Channel: Tarek Kareem Harris
CHAPTER THREE, the prophets approach to nutrition.
The Prophet peace be upon him recommended a life of balanced eating and drinking. He himself fasted for several days continuously, without any food or drink. But when he was asked about this, he replied that the rest of us should only fast for a day at a time.
In normal periods, he advocated for us to fast twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays. This, he said, would be easier for us to do. He was indeed the kindest and most considerate of souls.
His approach to eating was noted to be very mindful, he was not noted to eat while walking or standing. He ate slowly and discouraged access in accordance with the Quran. quoting from the Quran translated, eat and drink, but do not be excessive, for God does not love those who are excessive in what they do.
The Prophet was noted to have said the son of Adam does not feel any vessel worse than his stomach. It is sufficient for the son of Adam to eat a few mouthfuls to keep him going. If he must fill his stomach, then let him fill one third with food, one third with drink, and one third with air.
We're talking about wholesome macrobiotic and unprocessed food. The Arabic word for such foods a staple, we would recognize such foods as close to their natural state and grown locally. In the Quran, it says translated, oh you people eat from the earth what is halal and the Yep, and do not follow the footsteps of shaytan.
It was also said that the Prophet peace be upon him didn't like to mix food. He preferred to keep his meals simple.
In regards to meat, he described meat as a precious meal, both on Earth and in the hereafter. During his time, meats from sheep, goat, cow and camel were eaten. Among those, the Arab people ate camel the most. He also liked chicken and other fall, such as busted. Busted is a large bird, which can weigh up to 13 kilos with very nice tasting meat. He also ate fish of different varieties, but only that which was caught in local waters in the Arabian Peninsula and brought to the inland places where he lived.
One can tell that he viewed meat as very precious because he never ate it very often. It is said around twice a week. Also, he ate most of the animal including the awful the liver, the kidneys, of trotters, etc.
Fish was not eaten as often because it wasn't common around the inland areas where he lived, but he also treasured it.
If a whale had beached itself and died on shore, it was common practice for its meat to be dried and sold on by traders. He was known to eat that as well.
In keeping with his highly ecological and and wasteful approach, he said to have particularly liked dish called to it, which was commonly eaten in Arabia in his time, and is still popular in Turkey now. Did it is one of those dishes, which tastes great because it uses leftover ingredients to create something wholesome. It's a kind of stew which is soaked in bread with the addition of herbs and spices, meats, and eaten with cheeses and yogurts. It was cooked with butter. Meat was served fried, grilled, or boiled. For longer life, it was sometimes preserved in vinegar, or dried with spices. These foods would often be eaten during the times of drought, or Hydra travel.
The Prophet described himself as the son of a mother who ate dried meat, and he himself ate such meat. However, he didn't eat meat very frequently at all. He certainly forbid eating it every day. And there were times of up to two months where he would not eat it at all.
As well vegetables, cucumber, co jet, also known as zucchini, onion, and shard which is a nutritious leafy vegetable that resembles spinach. It's also called spinach, beet, mushrooms, turnips, all were common at his table. All types of squashes marrows and pumpkin were also eaten
On Fridays after Juma prayers, it was common for the people of Makkah to eat a dish made with barley and chard. It was cooked without meat or oil. He often enjoyed this basic staple along with them.
He was considerate about when he ate to the point of even thinking about the social consequences Afterwards, he recommended that people didn't eat the more pungent vegetables like onions and garlic, if they were going to press soon afterwards.
At the time of his wedding, a dish called haze was made.
It was made from dates oil, and curdled milk, among other ingredients.
breads were also eaten the most common breads at the Prophet's time were made from barley. Wheat was not farmed locally, so it was less common. In fact, the profit was reported not to have eaten bread made from wheat very much at all. barley bread has far more fiber in it than wheat based bread. We will get to the interesting hormonal reasons why this approach of greater fiber and whole grain is much better for weight management and prevention of diabetes.
He ate soups very often. The most common soups were azita because shisha and harissa.
These are very filling dishes made with ingredients such as flour, water, vegetables, milk, and fats.
As for eggs and dairy, he would eat the eggs of chickens, the most commonly eaten eggs of the time. And today of course, he was also known to have been adventurous, having at least once eaten the egg of an ostrich. One of these enormous eggs can feed up to 12 people.
Although cheese was not common in Medina curd was eaten. The Prophet also liked cheese, including an aged fermented type of cheese available at the time. Cheese wasn't as common in Medina as curd though, so he ate curd more often. The most common milk at the time was camel milk, although sheep and goats were also formed for milk. camel milk is quite thick, and was often mixed with water to make it easier to drink. But there were no processes of separating the fats from the milk. As such, he ate nuts. almonds and peanuts were the most commonly eaten being readily available. Various other nuts and seeds were eaten when they were available and in season.
As for fruits, the most common fruit he ate with dates. Also common were Apple, pears, pomegranates, figs, watermelon, grape, peach, and mulberries.
