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Dietary Laws in Islam – Tips – Restrictions

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As a good and devoted Muslims, we should follow the guidance taught by the Prophet, including the terms of keeping the body healthy. One way to keep your body healthy is to manage your weight to always be ideal. This management is very important, considering the body is too obese and even obese scientifically have a tendency to contract some chronic diseases.

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Therefore, for the people who are overweight, close to obesity, and obesity should immediately lose their weight. Obviously with the appropriate way of rule written in Holy Quran. One of them is by doing healthy living and healthy diet from Prophet Muhammad SAW. But before we gave you the tips of diet by Rasulullah saw, it is better to find which is good or bad, lawful or not, food in Islam perspective.

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A. Halal Food in Islam

Halal food can be interpreted as everything that can be consumed by human food and in the Islamic Shari’a and food that is haram by Allah in Al Quran. In the Qur’an itself Allah gives instructions on halal food and the requirements of halal food. The word to eat in the Qur’an by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala as much as 109 times the word eat which is the word command is mentioned in al-qur’an as much as 27 times. Several verses in the Qur’an mention about the provisions of halal food and orders to consume halal food and away from illicit food, including the following verses :

1) Al-Baqarah 29 :

“It is Him who created for you all of that which is on the earth. Then He directed Himself to the heaven, [His being above all creation], and made them seven heavens, and He is Knowing of all things.”

2) Al-Ma’idah 88 :

“And eat of what Allah has provided for you [which is] lawful and good. And fear Allah, in whom you are believers.”

3) An-Nahl 114 :

“Then eat of what Allah has provided for you [which is] lawful and good. And be grateful for the favor of Allah, if it is [indeed] Him that you worship.”

In all of three verse, Allah swt has command us to eat what Allah has created and provided to us, which is lawful and good.

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B. Haram Food in Islam

Beside of Halal food, Allah swt has taught us about haram or unlawful food. In surah Al-Baqarah 173 narrated that :

“He has only forbidden to you dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine, and that which has been dedicated to other than Allah . But whoever is forced [by necessity], neither desiring [it] nor transgressing [its limit], there is no sin upon him. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.”

Allah justifies all good food and forbids something that can bring bad to mankind when consumed. From that verse we found that things like blood, dead animal (except fish), flesh of swine (in other terms such as pork, lard, etc), are forbid to eat. Not only the ingredients of the food, but also the way to get, process, served, delivered, and keep it. All of those way can change the halal food became haram if it goals to bad deeds.

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Diet by Prophet Muhammad SAW

Diet in Islam is not actually prohibited. In fact, it is recommended because as a form for smoothness in one’s worship. If we want to go on a diet, consider the diet tips by Rasulullah SAW.

1) Consumed Halal and Good Food

The main thing that must be considered in doing dietary tips ala Rasulullah SAW is to eat good food and halal. Consuming kosher, or halal food is lawful for every Muslim, halal to eat also halal to get it. Besides halal food also must be good and healthy, because there is a food halal but not healthy like instant foods, fast food and soft drinks. Do not forget to reproduce drink at least 2 liters of water a day. In the Qur’an, Allah clearly ordered His servants to eat halal food. This command has contained in Surat Al-Baqarah verse 168 :

“O people, eat what is lawful again from what is on earth. And you do not follow the steps of Satan. Surely that shaitan is a real enemy to you.”

2) Eat enough, not over

Rasulullah saw. has taught us not to eat too much, because it will bring mudharat to us. There are some verse and hadith which is narrated to eat enough.

In Surah Al-A’Raaf verse 31 narrated that :

“O Children of Adam! wear your beautiful apparel at every time and place of prayer: eat and drink: But waste not by excess, for Allah not love the wasters.”

Also, in Surah Thaahaa verse 81 said that :

“Eat from the good things with which We have provided you and do not transgress [or oppress others] therein, lest My anger should descend upon you. And he upon whom My anger descends has certainly fallen.”

