“When you change the Way You look at Things, the way things look change.” Wayne Dyer
Often the greatest setbacks in our life end up being the greatest blessing in disguise. Sometimes your biggest failure, sets you up for your greatest success.
I wanted to share a Journey Of Learning on Bank Holiday Monday in 2016 with you; the journey that enabled me to learn more about Eating Disorders in Islam and about the Holy month of Ramadan. A flicker of light in a long, long tunnel. I have to give thanks to where thanks is due, to everyone at the Exeter Mosque. Thank you everyone, but most of all; thank you Allah. Words do not express my thankfulness. For Your mighty power is at work in me, transforming me, renewing my mind and enabling me to fully break free from the imprisonment of Eating Disorder. To You Allah belongs thanks eternal.
Traveling can act like the mind’s feather duster, knocking loose memories and bringing and instilling peace. On Bank Holiday Morning, I made a journey to Exeter. The mosque by sea was calling me. I went there to speak to the Imam regarding the month of fasting. (I’ve covered this topic ‘Imam’s Advice’ in another blog post here).
I’m pleased to make that journey. I wanted to see the mosque. One of my main motivating factors in recovery was the thirst to visit and pray in different mosques across the world. Sometimes life’s biggest problems, illness are the biggest blessings in disguise.
Exploring mosques is a good way to learn the architectures, designs, paintings, cultural assets, and the history of different Muslim communities. Your mind and soul could be cleansed and healed through visiting the mosques when you’re close enough to look deep inside the buildings and find the meanings found inside and behind them.
When going to the mosques, there are certain etiquette practices to be aware of. The Mosque is a House of Allah. Bai al Noor, a holy place, a quiet and a healing place. The mosque is a sacred place for daily worship, a symbol of sacred and spiritual point of healing for all that believe.
The picturesque in itself is unimaginative as any description might lead to under-emphasis. The art and the design in it self describes the presence of unique belonging like I was born in Exeter. The air and the gentle breeze crossing in all direction to signify a sense of restoration to the body and soul. The style, layout, and decoration of a mosque can tell us a lot about Islam.
People say that one can’t comprehend the reality of Allah, and that is so true.
During my travel, I saw the stunning beauty. The stunning landscapes. Everything exalting Allah.
The mosque is so beautiful. I could feel the peace surrounding it. I was blessed to have time to do my Noon prayers there.
The £1.7million structure of 2011 in Exeter is a place I would implore you my reader to experience for the restoration of all great spiritual value and your peace of mind. The scape in its own delight toss in all angle of sight like the swaggering gait of an elephant.
It is a healing place and the beauty of the town.
The Blessed Monday
It was beautiful day and a beautiful time spent at the mosque.
O Allah, make my silence reflection. May I learn when I look. Make my tongue repeat Your Names. May I always remember You.
Talha ibn Musarrif
After Iqamah Salat, I spoke to the Imam.
The Imam was away and took time out to see me.
He was surprised to see me and wondered why someone would make such a long journey to come to Exeter, though he lives in the heart of country surrounded by dozens of mosques.
I couldn’t explain that too. A revelation I will liken it to.
He had no idea I was going to talk about Eating Disorders. He listened with greater patience.
I thanked him so much for taking the time out. Although I initially felt like an intruder, but the good gestures made me feel so welcomed.
Now a short paragraph on finding the cure and how this journey is unique. You can’t recover if you keep listening to ED voice that tells you to binge, purge, exercise and starve.
Cleanse yourself of your delusions!
IMPORTANCE OF STUDYING AND HAVING FULL KNOWLEDGE OF ED- The Role of the Muslim Doctor
Making patient feel comfortable.
There are several ways and approached to which we get our jobs or responsibilities done. I say that a bit of softheartedness is require in all our doing. Here comes in Counselling. Doctors are one kinds of people to have this characteristics.
