Fruits for the Week

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The Prophet (saw) said: “Get married and increase your progeny so as I will be proud of you to the other nations in the Hereafter.” 

Islam advocates the increment of population with the improvement of food production. Reproduction of human race goes hand in hand with production of food. Allah (swt) said:” And that you slay not your children because of penury. We provide for you and for them.” (Qur’an 6: 151). The other verse in the Qur’an states:” Slay not your children, fearing a fall to poverty. We shall provide for them and for you. Lo! The slaying of them is a great sin.” (Qur’an 17: 31).

It should be understood that if the number of people has increased in a particular locale, they should try to move to another region in the world, as the whole earth is the domain of Allah and people are to utilize this world for His love. Muslims do constitute one ummah (community).

Combating famine

The problem of famine and hunger are addressed in Islam by Muslims. These problems are the concern of every scientist, physician, engineer, agriculturist, and every human being.

The following is a list of recommendations to combat famine and hunger:

  1. To educate the people to appreciate nutritional needs for themselves and their families.
  2. To improve the technology of the country.
  3. To increase the nutritive value of the locally consumed foods while decreasing their cost.
  4. To encourage people to have mixed diets, especially those from the plant kingdom, so as to increase the nutritive value of their diets, i.e., supplementing one food with another.
  5. To consider food supplements if the cost is reasonable.
  6. To consider that Ovo-Lacto vegetarianism might be a temporary way to increase nutritive value. The use of eggs (ovo-) in the daily diet and the use of milk, cheeses and other dairy products (Lacto-) with vegetables and fruits are practices which improve the nutritive value of the diet.
  7. To encourage people to eat variety of edible plants locally grown; this improves nutritive value at a very low cost.
  8. To encourage people to raise small animals and fowl, e.g. chickens, rabbits, goats, ducks, turkeys, geese, pigeons, etc.
  9. To encourage people to have small gardens near their houses.
  10. To combat famine, one has to consider that the whole Muslim countries constitute a Commonwealth for the Muslims. This means that the wealth of every Muslim country is to be shared with the rest of the Muslim ummah all over the world. In this way, one will increase the practical aspect of the unity of Muslims and will reduce the idea of nationality and segregation. On the other hand, whenever there is an over populated area in any part of the Muslim world, one may see an under-populated area in other segments.
  11. The practice of the third pillar of Islam, namely fasting, is to be encouraged, promoted, and practiced by every Muslim. When Muslims fast islamically, they reduce the number of meals per day from three to two. Accordingly, more people will have the chance to eat, as a surplus of food will exist in society. Allah says in the Qur’an regarding fasting: “O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you may learn self-restraint.” (Qur’an 2: 183).
  12. The practice of the fourth pillar of Islam, namely the payment of zakat, will not only reduce the rate of hunger in society but abolish it completely. Hence, everyone will have the chance to envoy eating from the blessings of Allah. Let us not overemphasize the positive effects that zakat brings to the people in the society.
  13. Those who are affluent have to learn how to cut down the consumption of foods. It has been mentioned that 20 percent of the American people are obese. Obesity is excessive weight and is generally considered to be a disease caused by overeating. Obesity is not only an overweight syndrome, but an excessive weight sickness.
  14. The bad practice of throwing food into the garbage must be stopped. A large quantity of food, edible food is dumped as waste daily. If this food were used properly, society would have more food available to be consumed, the rate of inflation would be reduced, and more people would enjoy buying and eating foods.

Those who are financially well-to-do can help alleviate the problem of famine by inviting their needy friends and neighbours to dinner on a regular basis, as is the practice in most of the Muslim countries.

Dr. Ahmad Hussein Sakr