What to Eat for a Healthy Faith
To begin, there might not be an exact meal plan laid out for us to tell us what foods put you in a place whereby we say its a healthy faith. However there are plenty of guidance in the Quran and the life of the Prophet Muhammad SAW, that helps you define and understand what eating healthy is as defined in the religion of Islam.
The Importance of a balanced diet
Various verses and texts within Islam promote the eating of healthy wholesome food and eating in moderation.
Allah clearly states in the Quran: “Eat of the good things which We have provided for you. (2:173) Eat of what is lawful and wholesome on the earth.” (2:168)
As we know, eating excessively causes harm to our systems. Many ailments are related to uncontrolled eating habits such as, diabetes, vascular diseases, stroke, heart attack etc. It has been said that the ‘stomach is the home of ill health’ and is usually responsible in some way to ill health. Islam teaches us to eat moderately: “Eat and drink, but avoid excess.” (20:81).
Over indulgence and wasting of food are further dissuaded in the Hadith of the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him): ‘”No human being has ever filled a container worse than his own stomach. The son of Adam needs no more than a few morsels of food to keep up his strength, doing so he should consider that a third of his stomach is for food, a third for drink and a third for breathing.” (Ibn Majah)
Physical and Spiritual
At a physical level, the Qur’an and the sunnah encourage healthy eating, and at the same time forbid all substances that cause bodily harm: intoxicants, drugs, and so forth. Fruits and vegetables, dates, yoghurt, milk, natural honey, black seeds, and the like are especially emphasized for their nutritious quality and health benefits. From a spiritual angle, controlling our diet trains us in self-control. When food is spread out in large delicious quantities and there is a temptation to gorge ourselves, we are required to control our appetites and develop a sense of moderation in eating.
With regards to moderation, Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said: “Muslims should be people who eat only when they are hungry.” That is to say, unnecessary snacks taken in between meals should be avoided. The Prophet also said: “It is good to be always a little hungry.” Thus, over-eating can be avoided.
What Islam says about Meat!
The prophet Muhammad (SAW) was not an advocate of daily meat-eating. Instead, the Islamic Concern website says, he warned his followers against constant meat consumption as it could become addictive. It seems that 1,500 years later his concerns are not being heeded. Islamic leaders and scholars have consistently emphasised that animals were to be cherished and treated in a humane manner, but many Muslims nowadays view animals as the dominion of people.
It is important to note that the Messenger’s diet did not centre on meat. It is well known in the modern context as well as through most of the world’s wisdom-traditions that excessive consumption of meat can lead to serious physical and spiritual aliments.
Over consumption of meats have many effects on a person, healthwise the following negative impacts
- Weight gain
- Lack of energy
- Heart Issues
Over consumption also has a negative effect directly into your faith
- Leads to lack of appreciation of its blessing
- The laziness affects your prayer, ability to worship and alertness
- Affects the community as a whole as the distribution is affected
- Islam teaching taking care of the environment too, and overconsumption can lead to environmental issues too.