Yes, health is a blessing, but do you preserve it or risk it?
The best provision is Taqwa, so fear Me, O people of intelligence, (al Baqarah, verse 197)
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) used to encourage his companions to recite the above supplication on a regular basis. Allah has mentioned the virtues of Taqwa and encouraged us to ask Allah to provide us Taqwa. There are two popular supplications asking Allah for Taqwa.
Allahumma Inni As’aloka, al huda, wattuka, wal afafa, wal Ginah.
O Allah I ask you to give me Hidaya, Taqwa, steadfastness and Independence from others.
Allahumma ati nafsi taqwaha wa zakkiha anta khairu man zakkaha, anta waliyuha wa moulaha.
Taqwa is to protect one’s self from those things which can be destructive for your health, wealth, character and life. We are commanded to perform those deeds that will strengthen our faith, build taqwa and increase our guidance.
The foundation of strong faith is based upon five things, and of them is protection of health. One should keep himself away from those things which will harm his health. Good health is among the finest blessings of Allah. Ibn Abbas is quoted in Bukhari that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “There are two great blessings towards which many people are careless, Good health and Free time.” On the day of Qiyamah, each one will be questioned about all the blessings
Where did you utilize the Blessings given by Allah?
From the millions of blessings, the first blessings that will be asked about how did you utilize your good health? Was it wasted or utilized ? Did your good health be a source to build your akhera? Whom did your health please? Allah or Shaytan? Once you have answered the question on health, the next one will be, “Where did you utilize your free time?”
Consider this: your job is eight hours and you sleep for eight hours but what happens to your rest of the eight hours? Did you pass it in Masjid or Islamic gathering or blew it off in Hotels and loitering in malls and markets? Was time helpful for others or just passed away in entertainment?
The Qur’an states it very clearly, “Summa Yusalunna anil na’eem” “Then you will be questioned about the Blessings.”
Five Blessings which are followed by Hardships
“ Ibn Abbas reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Take advantage of five before five: your youth before your old age, your health before your illness, your riches before your poverty, your free time before your work, and your life before your death.” Shu’ab al-Imān 9575
Everything harmful thing for health is prohibited and that includes huge efforts in worship if it harms one’s health.
Abdullah bin amr bin al-As (Allah be pleased with him) got married to a beautiful girl. The couple started their own life and had their house. Three days after the marriage, Amr bin Al-As went to his son’s house and inquired from the wife, “How is your husband?” She replied, “I don’t know him as yet because till now he does not know in which room I sleep.” The father asked the reason so she said, “He is so religious that whole day he fasts and offers prayers whole night.” She was complaining in a gentle manner that her husband does not find time to give due rights of his wife.
Hearing this, Amr bin al Aas ( Allah be pleased with him) went to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and reported the matter. He called upon Abdullah (Allah be pleased with him) and asked him if it was true. He then said, “Your body has a right over you. Your Lord has a right over you and your family too has a right over you.”
If a person observes the right of his body over him he can do many good deeds out of good health.
Each one’s right is duly divided and explained in Islam and they must be duly given. In other narrations of the above Hadith, the Prophet is reported to have said, “ Allah has given your eyes too a right over you.” It means sleep well and enough. The above hadith continues, “Abdullah replied, “ I have strength to do it.” But the Prophet (Peace be upon him) refused to permit such a tedious worship and permitted him to complete recitation of entire Qur’an in forty days. When Abdullah insisted, then he approved to complete Qur’an in three days. Years later when Abdullah became old and weak he recalled the advice of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said, “I wish I had accepted the advice of the Prophet (peace be upon him).”
“A strong Believer is more beloved to Allah than a weak Believer though both of them have goodness”, says a sahih Hadith from Muslim. This Hadith also refers to physical health as the productivity of a strong Believer is higher and better. If a person is healthy and strong then he can do many high profile deeds but if he is weak then it becomes difficult even to get up and offer prayers.