Hyderabad: It was a sermon with a difference. The homilies were there alright, but they were certainly of a different kind. The Friday congregation at Masjide Teen Posh, Red Hills, was in for a pleasant surprise when it was treated to a health talk. What has that to do with Islam? Plenty as the worshippers discovered during the course of the ‘Juma-ka-Khutba’ the other day.
For a change, Maulana Obaidur Rehman, spoke about the health hazards faced by Muslims by deviating from the Islamic principles and teachings of Prophet Muhammed. This is not the kind of sermon delivered from the pulpit of a mosque on Fridays. All the same people were seen nodding in agreement as the Khateeb, Obaidur Rehman, pointed out the pitfalls of blindly following a lifestyle which neither the religion nor modern science approves.
Islam’s holistic approach to health covers all aspects of mind, body and soul. A true believer recognises the wonders of human body and is grateful to the Creator. “Our bodies are trust from God and we are accountable for how we look after our health”, the Maulana went on.
Curling up for an afternoon nap does wonders for the body and mind. Scientists say siesta improves vigilance, cognitive functions besides, benefitting memory consolidation. Islam calls it ‘qayloolah’, a practice regularly followed by the Prophet. But today not many get those forty winks so essential to remain fresh and alert, the Maulana remarked even as some in the audience dozed off.
He is particularly critical of the growing tendency among Hyderabadi Muslims for late night dinners. A major reason for this is marriage parties, which go on in the wee hours of morning. Both science and Islam suggest finishing the last meal for the day at least four hours before one hits the bed. Quoting doctors, the Maulana said how from a dietary standpoint late night eating encourages weight gain as the body has difficulty burning the calories. And if the meal happens to be rich and spicy food served in marriages one can well imagine the health risks involved.
“Unfortunately we are neither following religion nor science in true sense”, bemoans Maulana Rehman and calls for running a campaign for conducting day time marriages in the Muslim community as is done in some places.
He also faults the habit among Hyderabadi Muslims to stay awake till late in the night. Sleep deprivation affects mental concentration and also quality of life. “The good sleep practices suggested by Islam correspond to the sleep rules prescribed by science. We need to follow it”, he says.
On an earlier occasion, Maulana Rehman, had waxed eloquent about traffic sense and the need to follow the rules strictly for the common benefit of all. Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. This preacher sure knows it.