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"O Allah! We seek goodness from Your Knowledge and with Your Power (and Might) We seek strength, and We ask from You Your Great Blessings, because You have the Power and We do not have the power. You Know everything and I do not know, and You have knowledge of the unseen. Oh Allah! If in Your Knowledge this action (We are about to take) is better for my religion and faith, for our life and end [death], for here [in this world] and the hereafter then make it destined for us and make it easy for us and then add blessings [baraka'] in it, for us. O Allah! In Your Knowledge if this action is bad for us, bad for our religion and faith, for our life and end [death], for here [in this world] and the hereafter then turn it away from us and turn us away from it and whatever is better for us, ordain [destine] that for us and then make us satisfied with it."

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Importance of a good shaykh by Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani Radi Allahu anhu

Al Ghawth al-Adham Shaykh Sayyad Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani Radi 'Allahu anhu said: You must work hard to ensure that your hearts are not locked out of the door of His nearness. Be sensible! You are getting nowhere. You must seek the company of a Shaykh who is learned in the law [hukm] and knowledge ['ilm] of Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He), and who will show you the way toward Him. Without seeing the successful [muflih], one cannot succeed. If a person does not seek the company of scholars who put their knowledge into practice ['ulama 'ummal], he is a chicken from an egg abandoned by the rooster and the mother hen.

Seek the fellowship of those who enjoy fellowship with the Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glorious is He). What each of you should do, when the night has grown dark and people have gone to bed and their voices are silent, is get up, take an ablution [yatawadda'], perform two cycles of ritual prayer [yusalli rak'atain] and say: "O my Lord, guide me to one of Your righteous servants near to You, so that he may guide me toward You and make me familiar with Your path." The instrument [sabab] is necessary. Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) was quite capable of guiding [His servants] to Him without the Prophets [anbiya']. Be sensible! You are getting nowhere. You must awaken from your heedless folly. As the Beloved Prophet Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa Sallam has said: If someone relies entirely on his own subjective judgement, he will go astray. Try to find someone who will be a mirror for the face of your religion [din], just as you look in the mirror to check the appearance of your outer face, your turban and your hair. Be sensible! What is this crazy foolishness? You say, "I don't need anyone to teach me," and yet the Beloved Prophet Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa Sallam has said: The believer is the believer's mirror [al-mu'minu mir'atu 'l-mu'min].

When the believer's faith is sound, he comes to be a mirror for all creatures. They behold their religious faces [wujuh adyanihim] reflected in the mirror of his speech, every time they see him and get close to him. What is this craziness? Not a moment goes by without your begging Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) to provide you with more than you already have to eat, to drink, and to wear, with more sexual opportunities and more income. These are not things that could increase or decrease, even if you were to be joined in your plea by every supplicant whose prayers are answered [da 'in mujab].

Supplication [da 'wa] will neither increase one's sustenance by so much as an atom, nor reduce it by an atom. This is a foregone conclusion [mafrugh minhu]. You must devote your attention to doing what you have been commanded to do, and to avoiding what you have been forbidden to do. You should not worry about that which is bound to come your way, because He guarantees that it will come to you. Allotted shares [aqsam] arrive at their appointed times, whether they be sweet or bitter, whether you like them or dislike them.

The people [of the Way] attain to a condition in which they no longer have any prayer of supplication [du'a] or request [su'al] to make. They do not beg [in their prayers] to gain advantages, nor to get rid of disadvantages. Their supplication comes to be a matter concerning their hearts, sometimes for their own sake and sometimes for the sake of all creatures, so they utter the prayer of supplication without conscious premeditation [fi ghaiba].
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"O '' Allah, endow us with good behaviour in Your company under all circumstances!
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[When the believer's faith is sound], fasting [sawm], prayer [salat], remembrance [dhikr] and all acts of obedience [ta 'at] become second nature to him, mingled with his flesh and blood. Then he receives protection from Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) under all circumstances. The restraint of the law [hukm] does not desert him, not for an instant, while he is on this course. The law comes to be like the vessel in which he sits, as he travels over the ocean of the power [qudra] of his Lord (Almighty and Glorious is He). He goes on traveling over it until he arrives at the shore of the hereafter, at the shore of the ocean of grace and the hand of nearness. Thus he is sometimes in the company of creatures and at certain times in the company of the Creator. His work and toil are with creatures, while his relaxation is with the Creator.
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From Shaykh 'Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani, "The Sublime Revelation (Al-Fath ar-Rabbani)," translated by Muhtar Holland (Al-Baz Publishing, Houston, 1992), p. 426-8.
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On the authority of Abu Hurayrah r.a., who said that Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. said: Allah SWT said:

