Moral Teachings of Islam 14 – Diet Other Issues
Channel: Jamal Badawi
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In the name of God the benevolent the Merciful, the creator and Sustainer of the universe, peace and blessings upon his servant and messenger Muhammad forever mean, I bear witness that there is no god worthy of worship except the one true God. And I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger and servant of God. I greet you with the universal greetings of peace. The greetings that have been used by all the prophets from Abraham, throne to Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings be upon them all. Assalamu Aleikum, which means peace be unto you on your host Hamlet Rashid. Today we have our 14th program in our series dealing with the moral teachings of Islam. More specifically, today we'll be
continuing our discussion of dietary laws in Islam. I have joining me as usual, Dr. Jamal battery of St. Mary's University of the Jamal Assalamu alaikum money from cinema. In our last two previous programs, we were talking about the position of intoxicants in Islam and last week we finished our discussion in this particular area on a fracture before we move on to the base program, if you could just very quickly highlight the main points that we touched on in last week's program. Secondly, I think there were five basic areas that we discussed better hamet First of all, is the quick look about the harms of intoxicants at least derived from the Quran and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad
peace be upon him. And he said that the Quran describes it as handiwork of Satan's deeds,
that it may have harms in terms of the moral aspects causing discord in society. And when it's widespread, it has effect also on the spirituality of the individual because it clouds his or her mind and keep him from remembrance of God, in addition to other physical and economic harms from intoxicants.
Second point is that any program to limit the negative effects of intoxicants cannot be imposed by laws simply but that should be preceded by a process of education awareness, it should develop, particularly the motive to give up or to rehabilitate oneself from this and the strongest motive, I bet is religious and spiritual motive to provide the atmosphere in society where intoxicants and drinking is not encouraged and advertised everywhere. And also to have a process of gradual rehabilitation for those who are hooked on this particular habit. The third point was that even though it's true, the Quran talks about delightful and pleasing drinks in paradise. But again, we
indicate that according to the Quran, it is not the type of booze that we have here on this earth fermented things that cause the clouding the mind, but there's lots of pleasure in Paradise,
but not of the nature that we know here on this earth.
The fourth point was that the use of intoxicants particularly things like anesthesia, and surgery is permissible, because this is an absolute necessity. But in other medicines, the basic rule is to try to avoid any medicine that has alcohol content. And even it says in things like cough medicine, a person might be able to find some substitutes, that would be
would not contain it. But in absolute necessity, it could be used in the very minimum degree needed. And finally, we talked also about some of the foods that may contain some kind of alcohol content
in some form or the other like cooking wine and so on mouthwashes that has alcohol, which could be absorbed by the mouth, which a person really should try to avoid getting into.
I'm curious about your response to vinegar, for example. Sometimes vinegar I understand comes from, from a wine source, what would be the position on the use of the spinnaker? Well, first of all,
there's no problem with vinegar whatsoever, because number one,
vinegar does not
cause the clouding of the mind. It is not an intoxicant in itself. This is one thing. The second thing which is a very intense
A rule in Islamic law, it's called an Arabic is to Halla or, if you translated in English
took a transformation of one substance to another.
And an example of this, for example, would be grape juice. Grape juice is permissible. There's no question about it. If it's fresh, if it is fermented, it means that it is totally transformed through fermentation into wine. For example, right. Now, my understanding is that sometimes the wine also could transform into vinegar. So this basic rule in Islamic law says that if the things are totally changed, the rules applicable to them could also change from permissible to impermissible and reverse. So grape grape juice becomes forbidden if it becomes
wine. And wine also becomes permissible if it transforms into vinegar. It's an interesting rule that you can apply to a variety of
situation. Indeed, there is one specific saying of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, narrated in Muslim collection of sayings, in which he says that vinegar is one of the good provisions of good foods.
Okay, let's move away from this whole question of intoxicants into a more general discussion of dietary
laws. And the, I guess the first area that I'd like to touch on this whole question of
clams, lobster, shrimps, this kind of thing, and also the situation of the fish. The scale is fish, fish of scale, like catfish, like catfish, for example. There is no restriction whatsoever
on anything that comes from the sea. In fact, the Quran itself, in chapter five, verse 96, it says, permitted unto you is the thing that comes from the sea. So there's anything that's fished from the sea is permissible, there's no problem with that at all.
Indeed, one person asked the Prophet peace be upon him, and he said, we travel in the car, you know, we sail on boats, and we have only a limited amount of water. What should we do? If we use it for evolution? We might prefer it. So he answered, he said, you could make a photo from the
water in the sea, salt, waters, whatever. And he said about the sea it is its water is clean and pure. And anything that comes from it is also permissible. So there is no restriction whatsoever. So if you happen to be a lobster lover, or anything, shrimp, crabs, anything of that sort, there is no evidence whatsoever that it's restricted.
