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Corruption of the Body and Brain 8 June 2009

Posted by MOZAFFAR in Misc.
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Hurry to do serve God before you get hit with corruptions of the body.  These corruptions of the body and brain — disease and senility — can drastically reduce your ability to fulfill your obligations.  Take care of your health.

In our society, we have simultaneously developed an appreciation for the needs of the body’s health, and simultaneously have let our appetites dictate so many of our behaviors.  The result is that we often find three archetypical body types:  those who are exceedingly fit, those who are normally healthy because of moderation, and those who are obese.

But, our society has only recently begun to regard the brain as an organ in need of its own health plan.  The common notion was that the brain was either invincible or broken.  Thus, our society gave very little consideration that those illnesses we consider to be “mental illnesses” are indeed treatable and preventable.

Let us face facts, for all the bright lights that our society offers, beneath those dazzling lights, America is a high-pressure environment.  Part of the pressure comes from the constant preaching in the news media that the world is either under the verge of attack or on the verge of collapse.  Part of the pressure comes from the political leadership — the current and past president — who have been repeatedly telling us that the world is under threat of destruction.  And, part of the problem is that we have alienated ourselves from four of our most important sources of comfort:  God, our families, the earth, and silence.  While in the spiritual realm, this high-pressure environment has taken its toll on our hearts, in the physical realm, this high-pressure environment has taken its toll on our bodies, primarily our brains.

Now, in our tradition, we also know that our bodies are trust.  Our bodies have been entrusted to us.  In as much as we — especially me — are quick to abuse our bodies, we are being quick to abuse something that has been entrusted to us.  How do you regard something — of value — that someone has entrusted to you?  You take care of it.  You put it in a safe place.  You check on it.  Such should be the case with your body.  You know this already.  The difficulty is not in wanting to take care, but in being consistent.

Now, the risk of health is simple:  it is easy to disgregard health, just as it is easy to disregard air.  How often do you think about the air you breathe, except in two cases.  Less often, we think about the air we breathe when we are in environment where the air feels unusually clean.  More often, we think about the air we breathe when we are in an environment where the air is exceptionally dirty.  But, in that mean between “cleaner” and “dirtier,” we might not think about the air as much.  Likewise for our health.  You notice when you feel exceptionally good, but you really notice your health when you are lacking it.  Such is the case with poverty and prosperity.  Here we speak of poverty of health and prosperity of health.

Now, the point here is not that we have to take care of our health.  That is implicit.  If we are of weak health, and we are fulfilling our obligations to God, then Insha Allah (God-willing), we will get extra reward (for our struggles).  But, instead of counting on that possibility, engage in good works now before you are in that situation.   And, when you are in the prosperity of health, there is that risk of corruption.  You are full of physical health, yet your heart might be spiritually weak, thus, you might be quick to dedicate your efforts toward dunya (toward worldly endeavors).  Likewise, if you are in the poverty of health, you might, after a while develop ambivalence toward spiritual endeavors.

Thus, the p0int here is that yes, of course , we have to take care of our bodies.  More than that, however, the point is that when we have health, we should hurry to engage not only in our obligations to God, but also toward the voluntary works that will bring us closer and closer to Him.  When we are hit with illness, the challenge to fulfill those voluntary works might become far more difficult than the increasingly difficult challenge to fulfill our obligatory works.  In any case, hurry to do good works before your body and brain are hit with illness.

And Allah knows best.

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