Whosoever shows enmity to someone devoted to Me, I shall be at war with him. My servant draws not near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him, and My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him. When I love him I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him, and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it. I do not hesitate about anything as much as I hesitate about [seizing] the soul of My faithful servant: he hates death and I hate hurting him. (It was related by al-Bukhari)
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“Allah! There is no God save Him, the Alive, the Eternal. Neither slumber nor sleep overtaketh Him. Unto Him belongeth whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth. Who is he that intercedeth with Him save by His leave? He knoweth that which is in front of them and that which is behind them, while they encompass nothing of His knowledge save what He will. His throne includeth the heavens and the earth, and He is never weary of preserving them. He is the Sublime, the Tremendous.”

Saturday, November 29, 2008

HEALTH AND NUTRITION OF THE PROPHET

SOURCE

Health and Nutrition of The Prophet:
Prophetic Sayings & Modern "Discoveries" - By Karima Burns (MH, ND)

A tradition states,

“There are no new ideas, just new people to discover them."

It is, in fact, amazing to find how many "modern discoveries" have already been written about in the Qur’an or Hadith.

There are a number of words of advice and nutritional habits of the prophet (SAWS) that have substantial support in recent scientific literature. Among this advice is that we should eat whole foods, we should combine foods properly, we should eat foods in their seasons, and we should not drink with meals.

In Sahih Bukhari, a number of examples can be found showing how carefully the prophet combined foods. One hadith relates,

"A man from among the Companions of the Prophet (PBUH) said, ‘The Prophet (SAW) forbade (mixing) unripe dates and dried dates, and (mixing) raisins and dried dates. Aisha, Ummul Mu'minun, related that, "The Apostle of Allah (SAW) used to eat melon with fresh dates, and he used to say, ‘The heat of the one is broken by the coolness of the other, and the coolness of the one by the heat of the other.’ He was also said to have never combined fish and milk.

Modern science supports these habits by informing us that the combination of foods we eat and the order in which we eat them are very important factors in health. "Recently," it has been found that foods require different digestive processes in the body; thus, they are most easily digested when combined properly. Modern scientists say that improper food combinations can cause a person to inadequately digest their food, which can create imbalances in PH levels, improper absorption of nutrients, constipation or other digestive troubles. Dr. Ted Morter, in Your Health... Your Choice, advises us to not eat fresh fruit with any other food, even dried fruit, since it is a pre-digested food that moves straight through the stomach and into the intestines. When it is eaten with any other food, it ferments itself and anything else that is in the stomach.

The second advice given by Dr. Morter in his book is that we should start each meal off with something raw. The reason is that raw foods contain the enzymes we need to digest our food. His third rule of food combining is to avoid mixing protein and starches. We may eat starches with vegetables or vegetables with meat, but we should do our best to avoid combining starches and proteins. The reason is that proteins and starches require completely different environments for digestion. Proteins need a more acidic environment while carbohydrates and starches can be digested much more quickly. When a person combines them, neither food has the ideal environment. Furthermore, a protein meal takes up to five hours for the body to digest so it should be the last meal of the day when your body is not digesting other foods as well.

Improper food combining will not cause a person to become immediately sick, but it will prevent what they are eating from being digested and utilized to the best of its ability, which means they will need to eat more food to get additional nutrients.

Modern allergists also advise against improper food combining and tell us that many combinations can create synergistic allergic reactions. In the book The Whole Way to Allergy Relief and Prevention, Dr. Krohn advises us not to combine milk with chocolate, mint, or fish; corn and bananas; beef and yeast; eggs and apples; or cola and chocolate.

