Topic: What are you eating today? Will it make you ill?

HealthMatters    -- 15-08-2010 @ 7:28 PM
  The Prophet (salallaahu alaihi wassallam) said:
"Sufficient for the son of Aadam are so many morsels as will keep his spine upright. But if he must eat more, then he should take a third for his food, a third for his drink and a third for his breath." (Tirmidhee, Zuhd, 47; Ibn Maajah, At'imah, 50.)

Eating excessively harms the body and the harms the natural functions of the body - add to that food that is nutritionally poor and complex in composition (as is much of the processed food in these times), often containing harmful additives and dozens of ingredients - then you have a real problem on your hands! Some of this food contains products that damage the organs and their functionality (examples to follow in forthcoming articles, inshaa' Allaah).

Eating in a healthy manner was something that the scholars of the Salaf discussed and wrote about in detail. Ibn al-Qayyim (died 752H) in his commentary of the above hadeeth stated:

"Illnesses are of two types. Material illnesses arise from an increase in matter which comes to a point of excess in the body where it harms its natural functions, and these are the most common illnesses. They are caused by consuming more food before the previous meal has been digested; by eating in excess of the amount needed by the body; by taking in food which is of little nutritional value and slow to digest; and by indulging in different foods which are complex in their composition..."

("Medicine of the Prophet", Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, Islamic Texts Society, p.13 - Arabic title: "At-Tibb an-Nabawee")

Note the important points here from Ibn al-Qayyim, that the most common illnesses arise from the following:

1. Eating more food before the previous meal has been digested.
2. By overeating or eating excessively beyond what the body needs.
3. Eating food of little nutritional value.
4. By eating foods that are complex in their makeup.

Ponder, O Muslim, over the food industry and what they produce for our consumption. Then ponder over what you bring into your home as a consumer and feed your family with. Many Muslims, not only fall into a one or two of the above points mentioned by Ibnul-Qayyim but into all of them!

How often we drive off to the supermarket, we pick products off the shelves without giving it a second thought; we do not ponder over the ingredients (beyond trying to avoid the haraam ingredients); we purchase food which is nutritionally deficient, food that is processed and complex, containing dozens of ingredients, many of which are factory-made additives to enhance flavour so as to increase our 'addiction' to unhealthy food.

Then we take it home and feed it to our children... who love it! Of course they would - it is made to taste great so that you keep going back for more - and the food industry will use all types of harmful additives to give the food that 'great taste' to make sure you keep coming back for more. In this manner generation after generation (parents, children, grandchildren etc) continue in this cycle of unhealthy living with an ever increasing catalogue of diseases. Quality of life, especially in the final few decades of old age, becomes a painfilled existence, controlled by toxic drugs that in turn bring about other ailments. You can do something about it.

Think about it, dear Muslim brother and sister, you've been doing this for years, its become a routine - you've been falling into the four dangers that Ibn al-Qayyim has mentioned for a long time. Then what happens? You fall ill and you go off to the doctor, he writes you a drug that gets rid of some of the symptoms and you continue with your 'food addiction' because you don't draw the link between bad diet and disease. So what long-term harm is this lifestyle causing you? What severe ailments are you storing up for the future? What is taking place inside your body, your heart, your liver, your kidneys that you can't see?

So this lifestyle becomes a habit and breaking the habit can prove to be hard especially when you are bombarded which sumptious-looking food products... but it is achievable. It takes some discipline at the beginning - once you've started and seen the results: better health, higher energy levels, better concentration, less aches and pains, better moods, all round good health.

Hundreds and thousands of people are changing their eating habits for the betterment of their lives. A good healthy diet is a combination of quantity and quality from that which Allaah has provided - this leads to a healthier, happier and more energetic life.

Ibn al-Qayyim continues:

"When a human being fills his belly with these foods and it becomes a habit, they cause him various diseases, some of which come to an end slowly, some swiftly. When he is moderate in his eating and takes only so much of it as he needs, keeping a balance of quantity and quality, the body benefits more from this than it does from a large amount of food." (ibid.)

