ISLAM AND DISEASES
An Article By: Dr Imran Sabri
What will be your reaction if I tell you that ISLAM plays a very important role in preventing diseases. Some of you must be surprised but believe me this is true. I remember the saying of a great man that “Islam is the Best Religion”. When I first heard this line I was not fully convinced by this at that time as all humans have a delusion that their religion is the best. But now I m much convinced about this. The more I know Islam the more stony my belief becomes. One of reason of my strong faith in Islam is the various measures given by Islam to prevent diseases among its followers (Muslims).
Let us first take WAZOO, which is a practice of washing the exposed parts five times a day three time is each sitting, before namaaz, washing hands so regularly will prevent the diseases transmitted by faeco-oral route. The diseases that can be prevented in such a way are Amaebiasis, Ascariasis, Polio, Hepatitis A, Cholera, diarrhoea, Typhoid and other bacterial infections. Washing the nasal cavity and other exposed parts of skin will prevent the chances of Transmitting leprosy through skin-to-skin contact. Wazoo can also help to prevent fungal skin infections, influenza and certain type of cancer.
Namaaz, the gift of God to human beings have beneficial effects on the human body, both physically as well as mentally. Namaaz maintains the proper blood circulation throughout the body, which is necessary to keep us healthy. During Namaaz as the person bends down, the blood supply to upperr half of the body including brain, ear, nose, face and apical region of the lung, increases, this can help to keep these parts healthy and properly functioning this will also help to prevent infections like tuberculosis. Tuberculosis which generally starts from the apical region of lungs as TB bacterial have higher chances to live there due to high oxygen content and less perfusion of antibodies in that region. Increased blood supply to face during namaaz makes the face more lively and energetic. Namaaz is the best exercise” as it is the complete exercise of nearly all the muscles and joints of the body this will prevent joints of the body this will prevent joint stiffness and low backache. During full bending (SIJDAH) the eyes are fixed at the Tip of the nose which is a good exercise also advised by most of the opthalmologist for weakeye muscles. A part from these namaaz is also essential for spiritual health of an individual. It also helps to prevent stress and depression.
The diet of a Muslim which contain meat apart from pulses and vegetables. Meat (free from fats) is a balanced diet as it contains all the nutrients in the same concentration as our body requires meat is a rich source of protein (including essential Amino-acids), Vitamins and minerals. The deficiencies of proteins can cause growth retardation, weak immunity, improper clotting etc. New tissues cannot be formed unless all the EAA are present in the body in the body. The deficiency of vitamins can cause Night blindness, rickets, aribo flavinosis, megaloblastic anaemia etc. Meat is also a rich source of essential fatty acids the deficiency of which can cause phrenoderma. Vitamin B12 deficiency arise in subjects who are strict vegetarians. Meat also containn haeme-iron which is better absorbed from gastrointestinal tract and prevents anaemia etc. Meat is a good source of zinc, the deficiency of which can cause growth retardation, multiple infections, disorders of taste etc.
Islam classifies the food into five categories:
1. HALAL (Permissible)
2. FARDH (Obligatory)
3. MUSTAHAB (desirable)
4. MAKRUH (Undesirable)
5. HARAM (Prohibited)
Those things which may lead to development of one or more disease are Haram (Prohibited). Haram may be fatal or cause physical handicap.
The Haram food for Muslims are:
1. MEAT OF AN ANIMAL THAT DIES OF ITSELF (CORRION):- The disease which may be caused this are Anthrax, Brucellosis, haemarrhagic septicaemia, leptospirosis etc.
2. BLOOD:- As it is good medium for flourising and multiplication of pathogens.
3. PORK:- Which can cause Teaniasis, Trichnosis etc.
4. INTOXICANTS:- Like alcohol as it is the main cause of fatty liver disease and liver failure. Alcohol reduces the ability of intestine to absorb glucose, amino-acids, calcium, folate, Vitamin B12 etc. Gastritis and peptic unclear are exceptionally high is alcoholics. Apart from these alcohol can cause pancreatitis, cirrhosis of liver, wernicke-kosakoff syndrome, polyneuropathy, cerebellar degeneration, cerebral atrophy, alcoholic cardiomyopathy, delirium tremens etc.
Makruh (undesirable) is that food which harms health but is not fatal nor lead to any physical handicap.
The circumcision which is a must for every muslim can prevent penile cancer, phimosis, paraphimosis, cancer of cervix in females, subprepucial infections etc.
Miswak (clearing of teeth) helps to prevent disease of gums, teeth and oral mucosa. A tradition in muslims say, that “Angels of God do not enter a house where lives a dog.” Dogs which are considered unclean animals are responsible for Echinocociasis, rabies etc.
Islam prohibits (haram) the extra vaginal coitus, homosex vality and sexual contacts with a female other then spouse. This will prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted disease like syphilis, AIDS, gonorhoea, lymphogranuloma venerum, Herpes, hepatitis B etc.
FASTING: In the whole year there is a month of fasting in Islam in which the muslims do not eat or drink anything the whole day. Fasting is a method of healing, fasting brings about a kind of correct adjustment of the load. In fast, the stomach and digestive tract consumes what has stuck (such as fats) in the gastrointestinal tract during the year. The body metabolizes free fatty acid present in the blood which in turn protects the human body against the coronary artery diseases. Fasting has a purifying action on blood. During fasting the blood concentration of VLDL and LDL (harmful lipoproteins) decreases. As no new toxin are produced and the liver works full time to eliminate the existing toxins. Fasting also increases power of concentration improve mental as well as spiritual strength. It also increases peace of mind, will power, confidence and courage. Apart from all these it also gives a chance to the digestive system to have a bit of rest.
From the above account it has been concluded that Islam, the best religion of the world, gave its followers a good path top follow and provide rule and regulations to line a successful life. It also protect its followers from the diseases listed above but there is a need to honestly follow it.