The hadith provide numerous examples of the respect the prophet had for the purity and value of water, and relate that he did not drink while eating a meal. Sahih Bukhari relates that, "The Apostle of Allah (SAW) came out from the valley of a mountain... there were some dried dates on a shield before us. We called him and he ate with us. He did not touch water.” Experts in the field of food combining inform us that water impedes the digestive process in the stomach when eaten within a half hour of a meal.

The Qur’an (2:168) advises us,

"Ye People, eat of what is on earth, lawful and wholesome." In the time of the prophet, the choices of food were simply related to whether a food was halal or haram.

However, in modern times we have many more choices.

Many people have difficulty understanding what "whole" foods are because so few people actually eat whole foods. As few as two hundred years ago, everyone consumed whole foods because they did not have processed foods as an option. In 1940, about 80% of the nation consumed whole foods. Abram Hoffer, MD, and Morton Walker, DPM, report in their book, Putting it all Together: The New Orthomolecular Nutrition, that today, only 25% of the population actually eat "whole foods." A whole food is merely a food that has retained its original constituents. An apple is a whole food and applesauce made from fresh apples at home in a grinder is a whole food. However, applesauce ground and cooked by machines, and then separated to create a better texture and supplemented with sugar and color is not a whole food. Wheat Berries are a whole food; therefore, flour made from pure ground wheat berries containing bran is a whole food. Flour made by removing the bran and germ, and then bleaching the final product (white flour) is not a whole food.

Even some popular "health food" items fall into the category of processed partial foods rather than whole foods. This list includes rice cakes, granola bars, pretzels, turkey and tofu hot dogs, whole grain cereals, and frozen juices. These so called "health foods" are only a fraction more nutritious than their mainstream processed counterparts.

It is important to eat whole foods (grains, vegetables and fruits) because they contain all the nutrients that we need to thrive as human beings in their natural form. The more we change them from their original state, the less benefit we get from them. With new vitamins and minerals being discovered every year, it is increasingly obvious that Allah’s "Mother Nature" is way ahead of us, and we are not qualified to duplicate His process through our efforts to "enrich" processed foods in laboratories. Bernard Jensen, in his book, Chemistry of Man says, "Natural foods contain all the vitamins that have been and will be discovered."

This apparent fact should make it obvious that the only way we can guarantee we are getting all of our nutrients is to get them from whole foods. Attempting to build our health any other way is to merely make an educated guess. Furthermore, it does not make sense to eat devitalized foods, and then spend time and money buying vitamins and supplements, and following various health programs. In fact, processed foods actually have the ability to leech nutrients from the system. E. Cheraskin, in his book Diet and Disease, reports that laboratory tests indicate that processed foods do not have enough vitamins and minerals to help in their own assimilation. Pasta, for instance, does not have sufficient amounts of vitamins, enzymes or even fiber to aid in the digestive process.

Manufacturers claim their products contain high nutritious value, but they can only claim that by adding synthetic vitamins and minerals that are not useful to the human body to them. The elements that comprise organic minerals are loosely held together so that when they enter the body, they can easily be assimilated. However, the constituent parts of inorganic minerals are held together by bonds that are so tight that the body cannot easily break them apart; therefore, we rarely benefit from their consumption.

The Qur’an (20:81) also advises us to,

"Eat of the good things We have provided for your sustenance, but commit no excess therein."

The Prophet himself was always known to eat fruits and vegetables grown in the region in which he lived and in season (Al-Akili, Medicine of the Prophet). Donald Lepore, a nutritionist and author of the book The Ultimate Healing System, has found in his allergy relief therapies that,

"God did not permit foods that are antagonistic to man’s existence to be grown in the area of consumption."

We can often avoid most of our problems by simply eating foods that are grown nearby and in season. Bernard Jensen, in his book Chemistry of Man, reports that unripe or imported produce, often found in grocery stores, is lacking in natural sodium among other things. Furthermore, he has found that the chemistry of barley, for instance, warms the blood and is thus appropriate for winter months, but is not as advisable as a regular summer food unless there is a "cold" illness involved.

As you read through Qur’an and the Hadith, and compare them to modern scientific "discoveries," you will find again and again that Qur’anic and prophetic wisdoms are being rediscovered. This is, perhaps, one of the best reasons to refer to Qur’an and the Hadith as not only the starting point for all knowledge, but as a "double-check" system for what we find in secular literature as well.