Monday, July 13, 2009

What’s Your Body Telling You - The Science and the Quran

Food is an essential prerequisite for life and as such the primary goal of eating and drinking is to enable the body to function normally. With food, or the lack of it, the destinies of individuals are greatly influenced. We should "eat to live", and "not live to eat". The Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) recommended even for pious man the quantity of food "which is just sufficient to keep his back-bone erect".

Islam enjoins us to have a balance diet in order to have a variety of nutrients. When we look at verses from the Holy Qura'n, the recommended foods indicate nutrient density. It states:

"O you people! Eat of what is on earth lawful and good!" (2:168)

"So eat of (meats), on which Allah's name hath been pronounced if ye have faith in his signs." (6:118)

"The game of the sea and its food are permitted to you." (5 :99)

"Pure milk, easy and agreeable to swallow for those who drink." (16:66)

"He it is who produceth gardens with trellises and without, and dates, and tilth with produce of all kinds and olives and pomegranetes, similar and different, eat of their fruit in season." (16:141)

These recommended foods mentioned in the Holy Qur'an, will certainly fulfill daily protein, carbohydrates, fat and vitamins requirements.
Nutrition is a matter of life-long eating habits which become set with age. Dietary patterns also vary from one person to another according to the difference of cultural and geographic environment to another. To ensure a proper supply of the essential nutrients, we must combine food sources of these nutritients in the right amounts. This results in a healthy well-balanced diet. But there are times, when our body produce different signs. The body could be telling us something. Therefore, learning to read your body’s signs can be the key to preventing serious illness.

The Symptom: Crease on Earlobe
People who have a diagonal crease on both earlobes are more prone to heart disease, says a study by the Royal Sussex County Hospital in the UK. “The crease is a diagonal line pointing up towards your eyebrow.,” says Denise Armstrong, lifestyle manager at Hear Research UK. “The crease doesn’t cause heart disease, but people who inherit this characteristic also appear to inherit genes that cause increase risk of heart problems. “Keep risk of heart disease at a minimum by eating a low-fat diet, getting regular exercise and stop smoking.

The Symptom: Red Palms
“Red palms are sign of raised estrogen levels in your blood, so first check you aren’t pregnant,’ says Dr Naomi Harris of Royal Australian College of GPs. “If you’re not pregnant, ask your doctor to run tests on your liver. If your liver isn’t functioning efficiently it won;t be able to break down hormones and toxins in your blood, making it look redder than normal, resulting in red palms. “Maintain a healthy liver by avoiding alcoholic drinks.

The Symptom: Twitching Eyelids

If your eyes are twitching most of the time, you could be lacking magnesium, says Alex McClelland, accredited dietitian with the Dietitians Association of Australia. “Early signs of magnesium deficiency can result in muscle spasms, which may also cause eye twitching, she says. Research from Germany ‘s University of Lubeck shows magnesium deficiency can increase the risk of osteoporosis and hear disease. “Keep magnesium levels at their optimum by including green vegies and nuts in your diet every day,” says McClelland.

The Symptom: Discoloured Hair
Got more grey hair than your uncle or aunt? “If premature greyness doesn’t run in your family, get tested for pernicious anemia,” says Dr Joan Liebman-Smith, co-author of Body Signs: From Warning Signs to False Alarm. This autoimmune disease means your body can’t absorb vitamin B12 properly. Reduced levels of B12 make it hard for your body to produce melanin, which is what gives your hair its colour. Get your daily dose of B12 from red meat, milk and eggs. If you’re experiencing other signs of pernicious anaemia, such as paleness, weakness and tingling in your extremities, visit your doctor.

The Symptom: Blisters
If even your most comfortable shoes are giving you blisters, you should get it check out; it could be an early sign of Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes can damage nerves in your lower limbs, preventing them from functioning properly. So, if your shoes are rubbing, or you’ve walked too far, you won’t feel the pain, causing the blister to occur. Avoid Type 2 Diabetes by eating healthily and getting regular exercise. If you have blisters you can’t feel, go straight to your GP.

The Symptom: Hoarse Voice
If you’re constantly clearing your throat and you’re not a smoker, consider what you ate at your most recent meal,” Dr. Liebmann-Smith suggests. “A horse, croaky voice can often be a symptom of reflux,” she says. “If you’ve eaten a particularly rich meal, the acid from the food in your stomach can rise back u youroesphagus, irritating it and giving you Darth-Vader-style speech. “Cut down on culprit foods such as citrus fruits, coffee, chocolate, onion and garlic. If this doesn’t make a different, see your doctor.”

