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Food in the Qur’an and Sunnah

Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas:

The Apostle of Allah then said: When one of you eats food, he should say: O Allah, bless us in it, and give us food (or nourishment) better than it. (Abu Dawud)

Narrated Abdullah ibn Umar:

The Apostle of Allah prohibited eating the animal which feeds on filth and drinking its milk. (Abu Dawud)

Narrated Salman:

When Allah’s Messenger was questioned about clarified butter, cheese and wild asses, he replied,

“What is lawful is what Allah has declared lawful in His Book; what is unlawful is what Allah has declared unlawful in His Book; and what He has said nothing about belongs to the things He ignores.” (Al-Tirmidhi)

[Ibn Majah and Tirmidhi transmitted it, Tirmidhi saying this is a gharib tradition which, according to the soundest opinion, is mawquf].

The Noble Qur’an Al-Imran 3:115-116

He has forbidden you only Al-Maytatah (meat of a dead animal), blood, the flesh of swine, and any animal which is slaughtered as a sacrifice for others than Allâh (or has been slaughtered for idols etc. or on which Allâh’s Name has not been mentioned while slaughtering). But if one is forced by necessity, without wilful disobedience, and not transgressing, then, Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

And say not concerning that which your tongues put forth falsely: “This is lawful and this is forbidden,” so as to invent lies against Allâh. Verily, those who invent lies against Allâh will never prosper.

Food Description Source
Butter Abdur-Rahman was reported to have bought yogurt and butter in the marketplace. Bukhari 3:264, 3:265
Cucumber Prophet Muhammadwas seen eating cucumber with fresh dates. Muslim #5072
  1. Allah’s Messenger said: A family which has dates will not be hungry.
  2. The Prophet said: For him who say: Holy is Allah and to Him belongs all praise, a date tree is planted in Paradise.
  3. The ajwah dates come from Paradise, and they are a remedy for poison.
  4. The Prophet said: When one of you is fasting, he should break his fast with dates; but if he cannot get any, then (he should break his fast) with water, for water is purifying.
  5. The Prophet said, “If somebody takes some ‘Ajwa dates every morning, he will not be effected by poison or magic on that day till night.” (Another narrator said seven dates).
  1. Muslim, Narrated Aisha, r.a.
  2. Transmitted Tirmidhi
  3. Narrated Abu Huraira, Trasmitted Tirmidhi, a hasan tradition
  4. Abud Dawud, Narrated Salman ibn Amir
  5. Bukhari 7:663, Narrated Saud
Frog Unlawful to kill, eat, or use for medicine. (Is medically known to be harmful to passage of semen until one dies) Abu Dawud
Gourd I heard Anas bin Malik saying, “A tailor invited Allah’s Apostle to a meal which he had prepared. ” Anas bin Malik said, “I accompanied Allah’s Apostle to that meal. He served the Prophet with bread and soup made with gourd and dried meat. I saw the Prophet taking the pieces of gourd from the dish.” Anas added, “Since that day I have continued to like gourd.” Sahih Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 34, Number 305. Narrated Ishaq bin ‘Abdullah bin Abu Talha
Honey 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. Qur’an an-Nahl 16:68,69
Melons The Apostle of Allah used to eat melon with fresh dates, and 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. Abu Dawud, Narrated Aisha
Milk ‘Abdullah bin Mas’oud narrated that God’s Messenger said: “Drink cow milk, for cows graze on every kind of plant.”(Sunan)Narrated Ibn ‘Abbass, r.a., God’s Messengersaid that the fat of milk was bad for the feverish and for those who suffer from headache.It is recommended to rinse one’s mouth with water after drinking milk.Qur’an 16:66: And verily! In the cattle, there is a lesson for you. We give you to drink of that which is in their bellies, from between excretions and blood, pure milk; palatable to the drinkers. Sahih Bukhari and Muslim
Milk, Goat Prophet Muhammadwas reported to have been pleased when once drinking goat milk. Muslim #4984
Olive Oil Allah’s Messenger said, “Eat olive oil and anoint yourselves with it, for it comes from a blessed tree.“Hadhrat Abu Hurayra narrates that Rasulullah (saaws) stated, “Eat the olive oil and apply it (locally), since there is cure for seventy diseases in it, one of them is Leprosy.”(Abu Naim)Related Link: Olive Oil is a Cure Mishkat, Narrated Abu Usayd al-Ansari, transmitted by Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, and Daarimi
Pumpkin Permissible and enjoyed by the Prophet Muslim #5068
Rabbit Eaten by the Prophet Bukhari 3:746 and Muslim
Vinegar …” a house in which there is vinegar is not devoid of condiments. Tirmidhi #4222, Narrated Umm Hani, a hasan gharib tradition
Water The Prophetsaid: Do not drink water in one gulp (or one breath) like a camel, but take it in two or three installments (with break for breaths); take the name of Allah (i.e. recite Bismillah) when you start drinking and praise Him (say Alhamdulillah) when you finish. Transmitted by Tirmidhi, Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas
Yogurt Abdur-Rahman was reported to have bought yogurt and butter in the marketplace. Bukhari 3:264

