اللَّهُمَّ إنِّي أعُوذُ بِكَ مِن خَليلٍ ماكِرٍ عَيْنَاهُ تَرَيَاني وقَلْبُهُ يَرْعَانِي، إن رأى حَسَنَةً دَفَنَها، وإن رأى سَيِّئَةً أذَاعَها.اللَّهُمَّ إنِّي أعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ البُؤْسِ والتَّبَاؤُسِ.اللَّهُمَّ لا يُدْرِكُني زَمَانٌ ولا يُدْرِكُوْا زَمَاناً لا يُتَّبَعُ فيهِ العِليمُ ولا يُسْتَحْيَى فيهِ مِنَ الحَليمِ قُلُوبُهُم قُلُوبُ الأعَاجِمِ وألسِنَتُهُمْ ألسِنَةُ العَرَبِ.
Advices from old doctors
Ibn Al Qayyam quoted Imam Shafi’ee who said:
Four matters bring strength to the body, eating meat, smelling perfume, taking baths even without the intercourse & wearing Kittan (Linen).
Four matters weaken the body, sexual intercourse, depression, drinking water repeatedly while the stomach is empty & consuming sour foods in excess.
Four matters strengthen the sight / vision, sitting next to Ka’bah, using KOHL before going to sleep, looking at green things & cleaning up the sitting area in the house.
Four matters weaken the sight / vision, looking at dirt, crucified persons, looking at a woman’s vagina & sitting while your back is to the Qiblah (direction of the prayer).
Four matters increase sexual power, eating sparrow / fowl meat, the large Itreefal (a medication for constipation), pistachio & carob.
Four matters sharpen mind’s power, avoiding un-necessary speech, using Siwak, sitting with righteous people & with Ulama’a (scholars).
Four matters dissipate the strength of the body and might lead to death: “Weakness, leaving loved ones behind, rage, rejecting good advice and the clever persons falling victim to deceit by ignorant people”.
The doctor of Al-Mamun said, “Hold fast to five characteristics that whoever preserves them would never catch a disease other than death:
1. Do not eat food while there is still food in your stomach.
2. Do not eat a type of food that your teeth cannot chew, because then your stomach would not be able to digest it.
3. Refrain from excessive sexual activity because it shortens the life.
4. Do not revert to cupping (Hijamah) without necessity.
5. Vomit during the summer.
Excessiveness in four matters causes sickness:
Speech, sexual activity, sleep and eating habits.
Excessive speech weakens the mind and hastens old age. Excessive sleep turns the face yellow, blinds the heart, irritates the eyes, makes one lazy to work and causes excess humidity in the body. Excessive eating habits spoil the orifice of the stomach, weaken the body, causes thick flatulence and difficult ailments.Having sexual intercourse excessively depletes the strength, weakens the body, dries the moistures in the body, adversely relaxes the nerves, causes various clogs and harms the entire body, especially the brain because of the psychological effects it will have on it. Weakness in the brain, which will also weaken the soul, is worse than weakness in any other organ.
The best time to have sex is when one feels a strong desire only for a lawful partner (wife) who is beautiful, especially when the spouse is young, ready and excited. Also, occasional legal sex makes it more desirable, especially when one does not have any concerns and does not use it excessively. Also, legal sex is best when one is not full or hungry, not after conducting serious physical activity and not during extremely hot or cold weather. When one takes care of these ten matters we mentioned, sex will be most beneficial. Otherwise, if some of these matters were ignored, harm might be caused according to the seriousness of the matters that were ignored. If one does not take care of all these ten matters, he will have a shorter life span.
Excessive diet is as dangerous to the healthy person as excessive eating habits when one is ill.
A wise man said, “Beware of three matters and seek four matters, and you will not need a doctor. Avoid dust, smoke and foul odors. Seek nutritious foods, good scents (or aromas), sweets and take baths, Do not eat above your fill, nor pickle, Batharuj (a plant) and basil, and do not eat walnuts at night. Whoever caught a cold should not sleep on his back nor should a depressed person eat sour foods. Whoever had venesection (puncturing of a vein), should not walk fast because this might cause death. Those who have an ache in the eye should not vomit. Do not eat too much meat during summer”.
Whoever is suffering from fever should not sleep in the sun. Do not eat old, seeded eggplant. Those who drink a cup of warm water every day during winter will save themselves from illness. Those who rub their bodies with pomegranate rind while taking a bath will not catch a rash or mange. Whoever eats five flowers of iris with Greek mastic, roe aloes and Musk, will preserve the strength and health of his stomach the rest of his life. Eating watermelon seeds with sugar will cleanse the stomach from stones and will prevent burning sensation while urinating.
Four matters bring demise to the body:
Depression, sadness, hunger and sleeping late at night.
Four matters bring joy:
Looking at greenery, running water, loved ones and fruits.
Four matters bring darkness to the sight:
Walking bare footed, seeing hated faces mornings and afternoons or seeing the enemy, excessive crying and looking at thin lines for extended periods of time.
