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Islamic method of Slaughtering animals is better

Posted by Arqustany Putra Tuesday, September 29, 2009 0 comments

...scientific reason...
Al Shaddad Bin Aous has quoted this tradition of the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H.) "God calls for mercy in everything, so be merciful when you kill and when you slaughter, sharpen your blade to relieve its pain".
Many allegations have been made that Islamic slaughter is not humane to animals. However, Professor Schultz and his colleague Dr. Hazim of the Hanover University, Germany, proved through an experiment, using an electroencephalograph (EEG) and electrocardiogram (ECG) that *Islamic slaughter is THE humane method of slaughter* and captive bolt stunning, practiced by the Western method, causes severe pain to the animal. The results surprised many.

Experimental Details:
1. Several electrodes were surgically implanted at various points of the skull of all animals, touching the surface of thebrain.
2. The animals were allowed to recover for several weeks.
3. Some animals were slaughtered by making a swift, deep incision with a sharp knife on the neck cutting the jugular veins and carotid Arteries of both sides; as also the trachea and esophagusHalal Method.
4. Some animals were stunned using a captive bolt pistol humane slaughter by the western method.
5. During the experiment, EEG and ECG were recorded on all animals to record the condition of the brain and heart during the course of slaughter and stunning.

Results and Discussion:
I - Halal Method
1. The first three seconds from the time of Islamic slaughter as recorded on the EEG did not show any change from the graph before slaughter, thus indicating that the animal did not feel any pain during or immediately after the incision.
2. For the following 3 seconds, the EEG recorded a condition of deep sleep - unconsciousness. This is due to a large quantity of blood gushing out from the body.
3. After the above mentioned 6 seconds, the EEG recorded zero level, showing no feeling of pain at all.
4. As the brain message (EEG) dropped to zero level, the heart was still pounding and the body convulsing vigorously (a reflex action of the spinal cord) driving maximum blood from the body: resulting in hygienic meat for the consumer.
II - Western method by C.B.P. Stunning
1. The animals were apparently unconscious soon after stunning.
2. EEG showed severe pain immediately after stunning.
3. The hearts of the animal stunned by C.B.P. stopped beating earlier as compared to those of the animals slaughtered according to the Halal method resulting in the retention of more blood inthe meat. This in turn is unhygienic for the consumer.
(Many thanks to Muslim Students Organization - University of Miami)

Ibn Sina doctor of doctors

Posted by Arqustany Putra Monday, September 28, 2009 0 comments

Author: Dr.Monzur Ahmed
Source: Islamic medicine on line

Ibn Sina was born in 980 C.E. in the village of Afshana near Bukhara which today is located in the far south of Russia. His father, Abdullah, an adherent of the Ismaili sect, was from Balkh and his mother from a village near Bukhara. In any age Ibn Sina, known in the West as Avicenna, would have been a giant among giants. He displayed exceptional intellectual prowess as a child and at the age of ten was already proficient in the Qur'an and the Arabic classics. During the next six years he devoted himself to Muslim Jurisprudence, Philosophy and Natural Science and studied Logic, Euclid, and the Almeagest.
He turned his attention to Medicine at the age of 17 years and found it, in his own words, "not difficult". However he was greatly troubled by metaphysical problems and in particular the works of Aristotle. By chance, he obtained a manual on this subject by the celebrated philosopher al-Farabi which solved his difficulties.
By the age of 18 he had built up a reputation as a physician and was summoned to attend the Samani ruler Nuh ibn Mansur (reigned 976-997 C.E.), who, in gratitude for Ibn Sina's services, allowed him to make free use of the royal library, which contained many rare and even unique books. Endowed with great powers of absorbing and retaining knowledge, this Muslim scholar devoured the contents of the library and at the age of 21 was in a position to compose his first book.
At about the same time he lost his father and soon afterwards left Bukhara and wandered westwards. He entered the services of Ali ibn Ma'mun, the ruler of Khiva, for a while, but ultimately fled to avoid being kidnapped by the Sultan Mahmud of Ghazna. After many wanderings he came to Jurjan, near the Caspian Sea, attracted by the fame of its ruler, Qabus, as a patron of learning. Unfortunately Ibn Sina's arrival almost coincided with the deposition and murder of this ruler. At Jurjan, Ibn Sina lectured on logic and astronomy and wrote the first part of the Qanun, his greatest work.
Abu Ali al-Husain ibn Abdullah ibn Sina (980-1037 C.E.)
He then moved to Ray, near modern Teheran and established a busy medical practice. When Ray was besieged, Ibn Sina fled to Hamadan where he cured Amir Shamsud-Dawala of colic and was made Prime Minister. A mutiny of soldiers against him caused his dismissal and imprisonment, but subsequently the Amir, being again attacked by the colic, summoned him back, apologised and reinstated him! His life at this time was very strenuous: during the day he was busy with the Amir's services, while a great deal of the night was passed in lecturing and dictating notes for his books. Students would gather in his home and read parts of his two great books, the Shifa and the Qanun, already composed. Following the death of the Amir, Ibn Sina fled to Isfahan after a few brushes with the law, including a period in prison. He spent his final years in the services of the ruler of the city, Ala al-Daula whom he advised on scientific and literary matters and accompanied on military campaigns.
Friends advised him to slow down and take life in moderation, but this was not in character. "I prefer a short life with width to a narrow one with length", he would reply. Worn out by hard work and hard living, Ibn Sina died in 1036/1 at a comparatively early age of 58 years. He was buried in Hamadan where his grave is still shown.
Al-Qifti states that Ibn Sina completed 21 major and 24 minor works on philosophy, medicine, theology, geometry, astronomy and the like. Another source (Brockelmann) attributes 99 books to Ibn Sina comprising 16 on medicine, 68 on theology and metaphysics 11 on astronomy and four on verse. Most of these were in Arabic; but in his native Persian he wrote a large manual on philosophical science entitled Danish-naama-i-Alai and a small treatise on the pulse.
His most celebrated Arabic poem describes the descent of Soul into the Body from the Higher Sphere. Among his scientific works, the leading two are the Kitab al-Shifa (Book of Healing), a philosophical encyclopaedia based upon Aristotelian traditions and the al-Qanun al-Tibb which represents the final categorisation of Greco-Arabian thoughts on Medicine.
Of Ibn Sina's 16 medical works, eight are versified treatises on such matter as the 25 signs indicating the fatal termination of illnesses, hygienic precepts, proved remedies, anatomical memoranda etc. Amongst his prose works, after the great Qanun, the treatise on cardiac drugs, of which the British Museum possesses several fine manuscripts, is probably the most important, but it remains unpublished.
The Qanun is, of course, by far the largest, most famous and most important of Ibn Sina's works. The work contains about one million words and like most Arabic books, is elaborately divided and subdivided. The main division is into five books, of which the first deals with general principles; the second with simple drugs arranged alphabetically; the third with diseases of particular organs and members of the body from the head to the foot; the fourth with diseases which though local in their inception spread to other parts of the body, such as fevers and the fifth with compound medicines.
The Qanun distinguishes mediastinitis from pleurisy and recognises the contagious nature of phthisis (tuberculosis of the lung) and the spread of disease by water and soil. It gives a scientific diagnosis of ankylostomiasis and attributes the condition to an intestinal worm. The Qanun points out the importance of dietetics, the influence of climate and environment on health and the surgical use of oral anaesthetics. Ibn Sina advised surgeons to treat cancer in its earliest stages, ensuring the removal of all the diseased tissue. The Qanun's materia medica considers some 760 drugs, with comments on their application and effectiveness. He recommended the testing of a new drug on animals and humans prior to general use.
Ibn Sina noted the close relationship between emotions and the physical condition and felt that music had a definite physical and psychological effect on patients. Of the many psychological disorders that he described in the Qanun, one is of unusual interest: love sickness! ibn Sina is reputed to have diagnosed this condition in a Prince in Jurjan who lay sick and whose malady had baffled local doctors. Ibn Sina noted a fluttering in the Prince's pulse when the address and name of his beloved were mentioned. The great doctor had a simple remedy: unite the sufferer with the beloved.
The Arabic text of the Qanun was published in Rome in 1593 and was therefore one of the earliest Arabic books to see print. It was translated into Latin by Gerard of Cremona in the 12th century. This 'Canon', with its encyclopaedic content, its systematic arrangement and philosophical plan, soon worked its way into a position of pre-eminence in the medical literature of the age displacing the works of Galen, al-Razi and al-Majusi, and becoming the text book for medical education in the schools of Europe. In the last 30 years of the 15th century it passed through 15 Latin editions and one Hebrew. In recent years, a partial translation into English was made. From the 12th-17th century, the Qanun served as the chief guide to Medical Science in the West and is said to have influenced Leonardo da Vinci. In the words of Dr. William Osler, the Qanun has remained "a medical bible for a longer time than any other work".
Despite such glorious tributes to his work, Ibn Sina is rarely remembered in the West today and his fundamental contributions to Medicine and the European reawakening goes largely unrecognised. However, in the museum at Bukhara, there are displays showing many of his writings, surgical instruments from the period and paintings of patients undergoing treatment. An impressive monument to the life and works of the man who became known as the 'doctor of doctors' still stands outside Bukhara museum and his portrait hangs in the Hall of the Faculty of Medicine in the University of Paris.

Health Benefits of Massage:

Posted by Arqustany Putra Tuesday, September 22, 2009 0 comments

Health Benefits of Massage:
o Reduces muscle spasm and pain of injuries
o Reduces or relieves chronic pain.
o Reduces fatigue and muscle tension
o Increases circulation and removal of cell waste.
o Increases flexibility of soft tissue and joints.
o May decrease time lost due to illness.
o Headache relief
o Faster injury healing
o Reduces blood pressure
o Creates greater joint flexibility
o Improves athletic performance
o Strengthens the immune system
o Enhances health & nourishment of skin
o Reduces effects of stress which is the cause of many diseases.

Massage has beneficial effects on nearly every body system. By accessing the parasympathetic nervous system, it helps the body to relax and relieves stress.

o This relaxed state increases the activity of the digestive system which is inhibited when the body is in fight or flight syndrome caused by stress.
o Massage also increases the production of endorphins, the body's natural pain killers. The muscular system is allowed to relax and areas of chronic pain and spasm are relieved. The pressure of the massage therapists hands helps to increase circulation of blood to areas that have been restricted from muscle spasm.
o The stroking movements aid in the flow of lymph fluid which boosts the body's immune response.
o Passive and active range of motion stretching and exercise can be included and are especially helpful in healing of injuries since they increase flexibility. An injury can heal more quickly and efficiently with massage.
o Scar tissue can be influenced to heal in the direction of the line of fibers in the soft tissue which increases the mobility of the scar and reduces the chance of re-injury to the area.
o Massage can be an effective tool in stress management which will enhance overall well being and can reduce the effects of many stress related disorders.
o It is an effective adjunct to other health care modalities. Chiropractors and Osteopaths find that massage helps their manipulations to stay in place longer since the soft tissue relaxes.

