THE RULING ON YOGA
Fatwa from Shaykh Aboo ‘Umar Usaamah Al-‘Utaybee
Translated by Raha ibn Donald Batts
Question: The questioner asks what is the ruling on the one who does Yoga exercises?
Answer: If he is ignorant then he is to be taught. If he is upon their belief system then he is a pagan. This is because yoga exercises are nothing more than the worship of the sun. Therefore, this is from the polytheistic acts of worship. So they do it in the form of exercise but it is from those things which are, in reality, worship with the pagans. So YOGA IS HARAAM! And it is from polytheism. However, he who is ignorant and blindly following then he is to be taught and it is to be clarified to him. After being taught, if he does it believing in it then he has disbelieved. If he does it just for exercise then this person is a Faasiq (evil-doer) who is near to becoming a disbeliever. So take heed to this, may Allaah safeguard you. And Allaah knows best.
EXCERPT: HEALING WITH THE MEDICINE OF THE PROPHET (PEACE BE UPON HIM)
By Ibn Qayyin
1. The best type of Siwak is made from the Arak Trees. Further, one should not use an unknown tree for Siwak for it might be poisonous.
2. Siwak should be used moderately, because it might cause the coating of the teeth to wear away and thus the teeth will be susceptible to the hot vapors or gasses that ascend from the stomach and to all kinds of dirt.
3. When the Siwak is used moderately, it will polish the teeth, strengthen the roots of the teeth, help the tongue, prevent plaque, perfume the breath, clear the mind and strengthen the appetite.
4. The best way to use the Siwak is by soaking it in rose water. Also the best type of Siwak is made from walnut stems. The author of At-Taysir said, “It was said that when one uses the Siwak every five days, it will clear the head, sharpen the senses and alert the mind.”
5. Siwak is beneficial for many reasons, such as perfuming the breath, strengthening the gingival, clearing the phlegm and the sight and the preventing cavities.
6. It also preserves the heath of the stomach, clears the voice, helps the digestion process, helps make the speech clear and encourages one to recite the Qur’an, remember Allah and pray.
7. Siwak also fights sleepiness, pleases the Lord, delights the angels and increases the number of good deeds.
8. Siwak is preferred at any time, especially before the Prayer, ablution, when waking up and when the mouths foul odor. It is also preferred for those who are fasting and all other people at all times.
9. There are Ahadith that allow this practice for those who are fasting, because it is beneficial for them and pleases the Lord.
MALE DOCTORS TREATING MUSLIM WOMEN
Fatwa by Shaykh Ibn Baaz (rahimahullahu ta’aala)
Taken from `Ajilah li Mansoobi’l Sihhah, p. 29
Question: What is your advice on the issue of women and doctors and the advice for Muslim Sisters and Parents concerning this matter?
Answer: Praise be to Allaah. Undoubtedly the issue of women and doctors is an important matter, and in fact it causes a great deal of trouble. But if Allaah blesses a woman with Taqwa (piety or fear of Allaah) and insight, then she will take precautions and pay attention to this matter. She should not be alone with the doctor and the doctor should not be alone with her. The authorities have issued orders and directives that this is not allowed. Women must also pay attention to this matter and should try to seek competent female doctor.
If they find a female doctor, praise be to Allaah, and there is no need for a male doctor. But if a woman needs to see a male doctor because there are no female doctors, then in the case of necessity, there is nothing wrong with her being examined and treated by him. This is one of the things that are permitted in case of necessity, but if she has to uncover parts of her body, then she should not do that if she is alone with the doctor, rather it should be in the presence of her mahram or husband, if it involves uncovering something ordinary like the head, hand, foot, etc. If her awrah must be uncovered then she should have her husband with her if she is married, or another woman, which is better and more on the safe side: or there should be one or two nurses present. But if another woman apart from the nurse can be with her, this is better and is more on the safe side and more removed from suspicion. But as for being alone with the doctor, this is not permitted.
