IS GELATIN HARAM?
Bismillahi wa salaatu wa salaamu ‘alaa rasulillah,
(Taken entirely from a dars given by Sh. Muhammad Bazmool, translated by Moosa Richardson and a fatwa given by Sh. al-Albaani)
Istihala is when something becomes pure. It was najis (impure) but it is now taahir (pure). A good example would be maitah (animal carcass): it is najis, but should it be burned and become ashes, or decompose and become earth, then it is taahir, it is no longer najis. This can happen with dung or feces or whatever. Whenever something changes from one property to another, then the ruling likewise changes.
Example: Let us say that someone uses the fat of a dead animal to make soap. That fat is najis, but the chemical change that it was put through makes it taahir.
Ibn Hazm put it concisely when he said,
“Ruling upon an object is upon what it is named (what it is), if the name (what it is) changes then so does the ruling.”
He also mentioned in his book of fiqh, Al-Muhalla: “If the quality of the substance of naturally impure objects changes the name which was given to it so that it is no more applicable to it and it is given a new name which is given to a pure object, so it is no more an impure thing. It becomes a new object, with a new rule.”
Meaning that if the natural composition of a substance changes to another substance of a different composition, so much so that you can no longer call the new substance by the name of what it was– ruling upon that substance changes too.
The companions (radyallahu anhum) used to eat a cheese that came from the land of the disbelievers. In that cheese was a part of the calf which was slaughtered by the disbelievers in a way that is not in accordance with Islaam. The companions knew this, but they also knew that the prohibition was upon the calf, what is directly from the calf, and what could be properly called part of the calf; the ruling is not upon that which you cannot identify as part of the calf nor is it called any longer such-and-such part of the calf. This is called istihala.
Another proof from the Sunnah: The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) forbade making vinegar out of wine, but he said that if you should come across vinegar that has been made from wine then it is halaal.
The ruling is upon what the object is, and not what it was. Wine is haraam; vinegar is not, and before the wine became an intoxicant, it was halaal. Why? Because it was fruit before that.
Allah says in the Qur’an:
“And surely there is a lesson for you in the cattle we give you to drink of what is in their bellies from between the feces and blood, pure milk, wholesome to those who drink it.” (16:66)
Allah is putting forth an example for us of how something pure can come from something impure.
And we can also use as proof something that we’ve already gone over. The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said that when the hide of maitah (the carrion) is tanned, then it is taahir. He (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) gave us a method to purify something which was first impure.
Let us examine things we are familiar with: mono and diglycerides, whey, gluten, emulsifiers, gelatin, and whatever else is on the international haraam list. These by-products sometimes come from animals, pigs even, in which case the ruling on the initial substances is that they are haraam. But the initial substances (e.g. fat, marrow, cartilage, etc.) are put through chemical change so that you no longer can even call it “pig fat” or “animal bone” or “skin” or “cartilage”, etc. because it is no longer that, hence it is taahir, it is halaal.
What is gelatin? As Oxford dictionary of science defines: “A colorless or pale yellow, water-soluble protein obtained by boiling collagen with water and evaporating the solution. It melts when water is added and dissolves in hot water to form a solution that sets to a gel on cooling.” (page 290)
Is this a chemical change or is this not a chemical change? Is it protein any longer? No, it is not.
You are in disbelief so you ask, “But how can it be halaal when it came from something haraam?”
Because of the proofs mentioned above, the ruling is not based upon what it was, the ruling is based upon what it is. A Hanafi scholar, Ibn Abedin gave the example: “the swine which drowns in a salt lake and decomposes and becomes salt itself, is now halaal.”
And other Hanafi scholars go on to say: “salt is different from meat and bones. If they become salt, they are salt.”
To take the salt example further: salt consists of sodium chloride (NaCl) when together they are the halaal food known as salt, when separated they make up two poisonous substances which are then haraam for consumption.
The ahnaaf (Hanafis) also use as an example the human semen, saying that it is najis, then when it inseminates the egg and becomes a blood clot it is still najis, but when it becomes flesh it is no longer najis. And the ahnaaf are not the only ones who take this position.
The examples are numerous and they extend beyond food: Yesterday a man was kaafir and going towards Hell, today he is Muslim, so what is the ruling upon him? It is based upon what he is today.
We must be careful when we call things haraam because it is a form of thulm (oppression). Scholars have said that it is worse that you make something halaal to haraam rather than making something haraam to halaal. This deen Allah has made yusr (easy) let us not make it ‘usr (hard). Wallahu ‘Alim.
DATES: RICH IN PROTEINS AND VITAMINS
Muslims generally break their fast by eating dates. Prophet (saws) is reported to have said, “If anyone of you is fasting, let him break his fast with dates. In case he does not have them, then with water. Verily water is a purifier.” The Prophet (saws) used to break his fast by eating some dates before offering Maghrib Salaat, and if ripe dates were not available, he used to substitute them with some dried grapes. When they too were not available, he used to have a few sips of water, according to some reports. Modern science has proved that dates are part of a healthy diet. They contain sugar, fat and proteins, as well as important vitamins. Hence, the great importance attached to them by the Prophet.
Dates are also rich in natural fibers. Modern medicine has shown that they are effective in preventing abdominal cancer. They also surpass other fruits in the sheer variety of their constituents. They contain oil, calcium, sulphur, iron, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, copper and magnesium. In other words, one date satisfies the minimum requirements of a balanced and healthy diet. Arabs usually combine dates with milk and yogurt or bread, butter and fish. This combination indeed makes a self-sufficient and tasty diet for both mind and body.
Dates and date palms have been mentioned in the Noble Qur’aan twenty times, thus showing their importance. The Prophet likened a good Muslim to the date palm, saying, “Among trees, there is a tree like a Muslim. Its leaves do not fall.”
Dates are rich in several vitamins and minerals. When the level of trace elements falls in the body, the health of the blood vessels is affected leading to an increased heart-rate and a consequent inability to perform its function with normal efficiency. As dates are also rich in calcium, they help to strengthen the bones. When the calcium content in the body decreases, children are affected with rickets and the bones of adults become brittle and weak.
Dates are also important in keeping up the health of eyes. It is quite effective in guarding against night-blindness. In the early years of Islam, dates served as food for Muslim warriors. They used to carry them in special bags hung at their sides. They are the best stimulant for muscles and so the best food for a warrior about to engage in battle.
The Prophet (saws) used to combine dates with bread sometimes. At other times he mixed ripe dates with cucumber, or dates combined with ghee. He used to take all varieties of dates, but he preferred the variety called Ajwah.
HALAAL VS. HARAAM
“Oh People of Imaan! Eat of the pure things (Halaal) that We have provided for you, and be grateful to Allah” – (Al-Baqarah 2:172)
The growing indifference with regards to halaal foods is indeed disturbing and shocking. How greatly has our Imaan degenerated! Where are those days gone when a Muslim would rather go hungry than consume anything Haraam or doubtful? The morbid sight of Muslims heartily enjoying meals in non-Muslim restaurants and the great increase in the purchase of food items having dubious “halaal” stamps on them is frightening. One cannot help but reflect on the profound prophecy of Muhammad (SAW) that, “There will come a time upon my Ummat when people will not be concerned over what they take. It will not matter for them whether it is Haraam or Halaal”. (Bukhari, Nasai)
It is further reported that, “When this time comes, then none of their Duas will be accepted” (Razeen).
This is actually the ploy of the enemies of Islam to paralyze this Ummat by cutting off their connection with Allah (SWT) by duping them into consuming Haraam. The recent upsurge of Haraam food items being marketed as “Halaal” is a clear indication of this.
The grave nature of this problem and the level of caution that should be exercised in this regard can be clearly understood from the following Hadith where the Prophet (SAW) said, “It is better for you to consume sand rather than eating anything Haraam”(Ahmed).
It is narrated in another Hadith, “That flesh which has grown out of Haraam food will not enter Jannah. Hellhas more right to it” (Ahmad,Tirmithi).
