Physical, mental and spiritual development
“Scouting can play a very vital role in forming the character of our youth, promoting their physical, mental and spiritual development, and making them well-disciplined, useful and good citizens.”
- Mr. Jinnah / Quaid-e-Azam
- Speech: Service before Self
- Context: Message to Pakistan boy scouts
Investing in the development of our people will generate highest returns and usher an era of enduring progress.
Average life expectancy of top countries is 1.3x higher than Pakistan. This means, Pakistanis can live 17 years longer if we build up the health of our people. The fastest and most cost-effective path to increasing the life expectancy of our people is to build national habits and culture anchored in a whole-food plant-based diet.
Optimum wellness is achieved when the body is in a slightly alkaline state. Processed foods, sodas, meat and dairy proteins, polluted air and simple life pressures contribute to chronic state of body acidity. Hospitals and traditional healthcare systems only focus on treating the symptoms but prevention requires educating our people on the benefits of a whole-food plant-based diet such as providing an immediate source of energy, balancing hormones, stabilizing blood sugar, strengthening immune system and enhancing mood.
Broadly speaking, genes are only controlling 20% of our health, which means that our environment and our lifestyle are dominant forces in determining our life expectancy. Diets that are low in saturated fats, that provide good amounts of unsaturated fat, are rich in fiber and provide good amounts of plant protein and are low in ultra-processed foods consistently lead to good health outcomes. Consumers of such a diet will experience less cardiovascular disease, less likelihood of having a heart attack or a stroke, less risk of developing type 2 diabetes, less risk of fatty liver disease and significantly higher probability of a longer lifespan.
In Islam prophecy reaches its perfection in discovering the need of its own abolition*. In order to achieve full self-consciousness, man must finally be thrown back on his own resources. The abolition of priesthood and hereditary kingship in Islam, the constant appeal to reason and experience in the Quran, and the emphasis that it lays on nature and history as sources of human knowledge, are all different aspects of the same idea of finality of the institution of prophethood.
The Islamic spirit is to ponder, reflect and search for answers with free and active thinking about the larger questions which the human mind has raised up for itself. Every Pakistani citizen shall strive for the formation of individual opinion by leveraging nature and history as true guides of knowledge.
Decoding nature requires adopting and promoting the method of scientific inquiry and a mastery of empirical reality. Study of history requires an objective review of social, political, economic, religious and educational evolution of nations, and this will provide a source of moral understanding and good citizenship.
*source: Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam by Dr. Muhammad Iqbal
Pakistanis are a spiritually ambitious people, they have the common literature of Quran, which empowers them to elevate the spirit of Muslim culture across the globe. To understand the nature of things and essence of reality, we will develop a greater appreciation of the unity of human origin. Humanity is a single organism, the Quran states “And we have created you all from one breath of life”. This view enlarges, emboldens and promotes the idea of equality for all, tolerance of diverse beliefs and the rapid exchange of intellectual and cultural ideas among all nations. Our borderless human consciousness, invisibly connects us to a mystical communal awareness*.
Muslims view history as a continuous, global movement, a real inevitable development in time. History is truly a creative movement whose path is not pre-determined. Freedom and self-agency to create a better future is the hallmark of the Islamic spirit.
The spiritual basis of Islam is rooted in the universality of one God, the concept of a singular highest power, consciousness of the infinite – it provides us an avenue beyond the self, to surrender self-will to the only power that has power over everything. The spirituality in Islam keeps us connected to the renewable, unlimited energy source that builds gratitude, breeds compassion and makes us better humans.
*note: perhaps you're thinking we've gone off the deep end, but in a deeply religious society, we need to build on the literature of religion, expand the perspectives of how religion can be conceived, and transform the religious attitudes of people for which we ought to borrow much from the Sufi tradition and it's mystical adventures.