There's one question I'd like to touch on that came up after I know, we've touched on the subject of cheese a couple of times in some of our previous programs. And I'd like to give some indication of the sources of information that might be available to assist an individual in terms of which types of cheese contain the pepsin, in which ones do not. There is an interesting little booklet
on this subject,
which I think is it says it's available free from the Muslim World League office in New York. It's called cheese. And it's been written by Dr. Ahmed, a professor of chemistry and specialist and
questions related to flip technology. It's a, it's contains a number of interesting information just give you a brief review of some of the things that you could expect to find there. It talks about the types of cheese cheeses I should say, the various methods used in production. And it says the most common enzyme used in calculating milk is the rennet that's the commercial name of Lenin, which is an enzyme from the stomach's of cat eating animals, particularly the calf.
And he says that this is the more common one in fact, but pepsin is the one that has to be watched for because it may come from the stomach, the text. However, he corresponded with a number of cheese manufacturing companies. And out of the 10 or 11 companies he corresponded with there were only two
who said that they are using pepsin.
But it says also here that recent developments and cheese processing is moving away from animal enzymes towards microbial enzyme or the bacterial culture. Indeed, one of the managers of the cheese companies he corresponded with a estimated that about 98% of the cheese made today is made using microbial enzymes rather than animal enzymes.
So indeed This greatly way, and it shouldn't be too much of a problem. But those who might be interested in that can obtain a copy of that or contact us for further information, and there's no problem.
So I hope that if you like cheese, that you don't feel too much.
Just make sure if you read the ingredients before you buy, right, now, what about the area of the cooking of the food and serving of the food? Is there any particular regulations or restrictions, in terms of, you know, the cooking or the side of the serving of the food, but not mixing certain foods together and so on?
This, there is nothing like that, because what is really intended in Islamic law is prohibition of unclean foods or foods that might cause harm to the body. So there's no say nothing really by way of riots, with respect to preparation combining are seven. The only thing perhaps that has to be watched for is something like serving food in pure or solid silver, or gold plates. I know, I don't know too many people
can afford. If they had these days, probably they would have been a meltdown result. All right. Music, it's interesting in that, but the main idea behind it is that it's a kind of expression of show off and too much luxury and serving a food, it doesn't make sense in terms of humbleness. Indeed, there is there is more than one saying of Prophet Mohammed SPF one in which he says that anyone who gets in solid, silver or gold, the US is almost like somebody who's
it's almost like eating fish in his own stomach of this. But of course, some people may ask things like,
spoons are nice, which might be coated with silver to keep it from rusting. There's nothing wrong with that, but the prohibition is on solid, silver or gold.
parts are serving fans.
But of course, we should add also to this, that the only other prohibition that we didn't mention, is any type of food, which is not stipulated as forbidden, but which is proven to be harmful. For example, suppose you discover that there's a certain type of fish which is poisonous, or certain type of plants which might be poisonous. Even though the name of that plant or animal does not appear in the Quran, it becomes prohibited within the broad Islamic law. And its objective of maintaining good health and protecting the lives of individuals are to pursue a little bit further over and above the question of things which are strictly prohibited that are so you know, the eating
of pig meat or the use of a toxin toxins and so on, are there other kinds of things which are discouraged from eating or things that are recommended that we don't, we don't eat? What What is
brief and short
explanation of the various types of dietary laws in the framework that we discussed before, if you recall, before we talked about acts that a Muslim should or shouldn't do, along a continuum of five basic points, ranging all the way from act which are absolutely prohibited, that's there is no ifs and buts strictly prohibited, or perhaps whether you even get to just move this back a little bit so that we can get a better angle of it on the camera there just because of the lighting there I think perhaps a little better.
So, we start first from the x which are strictly prohibited to Acts which are detestable. That means not strictly privacy, but not really encouraged to act in the middle here, which are simply permissible, down to Acts which are commendable. And then finally, acts which are mandatory.
Now, if you go back to the first one here, this is what we have been covering so far. The prohibited acts, the strictly prohibited acts, including going from the beginning to dead meets all types of dead meats, whether suffocated or not slaughtered properly, with the blood letting
down into blood, eating blood,
swine, meat, predators, animals or birds that live on eating other animals or birds. And intoxicants. We have discussed that and other similar things like the meat dedicated at the time of slaughter to any name other than the name of God.
But in addition to this, there are those categories also. So the nearest thing to the prohibited which is
Not fully prohibited, but really highly discouraged, include two items, smoking, and access, eating, or drinking. So maybe I could
give you some indication as to what within the context of Islamic law is said about both of these prohibited acts.
Take, for example, smoking, a common subject today.
