To live in Islam is not merely preparing for the Hereafter, but also to live a complete way of life (Ad- din) right here in this world. Hence, the question of gracious-living or healthy-living, which has become a much-discussed issue nowadays, is not new a Muslims. Healthy-living is part and parcel of Islam, introduced with the inception of Islam more than 14 centuries ago. The following point s are recapitulated in how Islam instruct its followers to live a health life:
1. Islamic prayer
The solat or Islamic prayer comprises both physical movement and mental concentration. Performed five times a day and at "strategic" points of the day, the obligatory solat and the voluntary solat, which are performed before and after the five obligatory solat, provide a good means for blood circulation as breathing and other physical exercise without any strenuousness, apart from the main objective of attaining spiritual upliftment. As the saying goes: anything done moderately and frequently is better than over-exertion at infrequent periods.
2. Prayer ablution
Before a Muslim performs his prayers, he does the ablution which comprises washing of the hands, arms right up to the elbow, face, mouth, nostrils, inside and behind the ears, all around the neck, part of the head above the forehead and the feet up to the ankle. Done five times a day, it not only cleanses these vital parts of the body from dust and dirt but also "softens" and refreshes them.
3. Eating wisely
Muslims are urged to eat moderately. Prophet Muhammad said: "Muslims should be people who eat only when they are hungry." That is to say, unnecessary snacks taken in between meals should be avoided. The Prophet also said: "It is good to be always a little hungry." Thus, over-eating can be avoided.
4. Forbidden food
Pork is forbidden to Muslims for spiritual reasons. Incidentally pork has a high cholesterol level. Also, even non-Muslims affirm that it is dangerous to eat it if is not cooked thoroughly because of the germs contained in the mea. Blood, of any animal, is also forbidden because of the obvious germs it may carry. This is why Muslims slaughter livestock in such a way (with a deep slit at the neck blood-vein using a sharp knife) as to drain off its blood as the animal struggles a little in unconsciousness. Muslims also say a littlr prayer at the time of initiating the (sharp) knife to make their intention clear that slaughtering is done for food (and not for sport or some kind of offering as these are forbidden in Islam). If the animal is electrically stunned or plunged in boiling water, yes, it will kill the animal instantly but the blood will remain intact in its body.
The annual fasting in ramadhan, apart from the spiritual and other self-control benefits derived from it, also has health benefits. It cleanses and relaxes the stomach and gives it a "rest from work" for about 16 hours a day for a month once a year. Other than the Ramadhan fast, Muslims are urged to undertake voluntary fasting as much as they could at any time throughout the year. Some Muslims make point to fast every Monday and Thursday following the Sunnah (practice) of the Prophet. Fasting also makes a Muslim lose fat and unnecessary weight.
Circumcision keeps the male organ clean and dry, and has hygienic and medical advantages. Selma Buckley, in her book "Islamic Parenting - the Natural Alternative", says: "Circumcision men rarely from the following: censer of the penis, phimosis and para-phimosis - a swelling of the penis due to strictures of the foreskin and banalities - inflammation of the gland of the penis."
Muslims are urged to brush the teeth and bathe everyday. They are also urged to always wear clean clothes and keep the house neat and tidy. Shoes and slippers are not only not worn in the mosque but also in the house because the under-side of these footwear (which have been worn out-side) are never free from dirt and soil.
8. Washing after urination and defecation
A Muslims is required to clean himself using water after urinations and defecation. This has obvious great hygienic benefits. This hygienic practice together with circumcision are responsible for the reduced number of cases of cervix censer, piles and other diseases among Muslims.)
9. Insistence on marriage, modestly and chastity
Islam advises the followers to adhere strictly to Modest dressing: A women's immodest dressing seen in person or depicted in pictures could heighten the sexual urge in spiritually "weak" men, and this could lead to rape, lewdness and other sexual corruption in society, and No sex outside marriage: This is why marriage is made obligatory on Muslims and sex outside marriage is forbidden. Sex outside marriage, namely, pre-marital or extra-marital sex and other sexual relationship, is the cause of a host of sexual-transmitted diseases, including the deadly AIDS.
10. Prohibition of intoxicants
Islam forbids indulgence any intoxicants like alcohol, drugs and glue-sniffing as all these can damage the well-being of a person in a number of ways. Alcohol, for instance, is reported to be the second most common cause of liver disease in Singapore. In the traits Times article, '"Alcohol No. 2 culprit in most liver diseases", Dr Roland Chong, says: "The people in the high-risk group include social drinkers and people in the entertainment line who have to drink as part of their job." Intoxicants are not only harmful to the people the society at large. Nowadays, Muslim scholars are also interpreting the Arabic word for "intoxicants" found in the Quran to include smoking because of its dependence-inducing properties similar to the other intoxicants as well as its obvious harm to the smoker and others around him.
If Muslims adhere to the teachings of Islam, they would automatically lead a healthy lifestyle.
Shaik A. Kadir,1993. The Straight Way-Answers to Questions on Islam put forward by non-Muslims.