A brief perusal of the lives of our pious predecessors cannot help but fill one with a sense of awe over the overwhelming extent to which they exercised caution with regard to their food. They understood the great effect that Halaal food had on spiritual development and the implications of the warnings sounded out by the Shariah for carelessness in this regard.
HALAAL SIGNS What is greatly disheartening is the number of bogus ‘Halaal’ signs floating around and the number of unscrupulous organizations who for the sake of monetary benefit are compromising the Muslim masses. Muslims have repeatedly been warned, but it sadly appears that to a large extent the warnings are falling on deaf ears.
HALAAL AND YOU
When we reflect over the magnitude of the problems it appears as if we are caught in a trap from which there is no escape. However the problem is simple, should we get things in the correct perspective. Of utmost importance is the realization that the duty is upon us to ensure the purity of our food.
We cannot blindly rely upon some ‘Halaal’ sign or Arabic writing on the packing of an article. Sweets, canned food, etc. should not be consumed without at least a brief perusal of the ingredients. When we have doubt over some item, we should first clarify the matter with the Ulama. Let us realize that exercising caution is not a burden on ourselves but an act of Ibaadat and will in fact take us closer to Allah (SWT). The Prophet(SAW) said, ‘Abstention from doubtful things is the best of Deen” (Tabraani: Bazzaar).
Very often we will be tested by Allah (SWT): the item which has no doubt in it maybe more expensive as in the case of the local meat when compared to the imported one, etc. Here our steadfastness will bring us immense reward from Allah (SWT). We must reiterate our call to our Muslim sisters and brothers to be careful.
Ya Muslimeen please be careful, and in matters of doubt PLEASE abstain. May Allah Ta’ala give every one of us the Taufeeq ameen.
HONEY & CINNAMON
Surah An-Nahl 16:68-69
And your Lord inspired the bee, saying: “Take you habitations in the mountains and in the trees and in what they erect. “Then, eat of all fruits, and follow the ways of your Lord made easy (for you).” There comes forth from their bellies, a drink of varying colour wherein is healing for men. Verily, in this is indeed a sign for people who think.
Surah Muhammad or Al-Qitâl 47:15
The description of Paradise which the Muttaqûn (pious – see V.2:2) have been promised is that in it are rivers of water the taste and smell of which are not changed; rivers of milk of which the taste never changes; rivers of wine delicious to those who drink; and rivers of clarified honey (clear and pure) therein for them is every kind of fruit; and forgiveness from their Lord. (Are these) like those who shall dwell for ever in the Fire, and be given, to drink, boiling water, so that it cuts up their bowels?
Sahih Al-Bukhari 007.065.342 Narrated ‘Aisha: Allah’s Apostle used to love sweet edible things and honey.
Sahih Al-Bukhari 007.071.584 Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas: (The Prophet said), “Healing is in three things: A gulp of honey, cupping, and branding with fire (cauterizing).” But I forbid my followers to use (cauterization) branding with fire.” Sahih Al-Bukhari 007.071.588 Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri: A man came to the Prophet and said, “My brother has some abdominal trouble.” The Prophet said to him “Let him drink honey.” The man came for the second time and the Prophet said to him, ‘Let him drink honey.” He came for the third time and the Prophet said, “Let him drink honey.” He returned again and said, “I have done that ‘ The Prophet then said, “Allah has said the truth, but your brother’s abdomen has told a lie. Let him drink honey.” So he made him drink honey and he was cured.
It is found that mixture of Honey and Cinnamon cures most of the diseases. Honey is produced in most of the countries of the world.
Ayurvedic as well as Yunani medicine have been using honey as a vital medicine for centuries. Scientists of today also accept honey as a Ram Ban (very effective) medicine for all kinds of diseases. Honey can be used without any side effects for any kind of diseases.
Today’s science says that even though honey is sweet, if taken in the right dosage as a medicine, it does not harm diabetic patients also. A famous magazine named Weekly World News published in Canada dated 17 January, 95 has given a list of diseases that can be cured by Honey and Cinnamon as researched by western scientists.
ARTHRITIS: Take one part honey to two parts of luke warm water and add a small teaspoon of cinnamon powder, make a paste and massage it on the itching part of the body slowly. It is noticed that the pain recedes within a minute or two.
Or arthritis patients may daily, morning and night take one cup of hot water with two spoons of honey and one small teaspoon of cinnamon powder.
If drunk regularly even chronic arthritis can be cured. In a recent research done at the Copenhagen University, it was found that when the doctors treated their patients with a mixture of one tablespoon. Honey and half teaspoon cinnamon powder before breakfast, they found that within a week out of the 200 people so treated practically 73 patients were totally relieved of pain and within a month, mostly all the patients who could not walk or move around because of arthritis started walking without pain.
HAIR LOSS: Those suffering from hair loss or baldness, may apply a paste of hot olive oil, one tablespoon of honey, one teaspoon of cinnamon powder before bath and keep it for approx. 15 min and then wash the hair. It was found very effective if kept for 5 mins. also.
BLADDER INFECTIONS: Take two tablespoons of cinnamon powder and one teaspoon of honey in a glass of luke warm water and drink it. It destroys the germs of the bladder.
TOOTHACHE: Make a paste of one teaspoon of cinnamon powder and five teaspoons of honey and apply on the aching tooth. This may be done 3 times a day daily till such time that the tooth has stopped aching.
CHOLESTEROL: Two tablespoons of honey and three teaspoons of Cinnamon Powder mixed in 16 ounces of tea water, if given to a cholesterol patient, it reduces the level of cholesterol in the blood by 10% within 2 hours. As mentioned for arthritic patients, if taken 3 times a day any chronic cholesterol is cured.
As per the information received in the said journal, pure honey taken with food daily relieves complains of cholesterol.
COLDS: Those suffering from common or severe colds should take one tablespoon luke warm honey with 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder daily for 3 days. This process will cure most chronic cough, cold and clear the sinuses.
INFERTILITY: Yunani and Ayurvedic have been using honey for years in medicine to strengthen the semen of men. If impotent men regularly take two tablespoon of honey before sleeping, their problem will be solved. In China, Japan and Far-East countries, women who do not conceive and to strengthen the uterus have been taking cinnamon powder for centuries. Women who cannot conceive may take a pinch of cinnamon powder in half teaspoon of honey and apply it on the gums frequently throughout the day, so that it slowly mixes with the saliva and enters the body. A couple in Maryland, America had no children for 14 years and had left hope of having a child of their own. When told about this process husband and wife started taking honey and cinnamon as stated above, the wife conceived after a few months and had twins at full term.
UPSET STOMACH: Honey taken with cinnamon powder cures stomachache and also clears stomach ulcers from the root.
GAS: According to the studies done in India & Japan, it is revealed that if honey is taken with cinnamon powder the stomach is relieved of gas.
HEART DISEASES: Make a paste of honey and cinnamon powder, apply on bread or chappati instead of jelly and jam and eat it regularly for breakfast. It reduces the cholesterol in the arteries and saves the patient from heart attack. Also those who have already had an attack, if they do this process daily, are kept miles away from the next attack. Regular use of the above process relieves loss of breath and strengthens the heart beat. In America and Canada, various nursing homes have treated patients successfully and have found that due to the increasing age the arteries and veins which lose their flexibility and get clogged are revitalized.
IMMUNE SYSTEM: Daily use of honey and cinnamon powder strengthens the immune system and protects the body from bacteria and viral attacks. Scientists have found that honey has various vitamins and iron in large amounts. Constant use of honey strengthens the white blood corpuscles to fight bacteria and viral diseases.
INDIGESTION: Cinnamon powder sprinkled on two tablespoons of honey taken before food, relieves acidity and digests the heaviest of meals.
INFLUENZA: A scientist in Spain has proved that honey contains a natural ingredient which kills the influenza germs and saves the patient from flu.
LONGEVITY: Tea made with honey and cinnamon powder, when taken regularly arrests the ravages of old age. Take 4 spoons of honey, 1spoon of cinnamon powder and 3 cups of water and boil to make like tea. Drink 1/4 cup, 3 to 4 times a day. It keeps the skin fresh and soft and arrests old age. Life span also increases and even if a person is 100 years old, starts performing the chores of a 20 year old.