There are a number of harms of smoking, from the point of view of Islamic law again, number one, Islam, what health Your life is not really something that you can say I own it, I possess it, and I can dispose with it any way I like.
It is just in your hand. And if we know and we do know that there is a definite harm from smoking, not just lung cancer, all other things that have been discovered about it, then it means by implication that if I smoke known that it hurts my body, I am abusing the trust, ie my body which God has given me. Secondly,
smoking represents expenditures, which is unnecessary, even if you're rich. And in Islam, again, your property, your possession is not your absolute possession. It is again, trust from God's in your hands, and you're not entitled to abuse money in a way that is not only not beneficial, but harmful, even.
Certainly, smoking has shown to be strong habit forming type of thing, and it's very difficult to get rid of, and again, in Islamic attitudes towards life, that individuals should not be terminated totally, by such a bad habit.
There is another aspect to it also in Islamic law, you're not supposed to hurt yourself or hurt others also, around you. And when you smoke in the presence of others, those who do not smoke, they can't stand it. I know many people are very sensitive to smoke, especially when you smoke in elevators or closed meeting rooms and all that
families, members of the family are not
interested in being forced to inhale, smoke. And in fact, they inhale it without you know the fetish person smoking,
but very difficult for other people around him. You pollute the environment and all of this again, within Islamic law, let alone the other opinion people give from other perspectives.
Next, smoking very, very disparate act on the part of the Muslim, it's hard definitely is a lot more than simply talking about coffee or tea, excesses of which could be also harmful. But smoking is quite different. It's very, very difficult. The other thing that's also regarded as
highly testable, are discouraged is excessive, as we have the embittered
excesses of eating, or drinking, for example, in the Quran in chapter seven, verse 31, it says, eat and drink, but do not transgress have committed sisters, because God does not like those who commit excesses.
excesses he is could have a number of meanings. It could mean over eating or drinking. Or it could mean lack of what we call today balanced diet by eating too much of one type and not trying to supply the body with its needs. That's another meaning of it.
A third meaning also of access, is access is on the negative side. That's people thinking that they can demote pious by neglecting their bodies and not getting enough nutrients to keep their body healthy, and strong. All of these aspects are not approved in Islam are detestable once you
eat in moderation.
In nissei, and somizi, these are collections of sayings of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. The Prophet says that a human being does not feel any worst container than his stomach. In other words, the worst containers to fill his once on stomach, and he says enough for the human. A few means that would keep him
running, but keep him strong. And if he eats, let him allocate one third of his stomach for food, one third for drink. And once it's for breathing, of course, that symbolically, in other words, divided into three parts rather than fill the stomach totally. Of course, when you argue that with some people and tell them when you shouldn't eat too much, it says Well, my third is that thick.
But of course the intention of it really is the idea of eating and some moderation. And this is an interesting thing. This our teachings revealed 1400 years ago and we find today in medical research.
That the body does not really benefit from all the food you eat most of us, and that means that the body would have to take, exert such an effort, especially digestive system to get it, digest first and then get rid of the extra or excess food that the body doesn't benefit from. So it's quite tiring and unnecessary for the system. Another thing also, that is the festival,
that the Prophet peace be upon him said, as narrated in Bukhari, that I should not eat reclining, because that again, might give them fishing, remember all those things about drama and
thinking, decline, because that does not reflect again humbleness. When somebody eats, he remembers and recollects the blessings of God and His provision for him. So he should not sit in very
improper posture like that. In addition to this, they may be also something that's detestable, but not at all times, it's applied to certain conditions. The Prophet peace be upon him said that a person who eats
fresh garlic or onion should stay in his home or should not really mix much in public. I think that's an obvious series that was narrated in the room in episode and,
of course, there is no prohibition about eating cooked onion, or garlic, but of course, flesh that out from people for a while.
verbal tip of the commendable Now, are there certain things that are recommended that there are certain foods, certain drinks that a Muslim is encouraged to do to try to eat more than say other but not as an obligation, of course, doesn't say thou shalt.
But there are a few things that you find reference to them in the in the Quran and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him. And this, I think, would be of interest. Some viewers they might try, I think many people are keeping this diet they keep quite healthy. But first of all,
In fact, there is a whole chapter in the Quran called the chapter of the peace. And then in verse 68, and 69, it talks there about the blessing of God creating for us this honey, through the bees. And it says fishes out with the nest that in honey, there is cure for people. And this is an interesting thing, because in addition to the glucose, which is contained in the honey, there are so many other very useful ingredients. And that's why honey, for example, could be used as a gentle laxative. It is very, very effective for cough medicines. In fact, I tried that myself, when even you get strong cough. If you have a little bit of honey, mixed with warm water and puts a few drops
of lion on it and drink it, it's really sudras a great deal and might provide a substitute for medicine that has alcohol. It's a very effective medicine. In addition to this, it is also used for cure
or relief of problems with interesting indigestion.
