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The food guide in Islam - Sunna and nutrition

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The Prophet Muhammad said: "Man fills no worse container than his stomach: a few mouthfuls would be enough, but if he really wants to eat more, then let him fill his stomach with a third of food, a third of drink and leave a third for the air"

What to eat, how to eat, how much to eat?

Elif Didem Örs, Muslim dietician and nutritionist, answers these important questions by offering us a rigorous and concise text, fundamental for those who want even their eating to be adoration of the One and obedience to His Messenger.

Elif Didem Örs was born in Milan in 1991 to Turkish parents, she obtained a three-year degree from the Faculty of Dietetics at the University of Milan and a master's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics at the University

Hacettepe in Ankara.

She is currently a researcher at Necmettin Erbakan Üniversitesi in Konya


I would like to begin this food guide by quoting the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace, I): "There are two graces that are underestimated by many people: health and free time" (Sahih A1-Bukhari, 6412).

And Islam is a religion that involves the individual in all aspects of life.

Some of these are spirituality, morality, relationships, finance, faith, education, sexuality, personal hygiene, holidays, bereavement, community and diet.

Nowadays, people of the Muslim faith who follow the Sunnah, that is, the set of habits, customs and lifestyle of the Prophet, pay a lot of attention to various aspects of their daily life, perhaps neglecting other equally important ones

In fact, how many of them also follow the Sunnah from a nutritional point of view?

How many eat according to the Prophet's nutritional advice?

In the chapters that follow this brief introduction, each topic that will be covered will contain the Islamic notion, the current scientific one and some advice for putting into practice a better lifestyle and behavior. The verses taken from the Koran will be shown in bold, the Hadith (sayings or deeds of the Prophet) in bold italics, while the quotes taken from books or scientific articles in simple italics

Finally, in some chapters, you will find curiosities and historical references relating to my Turkish origins.


Throughout history, the "Muslim world" has long been the pioneer in matters of medicine and health. Why aren't we anymore today? What aspects have changed over time? We distanced ourselves from the Sunnah to chase a "Western" lifestyle, because perhaps the latter seemed more modern and attractive to us. However, numerous Western studies are bringing to light what the Prophet * taught us more than 1400 years ago.

Nutrition is the basis of physical health. A short anecdote that occurred during the period of the Prophet (571-632) illustrates this to us. A1-Muqawqis (or Kyros), who administered Egypt on behalf of the Christian Byzantine Empire, received a

letter of invitation to Islam from the Prophet (letter preserved in the Topkap1 Palace in Istanbul) and the visit of the Sahabi (Companion of the Prophet, Sahaba in plural) Hats

IbA Abi Balta'al. Al Muqawqis decided not to convert, despite having. responded to the letter of the Messenger of Allah who knew that he would be a last prophet. In return, he sent numerous gifts to the Messenger of Allah, who resided in Medina, including two slaves who were sisters. One of the sisters is the well-known Maria al-Qibtiyya, who converted to Islam even before arriving. go to Medina and who then was the Prophet's concubine, with whom she had her son Ibrahim

(630-632). A1-Muqawqis sent a doctor and some material gifts such as clothes, perfumes and gold. The Prophet # said to the doctor: "Go back to your people. We are a people who do not eat until they feel hungry and who, when they eat, are not satisfied"'. With this the Prophet # did not want to diminish the important role of medicine, he himself had himself examined by doctors in his last illness. However, Muslims, thanks to their lifestyle and diet, did not need to consult doctors frequently.

The concept of health is summarized by the Persian physician, philosopher, mathematician and physicist Ibn Sina (Avicenna) (980-1037) with the following words: "I summarize medical knowledge in two lines. Eat little when you eat. After eating do not eat anything for 4-5 hours. Healing is in digestion. So eat only as much food as you can digest. Eating food after food tires both the nafs (soul) and the stomach." Also famous is the principle expressed by Haris B. Kelede, a famous doctor who lived in the same historical period, who said: "The stomach is the origin of the disease and the diet (understood as a dietary regime) is at the head of the cure

The Modest Tables of Islam Vs The Sumptuous Tables of Europe

The Ottoman ambassadors report in their texts the differences observed between European culture and Ottoman customs: "In Europe, eating is a social activity, accompanied by music and where women participate. Instead, the Ottomalls ate at home with a few people: family members , friends and guests The consumption of the meal did not last long, it did not have a ceremonial aspect and it did not involve long chats, which is the opposite of what happened.!.

reindeer with long chichicrae соба оторожа ти растыке ия рани с в ротно

no offerings on trays or on low tables and the only thing I used was the spoon

(for example in the TV series Dirilis: ErtugruF the meal time is represented correctly).