PIMPLES: Three tablespoons of honey and one teaspoon of cinnamon powder paste. Apply this paste on the pimples before sleeping and wash it next morning with warm water. If done daily for two weeks, it removes pimples from the root.
SKIN INFECTIONS: Eczema, ringworm and all types of skin infections are cured by applying honey and cinnamon powder in equal parts on the affected parts.
WEIGHT LOSS: Daily in the morning, 1/2 hour before breakfast on an empty stomach and at night before sleeping, drink honey and cinnamon powder boiled in one cup water. If taken regularly it reduces the weight of even the most obese person. Also drinking of this mixture regularly does not allow the fat to accumulate in the body even though the person may eat a high calorie diet.
CANCER: Recent research in Japan and Australia has reveled that advanced cancer of the stomach and bones have been cured successfully. Patients suffering from these kinds of cancer should daily take one tablespoon of honey with one teaspoon of cinnamon powder for one month 3 times a day.
FATIGUE: Recent studies have shown that the sugar content of honey is more helpful than detrimental to the body strength. Senior citizens who take honey and cinnamon power in equal parts are more alert and flexible. Dr.Milton who has done research says that half tablespoon honey taken in one glass of water and sprinkled with cinnamon powder, taken daily after brushing and in the afternoon at about 3.00 p.m. when the vitality of the body starts decreasing, increases the vitality of the body within a week.
BAD BREATH: People of South America, first thing in the morning gargle with one teaspoon of honey and cinnamon powder mixed in hot water. So their breath stays fresh throughout the day.
HEARING LOSS: Daily morning and night honey and cinnamon powder taken in equal parts restores hearing.
PORK IS SIN AND SICKNESS
Muslims’ abstention from pork eating is in adherence to the Qur’anic Law which states: “Forbidden to you for (food) are: dead meat, blood and the flesh of the swine and that which hath been invoked the name other than Allah.” Holy Qur’an 5:4
Such prohibition is also found in the Bible: ” The pig also because it is a splitter of the hoof but there is no cud. It is unclean for you. None of their flesh must you eat and carcass you must not touch. ” Deuteronomy 14:8 (Bible)
Islam (an Arabic word which means submission to the will of the Almighty God) has laid down the foundation for the best approach in keeping good health. In the Holy Qur’an (The Last Testament ) God exhorts the believers to select the best food and to stay away from any harmful food to maintain good health: ” Let him find out which is the best food (to be had) … Eat of the best foods We have provided for you . ” ( Holy Qur’an 18:19;7:160 )
The main purpose of a True Religion must be to build an ideal community in this world ; a religion that promotes moral, political and economic well; social harmony and peace, as well as good health of its believers or followers. Health means the physical and mental well-being and freedom from diseases and pain.There are several passages in the Bible, articulating that because of sin (a transgression of the law of God) God afflicted human beings with maladies (Ps.103:3;Exodus 15:26 and Psalms 107:16-20). Islamic instructions and teachings espousing health consciousness have scriptural and scientific support
MEDICAL ASPECT OF THE PROHIBITION Abstention from eating pork is a measure to safeguard health. Of all the domestic animals, pig is the most avaricious, eating anything including human excreta. It is the cradle of harmful germs and parasites. Its meat is carrier of diseases to man, thus making it unfit for human consumption.
CHARACTER OF PIG
All types of animals are lawful to be eaten whether those living on land or in the water except those animals specifically forbidden in the Holy Writings revealed by the Almighty Creator and the sayings of the Prophet with clear and well defined injunctions. Pig belong to the forbidden animals, and not allowed to be eaten by the believers. Pig eats almost anything dirty and they are very lazy animals. It is the most avaricious of all domestic animals. Amongst all animals, pig is the cradle of harmful germs. It’s meat serves as carrier of diseases to mankind. It is this very reason that made it unfit for human consumption consumption
DISEASES CAUSED BY PORK
The following lists show germs or parasites that are found in pork and some diseases caused by them. Many of these diseases are contagious while some are proven fatal.This proves that the more science advances the more Islam is shown correct as a religion of God.
a) TRICHINELLA SPIRATIS ( Trichina worms )
It is the most dangerous parasite to man ( Rheumatism and muscular pain). The infected persons shown no symptoms, recover very slowly some die, some reduced to permanent invalids. No one is immune from this disease and there is no cure.
b) TAENIA SOLIUM ( Pork tape worm )
The worm causes malnourishment of the person leading to anemia, diarrhea, extreme depression melancholia and digestive disturbances. Cysticercosis means that larva enter the blood stream then settle down in one or more of the vital organs of the body, for example: brain, liver, lungs or spinal cord. They grow and encapsulate, inducing pressure to the system around, resulting in dangerous diseases (diarrhea, digestive disorder, anemia, chronic invalidation).
c) ROUND WORMS
Examples: Ascaris, which may lead to digestive disturbances, appendicitis, obstructive jaundice.
d) HOOK WORMS
Examples:Ancylostomiasis, which may lead to anemia, oedema, heart failure or retarded growth ( mental and physical), tuberculosis, diarrhea and typhoid.
e) SCHITOSOMA JAPONICUM
Bleeding, anemia and other syndromes. If ova are settled in the brain or spinal cord, paralysis and death may occur.
f) PARAGOMINES WESTERMAINI
Infestation leading to bleeding of the lungs ( endenve haemoptysis)
g) PACIOLEPSIS BUSKI
Digestive disturbances leading to persistent diarrhea; generalized oedema.
h) CLONORCHIS SINENSIS
chlonorchiasis-obstructive jaundice, liver enlargement.
i) METASTRONGYLUS APRI
Causes bronchitis, abscess of the lungs.
j) GIGANTHORINCHUS GIGAS
Cause anemia and digestive disorders.
k) BALATITIDIUM COLI
Causes acute dysentery and general weakness
2. Fusiformis necrofurus: causing foot-rot which is very difficult to heal.
3. Salmonella Cholera suis: causing cholera
5. Bruceellosis: Acute, sub acute and chronic. It may lead to permanent disabilities.
6. Swine Erysipelas: causing Erypelas in man.
1. Small pox: is was a source of infection to man.
2. Japanese B-encepphalitis: It is the source of infection
3. Influenza, foot mouth disease, gas tro-enteritis of the new born babies.
Protozoal Diseases : Toxo plasma goundii- It is a very dangerous diseases.A new born baby of an infected woman may die within few days or weeks after delivery. But if he survives he may develop blindness or deafness.In adult chronic exhaustive fever with enlarged liver and spleen may occur. Pneumonia, or celebro- spinal meninggitis which may lead to death or madness. The patient may become blind and deaf too.
Fats In Pigs:
Pork contains more fats than other meats. Therefore, people who are fond of pork are more obese than others. Cholesterol is higher in their blood thus making them more prone to asthereosclerosis cardiovascular accidents and sudden death.
Other Diseases :
Flesh of the pork is hard to digest and may lead to chronic digestive disturbances. Pimples, boils, cysts are common in pork eaters. These are some of the parasites and diseases found in pork and/ or the skin of pigs and certainly there are many more. There is still no means of killing these parasites, in the tissues, neither has anyone found a method of expelling them, even produced any specific treatment for the diseases.