I knew of one case where somebody was about to die from hepatitis, they tried all kinds of medicines with him and finally started getting honey in intravenously. And the person recovered. And I was told that by a lady was Mr. lady was a pharmacist, you know, she heard about the property of it. So this is again, one very interesting aspect of attorney. Second is milk.
The Prophet peace be upon him was narrated as saying that whenever he ate something, he says, Oh, God, bless that for us and give us something better than but when he drank milk, he said, Oh, God, bless that thing. And give us more of it. Which means that milk really is the top of natural, healthy type of recommended foods. A third is olive oil, which is mentioned also in the Quran as blessed three. And the Prophet also mentioned something about that. Firstly, tropics and some of these references is very useful if you take seven days, you know, this, this that you can buy,
not necessarily fresh dates.
In the morning, the first thing you take in the morning, seven days and it's very good for you. And many people try that and they keep healthy and fine. And of course, a commendable thing get to be useful is the voluntary testing once in a while to get some rest of the digestive system.
Other other things that are commendable related to diet. There are other things that classified here under educate, for example, relating to the
diet and just give you a summary of some of the things that are recommended.
One saying of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, he was advising a young boy. And he said,
Son, when you eat, start by mentioning the name of God,
eat with your right hand and eat from the closest point you in the dish, or whatever serving
So this sink is saying summarizes three of the etiquette in satanic eating. One is to mention the name of God when you start eating one of the common formula alarm magnetic glenohumeral doctrina joaquina. gov. Oh, God, bless what you have provided for us and save us from the hellfire. So we start in the name of God. And then you have to eat with your right hand. And that's obvious because again, in Islam, the left hand might be used for other things, but the right hand is used for food. So that keeps it cleaner and more hygienic.
A third aspect is that to eat from the news, in other words, avoiding extending hands too much, if you have like a big dish or something, which is again a matter of basic manners.
That the thing that also were the other things were recommended by the prophet peace be upon him is that a person if he eats with his hand, he could eat with your hand, but that you're required also to wash your hands thoroughly before eating. If one eats with his hand, he uses three fingers that the person should eat.
Sitting, that is just walking or standing. Another interesting thing is that Prophet peace be upon him says in imagine Namibia was narrated to have said,
when you eat, eat together as a group, not as separate individuals, because there is more blessing when a group of people eat together. And this is an interesting thing, not only when you have guests, but many families, for example, and everybody just started eating alone. So it's highly recommended that the family sits together at least one or two musics as possible during the day and eat together that gives more blessing even
another etiquette also is that if a Muslim does not like a particular type of food, he should not criticize it. This is a manner taught by the prophet peace be upon him. One of his companions, Abu hurayrah said that the Prophet Muhammad never criticized any type of food. But whatever he liked, he ate whatever he didn't like he simply didn't complain, didn't say anything, or simply said something like No, thank you. I know, I'm okay. That was narrated in Bukhari and Muslim. Another one is that if you have guests at home, eating with you,
it is not appropriate to finish before they finish.
The idea behind it is just sensitivity because the guests might feel a bit shy. And if he feels that the head of the household or the host is no longer eating, he might stop even though he might like to eat some more. So the host should study and just be the last one to finish.
If people are eating together, it is recommended also by the prophet peace, you know, talking about 15 years ago, this has been teaching that has been there for a long time. That if you have a number of people eating you should not leave
before everybody else finishes unless of course, there's an urgent need to, to take leave.
If a person is offering drinks to others, of course, we're talking about permissible drinks,
intoxicants, water or juice, whatever, then he should be the last one to drink. Now when you should start with others, and then after that he can drink. And I would I would imagine, and tirmidhi it was reported also that the Prophet peace be upon him said that you should wash your hands also after eating, specially if it's greasy.
And finally, after the person finishes eating, he should also thanks, God for what he provided for him. One of the common formulas for this 111 lady up Amina or sakana or darlin honestly mean grace, or Thanks be to God who gave us food, give us drink, and made us Muslims, Muslims excessive means those who submit to His comments and his well. And the Prophet indicated that specifically said God is pleased with his seven. Whenever he eats something, he thanked him for it. Whenever he drinks something. He thanks God for this are the comments. Of course, as we had in the chat before, we said that there's still one mandatory aspect of diet that relate to the discussion and that's the
mandatory fasting during the month of Ramadan, which is another area altogether. I think we covered that in a previous problem. Well, we've exhausted our time for today. We want to thank you for watching us and we trust that you'll join us for our program next week. Thank you for watching Assalamu alaikum