Shaykh ibn Baaz Rahimahullahu ta’aala,in al-Fataawa al-Jaami’ah lil-Mar’ah al-Muslima, part 3 pg. 1002]
Female doctors must treat only women and male doctors must treat only men, except in cases of extreme necessity, if men are suffering a disease for which there is no male doctor available, in which case it is o.k. Allaah says in suratul An’ aam: `He has explained to you in detail what is forbidden to you, except under compulsion of necessity’ [al-An’aam 6:119].
BLESSING OF HEALTH AND FREE TIME
By Shaykh Usaamah Khayyaat
3, Jumaadal-Ulaa 1426 (10, June 2005)
All praise is due to Allaah, Lord of all the worlds. Peace and blessings be upon the Messenger, his household and companions.
Fellow Muslims! Fear Allaah Whose knowledge and mercy encompass all things. Thank Him for the unseen and evident blessings He bestowed upon you. Remember that He has promised the grateful that He would give him more and promised the ingrate that He would punish him severely.
Dear brethren! Allaah endows His servants with many blessings as He says, “And if you count the Blessings of Allaah, never will you be able to count them. Verily! Man is indeed an extreme wrong-doer, a disbeliever (an extreme ingrate).” (Ibraaheem 14:34)
In the midst of these abundant blessings are two favours in which may people are deluded. The Messenger of Allaah mentioned them when he said, “There are two blessings which many people lose: (They are) Health and free time for doing righteous deeds.” (Al-Bukhaaree)
Many are those whom Allaah blessed with hearing, seeing and power and youthfulness and yet they fail to use these blessings to seek Allaah’s pleasure and His abode of Honour, and they fail to use them in what can bring about happiness in this world and the Hereafter. They forgot that the bane of blessing is removal.
There are many healthy people who are later weighed down by diseases that lead them to early old age and prevent them from enjoying what they desire.
There are others who spent their youthful days in forbidden things and desires; they did not seek the pleasure of their Lord or put forth good deeds by which they can attain happiness when they meet Him. Theirs is a loss upon loss and regret upon regret. This is because they wasted the opportunities provided for them.
Brethren in faith! Free time is also a blessing that Allaah bestows upon His servants. So if Allaah blesses someone with free time and he does not show the gratitude for this blessing through deeds that can elevate him, bring prosperity to his society or strengthen his nation but instead of that, spends it in fun and pastime and sinful words and deeds thereby wasting that precious time, such a person is in a serious and irrevocable loss. It is in the light of this that the Prophetic admonition came thus, “Seize the opportunity of five things before five things come to you: Your life before your death, your health before your illness, your free time before your time of occupation, your youthfulness before your old age and your time of wealth before your time of poverty.”
One of the most beautiful and the most successful means of using free time is the habit of some wise people, who, during the end of session holidays, spend their time in things that benefit them physically and intellectually and in righteous deeds and in enjoying pleasant lawful things. They do not spend their holidays in keeping awake during nights engaging in gossips and rumours and spreading lies that lead to evil consequences, roaming about in market places causing disturbance and bothering believing men and women or watching useless and immoral satellite programs that are abhorrent to Allaah.
To these righteous people, holidays are not an opportunity to sleep for most hours of the day and as a result stay away from congregational prayers or abandon useful activities or give free reign to indolence. Rather, they regard holidays as reinforcement in competition in righteous deeds and to an opportunity to enjoy pleasant lawful things. This is because they understand the great responsibility of standing before the One Who endowed them with these blessings on the Day of Resurrection. This is a responsibility that the Prophet referred to in his saying, “The feet of man will not slip on the Day of Resurrection until he is asked of five things: of his life as to how he spent it; his youth as to how he used it; his wealth as to where he got it and how he spent it; and of his knowledge as to what he did with it.”
They also realise the greatness of the responsibility that is upon fathers, mothers and teachers as regards managing our youths’ free times, teaching them on how to use their time in the most fruitful way and making them the best youth ever evolved for mankind.
