The Sunnah is made up of the words and actions of prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Muslims believe prophet Muhammad's life is a good model to follow to bring peace and harmony for the whole mankind. For some Muslims, the term Sunnah means nothing. It carries no weight in their lives nor does it inspire them to correct their actions accordingly. Through this prevailing ignorance, it has become a word which is outdated. But the reality is such, that by us rejecting this divine institution, we have taken ourselves down the slippery road of destruction and misery. To reject the Sunnah is to reject the beautiful religion of Islaam. And to reject Islaam, it to humiliate and degrade oneself, both in this world and the next.
What are the benefits of following Sunnah ?
One of the scholars of the past, Imam Malik, said: “The Sunnah is like the ark of Noah. Whoever embarks upon it achieves salvation and whoever rejects it, is drowned”.
This salvation is the admittance into Paradise and avoiding the fire of Hell. Regret is a terrible state. But regret on the Day of Judgment will be even worse for the one who did not follow the Sunnah: “And remember the day when the wrongdoer will bite at his hand and say: ‘Oh! Would that I had taken the path of the Messenger" Quran (Surah Al-Furqan 25:27). This regret will continue during the punishment: “On the day the faces will be tossed about in the fire, they will say: ‘Woe to us! Would that we had obeyed Allaah and his Messenger” Qur'an (Surah Az-Zukhruf 43:67). On the other hand, the one who adhered to the Sunnah will attain the ultimate benefit: “Whoever obeys Allaah and his Messenger will be admitted to gardens beneath which rivers flow to live there (forever), and that will be the great achievement” Qur'an (Surah An-Nisa 4:13). This is further confirmed by the Prophet (pbuh) himself when he said: “He who obeys me enters paradise, and he who disobeys me refuses to enter paradise”.
The sweetness of the Sunnah will also be tasted during this life. The vastness of the Prophet's (pbuh) way is such, that is produces a physical, spiritual and psychological benefit to its adherent. This fact is also recognized by non Muslim scientists who have discovered that the Sunnah is extremely accurate in its conformity with modern scientific data. Scientific and Medical facts which were recorded more then 1000 years ago, from the tongue of the Prophet (pbuh), have only been recently discovered. Such findings prove that the Sunnah could only have been divinely revealed. Thus, the one who lives his life by this law will bring goodness upon himself and upon the rest of this decaying world. As for one who chooses to discard these divine rules, then that is a person who has lost a treasure which far outweighs any treasure that the earth can bring forward. A treasure which will bring eternal happiness.
We hope that what has been read, will encourage the reader to investigate into the way of this amazing man, and adhere to the law which he brought. Through investigation "In Shaa Allah" (if God Wills) will come reform. And the one who reforms his life around the Sunnah of Muhammad (pbuh), can be assured of a complete guidance:
“I have left two things among you, as long as you hold fast to them you will never go astray. They are the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger”
The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has commented upon the nature and value of various foods and spices. These comments were noted by his wives and companions (may Allah be pleased with them) and remain available to us today.
Allah has mentioned, or inspired His Prophet (pbuh) to advise, a practice. Thus, human knowledge or experience can never contradict or amend the divine knowledge and commandments.
Once these words of advice are integrated into dietary habits, one will discover that every action is perfectly in accord with human nature, and immense health benefits will accrue to anyone applying them with sincerity. Not only can various recipes be gleaned from the commentaries that follow, but also individual foods and herbs are often prescribed as medicines.
It is impossible to state with finality which food or herb would be given in a particular case, because the person must be present before the healer or physician, in order for him to make a correct diagnosis of the imbalance. Nonetheless, the foods mentioned afterwards are of great value.
There are many other aspects of behavior that bear upon health–fasting, prayer, giving of alms, and other practices–and these other factors may have a greater total impact on health than any foods.
Before proceeding to the listing of foods, it is worthwhile to provide the statements of the Prophet (pbuh) relating to manners, hygiene, prevention, and similar topics, bearing on health.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “Allah did not create any illness without also creating the remedy, except death [old age].” And “In the sight of Allah, the best food is a food shared by many.” Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has also demonstrated to his followers the pleasures of food sharing with neighbors, relatives, friends, the needy.
Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that he heard the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) saying: “He is not a believer who eats to his fill but his neighbor goes without food.” Sahih Bukhari
One of the main principles of good health is a balanced diet. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) emphasized the habit of eating less as a method of preventing sickness and disease. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “Nothing is worse than a person who fills his stomach". It should be enough for the son of Adam to have a few bites to satisfy his hunger. If he wishes more, it should be: One-third for his food, one-third for his liquids, and one-third for his breath.” – Tirmidhi & Ibn Majah.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) used to love cleanlines and good scent. It was highlighted, in many hadiths (sayings of prophet Muhammad (pbhu), his love of fragrance and good scent like musk and ambergris. If perfume is gifted to him, he would never refuse it.
