With the world adopting hedonism to dictate lifestyle choices, it becomes even more important to return to prophetic traditions. Self-indulgence and bad diet choices have only brought about the many ailments that we witness today. The Sunnah foods, therefore, stand out from the crowd, as they call human beings to return to a choice of diet which is neutral, natural and most importantly, nourishing. What’s more, food is not merely something tangible in Islam; according to Islam, food has spiritual and physical value.
Below we present to you five Sunnah foods which are all highly recommended by the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah:
“A family which has dates will not be hungry.” [Sahih Muslim]
This and many other Hadith constantly remind us that dates are from the best of foods which man can consume. To emphasise this point, the Prophet PBUH raised the significance of dates when he said, ‘[The] al-Ajwah date is from Paradise’ [Jami al-Tirmidhi]
Although the date palm can be traced back many thousands of years, it was Islam that stressed its significance. Already packed with many nutrients, dates are also sodium-free as well as fat-free. They contain multiple minerals including calcium, magnesium, iron and copper. What’s more, if you have a sweet tooth, dates could be the perfect alternative. Such is the power of dates that the Prophet PBUH recommended his nation to break their fast with it. Within ten to fifteen minutes of doing so, the body begins to replenish in a remarkable manner and begins to regain the strength that it lost throughout the day.
In talking about the multiple gardens in paradise, Allah mentions two fruits that will be present in two of these gardens.
“In both will be fruit; palm trees and pomegranates.” [The Holy Qur’an | 55:68]
The reputable Qur’an commentator, Ibn Kathir, mentions that the mention of these two fruits in isolation tells us about their superiority over other fruits. Rich with antioxidants, pomegranates are known to be three times more effective than green tea. By reducing inflammation and lowering blood pressure, pomegranate has been consumed by humans for thousands of years.
‘Season (your food) with olive oil and anoint yourselves with it, for it comes from a blessed tree.” [Sunan Ibn Majah]
With its flesh filled with oil, olives are rich in vitamin E, which can help improve one’s skin and immune system. The oil extracted from olives reduces inflammation and is even known to fight cancer. What’s more, consuming olive oil lowers cholesterol and blood pressure.
The Prophet PBUH mentions, “You should take the two that bring healing: Honey and the Qur’an.” [Sunan Ibn Majah]
Honey has been recommended by the Qur’an as well as the Sunnah on multiple occasions and in fact, it was a go-to choice of food for the Prophet PBUH. Filled with antioxidants, minerals, amino acids and essential vitamins, honey is a versatile substance. Described as a source of healing in the Qur’an and mentioned as a food of paradise, honey is a superb choice when it comes to finding cures and relief.
Melon (& Watermelon)
It is narrated that the Prophet PBUH used to consume melon along with fresh dates, saying, “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.” [Sunan Abu Dawud]
Combining fresh dates with a cooling fruit such as watermelon helps in neutralising the heat generated from the dates. Ideally, watermelon or melon should be eaten prior to having a meal as it helps in cleansing the stomach and providing relief from any potential digestive concerns. One can also combine cucumbers and dates as it has a similar effect.