Praise be to Allah who guided us to this religion and never could we have found guidance, were it not that Allah had guided us. I praise and thank Allah (Glory be to Him) for He has bestowed countless and great favors upon us. I send peace and blessings upon our Prophet Muhammad, upon his family, upon his venerable Companions, the Followers, and those who follow their guidance until the Day of Recompense.
In this lesson we shall speak about a right which many people have neglected, many people have overlooked, and many people did not know anything about. Some people overestimate this right and make it excel other rights, whereas some people neglected it completely and did not fulfill it. So, the people are either exaggerated or negligent, so a Muslim should ponder over it.
Dear Muslim brother, indeed Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) created man and gave him preference over all creatures, created it from body and soul, and commanded him to meet their needs in the way prescribed by Allah (may He be Exalted). Moreover, He granted rights for the body and soul, so the one who fulfills these rights will be happy and the one who neglects and wastes their rights is miserable.
At the top of these rights is: Rearing this body according to the way of Allah (may He be Exalted) and keeping away from His Disobedience. It is well known at scholars, the specialists of rearing and psychologists that a soul needs training, preparation, and rearing for every command.
Dear Muslim brother, do not you see that Islam commanded Muslims to train their children for Salah since their seven years old taking into consideration that they are not commanded to offer Salah at this age because they need training for obedience. So, when a child reaches the age of maturity, it becomes easy for him to do all the commands persistently without getting bored.
It is also well known that a soul has its desires and lusts, and Islam has taken into consideration these desires and lusts and commanded Muslims to meet these needs according to the Shari`ah rulings.
Accordingly, a Muslim should fulfill the rights of his body and soul according to the Shari`ah of Allah (may He be Glorified and Exalted) by training it for righteous acts, avoidance of sins, good manners and lofty moral values, good behavior, good treatment, and noble qualities.
However, a person may oppress himself by indulgence into desires and lusts and looking at the things which Allah prohibited, hence he falls into negligence and exposes himself to the wrath and punishment of Allah. A person may also oppress himself by burdening it what it cannot bear, hence he falls into exaggeration and extremism, and this is forbidden by Islam because it is the religion of moderation in everything. Islam directs Muslims to this moderation, so there should be no excessiveness nor negligence, no intemperance nor remissness, and no increase nor decrease. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "Allâh burdens not a person beyond his scope." It was reported in the authentic Hadith that `Abdullah ibn `Amr ibn Al `Aas (may Allah be pleased with them) narrated: The Prophet (peace be upon him) was informed that I had taken an oath to fast daily and offer Salah (every night) all the night throughout my life. So Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) (in some narrations) said: I was informed that you shall fast everyday and offer the voluntary night Salah everyday throughout your life, was it correct? I replied: Yes, O Messenger of Allah. He said: Do not do so, but fast and break the fast, offer Salah at night and take a nap because your body has some rights on you, your eyes has some rights on you, and your wife has some rights on you, and your guest has some rights on you. It is sufficient for you to fast three days in every month, as the reward of a good deed is multiplied ten times, so it will be like fasting throughout the whole year.
Here we observe that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) guided `Abdullah ibn `Amr to the actions which he can do and told him that his body has some rights.
The best of actions are the continuous even if they are few. We find this guidance in the other authentic Hadith in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately, and worship Allah in the forenoon and in the afternoon and during a part of the night, and always adopt a middle, moderate, regular course whereby you will reach your target (Paradise)." When the Prophet (peace be upon him) heard about a woman who used to offer Salah frequently, he said: "Stop! Do such acts which you are capable of doing. By Allah, Allah does not grow weary but you will grow weary."
Dear Muslim brother, one should show some balance when using the body in the acts of worship. We may summarize this balance by: Doing obligatory acts and commands, keeping away from prohibited and forbidden acts, doing some supererogatory or voluntary acts which a Muslim is able to keep because few continuous acts are better than abundant but interrupted acts. A person should not do many acts of worship then stop them or neglect the supererogatory acts completely because this is very dangerous.
