‘Virtue And Importance Of Strength In Islam’
Believers in Islam must take care of their spiritual, emotional and physical health. Our bodies, the most complex of machines, are given to us by God as a trust. They should not be abused or neglected but maintained in good order. Islam lays emphasis on a simple diet combined with physical exercise.
Fulfilling the obligations of three of the five pillars of Islam requires that Muslims be of sound health and fitness. The daily performance of five prayers is in itself a form of exercise, its prescribed movements involve all the muscles and joints of the body, and concentration in prayer relieves mental stress.
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah than the weak believer, although both are good. Strive to do that which will benefit you and seek the help of Allaah…” (Muslim 2664)
Also the Messenger ﷺ praised good health and even regarded it as more important than money. It was narrated from Mu’aadh ibn ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Khubayb from his father that his paternal uncle said: “We were sitting in a gathering when the Messenger of Allaah ﷺ came, with traces of water on his head. One of us said, ‘We see that you appear to be in high spirits today.’ He ﷺ said, ‘Yes, praise be to Allaah.’ Then the people spoke about riches. He ﷺ said, ‘There is nothing wrong with riches for one who fears Allaah, but good health is better for one who fears Allaah than riches, and being in good spirits is a blessing.’” (Narrated by Ibn Maajah, 2141; Ahmad, 22076. This hadeeth was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Ibn Maajah, no. 1741)
This strength includes both physical strength and strength of faith. Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And their prophet said to them, ‘Indeed, Allah has sent to you Saul as a king.’ They said, ‘How can he have kingship over us while we are more worthy of kingship than him and he has not been given any measure of wealth?’ He said, ‘Indeed, Allah has chosen him over you and has increased him abundantly in knowledge and stature. And Allah gives His sovereignty to whom He wills. And Allah is all-Encompassing [in favor] and Knowing’” [al-Baqarah 2:247].
“and has increased him abundantly in knowledge and stature” means: He has favoured him over you and given him more in terms of knowledge and stature; in other words, He has given him deep insight and physical strength by means of which he is qualified for his post as king, for if he has deep insight and the ability to implement the right decision, he will be able to fulfil this role in the best manner, but if he were lacking in either of these two qualities, he would not be able to do his job properly. If he were physically strong but lacked deep insight, then the king would be unsuccessful in running the kingdom’s affairs, because his strength would not be used in a wise manner. If he had deep insight but did not have the strength to implement any decisions he made, his insight would not benefit him because he would not be able to achieve anything. Tafseer as-Sa‘di, p. 107.
Having physical strength, health and soundness helps a person to worship Allah by praying, fasting, performing Hajj, striving in His cause, and so on. Being physically weak and sick is an impediment in doing many acts of worship.
A true believer recognizes the wonder of the human body and is grateful to the Creator. This gratitude is shown in the care and attention given to maintaining optimum health. Islam’s holistic approach to health covers all aspects of the mind, body and soul. A truly health conscious person blends diet, nutrition and exercise with the remembrance of God and an intention to fulfill all their religious obligations.
We will discuss in detail how to strengthen the faith & body in the coming classes InShaAllah.
Where strength is more individual, the strength of the Ummah is in its Unity.
Mankind was one nation, believing in Tawheed, then they differed. Some of them believed and some disbelieved. So Allaah sent the Prophets with glad tidings and warnings, so whoever believes will enter Paradise and whoever disbelieves will enter Hell. The conflict is still going on between belief and disbelief, truth and falsehood, and will continue until Allaah inherits the earth and everyone on it.
Islam is the religion for all of mankind, and Allaah has commanded us to convey it to all people. This can only be achieved if we are strong, and strength is based on faith and unity. Hence Allaah has commanded all the believers to adhere to His religion and to be united, and not to be divided. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allaah (i.e. this Qur’aan), and be not divided among yourselves” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:103]
Division, differences and disputes are the cause of the ummah’s defeat, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And obey Allaah and His Messenger, and do not dispute (with one another) lest you lose courage and your strength departs, and be patient. Surely, Allaah is with those who are As-Saabiroon (the patient)” [al-Anfaal 8:46]
Unity and coming together are among the basic principles of Islam, and there are many aspects of unity in Islam, such as One Lord, one Book, one Prophet, one religion, one qiblah, one ummah.
Allaah addresses the ummah as one group in all rulings to indicate that they are one ummah, like one body. There is no difference between them; the commands and prohibitions are addressed to all.
