Islam guides Muslims on protection from heat wave

Story by  Eman Sakina | Posted by  Aasha Khosa | Date 30-05-2024
A women pours water over her head to beat the heat
A women pours water over her head to beat the heat


Eman Sakina

In Islam, caring for one's health and well-being is not just a practical necessity but also a spiritual duty. As we are experiencing a harsh summer, maybe, we will have to deal with even more scorching heat in the coming days, the Islamic tradition offers various guidelines and practices to help individuals protect themselves from extreme heat. Here are some key points to consider:

Staying Hydrated

Islam emphasizes the importance of taking care of one's body. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) highlighted the importance of water. In a hadith narrated by Abu Huraira, the Prophet said: "The best charity is giving water to drink" (Ahmad). During hot weather, it is crucial to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. This is especially important during the fasting month of Ramadan, where hydration needs to be carefully managed during non-fasting hours.

Friday Musings

Appropriate Clothing

Islamic guidelines on modest dress can also help protect from the heat. Loose, light-colored clothing is recommended as it reflects sunlight and allows air circulation, which helps in keeping the body cool. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to wear light, loose garments, which were suitable for hot climates.

Seeking Shade and Avoiding Peak Sun Hours

Islamic teachings encourage seeking shade and avoiding unnecessary exposure to the sun. The Prophet Muhammad would rest during the hottest part of the day, a practice known as Qaylula (midday nap), which is both a form of Sunnah and a practical way to avoid the harsh midday heat. This practice can help in reducing the risk of heat-related illnesses.

Dietary Considerations

Islamic dietary guidelines can also aid in coping with heat. Consuming fruits with high water content, such as watermelon and cucumber, can help maintain hydration. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) advised moderation in eating, which is especially important in hot weather to prevent overheating and dehydration.

Spiritual Practices and Patience

Enduring heat with patience is considered an act of worship in Islam. The Prophet Muhammad said: "There is no fatigue, nor disease, nor sorrow, nor sadness, nor hurt, nor distress that befalls a Muslim, even if it were the prick he receives from a thorn, but that Allah expiates some of his sins for that" (Bukhari). Thus, bearing the discomfort of heat with patience can be spiritually rewarding.

Community Support and Charity

Islam places a strong emphasis on community support. During extreme heat, Muslims are encouraged to help each other, such as by providing water and shade to those in need. Acts of charity and kindness, especially in providing relief from heat, are highly valued.

Dua (Supplications)

Making dua (supplication) for protection and relief from heat is also a common practice. Muslims believe in seeking Allah’s help in times of hardship. One such dua is: "O Allah, I seek refuge in You from the heat of the Fire (Hell)" (Bukhari).

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Islamic teachings offer comprehensive guidance on protecting oneself from the heat. By following these principles, Muslims can take practical and spiritual steps to stay safe during hot weather. Combining traditional practices with modern solutions can help mitigate the effects of extreme heat, ensuring well-being and health.