JUMAT SERMON: Islam, Food And Charity

JUMAT SERMON: Islam, Food And Charity
  • PublishedDecember 1, 2023

By Muhammad Makanjuola

ALL praise is due to Allaah, and may His peace and blessings be upon the final Messenger, His pure family, noble companions, and all those who follow them with righteousness until the day of Judgment. 

In Islamic law, Muslims stress on the importance of permissibility of sources of food to be consumed. 

The price of halal food can vary, and it is not inescapably more precious than regular food. The cost of halal food is told by colorful factors.

The Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him), recommendations and behaviours lend support to modern medical studies in the area of nutrition, as in many others. He would eat no more than two meals and ensure that one of the meals should consist of light food (such as dates). The Prophet recommends that dinner be eaten, even if it is only a small meal. “Do not leave dinner, even if it is only a handful of dates, because abandoning it makes one weak” (Sunan Ibn Majah).

He defined dinner as the second and last meal of the day, and that it should be eaten after dusk or immediately after the evening prayer.

The Prophet sets so many examples about nutrition. He highlights the dangers of obesity, stating that “What I fear most about my community are developing a belly, oversleeping and idling.”

Islamic regulation has a balanced management approach to food management and towards attaining sustainable food keeping, the cost of food in our society today should remind us of the Noble Messenger hadith: “The food for two persons is sufficient for three, and the food of three persons is sufficient for four persons”  This hadith is teaching us that the rich among us should help the poor with food and shelter, doing this will reduce the level of poverty in our society. Food is most essential after water, and that is why given water as charity is among the best charity. 

We should cultivate the habit of eating with our relatives and the poor especially. It was narrated in Volume 7, Book 65, Number 305 of Saheeh Bukhari: Narrated Nafi’: “Ibn ‘Umar never used to take his meal unless a poor man was called to eat with him.”

While eating, we shouldn’t forget this etiquette of meals taught us by one of the great pious predecessors, Al-Imaam Al-Hasan Al-Basrii, that: “The equation of taking meal goes like this: 1/3 of your belly for your food, 1/3 for your liquids, and 1/3 for your breath = longevity and a healthy lifestyle” 

Islam guides believers to live their lives in moderation, regardless of what they intend to do. If Allah has blessed someone with abundance, one should neither live in a miserly state, nor live in excess as a spendthrift; but be conscious and grateful for the favours of Allaah Almighty and take the moderate path between the two.

In the Holy Quran, chapter 7, verse 32, Allah the Almighty states: “O children of Adam! look to your adornment at every [time and] place of worship, and eat and drink but exceed not the bounds; surely, He does not love those who exceed the bounds.”

 In chapter 17, verse 28, of the Quran, Allah says: “Verily, the extravagant are brothers of Satan, and Satan is ungrateful to his Lord.”

Islam prohibits wastage in every aspect of one’s life – whether it is with one’s time, one’s energy, one’s wealth, or even one’s food. If Allah has blessed us with more than our needs, we must be grateful to Him, and as a sign of gratitude and appreciation, we must strive to share and distribute the excess among the poor and needy of society.

In chapter 6, verse 142 of Holy Quran, we read: “And He is Who brings into being gardens, trellised and untrellised, and the date-palm and cornfields whose fruits are of diverse kinds, and the olive and the pomegranate, alike and unlike. Eat of the fruit of each when it bears fruit, but pay His due on the day of harvest and exceed not the bounds. Surely, Allah loves not those who exceed the bounds.”

From this verse, we comprehend that food is a primary source of waste. However, not only does Allah command us not to waste, but in the same verse, He also teaches us how to avoid it. Allah instructs us to share our food with the poor — not from leftovers after it’s been to the market, but on the same day, it is harvested.

The living scholars of Islaam have addressed the topic of food waste on many occasions, especially during various sittings and congresses. During their speech, they encouraged us to be mindful of the food we take during our days and not to waste it. They also said that children tend to waste food, so parents should pay attention to serving food to their children appropriately.

For many people in the world, especially where food is often plentiful and less costly, wasting food has become an unidentified habit: buying more food than we need, letting fruits and vegetables spoil at home or taking larger portions than we can eat. Leftovers are often underutilised and food scraps that can still be consumed or composted are tossed away.

These habits put extra strain on our natural resources and damage our environment. When we waste food, we waste the labour, effort, investment and precious resources (like water, seeds, feed, etc.) that went into producing it. Reducing food loss and waste is essential in a world where millions of people go hungry every day. It is about everyone doing their part, from individuals to large corporations, taking responsibility and making small changes to create meaningful, sustainable changes for the planet. 

The solution to the costliness in food is to follow the prophetic way of taking meals by being economical with food and the undesirability of eating one’s fill, it was narrated that Miqdam bin Madikarib said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah saying: “A human being fills no worse vessel than his stomach. It is sufficient for a human being to eat a few mouthfuls to keep his spine straight. But if he must (fill it), then one third of food, one third for drink and one third for air.”

May Allaah Almighty make this sermon a beneficial one for me, the writer, the readers, and the entire Muslims. And our last prayer, is praise be to Allaah Almighty, Lord of the worlds 

Shaykh Muhammad Makanjuola (Director:MA’ADU DA’AWAH

  • The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author. They do not represent the opinions or views of OSUN DEFENDER.

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