BIBLICAL ASPECT OF THE PROHIBITION
The Jews and the different christian sects and denominations believe in the Old Testament. Adherents of other religions alleged that the prohibition was already superseded by the New Testament.This cogent argumentation is inconclusive. No one can specifically point out that Jesus Christ (PBUH) lifted the prohibition. On the contrary, he upheld it he declared: ” Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets: I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them.” (Matthew 5:17 RSV)
Jesus Christ (PBUH) was obviously referring to the existing Law of his time , the Mosaic Law !- in which the Law prohibiting pig as article of food is mentioned. ( Leviticus 11:7-11)
” As for any beast that is a splitter of the hoof but is not a former of the cleft and not a chewer of the cud, they are unclean for you. Everyone touching them will be unclean. ” Leviticus 11:26
In addition, the book of Prophet Isaiah said: ” Who sit in tombs, and spend the night in secret places who eats swine’s flesh and broth of abominable things is in their vessels;… These are a smoke in my nostrils,a fire that burns all the day. ” ( Isaiah 65:4,5b RSV)
The New Testament
Despite the Biblical injunction prohibiting pork as food, still people of other religious persuations insist on finding ways and reasons to justify their consumption of prohibited animals arguing that said Biblical prohibition was already superseded in the New Testament when in certainly, no one can specifically point out that Jesus Christ (PBUH) indeed lifted the prohibition. On the contrary, Jesus (PBUH) declared: ” Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill them. ” ( Matthew 5:17 ) The fact is, we will find in Mark 5:1-20 that Jesus (PBUH) even permitted the foul spirits (evil spirits) possessing a man to enter into the herb of swine. Since the flesh of pig is unlawful for the Jews, to eat and since it is considered unclean, (Leviticus 11:7-8) consequently, the Jews are not to keep or raise them. This Biblical account states that Jesus (PBUH) punished the owners of the swine;destroyed their unlawful livelihood and at the same time showed that pig is the habitat of unclean spirits.
MUSLIMS FOLLOW THE DIVINE LAW
Islam means” submission to the will and command of God ” and a person who embraced this religion is called ” Muslim ” which means ” one who accepts and submits himself to the will of God.A Muslim is obliged to be clean both spiritually, mentally and physically. Abstention from eating flesh of swine is one of the obligation a Muslim must observe to attain purity of the soul and of the human nature. The believers in Islam, sincerely believe in the Holy Qur’an as the Word of God, revealed to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) which says: ” Allah has forbidden you only what dies of itself and blood and the flesh of swine and that over which any other name than that of Allah has been invoked; but whoever is driven to (it), not desiring nor exceeding the limit, then surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. ” ( 16:115 )
We should bear in our mind that the abstention from eating pork by the Muslims is based on hygienic grounds and of the cultivation of purity of character. Pork is not poisonous as to kill people right on the spot but latent. It will destroys slowly. It is certainly not as nourishing as any other meat and it causes prolonged sufferings. Pondering on the wisdom of this saying: “Health is wealth ” will lead you to better living and prosperity. The last Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said: ” There are two blessing which many people lose: health and the free time for doing good …The stronger believer (in health) is more blessed and more beloved to Allah than the weak believer. ”
It is not required of the believer to always find a scientific justification for the divine prohibitions.However, if they look and find it, they must share the information, that will increase their faith. To the contrary, lack of confirmation should not question the authenticity of the Quran. We believe that all Quranic statements are true, and if science has not confirmed some of them yet, it will do so in the future,
FOOD AND NUTRITION IN ISLAM
Milk: The Prophet(SAW) said that milk wipes away heat from the heart just as the finger wipes away sweat from the brow. It strengthens the back, increases the brain, augments intelligence,renews vision and drives away forgetfulness.
Honey: Considered to be the best remedy for diarrhoea when mixed in hot water. It is the food of foods, drink of drinks and drug of drugs. It is used for creating appetite, strengthening the stomach, eliminating phelgm,as a meat preservative, hair conditioner, eye salve and mouthwash. It is extremely beneficial in the morning in warm water and is also a sunnah.
Olive oil: excellent traetment for skin and hair, delays old age, treats inflammation of the stomach
Mushroom: The Prophet(SAW) said that mushroom is a good cure for the eyes, it also serves as a form of birthcontrol and arrests paralysis.
Grapes: The Prophet was very fond of grapes, it purifies the blood, provides vigour and health, strengthens the kidneys and clears the bowels.
Dates: The Prophet(SAW) said that a house without dates has no food, also to be eaten at the time of childbirth.
Figs: It is a fruit from paradise and a cure for piles
Barley: Good for fever in a soup form
Melon: Melon contains 1000 blessings and 1000 mercies, The prophet SAW said “None of your women who are pregnant and eat of water melon will fail to produce off spring who are good in counternanace and good in character.
Pomegranate: The Prophet(SAW) said it cleanse you of Satan and evil aspirations for 40 days.
Water: The Prophet(SAW) said the best drink in this world and the next is H20 (water), when you are thirsty drink it by sips and not gulps, gulping produces sickness of the liver.
In the Holy Quran, Allah commands Muslims and all of mankind to eat of the Halal things.
O mankind! Eat of that which is lawful and wholesome in the earth, and follow not the footsteps of the devil. Lo! he is an open enemy for you. (2:168)
O ye who believe! Eat of the good things wherewith We have provided you, and render thanks to Allah if it is (indeed) He Whom ye worship. (2:172)
Eat of that which Allah hath bestowed on you as food lawful and good, and keep your duty to Allah in Whom ye are believers. (5:88)
Halal: The Arabic word Halal means lawful.
The following products are definitely Halal:
1. Milk (from cows, sheep, camels, and goats)
4. Plants which are not intoxicant
5. Fresh or naturally frozen vegetables
6. Fresh or dried fruits
7. Legumes and nuts like peanuts, cashew nuts, hazel nuts, walnuts, etc.
8. Grains such as wheat, rice, rye, barley, oat, etc.
Zabihah: Animals such as cows, sheep, goats, deer, moose, chickens, ducks, game birds, etc., are also Halal, but they must be Zabihah (slaughtered according to Islamic Rites) in order to be suitable for consumption. The procedure is as follows:. The animal should be put down on the ground (or held it if it is small) and its throat should be slit with a very sharp knife to make sure that the 3 main blood vessels are cut. While cutting the throat of the animal (without severing it), the person must pronounce the name of Allah or recite a blessing which contains the name of Allah, such as “Bismillah Allah-u-Akbar”.
Haram: The arabic word Haram means unlawful.
The following items have been categorically spelled out as being Haram by jurists in light of the Holy Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet Mohammad (SAW):
3. Carnivorous animals
4. Almost all reptiles and insects
5. The bodies of dead animals
6. Halal animals which are not slaughtered according to the Islamic Law.
7. Wine, Ethyl Alcohol, and Spirits.
The above mentioned items are Haram and should be avoided by all Muslims.
Ingredients: The following ingredients should be avoided by all Muslims:
1. Alcohol (Ethanol, Ethyl Alcohol): Alcohol is a colorless liquid, produced by the fermentation of sugar or starch, that is the intoxicating agent in fermented drinks and is used as a solvent. Also called ethanol and ethyl alcohol.
2. Animal Shortening: Shortening is a type of fat such as lard that is solid at room temperature, and is used for making pastry.
3. Bacon: Meat from the back and sides of a hog that has been salted, dried, and often smoked.
4. Enzymes: Microbial Enzymes are okay A protein substance produced in living cells, that influences a chemical reaction within a plant or animal without being changed itself; an organic catalyst. Enzymes help break down food so that it can be digested. Pepsin is an enzyme.
5. Ethanol: Alcohol is a colorless liquid, produced by the fermentation of sugar or starch, that is the intoxicating agent in fermented drinks and is used as a solvent. Also called ethanol and ethyl alcohol.
6. Ethyl alcohol: Alcohol is a colorless liquid, produced by the fermentation of sugar or starch, that is the intoxicating agent in fermented drinks and is used as a solvent. Also called ethanol and ethyl alcohol.
7. Gelatin: An odorless, tasteless, protein substance like glue or jelly, obtained by boiling the bones, hoofs, and other waste parts of animals. It dissolves easily in hot water and is used in making jellied salads and desserts, camera film, and glue.
8. Gin: A strong colorless alcoholic drink distilled from grain and flavored with juniper berries.
9. Ham: Meat cut from the thigh of the hind leg of a hog after curing by salting or smoking.
10. Lard: The fat of pigs or hogs, melted down and made clear. Lard is made especially of the internal fat of the abdomen and is used in cooking.
11. Rum: An alcoholic liquor made from sugar cane or molasses. It can be clear but is usually colored brownish-red by storage in oak casks or by the addition of caramel.