Massage offers profound mental and emotional healing properties.
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Health: a blessing from God

Posted by Arqustany Putra Monday, September 21, 2009 0 comments

Islam considers health to be one of the greatest blessings to have been given to human beings by God. Indeed, it is considered the greatest blessing after faith itself. The Prophet said: "There are two blessings which many people do not appreciate: health and leisure". He also said: "No blessing other than faith is better than well-being". As an aspect of grace, man should express gratitude to God for it, and it should be properly looked after.
Good health is something for which we are accountable to God. The Prophet said: "The first thing every servant of God will have to account for on the Day of Judgment is that he will be asked by God: Have I not given you a healthy constitution and have I not quenched your thirst with cold water?"1 The Prophet also said: "No one will be allowed to move from his position on the Day of Judgment until he has been asked how he spent his life; how he used his knowledge; how he earnt and spent his money; and in what pursuits he used his health".2
It is part of the duty of every Muslim, therefore, to safeguard this blessing and not to allow any change to overcome it through ill usage. Otherwise, he will be severely punished, according to God’s immutable laws. The Quran states: Anyone who tampers with God’s grace after it has been bestowed on him will find God to be stern in punishment. (2:211) and God would not alter any grace He has bestowed on a folk unless they alter what they themselves have. (8:53)
The preservation of this blessing can only be achieved through taking good care of one’s health and taking every measure to maintain and enhance it. On the basis of this principle, every Muslim should make sure of doing whatever doctors confirm to be conducive to the preservation of good health. Moreover, the Quran and the sunna contain teachings which show every Muslim how to protect his health generally and how to take care of each of his organs. Numerous examples can be given. Prominent among these is wudhu (ablution), which Islam regards as compulsory whenever it is invalidated. We are strongly recommended to repeat it in many cases and situations. The Prophet said: "The door to prayer is opened with purification"3. Another version of this hadith4, states: "The door to prayer is opened with ablutions". Indeed, the Prophet "used to perform his ablutions for every single prayer"5. He used to say: "Only a believer maintains his ablutions"6, and also: "Ablution is part of being faithful"7. Moreover, a person who is in a state of ritual impurity after sexual intercourse (janaba) is recommended to perform ablutions if he wants to eat or to go to bed. The Prophet was asked whether such a person may sleep, eat or drink before having a bath. He answered: "Yes, if he has performed his ablutions as he does for prayer"8. He is also recommended to perform ablutions if he wants to have intercourse with his wife a second time: "If any of you has sexual intercourse with his wife and wishes to repeat it, he should perform ablutions first"9. We are recommended to perform ablutions before we go to bed: "When you go to bed perform ablutions as you do when you want to pray"10. Also if we get angry or have slandered another, when entering the mosque, making the call to prayer, delivering a sermon, after visiting a graveyard, or touching or carrying a dead person, and before reading the Quran.
Another act of worship which also helps to maintain good health is taking a shower, or ghusl. This is compulsory when one is in the state of ritual impurity. We read in the Quran: If you are defiled (following sexual intercourse or a wet dream) then purify yourselves. (5:6) God also says: Believers, do not attempt to pray when you are under the influence of drink, until you know what you are saying; nor in a state of impurity, except when just passing through a mosque, until you have taken a shower. (4:43) The Prophet also recommended his followers to have a shower on many occasions such as on Fridays. He said: "It is a duty owed to God by every Muslim to have a full shower once every seven days, during which he washes his head and his body"11. He also said: "He who comes to Friday prayer should first have a shower"12. Bathing is also recommended on the occasion of the two feasts. Taking a shower is also recommended for entering into the state of consecration (ihram), whether for pilgrimage or umra (mini-pilgrimage), after washing the body of a deceased person in preparation for burial, for praying for rain or eclipse of the sun, before secluding oneself for prayer, when body odour becomes too strong, and before attending any social gathering.
Islamic teachings are not confined to general cleanliness, but also take care of local cleanliness, such as washing one’s hands. The Prophet "used to wash his hands before eating"13. We are also recommended to clip our nails, for the Prophet said: "Five practices are part of natural cleanliness: circumcision, shaving the pubic hair, plucking out the armpit hair, cutting the nails and trimming the mustache"14. A Muslim is also supposed to keep the feet clean, for the Prophet "used to rub in between his toes with his little finger when he performed his ablutions"15. He also said: "Woe to heels (from the punishment of hell if they are not washed). Perform the ritual of ablution properly"16.
Islamic teachings also take care of the cleanliness of one’s mouth. We are required to rinse our mouths, as the Prophet said: "When you perform ablutions, rinse your mouth"17. He also said: "Rinse your mouth after drinking milk, because it contains fat"18. We are also required to keep our gums clean. The Prophet said: "Clean your gums from food and brush your teeth"19. Similarly, we are strongly encouraged to brush our teeth. The Prophet described the process of cleaning one’s teeth as "purification of one’s mouth, and an act that is pleasing to the Lord"20. The Prophet also said: "If I were not afraid that it would be too hard for the community, I would have asked Muslims to brush their teeth whenever they prayed"21. Two other versions of this hadith22 mention that the Prophet would have commanded us to brush our teeth "every time we performed ablutions". These last two versions clarify what the Prophet means when he recommends brushing one’s teeth for every prayer. It is clear that this should be done at the time of performing ablutions, and not as those people do who use a tooth stick to brush their teeth as they stand to offer prayers. All that happens in this case is that a person removes any dirty particles stuck on or in between the teeth and swallows them. The Prophet’s own practice is the best guide to explain his meaning. In a hadith23 we are told that: "The Prophet used to pray two rakaah late at night, and then go and brush his teeth"24. Another hadith25 mentions that the Prophet "would brush his teeth before performing ablutions, every time he woke up from sleep, whether at night or during the day". When the Prophet went into his home, the first action he did "was to brush his teeth"26. Moreover, "the Prophet used to brush his teeth whenever he rose at night to worship"27.
Indeed, the recommendation to brush our teeth frequently does not exempt any one who is fasting. In fact, it may be even more encouraged during fasting. Al-Tabarani, a highly renowned scholar of hadith who has his own collection of authentic hadith, quotes Abdurrahman ibn Ghanm asking Mu’az ibn Jabal, the Prophet’s companion, "‘Should I brush my teeth while fasting?’ He said, ‘Yes’. I asked, ‘At what time of day?’ He said, ‘Morning or late afternoon’. I said, ‘But people discourage that and say that the Prophet has said, ‘The smell of the mouth of a fasting person is more pleasant in God’s sight than the smell of musk’. He said, ‘Glory be to God! The Prophet has ordered them to brush their teeth, and he would not order them to deliberately let their mouths have a foul odour. Nothing good comes of that. Indeed it is bad’".
Another aspect of health protection is to keep clean one’s ears, eyes, nose, hair and genitals. It has been authentically reported that the Prophet "wiped his ears, using his forefingers to clean them from inside and his thumbs on the outside, thus wiping them both inside and out"28. It is also authentically reported concerning cleanliness of the eyes that the Prophet "used to wipe the inner corner of the eye"29. We are also recommended to clean our noses, for the Prophet said: "When any of you perform the ablutions, introduce water into the nose and then blow it out"30. With regard to keeping the hair clean, the Prophet said: "He who has hair should take good care of it"31. Local cleanliness particularly includes the genitals and private parts. The Prophet said: "When you defecate, wipe yourself three times"32. Anas, the Prophet’s servant, said: "When the Prophet defecated, I brought him water to wash with"33. Aisha, the Prophet’s wife, told Muslim women: "Tell your husbands to wash their private parts with water, for I am too shy to tell them so. The Prophet used to do that"34. There are many more hadith on this subject.
* * *
Among the most important of God’s blessings is marriage, which is conducive to the promotion of sexual and psychological health, while it builds the family, the basic unit of society. Hence, God mentions it among His many blessings saying: And among His signs is (the fact) that He has created spouses for you from among yourselves, so that you may console yourselves with them. He has planted affection and mercy between you (30:21) and He has created you from a single soul, and from that soul He created its mate. (4:1) Marriage is the normal practice of God’s messengers, as God has stated in the Quran: We have sent other messengers before your time and given them wives and children (13:38). The Prophet urged his followers to get married, saying: "Marriage is part of my tradition; those who do not follow my tradition are not of my followers"35. He also said: "I also marry women; those who do not follow my tradition do not belong to me"36. Addressing the young men among his followers, the Prophet said: "Young people, those who can afford to marry should do so"37. He censured the deliberate avoidance of marriage38, and said: "I was not ordered to be committed to celibacy"39.
Islam goes a step further than emphasizing that marriage is an individual duty and makes it a social duty as well. Addressing the Muslim community, God said: Facilitate the marriage of those of you who are single. (24:32). He has required those who are unmarried to maintain their chastity until they have the means to get married: Let those who cannot afford to marry live in continence until God enriches them. (24:33) Islam considers celibacy and the refusal to facilitate marriage as leading to depravity. This is evident in the hadith40 which quotes the Prophet as saying: "Should a person whose strength of faith and honesty are, in your view, satisfactory come to you with a proposal of marriage, get him married. Otherwise, there will be persecution in the land and much corruption".
Such an important matter is not left to chance. Hence Islam takes all precautions to ensure its success physically, psychologically, socially and sexually. It specifies the criteria for choosing a wife, as is made clear in the hadith41 which quotes the Prophet as saying: "A wife is chosen for four qualities: her faith, family status, wealth and beauty. Choose the one who is strong in faith". This does not belittle the importance of a wife’s family, property or beauty, but it emphasizes the most important quality, without which all other considerations lose importance, that is, strength of faith. Two more criteria are added in another hadith, one of which guarantees the continuity of family security, stability, love and compassion, as well as the satisfaction of the sexual urge in a legitimate way. That is one of the two objectives of the marriage institution. The other criterion ensures the continuity of human life. The Prophet says: "Marry a loving woman who can give birth to children"42.
One way of ensuring that the marriage is successful is found in the fact that Islam advises a prospective husband to see the woman to whom he is proposing. It does not recommend blind selection. The Prophet says: "If any of you proposes to a woman, he should try to see of her what encourages him to marry her"43. In another hadith44, the Prophet is quoted as saying to one of his companions: "Look at her, for that helps to bring you closer together".
Islam also encourages a similarity in ages between the couple. Both Abu Bakr and Umar proposed to marry Fatima, the Prophet’s daughter. He said to them: "She is too young for you". Then Ali, who was much younger than them, proposed to marry her and the Prophet accepted his proposal and married them45.
Another factor highlighted by Islam is the need to ensure the well-being of offspring. Both men and women are advised to choose their marriage partners on sound basis. The Prophet says: "Make a wise selection for your sperm"46. The factors which help to make the selection a wise one may naturally differ from time to time, so that every means that ensures a wiser choice is taken into consideration, including medical tests.
Islam finds no fault with the sexual relationship within lawful marriage, and does not consider it to be worthy of any reproach or censure. On the contrary, it considers it something which earns reward for the couple. The Prophet says: "In your intercourse there is a benefaction". His companions asked him: "Messenger of God, would one of us have a reward for fulfilling his desire?" He said: "Would he not incur a sin if he were to seek its satisfaction in some unlawful relationship? Similarly, when he fulfils it in a legitimate relationship, he earns a reward"47.
Islam also encourages sexual play before intercourse. The Prophet says: "Let no one of you fall like a camel over his wife, and let there be an emissary between them". When he was asked what he meant by an emissary, he said: "A kiss and a word of tenderness"48. Married couples are encouraged to wait for each other until they have satisfied their desire. The Prophet said: "When you have intercourse with your wife, be true to her. If you have finished your purpose before her, do not rush her but wait until she is satisfied"49. This should be added to the general rule stated in the Quran: The rights of wives (with regard to their husbands) are equal to the (husbands’) rights with regard to them. (2:228)
Islam forbids intercourse during menstruation, as God says in the Quran: Stay away from women during their menstrual periods. (2:222) It allows all positions of intercourse, provided that it is in the vagina. This is evident in the Quranic verse: Your wives are as a tilth unto you: so approach your tilth when or how you will. (2:223) The Prophet says in this connection: "Do not approach women through their anuses".
* * *
A highly important factor of health promotion is proper nutrition. Choosing wholesome food and avoiding what is unwholesome are essential to health. God says in the Quran: Eat of the good things which We have provided for you. (2:173) Eat of what is lawful and wholesome on the earth. (2:168) Describing the Prophet God says: He prohibits them from all that is foul. (7:157)
To abstain from eating without a valid reason is contrary to health protection. Hence, Islam does not approve of it. God says in the Quran: Do not forbid yourselves the wholesome things God has made lawful for you. (5:87)
Healthy nutrition means having a balanced diet, in order to maintain the balance that God has established in all matters, and to which reference is made in the Quran: And He enforced the balance. That you exceed not the bounds; but observe the balance strictly; and fall not short thereof. (55:7–9)
Healthy nutrition means a diet balanced in quantity. Eating too much is harmful, as it causes disorders of the digestive system. It is also an indirect cause of diseases of affluence such as diabetes, hypertension and vascular diseases leading to angina and heart attack, as well as diseases of the brain arteries, causing stroke and paralysis. This proves the old saying that the "stomach is the home of ill health", whether directly or indirectly, and is responsible for some of the most serious diseases. Eating too much is contrary to Islamic teachings. In the Quran we read: Eat and drink, but avoid excess. (20:81) According to a hadith50, the Prophet said: "No human being fills a container to worse effect than he fills his own stomach. It is sufficient for a human being to have a few bites to keep himself fit (which means that it is sufficient to have only what one needs to maintain strength and well-being). If he must eat (or according to another version "If a human being cannot resist the temptation..."), then let him use one-third for food, one-third for drink and one-third for breathing". Another authentic hadith51 quotes the Prophet as saying: "The food of one person will be sufficient for two, and the food of two people will be sufficient for four, and the food of four will be sufficient for eight".
Healthy nutrition also means a diet balanced in its contents. This means that it must have a mixture of the different types of food which God has graciously provided for His creation, so that it satisfies all the body needs in terms of proteins, fat, carbohydrates, salts and vitamins. Most of these are mentioned in the Quran: He created cattle which give you warmth, benefits and food to eat. (16:5) It is He who subdued the seas, from which you eat fresh fish. (16:14) Referring to vegetarian food, God says: It is He who sends down water from the sky... with which He brings up corn, olives, dates and grapes and other fruit. (16:11) Milk and honey are also mentioned: In cattle too you have a worthy lesson. We give you to drink of that which is in their bellies, between the chyle and the blood: pure milk, a pleasant beverage for those who drink it. (16:66) From within their (i.e. the bees’) bellies comes forth a fluid of many hues, that provides people with a cure (of illnesses). (16:69) Elsewhere in the Quran God says: We have made the camels a part of God’s rites. They are of much benefit to you. (22:36) Eat of these fruits when they ripen. (6:141) And from it (the earth) we produced grain for their sustenance. (36:33)
Islam prefers wholemeal food. An example is the Prophet’s preference for wholemeal bread, as reported in a hadith52which mentions that Umm Ayman once refined some flour to bake bread for the Prophet. He asked her what she was doing, and she replied: "This is a type of food which we used to make back home, and I thought of baking it for you". He said: "Put it (the bran) back in then make the dough".
Washing one’s hands before eating is a basic principle. It ensures the cleanliness of the food we handle, so that it is not contaminated with what may be harmful. This protects the stomach from infections. A hadith53, the Prophet’s wife, mentions that "the Prophet used to wash his hands before eating".
Another health rule stresses the need to ensure the cleanliness of food and drink. Islam urges that food should be covered so that nothing falls in it. A hadith54 includes the instruction: "Cover your water container". And in another version55: "Cover your food and drink". The Prophet prohibited the contamination of food and drink with what human bodies discharge, because these discharges carry germs and spread infection. He said: "Let no one urinate in stagnant water"56. He also "prohibited anyone to urinate where he bathes"57. He warns us: "Avoid the two actions that bring people’s curses". When he was asked what these were, he said: "The one who defecates in the road and the shade"58. In a different version he warns against "three actions that bring people’s curses: defecation in water sources, on roads and in the shade"59. Needless to say, defecation in or near water sources is a major factor in transmitting disease, either directly through the polluted water, or indirectly through fruit and vegetables that are irrigated with such water. The reference to the shade in these hadith is significant; a shaded place is a breeding area for germs, as it does not benefit from the sun which kills many germs.
This prohibition on polluting water sources and roads is only one of the Islamic directives which aim to keep the environment healthy. We have a complementary order to keep it clean and pollution free. The Prophet said: "The removal of harmful objects from the road counts as an act of benefaction"60. In an authentic hadith, the Prophet is quoted as saying: "I have been shown the deeds of my followers: both good and bad ones. I found among their good deeds the removal of harmful objects from people’s way"61. Muslim also relates a hadith following Abu Huraira which says: "Faith includes over seventy branches, ... the simplest of which is the removal of any source of harm from the road".
In several places in the Quran, God warns against corrupting the earth. To corrupt or pollute the environment is one aspect of such corruption. Indeed it is the first thing that comes to mind when we read God’s directives, such as: Eat and drink of the sustenance God has provided and do not corrupt the earth with evil. (2:60) Do not corrupt the earth. (7:85) Do not strive for corruption in the land. (28:77) Indeed all prophets have warned their communities against spreading corruption on earth.
Moreover, God specifically mentions the type of corruption which threatens the life of plants and animals. He says: There are some people whose words about this present life may please you. They even call on God to witness what is in their hearts; whereas in fact they are the deadliest opponents. As soon as they hold authority they go over the earth to spread corruption, destroying tilth and progeny. God does not like spoil. (2:205)
On the basis of this verse, Imam Ibn Hazm said: "To deny animals the sort of feed or grazing they need to live and to neglect the irrigation of plants and fruit trees until both die constitute, as God specifically says, the spreading of evil and corruption in the land and destruction of crops and cattle. That is something that God immensely dislikes".
The Prophet was always keen to increase agricultural resources and to expand the healthy environment. He said: "Any trees a Muslim may plant, and any seeds he may cultivate from which man or animal, or any other creature, eats, count as an act of benefaction"62. He also said: "Whoever cultivates land that has been dead, that land becomes his own"63. However, he strictly forbade the cutting of trees. He said: "Whoever cuts a tree (unnecessarily) will have his head thrown directly into Hell"64.
The Prophet was the first to create protected areas in which it was prohibited to cut any tree or kill any animal. The Prophet declared Medina within a 12 mile belt as a natural reserve: trees were not to be felled or cut, except to cut a stick to drive a camel65. Another hadith66 mentions that the Prophet used to "prohibit the felling of any trees in Medina". He also said of Medina: "Its game may not be frightened, and none of its trees may be cut, except what a man may cut of it to feed his camel"67. He also said: "I prohibit all the district in between the two volcanic areas: its trees may not be felled, and its game may not be killed"68. He also protected the valley of Wajj in Taif, saying: "It is prohibited to kill or fell the game and trees of Wajj"69.
* * *
An important means of health protection and promotion is to give to each part of our bodies its due. The Prophet said: "Your eyes have a claim against you"70. One must not overburden oneself: "Bear only what you can cope with"71. This should be accompanied by increasing physical fitness through exercise and sport. The Prophet said: "A physically able believer is better than a weak believer"72. He also said: "Your body has a [human] right of you"73, and "Be keen to do what is of benefit to you"74.
* * *
In return for all these ways and means of protecting and promoting our health that have been mentioned above, we are strongly warned against making any attempt to alter this aspect of God’s grace. If we do, we will pay a very heavy price. This is clearly highlighted in the hadith75: "When gross immoral conduct becomes widespread in any community to the extent that they unashamedly publicize it, plague and other diseases unknown in their past generations will spread quickly among them". God has categorically forbidden all foul and sinful practices, regardless of their nature. He says in the Quran: You shall not commit foul sins, whether openly or in secret. (6:151) Another Quranic directive states: Say: My Lord has forbidden all atrocities, whether overt or disguised, and harm. (7:33)

