In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
The Healthy Muslimah online mosque is all about health and one of the most important contributors to health is our diet. To begin with, the Quran rejects the waste of food, either by throwing it away or by eating more then we need:
O children of Adam! Wear your beautiful apparel at every time and place of prayer; eat and drink, but waste not by excess. For Allah loves not the wasters.”
– Al- Qur’an, 7:31
Sadly a lot of food is thrown away. Thrown away by the producers before it ever hits the shelves, thrown away by feeding it to livestock, thrown away by us in the garbage and into our bodies by overconsumption.
Dr. T. Colin Campbell has surveyed The China Study for 27 years and this study has been recognized by The New York Times as the Grand Prix of epidemiology and the most comprehensive large study ever undertaken of the relationship between diet and the risk of developing disease. According to this study a whole foods Plant-Based Diet can prevent, suspend and/or cure all Cancers, Heart Diseases, Multiple Sclerosis, Kidney Stones, Cataract, Osteoporosis, Diabetes (I and II), Rheumatoid Arthritis, Macular Degeneration, Hypertension, Acne, Migraine, Lupus, Depression, Alzheimer’s Disease and Colds and Flu’s.
This is an impressive list of diseases that can be cured by going vegan. Sadly the contemporary Muslim community loves eating meat and animal products. This does not go without consequences: in the Gulf States 70 percent of the inhabitants over 40 have diabetes ! Saudi Arabia is the land where Islam originated and their modern day cuisine is heavily meat- and dairy- based. This meat diet has spread over the Muslim world and has been adopted as a typical Islamic diet. But is the Islamic diet truely meat-based ? What does the Quran say ?
And He it is who causes gardens to grow, with and without latticework, and palm trees and crops of different kinds of food and olives and pomegranates, similar and dissimilar. Eat of its fruit when it yields and give its due [zakah] on the day of its harvest. And be not excessive. Indeed, He does not like those who commit excess.
- Al- Qur’an, 6:141
And from the fruits of the palm trees and grapevines you take intoxicant and good provision. Indeed in that is a sign for a people who reason.
- Al- Qur’an 16:67
And We brought forth for you thereby gardens of palm trees and grapevines in which for you are abundant fruits and from which you eat.
- - Al- Qur’an 23:19
In the holy Quran there seems to be a focus on a plant based diet and there is a repeated message of not eating in excess. The Qur’an says that permitted meats may be eaten if one so wishes, but nowhere in Islam are Muslims required to eat meat. Meat consumption is neither encouraged nor even recommended. Vegetables on the other hand are praised and recommended:
“Where there is an abundance of vegetables, a host of angels will descend on that place.”
In the old days most Muslims were semi-vegetarians. They would only eat meat on the Eids and if they were wealthy, like middle class — once a week on Friday. The Prophet was a semi-vegetarian as well. He was not a meat-eater. Most of his meals did not have meat in them. Even on his wedding banquet he did not serve meat:
“The Prophet stayed for three days at a place between Khaibar and Medina, and there he consummated his marriage with Safiyya bint Huyay (RA). I invited the Muslims to a banquet which included neither meat nor bread. The Prophet (SAW) ordered for the leather dining sheets to be spread, and then dates, dried yogurt and butter were provided over it, and that was the Walima (banquet) of the Prophet (SAW).” (Reported by Bukhari)
This would be inconceivable at most muslim weddings where meat often is the main dish. Although in his days muslims rarely ate meat he still found it necessary to warn his followers against constant meat consumption as it could become "addictive". It seems that 1,500 years later his concerns are not being heeded.
The Prophet Muhammad’s earliest biographers indicate that he preferred vegetarian foods, saying that he liked cucumbers with dates and that his favourite fruits, which he was known to subsist on for weeks at a time, were pomegranates, grapes and figs, and he liked a morning drink of soaked, crushed dates. In the video I share with you here is a modern day take on the prophet's favorite morning drink which is a great dairy free ''chocolate milk''. See recipe 2 in the video at 0:50 minutes for further instructions on how to make it.
Wishing you a healthy Jumuaa Mubarek,
The Healthy Muslima