Five minutes of health

Desert wild flowers

Desert wild flowers. These flowers bloom after a rain, then die within a matter of days. That is the example of this life.

By Wael Abdelgawad for IslamicSunrays.com

“Five minutes of health comfort the ill one.” – Bengali proverb.

In other words, a person who is ill would get comfort and relief from just five minutes of health.

This reminds me of my friend Hisham, who has an autoimmune disorder and has been confined to a wheelchair for many years. He is the same age as me, and we grew up riding our bicycles together. He was an avid cyclist and even participated in a ride all the way across the United States and back. In his twenties he was diagnosed with MS, and his health began to go downhill.

Recently a physical therapist has been working with him, and last week he stood on his feet and took five steps for the first time in three years, Alhamdulillah! He said he felt very tall, being on his feet again. It was an inspiring moment for him… SubhanAllah. He literally got comfort from “five minutes of health.”

That’s really something to think about, for those of us who have our health and fitness and take them for granted as if they were nothing. We moan and complain about small things, while ignoring the huge blessings in our lives. “Then which of the favors of your Lord will you deny?” – Surat Ar-Rahman. Allah has given us so much, so much.

And let me add that although I used my friend Hisham as an illustration of the proverb, that does not mean that I pity him. He also has many gifts, for example he is highly intelligent and articulate, and he has accomplished a lot in his life. I am overjoyed for him that he was able to stand again. Allahu Akbar!

Of course we must be grateful for every blessing, and thank Allah from the bottom of our hearts. But it’s important to understand that gratitude is not just a feeling in the heart. It is expressed through action.

  • Are you grateful for your healthy body? Then use it to bow down in prayer.
  • Are you grateful for the ability to see? Then look at that which is beautiful and halal.
  • Grateful for the ability to speak? Then praise Allah, recite Quran and spread the message of Islam.
  • Grateful that you are mentally and emotionally healthy? Then use your gifts to do good in the world. Show love to those who are grief stricken, and kindness to those in pain. Spend your money in Allah’s cause, don’t hold on it it until it can do you no good!

That’s why the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, in the famous hadith that we have all heard:

“Take benefit of five before five:
your youth before your old age,
your health before your sickness,
your wealth before your poverty,
your free-time before your preoccupation,
and your life before your death.”

(Narrated by Ibn Abbas and reported by Al Hakim)

Right? He didn’t only say, “be grateful,” he said, “take benefit”! That means USE what you have been given, while you still can, before the end of this brief life that is but a moment between a sleep and a sleep, or a desert flower blooming and then fading away.

Glory to Allah the Most High.

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Article by Wael

Wael Abdelgawad is an Egyptian-American living in Fresno, California. He is the founder of several Islamic websites, including Zawaj.com and IslamicAnswers.com, and also of various technology and travel websites. He is a writer and poet, and has been a web developer since 1997. This project, IslamicSunrays.com, is very dear to his heart, as it has allowed him to express ideas that have growing inside him for many years. Wael is divorced and has one lovely young daughter. He practices and teaches martial arts (somewhat obsessively), and loves Islamic books, science fiction, and vanilla fudge ice cream. Wael is an advocate for human rights and blogs about these issues at AbolishTorture.com. He is also a volunteer with the MyDeen Muslim youth organization in Fresno. Wael tagged this post with: , , , , Read 266 articles by
3 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Louay says:

    Salams

    MashAllah I just discovered your blog recently and i’m really enjoying your posts. Very inspiring and thought provoking! The Hadith you mentioned about take benefit of 5 before 5 really makes you think about what we have and what we should be doing with those blessings. InshAllah I hope we can all move closer to Allah and improve our spiritual conditions.

    • wael says:

      Wa salam, thanks very much Louay. Do check back from time to time Insha’Allah, and join my Facebook page as well (there’s a link on the right side).

  2. Javaria says:

    salam
    MASHAALLAH
    very nice effort .really ur posts are very soothing for my depressed soul. reaaly i was very much about my educational life. i am feeling very lite after reading posts
    Allah bless u and give u health and enthusiam for sharing such nice thought and spreading islam

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