CHAPTER THIRTY

THE PROPHET’S (MAY ALLAH BLESS HIM AND GRANT HIM PEACE) FOOD

O Allah (The Exalted) just as I have believed in our master Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) without seeing him, so do not deprive my heart of a vision of him.

In order to love someone completely we should know some detail of their life. Hence, in order to get closer to the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) we will mention some of the foods of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). Some of the foods that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) ate, mentioned or praised whether once in his lifetime or as a habit include, meat: of camel, cow, sheep, goat, chicken, halal birds and fish, whether dried in the sun or cooked with or without soup. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was very fond of Thareed which is bread soaked in meat curry. Foreleg of a lamb, shoulder, neck, back or sheep was also much to his taste. i It is reported that he liked honey, halwa (sweet), olive oil, vinegar, milk, butter, cheese, cucumber with salt, gourd (Kaddu or Dudi), loki (Ghia) and sattoo (powered baked barley), beetroot and marrow. The black aromatic seed (Kalunji), mustard seed, fenugreek (methi), dry ginger, black pepper and other spices. Fat, aloe, and bread too. Sometimes he had two fruits such as watermelon and dates. Dates – all types, ripe, dry etc. orange, apple, musk melon, grapes and other fruits.

Bread ‘Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) says that, “Till the demise of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) his family never ate a full stomach of bread made of barley for two consecutive days.” ii Those who are poor can also follow the life of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). There is no stone unturned in Islam, hence, the Sunnah is the best of mankind.

Barley Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) reports that, “The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and his family spent many consecutive nights without food, because there would be no supper. The bread of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was mostly made of barley.” iii There are many virtues and benefits in eating barley bread. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) would also have barley soup. Iv

Vinegar ‘Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) says that, “The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) once said, ‘What a nice curry vinegar is.’” v Vinegar is also a blessed food and is a great blessing to have in the house.

Bird Safeena (may Allah be pleased with her) says that, “I ate the meat of Hubaa-raa1 with the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace).” Vi

Cheese ‘Abd-Allah ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said that, “The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was brought some cheese while in the area of Tabuk and that he asked for a knife, mentioned Allah’s (The Exalted) name and then cut it.” vii Also, the companions used to eat cheese in Iraq and Syria.

Black Seed Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) related from the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) that, “Use the Black Seed, because it contains a cure for every type of ailment, except for death.” Viii

Pomegranate ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that, “Eat Pomegranate with its pulp, because it coats the stomach.” Ix

Butter Two children of Busr said, “The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) came by us and we offered him some butter and dried dates, as he used to like eating butter and dried dates.” X

Ginger Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) said that, “The Byzantine king gave the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) a barrel of ginger as a gift and he gave each person a part of it. I too got a piece.” Xi

Fish ‘Abd-Allah ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said that, “The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, ‘We were allowed two dead animals and two bloods: fish and locust, and liver and spleen.” Xii

Gourd Anas bin Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) says that, “The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) loved gourd (Dudi / Kaddu). Once food was presented to the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) or he attended an invitation where gourd was served. I knew the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) loved it. I searched for pieces from the curry and presented it to him.” xiii Gourd is from the pumpkin family and very good for health.

Meat ‘Abd-Allah ibn Haarith (may Allah be pleased with him) says that, “We ate roasted meat with the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) in the Masjid.” Xiv

Thareed Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) says that, “The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, ‘The virtue and excellence of ‘Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) over all other women is like the excellence of Thareed over other foods.’” xv Thareed which is bread soaked in meat curry which was one of the Prophet’s (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) favourite food.

Fruit From Paradise ‘Abd-Allah Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that, “Once a solar eclipse occurred during the lifetime of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). He offered the eclipse prayer. His companions asked, “O Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace)! We saw you trying to take something while standing at your place and then we saw you retreating.” The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “I was shown Paradise and wanted fruit from it. Had I taken it, you would have eaten from it as long as the world remained.” xvi Subhanallah! Allah (The Exalted) has given the keys of Paradise to the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) in this world. Whosoever he desires to enter into Paradise he can do so2 .

Olive Abu Usayd (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that, the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “Consume olive oil and apply yourselves with it, for it comes from a blessed tree.” xvii Olive is a very blessed food as it is from Paradise and mentioned in the Qur’an too.

Dates ‘Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) related that, “The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, ‘A family which has dates will not go hungry.’” xviii It is reported that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) would have honey water for breakfast and at times had dry dates, which have been cut into pieces and soaked in a clay container overnight.

