Fighting Aging - Longevity and Islam


The sectarian followers of Hadith believers have been dominated by the belief that aging cannot be fought. The starting point of this belief is, of course, fabricated narrations.

Also, in the hadith-sect and Sufi teachings, striving for a long and healthy life and struggling to minimize the troubles on earth have often been portrayed as worldliness and have been opposed.

But in the Qur'an, the teaching of Islam, the situation is very different. In fact, the teachings of the sects and Sufism show again here that they are contrary to the teachings of Islam. And as is well known, rumors called hadiths or sectarian and Sufi acceptances have no validity in the religion of Allah. Only the Qur'an is the source of religion, as our Lord says.

It should be known that according to Islam, the earth is not a place of progress or suffering, but a place of testing, and the condition for passing this test successfully is to produce beauty for yourself and for all humanity, and to try to make the earth a paradise (true faith free from shirk is at the forefront of this). In this context, the fight against disease, disability and aging is also among the Qur'anic goals.

There is no verse in the Qur'an that says that aging and diseases are helpless and that we should not fight to prevent them. On the contrary, our Lord says and wills the opposite.

The verses speak of people who remain vigorous for centuries.

Surah Ankebut:

29:14 And We had sent Noah to his people, so he stayed with them one thousand years less fifty. Then the flood took them while they were wicked.

As we can see, Prophet Noah lived on earth for "at least" 950 years. And since we don't see anyone in his community in the Qur'anic story who found it strange, living like that for centuries may have been an ordinary event in that civilization. In other words, either they were genetically resistant to aging or they knew the formula for youth through herbs, foods and exercises. Another option is that they had a very advanced level of science and technology and they did not age easily by taking advantage of it (more than one of these possibilities may have been effective together).

Moreover, even if it was only the Prophet's case, it shows that a person can live for many years in this world with great vigor. (There are sources that claim that some other prophets and other people also lived very long lives).

The verses also mention the long life of the people of the cave without aging (but the miracle there may have been performed outside the laws of physics).

Nowadays, especially experts in genetic science state that human life span can be extended and that we can experience a world adventure free from old age and disease for centuries and even thousands of years. Some scientists even foretell this development with sentences such as "The long-lived people written in the holy books are about to become a reality again", so it can be seen that this situation is in harmony with the information given by religion.

The goal of a Muslim is, of course, to live a good life that will earn Allah's pleasure. In other words, the main goal is not the length of life in this world, but the realization of deeds that will merit paradise and the success of the test. But the fight against aging is not contrary to this, but supportive of it. Even if a person never ages, he will still be mortal in this world. He will only be able to remain vigorous and healthy for as long as he lives. The quality of life will improve. This situation can make that individual happier, think healthier and exhibit more mature behaviors. In fact, a healthy and vigorous person has more power and opportunity to produce beauty for others than an unhealthy and decadent person. A healthy and long-lived person also has the chance to grow in wisdom. A person who is more knowledgeable, more experienced, who has spent much longer thinking about life and the scriptures, and who has always done so with a vigorous body and mind, may be a little more likely to turn toward true religion and goodness.

As I have already said, since saving life is a good deed like saving all of humanity according to our holy book, doing research to prolong life and prevent the ravages of aging is also within this scope:

-And whoever gives life to one person, it is as if he had given life to mankind as a whole (from Surah Maide, verse 32).

Some people who oppose the fight against aging mistakenly perceive it as changing God's creation, as going against His law. No, it is the other way around. To ensure that a person remains vigorous and healthy for a long time or for a very long time is not to change Allah's creation, but to preserve it. Is it the preservation of creation if an organ, such as the eye, is always sharp or if it degenerates and loses its function? Or is it a change in the original shape of a person's hair when it falls out, or when it is always thick? Perpetual youth is the preservation of the healthiest state of the body created by Allah and at the same time the preservation of its shape. In fact, in Paradise, the living creatures will maintain their fixed form forever...

As long as the original, fixed forms of the creatures created by Allah are not tampered with and different organs or creatures are not created through science. Preserving youth is preserving the original form. The work to be done should be to maintain this constancy, not to change it.

Another point to be considered is that one should not fall into the trap of trying to adopt Far Eastern teachings under the name of anti-aging. Some pagan practices, beliefs such as pantheism and reincarnation, in short, spiritualism, are sometimes tried to be instilled in people as exercises to ensure longevity. In reality, these have nothing to do with health.

 God's law commands the struggle against adversity and suffering. Working to stay healthy and young and ensuring that humanity is happy is part of realizing this, as we have repeatedly stated.

 This can be done through the science of genetics, but also through natural food/herbs or exercise...

By the way, the fact that the world's longest-lived people are usually Muslims is another confirmation of how preserving youth and health goes hand in hand with living the way Allah wants us to live (e.g. the longest known long-lived person is the Azeri Shirali Mislimov).

In fact, praying, fasting and obeying Allah's other commands and prohibitions are in many ways responsible for longevity.

In short, Islam already includes the effort to prolong life, to make youth last longer and longer.

And not only in this area, but in all aspects of life, it is a Qur'anic principle to increase quality and happiness, to multiply beauty and to work for a paradise-like world.

This is not worldliness. In fact, in the Qur'an, the beauty of this world and the hereafter are one and the good you do in this world for yourself and for all humanity is also an investment in the hereafter. The two are mutually supportive, contrary to popular belief. What is unreligious is the pursuit of evil, misery and suffering.

God's religion shows us what our real and lasting interests are and aims to guide us along that path.

(My Turkish article translated with machine)



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