1. Alcohol fermented from grapes: an alcoholic drink made by fermenting the juice of grapes
2. Alcohol fermented from other fruit: an alcoholic drink made by fermenting the juice of fruit other than grapes, or the juice of other plants
13.. Tallow: A hard fatty substance extracted from the fat of sheep and cattle.
14. Vanilla Extract/Flavour: A flavouring extract made from the vanilla bean and used in candy, ice cream, and perfumes. The flavour extracted from vanilla beans is most commonly dissolved in alcohol. Documentation from a distributor of vanilla extract showed that the ingredient contained 50% alcohol.
ZUM ZUM SUPERSTORES
As salaamu alaikum. I am involved in the launching of Zum Zum Superstores, a modern, new grocery store that is much like your conventional grocery store, except that every product is 100% Halal. This means no more reading the labels of a box of your favorite cookies, or wondering the ingredients of your favourite candy. It also means your ethnic food shopping done in one stop.
In this regard, we have prepared a survey. I’d like you to take a few minutes to fill it out, and spread it to others so we can understand the needs of Muslim consumers better. Please mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org for any comments or questions. As well, pass the link to as many Muslims as you know. The more Muslims who fill out the survey, the more we understand their needs and can improve services. So please pass the survey to all your Muslim brothers and sisters!
THROWING AWAY LEFTOVER FOOD
Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan
Cassette: al-Liqaa al-Maftooh No.21
Translated by Rasheed Barbi
Question: What is the ruling on putting leftover food remnants that can not be benefited from such as bones, into a trash barrel? س: ما حكم وضع باقي الأطعمة التي لا يستفاد منها مثل العظام في برميل الزبالة؟
Answer: Spoiled food that will not be eaten, there is no problem with throwing it in the trash. As for good food which may be eaten, even if by animals, if it is possible that the animals or the birds may eat it then it is not permissible to throw it in the trash; because this food is highly regarded, and it can be benefited from. Throwing it in the trash is to have low regard for it and to waste it. So if those leftovers are from food which may be benefited from then it is not permissible to put it in the trash, but if it can’t be benefited from and it is spoiled then there is nothing wrong with it being in the trash. الأطعمة الفاسدة التي لا تأكل لا بأس أن توضع في الزبالة ، وأما الأطعمة الطيبة التي يمكن أن تأكل حتى ولو للبهائم يمكن تأكلها البهائم أو الطيور هذه لا يجوز وضعها في الزبالة ، لأنها محترمة ولأنها ينتفع بها ، وفي وضعها بالزبالة إهدار لها وإفساد لها ، فإن كانت هذه البقايا من الطعام ينتفع بها فلا يجوز وضعها في الزبالة أما إن كانت لا ينتفع بها وهي فاسدة فلا بأس بإبقائها في الزبالة
Abu Dawud narrated in his Sunan that the two children of Busr said, “The Messenger of Allah pbuh came by us and we offered him some butter and dried dates, as he used to like eating butter and dried dates.”
Butter is hot and wet and has many benefits, such as maturing the mixtures (bodily wastes) and decomposing them, along with relieving the tumjors that appear next to the ears and ureters (tubes leading from the kidney to the bladder). When butter is used alone it also heals mouth cankers and the various other types of tumors that attack children and women. When one licks butter, it will help against lung hemoptysis (spitting up blood) and will mature the tumors of the lungs.
Butter softens the nature, the nerves adn the hard tumors that result from black bile and phlegm and relieves the dryness in the body. When butter is laid on the place where children’s teeth emerge, it will help the teeth grow. Butter also soothes the coughing that accompanies colds and dryness. It also heals herpes and the roughness in the body and works as a laxative. Yet, butter reduces the appetite and the sweetness of honey and dates.
The wisdom behind the Prophet pbuh eating dried dates with butter is that they would neutralize the effect of each other.
Praise be to Allaah.
Talbeenah is mentioned in a number of saheeh ahaadeeth, such as the following:
(a) It was narrated from ‘Aa’ishah, the wife of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), that if a member of her family died, the women would gather together, then they would depart, except her own relatives and close friends. She would order that a pot of talbeenah be cooked, then some thareed would be made and the talbeenah would be poured over it. Then she would say: Eat some of it, for I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “Talbeenah soothes the heart of the sick person, and it takes away some of the grief.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5101; Muslim, 2216.
(b) It was narrated from her (may Allaah be pleased with her) that she would order that talbeenah be made for the sick and the one who was mourning a death, and she used to say: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “Talbeenah soothes the heart of the sick and takes away some of the grief.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5365; Muslim, 2216
It is clear from these two hadeeths that talbeenah is used to treat the sick and to reduce the grief of one who is grieving, soothing his heart and giving him energy.
Talbeenah is a broth that is made from two spoonfuls of barley flour with bran, then a cup of water is added to that and it is cooked over a low fire for five minutes.
Some people add a spoonful of honey to it.
It is called talbeenah because it is like milk (laban) in its whiteness and consistency.
Ibn al-Qayyim said: If you want to know the virtue of talbeenah, then think of the virtue of barley water, for it is barley water for them. It is a soup that is made from barley flour with bran. The difference between it and barley water is that the latter is made from whole grains, whereas talbeenah is made from flour, which is more beneficial as the properties of the barley are released through grinding. We have mentioned above that habits have an effect on whether medicines and foods are of benefit. It was the habit of the people to drink barley water made from flour rather than whole grains, which is more nourishing and effective… end quote. Zaad al-Ma’aad, 4/120
Al-Haafiz ibn Hajar (may Allaah have mercy on him) said, describing talbeenah: It is a kind of food that is made from flour or bran, to which honey may be added. It is so called because it resembles milk in its whiteness and consistency. Its benefit is that it is soft and well-cooked, not hard and raw. End quote. Fath al-Baari, 9/550
There is no doubt that barley has many benefits, some of which have been discovered in modern studies, such as: lowering cholesterol, treating the heart, treating depression, treating high blood sugar and high blood pressure, softening the stools and soothing the colon. Studies have also demonstrated the importance of barley in reducing the incidence of colon cancer. Dr. Sahba’ Bunduq said – after noting the benefits mentioned above and discussing them in detail: In this sense, talbeenah is a protection against diseases of the heart and circulatory system, as it protects the arteries from arteriosclerosis – especially the major arteries of the heart. It also protects against angina, reduction of blood supply and cardiac infarction. As for those who have actually been affected by these vascular and cardiac problems, talbeenah, with its health benefits, can play an important role in preventing their symptoms from getting worse. This shows the miraculous nature of the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “Talbeenah soothes the heart of the sick.” End quote.
And Allaah knows best.
Thyme is “zaatar” in Arabic. Thyme is most popularly used as one of the main ingredients in the spice mix named after it – Zaatar. This mixed zaatar is actually a mix of sumac berries and zataar, however, plain zaatar is also readily available in the Middle East and has many uses that you may not have thought about.
Thyme is a vermifuge and daily consumption of it helps keep worms and other parasites from dwelling in your body. You can eat or drink the tea for this purpose. Eating “mixed zaatar” on a daily basis may not be a bad idea! Especially if you live in a place where you are unsure of water quality or cleanliness.
Eating Zaatar on bread helps you digest the heaviness of the bread and prevents many digestive and allergic reactions related to bread.
A Hadith related by Ibn al-Juzi states that “They fumigated their houses with thyme and frankincense.“ this is because thyme is a fantastic anti-fungal, anti-botic, anti-septic, and anti-microbial agent. It also repels insects. So if you have any illness in the house or any problem spots in your house or yard – think of thyme. A cleverly placed thyme bush is a good addition to any garden.
Drinking the green leafy tea also has many health benefits. A few cups a day will ease menstrual cramps as well as relieve the tenseness and moodiness that often accompanies PMS (or the “MS” itself). Thyme tea is also helpful for stomach problems as well as coughs and fever.