Of the rights of the body: Training it for high goals, reaching a high status of good faith, and keeping away from tiny and low matters. Allah created you, put you in the best shape, then granted you abilities, sensations, and understanding, so it is the right of the body to direct these blessings in the right direction and use these blessings to achieve high goals.
Dear Muslim brother, direct your senses: Hearing, sight, the heart, and others in things which contain benefits for you, your society, and your nation. So, benefit from your sight in reciting the Glorious Qur'an and the Sunnah of His Prophet (peace be upon him) and his biography, read what may benefit your religion and your field of specialty. Allah (Glory be to Him) explained these blessings and that we are responsible for them saying: "Verily, the hearing, and the sight, and the heart, of each of those one will be questioned (by Allâh)." What has been said about sight is said about talents and abilities, so if you are a doctor, develop your skill and if you are an engineer do likewise, and do not stop your ambitions at a limit. Moreover, do not underestimate yourself and your actions, but count yourself a guard on one of the Muslim frontiers. So, devote the intention, do righteous actions, may Allah grant you success.
Of the rights of your body is to train it for power, activity, and vitality, keep away from indolence, laziness, and coldness because a person shall be what he trained for. Remember that a powerful believer is better and more beloved to Allah than a weak believer as was reported in the authentic Sunnah. In the past, people used to say: Sound mind is in sound body.
Of these rights also: Balance in your food and drink and following the prescribed Shari`ah rulings such as eating lawfully because lawfulness and prohibition have effect on the body in this world and in the Hereafter.
Of them also: Do not neglect the body and leave it without food or drink or eat and drink too much which will lead to negligence and laziness, weaken the body, and cause diseases because of this excessiveness. Allah (Glory be to Him) prohibited extravagance and commanded with moderation in everything, Allah (Glory be to Him) says: "And eat and drink but waste not by extravagance." The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "It is enough for a person few morsels to sustain him."
Of these rights also: Feeling gratitude that these blessings from Allah (may He be Glorified and Exalted), following the proprieties and the Sunan by starting eating and drinking in the name of Allah and invoking Allah for blessing then finish eating by praising and thanking Allah for the blessings which He granted by the forms and expressions reported in the authentic Sunnah.
Of these rights also: Paying attention to appearance and inner self because Islam is the religion of purity and cleanliness, inwardly and outwardly. As Islam commanded a Muslim to purify his heart of envy, grudge, jealousy, hatred, and rancor, it directed also to clean the body from outside. The chapters of purity, ablution, washing, Siwak, removing impurity, and others which exist in the Islamic Fiqh are decisive proofs to paying attention to the cleanliness of the body, So a Muslim is pure and clean and he should stay as such.
Of these rights also: Following the procedures of prevention of diseases by the methods we have mentioned, paying attention to food, drink, sport, and others, and treating the body by the permissible medications after believing that everything happens to man is by the destiny of Allah. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "Say: Nothing shall ever happen to us except what Allâh has ordained for us."
However, Allah (Glory be to Him) legislated for us the reasons and the permissible medications. The Messenger (peace be upon him) said: "Allah has sent down both the disease and the cure, and He has appointed a cure for every disease, so treat yourselves medically, but use nothing unlawful."
Dear Muslim brother, after this fast review for the rights of the body, it showed up that the body of the believer has some rights and the things which help to fulfill these rights is that a Muslim should conduct a daily program for himself and include all the permissible and the required duties to do, the things which Allah ordained for him, keeping away from the things which he prohibited and organizing his time without laziness. Thus, a diligent believer should do righteous deeds and follow the Shari`ah.
I ask Allah (Glory be to Him) to help us against ourselves, and not to leave us to it even a twinkle of an eye, for He is All-Hearing, All-Responding and He is the One whose aid is to be implored.