The Importance of Self-Care in Islam: Balancing Worship and Wellness

Why Self-Care is a Form of Worship in Islam

Self-care has grown in popularity in recent years, with many people recognising the importance of looking after oneself in order to live a happy and fulfilling life. Self-care, on the other hand, is a religious obligation for Muslims, not a trend. Taking care of oneself is considered a form of ibadah (worship) in Islam and is an important aspect of being a good Muslim.
The Prophet Muhammad (saw) taught that self-care is necessary and important, saying “Verily, your own self has rights over you, so fast and break your fast, pray and sleep.” This hadith highlights the importance of taking care of one’s physical, emotional and spiritual well-being, as well as the importance of balancing worship with self-care.

Self-care entails not only physical care, such as eating in moderation and exercising, but also maintaining positive and healthy interpersonal relationships and avoiding toxic relationships. The Prophet’s companion, Abu Darda r.a, said, “A righteous companion is better than solitary, and solitary is better than a bad companion.” This hadith emphasises the importance of surrounding oneself with positive and supportive people while avoiding negative and toxic people.

Self-care also includes mental and emotional well-being. The Quran reminds us to “O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient.” (Quran 2:153). This verse highlights the importance of seeking help through prayer and patience in difficult times, as well as the reminder that Allah is always with us and will help us through difficult times.

Spiritual well-being, in addition to physical, emotional, and mental well-being, is an important aspect of self-care in Islam. Dhikr, or remembering Allah in one’s heart and through daily speech, is regarded as a form of self-care. Dhikr is also frequently rendered as “mindfulness.” Self-care also expresses gratitude to Allah (swt) for one’s health and well-being.

The Quran says “Be grateful and I will give you more…And if you should (try to) count the favors of Allah, you could not enumerate them.” (Quran 14:7-34) This verse highlights the importance of being grateful for the blessings that Allah has given us, and the reminder that the blessings of Allah are countless.

Self-care is not just about the physical, such as eating in moderation and exercising. It’s also about making sure you preserve positive and healthy relationships with people. It’s important to pray salah and read the Qu’ran but dhikr, the remembrance of Allah in your heart and through your everyday speech, is important too. Dhikr is also often translated as “mindfulness.” Demonstrating self-care also shows gratitude to Allah (swt) for your health and well-being.

Self-care is unique for each person. It is impossible to look after others if you neglect to respect your own time and health that Allah (swt) has blessed you with. In the long run, being kind to yourself will ultimately make you a more productive person by giving you the energy to complete your tasks more efficiently.

Self-care is a type of ibadah as well as a form of self-love. Self-love is an essential component of self-care because it is impossible to truly care for oneself unless one loves and respects oneself. “And We have certainly honoured the children of Adam and carried them on land and sea and provided for them of the good things and preferred them over much of what We have created, with [definite] preference,” the Quran says. (Quran 17:70) This verse emphasises the fact that Allah honoured Adam’s children and provided them with good things, and thus it is important for us to honour and care for ourselves.

Self-care is an essential aspect of being a good Muslim and is considered a form of ibadah. It includes not only physical care such as eating in moderation and exercising, but also preserving positive and healthy relationships with people, staying away from toxic relationships, mental and emotional well-being, spiritual well-being, self-love and gratitude to Allah. It is important to find balance between worship and self-care, and to remember that taking care of oneself is not selfish, but a religious obligation. As Muslims, we should strive to take care of ourselves in all aspects, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually, and to remember that self-care is a form of ibadah and gratitude to Allah.

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