1. Authenticated by Al-Hakim and agreed upon by Al-Zahabi as narrated by Al-Tirmizi, Ibn Hibban, Al-Hakim and others.
2. Authenticated by Al-Tirmizi as reported by Abu Barza al-Aslami.
3. Narrated by Ibn Majah and Al-Tirmizi following the Caliph Ali.
4. Related by Al-Tirmizi on the authority of Jaber.
5. Narrated by Al-Tirmizi following Anas ibn Malik.
6. Narrated by Ibn Majah following Thawban.
7. Authenticated by Al-Tirmizi as reported by Abu Malik al-Ashari.
8. Narrated by Ibn Majah following Jaber ibn Abdullah.
9. Narrated by Muslim and ibn Majah following Abu Saeed.
10. Agreed upon as reported by Al-Bara ibn Azib
11. Agreed upon as reported by Abu Huraira.
12. Agreed upon as reported by Ibn Omar.
13. Narrated by Ibn Majah following Abu Huraira.
14. Agreed upon as reported by Abu Huraira.
15. Narrated by Abu Dawood following Al-Mustawrid ibn Shaddad.
16. Narrated by Abu Dawood following Abdullah ibn Amr.
17. Narrated by Abu Dawood following Lakit ibn Sabira.
18. Narrated by Abu Dawood and Ibn Majah following Ibn Abbas.
19. Narrated by Al-Hakeem al-Tirmizi in his book Nawader al-usul following Abdullah ibn Bishr al-Mazini.
20. Narrated by Al-Nasa’i following Ibn Khuzaima following Aisha.
21. Agreed upon as reported by Abu Huraira.
22. Ibn Khuzaima following Abu Huraira, and Al-Tahawi, Al-Baihaqi and Ahmad following Abdurrahman ibn Aouf
23. Related by Ibn Majah on the authority of Ibn Abbas.
24. Narrated by Ibn Majah following Ibn Abbas.
25. Related by Abu Dawood on the authority of Aisha.
26. Narrated by Muslim following Aisha.
27. Agreed upon as reported by Huzaifa
28. Narrated by Ibn Majah following Ibn Abbas.
29. Narrated by Ibn Majah following Abu Umama.
30. Narrated by Muslim following Abu Huraira.
31. Narrated by Abu Dawood.
32. Narrated by Ibn Hazm in Al-muhalla following the chain of the Zuhri’s nephew Muhammad ibn Abdullah ibn Muslim.
33. Agreed upon as reported by Anas.
34. Narrated by Al-Tirmizi following Aisha.
35. Narrated by Ibn Majah following Aisha.
36. Narrated by Muslim following Anas.
37. Narrated by Ibn Majah following Ibn Masoud.
38. Narrated by Al-Nasa’i following Aisha and Samura ibn Jundub.
39. Narrated by Al-Darimi following Saad ibn Abu Waqqas.
40. Narrated by Ibn Majah following Abu Huraira.
41. Agreed upon as reported by Abu Huraira
42. Narrated by Al-Nasa’i and Abu Dawood following Maakil ibn Yassar.
43. Narrated by Abu Dawood following Jaber.
44. Related by Al-Tirmizi, Al-Nasa’i and Ibn Majah following Al-Mughira ibn Shuaba.
45. Narrated by Al-Nasa’i following Buraida.
46. Narrated by Ibn Majah, Al-Daraqutni and Al-Hakim following Aisha.
47. Narrated by Muslim following Abu Zarr.
48. Narrated by Al-Dailami in Musnad al-firdous.
49. Authenticated by Abu Yaala and narrated by Al-Sanaani in Al-musannaf following Anas
50. By Al-Miqdam ibn Maady Karib as related by Al-Tirmizi and others.
51. Narrated by Muslim following Jaber
52. Related by Ibn Majah.
53. Related by Al-Nasa’i on the authority of Aisha.
54. Related by Ibn Majah following Jaber.
55. Related by Al-Bukhari following Jaber.
56. Narrated by Ibn Majah following Abu Huraira.
57. Narrated by Al-Tirmizi following Abdullah ibn Mughaffil.
58. Narrated by Muslim following Abu Huraira.
59. Narrated by Abu Dawood following Muaaz ibn Jabal.
60. Narrated by Abu Dawood following Abu Zarr.
61. Narrated by Muslim and Ibn Majah following Abu Zarr
62. Narrated by Muslim following Jaber.
63. Narrated by Al-Tirmizi following Jaber.
64. Narrated by Abu Dawood following Abdullah ibn Habashi.
65. Narrated by Abu Dawood following Adi ibn Zaid.
66. Related also by Abu Dawood following Saad ibn Abu Waqqas.
67. Narrated by Abu Dawood following Ali.
68. Narrated by Imam Ahmad followig Saad ibn Abu Waqqas.
69. Narrated by Imam Ahmad and Abu Dawood following Al-Zubair
70. Agreed upon as reported by Abdullah ibn Amr.
71. Agreed upon as reported by Aisha
72. Narrated by Muslim following Abu Huraira.
73. Narrated by Muslim following Abdullah ibn Amr.
74. Narrated by Muslim and Ibn Majah following Abu Huraira.
75. Narrated by Ibn Majah and Abu Nouaim following Abdullah ibn Amr.

