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by Rutgers University Muslim Students Association

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Muslim Muscle

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “There are two blessings which many people lose: (They are) Health and free time for doing good.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari]

Getting Started

It comes time now that many of us are graduating, slowly moving away from the college scene and on to bigger things, Insha’Allah. We all helped with MSA, but who said Islamic work has to stop after college? There are so many initiatives to get involved with. One of them is Muslim Muscle. To reiterate what was said at the last MSA meeting, the goal of Muslim Muscle is to build a huge fitness center for both brothers and sisters, separated of course. 

It saddens me sisters have very limited facilities they can actually go to for exercise and recreation. It saddens me brothers have to deal with constant haraam when using the facilities present now. It saddens me the ummah has so much money but none of it is being invested into something like this. It saddens me every time you want to look up an exercise tutorial you have to deal with haraam. It saddens me our ummah has such a self inflicted illness. Muslim Muscle plans to change all this, bi ithnillah.

On our way to achieving the goal of the huge fitness facility, we will make halal exercise tutorials. We will have classes at select locations for those looking to improve their health. We will educate the youth and the elders about the Sunnah of the six pack. We will have a presence at large and small Muslim events to market and benefit others.  

Although this idea was started earlier on, because of college and MSA it was put on hold. Now that graduation is near, we can and will focus on this full fledge. But to accomplish this is not an easy task. Nothing can be done alone—that’s why the Prophet salAllahu alayhi wa sallam had Companions. He taught us to develop a team…and that is the purpose of this post. 

If you are passionate about health and fitness and have skills you think can be of benefit to Muslim Muscle, please fill out this form. This team will be seriously committed to Muslim Muscle but can work with your schedule, so do not think this is a full-time job. This is something voluntary at first, but will become paid once established.

There is extreme dedication at RU-MSA and among the Muslim community. This is where the idea came to life, and we would love to work with you all even after college. So please, apply to help revive this Sunnah of good health and fitness.

The Worst Vessel

Muslim Muscle - The Worst Vessel

In a country where almost every single food is genetically modified, injected with hormones, grown under artificial conditions and with complete lack of hygiene, it becomes very hard to eat healthy. When you have soda priced higher than water and genetically modified fruits priced lower than organic, how do you expect the average Mohammad/Fatima to eat healthy and sustain his/her body? When you are not given any choice but to eat from the types of food mentioned above, when you cannot pick anything else, your priority should be to put as little of the poison into your body as possible. Let’s take a look at the hadith of the Prophet ﷺ from 1400 years ago, still applicable today:

I heard the Messenger of Allah ﷺ saying: ‘The human does not fill any vessel that is worse than his stomach. It is sufficient for the son of Adam to eat what will support his back. If this is not possible, then a third for food, a third for drink, and third for his breath.’ [Tirmidhi]

There is so much wisdom and benefit in this prophetic saying. Let’s first analyze this economically. The less food you eat, the less money you spend. The less money you spend on food, the less food farmers make. The less food farmers make, the less they waste. We have a huge surplus of food in this country. So much so, that the surplus is regularly thrown away because it costs more to preserve it. When you have no choice but to make a set amount, your surplus will decrease and you sell more efficiently. How do you look at the majority of the world starving to death and still throw out the food?

Now let’s analyze the health benefits derived from this hadith. When a person overeats, his/her body reacts to the sudden nutrition overload with sleepiness and lethargy. This is commonly referred to as “food coma.” A person is sapped of any energy they had and only wish to sleep. Don’t let this happen to you. When you only fill a third of your stomach, you will never experience food coma. You will actually retain, if not increase your energy level without feeling or showing any signs of lethargy.

Another benefit of not filling your stomach is proper digestion. When your stomach is not full, your stomach has space to move the acids inside. When you overeat however, the stomach has less space to work with, and you get problems like acid reflux, constipation, and incomplete digestion. Although the worst vessel the son of Adam can fill is his stomach, it is not haraam to do so and the Sahaba did this on occasion. The narration is of when Abu Hurayrah was told to give milk to the other Companions and when it was his turn to drink, the Prophet ﷺ told him to drink until he was full and could not drink anymore.

So eat—but eat moderately—because moderation is what the Sunnah is all about.

Top 5 Reasons Why You Need to Muslim Muscle

1. Our bodies are Allah’s property:  Allah gave us our bodies, so keeping them in shape with the right intention is in fact worship. Imagine doing something you enjoy and getting good deeds at the same time!

2. It’s SunnahThe Prophet ﷺ, was not overweight or unhealthy. He was strong and lean. Be like him in every aspect.

3. It’ll improve health: This is no surprise. If we exercise and pay attention to what we put in, we will strengthen our immune systems, which in turn will be able to protect our bodies from bacteria and infection.

4. It will improve our moods: We humans are always stressed. But did you know exercising actually improves your mood? When exercising, our brains releases the “feel good” chemicals into our systems. Plus, a fit body can help raise self-confidence.

5. It improves our relationships: When we’re no longer stressed and feel good from working out, we’ll find interacting with people easier from the added self-confidence and energy.

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Sunnah of the Six Pack

Perfection is what was revealed to the Prophet ﷺ, and perfection is what the Prophet ﷺ was. Allah has wisdom behind everything that is decreed. There is wisdom in Islam coming to the Arabs, there is wisdom in Islam coming to the Tribe of Quraish, and there is wisdom behind Islam being revealed to Muhammad ibn Abdullah ﷺ. There is wisdom behind EVERYTHING Prophet Muhammad ﷺ did. There is wisdom in his speech, wisdom in his dealings, wisdom in his physical features, and the list goes on.

The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was the best of mankind. He was not only the epitome of spirituality but also the epitome of health. Such a huge part of his Sunnah deals only with his diet. Why then do many people ignore this? Did you know the Prophet ﷺ had broad shoulders? In a narration, the Companions said the Prophet ﷺ had a very wide chest. They described his hands and feet as “fleshed,” implying strength as a great quality in men. They described his walk as quick, so quick the other Companions couldn’t keep up with him. The Companions narrated the story of when he wrestled with the champion wrestler of the time, Rukana, and beat him! How does a man accomplish this if he isn’t physically fit? The Companions described the Prophet of Allah ﷺ as having creases on his stomach, and in another narration, they called them folds. This is something every man craves, something every man dreams of having. THIS WAS THE PROPHET’S ﷺ SIX PACK!! Why do we then, knowing all of this, continue to ignore this aspect when it comes to following his Sunnah?

It is a shame that because this Sunnah is forgotten, we have an Ummah predisposed to diabetes and hypertension. We have parents feeding junk to their children and keeping them busy with television. We have fathers walking around with potbellies due to laziness. Do you know what Umar did when he saw an overweight person during his Khilafah? He asked the person, “What is this?” The person cleverly replied, “This is the blessing of Allah.” Umar countered and said, “NO! Rather this is the wrath of Allah.” This was the anomaly at the time, but now unfortunately, it’s the norm.

I plan to change that. This is the reason behind the birth of Muslim Muscle. I hate seeing relatives and other fellow Muslims suffering from serious, self-inflicted illnesses. Muslim Muscle WILL change this, with the permission of Allah. Educate yourself with the Sunnah, follow it, and watch your life improve. When we learn the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad  ﷺ, let’s not skip over the Sunnah of the six pack.

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