The Symptom: Knobbly Knucles
Gnarly hands and fingers could be a sign that you’re suffering from early stages of arthritis. “Arthritis can wear away cartilage and bone around the a joint, which makes knuckles look lumpy,” says Dr. Graeme Jones, medical director at Arthritis Australia. “This is particularly noticeable around the knuckles and toes, as they’re so small. “Reduce pain from arthritis by resting a hot or cold pack on the inflamed area. Escaping very cold and humid weather will ease symptoms too.”

The Symptom: Excessive ear wax
Enough wax in your ear to open a candle shop? You might need to include more healthy fats in your diet, says Dr. Liebmann-Smith. “Studies show that excessive ear wax can be caused by a deficiency of essential fatty acids in your diet,” Dr. Liebmann-Smith says. “We’re not sure why this happens, but there’s definitely a proven link. “Boost your intake of good fats by eating mackerel or sardines twice a week. Over-cleaning ears can also cause a build-up of wax, so ditch the cotton buds and let your ears clean themselves.

Read the sign: Rumbling Stomach
The growling noise is caused by your muscles propelling food down the gastrointestinal tract, meaning everything is in working order.

Read the sign: Dark Circles Under the Eyes)

Normally due to nothing more than lack of sleep, these are a reminder that your body needs rest, says Dr. Liebmann-Smith.

In conclusion
, Islam enjoins us to only eat good food and in moderation. Good food must contain three essential components:
• nutritional benefits and efficientcy in producing the needed energy.
• lightness for the stomach
• ease of digestion

Allah (SWT) says in the Holy Qur'an:
"O you who believe, do not forbid the good things which Allah has made lawful for you and do not exceed limits. Surely Allah does not love those who exceeds the limits." (5:90)

And then defining moderation, the Prophetic guidance on the best of common diets is: "one third food, one third water and one third air." Because, when the stomach is saturated with food, it will not be able to take in water, and when food and water exceed their recommended level, one may suffer from pulmonary difficulties, resulting in stress and exhaustion from lungs being unable to easily deliver oxygenated blood to the left atrium of the heart. Wallahu A’lam

Monday, July 6, 2009

Dua or Supplication to alleviate Grief, Distress and Anxiety

The Prophet صلّى اللَّهُ عليه وسلّم he said as reported by the noble companion Abdullah ibn Mas’ood رضي اللّه عنه and reported by Imam Ahmad in his Musnad. اللَّهُـمَّ إِنِّـي عَبْـدُكَ، إبْـنُ أَمَتِـكَ، the Prophet صلّى اللَّهُ عليه وسلّم said No slave is afflicted with anxiety and grief and then says, O Allah I am your slave son of your male slave, son of your female slave, نَاصِـيَتي بِيـدِكَ my forehead is in your Hand, مَاضٍ فِيَّ حُكْمُـكَ،and Your judgment upon me is assured, عَـدْلٌ فِـيَّ قَضَـاءُكَ، and whatever You have decreed for me is just, أسْـأَلُكَ بِكُـلِّ اسْمٍ هُـوَ لَك I ask You by every name belonging to You سَـمَّيْتَ بِـهِ نَفْسَـكَwhich You have named Yourself,فِـي كِتَـابِكَ ، أَوْ أَنْزَلْتَهُ or You have revealed in Your Book, أَوْ عَلَّمْتَـهُ أَحَـدًا مِـنْ خَلْقِـكَ or You taught one of Your creation, أَوِ اسْـتَأْثَـرْتَ بِهِ فِـي عِلْـمِ الْغَيْـبِ عِنْـدَكَ or You have preserved knowledge of that Name with You in the Unseen, I ask You that You make the Qur’aan the spring of my heart,أَنْ تَجْعَـلَ القُـرْآنَ رَبِيَـعَ قَلْبِي ، وَنُورَ صَدْرِي ، and the light of my chest, وَجَـلاَءَ حُـزْنِي وَذَهَـابَ هَمِّـي ، a banisher for my grief and a reliever for my anxiety.”

The Prophet صلّى اللَّهُ عليه وسلّم said, “إِلاَّ أَذْهَبَ اللّهُ حُزْنَهُ وَهَمَّهُ وَأَبْدَلَ مَكَانَهُ فَرَحَا whoever says this Allah سبحان وتعلى will replace his distress and grief with joy.
The Prophet صلّى اللَّهُ عليه وسلّم was asked “O Messenger of Allah should we not learn this? He صلّى اللَّهُ عليه وسلّم said, “Certainly! It is proper and befitting for the one who hears of this supplication that they learn it.”