"The Ottomans ate together, in common places and their hands were washed before and after eating. While for the Ottomans silence reigned during meals because it was considered a private and intimate moment, for the Europeans it was an occasion convivial of fun and celebration.

In Europe, special rooms were decorated, lit by large candelabras and decorated with paintings. Large tables used exclusively for food were placed in the halls and the act of eating was an activity that lasted long hours."

Current scientific studies in the nutritional and food fields recommend Mindful Eating. This practice can be summed up in preferring a quiet place to eat meals and remaining focused exclusively on what you have on your plate, so as to be aware of what you are eating and pay a greater level of attention to it. Mindful Eating also recommends not carrying out other activities at the same time, such as conversations, watching TV or using your mobile phone and to avoid sitting at the table for long.*

Five useful tips for implementing Mindful Eating

1. Reflect. The first question you need to ask yourself is: am I really hungry? Am I eating because I'm sad, stressed, or bored? These intense emotions can trigger signals similar to those of appetite. Ask yourself how many hours have passed since the last meal, if more than 4-5 hours have passed then it is normal

one is hungry. If you realize that posterity lies at a distance, I'll leave you a friend, take a stroll reading a book. Don't worry that food won't fill the emptiness, anxiety or sadness you feel.

2. Sit down The meal must not be eaten standing up. It must be

2nd moment of awareness: put food on your plate, sit at the table.

Cry slowly. Did you know that the brain takes about 15/20 minutes before.

recognize satiety?

  1. Savor. Concentrate and eat calmly. Introduce this step lens. complaining, perhaps starting with a meal or snack. You have to look for coli. turn the five senses, paying attention to colors, smells, sight. to flavor and sound.
  2. Silence. Eat in peace and avoid having long conversations. We must avoid all types of distractions such as television, cell phones, computers and music. Eating with these distractions leads to consuming a greater quantity of food and therefore calories. Start implementing this step with one meal a day and at first you will notice the difficulty in staying focused only on food.
  3. Gratitude. Before and immediately after the meal, we need to take a moment to recognize the work that went into providing and preparing what we eat. In the Sunnah we have several expressions that should be recited before and after the meal (or drink).


Before delving into the topic of nutrition, I would like to focus on the place where the Messenger of Allah # ate his meal. The Prophet * was a human being, but he was and is the best of human beings who have ever existed and will ever exist. We as Muslims must draw an example from his life, in fact, as it is expressed in the Quran: "You have in the Messenger of Allah a good example for you" s

If we study the life of the Messenger of Allah we observe that, except fever, he did not have any illness.

Although some aspects of his life were the result of the time in which he lived, this does not exclude that we can draw benefits and lessons from his way of living and eating. All his habits, in fact, were never devoid of sense and meaning on multiple levels.

Anas Ibn Malik (612-709), one of the most important Sahabis, who lived with the Prophet for ten years, said: "I have never seen the Prophet eating at a khiuan (low table)." At this statement they asked him: "Then where did the Prophet eat?" and Anas replied: "On the sofra (a piece of cloth placed on the ground) **

Scholars explain that this does not mean that Muslims are prohibited from eating on the tables. The spiritual symbolism behind this way of eating was asceticism and humility. In fact, having a Khiuan was a sign of luxury, because it prevented people from bending their backs to reach food. We can try to extrapolate some food benefits.

Eating using the sofra (tablecloth) on the floor or on a low table is also typical of oriental cultures. When you sit on the ground, you cross your legs or as the Messenger of Allah * did, you put one leg underneath and the other bent towards your chest. Sitting this way leads to eating less food. To understand why we need a little anatomy background. The stomach is like an elastic sac that can expand or tighten/compress. The moment you sit on the floor, due to your position, the available space is physically reduced and therefore you get full sooner.

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