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HEALTH , NUTRITION IN ISLAM BY Dr. Mostafa A. Arafa Associate Professor of Epidemiology High Institute of Public Health Alexandria University, Egypt E-mail marafa@dataxprs. com. eg
Suggested Readings Islamic Holistic Medicine site for Muslims Health promotion through Islamic lifestyles the Amman declaration
Learning objectives 1 - To learn the concept of health and nutrition in Islam 2 - To describe the fundamentals of healthy Islamic life styles and how much they are in accordance with modern life
God has bestowed on humans his blessings, both hidden and apparent. Of these blessings the greatest is that of health, which the Prophet, Peace Be Upon Him, regarded as one of the two graces the importance of which was not appreciated by many people.
Concept of health in Islam In Islam the concept of health as demonstrated in Quran and Sunnah (Prophet’s hadith and practices) is that Mankind should sound mentally, physically and socially
Definition of health The conventional definition of health being the absence of any manifestation of disease and believing that health is a state of complete physical , mental and social well-being, Islam deems this to be a necessary component of faith and of islamic law, which Moslems implemented during their golden age and in so doing provided evidence supporting its applicability.
Food and Nutrition The important principal in Islam is that the food we consume will have a direct effect on not only our physical bodies but also our souls.
To keep optimum health we have to ensure proper diet and nutrition. The holy Prophet Muhammad says: “Stomach is the home of disease. Diet is the main medicine”. Sahih Muslim
Nutritional basic Islamic concepts on health Nutrition doesn’t mean just physical nutrition. Nutritional needs are of the SOUL, of the MIND and lastly of the BODY
In Islam, all that in this universe is governed by a set of Divine laws or laws of nature. Thus nutrition, food and health are linked to basic Divine principals.
Health , Islamic perspectives Islam has laid down the foundation in Quran and Sunnah for the best approach of of balanced health. This approach is mainly through selection of the best, preventive methods, and staying away from harmful things. Summary of the main ideas of Islam relating to nutrition and health is presented in the following slides:
1 - Allah asked every one to eat what is lawful. Allah says in surah Al-Baqarah (The Cow) : “Ye people eat of what is on earth lawful and wholesome” (Quran 2: 168) 2 - Muslims are to eat the best food after selecting. Allah says in Quran in surah Al-A’raf (The heights) “Eat and drink , but waste not excess, for Allah loves not the prodigals” (Quran 7: 31)
3 - Muslims are to select the best quality of food. Allah says in the Quran in Surah Al Kahf (the Cave) : “ Now send ye then one of you with the money of yours to the town : let him find out which is the best food (to be had)…” (Quran 18: 29) 4 - Regarding the idea of moderation through diet, it is mentioned in Surah Taha “Eat of the good things we have provided for your sustenance, but commit no excess therein”
5 - In another approach, Islam demands M from its followers the idea of total Abstinence of food and drinks for one whole month from dawn to sunset. Fasting increases productivity and curbs inflation. Allah says in the Quran in Surah Al-Baqarah (The Cow): “ O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that ye may learn self restraint. ” i. e. to have Taqwa
M With regards to fasting, the prophet Muhammed (PBUH) said: “ fast (the month of ramadan) so as to heal your bodies from diseases”
The Islamic way of life is a system of Divine principals and code of ethics to be applied in the daily life of every person. Islamic life styles embrace numerous positive patterns promoting health and rejecting any behaviour which is contradictory to health. As such Islam have many constructive ideas to offer in the field of health care and medical practice.