by Shahid Athar, M.D.

" He has forbidden you dead meat, and blood, and flesh of swine , and on which any other name has been invoked besides that of Allah. But if one is forced by necessity without willful disobedience, nor transgressing, due limits.... than he is not guilty, for Allah is forgiving, merciful."
" Forbidden to you are: Dead meat, blood, the flesh of swine and that on which has been invoked a name other than Allah's, and that killed by strangling, or by a violent blow, or by a headlong fall, or by being gored to death: That which has been eaten by a wild animal: Unless you are able to slaughter it, that which has been sacrificed on stone: (forbidden) also is the divination of arrows: that is impiety.
"Say: I find not in the Message received by me by inspiration any meat forbidden to be eaten by one who wishes to eat of it, unless it be dead meat, or blood poured forth, or the flesh of swine, for it is an abomination, - or what is impious, (meat) on which a name has been invoked, other than God's. But even so, if a person is forced by necessity without wilful disobedience, nor transgressing due limits, - Your Lord is Oft-Forgiving , Most Merciful."
"He has-only forbidden you dead meat, and blood; and the flesh of swine, and any (food) over which the name of other than God has been invoked. But if one is forced by necessity without wilful disobedience, nor transgressing due limits, - Your Lord is Oft-Forgiving , Most Merciful."

"They ask you concerning wine and gambling. Say: "In them there is great sin, and some profit, for men, but sin is greater than the profit."
"O you who believe! Approach not prayers, with a mind befogged, until you can understand all that you say."
"O you who believe! Intoxicants and gambling, (dedication of) stones, and (divination by) arrows, are an abomination of Satan's handiwork. Avoid such (abomination) that you may prosper."
"Satan's plan is to sow enmity and hatred among you with intoxicants and gambling, and to hinder you from the remembrance of Allah and from prayer. Will you not then give up."

I. "That which is lawful is plain and that which is unlawful is plain and between the two of them are doubtful matters about which many people do not know. Thus he who avoids doubtful matters clears himself in regards to his religion and his honour, but he who falls into doubtful matters falls into that which is unlawful." (narrated by Abu Abdullah An Numan Bin Bashar-R.A. Reported in Bukhari and Muslim.)
2. "Allah the Almighty has laid down religious duties, so do not neglect them; He has set boundaries, so do not cross them; He has prohibited some things, so do not violate them; about some things. He was silent out of compassion for you, not due to forgetfulness-, so do not seek after them." (narrated by Abu Tbalaba Al Khushani Jurtum Bin Nashir-R.A.reported in Ad-Daraqutni.)
3. "Allah the Almighty is pure and accepts only that which is pure. Allah has asked the believers to do that He asked the messengers, and the Almighty has said: (23:5 1) " 0 you messengers! Eat of the pure things and do right." And Allah the Almighty has said: (2:172) "O you who believe! Eat of the pure things that we have provided you." Then the Prophet (pbuh) gave example of a man tired and dusty after a long journey, raises his hands to the sky and says: "O Lord! 0 Lord!".. while his food is unlawful, Ns drink is unlawful, his clothing is unlawful, and he is nourished unlawfully, so how can his prayers be answered?" (Narrated by Abu Huraira-R.A. reported in Muslim.)
It is not required of the believer to always find a scientific justification for the divine prohibitions.However, if they look and find it, they must share the information, that will increase their faith. To the contrary, lack of confirmation should not question the authenticity of the Quran. We believe that all Quranic statements are true, and if science has not confirmed some of them yet, it will do so in the future, may be it needs to examine its data more deeply or repeat the experiment.
For the benefits of non-medical readers, before I describe the topic in question i.e. hormonal and behavioral effect of prohibited food, intoxicants and ingredients, I must define some medical terms and inter-relationships:

These are the powerful secretions of Endocfine (internal) glands. They control the functions of all organs, and even individual cells. They are made from proteins (peptides) or sterols in nature. The endocrine glands are hypothalmus which secretes various releasing hormones for pituitary, and pituitary which secretes hormones for target endocrine glands. Both of them are inside the brain. Target endocrine glands are thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormones control our metabolism, energy level, and temperature tolerance. Behind them are para-thyroid gland which control our calcium metabolism. In the abdomen are adrenal glands above the kidneys which secrete cortisone, the life saving essential hormone, and catecholamines and aldosterone which control our blood pressure and heart-rate. steroids and catecholamines are derived from cholesterol. Also in the abdomen is the pancreas which secretes insulin which lowers blood sugar, and glycogen which raises a low blood sugar. Lower down in the pelvis are gonads, ovaries in women, and testes in men, which secrete estrogen, progesterone and testosterone respectively. All these hormones have internal control, and influence each other. They control our growth, muscle mass, bone development, temperature tolerance, blood pressure, energy, fertility, sex desire, thirst, and well being in general.

The site of secretion of releasing hormone, and of neurotransmitter in the brain are the same in the hypothalmic area. Most of the psychotropic drugs either act by increasing or decreasing the neurotransmitter levels i.e epinephrine, norepinephrine, serotonin, dopamine or endorphrin level in the hypothalmic area. Similarly, peurotransmitters influence hormone secretion.
Clinically we see various behavioral manifestations in endocrine disorders. Hypoglycemic patients (low blood sugar) suffer from depression and poor mental concentration and patients with low thyroid have impotency and depression, while patients with high thyroid have agitation, irritability, and lack of sleep. Patients with low cortisone (Addison Disease) have severe depression while with high cortisone have hallucination and psychosis. Patients with high testosterone have been claimed to have criminal tendencies (i.e. rapists) while low testosterone have behavioral problems in adjustment. Patients with calcium changes.
Physiologically, boys and girls are different in playing behavior i.e. aggressive versus passive (playing with mechanical toys and guns versus dolls) due to difference in their sex hormone even in pre-pubertal age. This becomes more obvious after full sex differentiation takes place. In fact, by changing the sex hormone level of a given sex one can change not only the sexual behavior but the aggressiveness of a particular sex. Homosexual males have been noted to have less male sex hormones, and on the other hand, repeated sex offending males can be "cured" by castration or by the injection of the female hormone progesterone. In one experiment, female rats whose mothers were treated with testosterone while pregnant showed male behavior pattern of threatening peer, rough play, and increased sexual activity as compared to a control rat. This shows that testosterone not only affects the individual, but the offspring as well. Girls with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (excessive testosterone secretion) when in post puberty age show tomboy attitude with liking rough sports, preferring boys as playmates, and low interest in dolls and baby care. Sexual behavior is not only affected by testosterone, but also by the pineal gland which is turned off and on by light and darkness.
Hormones, not directly but indirectly by controlling\sugar, calcium, sodium balance,affect behavior in general to include anger, love, anxiety, panic attacks, and agitation. The hyperactivity in children could be due to low blood sugar or due to many food preservatives and coloring agent like nitrites, and Dye No. 5.
After this much introduction of hormones, and behavior, I turn to the main theme.
Pork meat and fat are not only prohibited to Muslims, but were also prohibited to Jews and Christians as well because "Swine were designed to be scavengers, to eat up filth." In old testament Leviticus Chapter 7-8, it is mentioned about swine " Though he divides the hoof and be cloven footed, yet he cheweth not the cud, he is unclean to you. Of their flesh shall you not eat." There is no mention in the Bible that Jesus ever ate pork in his life. It was Paul who declared all food and drink permissible saying, "To the pure, everything is pure."

