By Imam Abdullah El-Amin
â€œEat of the good things We have provided for your sustenance, but take no excess, lest My wrath should justly descend on you: and those on whom descends My wrath will indeed perish. 82) â€œBut, without doubt, I am He that forgives again and again to those who repent, believe, and do right, who are ready to receive true guidance.â€ Ta Ha:81
When imams around the world give khutba sermons on Friday, an oft-heard phrase coming from them is â€œI advise you as well as I advise myself.â€ These words keep us in focus as to the fact that we imams are not here to just tell you what to do. It also reminds us that we must do all we can to keep ourselves focused on our personal well-being as we go about our lives.
This was brought home to me recently in a personal experience. A few years ago I wrote in this column that I had a tendency to be a diabetic. I wrote about how ALLAH had given me a sign with a slightly elevated fasting blood sugar of 140 mg/dl. This number was not too bad as diabetes goes and easily controlled by diet and exerciseâ€¦if you do it. I let it slip. I took my blood sugar last night and this morning and it was close to 200 mg/dl. Normally it is supposed to be 70-110.
This creation was designed by ALLAH to work automatically by His design, not ours. Regardless of how we think things should go, or how we believe we can alter our lives, itâ€™s still going to be done as ALLAH has decreed it to be. If you have a propensity for diabetes, you canâ€™t eat lots of cake, ice cream .pop, and gobs of rice, and expect to remain healthy. ALLAH says â€œHis wrath will justly descend on you.â€ This means you must reap the consequences of your gluttonous actions. This is what I did.
ALLAH, in His final scripture tells the people of Moses to enjoy the good food He has provided for usâ€¦but take no excess. As we are all individuals, â€œexcessâ€ can mean different amounts for different people. People who are not prone to diabetes can eat a whole mixing bowl of ice cream and not be affected too much (until later). But if I did that the glucose would stay in my blood much too long, possibly damaging vital organs. I can still enjoy those (good) (desirable) things, but I may be only able to enjoy a small slice, once a week. Anything else may be excess. Isnâ€™t ALLAH wonderful? He gives us the most plain, basic common sense way to live good, health, productive, positive lives and all we have to do is keep Him in mind and do it.
The ironic thing is I knew this. I had even written about it before so there is really no valid excuse for me neglecting what I should have done. But, praise is due to ALLAH, Iâ€™m still here and, insha`ALLAH, I have another opportunity to live a healthier life for however much life I have left.
I write this not to merely talk about me and my lifeâ€”Iâ€™m not that important. But I do want to use it as an example to help someone who is maybe as neglectful as I was. The great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. used to quote a song that said â€œIf I can help somebody as I travel along; if I can cheer somebody with a word or song; if I can show somebody where they are going wrong, then my living will not be in vain.â€
As we rise and offer our prayers, let us â€œadviseâ€ ourselves to take care of ourselves, physically and emotionally, as ALLAH have directed us. Be strong, in utilizing the only real strength there isâ€¦ALLAH. Advise yourself, but donâ€™t neglect to take your own advice.
As Salaam Alaikum
(Al Hajj) Abdullah Bey El-Amin â€¢