Application of Islam to Daily Life

The Personal Life
Islam deals with very personal life of man in such a way as to insure his purity and cleanliness; as to give him a healthy diet and show him the proper manners of clothing, behavior, adornment, sports and so on.

Purity and Cleanliness
It is an Islamic injunction that before offering the prayer the Muslim must perform an ablution, unless he has done one earlier and kept it valid. This obligatory ablution is sometimes partial, sometimes complete, depending on his or her condition. Now, if we remember that Muslim has to offer at least five obligatory prayers every day in pure heart and mind, in clean body and clothes, on pure ground and intention-we can very well realize the vital effect and beneficial results of this single act for man.

2. Diet
To maintain a pure heart and a sound mind, to nourish an aspiring soul and a clean healthy body, special attention should be given to the diet on which man lives. And this is exactly what Islam be given to the diet on which man lives. And this is exactly what Islam does. Some superficial or self-deceived persons may imagine that food and drinking stuff has no direct or important effect on the general condition of the person who fills his stomach regularly.
But this is certainly not the viewpoint of Islam which takes the matter in a most serious way. The general principle of Islam in this respect is this: All the things which are pure in themselves and good for man are lawful for diet as long as they are taken in moderate quantities. And all the things which are impure and bad or harmful are unlawful under all ordinary circumstances. There is always room and flexibility for exceptions to meet cases of absolute necessity.
Beyond this general principle, there are certain foods and drinks specified by Allah as forbidden. Among these are: meat of dead animals and birds, the flesh of swine and that of anything slaughtered with the invocation of any name other than that of Allah . The drinks which Islam considers harmful and destructive to the human spirit and morality as well as to the physique and moral of man are included in the Qur'anic verse which forbids all intoxicants and all forms of gambling or games of chance.
The prohibition of these foods and drinks is not by any means an arbitrary action or a dictatorial decree of Allah. It is first and foremost a Divine intervention in the best interest of man and for his own sake. When the Qur'an describes these forbidden things as bad, impure and harmful, it has a vigilant eye on man's morality and wisdom, on his health and wealth, on his piety and common behavior-all of which are invaluable assets in the estimation of Islam.
The reasons behind this Divine intervention are numerous. They are of a nature intellectual and spiritual, moral and mental, physical and economical. And the sole purpose is to show man how to develop himself according to an upright course of life in order to be a healthy unit in the structure of the family, then of society, and eventually of humanity at large. Reliable medical doctors and social scientists should be able now to verify the benefits of these Islamic legislations.
Islam is as orthodox and uncompromising on the quality of the organic nourishment of man as it on his spiritual soundness and intellectual growth. This point is brought to light by the fact that some dietary items are forbidden in kind, as mentioned above, and some in degree. The things which are lawful for the Muslim should some in degree. The things which are lawful for the Muslim should be taken in moderate quantities without indulgence or excess . After shunning all the forbidden items in kind and degree, the Muslim is invited by Allah to enjoy His gracious provisions and to experience gratitude to the Merciful Provider .

3. Clothing and Adornment
In man's clothing and adornment Islam takes into serious consideration the principles of decency, modesty, chastity and manliness. Anything in clothing or adornment incompatible with the attainment, maintenance and development of these qualities is inhibited by Islam. The clothing material and the dressing manners which may stimulate arrogance or false pride and vanity are strictly prohibited.
So are the adornments which may weaken the morality of man or undermine his manliness. Man should remain loyal to his manly nature, which Allah has chosen for him, and keep away from all the things that are likely to weaken or endanger his character. This is the reason why Islam warns man not to use certain clothing materials, e.g., pure silk, and certain precious stones, e.g., gold, for the purpose of adornment. These are things which suit the feminine nature alone. The handsomeness of man is not in wearing precious stones or flaunting in pure and natural silken clothes but in high morality, sweet nature and sound conduct.
When Islam woman to use the things which are forbidden for man and which are suitable for the feminine nature alone, Islam does not let woman go loose or wander unrestricted. It allows her the things which suit her nature and, at the same time, cautions her against any thing that might abuse or upset that nature.
The manner in which women should dress up, beautify, walk and even look is very delicate question, and Islam pays special attention to the matter. The vision of Islam in this respect is focused on the general welfare of women. Islam has served advice to both man and woman to help women in particular to retain and develop their dignity and chastity, safe from being the subject of idle gossip or vicious rumors and suspicious thoughts. The advice is imparted in these Qur'anic verses:
Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that will make for greater purity for them. And Allah is well-acquainted with all that they do. And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except before their husbands, their fathers... (and certain other members of the house hold); and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments (24: 30-31).
Islam is very sensitive to the manners of clothing and ornaments. It makes it crystal clear that both man and woman should be confined to their respective natures to safeguard their natural instincts and endow them with modesty and high morality. Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) is reported as having said that Allah condemns those men who behave or act in a womanlike fashion, and those women who behave or act in a manlike fashion. Nevertheless, it should be borne in mind that Islam lays no restrictions on the harmless or proper items of clothing and ornaments. In fact, the Qur'an calls such things the beautiful gifts of Allah and reproaches those who look upon them as forbidden .