Above all, they certainly realise that the path of gratitude that they take leads to more blessings. For, Allaah says, “And (remember) when your Lord proclaimed: “If you give thanks (by accepting Faith and worshipping none but Allaah), I will give you more (of My Blessings); but if you are thankless (i.e. disbelievers), verily My Punishment is indeed severe.” (Ibraaheem 14:7)
The responsibility of parents towards their sons and daughters should not be neglected at any time. The Messenger of Allaah said, “Every one of you is a guardian and is responsible for his charges. The ruler who has authority over people, is a guardian and is responsible for them, a man is a guardian of his family and is responsible for them; a woman is a guardian of her husband’s house and children and is responsible for them; a slave is a guardian of his master’s property and is responsible for it; so all of you are guardians and are responsible for your charges.” (Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim)
It is therefore incumbent upon every Muslim who hears this Prophetic declaration not to shirk his responsibility towards those who are under his guardianship. Holiday is not an occasion for overlooking children’s behaviours under the excuse of allowing them to have fun. Holiday should not be made a pretext to give children free rein to do whatever they like. It should rather be an avenue for giving them greater care.
In fact, during the holiday season the children need more of wise and judicious supervision and continuous follow-up. This is because; there are many dangers that are threatening our youth and they are more exposed to hazards.
Dear brethren! Fear Allaah and emulate the successful and righteous servants of Allaah. Follow their path in giving thanks to Allaah for His uncountable blessings on you. Show gratitude to Him in order to avert calamities and as a way of fulfilling your responsibilities to Him, and always remember him.
By Dr. Hussain al Rashidy
Henna plant (Lawsonia Inermis) is well known in the Arab and Muslims world, extensively grown in India and Sudan, and used mainly for cosmetic purposes.
Over the last many years I have used Henna as medicine after I read the Hadith that the Prophet (PUH) ordered anyone who has been pricked by a thorn or has an ulcer on his leg to put Henna on it.
After many years of experience I have come to call it the Magic Plant and in the following paragraphs I will explain why:
1-It has a great healing effect, it contain many healing substances like Tannin and other Glue like substances.
2-It has anti-microbial effect especially anti-viral effect.
Henna when applied to a first or second-degree burn gives very good results:
Decreases fluid loss from the burn site, this is important if the burn area is large.
It has anti-microbial effect hence it decreases infection.
Sticks to the burned site until healing is complete.
Easy to apply to the burned site as paste or powdered.
Cheap and available.
2. HEALING PROPERTIES
Henna promotes wound healing especially chronic wounds and ulcers, I have used it on nuropathic ulcers of the foot and it proved to be very effective. The main factor that promotes healing is not known but I think it has this effect by its nourishing effect on the wound and its anti-microbial properties. If the wound is infected antibiotic cover usually needed.
I used henna for treatment of Epistaxis, and it proved to be very effective, and give a long lasting cure. And does not need to be applied more than once most of the times, the powder sticks to the bleeding area until healed, it works better than cauterization, which most of the times needs to be repeated and still does not guarantee against that recurrence of the bleeding.
ANTERIOR NOSE BLEED (from little area): treated by applying the powdered henna to bleeding spot, using a ready made ear cleaning stick with its cotton covered end, pack the powder to the site of bleeding, that will stop the bleeding, rarely it needs to be repeated again and that is really magic way of treatment for epistaxis.
POSTERIOR NOSE BLEED: Which is very difficult to treat as every ENT doctor knows, with this Henna powder just ask the patient to sniff the powder through the anterior nostril to make it reach the back of the nose or posterior nostril and by this action the powder will stick to the bleeding area and the bleeding will stop, no more do we need to use posterior nose pack which is a nightmare for the patient and the doctor at the same time. The only side effect of Henna here is that it causes the patient to sneeze a little.