Meanwhile, there are some hadith which is emphasizing about eating :

a) “It is not that the descendants of Adam fill the worse containers of their stomachs. Actually, some bribes were enough to raise his ribs. If he has to fill it, then a third for food, a third for a drink, and a third for breathing.”

From that verse, we can conclude that everything is excessive is never been good, including in terms of eating. Rasulullah saw. always eat before starved and stop before its full. It aims to avoid overeating. According to the health sciences after the meal we have to stop about twenty minutes a new feeling of satiety arises. Maintaining a diet is very important. We can divide the portion of food into five times a day : three large portion and two small portion. We can change a source of carbohydrate with brown or black rice because it contains less glucose and more fiber, so that make satiety slower a bit and helps metabolism.

The appeal of stop before full has been supported by a hadith narrated by Ibn Majah. In that Hadith, the Prophet said that the most dangerous container for man is his own stomach. Then some bribe that can make a human being able to straighten his back is enough. If it is forced then the maximum limit is a third of the stomach is filled with food, a third for drinks, and the next third is to breathe. The hadith clearly explains that one-third of man’s belly must be empty and unfilled and never let the stomach too full.

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3) Arrange the Eating Time

As we mentioned before, we divide the portion of food into five times. The best time of eat is : 6.00 to 8.00 am for breakfast, 10.00 am for snack (sometimes people had a brunch if they skip the breakfast), 12.00 to 14.00 for lunch, 15.00 to 16.00 for evening snack, and 18.30 to 20.00 for dinner. This is not a strict rules that we must obey; it is just a loose guidelines for us if we want some loseweight.

The choice of food is diverse. We can pick a fruit or vegetable, which is contains a lot of vitamin, mineral, and other nutrition that can develop our immune system and make our body more healthier. If you want some snack, whole bread or oatmeal is a good choice. You can make a creation by yourself with that, such as add some jam or chocolate for your bread, and add some slice of fruit if we want some flavour in our oatmeal.

See also : Eating Habits in Islam

4) Change the Habit

Not only our body which has to be maintained, our mind is also need an attention. Positive thinking is one of the way to keep ourselves healthy and avoid the stress. Each part of the body can work well if we relax and not stress. And the food can be absorbed properly and the burning of calories also goes well.

It is highly recommended to do some exercise such as, jogging, cycling, swimming, etc; or some kind of physical activity such as doing homework (cleaning house). It aims to maximize fat and calories burner in our body, so we can reach an ideal body weight.

Rasulullah’s Eating Rule and Etiquette

There are some rules in Islam that we should do before start to eat. Here is the rules :

1) Wash Your Hands

Long before modern health science introduces the importance of washing hands before and after meals, Rasulullah saw. has exemplified first how to eat a good and healthy by washing hands first before eating. And after finished eating the hands are also in the wash clean.

Rasulullah saw. in Hadith by Aisyah r.a narrated that :

“Whoever sleeps in his hands is a trace of lard, and when he wakes up in the morning he suffers from a disease, then let him not reproach but himself”

2) Start with Basmalah, Finish with Hamdalah

When Rasulullah SAW start to eat, he always begins by reading Basmalah first, and pronounce Hamdalah after completion. Reading Basmalah and Hamdalah have a very big wisdom for a Muslim. One of the wisdom contained when starting to eat by reading basmalah and end it with saying hamdalah is that we always remember that the food eaten is all a sustenance from Allah SWT. Other wisdom as Muslims will always avoid excessive behavior. The purpose of eating is as a means of adding strength to the obedience to God, prospering the earth and sowing it with kindness.

See also :

Best Dua from Prophet Muhammad
Akhlaq of Prophet Muhammad

3) Straight Up, Not Lean

It means that when we eat, our body position, especially our torso in straight position and not lean on the chair. Because it can endanger our health and disrupt our digestion.

That was some of the dietary tips ala Rasulullah saw. The most important in this explanation is to eat enough to pay attention to the intake of nutrients and vitamins that exist, and change the bad habits to be better and when starting to eat always begins and ends by mentioning the name of Allah swt. Hopefully this paper can provide benefits for us all. Aamiin yaa Rabbal Alamiin.

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