Assalamu'alaikum wbt and Hi everyone,
It has been nearly 7 weeks since I was discharged from the hospital for my high dose chemotherapy. As anticipated, I can still very much feel the after effects of the chemotherapy, in particular my energy level. I'll still need the extra hours of sleep during the day to keep me going with my daily activities. Nevertheless, yesterday marked a significant milestone in my improvement post chemotherapy. I started playing sports again, after a 4-months lay off. It was a good 2 hours and a half outing of badminton with my fellow Malaysian peers, one that left me aching all over by the end of it!
All these while, my only form of exercise has been walking daily for my regular prayers in the Muslim Welfare House. Even now I was still huffing and puffing by the time I arrive at the masjid, as I need to walk up the hill all the way to get there. It is certainly one good form of exercise, and I'm sure any Malaysians in Sheffield who regularly comes to the same masjid would concur with me.
"...then for every step he takes towards the mosque, he is upgraded one degree in reward and his one sin is taken off (crossed out) from his accounts (of deeds)..." [Bukhari]. The journey up the hill of Broomspring lane.
Looking retrospectively, I was reminded how I struggled a lot with my daily worship back when I was having my treatment. I felt so weak that I often made use of the rukhsah (relief/dispensation) Allah has allowed in performing the obligatory prayers. Most of the time I had to pray on a sitting position, but there were also times when I was so poorly, that I prayed lying on the bed.
"Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope. He gets reward for that (good) which he has earned, and he is punished for that (evil) which he has earned." [2:286]. An example of praying on a lying position.
The chemotherapy took all my energy away; I could only perform my obligatory prayers and was already too tired to even consider doing the nawafil prayers. Ablution at times was a massive effort, even though I have a bathroom in the room I was in and it was only a few steps away from my bed.
The struggle I went through in performing my worship to Allah back then was a strong reminder that good health is indeed one BIG blessing from our Creator. With good health, arises all the other goodness we enjoy in life. Think about it.
Without good health, the foods we eat will not taste as good. All the nasigoreng kampung, ayam tandoori, sate, cendol, you name your favourite dishes, will all not taste good when you are not well. When I had the mucositis, I could hardly tolerate any foods that was offered to me, and all the drinks and soup that I had tasted dull. As a result, I lost 6 kilograms within just a week and had to be referred to the dietitian to prevent further weight loss.
What you eat today will 'eat' you back in the future. =)
The comfortable bed that usually provides us with a good rest turns into a pain, as we become bed-bound when down with an ilness. When I was in the hospital for a month, there were times when I felt like burning the hospital mattress I was on. Which was probably because I felt tired just looking and lying on it for such a long period.
I am telling myself first and foremost before everyone else; I must appreciate the blessing of good health before I become ill. There must be at least one moment in your life where your 'ibadah was affected as a result of an illness, and think about how thankful you became once you were back to full fitness.
Remember that the moment will come when each of us will be asked about how have we used our good health. Is it for acts that help to bring us closer to our Creator, or ones that takes us further away. When that time comes, the tongue will only say nothing but the truth about all our actions in this world.
Our Lord, bestow on us Mercy from Yourself, and facilitate for us our affair in the Right way! [Al Kahfi, 18:10]
Our prophet was right. Health is indeed a bounty from Allah wherein most people are deceived.