Four matters bring strength to the body:
Wearing soft clothes, taking a bath moderately, eating sweet and nutritious food and smelling good scents.
Four matters harden the face and rid it of its youth and health:
Lying, nudeness, asking too many questions without knowledge [or useful purpose] and sinning.
Four matters increase the youth of the face:
Chivalry, faithfulness, generosity and fear of Allah.
Four matters bring about anger and hatred:
Arrogance, envy, lying and spreading calumnies.
Four matters bring sustenance:
Standing up in prayer at night, seeking forgiveness [of Allah] often at night, giving away in charity and remembering Allah at morning and evening.
Four matters prevent sustenance:
Sleeping in the morning, not praying often, laziness and treachery.
Four matters harm the mind and the intellect:
Eating sour foods and fruits excessively, sleeping on the back, depression and sadness.
Four matters strengthen the intellect and the mind,
When the heart is not busy (or concerned), consuming moderate amounts of food and drink, dieting on good combinations of sweets arid nutritious foods and getting rid of the harmful substances in the body.
There are some matters that harm the mind; eating onions, beans, olives and eggplant excessively, having too much sexual intercourse, loneliness, worrying, intoxication, excessive laughing and depression.
Some wise men also said, “I became tired three times and could not find a reason for that except for three matters: “ate too much eggplant one day, olives another day and beans a third day”.
Whoever eats onion for forty days and then his face becomes full of spots, has only himself to blame.
Those who want to economize and eat salted foods will have only themselves to blame if they catch mange or vitiligo.
Those who eat fish and eggs will have only themselves to blame if they catch Hemiplegia (paralysis affecting only one side of the body) or facial paralysis.
Those who catch Hemiplegia when they take a bath with their stomach full of food will have only themselves to blame.
Those who eat milk and fish will have only themselves to blame if they catch leprosy, gecko or gout.
Whoever mixes milk and wine and then catches gecko or gout has only himself to blame. Whoever has a wet dream but does not take a bath, & then has sex with his wife; and if his wife gives birth to a retarded child, will have only himself to blame.
Whoever eats boiled eggs when they turn cold and then catches Asthma will have only himself to blame.
Whoever has sexual intercourse but did not wait until he ejaculates and then catches urinary calculus, (stone like mass that may form in the body under abnormal conditions) will have himself to blame.
Ibn-e-Bukht-Yashu’ said, “Beware of eating eggs and fish together because they cause constipation, hemorrhoids and toothache. In addition, eating eggs excessively begets spots on the face. Furthermore, eating salted foods and salted fish and having venesection (puncturing of a vein) after one takes a bath causes vitiligo and mange. Eating goat kidney on a regular basis will cause the prostate to be sterile, while taking a bath with cold water after eating soft-meat fish causes facial paralysis. Having sex with a menstruating woman causes leprosy, and sexual intercourse that is not followed by taking a bath causes stones. Finally, spending too much time while answering the call of nature causes serious ailments.”
Less of a harmful substance is better than too much of a beneficial substance. Preserve good health by preferring tiresome activity to laziness and abandoning having your fill of foods and drinks.
Further, a wise man once said, whoever wants to be healthy, let him eat good food, preserve cleanness and purity while eating, drink while thirsty, refrain from drinking excessive amounts of water and take a rest after lunch. In addition, let him walk after dinner and avoid going to sleep before first answering the call of nature or taking a bath after eating his fill. Further, taking a bath once during summer is better than ten times during winter. Eating dried jerky meat at night helps bring about death. Some of words are from Al-Harith bin Kaladah, the renowned Arab doctor.
Al-Harith also said, “Whoever seeks longevity, although eternal living is not possible, should have lunch and dinner early, wear light clothes and refrain from excessive sexual activity”.
He also said, “Four things weaken the body: sexual intercourse when one is hungry, taking a bath when one is full, eating dried meat and having sexual intercourse with an old woman”
When Al-Harith was dying, some people visited him and said, “Give us an advice that we could use after you”. He said, “Only many young women, eat ripe fruits when in season and refrain from seeking medications when you can bear the illness. Clean your stomachs once a month (i.e. vomit intentionally), so as to dissipate the phlegm and the bile and to allow the flesh to grow. When one of you eats lunch, let him lay down for an hour and when he eats dinner, let him walk at least forty steps.’
A king once said to his doctor, “You might not remain with me for ever, so give me a prescription that I can use after you.” He said, “Only marry young women, eat fresh meat and take medication only when you are ill. Eat the fruit when ripe and in season and chew the food well. If you eat during the day, there is no harm if you lay down. If you eat at night, do not sleep until you walk even fifty steps. Do not eat except when hungry and do not force yourself to have sex or refrain from urinating. Cool hotness because it causes you tiredness. Do not eat food when your stomach already has food, nor eat what your teeth cannot chew, because your stomach will not be able to digest that food. Try to vomit once a week to cleanse your body. What a good treasure the blood in your body is, so do not cup it (Hijamah) without necessity. Finally, take a bath, because it rids you of what the medication cannot rid you of.”