By Amina Salau
Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
As much as a lot of us look forward to summer to get a reprieve from the cold months of winter, I do believe that we still have not come to terms with ways to deal with the heat of the summer months.
As Muslims, we have a duty to take care of our body, and this includes finding ways to beat the heat and maintain a balance that will allow us to enjoy the warmth of summer without harming ourselves. So, how do we achieve this?
Stay Indoors As Much As Possible
It is advisable to reduce exposure to heat by staying indoors as much as possible. This doesn’t mean one should use the excuse of heat to slack from one’s duties, school, work, or engagements; rather we should limit our expose to the heat as much as our daily activities will allow. Prophet Muhammad (sa) allowed the zuhr (noon) prayers to be delayed during intense heat. (Muslim) These prayers were then offered when the weather became much cooler.
Wear Protective Clothing
In many countries, people wear as few clothes as possible during the hot weather. This, however, is incorrect both Islamically and scientifically. Allah mentions: “And Allah…has made for you garments which protect you from the heat…” (an-Nahl 16:81)
Season-friendly clothing shields your skin from the harshness of the heat which in turn can cause skin diseases. During one of the Prophet’s pilgrimages, Umm al-Hassan narrated that he was seen being shielded with a cloth while he threw pebbles at the jamrah of ‘Aqabah. (Sunan Abi Dawud; sound)
Cool Your Body
Take frequent showers, or simply pour some water over your head to cool off. Several hadiths mention the Prophet (sa) pouring water over his head due to either intense heat or thirst. This method will be beneficial to us as the hot weather continues. If you are unable to shower extra times in a day to cool yourself, simply have some water handy to sprinkle or pour over the head and face intermittently to freshen up and make the skin feel some coolness.
Drink a Lot of Water
Water is the best drink for the body. It hydrates the skin, and it energizes and fuels the body. The Prophet (sa) said that water is the best drink in this life and the hereafter. Even if it is simply for hydration, it is very important to drink as much water as possible during the heat. Drinking water in this period keeps us healthy and helps the body to continue to function at its optimal level.
Do Not Complain
All seasons are from Allah (swt), and as Muslims, we should always be grateful for what He has bestowed on us. He mentions: “…If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favour]…” (Ibraheem 14:7) The summer period is a mercy from Allah (swt), and we should treat it as such. Let us remind ourselves of the goodness to be derived from the warmth of these days and ask Allah (swt) to grant us all that is good in this weather.
Amina Salau is a freelance writer who is passionate about women’s issues in Islam
© IIPH 2015