Thyme tea is a wonderfully pleasant tea for children’s coughs as they delight in the flavor. It is also said to alleviate whooping cough and nightmares. It helps in the elimination of phlegm, relieves any pain that may accompany the illness and calms a child’s nerves.
You can also use it for a mild sore throat (for a severe sore throat spray a couple drops of the essential oil mixed with water or herbal tea directly on your throat) and post nasal drip.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF HONEY
“And your Lord revealed to the bee saying: Make hives in the mountains and in the trees and in what they build: Then eat of all the fruits and walk in the ways of your Lord submissively. There comes forth from within it a beverage of many colours, in which there is healing for men; most surely there is a sign in this for a people who reflect. (Surat an-Nahl, 68-69)
Honey is a sweet treat. In fact, it is man’s oldest sweetener. It can be a good substitute for sugar in our drinks and food. But it is also good for many other things and treating many other conditions. Reliance on commercialized medicines which contains too much chemicals can become hazardous to our health. Alhamdullilah, Allah has given us the knowledge that Mother Nature can at least help to ease the pain we are suffering from.
Honey is composed of sugars like glucose and fructose and minerals like magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium chlorine, sulphur, iron and phosphate. It contains vitamins B1, B2, C, B6, B5 and B3 all of which change according to the qualities of the nectar and pollen. Besides the above, copper, iodine, and zinc exist in it in small quantities. Several kinds of hormones are also present in it.
Approximately one half of the human diet is derived directly or indirectly from crops pollinated by bees. Today honeybees are an essential part of a healthy agriculture economy. If you have allergies, honey can be beneficial. If you eat honey that is local to your area, it may prevent your seasonal allergies. Bees use the pollen from local plants and eventually it ends up in your honey.
Honey may also be good for your skin. It has the ability to attract water. You can use honey instead of alpha hydroxy masks because of its high content of the acid. It is also safe for sensitive skin.
You can also use it as a moisturizing mask for your skin as well as your hair. To use it as a conditioner, mix the honey with olive oil. Be sure to wash your hair thoroughly before you go outside.
If you have a sore throat, take some honey.Due to its natural anti-inflammatory effect, it will help to heal the wounds more quickly.It also has different phytochemicals–chemicals found in plants and different foods–that kill viruses, bacteria, and fungus making it a good substitute for wound dressings. The taste may also take your mind off the pain.
There is evidence that honey diluted in water will help with your stomachaches and dehydration.
Do you have a cut? Honey is a natural antiseptic. Medical journals cite more than 600 cases in which honey was employed to treat wounds.By applying honey to your wounds, you prevent infections. Honey contains antimicrobial agents, which prevents infections by killing the bacteria in and around your wounds. When using honey it may help to heat it up before putting it on your wound (caution test the heat before you place it on the wound).Many types of bacteria can’t survive in honey, so wounds heal, swelling eases, and tissue can grow back.
Honey may also be effective in the treatment of your ulcers.In Europe, honey has been used internally to help cure ulcers, particularly stomach ulcers.
Burns, too, heal better with honey, studies show. The advantage of honey is that it not only prevents infections from occurring, it actually accelerates skin healing.. Since the sugar in honey absorbs water it helps to trap some of the moisture so that the bacteria and other microbes can’t grow as easily as in other food.
How Does It Help In Healing Wounds?
When honey comes into contact with body moisture, the glucose oxidase enzyme introduced to the honey by the bee slowly releases the antiseptic hydrogen peroxide at a sufficient level to be effective against bacteria but not tissue damaging. Not only is honey anti-bacterial, it also draws body fluids and nutrients to the area and so assists cell growth and prevents a scar forming by drying out of the wound.
The osmotic action of the honey draws out and provides a film of liquid between the tissues and the dressing, allowing the dressing to be removed painlessly, without tearing of the re-growing cells. There are reports in medical journals of large bed sores, otherwise needing skin grafts, that have healed without scarring after honey treatment.
In treating diarrhea, honey promotes the rehydration of the body and more quickly clears up the diarrhea and any vomiting and stomach upsets. The anti-bacterial properties of honey, both the peroxide and non-peroxide, are effective in the laboratory against MRSA strains of bacteria which are notoriously resistant to antibiotics and are sometimes responsible for the closing of hospital wards.
Other Benefits of Honey
Easily digested: Because sugar molecules in honey can convert into other sugars (e.g. fructose to glucose), honey is easily digested by the most sensitive stomachs, despite its high acid content. It helps kidneys and intestines to function better.
Good source of antioxidants: It plays a big role in the prevention of cancer as well as heart disease.
Has a low calorie level: Another quality of honey is that, when it is compared with the same amount of sugar, it gives 40% less calories to the body. Although it gives great energy to the body, it does not add weight.
Rapidly diffuses through the blood: When accompanied by mild water, honey diffuses into the bloodstream in 7 minutes. Its free sugar molecules make the brain function better since the brain is the largest consumer of sugar, thus, reduces fatigue.
Supports blood formation: Honey provides an important part of the energy needed by the body for blood formation. In addition, it helps in cleansing the blood. It has some positive effects in regulating and facilitating blood circulation. It also functions as a protection against capillary problems and arteriosclerosis.
Does not accommodate bacteria: This bactericide (bacteria-killing) property of honey is named “the inhibition effect”. Experiments conducted on honey show that its bactericide properties increase twofold when diluted with water. It is very interesting to note that newly born bees in the colony are nourished with diluted honey by the bees responsible for their supervision – as if they know this feature of the honey.
Royal Jelly: Royal jelly is a substance produced by worker bees inside the beehive. Inside this nutritious substance are sugar, proteins, fats and many vitamins. It is used in problems caused by tissue deficiency or body frailty.
It is obvious that honey, which is produced in much higher amounts than the requirements of the bees, is made for the benefit of man. And it is also obvious that bees cannot perform such an unbelievable task “on their own.”
Tiny and hairy, being no more than 3mm in length, black seed originates from the common fennel flower plant (Nigella sativa) of the buttercup (Ranunculaceae) family. Nigella sativa is sometimes mistakenly confused with the fennel herb plant (Foeniculum vulgare).The plant reproduces with itself and forms a fruit capsule which consists of many white trigonal seeds. Once the fruit capsule has matured, it opens up and the seeds contained within are exposed to the air, becoming black in color (black seeds).
Commonly known as the “seed of blessing,” it has been used as a natural remedy in the Middle and Far East for more than 2000 years. Black seed provides nutritional support for the body’s defense system. In 1959, the active ingredient in black seed, crystalline Nigellone, was first isolated and identified as providing many health benefits. Clinical trials have validated the efficacy of black seed in promoting health and wellness.
The most pertinent point to be made about black seed is that it should be regarded as part of an overall holistic approach to health and ideally should be incorporated into one’s everyday lifestyle. In this way, the many nutritional and healing properties contained in the seed can help build the body’s immune system over time, supplying it with the optimum resources it needs to help prevent and fight illness.
USING THE BLACK SEED
Black seed as a daily health supplement
Most medicines work best when given a chance to run their full course, and this too, is the case with black seed. In cognizance of its substantial nutritional components, as well as its specific medicinal properties, the body’s ability to maintain health and promote healing of a lasting nature is best increased through regular use of black seed.
Black seed as an energy source
Ibn Sina (980-1037), in describing the black seed as that which “stimulates the body’s energy and helps recovery from fatigue or disspiritedness,” still holds true for Tibb (Islamic Medicine) health practitioners today. The rich nutritional value contained in black seed as outlined by scientific analysis of black seed, also points to it as a great source of energy.
From the Tibb health perspective, the black seed has an ability to maintain and restore body heat. Our Western diet, predominantly made up of cold foods — ice in our drinks, yogurt, pizza, cheese — all deplete the innate heat our body requires in order to optimally function. Tibb holds the view that a reduced metabolic rate (innate heat) is the cause of most illnesses. The body, in losing energy, also loses its ability to fight off toxins, resulting in a greater chance of contracting illness.
