What will it take to get our body back? This is often a question many ask at the beginning of the New Year. In Study Guide No. 13, titled, “The Price of Redemption,” it states: “To ‘redeem’ means to ‘buy back.’ This suggests that the item being bought back was once owned by the buyer and for some reason he had temporarily lost possession of it. Thus, a price has to be paid for the object to be returned.”
Some of us have lost the young, strong and lean body of our youth and desire it back. Well, there is a price that we have to pay. What is the cost? Hard work (exercise) and sacrifice (giving up certain foods and our time) will be part of the price to pay. Can we afford this? Yes! But, are we willing to spend the “money”?
Let’s review the instructions given to Believers in “The Price of Redemption.” (All quotes are from Study Guide No. 13 unless noted otherwise.) These instructions, if followed and also applied to health, will help us get fit to live.
The instructions are:
1. Prayer. “It takes 21 days, according to scholars, to break old habits and make new ones. Let the Nation of Islam get into the habit of prayer, five times a day at the prescribed time and in the prescribed manner.” According to the Random House Dictionary, “exercise” is “bodily or mental exertion, esp. for the sake of training or improvement of health Ã‰ forms of practice or exertion designed to train, develop, condition or the like.” Prayer is an action that takes mental effort. It is the first “exercise” we should do in the morning. (Even some of the positions of prayer are similar to the positions in the yoga.)
“Prayer is the re-affirmation of desire. We endure by re-affirming and re-identifying our desire until we reach the goal.” (Study Guide No. 13)
2. Fasting. Another “exercise” we are encouraged to practice is “fasting.” “In Islam, fasting is an institution of the improvement of the moral and spiritual condition of human beings. Fasting, abstention from food in obedience to Allah (God), helps us build the will to resist the impediments to self-development.” We should all try to participate in the monthly three-day fast. (You should not fast if you are pregnant or nursing.)
3. One meal a day. “Eat one meal a day Ã‰ it will prolong your life.” However, we need to make sure that the one meal is nutritious and balanced with protein, carbohydrates and fat.
4. Charity and sacrifice. “Charity is a principle of action which is necessary for the spiritual advancement of man. The advancement we make through charity is towards Allah (God).” We should “sacrifice” or give up that cake or soda pop. Giving up soda alone will reduce 150-200 calories a day. Give up the sweets and that is another reduction of about 300 calories. By exercising and reducing our caloric intake by 300-500 calories a day, we can lose 1-2 pounds a week! Now that sacrifice is worth it!
5. Work. “What is ‘work’? It is Force x Distance; the exertion of energy on an object that is not moving on its own, resulting in the movement of that object.” Fat will not move unless we cause it to move. It takes “work” to get rid of fat. Unfortunately, exercise is a type of work we make excuses not to do. In this day and time, we can no longer afford to make excuses for work we should perform.
As I mentioned earlier, these instructions, if followed and also applied to our health, will help us get fit to live. Please consult a physician before beginning any new workout or dietary plan. May Allah (God) bless us all with peace, health and happiness.
(Audrey Muhammad, a certified personal trainer and aerobic instructor, is the author of The Sister’s Guide to Fitness and the creator of the KIBOS exercise video and the Get Fit to Live KIBOS Challenge. Send questions and comments to: [email protected].)