The anti-bleeding effect of Henna could be used on other sites like bleeding duodenal ulcer or esophageal varices . This needs to be tried as far as there are no side effect known.
This anti-bleeding effect may be due to its coagulation like effect or its locally burning effect.
Henna definitely has an anti-viral effect that became clear by its action on:
Warts: We have tried it many times especially on warts which are resistant to cryo (Nitrogen liquid) treatment and prove effective, one giant wart measuring 1.5×1.5cm on a child thumb which was resistant to all forms of treatment, at last the child referred to the plastic surgeon for operation, we tried Henna on it, applied every other day over night and in few weeks it disappeared completely. The Dermatologist nurse has a wart on her finger for more than two years that was resistant to liquid nitrogen treatment, we asked her to use henna and got cured. We found it very useful especially on multiple warts. On warts Henna is applied as paste.
Herpes Simplex: This second is proven and successful effect of Henna on viral infections. We applied it in powdered form to herpes site, we noticed: It dried the vesicles at the site early. It prevents ulceration and crust formation. It prevent secondary infection. Henna is applied on herpes in powdered form.
This anti-viral effect of Henna is very promising, and should be explored further, It could used as treatment for AIDS. It is natural, cheap, and has no side effects even when taken orally.
We have prepared Henna in capsules now at home and used it as a prophylaxis against Flu during last Hajj and we think it helped, as we did not get the infection while most people got Hajj Flu that is usually a severe one. But this is too early to be sure about and needs more trials.
5. OTHER USES OF HENNA:
Henna can be used as a prophylaxis especially to protect diabetic patients feet, I routinely now advice my diabetic patients to use henna at least once a month because:
It helps to heal fissures and cracks in the foot and reduces foot infection.
It improves the skin texture, which look healthier and softer.
It may delay the nuropathic effect of diabetes; in fact it may reverse the early ones. This needs more time to prove.
Henna could be used in the following areas:
1- Back pain
2- for ulcerative colitis as enema.
3- for bleeding duodenal ulcers.
This is our experience with Henna over the last six years or more; the most promising is its anti-viral effect that could prove a breakthrough in modern medicine as a treatment for HIV patients.
DIET IN ISLAM
The Greatest Gift – The Human Body
Diet plays a very important role in the daily life of a believer. There are many verses in the Noble Qur’ân which draw man’s attention towards him self and which invite him to carefully study his body and soul and the nature of their mutual relationship. By doing so, one will firstly find in it strong evidence of the existence of Allah and that Allah has not created mankind and all other beings of this world without any purpose as mentioned in the Noble Qur’ân: “Our Lord! You have not created (all) this without purpose.” (3:191)
The Importance of Healthiness
It is therefore necessary to ensure that the physical body is kept healthy so that the soul and spirit may also remain healthy thus in turn aiding the believer in the service of both his spiritual and material attainment. Diet therefore, plays an important role for this purpose. For this reason Islam has prohibited certain food due to their ill effects and permitted all other pure, good and clean food products. Allah Ta’ala says in the Noble Qur’ân: “O’ Believers! Eat of the good and pure (lawful) that.We have provided you with and be grateful to Allah, if you truly worship Him.” (2:172)
Muslims in general are advised to eat good and pure things and not to indulge in impure, bad and harmful things thus following their open enemy Shaitaan: “O People! Eat of what is lawful and good on the Earth and do not follow the footsteps of Shaitaan, for he is your open enemy.” (2:168)
In the verses previously mentioned the general principle with regard to permissible food has been stated. The Noble Qur’ân further goes on to specify the types of food prohibited in the following verse:
He (Allah) has only forbidden you (from eating) dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine, and that (animal) over which the name of other than Allah has been invoked.” (2:173, 16:115)
The four items that have been mentioned in the above verse are absolutely forbidden in Islam for reasons best known to Allah. However, through research, some of them such as carrion, blood and swine flesh have proved to be hazardous to human health. Whilst swine flesh is harmful to moral health and food over which the name of any other than Allah has been invoked is harmful to spiritual health.