‘Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) reports that, “The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) ate watermelon with fresh dates.” Xix

Melon ‘Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) related that, “The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) used to eat melon with fresh dates. He used to say, ‘The heat of the one is broken by the coolness of the other, and the coolness of the one by the heat of the other.’” Xx

Watermelons & Dates The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) liked watermelons, melons, and dates. For days sometimes, the whole household had to live on dates and water. Sometimes they even had to go without these. Allahu Akbar! Think how fortunate we are that Allah (The Exalted) has given us all these blessings, yet we do not appreciate them. We should follow the Sunnah very closely to please Allah (The Exalted) and His beloved Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace)

Prophet And Fruit Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) says that, “I saw the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) eat together musk-melon and dates.” xxi ‘Abd-Allah Ibn Jaafar (may Allah be pleased with him) say

Making Supplication For New Fruit Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) states that, “When the people saw the first fruit (of the season or of plantation) they brought it to the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). When he received it he said, “O Allah (The Exalted) bless us in our fruits, and bless us in our city; and bless us in our Sa’s (a measurement) and bless us in our mudd (a measurement). O Allah (The Exalted) Ibrahim (upon whom be peace) was thy servant, Thy friend, and thy apostle, and I am your servant and your apostle. He (Ibrahim) made supplication to You for (the showering of blessings upon) Makkah, and I am making supplication to You for Madinah just as he made supplication to You for Makkah, and the like of it in addition. He would then call to him the youngest child and give him these fruits.” xxiii Subhanallah! There are many lessons from the above hadith, one of which is how he loved children; he would make them feel special. May Allah (The Exalted) give us the ability to make the children in our community feel special too.

Supplication For New Seasonal Fruit Rubayyi bint Mu’awwidh Ibn Afraa (may Allah be pleased with him) said that, “My uncle Mu’aadh Ibn Afraa (may Allah be pleased with him) sent me with a plate of fresh dates, which had small cucumbers on it to the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), I took this to him. At that time some jewellery had been sent to the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) from Bahrain. He took a handful from it and gave it to me.” xxiv Alhamdulillah! We find from this that to return a gift is also a Sunnah.

Supplication for new fruit When a seasonal fruit is presented or seen recite Salawaat and place it on your eyes and lips and recite the following supplication: Allahumma Kama Arraytanaa Awwalahu Fa-arinaa Aakhirah O Allah (The Exalted) show us the last as you have shown us the first. Xxv

Thank Allah (The Exalted) For Everything We must always be very thankful to Allah (The Exalted) for all the abundance of food that he bestows upon us. We should remember the ways of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and feel ashamed if we see food being wasted. Do not waste food or Allah’s (The Exalted) wrath will fall. May Allah (The Exalted) be kind to help us make full use of His gifts and do so properly and wisely, Ameen!

Muhammad ibn Aslam (may Allah have mercy upon him) knew the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) ate watermelon but did not eat it as he did not know the manner in which the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) ate it. Allahu Akbar! This is how close the pious would follow the Sunnah.

Honey Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that, the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “If anyone licks honey three mornings every month, he will not be afflicted with any serious trouble.” xxvi ‘Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) narrates that, “The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) would like sweet edible things and honey.” xxvii Honey also has many benefits and is a great Sunnah that has been mentioned in the Qur’an.

BENEFITS OF HONEY Honey has been shown to be excellent post-exercise muscle recuperation and energy repletion supplement maintaining optimal blood sugar levels throughout the two hours following exercise. Research around the world has shown that honey is an effective treatment for serious wounds and burns and the use of honey, as a wound dressing material, an ancient remedy that has been rediscovered, is becoming of increasing interest as more reports of its effectiveness are published. Medical research has shown its effectiveness as an antimicrobial agent that may help prevent infections caused by bacteria. Honey cleans the bowels, cures dehydration and phlegm, cleans the kidneys, liver chest and digestive system will be strengthened. It also cures urinal problems. Hair problems can be cured, the hair will become lengthy, and the teeth will strengthen and stay clean. Honey is cure for all human diseases. Xxviii

