Everything we believe is confirmed when we “carry that belief into practice.” We see this principle throughout scripture with The Holy Qur’an teaching that belief accounts for nothing, unless carried into practice, or the Book of James saying that, “Faith without works is dead.”
When we truly believe something, we usually carry it into practice.
Some time ago, I wrote about the “principles of action” and how they help to fuel our desires. I mentioned that in Study Guide No. 6, it states that “Desire is the food source of the Will.” In addition to nourishment, the Will needs direction and support. What are the “principles of action which direct and support our Will in the Way of Allah (God)?”
We “exercise” the Will by overcoming resistance. The Principles of action mentioned which “direct and support the essence of our being are: Prayer; Zakat (Charity); Fasting; Hajj (Pilgrimage); and Jihad (spiritual struggle within oneself over sin.)”
What do these “principles of action” have to do with fitness? They are all related because they help to improve not only our spirit and our mind, but also our body. They help us to “Practice Active Faith!” When we practice prayer, it helps to relieve our stress and involves physical moves that help our body. Charity involves giving our money and our time. Do you donate time to help sustain your body just as a donation may help sustain an organization or a cause? Fasting is also a principle that most religions practice that help to improve our body and rid it of toxins. However, Jihad, can involve us struggling and using our efforts to overcome laziness, which is a sin. Walking is an exercise that the majority of us can to do and build a healthy habit of overcoming struggle.
I remember in the lecture, Fear, Faith and Truth, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan shared that he got up for his “daily exercise or walk.” His habit of overcoming the slumber of sleep to get up and pray and then walk is an example for all of us. What is a daily exercise that we can begin doing that will help us practice our faith? Every thought is followed by an action. If we have thoughts of practicing our faith, watch us develop more energy to practice our faith.
In the Theology of Time, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad said, “The more you practice Islam, the more you want to practice Islam.” When we develop the habit of practicing “active faith,” we will be able to accomplish great exploits. Think about when the Minister said he wanted to have a “Million Man March.” After he said it, he didn’t go and sit down. He practiced active faith and went on a tour, conducting “Men’s Only Meetings” to galvanize support and he was successful with the help of Allah.
When we practice “active faith,” we will go out and start a DeModest brand of clothing as our National MGT office has done. (I love the garments because they are beautiful “active wear” that we can wear while exercising, walking, etc.).
Use exercise to develop your “mental toughness” so that instead of making excuses, we will “make it happen” because we are in the condition to “make it happen” and practice “active faith.” We should, as the Holy Qur’an says, “Pray and do Good.” Pray and set a goal.
Did you know that exercise, in addition to “eating to live,” helps to slow the aging process? According to one of the top health books in the country, Prescription for Nutritional Healing, “Exercise is most import in slowing the aging process because it increases the amount of oxygen available to body tissues, a key determinant of energy and stamina. Brisk walking and stretching exercises are good. … Exercise can ward off conditions such as arthritis, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis, and because it releases endorphins into the body, exercise can also help overcome depression.” Aren’t these benefits worth 20 minutes of exercise in a 24-hour day? May Allah (God) bless us all with peace, health, wealth, love and happiness.
Audrey Muhammad is an aerobics instructor and the author of the book, “The Sisters’ Guide to Fitness and How to Set Worthy Goals.” For more information contact,[email protected]. Please consult a physician before beginning any new exercise or dietary program.