Forbidden Meats

The Noble Qur’an – Al-Ma’idah 5:3

Forbidden to you (for food) are: Al-Maytatah (the dead animals – cattle-beast not slaughtered), blood, the flesh of swine, and the meat of that which has been slaughtered as a sacrifice for others than Allâh, or has been slaughtered for idols, etc., or on which Allâh’s Name has not been mentioned while slaughtering, and that which has been killed by strangling, or by a violent blow, or by a headlong fall, or by the goring of horns – and that which has been (partly) eaten by a wild animal – unless you are able to slaughter it (before its death) ­ and that which is sacrificed (slaughtered) on An­Nusub (stone altars). (Forbidden) also is to use arrows seeking luck or decision, (all) that is Fisqun (disobedience of Allâh and sin). This day, those who disbelieved have given up all hope of your religion, so fear them not, but fear Me. This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islâm as your religion. But as for him who is forced by severe hunger, with no inclination to sin (such can eat these above-mentioned meats), then surely, Allâh is Oft­Forgiving, Most Merciful.

The corpse of locusts, fish, the livers, spleen of blood are lawful. So the Prophet (SAW) said:

He has made two dead things and blood lawful: the locusts and the fish, the liver and the spleen.

Baihaqi and others have recorded it as ‘marfu’ type of hadeeth as also ‘mauquf’ type. The ‘isnad’ od ‘mauquf’ is authentic and it is as good as ‘marfu’ tradition, since it is not stated in the form of a ‘ra’y’ (decision based on one individual’s judgement not on Qur’an and Sunnah).

The Noble Qur’an – Al-An’am 6:145

Say (O Muhammad SAW): “I find not in that which has been inspired to me anything forbidden to be eaten by one who wishes to eat it, unless it be Maytatah (a dead animal) or blood poured forth (by slaughtering or the like), or the flesh of swine (pork, etc.) for that surely is impure, or impious (unlawful) meat (of an animal) which is slaughtered as a sacrifice for others than Allâh (or has been slaughtered for idols, etc., or on which Allâh’s Name has not been mentioned while slaughtering). But whosoever is forced by necessity without wilful disobedience, nor transgressing due limits, (for him) certainly, your Lord is Oft­Forgiving, Most Merciful.”

The Sunnah has forbidden many things not mentioned in the verse mentioned above, as for example in the saying of the Holy Prophet (SAW):

All predatory animals with tusk and every bird with claw are forbidden for consumption.

There are other traditions which have forbidden the consumption of such animals as the Prophet (SAW) is reported to have said on the Day of Khayber:

Allah and His Messenger have prohibited the consumption of domesticated asses, for they are filth.


*modified, from http://muttaqun.com/food.html



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