FOODS THAT THE PROPHET (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) DISLIKED The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) disliked raw onions and garlic and never ate them himself. If someone would come who had eaten these than he would be advised to wash his mouth thoroughly before coming near the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). (When garlic or onion is cooked then there is no smell, and it is eatable without the smell). Abu Ayyub Ansari (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) narrates that, “When food was brought to Allah’s Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) he ate out of that, and sent the remaining part to me. One day he sent to me the left-over; (I found that he) had not taken from it at all for it included garlic. I asked him whether that was forbidden, whereupon he said. “No, but I do not like it because of its odour.” “Then I also do not like what you do not like.” xxix The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) states that, “Whoever eats onions, garlic or leeks should not approach our Mosque, because whatever offends the sons of Adam may offend the angels.” xxx Ata (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) narrates that, ‘I heard Jabir bin ‘Abd-Allah (may Allah be pleased with him) saying, the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “Whoever eats (from) this plant (he meant garlic) should keep away from our mosque.” I said, “What does he mean by that?” He replied, “I think he means only raw garlic.” xxxi Muawwiyah Ibn Qurrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that, “The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) forbade these two plants (i.e. garlic and onions) and he said, “He who eats them should not come near our mosque. If it is necessary to eat them, make them dead by cooking, that is, onions and garlic.” xxxii Respected brother/sister in Islam! Regardless of whether a person is rich or poor, young or old, male or female whoever it is, in the day we eat at least twice. Would it not be good to eat the way the Master of all Prophets’ (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) ate? And bring his teachings that are full of personal benefits for all, and praise Allah (The Exalted) that the food that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) liked has also been given to us.

Advice Imam Shafi (may Allah’s mercy be upon him) states four things that make the body strong are; eating meat, inhaling scent, taking a bath and putting on linen clothes. xxxiiiImam Shafi (may Allah’s mercy be upon him) states that four things that make the body weak are excessive sexual intercourse, too much worries, too much drinking of water when hungry, and too much acidy foods. xxxiv He who eats seven dried dates on a daily basis then every worm in the stomach is destroyed. He who eats twentyone red coloured raisins each day, will not feel any pain in body. xxxv Imam Shafi (may Allah’s mercy be upon him) states that three things make sexual desires increase, to eat meat of small birds, truffles, to eat pistachio nuts and to eat watercress. Xxxvi

Manners of fruit 1. It is Sunnah to eat an odd number of dates i.e. 1, 3, 5 etc. 2. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) loved watermelons, cucumbers and dates. xxxvii 3. Do not buy or sell fruit that has not ripened. xxxviii 4. Make the supplication when a seasonal fruit is put in front of you. xxxix 5. The Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) would kiss and place seasonal fruit on his blessed eyes to thank Almighty Allah. 6. One should not waste any type of food but should remember those who do not have food in the third world countries. 7. The Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) would serve the younger ones first and commence from the right side. 8. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) would hold the grapes by the stem and would pull them with his mouth and the juice would flow on his beard. Xl

O Allah (The Exalted) give us the ability to follow the Sunnah of eating and the food he liked, Ameen.


i Faizane Sunnat ii Shamail-e-Tirmidhi, Chapter on the Bread… p. 141 iii ibid p. 142 iv Ibn Majah v Shamail-e-Tirmidhi, Chapter on curry… p. 155 vi ibid p. 157 vii Abu Dawud viii Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Ahmad and Ibn Hibban ix Prophet’s Medicine, p. 275 x Abu Dawud xi Abu Nu’aym xii Ahmad and Ibn Majah xiii Shamail-e-Tirmidhi, Chapter on curry… p. 159 xiv ibid p. 161 xv ibid p. 169 xvi Bukhari xvii Tirmidhi & Ibn Maja xviii Muslim & Abu Dawud. xix Shamail-e-Tirmidhi, Chapter on fruits, p. 188 xx Abu Dawud xxi Shamail-e-Tirmidhi, Chapter on fruits, p. 188 xxii ibid p. 188 xxiii Muslim xxiv Shamail-e-Tirmidhi xxv Bahar-e-Sharait & Khazinah Rahmah, p. 80 xxvi Ibn Majah & Baihaqi xxvii Bukhari xxviiiAl-Qur’an xxix Muslim xxx Muslim xxxi Bukhari xxxii Abu Dawood xxxiii Ihya ulum udeen, p. 51 xxxiv ibid p. 51 xxxv ibid p. 51 xxxvi ibid p. 51 xxxvii Shamail-e-Tirmidhi, Chapter on fruits, p. 188 xxxviii Malik’s Muwatta xxxix Muslim xl Life of the Prophet. (Audio) by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

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