The Muslim doctor shares with the Muslim patient the two main characteristics: the faith in God and destiny, and the conviction that there is a cure for every disease. However, the doctor must have something more; he is supposed to know, or at least try to know, the proper diagnosis and the proper cure for any ailment particularly in this context, ED. He must be aware of his mission or commission entrusted to him in his capacity as the agent of healing. Being an agent, he believes that the act of healing is not entirely his, but it depends on God’s will.
It seems to me that medical doctors are more aware than others of the divine power and God’s will. They meet every day with cases where destiny plays the major role and they encounter the most unexpected results. Our Prophet (P.B.U.H), on the authority of Yasir, says:
“For each disease there is a cure; and when the (fight) treatment is given, the disease is cured by the Will of Allah”,
(cited by Ahmad and Muslim)
The art of healing, which is called the medical profession in modern language, has been highly respected all through the ages. For a long period in human history this was closely correlated with religious leadership and quite often confluent with magic and miracles. Since the advent of Islam 1400 years ago, medicine has become a science subject to human intelligence and discovery. Nevertheless, the medical doctor has persistently captured the appreciation and respect of his contemporaries, especially as medicine was usually associated with other philosophical and social knowledge. In fact this close marriage between philosophy and medicine distinguished the medical history of Islam. The gist here is that doctor’s prognosis included the spiritual, psychological and social sides of the patient over and above the pathological aspects. I earnestly believe that in an Islamic state, all Muslim doctors in course of their everyday practice, and when dealing with Muslim patients in particular, should keep this traditional prognostic attitude in mind. I am sure, if they do they will never regret the act.
But what is it that makes a Muslim doctor different from other non- Muslim doctors? From the technological and scientific points of view, all doctors fall in one category. However, when it comes to practice, the Muslim doctor finds himself bound by particular professional ethics plus his Islamic directives issuing from his belief. In fact, the Muslim doctor – and I mean by this that doctor who tries to live his Islam by following its teachings all through – such a doctor is expected behave differently in some occasions and to meet greater responsibilities than other non-Muslim doctors.
The Public Responsibility: A Muslim doctor is supposed to belong to a Muslim community where there is some common cause, common feelings and mutual solidarity. “Believers are brethren” (IXL, 10) God also says:
“And hold fast all of you together to the Rope of Allah, and be not divided among yourselves: and remember Allah’s favour on you, for you were enemies and He joined your hearts together, so that by His Grace you became brethren…”
The implication is the Muslim doctor is a member in a Muslim community where the same body of the individual is crucial for its survival and development. The doctor has a big say and great weight in influencing his patients and in righteously guiding their orientation. Besides, he should be actively involved in propagating true Islam among Muslims and non- Muslims. Almost all Christian missionaries depend on medical doctors when approaching alien masses, taking advantage of the humanistic service doctors render to poor diseased people. In a country like this where we live, the best missionary service to be rendered by a medical doctor is to be in a sane mind all the time in accordance with his Islamic teachings, to declare his conviction, and to feel proud of it. Then he serves a good model that would convince others and gain their hearts.
Faith and healing: By accepting the fact that Allah is the healer – and that the doctor is only an agent, both patients – irrespective of their creeds – and their doctors, fight their battle of treatment with less agony and tension.
I think it is an established fact that such spiritual conviction would improve the psychological state of the patient and boost his morale, and thus help him overcome his physical weakness and sickness. There are many examples where faith played a miraculous part in the process of healing. In my opinion, a Muslim doctor must make of faith the backbone of his entire healing procedure.
Summarily, the role of the Muslim doctor is briefly to put his profession in service of his religion. To this end, he must know both: medicine and Islam.
Do not be ashamed of your illness, don’t keep it. Say it.
You need to follow those advice of local Imams. This is because, counselling is the traditional healing, here a traditional healer who may be a sheikh, dervish, or pir depending on their geographical location, practice various rituals to heal a client. This model explains the illness or personal problems as a possession by spirit (jinn). The solution for a healer is to exercise the spirit, through reading Quran, prayers, playing music, dancing, and beating spirits, out of the “client’s” body, which then frees the person from misery of ED.