According to the World Health Organization (WHO), COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is a pandemic. By the WHO’s definition, any new disease that spreads worldwide is defined as a pandemic.
In such an exceptional situation, how must a Muslim react?
Aisha radiyallahuaha asked the Messenger of Allah (SAW) about a similar situation, regarding plagues. He (SAW) said:
“It is a punishment that Allah sends upon whomever he wills, but a mercy for the believers. Any servant who resides in a land afflicted by plague, remaining patient and hoping for a reward from Allah, knowing that nothing will befall him but what Allah has decreed, he will be given the reward of a martyr.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari)
This hadith teaches us a lot of things. Here are some of the important lessons we can derive:
- This pandemic is a blessing for believers
- A Muslim takes this opportunity to rethink about his relationship with his Lord, himself and with others
- He knows that tests from Allah are ways for him to come closer to his Lord and to improve himself in many ways
- In a pandemic such as today, a Muslim learns to focus on the things that he can control and leave the rest to Allah subuhanawuta’la
You’ve certainly come across many protective measures against the coronavirus, such as washing your hands thoroughly and maintaining social distance. Therefore, in today’s article, I would like to provide you with an additional five protective measures to protect you and your family.
Here are the five tools to improve your immune system.
#1. Frequent Dua
Du’a is the weapon of a believer. We need to utilise this weapon more now than ever before.
While we ask Allah to protect us from this disease, we should also beseech him subuhanawuta’la to improve our immune system.
The Prophet (SAW) said: “Whoever recites the following three times in the morning will not be afflicted by any calamity before evening, and whoever recites it three times in the evening will not be overtaken by any calamity by morning:
Bismillāh, alladhi la yaḍurru ma`a ismihi shai’un fil-arḍi wa la fis-samā’, wa huwa’lSamī`ul `Alīm
‘In the Name of Allah, Who with His Name nothing can cause harm in the earth nor in the heavens, and He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing.” (Tirmidhi)
#2. Enough Sleep
I’ve talked about sleep extensively. And one of the most important reasons to get enough sleep is to improve your immune system.
Studies confirm that one of the areas most affected by a lack of sleep is your immune system. A study from the University of California shows that reducing your sleep to just four hours for a single night drops your natural killer cell activity to a level of 72%.
Your natural killer cells are a critical part of your immune defence arsenal. These killer cells are responsible for identifying and destroying malignant cells. Natural killer cells are an important innate cell type in the defence against viruses.
Try to get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep. Please note that most people need 7-9 hours of sleep every night for a healthy immune system.
#3. Manage Your Stress
Stress is a normal psychological and physical reaction to the ever-increasing demands of life which we all go through at some point in our lives. However, when the stress turns chronic, then it can be bad for us. Chronic stress weakens our immune system.
In a study, researchers found that even under the simple stress of a three-day exam period, the students’ immunity went down. These students had fewer natural killer cells, which fight tumours and viral infections. They almost stopped producing immunity-boosting gamma interferon and infection-fighting T-cells responded only weakly to test-tube stimulation.
Now imagine what happens to people who are constantly following the coronavirus news? Their stress level can be very high and can negatively impact their immune system.
Learn to manage your stress by unplugging from media and spending more time with things that are beneficial to your Dunya and Aakhira.
In this article, I show you a simple breathing technique to manage stress.
#4. Regular Exercise
One of the quickest ways to improve your immune system is to start working out.
When it comes to strengthening your immune system, the importance of exercise is, unfortunately, less appreciated.
The thing is, regular exercise fortifies your immune system. So try to do some sort of exercise at least 20 minutes a day for a minimum of 5 days a week.
Even simple walking, jogging, swimming, yoga or any other type of exercise can help to improve your immune system.
In 7 Natural Ways to Strengthen Your Immune System, I talked about how exercise improves the immune system.
#5. Healthy eating
I certainly don’t think this is news anymore. Eating healthy becomes more important than ever before.
Eat a wide variety of vegetables and fruits. They are nature’s very own medicine cabinet. So strive to get a minimum of five to seven portions a day.
In general, eat whole foods and avoid processed foods. In this article, I explain three simple ways to achieve that.