden food such as swine or a dead carcass, it is mandatory to do so to preserve life. If one does not, they will be sinful for causing death upon themselves. Ibn Kathīr has also mentioned this in his famous tafsīr.” – Muftī Khālid Saifullāh Al-Raḥmānī

Seeking Treatment and Medication for Health is a Religious Imperative

“God is the Creator of both sickness and medicine. He has stipulated a cure for every sickness therefore seek out treatment [for good health and well-being]!” – (Abū Dāwūd)

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