To get a first hand idea, I interviewed farmers of Fisher, Indiana, who breed swine. According to them "Swine is cheaper to breed, since it does not require pasture, it can live on manure and other such items including dead meat. In fact, it can even eat its own feces. Their sexual habits are also different from other animals like cow, sheep and goat. Swine have very little shame i.e. engage in sex acts anytime anyplace. The female hog is very aggressive in sexual activities when she is in "heat" she does not care about anything (i.e. food or privacy) until she has the sex. They i.e. swine, also lick the genitals of their partners after sex like dogs, but not other mammals like cow, sheep or goat."

Fats are lipids which are a source of energy. They can be of vegetable source or of animal source. Triglycerides are neutral fats with 1 molecule of glycerol and three fatty acids. The fatty acids can be saturated or unsaturated.The more unsaturated fats have high melting points. The iodine value of fat gives the degree of un saturation. The iodine value of lard is 65, beef 45, and mutton 32. After ingestion, emulsification of fat takes place in the stomach by gastric lipase. By pancreatic lipase hydrolysis of triglyceride into glycerol and fatty acids takes place. The fatty acids and glycerol are used by various tissues like muscle, heart, kidney, and liver for an energy source. Herbivorous (plant eating) animals have unsaturated fatty acid on the position 2 of the triglyceride (tg) molecule, while the carnivorous (meat eating )animals have saturated fatty acid at the position 2. Pancreatic lipase (pl) can not hydrolyze TG molecule if saturated fatty acid at position 2. Fat of dogs, rats, cats, and pork, have saturated fatty acids on positions 2. If a person eats fat of herbivomus animal, the fat will be hydrolyzed, absorbed, and then re synthesized and stored as human fat, while that of carnivorous animals and pork fat will not be hydrolyzed and therefore has to be deposited in humans as pork fat in the adipose tissue.

Circulating hormones are in bound form and free form. The free form has to be attached to receptor in fat tissue before becoming active. Obesity decreases the number of receptors therefore the hormones cannot be utilized. Therefore, if the hormone is insulin, it leads to diabetes (type 2); and if it is testosterone, it leads to sub fertility and amenorrhea. The amount of fat also controls hormone release. Therefore we see menarche is delayed in athletic girls with less fat, and occurs early in sedentary overweight girls.
It can be postulated that in humans who have pork fat deposit there is derangement in the binding of hormones, therefore they have a higher level of circulating active hormone. It is possible that the sexual promiscuity and deviant sexual practices of pork eating society is due to what they eat ! After all, it has been said by nutritionists, "Yor are what you eat."
Since this is a paper on hormones and behavior, the time does not permit discussing the effect of pork on cholesterol, sodium and the relationship to heart disease.

Dead meat is the meat of animal which died before slaughtering and blood could not flow out, and blood ingestion is not only the drinking of blood as it was prevalent in the Jahiliya of Arabia or even now in Africa (and in France) but also the blood which is retained inside the meat by improper killing of the animal. All hormones, and antibodies are retained in the blood, and all infective organisms including virus flourish in the blood media, therefore ingestion of such will be dangerous midecally. It may also induce animal instincts as seen in carnivorous animals like dogs, cats, and lions.

Both in acute and chronic alcoholism, endocrine glands are affected. Hypoglycemia is a manifestation of acute alcoholism which may be severe, and can lead to coma. This should be recognized and treated with dextrose intravenously since it mat not respond to glycogen. Low magnesium with resultant low calcium is another effect resulting in poor concentration, muscle twitching and even seizure. Increase in urine flow is due to depression of antidiuretic hormone.
Chronic alcoholism leads to pancreatitis with failure of pancreatic endocrine system (sometimes Diabetes) and exocrine gland (malnutrition). This leads to protein deficiency leading to reduced production of testosterone, which may lead to impotency, gynecomastia in men and amenorrhea in women. Alcoholics can also have a pseudo (false) cushing syndrome. Alcohol related liver disease causes increased clearance of testosterone with testicular atrophy leading to true hypogonadism. Sperm formation is also affected leading to infertility. Infants born to an alcoholic mother can also have undercended testes and labial hypoplasia. In addition, the cortisol levels are increased during withdrawal, while LH and LH-RH levels are suppressed during chronic alcoholism.

Alcohol, being a central nervous system depressant, depresses both facilitatory and inhibitory pathways. It is the suppression of the latter that abolishes the shame and removes control. Therefore, what a normal person will be prevented from doing i.e. abusive language, undressing in public, etc. will not be prevented under the influence of alcohol. There are more serious behavioral disorders described to include brain disjunction in 50- 70%, memory loss, depression both acute and chronic, high suicide rate, mood fluctuation, delirium tremorous (DTS) in withdrawal state, and blackout spells during drinking. One-third of all auto accidents are due to alcoholism. Under the influence of alcohol are mental judgement and motor skills, which are both affected. Sometimes the level of consciousness is also affected. Alcohol had been found to be at the root of family violence, sexual violence, rape, assault, and child abuse.
Alcohol is not an aphrodisiac, as it is claimed. Not only does it depress the central nervous system's effect on the libido, but actually lowers the penile blood flow and tumescence (swelling) thereby decreasing the performance.

Both LSD and cocaine cause decreases in plasma testosterone and LH. The aphrodisiac effect is due to local anesthesia causing prolonged erection and central stimulation causing general well being. Also by inhibiting the inhibitions, they encourage engagement in unusual sex acts like sodomy or oral genital sex.
Psychologically they cause mood elation and a false sense of euphoria followed by depression, anxiety and agitation Panic attacks, suicidal tendencies, and violent behaviors are not uncommon. Chronic usage may lead to schizophrenia, paranoia, and a variety of psychiatric disorders, even infants born to cocaine addicted mothers show signs of withdrawal.

If ingredients are of prohibited nature, i.e. pork, lard, alcohol, cocaine etc., the effect will be as described earlier, though because of the small quantity, the effect will be slow and may be cumulative.
More serious are items like sugar which causes reactive hypoglycemia; sodium which may lead to hypertension; DES (Diethylstillbestrol, a female hormone given to cattle and chickens to increase fat and muscle content) linked to vaginal and cervical cancer in women; and artificial sweeteners like saccharine related to bladder cancer in rats, and aspartame related to brain damage.

More research is needed on all of the above areas, especially those affecting the life style of Muslims. Though usage of prohibited items are not commonly found in Muslims, the dangers also may come to their health and spirits by the effects of non-prohibited items like western rock music, dress (i.e. tight jeans affecting testicular temperature) and sexual practices, and cigarette smoking.

1. Qur'an;2:173,5:4,6:145,16:115,2:219,4:43,5:98,5:91.
2. Yusaf Al Qardawi; The Lawful and Prohibited in Islam: 39-61.
3. Hussaini, M.M. and A.H. Sakr. 1983, Islamic Dietary Laws and Practices, Published by the Islamic Food and Nutiition Council of America, Chicago, Illinois U.S.A.
4. William,R.H.;Test Book of Endocrinolocy. 6th edition:chapter on Psychoendocrinology.
5. Felig & Baxter; Endocrinology and Metabolism.
6. Goodart & Shils; Modern Nutrition in Health And Disease: 6th edition.
7. Badri,M.B.; Islam and Alcoholism: ATP Publication, lndianapolis.
8. Saud, M.A.; Sex Roles in Muslim Families in U.S.A.; Published in Al-ittihad.
9. Drucker, WM.; Endocrinc Abnormalities caused by Alcobolism; Medical Aspect of Human Sexuality-Vol. 16, No. 12, Dec. 1982.
10. Eckardt et al; Health Hazard Associated with Alcohol Consumption: JAMA 1981.
11. Washton and Stone; Human Cost of Cocaine Use; Medical Aspects of Human Sexuality-Vol. 18, No. II, Nov. 1984.
PRESENTED ON: September 20, 1986 at the Fourth Annual Convention of the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America, held at the Muslim Community Center, Chicago.

Health An Islamic Perspective

Posted by Arqustany Putra Saturday, September 19, 2009 0 comments

The Impact of Islam and Its Teachings on Preservation of Individual and Public Health
Dr. Ahmed Shawky Al-Fangary, KUWAIT
• Relation Between Religion and Health
• Cleanliness, Purification and Ablution
• Islam's Instructions in Epidemic Diseases Control
• Nutrition in Islam
• Sports
• Sexual Health in Islam
• Islam and Psychological Health
• Ideologic Method in Hygeinic Education
• The Fruits of the Instructions When Applied
• Conclusion and References