Other prohibited items have also been mentioned in different chapters of the Holy Qur’ân. In Surah al-Ma’idah the following have also been mentioned along with the four previously mentioned. There are those animals which have been killed by strangling, or a violent blow, a headlong fall, being gored to death and those which have been partially eaten by a wild animal and not slaughtered before death, also those which have been sacrificed on the name of idols.
Alcohol and Islam
Alcohol is also prohibited in Islam, as its harms have been proven greater than its benefits. This has also been stated by Allah in the Noble Qur’ân in Surah al-Baqarah. Other physical, moral, social and spiritual evils of intoxicants have been mentioned in many verses of the Holy Qur’ân and blessed traditions of the Holy Prophet . Many of these ill effects can also be easily noticed in our societies.
A Balanced Diet – Prescribed in the Qur’ân
The Qur’ân has not restricted itself in merely mentioning the permissible and impermissible food but goes to the extent of giving useful tips regarding a balanced diet, a diet which contains most if not all the useful ingredients required for the growth, strengthening and repairing of the human body. These ingredients include animal protein, fat, calcium, iron, salts, etc. The most balanced diets consist of meat, fish, fresh milk, cheese and fruit. Both direct and indirect references have been made regarding the aforementioned. The reference regarding the importance of meat protein in the human diet is given in the following verse:
And the cattle, He has created them for you, in them there is warmth (clothing) and numerous benefits, and of them you eat.” (16:5) In this verse special reference has been given to the importance of eating despite having said, “…numerous benefits…”. Reference regarding other types of meat has also been given such as the meat of fowls in the following verse: “And the flesh of fowls that they desire.” (56:21)
Fish has always been considered as a food of very high protein and is very important for human consumption. Allah says: “And from them both (fresh and salt water) you eat fresh tender meat (fish).” (35:12)
The usefulness of fresh milk is stressed in these words: And verily in the cattle there is a lesson for you. We give you to drink of that which is in their bellies, from between excretion and blood, pure milk, palatable to the drinkers.” (16:66)
The benefits of fruits as good nourishment can be understood from this verse: And from the fruits of date palms and grapes, you desire strong drink and a goodly provision.” (16:67)
Similarly there are verses which cover the whole range of fruits, salads, and vegetables which also play an important role in a nutritious, balanced diet: “It is He who sends down rain from the sky, and with it We bring forth vegetation of all kinds, and out of it We bring forth thick clustered grain. And out of the date palm and its spate come clusters of dates hanging low and near, and gardens of grapes, olives and pomegranates each similar (in kind) yet different (in variety and taste). Look at their fruits when then begin to bear, and the ripeness thereof.” (6:99)
Islam, being a complete religion, also teaches and advises the believer as to what the best method of eating is. The believers are advised to be moderate in every aspect of life. Direct reference has been made in the Noble Qur’ân regarding moderation in eating and drinking. And eat and drink, but waste not in extravagance, certainly He (Allah) likes not those who waste in extravagance.” (7:31)
Moderation – The Teachings of the Prophet
The Best of Teachers and the Mercy of the Worlds is reported to have clarified the meaning and limit of moderation in a tradition in which he is reported to have said that one’s worst weakness is one’s belly. If you must eat make sure you fill one third of your stomach with food, one third with water and leave one third for air i.e. leave it empty.
In another narration, the reason for moderation has been clearly stated. The Prophet is reported to have said: “The stomach is the tank of the body and the veins go down to it. When the stomach is healthy the veins come back in a healthy condition, but when it is in a bad condition, they return diseased.
In short, believers are advised to always take care of their stomachs and refrain from foods and practices that might pollute the stomach with various diseases. In order to do so the Prophet is reported to have advised believers to always stop eating before their stomachs are completely full i.e. stop eating when the urge to eat more is still present.
