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1. Islam is the Religion of Cleanliness
- Islam is not only a religion of monotheism. It contains a universal message and a concluding divine book from the Creator of People to all people. When Islam is embraced, it becomes a prosperous way of life (positive and effective) and a universal civilization (ethical and material).
- Practicing Islam requires maintaining high level of personal hygiene based on the divine Message from our Creator and the wise teachings of His Messenger. Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) teachings set high standards of cleanliness and public health in Muslim societies all over the world. He was a transformational leader and an honorable educator.
- You are not to harm or to be harmed. This is a rule of thumb in Islam. Anything that harms your body and can cause sickness to you or to others is forbidden.
- Prevention is better than cure. The Islamic teachings forbid all practices that could cause diseases. For example, prostitution and all types of non-marital sex are strictly forbidden in Islam. In addition, Islam introduced guidelines for lawful and clean sex. This has helped a great deal in preventing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS, HPV, Syphilis and Herpes.2. Personal Hygiene and Public Health
Washing hands, face, mouth and nose
- Most viral infections come from these parts of the human body. Muslims are required to clean them as part of the ablution before performing their daily five prayers.
- Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) taught his followers to perform ablution properly and thoroughly. In addition, He said: "If it did not trouble you, I would ask you to brush your teeth with Miswak before each prayer”. (Miswak comes from Arak tree).
Cleanliness and personal hygiene
- Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) emphasized cleanliness and purification in all aspects of life. He asked his companions to clean their homes and surroundings regularly. He taught them that removing harm or garbage from the road is a charity act that is rewarded by God. Also, He urged his companions to maintain high personal hygiene and cleanliness. This is some of his sayings in this context:
- Do not touch food after waking up until hands are washed.
- Eat with your right hand and avoid using it for unclean matters.
- Trim your nails, remove pubic and armpit hair. Dress in clean and tidy clothes but do not be prodigal. Use perfumes (Teeb) to smell good.
- Performing “Ghusul” (washing the whole body) is part of Muhammad’s Sunnah (teachings and way of life). However, Ghusul is a must for purity on certain occasions (e.g. after marital contact and menstruation).
Going to toilette
- Muslims primarily use water (not only toilette paper) to clean themselves properly.
- Only left hand is used to clean private parts.
- Hands are washed properly after going out of the toilette.
3. Body Immune System
Fasting strengthens your immune system
- Muslims fast the whole month of Ramadan in the lunar year from sunrise to sunset. They are also encouraged to voluntarily fast few days every month.
- Now modern science speaks about the great benefits of intermittent fasting. It is a proven fact that it enhances the body immune system. Also, it helps lower cholesterol, liver fat, blood insulin and sugar levels. It improves glucose control and fat burning.
Diet and eating habits
-The belly is the worst pot to fill. Small meals that satisfy hunger will be better to enhance metabolism. Should someone decided to eat more, one third of the stomach should be kept for drink and one third should be kept empty for the breath (teaching of Prophet Muhammad(PBUH).
-Islam bans drinking alcohol as it can harm the liver which breaks down harmful substances in the body. Alcohol weakens the immune system and reduces the efficiency of white blood cells.
Prayers and spiritual meditation
- Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) taught Muslims to keep strong faith in Allah, the Creator, the God and the Lord of all beings. He taught them to practice their faith and maintain their daily prayers and spiritual meditation. He was a cheerful person who encouraged optimism and disliked pessimism. He used to repeat this supplication: "Oh Allah!" I seek refuge with You from worry and grief, from incapacity and laziness, from cowardice and miserliness…”.
- Medical research indicates that happiness and optimism improve the cardiovascular health and the functions of the immune system. Also, prayers and supplications have great meditation effect and contribute a great deal to relieving tension, dissipating worry and getting rid of sadness, sorrow and laziness which adversely affect the immune system.
- Stress, anxiety, depression and fear increase the levels of stress hormones in your body (cortisol or adrenaline) and weaken your immune system.
4. Animal Meat
-In order to prevent the transmission of diseases from animals to human beings, our Creator has set rules to control the types of animal meat that we can eat and the way of consuming them.
- Only herbivorous animal meat can be eaten (e.g. cows, sheep, chicken and birds and others that eat no flesh).
- Please note that pigs are omnivorous animals that feed on plants and animals. Many types of pigs eat dead animals and even garbage and their own droppings. Eating ham or pork is forbidden in Islam and Judaism, likewise wild animals.
-In China, a strict ban on the consumption and farming of wild animals is being rolled out following the coronavirus pandemic, which is believed to have started at a wildlife market in Wuhan. Both Corona and SARS have zoonotic origin (came from animals).
-Islam set (Halal) high standards for lawful killing of animals and getting the cleanest and healthiest meat for human consumption. It must be done only by a swift slaughter. The spinal cord cannot be broken.
-Islam forbids electrifying, torturing and cooking animals that are still alive. This is a traditional practice in many Asian food cultures. Eating live animals or parts of live animals is forbidden in Islam and unlawful in under animal cruelty laws in many countries.
5. Infection and Plague Control
-Infection control in Islam includes isolation and quarantine. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) commanded his followers not to travel to places known to be afflicted with illness and he advised those in the contaminated areas or communities not to leave their placed in order not to spread the disease further afield.
- Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) set a high level of Islamic etiquette which overs sneezing, yawning and coughing. He also stated that ill people (especially those who got infectious diseases) should not interact with healthy people.