Islam differs from other religions in that it concerns itself with both this life as well as the here after. It is the only religion which has built on earth a state and a society. Hence all the instructions for administrating such a society descended directly from heaven. Some concern the ruling system, others social and economic dealings in addition to the hygienic regime.
The purpose of the hygienic regime in Islam is to create a community which is healthy and immune against infectious diseases, and the healthy individual (in body and mind) who is capable of understanding and applying God's message and carrying it away to the whole world.
In this research we summarize Islam's instructions in the hygienic field and their efficiency in realising this objective
1 . Body Cleanliness: Islam recommends bathing for' twenty three reasons. Seven of them are compulsory and sixteen are preferable.
2. Hands Cleanliness: Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) Says 'Wash thy hands before and after eating", Readds "Wash thy hands after awakening. No one knows where his hands lay during his sleep."
3. Islam recommends clothing cleanliness and elegance "Ameliorate thy clothing and thy mount".
4. Food and drink cleanliness: Orders for protecting food from dust and insects, the prophet says "Cover thy vessels and drinks"
5. Residence cleanliness: "Clean thy courtyards and thy residence" as well as street cleanliness "It is charitable to remove harms from the road."
6. Cleanliness of water sources such as wells, rivers and shores. Therefore, urinating and defecating are forbidden in any of them---"Avoid three evils; defecation in water sources, shades and in the road.
If these instructions are followed accurately in the twentieth century, we can put an end to all gastrointestinal infections and exterminate harmful insects such as flys, cockroaches and others.
Having mentioned the role of cleanliness in preventing infectious diseases, we mention here Islams instructions to combat epidemics.
1 . Isolation: Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) says in this respect "Infectious cases would not contact the healthy"
2. Quarantine: on cases such as leppers "Leave a space of a spear or two between ye and the lepper"
3. Islam also laid basic rules for dealing with an epidemic such as Cholera, plague and smallpox "Do not enter a land of which you hear there is a pestilence, and if ye are in that land do not try to leave it in escape"2
4. Islam encourages every means of protection from infectious diseases such as immunisation. When the prophet (PBUH) was once asked whether such protective measures prevent God's fate, he ( PBUH) said that it is a part of God's will"
Islam concerned itself with three aspects of the Muslim's food:-
a. Forbidding the harmful food
b. Aquainting the Muslim with the beneficial food.
c. Rectifying his eating habits.
A. Forbidden Items:
God announces: -
Each of these forbidden items has on undisputable scientific argument for being prohibited. It is true there is a controversy round the harm of the swine flesh and the diseases it may cause to human beings because of its dirtiness and its unhygienic nutritional habits. Whereas some people claim that the swine in Europe is being bred in clean pans and under medical supervision there are still some harms in its flesh which science could not overcome such as the excess of cholesterol and its liability to Trichina and Salmonella more than any other animal.
Islam has also forbidden liquor in great as well as small quantities, the harm of which undisputed. Moreover, its moral and spiritual harm is worse than its physical harm.
B. Unforbidden Food:
Islam keeps pace with natural disposition. Hence, all food is allowed except what is harmful. But, there are certain foods which Islam recommends for their nutritional benefit such as meat, fish, honey and milk.
Islam is against vegetarian doctrines which forbid eating meat for religious reasons. The argument is that the human body won't be healthy depending only on vegetables because the human intestines are shorter than those of the herbivorous animals. Thus, it does not suffice its need for proteins from a vegetarian meal.
C. Timing and Quantifying Meals:
Islam prompts people not to be extravagant in eating The Prophet (PBUH) says "The stomach is the worst vessel to fill" The Quran says4 EAT AND DRINK BUT BEWARE OF EXTRAVAGANCE, GOD DISLIKES THOSE WHO ARE EXTRAVAGANT.
Islam originated Ramadan, a whole month of fasting yearly; the benefits of which cannot be denied whether physically or spiritualy.
On the other hand, Islam is against doctrines which urge people to discard food or to overfast to the extent of weakness. The prophet (PBUH) announces " Fast for good is not proper lasting" He (PBUH) also declares "Every morsel a Muslim eats is a deed of charity"
Islam attaches much importance to sports in order to create a physically powerful generation capable of sustaining fighting and resisting diseases. Therefore, Islam advises Muslims to teach their children shooting, swimming, and horsemanship. "Teaching thy children writing swimming and shooting is a duty" He (PBUH) also adds "Teach thy children shooting and train them on horsemanship till they excel" and since these were the only sports known at the Prophet's time, then, Islam encourages all the sports known to us in the time being.
Sex is one of the most important issues that may affect human behavior and health. Some scientists and scholars consider it the main motive behind most of human actions. Therefore, Islam did not exclude one triviality concerning this issue from discussion.
1 . Sexual education: Quran discusses it in a refined style explaining to human beings sexual intercourse and the creation of an embryo WAS NOT HE A DROP OF SPERM TRANSFORMED INTO A CLOT OF CONGEALED BLOOD THEN HE HATH CREATED AND FURTHER, GIVEN ORDER AND PROPORTION "(Quran)"
This text indicates that the sperms are the decessive element in determining the embryo's sex. Quran also explains the composition of the sperms. HE IS CREATED FROM A DROP EMITTED PROCEEDING FROM BETWEEN THE BACKBONE AND THE RIBS6 . Then it illustrates the development of the embryo from a drop of sperm to a clot of congealed blood to a foetus lump etc.
2. Islam encourages early marriage and teaches the Muslim the particulars of marriage and helps him choose the proper wife. Moreover, it explains matrimonial relations and lays the conditions for seperation and discusses its dealings.
3. Islam explains the proper sexual relation between husband and wife and how would each of them suffice the other's needs in order to establish a happy marital life. Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) interdicted copulation before paying ones wife amorous court. The prophet (PBUH) also orders "Be fair to thy wife during copulation and if ye reach your excitement before she does do not hasten her"
4. Islam forbids homosexuality and copulating a woman through her anus for the diseases which may result.
5. It enjoins circumcising males and detests it for females
6. Adultry is forbidden while polygamy is allowed for men.
7. Cleanliness of sexual organs. Islam imposes rinsing after urinating or defecation. Moreover, it forbids intercourse during menstruation and requires cleaning after copulation and after menses.
Anxiety is one of the gravest problems in the twentieth century particularly in Europe. We often hear of millionaires committing suicide, of mothers and fathers becoming mentally deranged and killing their children or their spouses if not their whole family.
The slightest cases are of millions of people who live on sedatives and hypnotics in order to sustain their daily life. The reason for that is not the well-known primitive causes such as poverty, diseases and ignorance, for these countries enjoy easy living and a high standard of education and health. The reason is what we may call "Civilization Stress".
Many studies have been made on its causes. They may be summed up as follows: - Prevalent materialism - spiritual and religious vacuity - Lack of moral impulse and religious restraint - Lack of sympathy and cooperation in modern society - Excess of luxury in absence of human objective - City clamour.
This is the ultimate summary of all reports made by scientific committees which were formed in search for the origination of violence and anxiety in western societies.
It is quite apparant that the real cure for all these points is religion; and Islam in particular. Islamic society is the only one in which religious affairs are closely bound to worldly ones, and this life with the hereafter. Thus, if Islam is properly applied in our present time with proper understanding and knowledge, all the causes of anxiety would be irradicated.
1. Islam achieves love, cooperation, security and sympathy amongst its followers.
2. An Islamic society is vacant of cesspools of evil, liquors; gambling, drugs and adultry.
3. Islam rejects despair, despondence, and suicide, and urges people on patience, faith and struggle till victory.
It might be claimed that we are not in need of religion in order to teach people hygiene, and that all the hygienic instructions that were mentioned in this study do not differ from what is in contemporary hygienic books. In answer to that we say that the difference is great. Distributing hygienic leaflets on people or sending them health inspectors is totally different from having these instructions in an ideological religious mould. These instructions in Islam are part and parcel of the dogma. They complement worshiping in a way that religious rites cannot be performed without having these instructions applied. This is the glory of Islam and its merit over any other regime. It makes health and cleanliness a dogma and a social and religious behaviour for all the classes of people rich or poor, educated or ignorant.
Contemporary Muslims suffer form.hygienic degradation because they abandoned their religion's instructions. The defect is not in the religion itself of these instructions were applied during the periods of Islamic awakening and have proved their ability to create a perfect society.
In their flourishing days, Islamic capitals were models in cleanliness and elegance. The streets were paved and were daily swept and cleaned and illuminated by lanterns at night, Meanwhile, Europe was a dump full of insects and pigs. The Muslim was considered an ideal being preceeding his time, elegant in his costumes, his mount, his habits and his food.
Dr. Sigrid Konke mentions in her book "Alia's Sun on the West"8 that the Andalusian explorer AI-Tartousi described the Europeans in the middle ages as "Their beards and hairs are long, they do not wash their clothes nor bathe more than once, or twice a year".
Historic references mention that early Muslims lived longer and healthier than the Muslims of today, that some of the prophet's companions participated in contention till the age of sixty or seventy. This is actually ascribed to following the hygienic instructions of Islam and the avoidance of corruption. Moreover, epidemics and diseases in the Islamic world were much less than they were in Europe at the same period. Even the plagues which exterminated quarter of the inhabitants of the European continent were nullified on the boarders of the Islamic world.9 In this respect, Bernard Shaw mentions in his book "TheDoctor's Dilemma- that no sooner had Britain occupied the Sandwich Islands and managed to convert its inhabitants from Islam to Christianity than infectious diseases and epidemics spread among them, and that, says Shaw, is ascribed to abandoning the instructions of Islam which enjoin cleanliness even in trivial matters such as cutting the nails and burrying the pairings.
In conclusion, we say that if only one Islamic nation in our present time would apply the instructions of Islam as a result of proper modern understanding, this country would become the first in the whole world in health standard, and it would be a model for other countries to follow and gracious is God as He says YE WERE THE BEST NATION OF ALL PEOPLE.
We were, but when shall we become?!
1. DR. A.S. FANGARY "Preventive medicine in Islam"
3. Sura "Al Maida" "The table".
4. "Al Ahraff, V31".
5. Sura "Al Kiamah, V37 & 38".
6. Sura "Al Tarik V6 & 7".
7. "The problems of civilasion" "The world of thoughts" Publisher Ministry of Information Kuwait.
8. DR. SIGRID HONKE "Allah Sonne Uber Dem Abendland Unser Arabishes Erbe".
9. BERNARD SHAW "The doctor's Dilemma" the introduction.

Suicide by Smoking

Posted by Arqustany Putra Friday, September 18, 2009 0 comments

Most Muslims are aware of and try to avoid the major sins in Islam - murder, suicide, adultery, alcohol, gambling, usury, etc. Muslims are forbidden to harm themselves or others. Yet millions of Muslims all over the world are doing just that - harming, even killing themselves and their families. Islamic scholars have historically had mixed views on the subject, and the actions of these Muslims have not been unanimously forbidden or even discouraged.
The danger is tobacco use - cigarette and cigar smoking, chew, etc. The mixed views on the subject came about because cigarettes are a more recent invention and did not exist at the time of the revelation of the Qur'an in the 7th century A.D. Therefore, one cannot find a verse of Qur'an or words of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) saying clearly that "Cigarettee smoking is forbidden." However, there are many instances where the Qur'an gives us general guidelines, and calls upon us to use our reason and intelligence, and seek guidance from Allah about what is right and wrong. In the Qur'an, Allah says, “...he [the Prophet] commands them what is just, and forbids them what is evil; he allows them as lawful what is good, and prohibits them from what is bad..." (Surah al-Ar’af 7:157). So what are the evils of tobacco use, for your health and for your deen (religion)?