Conclusion – The Etiquette’s of Eating and Drinking
Islam teaches us many other etiquette’s of eating and drinking. The Prophet made a point of developing remarkably clean and healthy eating habits among his followers. He asked the companions to wash their hands before and after, to start eating with the praise of Allah, to eat using the right hand, not to eat until they really felt hungry, not to eat and drink excessively. Finally, by praising and thanking Allah for the food and drink, for making it easy to swallow and for producing an exit for it.
From all that has been mentioned, the importance of healthy eating, a balanced diet and hygiene can be understood in the light of the Qur’ân and Sunnah. Islam has stressed on the importance of these things right from the start unlike health authorities etc., which have just recently begun to stress its importance. This could be counted as just another gem that manifests the perfection of Islam.
HEALTHY LIVING TAUGHT BY THE PROPHET (PEACE BE UPON HIM)
By Fatimah Abdul Rahman (S.G)
Health is the most important aspect of human life; without it we cannot function well. Today we have made material progress and technological advancement, but the world is widespread with an increasing number of diseases. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) taught us many aspects of healthy living which Allah ordered him to teach mankind. He himself enjoyed good health.
The Prophet (peace be upon him)) prescribed black seeds (habbas- sawda), which he said is a cure for all diseases except death. It is true that if we take a few black seeds in the morning we are protected from many diseases – to mention only a few: coughs, colds, arthritis, nausea, constipation etc. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said olive oil is a cure for many diseases which is quite true as has been proved by medical standards. One tbsp. of olive oil daily in the morning overcomes pains in the joints and lessens the risk of heart attack. In the Qur’an Allah prescribed honey as a cure for mankind, which is so true. If we take honey at breakfast we are protected from many diseases, for example, coughs, colds, asthma and depression etc. We should make sure the honey is pure. If we apply it to our eyes we do not need glasses.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) regularly ate dates, which has been proved by medical standards to contain all the nutrients of a well-balanced diet. It is very energizing as well, and we know from the Prophet Muhammad’s life that he was always energetic. He relished goat’s milk, which is very low in fat and is a cure for many diseases. Moreover he was very fond of all milk, drank himself and presented to others. Drinking milk reduces the risk of heart attacks as has been established by medical standards. He used to put honey in it and drink it which too is very energizing. When he didn’t have milk, he used to put honey in water and drink it which is also very energizing.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) prohibited the intake of pork as enjoined by Allah, as it is not healthy to eat its meat because it feeds on dirt which causes many diseases. In the Qur’an it is also forbidden to use intoxicants which are not healthy as has been proved by medical standards. Even occasional drinking of wine causes migraine headaches.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) recommended using the miswak regularly, which keeps the teeth and gums clean and healthy. It is a cure for thyroid problems too, if we use it in the interior teeth and gums.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) recommended sleeping early, night after Ishaa prayer, as early night sleep promotes health. He enjoined us to wake up early, as the early morning sunlight is beneficial for health and cures many diseases. He also advised to rest in the afternoon after lunch, which refreshes us and now most workers in the U.S.A. are demanding break in the afternoon for short naps as they say the Mediterranean naps refresh them and they have a better input to continue work instead of increase in wages.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) taught us to wash after relieving oneself, which protects us from many diseases. He also ordered use left hand for washing afterwards since it protects us from becoming a carrier of many diseases. He recommended clipping the nails, which also keeps us from becoming a carrier of many diseases.
If we follow all the above mentioned recommendations we can lead more healthy lives, which will be very fulfilling for us and the people around us, as was practiced and enjoined by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
Cleanliness and personal hygiene was taught and practiced by the Prophet (peace be upon him). He taught us to clean our teeth and wash ourselves by performing ablution before prayers, which protects us from many diseases. Cataract of the eyes develops due to air pollution, so doctors recommend washing the eyes after exposure from outside or workplaces to avoid cataract from developing. If we follow all these health points preached and practiced by the Prophet (peace be upon him), we can lead more healthy and fruitful lives.