4. Sports and Amusements
It is gratifying to notice that most of the Islamic form of worship, e.g., Prayers, Fasting, Pilgrimage, display some sportive characteristics, although they are basically and by nature meant for spiritual purposes. But who would deny the constant interaction between the physique and morale of man? Yet that is not all that Islam has to say on the subject of sports and amusements.
Anything that provokes sound thinking or refreshes the mind and revitalizes the body to keep man in healthy shape is encouraged and invited to by Islam so long as it does not anticipate or involve any sin, or cause any harm or delay and hamper the fulfillment of other obligations. The general precept in this matter is the statement in which the Prophet said that all believers in Allah have good qualities but the strong one is better than the weak. It is also reported that he approved of the sports and amusements which build up the enduring physique and strengthen the morale.
It is a regrettable mistake to associate with sports and amusements things which are not really sportive or amusing. Some people consider gambling and drinking as sports and amusements, but this is not the viewpoint of Islam. Life is worth living and is granted to us for a definite purpose. No one is supposed to abuse it by letting it go loose or become dependent entirely on luck and chance. So it is no intrusion on or violation of the personal rights of man when Islam extends its Divine touch to organize life even in its very personal expects. Because life is man's most valuable asset and is designed for noble purposes, Islam has shown man the way to live it properly and enjoyable.
Among the measures taken in this respect is inhibition of gambling which is really more tension-accelerating than tension-reducing. It is a grave abuse of life to make it subject to luck and mere chance. It is a deviation from the normal course of life, if one entrusts his lot to the mad wheel of games, and invests his abilities in the most unpredictable moves on a gambling table. To protect man from all these unnecessary mental strains and shattering of nerves, and to enable him to lead a natural life in means as well as in ends, Islam has forbidden gambling of all forms and kinds.
Similarly, it is a shameful retreat from reality and an irresponsible insult to the best quality in man, i.e., mind, to get entangled in the tight strands of intoxication or cornered in the vicious whirl of alcohol. The menaces and tragedies of intoxication are too obvious to be elaborated. Many lives are being lost every day on this account. Many families break up because of this menace. Many billions of dollars are swallowed in the drinking channel every year. Countless doors are closed on misery and unhappiness arising from the drinking habits.
Besides the destruction of health, the depression of mind, the dullness of soul, the absorption of wealth, the disintegration of families, the abuse of human dignity, the sabotage of morality, the humiliating retreat from realty; everyone of the so-called social drinkers is a highly potential alcoholic. Islam cannot tolerate these menaces or let man abuse the very sense of life in this tragic way.
That is the reason why Islam does not associate gambling and drinking with good sports and refreshing amusements and, instead, has banned them once and for all. To appreciate the viewpoint of Islam in this respect one has only to check any news medium, read any medical report, visit any social service agency, or watch any court proceedings. Of all the agonizing social problems, alcoholism is by far the most serious. More than one-half million Americans become alcoholics every year. One in every ten to twelve people who take their first drink in any given year is destined to become alcoholic. All these painful tragedies and real losses speak much louder than any theological or trade arguments.