Islam regards all people as equal before the laws of Allaah. Black and white, Arab and non-Arab, male and female, rich and poor – Islam brings them all together and addresses its commands and prohibitions to them all. So whoever obeys Allaah and His Messenger will enter Paradise and whoever disobeys Allaah and His Messenger will enter Hell, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Whosoever does righteous good deed, it is for (the benefit of) his ownself; and whosoever does evil, it is against his ownself. And your Lord is not at all unjust to (His) slaves” [Fussilat 41:46]
BROTHERS & SISTERS IN ISLAM, HOLDING ON TO THE ROPE OF ALLAH
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said,
Salah & Hajj are prime examples of the unity and the call of coming together in Islam, everyone rich-poor, young-old, all ethnicities are enjoined to come to Salah and pray in congregation. Similarly, for Hajj who ever can afford it are all obliged to do Hajj and are supposed to wear the same type of garment. Imagine millions wearing the same type of garment at the same place, at the same time, what better example can we get of coming together and of unity, no other religion calls for that.
We should all be in conformity and harmony, so that we may become strong, and become an obstacle blocking the way of those who plot against Islaam and its people. This is what Allaah – the Mighty and Majestic – has enjoined upon us. He – the Most High – said:
“Holding fast to the rope of Allaah altogether and not becoming divided is one of the greatest usool (fundamentals) of Islaam.” (Majmoo’ Fataawaa )
THE PROHIBITION OF SPLITTING
So Allaah ordered that we should all cling together to His rope and He forbade splitting, and in other Aayahs He forbade differing, and informed us that it is the cause of failure and the cause of decline of strength, and He ordered us to persevere patiently. So Allaah – the Most High – said: “And do not differ, lest you lose courage and your strength departs, and be patient. Indeed Allaah is with those who are patient.” [Soorah al-Anfaal 8:46].
The Messenger ﷺ said: ”Allaah is pleased for you with three things: ”that you worship Him (alone) and not to associate anything with Him; and that you (all) hold unto the Rope of Allaah and not to be divided; and that you give sincere advise to the one placed in charge over your affairs (i.e. the Muslim Ruler)”
Splitting up is not from Islam, since Islam commands us with unity and that we should be a single Jamaa’ah and a single Ummah upon right faith (i.e. to single out Allaah alone for worship) and upon following the Messenger ﷺ as per the understanding of his companions.
Allaah – the Most High – said:
So Islam is the Religion of al-Jamaa’ah, and the Religion of agreement and unity. Splitting is not from the Religion, since the Religion orders that we are a single Jamaa’ah as was stated from the two ahadeeth above. And it is known that a building and a body are a single cohesive thing, not disunited and fragmented – since if a building splits then it will collapse; and likewise a body, if it splits, then life will be lost. Thus, there must be a unity and we must be a single Jamaa’ah whose foundation is faith in Oneness in terms of worshipping Allah and whose methodology is the da’wah (call) of the Messenger ﷺ.
Allaah – the Most High – said: “And this is My Straight Path, so follow it, and do not follow other paths that will separate you from His Path.” [Soorah al-An’aam 6:153].
So these groups, and this splitting which is present today, is not approved of by Islaam. Rather, Islaam forbids it severely and commands uniting upon Tawheed and upon the methodology of Islaam, a single Jamaa’ah and a single Ummah, just as our Lord – the Most Perfect, the Most High – ordered. And splitting and their being many (differing) groups and parties is from the plots of the devils – from the jinn and mankind against this Ummah.
The kuffaar (disbelievers) and the munaafiqs (hypocrites) have never ceased, since olden times, introducing their poison in order to split the Ummah. The jews said previously: “And a party of the People of the Book say: Believe in the morning in that which is revealed to the Muslims, but reject it at the end of the day, so they turn back.”[Soorah Aal-‘Imraan 3:72]
Meaning: that the Muslims will leave their religion when they see you leaving it. And the Hypocrites said: “Do not spend on those who are with Allaah’s Messenger until they desert him.” [Soorah al-Munaafiqoon 63:7]. “And as for those who erect a mosque by way of disbelief and seeking to harm and disunite the Believers …” [Soorah at-Tawbah 9:107].
So we call all of our brothers to unite together, and to fear Allaah with regards to themselves and with regards to the Ummah (nation) of Islaam.