Important points to heed:

1. The continual and habitual overeating of food which is nutritionally deficient, processed and complex in composition causes diseases.
2. The body benefits from good quality and nutritious food - and this is from the means that Allaah has provided to ward off diseases.

Prevention is always better than cure. Why reach a point in your life whereby you have to rush off to the doctor, pharmacist or hospital seeking a cure for an ailment that could have been prevented with a good diet?

Many of us eat without care or concern, we get sick, we go to the doctor or the pharmacist; we get a 'pill for every ill' and go back to eating without a care in the world... Then that day comes when we are diagnosed with diabetes or heart disease or cancer (or all of them!). Even our children suffer from new diseases (for their age): Obesity, diabetes, ADHD, etc... For how long will we ignore these real health issues?

Ibn al-Qayyim states:

"There are three degrees of eating: 1. eating out of need; 2. eating in moderation; and 3. eating in excess. The Prophet (salallaahu alaihi wassallam) has made it known that he found sufficient such morsels of food as would keep his spine upright, with which his strength would not be lowered or weakened; but if one goes beyond that, then let him eat to fill a third of his belly, and leave another third for water and a third for breath. This is most useful for both body and heart. For if the belly is filled with food, it has not enough space for drink, and when the drink is added to it, this leaves little space for breath..." (ibid.)

Sound familiar? Wallaahul-musta'aan. Ibn al-Qayyim continues:

"Thus the belly is afflicted by distress and fatigue, and it bears this like one carrying a heavy burden. This state will also lead to heart trouble; the limbs become too lazy to perform the obligatory rituals, and conversely they move swiftly in submission to desires brought about by satiety (i.e. the state of being fed or gratified to or beyond capacity).

Eating to repletion (i.e. to one's full capacity), continually and in excess damages the heart and body. Occasionally there is no harm. Abu Hurayrah drank milk [1] in the presence of the Prophet (salallaahu alaihi wassallam) until he said: 'By the One who sent you with the truth, I cannot find any more space for it!' And the Companions often ate, in his presence, until they were sated (filled to capacity). Excessive satiety, however, weakens the faculties and the body, even though it is fattening. The body only becomes strong in accordance with the quality of the food it accepts not its quantity." (ibid.)

What amazing benefits! Let us list them so we take steps in our life:

1. Excessive eating of nutritionally deficient food brings about harm to the body and heart.
2. Occasionally eating (or drinking) to one's capacity of good nutritious food does not harm.
3. The body becomes strong and builds its defences with good quality highly nutritious food.

Many proponents of wholesome, raw and organic food in modern times are merely re-iterating (without even realising) what our great scholars were writing centuries ago!


[1] The milk that was consumed in the times of Prophethood was 'organic', raw, fresh, unhomogenised and unpasteurised. Indeed for thousands of years, humans have been consuming and benefiting from this type of milk. Pasteurisation is a fairly recent development post industrial revolution. There is sufficient evidence to show that pasteurisation removes many of the inherent good qualities and benefits of milk. So whenever possible drink raw, organic, fresh milk that is properly monitored for safety.

The Prophet (salallaahu alaihi wassallam) stated:

"Indeed Allaah, the Most High, did not send down a disease except that He sent down for it a cure, except death. So upon you is cow's milk, for indeed it eats upon every herbage".

Reported by al-Haakim and declared Saheeh by Imaam al-Albaanee in Saheeh al-Jaami' as-Sagheer (no. 1810)

Meaning that the cow in its normal habitat eats from all different types of herbage, grass and shrubs. This gathers together in the cow to give us the true goodness of its milk.

Here are some good articles on the subject:

Untreated Milk Cuts Childrens Allergies
[url=]Illnesses Associated With Pasteurized, Homogenized Milk[/url]
[url=]Are You Drinking Living Milk Or Dead Milk?[/url]
[url=]Frequently Asked Questions on Raw Untreated Milk[/url]

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