Fruits for the Week

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Eating habits

Eating like any other act of Muslim, is a matter of worship and begins in the name of Allah. Islam reminds Muslims that food and drink are the provision of Allah provided to them for survival and for maintaining good health. The following habits have been recommended by Prophet Muhammad (saw), and are practiced by Muslims all over the world:

  1. Du’a before each meal.

Muslims are to start their eating by making a du’a: Allahumma barik lana fi ma razaqtana wa qina ‘adhabannar (O Allah! Bless the food you have bestowed upon us and protect us from the torment of hell. In the name of Allah we start.”

  1. Du’a after each meal.

After completing the meal, Muslims praised and thank Allah for the blessing that He bestowed upon them one form would be: Alhamdu lillahil-ladhi at’amana wa saqana wa ja’alana minal Muslimin” (Praise be to Allah the One Who gave us the food and the drinks. Praise be to Him Who made us Muslims.”

  1. Eating less.

Overeating is discouraged and wastage of food is condemned. Allah (swt) said: “O children of Adam! Look to your adornment at every place of worship, and eat and drink, but be not prodigals. Lo! He loves not the prodigals.” (Qur’an 7: 31). The Prophet (saw): “Eat less you will be healthier.”  

  1. Dieting.

One of the main principles of good health is a balanced diet. Prophet Muhammad (saw) emphasized the behaviour of eating less as a method of preventing sickness and diseases. He said: “Nothing is worse than a person who fills his stomach. It should be enough for the son of Adam to have a view bites to satisfy his hunger. If he wishes more, it should be: one-third for his food, one-third for his liquids, and one-third for his breath.” (Timidhi, Ibn Majah and Hakim)

It is interesting to note that this fact is realized by the scientific community after more than 1400 years as is manifested in the popular slogan given by the American Dietetic Association (in March 1983)- “Say yes to less…A health plus +”

  1. Eating slowly.

Eating slowly is recommended for health. Slow eating reduces the consumption of food as it postpones much of the meal to a time when the absorption of nutrients begins to produce physiological signals of society.

Slow eating helps in chewing the food well. This results in the exercise of the jaws (mandible) and mixing saliva with food. Hence, efficient digestion takes place because the food particles are cut into smaller pieces, not requiring as much churning in the stomach or intestine.

  1. Moderation and sharing.

Fourteen centuries ago, the religion of Islam laid down the basis of dietary regulations as well as the limits within which man can satisfy his physical needs and desires without endangering his life and mental health. While in contrast to man-made system and superstition, the Divinely revealed religion of Islam motivated people to seek the good of the Hereafter as well as of this world in a balanced way. It taught man to enjoy the pleasure of life, including food, in a moderate way, not becoming a slave to his desires and not losing sight of his ultimate spiritual goal. Eating to sustain life, to become healthy and physically fit in order to carry on the duty of serving God and propagating His message is an Islamic ordinance.

  1. Eating together.

Eating together brings about harmony and understanding among people. A typical happy family is one in which all members eat daily meals at the same time and at the same table. A sign of a successful marriage in the United States is frequent dining out together of a husband and wife. Having several meals together is the way for young couples to know one another and to strengthen their relationship. The ability of a wife to provide her husband with delicious food is a direct indication of her ability to make him happy.

People are usually more relaxed when eating in company. Their minds are less absorbed in their daily activities and are free of worries. Thus, people are better able to communicate with another. Even business deals are agreed upon more successfully during dinners or luncheons than in offices. Often doubts and suspicions are removed by people dinning together, even if they do not clears such doubts by openly seeking explanations. The Prophet (saw) said: “Eat together and not separately, for the blessing is associated with the company.” (Ibn Majah)

by M. Mazhar Hussaini