Bodily Movement & Rest (Part 3 of 6 – The Cause of Dis-ease)
Movement and exercise cause warmth in the body by increasing the rate of respiration. Rest has the opposite effect. Modern day doctors emphasise the need to perform regular exercise in order to burn calories. The Prophet (SAW) through his noble habits taught us this already over 14 centuries ago.
The Prophet of Allah (SAW) had a habit of walking often for long distances. Ibn Umar (RA) narrated that the Prophet (SAW) would go to the Quba which is an area around Madinah where he built the first masjid after hijrah, every Saturday. Sometimes he would walk and sometimes he would ride – Al Bukhari Volume 21 Number 285.
A’isha (RA) reports that the Prophet raced with her and she beat him. This was before I had put on some weight. Thereafter I raced him again after a period and he beat me and said, “This win avenges that defeat” – Ahmad Safwat As-Safwah Volume 1 pp.68.
It is worth noting that the Prophet (SAW) married A’isha (RA) in the later part of his life and that when he raced her, he would have been at least 50 years old, perhaps even approaching 60. At that age he was healthy enough to race and beat someone less than half his age.
Sahl ibn Sad reports that we were with the Prophet (SAW) in the trenches and the Prophet (SAW) was himself digging – Al-Bukhari Volume 8 Book 76 Number 423
Again it is worth nothing that the Battle of Ahzab occurred during the fifth year after the Hijrah and so the Prophet of Allah (SAW) would have been 57 or 58 years of age when undertaking the vigorous task of digging a trench.
Although a rigorous exercise has multiple benefits, the need for rest is vital. The Prophet (SAW) taught that the body should not be exhorted to dangerous limits which is something that is common in our society today.
Abu Musa (RA) narrated, “The wife of Uthman ibn Madh’un complained to the Messenger of Allah (SAW) that her husband had no need for women. During the days he would fast and at night he would pray. The Prophet (SAW) asked him, “Am I not the best of example for you to follow?’. He answered, “Certainly, may my father and mother be sacrificed for you”. The Prophet of Allah (SAW) then told him, “As for you, you pray during the night and you fast during the day. Certainly, your wife has a right upon you and your body has a right upon you so pray and sleep and fast and break your fast” – Sahih ibn Hibban.