Posted on Apr 16, 2020
By Iman Salam
In light of this pandemic life we are living, we know that COVID-19 has no native immunity, which makes us all susceptible. Keep in mind that it will continue to get worse before it gets better. And, it bears reminding that social distancing continues to be imperative for us to stop the spread at such an alarming speed. This is not about whether you will get sick or not, it’s about potentially infecting those who are more susceptible and overloading our health care system.
“Our Lord, pour upon us patience and let us die as Muslims [in submission to You]." 7:126
Our bodies are given to us as an amana (trust) from God. It’s imperative on us to strive for a healthy mind and body. With that in mind, here are five ways we all can incorporate general wellness practices steeped in sunnah (ways of the Prophet) into our upcoming days.
Please note: I am a registered holistic health coach and student in Tibb Nabawi (Prophetic medicine). However, I am not a doctor. Please seek the guidance of a naturopath, functional medicine, or integrative doctor for serious health care needs. I am sharing general reminders from the sunnah of well being. Feel free to incorporate what you like.
Iman Salam demonstrating some exercises; image source: Instagram
1. Prayer: We put our trust in God. It is imperative to remember that He is in control. Our mental health is bound to get rattled with all the unknowns and news changing daily. Anxiety and stress will only burden our immune system. Increase your daily remembrance of God; it can be in any form – dhikr, reading Quran and hadith, or sending prayers on our Prophet Muhammad (saw).
2. Water: Drinking half your body weight in ounces. Hydration is crucial for proper oxygenation, which we need to help fight this virus as well as flushing out toxins. Room temperature water is best!
3. Eating a whole foods diet: Our Prophet said, “The stomach is the house of illness, and abstinence is the most important medicine.” Hippocrates, known as the father of medicine, said, “All disease begins in the gut.” Food is a powerful medicine that can be used to heal us. Eating what is naturally grown in nature builds our immune system and feeds our bodies the vitamins and minerals it needs to defend itself against invaders. Foods such as beef liver, lentils, dark greens, garlic/onion and cruciferous vegetables all build a strong gut flora. Try to cut out processed foods and all sugar. Sugar suppresses our immune system.
4. Cleanliness and elimination: There is a blessing and mercy in wudu (abulation). Because of wudu, we are washing frequently. Part of this process is washing our nose out properly, which is where pathogens can get lodged. Elimination is also paramount in keeping our bodily organs functioning properly. Without elimination, we are causing a build-up of toxins to remain in our bodies which in turn taxes our organs.
A healthy whole food diet rich in fiber that is mostly plant-based will help move things along ;) Getting an adequate amount of water – I always recommend a minimum of half your body weight in ounces – is also very important. Adopting the sunnah of eating dates can also be a healthy laxative choice if you find yourself not regular. If you are going three days without elimination, I would highly recommend you seek help from a health practitioner.
5. Sleep and wakefulness: Our bodies need rest. It’s crucial we give our bodies the time it needs to heal and repair. In the same regard, we need exercise as well. Twenty minutes of movement a day can be a form of protection, as it builds your immune system. Movement also releases feel-good hormones, such as serotonin and dopamine. Exercise will lead to better brain function and a better mood!
Our Lord is merciful and just. Remember that this shall pass. Be mindful of this time and use it wisely. Pray more, reevaluate your diet, start a new hobby, rekindle old friendships, take walks in nature, be in the service of your community, do things you always said you’d do when you had more time.
“And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient, Who, when disaster strikes them, say, "Indeed we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him we will return." Those are the ones upon whom are blessings from their Lord and mercy. And it is those who are the [rightly] guided.” 2:155-157
Iman Salam is a certified holistic health coach and student in Tibb Nabawi. She guides and supports people in cultivating a balanced approach to their best health with a balanced and individualized plan. Website | Instagram