Fresh Fruit other than dates were not readily available, being difficult to transport and keep fresh in the desert. And the Prophet himself regarded them as special foods rather than daily ones.
sweet foods were eating Of course, and of course dates were a perennial favorite. They are surprisingly nutritious and they are okay for diabetics in moderate amounts to we'll talk about the reasons for this later. He mixed the dates often with gherkin, a tangy, small, narrow, often to dampen their sweetness. This also had the effect of increasing the fiber content, slowing down the body's absorption of sugar from the dates.
manna was also eaten and considered a treat. manner is actually any number of types of syrupy tree sap harvested from trees in the Sinai or the Syrian basin, including date and tamarisk trees. Manor could also refer to certain honey type substances such as honeydew, which is a sugary substance made by insects other than bees.
And honey, of course, was eaten, as well as cane sugar and sweet nuts such as almonds. The Prophet was known particularly to like a dish called Palooza, which is a dessert made from honey.
When eating styles are concerned, vegetarianism was okay. The Prophet himself was not vegetarian, but it was an acceptable option which he supported. The Prophet peace be upon him readily accepted the choice by those of his companions, who preferred not to eat meat for personal reasons.
veganism wasn't really practiced though. Evidence suggests that this was not a practice known or done by the prophet, or those of the people of his time in his area. We have no evidence that he prohibited it. So we should not take the view that it is forbidden. However, Islam contains many references as to the nutritional values and even the blessings contained in several non vegan foods such as milk and honey. So it is fair to suggest that if one were trying to avoid animal products altogether,
being vegetarian is more
compatible with Islam compared to being vegan.
It is premature to judge the evidence for or against the current trend of veganism in modern society, because it is too new to have full long term medical data yet. But this much must be said. Some of the early emerging research isn't particularly promising. a vegan diet, canon does result in deficiencies and health risks in those who are not very careful about replacing its missing parts. In particular, the lack of calcium, normally found in dairy products, has been shown to increase the risk of serious conditions such as osteoporosis, depression, and broken bones in old age.
On the days when the Prophet was fasting, in Soho before fasting, the prophet preferred to eat dates and have water. On occasion he had some bread too, of note is the fact that he tended to delay suhu until later, towards the end of suhoor time, making the fast shorter
and inif dar when ending the fast the priority was to eat or drink something sooner rather than later, he would have water if there was no food around when the other one of my groups Allah was heard. Then he was noted to prefer eating a small number of dates to along with this, he would have some bread, or one of a number of simple dishes, which will come into the time. So the simpler food and drink were water dates, usually three or another odd number of dates, and something called salad, which is a mixture made from whole grain wheat and barley and made into bread.
On some days in Ramadan, he also ate more complex tissues, which are nonetheless still very wholesome and simple by today's standards. This is included third read, which is a stool made with meat and Herbes, eaten with bread. There'll be na, which is a barley porridge, sweetened with honey, various soups and vegetables and simply roasted meats, and also dairy based dishes made with cheese and butter.
Let's consider the setting and utensils for eating. It was known for people to gather around a single central dish and eat from that together by hand. The profit definitely partook of this way, but was equally known to eat from his own plate.
Interestingly, the most popular color of crockery at the time was green, it was called hantam, or char other.
More on why this color is interesting later on. Other common crockery colors were read, less commonly white, typically serving vessels were of rich color, intense color. And this has been found in research to tempt people to eat more of the colorful foods such as vegetables, and also to feel full earlier. The vibrancy of color, it turns out is part of the visual cue system for feeling fooled psychologically.
There were dishes plated or made from gold and silver. But the profit wasn't a fan of those. His preference were for dishes of steel, wood, and occasionally glass. Glass was not easily available, but he was known to have a glass cup to drink from. So let's form some clues and learn some lessons.
Thinking about the trends of today, low fat foods seem to have little importance in the profits time. Islam makes no mention of trying to strip foods from their natural nutritional components. As for low calorie foods, well, they're not mentioned either. Though, of course, the technology about knowing calorie values didn't exist back then. What was mentioned was eating less at a setting, which is different because it is not about choosing low calorie foods as such, taken in contact with fasting calorie count is not a part of that they give way.
Another modern trend is eating little and often. And that definitely wasn't the case. Islam suggests eating together and respecting the occasion as a distinct event. Food is sustenance and eating it is a marked pivot in one's day. organic food is quite clearly also present in the Prophet's life. organic food production takes into account the whole ecosystem and disapproves of waste, using natural feed and methods to raise crops and livestock that an wasteful approach was definitely present in the prophets diet and in the farming methods of the time.
As for free range, well, that is part of the halaal philosophy. For meat. halau is about the way an animal is treated and lives its life as much as the way in which it dies. More on this later.
Fair Trade. Well, that's present as well. Islam demands avoidance of monopolies and other practices, which give one undue advantage. The food effectively becomes haram if it is gained by unfair, or illicit means. Islam prohibits lending for interest. And if you think about it, lending for interest has been without doubt, the most divisive and destructive force on developing countries and farmers since colonial times and before, it was responsible for most of the conquered lands under the colonial powers losing ownership of their farm lands, and indeed, their crop.
low carbon footprint in the time of the profit could be seen, obviously not through machinery, but in his preference for simpler local foods that were farmed and seasonal to the region. exotic foods were available from the Silk Road which was active at the time, but the Messenger of God ate from such indulgences only on special occasions. We will explore these and other elements of life in finer detail as we go on.
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