1. Danger to your health
Allah says, "...make not your own hands contribute to your destruction..." (Surah al-Baqarah 2:195); "...nor kill yourselves..." (Surah al-Nisaa 4:29). It is universally understood that cigarette smoking causes a number of health problems that often ultimately result in death. Men who smoke contract lung cancer at 22 times the rate of non-smokers. Smokers are also highly at risk for heart disease, emphysema, oral cancer, stroke, etc. There are hundreds of poisonous and toxic ingredients in the cigarette itself that the smoker inhales straight into the lungs. In an authentic hadith, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said that "Whomsoever drinks poison, thereby killing himself, will sip this poison forever and ever in the fire of Jahannum (Hell)." Over 3 million people worldwide die from smoking-related causes each year.

2. Danger to your family's health
In the Qur'an, Allah says: "Those who annoy believing men and women undeservedly bear on themselves a glaring sin" (Surat al-Ahzaab 33:58). And the Prophet (peace be upon him) said that "there should be neither harming, nor reciprocating harm.” In another hadith, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Anyone who believes in Allah and the Last Day should not hurt his neighbor." Those around the smoker inhale what is known as "second-hand smoke" - the unfiltered, poisonous waste that goes in the air around the smoker. There are over 4,000 chemicals in cigarette smoke, over 40 of which are known to cause cancer. Second-hand smoke causes or aggravates asthma, bronchitis, and other respiratory problems, especially in children.

3. Addictive
The addiction to tobacco is a physical response that often interferes with one's life and worship. For example, most Muslims are aware that it is forbidden to smoke during the fasting days of Ramadan. Many of these addicted smokers spend their fasting days sleeping, cranky, and short-tempered, just counting the hours until they can have their fix. There have been times when the most severely addicted will wait outside the masjed door for the adhan, and break their fast by lighting up, before taking even food or water.

4. Noxious Smell
Muslims are advised to refrain from eating raw onions and garlic - simply as a courtesy to those around them. Nobody likes the smell. The same goes even more so for the reek of cigarettes, which permeates everything around the smoker - hair, clothing, home, car, etc. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever has eaten from such greens as garlic, onions or leek should keep away from our mosque.” Many smokers try to hide the smell by using breath mints or perfume. This does not get rid of the smell, it only masks it. Often the combination of smells is even more nauseating.

5. Waste of Money
Allah says, "...But spend not wastefully (your wealth) in the manner of a spendthrift. Verily spendthrifts are brothers of the devils...” {Surah al-Israa’ 17:26-27} And in an authentic hadith the Prophet (peace be upon him) said that: "Allah hates for you three things: gossiping, begging, and wasting money." In the U.S. and other countries, cigarettes are taxed heavily in order to discourage this habit and reimburse the government for the overwhelming health care costs to care for those afflicted with diseases caused by smoking. Smokers often spend thousands of dollars a year that literally just go up in smoke.

Recent Opinions of Scholars
In more recent times, as these dangers of tobacco use have come to be proven beyond any doubt, scholars have become more unanimous in pronouncing tobacco use clearly haram (forbidden) to believers. They now use the strongest terms to condemn this habit.

How to Quit?
As mentioned, one of the dangers of tobacco is that it is so addicting. It causes a physical response in your body when you try to give it up. Therefore, quitting is often difficult. However, with the help of Allah and the personal commitment to improve yourself for the sake of Allah, and for your own health, it is possible. It is first recommended to make the firm intention, from deep in your heart, to give up this evil habit. Trust in Allah's words: "...When you have taken a decision, put your trust in Allah. For Allah loves those who put their trust in Him. If Allah help you, none can overcome you; if He forsakes you, who is - after that - that can help you? In Allah, then, let believers put their trust" (Surah Al-'lmran 3:159-160).
Secondly, one must avoid situations where you are used to smoking, and people who do so around you. For example, if you have certain friends who gather together and they all constantly smoke - make a choice (Allah gave you free will to choose!) to stay away from that environment for the time being. At a vulnerable stage, it is too easy to get sucked back in by having "just one." Remember, tobacco causes a physical addiction and you must stay away completely. Drink a lot of water and keep yourself busy in other endeavors. Go to the masjed. Play sports. And remember the words of Allah: "And those who strive hard in Our Cause, We will certainly guide them to Our Paths, for verily Allah is with those who do right” (Surah al-Ankabut 29:69).
For more information about the proven dangers of smoking, and advice on how to quit, visit's Smoking Cessation website.

Living With a Smoker
If you live with or are friends with smokers, first of all encourage them to quit, for the sake of Allah, their deen, and their health. If they refuse (and ultimately we will face Allah alone), you have the right to protect your own health and the health of your children. Do not allow it in the house. Do not allow it in enclosed quarters with your family. Even if the smoker is a parent, we are not to obey our parents in things which are forbidden by Allah.
More Information
For a comprehensive look at smoking in Islam - the history, the rulings, and a full explanation with citations from Islamic resources, the best online article is Smoking: A Social Poison by Muhammad al-Jibaly.

Any wonder why Islam forbids alcohol?

Posted by Arqustany Putra Thursday, September 17, 2009 0 comments

A man was once asked why he did not drink, and he replied, 'By God, I am not happy with my mind when it is sound, so why should I corrupt it even further?' - The Seventy-seven Branches of Faith - Imam Al-Bayhaqi, The Quillian Press - (1996, ISBN 1 872038 03 4) - Page 31
Alcohol is detrimental to your health especially your liver. Alcohol befogs the mind and prevents rational thinking. Alcohol causes road accidents and innocent lives lost. Alcohol increases the occurance of domestic violence. Alcohol addiction causes financial ruin.
The Holy Quran, 2.219: They ask thee concerning wine and gambling. Say: "In them is great sin, and some profit, for men; but the sin is greater than the profit." They ask thee how much they are to spend; Say: "What is beyond your needs." Thus doth Allah Make clear to you His Signs: In order that ye may consider.
The Holy Quran, 5.90: O ye who believe! Intoxicants and gambling, (dedication of) stones, and (divination by) arrows, are an abomination,- of Satan's handwork: eschew such (abomination), that ye may prosper.
The Holy Quran, 5.91: Satan's plan is (but) to excite enmity and hatred between you, with intoxicants and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allah, and from prayer: will ye not then abstain?
Many of grow up in societies where drinking is second nature to most people. Alcohol is staple in some societies, among an increasing number of people. It is also becoming an irreplaceable component of "having fun" and partying. No get together seems complete without alcohol. Tequila shots over the bar counter, vodka and vodka lime for beginners.
"Let's go have fun tonight" is being replaced by "Let's go get pissed drunk tonight."
It can be difficult to deal with an environment where peer pressure is overpowering - which is almost always is. But consider this: Drunk people embarrass themselves in public and in front of friends. They have little control their actions or their words. One friend of mine nearly died because he walked onto a busy street in his drunken stupor. Another friend was raped by her boyfriend while she was asleep/hungover.
You have a million reasons to stop drinking - not just for yourself but for your friends and family...and especially the innocent stranger who might get hurt by your actions during a drunken stupor. You'll feel healthier - it's a guarantee and you'll save money to do other cool stuff.
God gives us instructions because He is All Knowing. Everything in Islam has a practical and healthy reason behind it..some of which we are aware of and others we're not but they're for our own good. God says in the Holy Quran - there is some good in alcohol but the bad outweighs the good.

Washing hands 5 times a day

Posted by Arqustany Putra Wednesday, September 16, 2009 0 comments

Washing hands 5 times a day recommended by U.S. Health Centre

Reuters News and American Journal of Preventive Medicine, August 2/01

U.S. Navy recruits who were ordered to wash their hands at least five times a day saw a decrease in respiratory illnesses of 45% from the year before, according to a study conducted by the Naval Health Research Center (NHRC).
Respiratory illness is a common cause of lost time from work in the U.S. and "the most common cause of lost time from duty among young adults in the military," the report indicates.
In the study, Operation Stop Cough was implemented at the Great Lakes Recruit Training Command in Illinois, beginning in September 1996. During the study, about 40,000 recruits were instructed by their commanding officer to wash their hands five times each day. Soap dispensers were installed and recruits were lectured monthly on the importance of handwashing.
Despite the program's success, almost half reported that they did not mhave time to wash five times a day due to their busy training schedules.
"In most offices, people are not inclined to wash their hands even before eating," Dr. Joel C. Gaydos of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Silver Spring, Maryland, writes in an accompanying editorial. "Re-emphasizing handwashing in our daily lives may provide significant benefits with little effort or cost, especially during the respiratory disease season," he notes.
ITMR Note: For the last 1,400 years, Muslims have been washing their hands five times a day prior to performing their prayers.