This hadith is reported by Imam Ahmad contains amazing benefits. Benefits that are important to each and every one of us because there is not one of us except he will be met with trials and tribulations and this is a test from Allah سبحان وتعلى, to distinguish between those who are truthful and those who are faking. Allah عزّ وجل He said in the Noble Qur’aan in Surathul Baqarah verse 155,
وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُمْ بِشَيْءٍ مِّنَ الْخَوْفِ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِّنَ الأَمْوَالِ وَالأنفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ
Certainly we shall test you with fear, hunger, loss of wealth, life and fruits but give glad tidings to the patient”

Imam Sa’adi رحمح الله تعلى mentions in his explanation of the Qur’aan ‘Taysir al Kareem ar Rahman’ explaining this verse, he said, (Arabic) “Allah the Most High informs us that He would definitely test His servants. (Arabic) So, the one who is truthful can be distinguished from the one who is faking and is a liar.” So, the one who is annoyed and irrational can be recognized from the one who is patient. And this is the Sunnah of Allah عزّ وجل. So from this verse we benefit that each and every one of us will meet a test. Depending upon our reaction, then this will show whether we are from those people who are patient or from those people who are irrational and impatient.

With regards to this hadith then I will use some of the words of the people of knowledge to explain it. Ibnul Qayyim رحمح الله تعلى firstly and foremostly, and some of the other scholars from amongst the people of knowledge. In this life as Shaykh Abdur Razak he mentions the slave is tried with a variety of painful experiences. These painful experiences they affect the heart, causing it to become restless and they cause pain to the soul. Also it may be disturbing and stressful, what you have suffered and experienced.

Now brothers and sisters there is something that you have to understand and this is an important point mentioned by Ibnul Qayyim and others, if the pain that you have experienced is related to things that have happened in the past, then that is sadness. Understand this. If the pain that has afflicted the heart is connected to something that has happened in the past, then this is sadness(Huzn). And if it is connected to something that you expect and fear will happen in the future then this is worry(Hamm), and if it is related to something that is going on in your life right now then this is anxiety or stress.

And there is no way to remove these three things from the heart unless we truly return back to Allah عزّ وجل and humble ourselves before Allah. Surrendering to Allah عزّ وجل and accepting His command and believing in His pre-decree. And knowing His Names and Attributes and believing in His Book. And reading the Qur’aan and contemplating upon it and acting upon it. This is the only way that you can remove sadness, worry and anxiety from the qalb (heart).

And I say to you that this supplication, dua is not something only meant to be said upon the tongue. Many people they make d'ua or they mention various adkhar and it is just a movement of the tongue. There is no feeling in the heart. And that is why Ibnul Qayyim رحمح الله تعلى mentioned in his book ‘al Fawaid’ (Arabic) the most superior remembrance and the most beneficial form of remembrance is that which is found in the heart and it is spoken upon the tongue. And the one who is mentioning Allah the one who is supplicating to Allah, invoking Allah he should understand the meaning of what they are saying and the intent behind it.

Many people make dua, many people make dhikr but they don’t understand what they are saying and they don’t understand the core messages behind it. So therefore they may not achieve what they expected to achieve due to the deficiency in themselves.
Further, when we make dua to Allah عزّ وجل, we have to supplicate to Allah سبحان وتعلى with love, fear and hope
What is the proof? Allah عزّ وجل, He said in the Qur’aan,
أُولَئِكَ الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ يَبْتَغُونَ إِلَى رَبِّهِمُ الْوَسِيلَةَ أَيُّهُمْ أَقْرَبُ وَيَرْجُونَ رَحْمَتَهُ وَيَخَافُونَ عَذَابَهُ

And Ibnul Qayyim mentioned “Some people suffered from anxiety or stress and they think the answer is to do something haram or something that they used to do in the past, because Shaytaan is whispering them to commit such behaviours. Ibnul Qayyim further added that, “If the anxiety, worry and stress are removed by using means other than the Qur’an for instance if you are sick and you regain health then the anxiety, stress and worry will return back.” However if the Qur’an is the spring of your heart then it will banish those things forever as long as that belief is in your heart. Ibnul Qayyim رحمح الله تعلى added, “Whoever is not cured by the Qur’an then Allah سبحان وتعلى will not cure that individual, who ever is not happy with the Qur’an (in terms that they believe it to be sufficient) Allah سبحان وتعلى will make nothing sufficient for them.”

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The sex of the baby: From the Holly Quran to science

Watch this video to see one of the many miracles of the holly book of ISLAM "the Quran".