Black seed and other medication
Black seed may be used in conjunction with conventional or other forms of natural medicine. It is not recommended that black seed be used exclusively in the treatment of serious medical complaints which may require more immediate action. For example, conditions like bronchitis sometimes require conventional antibiotics to prevent the condition from becoming more severe. However, black seed may be used as a therapeutic aid together with this and other forms of treatment to help counteract any side effects experienced from the use of antibiotics or other potent, chemically based medicines.
Pregnancy and lactation
The black seed is not recommended during pregnancy, however during lactation. It is an excellent form of added nutrition for both mother and the growing child while its immune system boosting properties serve as a natural, safe way to build resistance against illness. In addition, as studies have shown, black seed helps increase milk production during breastfeeding.
Initial trials have shown that black seed may have an ability to increase the male sperm count.
Babies and toddlers
In addition to its many nutritional components, black seed contains carotene, which is essential for infant growth. During the toddler years, black seed provides children with all the energy they require for this active stage of life. Regular usage of black seed, which increases its immune system strengthening effect on the body, will decrease the length and severity of natural childhood illnesses, particularly during winter when children are most susceptible to contracting colds and flu.
Black seed for the elderly person
Which its rich nutritional, energy-giving value, in combination with immune system strengthening properties, black seed is an ideal health supplement for the elderly person.
HOW DOES BLACK SEED BENEFIT?
The majority of our health problems have the same causes- infection by micro-organisms such as bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi. When using clinical (allopathic medicines) each symptom is treated individually and usually with synthetic chemically manufactured medicines that contain alcohol and other harmful ingredients.
Black seed is effective at treating the body as a whole and fights the actual cause of the symptoms.
Black seed regulates too weak or too strong reactions of the immune system, is excellent for treating chronic, allergic and hormonal diseases, black seed support metabolism, improve digestion, helps to lowers blood sugar levels. It is used to dispel worms and parasites from intestinal track. It is useful in soothing bronchitis and coughs, increase body tone, stimulates menstrual periods, increases the flow of breast milk, provides quick energy, increases sperm count, calms the nervous system, encourages hair growth and retards hair fall out, and prevents skin wrinkling.
By Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyah
Taken from the book Medicine of the Prophet
The Prophet pbuh was reported to have visited Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas ra once when he was ill while in Makkah and he asked that a doctor be brought to examine him. They brought Al-Harith bin Kaladah who examined him and said, “There is no harm with him, just cook some fenugreek with dates and let him eat them.” Sa’ad was reported to have done that and was then healed.
Hulbah is hot in the second degree and dry in the first degree. When fenugreek is cooked in water, it will soften the throat, chest and the stomach. It also relieves coughing, dryness, asthma, hard breathing and increases the sexual drive. It also relieves flatulence, phlegm, piles and the various accumulations in the intestines. It also dissolves the phlegm from the chest and helps against gastric ulcer and lung diseases. “Hulbah” is used to heal the intestines, mixed with some ghee and fanith.
When five measures of fenugreek is taken in a drink, it will increase the flow of menstruation, and whenit is cooked and the hair is washed with it, it will make it curly and will combat dandruff.
When flour of the fenugreek is blended with some vinegar and natron (a mineral salt) and used as a bandage on the tumor of the spleen, it will dissolve it. Also, the woman who suffers from pain in the vagina due to a tumor will benefit if she sits in the water in which the fenugreek was cooked.
When it is used as a bandage and placed on hard, cold tumors, it will help dissolve these tumors. Also, when its water is drunk, it will help against the pain in the stomach that results from accumulating gaseous materials and will cleanse the intestines.
When one eats the Hulbah cooked in honey, dates or figs on an empty stomach, it will dissolve the phlegm that accumulates in the chest and stomach, and will also help against coughing that accompanies such ailments.
Hulbah also relieves urine retention and works as a laxative. When it is placed on the erratic nail, it will heal it, while its oil helps against cracked skin due to extreme cold, when it is mixed with wax. There are many other benefits for the Hulbah (Fenugreek).
Some doctors stated, “If the people had knowledge of its benefits, they would buy it with its weight of gold.”
By Ibn Suyuti
Taken from Medicine of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam), pp 34-35
It has been said of the Prophet, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, that he liked to gaze upon a citrus fruit. He (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, ‘The citrus fruit is like a true believer, with a good taste, and a good scent.’ This is an accepted hadeeth taken from al-Bukhari
The sour citrus is cold and dry. From it is made lemon juice, which is good for hot stomachs. It also strengthens and gladdens the heart, stimulates the appetite, quenches the thirst, satisfies hunger, cures diarrhea and palpitations. It diminishes sorrow and the desolution of the self. It removes ink stains from clothes and freckles from the face.
The white pilthy matter from the citrus is cold and wet and difficult to digest. It is bad for the stomach and eating it results in colic.
The seeds, peel, leaves and blossom are hot and dry. The seeds contain the property of an antidote. If two mithqals of them are ground up and put on the sting of a scorpion, this will be beneficial. If a few mithqals are drunk, they will help to counteract all kinds of poisons. The yellow peel is used to make citrus syrup. This is beneficial in cases of colic, strengthens sexual desires, and stimulates the appetite. It also dissipates wind, although the leaves are stronger and more pleasant for this. The scent of citrus purifies pestilence and foul air.
Masruq said, “I entered the tent of ‘Ayesha one day. With her was a man who was completely blind. She was cutting up a citrus for him, and he was eating pieces of it dipped in honey. I said, ‘Who is this?’ She replied, ‘This is the hidden son of my mother who has been given this defect by Allaah and His Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam).'”
Mithqal – a small unit of weight, approx, 4.50 grams
Taken from as-Suyuti’s medicine of the Prophet (peace be upon him)
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him): “The Citrus fruit is like a true believer, with a good taste, and a good scent.” [Sahih al-Bukhari]
Lemons are usually known for their high content of Vitamin C – four times higher than that of oranges. Hungarian scientist Albert Szent-Gyorgi, uncovered a synergy between pure Vitamin C and a then unidentified cofactor in the peels of lemons and called the resulting compound Vitamin P. Still known as such, Vitamin P particularly benefits the capillaries by reducing pain and improving blood circulation. It also heals cataracts, decreases bile production, alleviates herpes and lowers blood cholesterol levels.
Other important properties of lemons are their mineral contents. They contain 48.3% potassium, which nourishes the brain and nerve cells; 29.9% calcium, which builds strong bones and teeth; and 4.4% magnesium, which in conjunction with calcium, plays an important part in the formation of albumen in the blood.
In addition to their nutritional benefits, the smell and the taste of lemons can help fuel a general release of stress. In aromatherapy, lemon oil is used as a muscle relaxant and a skin and circulation stimulant. Rubbed on the face, lemons open up the pores releasing heat and refreshing the skin.
Lemons have other therapeutic effects on the body as well. Drinking lemon juice helps cleanse the lymphatic system, invigorate skin tissue and increase the blood flow. This might be one reason for the popularity of lemonade on a hot, sticky day. Eaten during pregnancy, lemons help build the developing baby’s bones. Lemons also aid in the digestion of heavy meals by producing the necessary enzymes and in the assimilation of protein, calcium, zinc and vitamins.
Lemons also have cholesterol-lowering properties, thus preventing hair loss and even causing hair regeneration. They counteract cases of anxiety and depression; stimulate the liver and the gall bladder, causing a release in congestion; stimulate the formation of valuable leukocytes in the fight against viral and infectious diseases; drain excess water in cases of water retention; reduce uric acid; and stimulate the lymphatic system in cases of cellulite and obesity.
In order to fully benefit from their effects, lemons should be consumed without sugar. Otherwise the negative effects of the sugar (such as lowering immunity, interfering with digestion and leeching vitamins and minerals from the system) may outweigh their beneficial effects. The limonenes and liminoids in lemons and other citrus fruits, increase the activity of enzymes that detoxify certain carcinogens. These alkaloids bind mutated cells and help the body to eliminate them before they become carcinogenic.