The Miracle of Zam Zam Water

Posted by Arqustany Putra Tuesday, September 15, 2009 0 comments

Research by Tariq Hussain and Moin Uddin Ahmed
Come the Hajj season, and I am reminded of the wonders of Zumzum water. Let me go back to how it all started. In 1971, an Egyptian doctor wrote to the European Press, a letter saying that Zumzum water was not fit for drinking purposes. I immediately thought that this was just a form of prejudice against the Muslims and that since his statement was based on the assumption that since the Ka'aba was a shallow place (below sea level) and located in the center of the city of Makkah, the wastewater of the city collecting through the drains fell into well holding the water.
Fortunately, the news came to King Faisal's ears who got extremely angry and decided to disprove the Egyptian doctor's provocative statement. He immediately ordered the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources to investigate and send samples of Zumzum water to European laboratories for testing the potability of the water.
The ministry then instructed the Jeddah Power and Desalination Plants to carry out this task. It was here that I was employed as a desalting engineer (chemical engineer to produce drinking water from sea water). I was chosen to carry out this assignment. At this stage, I remember that I had no idea what the well holding the water looked like. I went to Makkah and reported to the authorities at the Ka'aba explaining my purpose of visit.
They deputed a man to give me whatever help was required. When we reached the well, it was hard for me to believe that a pool of water, more like a small pond, about 18 by 14 feet, was the well that supplied millions of gallons of water every year to hajis ever since itcame into existence at the time of Hazrat Ibrahim A.S., many, manycenturies ago.I started my investigations and took the dimensions of the well. I asked the man to show me the depth of the well.
First he took a shower and descended into the water. Then he straightened his body. I saw that the water level came up to just above his shoulders. His height was around five feet, eight inches. He then started moving from one corner to the other in the well (standing all the while since he was not allowed to dip his head into the water) in search of any inlet or pipeline inside the well to see from where the water came in. However, the man reported that he could not find any inlet or pipeline inside the well.
I thought of another idea. The water could be withdrawn rapidly with the help of a big transfer pump which was installed at the well for the Zumzum water storage tanks. In this way, the water level would drop enabling us to locate the point of entry of the water. Surprisingly, nothing was observed during the pumping period, but I knew that this was the only method by which you could find the entrance of the water to the well. So I decided to repeat the process. But this time I instructed the man to stand still at one place and carefully observe any unusual thing happening inside the well. After a while, he suddenly raised his hands and shouted, "Alhamdollillah! I have found it. The sand is dancing beneath my feet as the water oozes out of the bed of the well."
Then he moved around the well during the pumping period and noticed the same phenomenon everywhere in the well. Actually the flow of water into the well through the bed was equal at every point, thus keeping the level of the water steady. After I finished my observations I took the samples of the water for European laboratories to test. Before I left the Ka'aba, I asked the authorities about the other wells around Makkah.
I was told that these wells were mostly dry. When I reached my office in Jeddah I reported my findings to my boss who listened with great interest but made a very irrational comment that the Zumzum well could be internally connected to the Red Sea. How was it possible when Makkah is about 75 kilometres away from the sea and the wells located before the city usually remains dry? The results of the water samples tested by the European laboratories and the one We analysed in our own laboratory were found to be almost identical.
The difference between Zumzum water and other water (city water) was in the quantity of calcium and magnesium salts.
The content of these was slightly higher in Zumzum water. This may be why this water refreshes tired hajis, but more significantly, the water contained fluorides that have an effective germicidal action. Moreover, the remarks of the European laboratories showed that the water was fit for drinking.
Hence the statement made by the Egyptian doctor was proved false. When this was reported to King Faisal he was extremely pleased and ordered the contradiction of the report in the European Press. In a way, it was a blessing that this study was undertaken to show the chemical composition of the water. In fact, the more you explore, the more wonders surface and you find yourself believing implicitly in the miracles of this water that God bestowed as a gift on the faithful coming from far and wide to the desert land for pilgrimage.
Let me sum up some of the features of Zumzum water.
This well has never dried up. On the contrary it has always fulfilled the demand for water. It has always maintained the same salt composition and taste ever since it came into existence. Its potability has always been universally recognised as pilgrims from all over the world visit Ka'aba every year for Hajj and umrah, but have never complained about it. Instead, they have always enjoyed the water that refreshes them. Water tastes different at different places.
Zumzum water's appeal has always been universal. This water has never been chemically treated or chlorinated as is the case with water pumped into the cities. Biological growth and vegetation usually takes place in most wells. This makes the water unpalatable owing to the growth of algae causing taste and odour problems.
But in the case of the Zumzum water well, there wasn't any sign of biological growth. Centuries ago, Hagar (raa) searched desperately for water in the hills of Safa and Marwa to give to her newly born son Ismail (pbuh) As she ran from one place to another in search of water, her child rubbed his feet against the sand. A pool of water surfaced, and by the grace of God, shaped itself into a well which came to be called Zumzum water.

Dieting the Islamic Way

Posted by Arqustany Putra Monday, September 14, 2009 0 comments

Praise be to Allah, the Forgiver of Sin, the Acceptor of Repentance, the Severe in Punishment, the Almighty. I bear witness that there is no god except for Allah, and that Muhammad is His slave and messenger, may the mercy and peace of Allah be upon him, his family, companions, and all those that follow his guidance.
There has been a lot of fuss over which products are halal (lawful) and which are haram (prohibited), leading to lengthy lists of inconspicuous culprits from S.O.S. pads to VO5 hot oil treatment. This preoccupation with the lawful and prohibited is a good sign - it shows that Muslims are not willing to sacrifice Islamic principles for material convenience. However, many prohibitions are the result of hasty judgment combined with an unsophisticated knowledge of Islamic principles. Thus, it is quite common to find average Muslims abstaining from products that are lawful by unanimously accepted Islamic principles. One of the problems with excessive prohibition is that it puts undue hardship on its adherents, often resulting in frustration, which can in turn lead to abandoning major aspects of Islam. For example, most milk in North America is fortified with vitamins A and D. These vitamins are produced in large quantities in a medium possibly derived from pig fat. Thus, some Muslims abstain from milk (and all milk products) containing added vitamins A and D. Similarly, most breads and pastries contain mono and diglycerides, which are sometimes derived from animal fats. Thus, many Muslims abstain from such breads and pastries. I can imagine a group of well-meaning Muslims abstaining from milk, milk products, breads, and pastries for some time, and then, having suffered the abuses of excessive prohibition, eventually becoming quite sloppy and indifferent in their eating habits.
By writing this article I do not seek to marginalise the issues of the lawful and prohibited, nor do I wish to make lawful that which Allah has prohibited in His book (the Qur'an) or through the words of His messenger (the Sunnah). Rather, it is my purpose, by the will of Allah, to clarify two Islamic principles that are unknown to many Muslims. These principles, which are unanimously accepted by scholars of Islam, are breaths of fresh air to Muslims suffering from the suffocation of excessive prohibition. I should emphasise that these principles are not the result of my own research nor are they drawn from my personal opinions. In the last section of this document I indicate how I came to learn of these principles.

The Principle of Istihlak (Extreme Dilution)
Let me first explain this principle with an example: if an animal urinates in a lake (which happens all the time), the water of this lake is still lawful for drink and ablution (wudu) so long as the colour, odour, and taste of the water are unchanged by the urine. This is an example of the principle of istihlak, or extreme dilution, which can be stated as follows: When a prohibited substance is diluted in a lawful medium to the extent that none of the known properties of the prohibited substance are noticeable in the lawful medium, then the prohibited substance can be ignored. This principle is based on analogous situations that happened at the time of the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam). For example, some people asked the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) about a well in which carrion fell. (Carrion is considered impure and anything contaminated by it is prohibited.) The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) responded that if the water was more than a specified amount then there was no harm in using it. Similarly, the companions of the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah be pleased with them) would continue to drink fruit juice until it showed signs of fermentation; thus, they would only stop drinking from the juice if its smell or taste indicated that it had become wine. Fermentation of fruit juice begins almost immediately, especially in the heat of the desert. However, these untraceable amounts of alcohol, which do not affect taste or smell, were ignored by the companions of the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah be pleased with them).
One might be tempted to contest the validity of this principle by mentioning the well-known and authentic hadith indicating that if a large amount of a substance intoxicates then even a drop of it is forbidden. However, Islamic texts have to be interpreted wholistically; taking one particular verse from the Qur'an or one hadith and ignoring all other texts can lead to strange and contradictory rulings. Scholars have interpreted this hadith in combination with the previous two situations to mean that if a large amount (which a human being can reasonably ingest) of a substance intoxicates, then even a drop of it is forbidden. As an example, trace amounts of alcohol are present in some colas. (The alcohol is used to distribute the dye.) Even if a man were to drink cola containing trace amounts of alcohol all day, he would never be affected by the alcohol since the concentration is so minimal.
We exercise the principle of istihlak on a daily basis: most breads contain yeast, which produces alcohol during anaerobic respiration. However, the amount of alcohol is so small that no amount of ingested bread could cause intoxication. (These traces of alcohol are further decimated by the baking process.) Similarly, most cheeses are formed with the help of milk-coagulating enzymes, such as pepsin or rennet, which can be taken from pigs and other animals. However, enzymes are catalysts, meaning that they do not actually become a part of the cheese but only aid in its formation. After the milk coagulates and the curds fall to the bottom of the basin, the remaining liquid and enzymes are drained off. While it is possible that some enzymes remain in the cheese, the concentration is minimal. Yet another example of the principle of istihlak is the medicinal use of certain chemical compounds extracted by dissolving plant tissue in alcohol. The end product is virtually rid of alcohol, although it might contain some infinitesimal traces.
However, one should be aware of abuses of this principle. For example, cough medicine containing alcohol is clearly prohibited since the effects of the alcohol are very noticeable. More generally, any product that contains a measurable amount of a prohibited substance, or in which the properties of a prohibited substance are noticeable, is in itself prohibited. As a rule of thumb, if alcohol, or anything else prohibited, is listed as an ingredient, the product should be avoided.

The Principle of Istihalah (Substantial Change)
This principle is best illustrated by two examples: if a pig is buried under an apple tree, the apples from that tree are lawful (halal), even though some of the nutrients in the apples are ultimately derived from the pig's carcass. Secondly, if a person eats pure food his feces are clearly impure even though his food is pure. In the first example a prohibited substance is converted into a lawful substance while the second example demonstrates the reverse process. Both of these examples demonstrate the principle of istihalah, or substantial change, which can be stated as follows: When a substance is converted into a new substance, the lawfulness of the new substance is not determined by the lawfulness of the original substance. According to another well-known Islamic principle, all substances are lawful (halal) and pure (tahir) unless they are explicitly labeled prohibited (haram) or impure (najis). The classical books of Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh) show that Muslim scholars have used the principle of istihalah in the past: there is a general consensus that oil contaminated by impurities can be made into soap to be used for cleaning purposes. Clearly, the end product (soap) is a new substance with properties quite different from the original oil, and based on its properties, there is no reason to prohibit it. Thus, the classical ruling (fatwa) of Muslim scholars is far more lenient than the practice of many modern Muslims, who avoid soap made of impure fats. (This is not to say that it is lawful for a Muslim to purchase lard, or encourage others to do so, for the purpose of making soap.)
There are several examples of the principle of istihalah in everyday life: gelatin, mono and diglycerides, glycerol, lecithin, and several other inconspicuous and unpronounceable chemicals in our food products can be derived from animals, including pigs. However, none of these chemicals bears any resemblance to its original source. Furthermore, it is impossible to differentiate between a chemical derived from an animal source and the same chemical derived from a plant source or formed synthetically. What used to be animal fat, possibly even lard, is now a chemical compound that could have been made in a laboratory or derived from vegetable oil. This is altogether different from comparing vegetable oil shortening to lard as ingredients: they are two very different substances - one is lawful and the other is prohibited.

As I mentioned in the introduction, these principles are not my own conclusions or opinions. Rather, they are unanimously accepted principles of Islamic Law. However, the specific application of these principles to chemicals found in modern food products was the subject of a conference of Muslim scholars. Before attending the conference, each invited scholar was first given a lengthy paper outlining the chemical processes that various food products undergo. After studying this paper for some months, the scholars attended the conference to discuss these processes in the context of Islamic Law. This article summarised two aspects of their discussion.
One of the scholars who attended this conference was Sheikh Nazih Hammad of North Vancouver, B.C. He is a well-known and respected scholar, having taught at Umm-Ulqura University (in Mecca) for seventeen years. In fact, our former imam, Sabir Zakeieh, would consult with him on various issues. He holds lessons every Saturday evening at 225 West 5th Ave., Vancouver.
Dr. Hammad's book, Al-mawaad Al-muharramah wa Al-najisah fee Al-ghadhaa' wa Al-dawaa', is available in Arabic from Amanah Publications in the United States, (301) 595-5999. Grab a Marshmallow and Relax by Moustafa Elqabbany,

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