Causing harm to oneself

This is forbidden, as God says: You shall not kill yourselves. He also says: Do not expose yourselves to ruin.The Prophet said: "There shall be no inflicting of harm on oneself". Similarly, it is not permissible to a Muslim to expose himself to the risk of illness or injury in any way or form. The Prophet said: "No believer may humiliate himself". When he was asked how any person would humiliate himself, he said: "By exposing himself to risks with which he cannot cope. A man runs the risk of illness or injury if he leaves himself exposed to their causes, or by not taking the necessary precautions to prevent them, or by not taking proper care of his health. Islam has given us the necessary directives to steer away from all such risks, making it a duty of every Muslim:

• To be keen to do whatever is beneficial to his health, such as eating well, but not too much, and doing exercise to keep fit. People must also take the necessary care of every part of the body and have sufficient rest. They should do this in response to the Prophet’s statements: "Be keen to do what is beneficial to you; Store up enough health to draw on during your illness; "Whatever you feed yourself counts as a benefaction. Similarly, "Your soul has a [human] right against you; your body has a [human] right against you; your eyes have a [human] right against you\.

• To take all preventive measures to guard against illness, for prevention leads to health protection, as the Prophet says: "He who protects himself from evil shall be spared its effects. That includes keeping away from whatever may cause illness, such as illicit sex, homosexuality and all lewd and immoral conduct. God says in the Quran: Do not approach adultery, for it is a gross indecency and an evil way. He also says: Do not approach any immorality, open or covert. In reference to the people to whom the Prophet Lot was sent, the Quran quotes him as saying to them: You lust after men instead of women. Truly you are people given to excess. In a haditht the Prophet is quoted as saying: "The worst thing I fear for my community is the practice of the people of Lot". Prevention also includes keeping away from ithm (harm). God says: Abandon all ithm (harm), whether done openly or in secret. Ithm, as Rasheed Reda says in his commentary on the Quran, includes: "All that is harmful to self, property or anything else. The worst of these are social vices". Ithm also includes intoxicants and drugs. God says: They ask you about intoxicants and gambling. Say: There is great ithm in both. He also says: Believers! wine and games of chance, idols and divining arrows, are abominations devised by Satan. Turn away from them. This last command is the strongest expression of prohibition. The Prophet "has prohibited every type of intoxicating and narcotic substances. He is quoted as saying: "Every type of intoxicant is forbidden; every narcotic substance is forbidden. Whatever causes intoxication when taken in a large quantity is also forbidden to take in small quantities. Whatever influences the mind is forbidden. Preventive measures include keeping away from patients who are ill with infectious diseases and vaccination against communicable diseases is a great measure of prevention.

• To take every care to prevent injury. This is based on several hadith instructing people to make sure they do not expose themselves to any cause of harm or injury, such as: "If you have to sleep while travelling by night, avoid the main road, as it is the track of animals and the refuge of pests. When you go to bed, shake your sheets. You never know what they may have inside. The Prophet also said: "Put out lamps when you go to bed, shut the doors, close the waterskins and cover water and food containers. In another hadith, he alerts people to the danger of fire, saying: "Fire is like an enemy to you: put it out before you sleep. He also said: "Whoever sleeps on the roof of a house which has no wall has no claim to make (for social insurance) if he comes to any harm. The Prophet also "discouraged staying alone, urging his followers not to stay at night in a house alone and not to travel alone.

• To take suitable medicine when ill. The Prophet says: "Seek medical treatment, for God has not created an illness without creating a cure for it.

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