WHY ISLAM FORBIDS PORK
By Rashid Shamsi (The Muslim World League Journal, Rajab 1420 – October 1999)
Courtesy of Islam.tc’s Ask-Imam.com and Mufti Ebrahim Desai, Darul Ifta, Madrasah In’aamiyyah, Camperdown, South Africa
Food and drink have direct effect on our health. That is why Islam has prescribed regulations about our food and drink. It lays great emphasis on our physical as well as moral health, because both of these are equally important for a healthy society. The abstention from eating pork is one of the steps taken by Islam to practise hygiene and to attain purity of soul.
Islam, for the cultivation of inner faculties, insists upon the cleanliness of body and the purification of soul through Salaat (prayers) Zikr (remembrance of Allah) and other devotional duties. Islam teaches us how to attain the virtues and how to give up bad habits because both good and bad grow in the man according to his upbringing, education and environment.
A human being has natural desires: food, sleep and sex being the three primary ones. He has also natural emotions: sorrow, happiness, love, fear, disgust and avarice etc. Islam doesn’t recommend the complete abrogation of these impulses but offers a method of controlling them through religious education and discipline.
The prohibition of eating pork in Islam is relevant in this context. There is a saying in English that “a man becomes what he eats.” According to physicians and medical experts, pork is a harmful diet. Consumption of swine-flesh creates lowliness in character and destroys moral and spiritual faculties in a man.
Body & Soul
The life of a man is a compound of body and soul. Anything, which is harmful for the body, hurts the soul as well. Consumption of swine-flesh reduces the feeling of shame and as such the standard of modesty. Those nations, which consume pork habitually, have a low standard of morality with the result that virginity, chastity and bashfulness are becoming a thing of the past in Europe today. The number of unwed mothers is on the increase despite the use of pills and other contraceptives.
According to a report, 60 to 70% girls in Sweden become mothers before marriage. The formula of “skin to skin is no sin” is having its toll but there is hardly and feeling of shame and remorse over the end-result. Since the European nations have become addicted to wine and pork, sexual freedom with all its attendant evils has got ingrained in their culture. Consequently, homosexuality has been legalized by the British Parliament.
The Holy Qur’an has prohibited the swine-flesh, hence the Muslims would not dare touch it. The Bible has also forbidden swine-flesh, but Christians disregarded this order and started consuming it. The Europeans now proclaim that pork is a very powerful diet, rich in protein. Some of them further argue that since there is a great scarcity of food-stuffs in the world and swines are available in abundant quantity, they should be consumed in diet to overcome the food shortage. If this argument is true, why don’t they use dog’s meat as dogs too are available in plenty? The Europeans perhaps hate the mention of dog’s meat in the same way as the Muslims shun pork.
Another wrong notion about swine-flesh is that its consumption lengthens life-span, although this is a pure myth and absurdity. On the contrary, people, who abstain from pork and liquor, have a longer span of life. The Muslims in Central Asia bear a testimony to this truth.
However, in the consumption of flesh Muslims are required to be selective and distinguish between Halal (Lawful) and Haram (Unlawful). This step leads automatically to the deeper understanding of the need for the cultivation of a pure human nature. As blood is virtually our life-stream and whatever we consume ultimately affects the blood system, it is, therefore, necessary to exercise choice in the selection of our food and drink as per the requirements of the Shariah.
There are certain foods and drinks specified by Allah, and His Messenger Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) as forbidden. The prohibition of these foods and drinks is not by any means an arbitrary action or an unwarranted decree of Allah. It is the first and foremost a divine intervention in the best interest of man and for his own benefit.
The reasons behind the Divine intervention are numerous. They are of a nature intellectual and spiritual, moral and mental, physical and economic. And the sole purpose is to show man how to develop himself according to an upright course of life in order to be a healthy unit in the structure of the family, then of society and eventually of humanity at large.
Reliable medical doctors and social scientists are able to realize how those foods and drinks forbidden by Islam are harmful and destructive to the human spirit and morality as well as to the physique and moral fibre of man and to verify the benefits of Islamic legislations on the subjects.
The prohibition is based on the aim of the purification of one’s nature, because food, when consumed, doesn’t merely enter the stomach and intestines and become excreta. It is absorbed and metabolized into the system and circulated to all parts of the human body, including the brain, and this in no small way affects man’s nature.
The pig is naturally lazy and indulgent in sex, it is dirty, greedy and gluttonous. It dislikes sunlight and lacks the spirit and will to “fight.” It eats almost anything, be it human excreta or anything foul and unwholesome. Amongst all animal flesh, pork is the favoured cradle of harmful germs. Pork also serves as a carrier of diseases to mankind. It is for this reason that its flesh is not suitable for consumption.
Some people have argued that the “modern pig” reared in farms is given only clean foods, therefore, its flesh should be consumable. The answer is that you may feed the pig on clean, wholesome food, but you can’t change its nature. It is still a pig. A pig is not a plant and you cannot change it by bud-grafting.
Dr. E. Kazim. M.D. in his article “Medical aspects of forbidden foods in Islam” (July 1981 issue of Muslim Journal has described diseases carried or caused by the flesh of the swine. He writes:
The pig is a scavenger. It is an omnivorous animal. It eats everything. There are many disease carried from swine to man, particularly parasite infestations. Lately extensive research has been focused on senility-old age is characterized by hardening of inner lining of the blood vessels of the heart, brain etc. a process called atheroselerosis. When a clot forms, it results in coronary thrombosis or a heart attack, cerebral thrombosis or stroke.
Different dietary factors are responsible for atheroselerosis. Gross atheroma may be produced in rabbit by feeding it with cholesterol, but when you add lard (derived from hog fat) to the cholesterol, the incidence of atheroma is increased and thus you would produce coronary thrombosis, and myocardial infraction.
Besides, lard contains 2800 units of vitamin D per 100 grams and no vitamin A at all. Lately vitamin D has been held responsible for atheroma, by causing increased absorption of calcium in the blood vessels. In human beings, serum cholesterol is not dependent on the intake of cholesterol in the diet, but depends upon the proportion of animal fats in the diet, which elevate the beta-lipo protein level in the blood. Animal fats contain saturated fatty acids and these saturated fatty acids have been found to be as one of the causes of atheroma in man. Medium fat bacon contains 25% proteins and 55% fat.”
According to medical research, the fat content in pork is more than any other meat (beef, mutton etc.) and it takes longer to digest. Dr. M Jaffer in an article in the Islamic Review (London) of January 1997 issue has listed 16 kinds of harmful germs, which have been discovered in pork in modern researches and the diseases, which could be caused by them. The number of patients suffering from tapeworm disease is the highest in the world among pork eating nations. Other diseases attributed to pigs are caused by tri-chinelia spirates and intestinal worms occupy first place among such nations too.
Dr. Glen Shepherd wrote the following on the dangers of eating pork in Washington Post (31 May 1952): “One in six people in USA and Canada have germs in their muscles – trichinosis 8 from eating pork infected with trichina worms. Many people so infected have no symptoms. Most of those, who do have, recover slowly. Some die; some are reduced to permanent invalids. All were careless pork caters”.
He continued “No one is immune from the disease and there is no cure. Neither antibiotics nor drugs or vaccines affect these tiny deadly worms. Preventing infection is the real answer.”
After reading the statement of Dr. Shepherd, one can realize that there is no real guarantee of safety when eating pork that one would not be affected by trichina worm. That is why modern doctors advise three prohibitions during illness: no liquor, no pork and no smoking.
Muslims follow the divine law which is much higher than the medical advice. The Glorious Qur’an says, “So eat of the lawful and good food which Allah has provided for you, and thank the bounty of your Lord if it is Him you serve. He has forbidden for you only carrion and blood and swine-flesh and that which has been immolated in the name of any other than Allah; but he who is driven thereto, neither craving nor transgressing, Lo! then Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.” (16:114-115)
The above is the order from the Creator of the universe and Supreme Law-Giver. All Muslims are under the obligation to obey it. This is a plain and straightforward answer to those, who usually ask why Muslims abstain from eating pork. Nevertheless, there is no sin, if a Muslims is forced by famine or starvation to eat pork in order to save his life.