Saturday, December 1, 2012

Bodybuilding your DEEN.

Assalamualaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatu,

A RE-post of one of my favourite pieces to DATE!
Written in September of last year, it is a great metaphor and truly a piece of reflection for us all. What do you think ? Also , 

To Proceed,

Bodybuilding your DEEN.
When we hear the word "bodybuilding", one may think about Arnold Schwarzenegger or some muscle- induced juicebag (aka. steroid enhanced individual). I often thought about the routine of a bodybuilder and it's similarities to that of a practicing Muslim. Though the two do not coincide for obvious reasons, I was able to compare the two, in terms of similarity of routines to train the mind, body, and soul in order to accomplish a successful reward too great for words.

As a personal trainer, I used to work at a few gyms and was very well immersed in the lifestyle of health and fitness. I wanted to test my limits and try hard to train like a bodybuilder (for women, a very lean and toned figure). My routine constantly consisted of waking up early, training at the gym, training clients while maintaining an extremely strict diet. I would consume less calories than I was burning and I also had to remain mentally fit as well. This was one of the most challenging things I have ever had to endure. Many individuals procrastinate about working out and I would be at the gym 6 times a day and sometimes maybe even twice a day. Training my mind, strengthening my body while trying to better my soul was a hard routine to follow and stick to. I enjoyed this routine as I knew the outcome in the end was that of a rewarding one. I thought that eating, breathing health and fitness was going to help me be a better person, inside and out.

The strict routine of dieting, exercise, and motivating others was a routine that required much focus and determination. I had to first prove to myself that I could accomplish anything and everything before I could help others feel the same mental and physical reward. The importance of helping others feel happy with themselves was always a goal of mine. There is nothing better than the feeling of making someone else see, feel and believe that there is something worth living for, even if its feeling better about one's physical appearance. I, of course thought this was the only way to achieve true happiness at the time. This was before I even knew anything about Islam.

So what do these two completely different things have in common?
Well, for one, the time and effort you put into your routine pays off in the end with a great reward of self gratification and self love. You also train your mind, body, and soul to stick adherently to a routine that you know will benefit you in the future, and lastly you know that if you can help yourself, you can help others feel the same great reward.

To illustrate this to you more clearly, we take the strict routine of dieting and waking up early to train, and compare it to Islam, the beautiful religion. Muslims must wake up early to pray, which helps us strengthen our mind and our souls to be better individuals and to be closer to our Creator. We also must fast as well and we often wake up early to eat our sahoor before we fast. A bodybuilders routine consists of waking up early to exercise hard and eat their meals every three hours.

Also, the constant training of the body helps make you physically stronger and most importantly, mentally strong. Like Islam, the more you pray and the more you train yourself to stick to the Qur'an and Sunnah of the Prophet sallalahu aleyhi wasselam, you will benefit from this routine mentally and physically you will also become stronger. Waking up to fast and pray early in the morning and the late night will become easier as you practice it more (because you will know that you are pleasing Allah and nobody else.)

Also, the ability to train others is very gratifying as humans, innately we want to help people and we often feel a sense of greatness when we know that we are making a difference in someone's life. That is the same with Islam, when we educate ourselves and train ourselves to be better Muslims for the sake of Allah, we innately want to spread the love of Islam to others and help them. We know that spreading the love of Islam will benefit in such a great reward that it is, in words, indescribable. Helping our dear sisters in Islam get closer to Allah for HIS sake and His alone, is the best reward and most gratifying experience, in this life and the next.

In this case, the bodybuilders physique is like a Muslim with Allah.
The amount of time, effort, and dedication spent in working on one's physique is similar to that of a Muslim spending their time, effort, and dedication to please Allah. The harder you work the better you will look, and for a Muslim, the harder you work the closer you will get to Paradise.
The purpose of the strictness of a bodybuilder's routine is to gain mental strength as well as physical strength and the purpose of a Muslim's routine is also to gain mental strength and physical strength. It's not easy to wake up early in the morning (5am depending on the time of prayer) to make wudu (purification before prayer) and pray. I know how many Muslims just wish that the snooze button wouldn't work. We also have to wake up before we pray to eat our sahoor (during the month of Ramadhan and for voluntary fasting), and this is also not an easy task, but in the end it strengthens our mind and bodies all for the sake of Allah

Finally, training individuals to become better individuals mentally and physically is a task that requires constant motivation and knowledge. The more time and effort you put into educating your client, the happier they will become. In Islam, when we spread the love of Islam and help others see the beauty and the benefits of the religion, we feel a sense of overjoy that only Allah knows because we are doing it solely to make Him happy. That is why seeking knowledge, understanding the deen and applying it is very important for a Muslim. When we realise that you don't have to have expensive things or tons of money to be happy, and all you need is the TLC of Allah and you will be the happiest human being alive , than this is the true success of achievement in this worldly life.

Of course, Islam is beyond comparison to that of bodybuilding in the sense of self-love, self gratification, and self fulfillment. A Muslim's strenuous routine is not done to benefit solely themselves, but to please their one true Creator and Him alone. The focus and determination to make it into the highest level of Paradise is one of the most rewarding accomplishment one will yet to experience.

So, if these bodybuilders and trainers treat their bodies like it is their god, and if they are spending hours and hours into their routine to gain the exact same feelings that we Muslims gain, perhaps they should reevaluate their priorities and know that their body's could easily deteriorate in seconds, but the true success of happiness is in the heart and the soul, and this can only be attained through a routine dedicated solely for Allah, the One who put you on this earth in the first place.

1 comment:

  1. Asalamualakum nice post, and am also a member of your facebook page.


Assalamualaikum, please be mindful about what you are about to write. Think about it before writing and make sure it is something positive and beneficial, otherwise it will be deleted and ignored. JazakiAllah kheyr ! Sisters ONLY! xo