Muslim World

Your Body Has a Right Over You

Your Body Has a Right Over You

The internet has done a tremendous amount for the human race. It would be impossible to list all the ways it has improved lives for so many people all over the world in some shape or form. However, it has also led to a lifestyle change that has been really detrimental to our health, and that is our reduction in physical activity. We’re living in times that don’t necessitate much movement for even basic day-to-day things. You can get groceries delivered to your home, pay bills online and even pursue an education without leaving your bedroom. As the world continues to become more and more technologically advanced (and dependent) we need to pay more attention to the physical habits we are forming and the effects of those on our spirit.Alhamdulillah, we have been blessed with guidance on everything. There is plenty of timeless advice in the Quran and sunnah, but I will focus on a few golden rules and reminders that can aid us in dealing with the postmodern shift of life.

Does Your Body Have A Right Over You In Islam?

Yes, in Islam, your body has a right to you. This concept is emphasised in the Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Here’s the idea:

Your Body Has A Right Over You Hadith

The Hadith: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Your body has a right over you[Sahih Bukhari 5199].

Meaning: This hadith teaches us that as Muslims, we have a responsibility to take care of our bodies. It is not only about fulfilling our religious obligations, but also about maintaining our physical and mental health.

Application: This translates into actions such as:

  • Eating healthy foods and getting enough sleep.
  • Avoiding things that harm our bodies, such as excessive fasting or strenuous activity without proper rest.
  • Taking care of our hygiene and health needs.

What Are The Rights Of The Body In Islam?

In Islam, the body is considered a trust from God and must be respected and protected. There are several rights to the body in Islamic teachings:

Cleanliness and hygiene (tahara): Islam emphasises the importance of cleanliness and purity. This includes ablution before prayer and regular bathing (ghusl). Keeping the body clean is seen as a means of maintaining physical and spiritual health.

Health and wellness (Sehat): Islam encourages maintaining good health and taking care of one’s body. This includes eating healthy food, exercising in moderation, and seeking medical treatment when needed. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “Your body has a right over you.”

Modesty and decency (come on): Islam encourages modesty in dress and behavior to protect the dignity of the body. Both men and women are encouraged to cover their bodies appropriately and avoid anything that might compromise their dignity or the dignity of others.

The prohibition of harm (damar): It is forbidden in Islam to harm oneself or others. This includes acts such as self-harm, drug use and excessive risk-taking that may jeopardize one’s health or safety.

Respect for the dead (funeral): Islam emphasizes respecting and treating the dead with dignity. This includes performing funeral rites according to Islamic traditions and burying the deceased with dignity.

Eat in Moderation 

Like the 80/20 rule, a study published by the National Weight Control Registry showed that 97% of the people who reported successful weight loss had changed their eating habits. We are what we eat. 80% of the work is what you eat, 20 % is exercise. “The son of Adam does not fill any vessel worse than his stomach. It is sufficient for the son of Adam to eat a few morsels to keep him alive. If he must fill it, then one-third for his food, one-third for his drink, and one-third for air.” (al-Tirmidhi)

This is timeless advice right in our sunnah. We don’t need research to tell us this. The quality and quantity of what we eat is such an important part of our faith if only we reflect on it as such.

Your Body Has a Right Over You

“Observe the fast sometimes and also leave (it) at other times. Stand up for prayer at night and also sleep at night. Your body has a right over you, your eyes have a right over you, and your wife has a right over you.” (Bukhari)

This hadith is a comprehensive reminder of the importance of taking care of your body. When something has a right over us, we give it time and attention. We care for it. If we are maintaining healthy eating habits that is one major component of tending to your health. The other major facet is exercise in any shape or form. The most beautiful thing about the deen (religion) is that we can seek Allah’s pleasure, even in eating healthy and exercising, if we do it with that intention.

Cleanse Yourselves 

The Prophet said, “Cleanliness is half of faith.” Wudu (ablution) as part of our daily routine definitely achieves that, but it is a means to attain spiritual as well as physical cleanliness. Not maintaining personal and spatial hygiene that is built into the guidance of the Quran and sunnah, is surely going to have an impact on our health over time. So, once again, it is an act that we engage in so regularly that it forces us to maintain our health. Though this is a physical act, it is a spiritual one too if we engage in it more mindfully. A culture where people are transfixed to screens and limit movement is also one that often does not naturally fit in such a cleanse. Alhamdulilah, we are blessed that this is built into our faith. We all know what a refreshing feeling wudu can be after being glued to a chair working on a screen, or perhaps having a busy day and not getting the opportunity to regroup. Though the correlation is not clear in theory, it is surely felt in practice.

These are just a few of the Messenger of Allah’s timeless life tips. Ones that aid us in maintaining a balance in our lives that keeps us focused towards success in all realms, physical, mental and spiritual.

Our bodies are not just vessels for our souls; they are partners in this journey of life. By honouring their needs and respecting their limits, we create a foundation for a fulfilling and healthy life. Islam’s message of caring for our bodies enables us to make responsible choices and develop a sense of gratitude for the physical world entrusted to us.

FAQs: 

What does the concept of “your body has a right over you” mean in Islam?

It emphasises our responsibility to take care of our physical and mental health. It goes beyond simply fulfilling religious obligations and extends to practices that promote health and longevity.

How can we honour the rights of our bodies in everyday life?

By making healthy choices – eating nutritious foods, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly. We should also avoid practices that harm our bodies, such as excessive fasting or neglecting medical needs.

Does Islam allow things that may seem harmful to the body, such as fasting or self-flagellation?

Yes, but with restrictions. Fasting during Ramadan is mandatory, but exceptions are made for those who are sick or travelling. Self-flagellation is not encouraged, as Islam encourages self-care and moderation.

What resources does Islam offer to help us take care of our bodies?

Islamic teachings emphasise cleanliness, hygiene and seeking medical help when needed. In addition, scholars provide guidance on permissible foods and healthy practices for daily life.