Fragrance for Men & Women
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) distinguishes men’s perfume from ones of women when he said:
“The perfume for men is that whose odor is apparent but whose color is hidden and the perfume for the women is those whose color is apparent but whose odor is hidden.”
To avoid attraction to men, a woman should not wear any scent outside her home, but she is free and highly encouraged to beautify herself and apply perfume to please her husband at her home.
The Prophet (pbuh) is reported to have said, “A house without dates has no food.” Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) used to plant date trees himself. In several areas of the Muslims World, dates are eaten with almonds.
Honey is “manufactured” in one of the world’s most efficient factories, the beehive. Bees may travel as far as 55,000 miles and visit more than two million flowers to gather enough nectar to make just a pound of honey.
The color and flavor of honey differ depending on the bees’ nectar source (the blossoms). In general, lighter colored honeys are mild in flavor; while darker honeys are usually more robust in flavor.
Honey has been used for its therapeutic powers for centuries. According to a Theban papyrus written in 1870 BC, the Egyptians fed and healed their children with honey. Hippocrates used honey in many different ways.
The scientific research that began a few decades ago, and recent experiments in hospitals in Europe, the USA, and especially the Far East and China, have revealed unquestionable therapeutic effects that have paved the way towards new medical research.
Honey is essentially a food rich (about 70%) in simple, easily digestible sugars – fructose, glucose and saccharose – which makes it an excellent source of energy.
Its high energetic power and its nutritional values make it a food for physical effort and is recommended for sportsmen before and after effort.
Its dynamogenic and stimulant action on the heart increases stamina and favors the body’s powers of recuperation and prolonged efforts.
Generally, when consumed daily, honey increases resistance to physical and intellectual fatigue, strengthens the body against stress and strains of life and favors the assimilation and digestion of other foods.
In digestive disturbances, honey is of great value. Honey doesn’t ferment in the stomach because it is easily absorbed and there is no danger of bacterial invasion. The flavor of honey excites the appetite and helps digestion. For anemics, dyspeptics, convalescents and the aged, honey is an excellent remedy and tonic.
In malnutrition, no food or drug can equal it. The laxative value of honey is well known. Its fatty acid content stimulates peristalsis. It is also recommended for hyperacidity, and gastric and duodenal ulcers.
Honey is also advised in cases of asthenia (state of physical or psychological fatigue), anorexia and states of undernourishment.
Honey has been used by Ancient Egyptians to treat a variety of ailments through topical application.
The antibacterial substances it contains make it appropriate for certain ENT infections (laryngitis, coughs) and intestinal or kidney disease. In external use, its healing power on wounds, injuries and skin troubles has been noted.
1 kg of honey equals 320 Kcal. It has a sweetening value equal or slightly higher than sugar. Lipids and protides are practically non-existent in honey.
It also contains pollen grains, yeast, starch, mineral dust and flavinoids. In addition, vitamins B, C and occasionally A, D and K can be found in very small quantities.
Royal jelly is rich in amino-acids, trace elements and vitamins. It restabilizes and revitalizes. It induces an improvement in energy, a feeling of euphoria and can even restore the appetite.
It stimulates the production of red cells and has a strong anti-infective action. It also is beneficial in neurasthenia, anxious states, minor depressive states, some dermatological problems and in anemia, low blood pressure and arteriosclerosis.
“And thy Lord taught the Bee to build its cells in hills, on trees, and in (men’s) habitations; Then to eat of all the produce (of the earth), and find with skill the spacious paths of its Lord: there issues from within their bodies a drink of varying colors, wherein is healing for men. Verily, in this is a sign for those who give thought.” Qur'an (Surat An-Nahl:68-69).
Bukhari Radi-Allahu anhu (may Allah be pleased with him) reports that the prophet (pbuh) recommended that we “use black seed regularly because it has a cure for every disease except death.”
The Food Chemistry magazine found that the Nigella sativa or more colloquially the black seed is rich in protein, carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, vitamins A, B1, B2, C and niacin as well as calcium, potassium and iron. These are the very nutrients that modern science has found that we most lack.
We are encouraged to drink milk for calcium, to take supplements of Essential Fatty Acids (EFA), and to consume niacin pills to lower our cholesterol; though, the black seed can provide many of these same benefits.
It also provides many of the same nutrients that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends. They help prevent disease and slow down the aging process.
Dr. Michael Tierra, author of Planetary Herbology, also found black seed to be high in the above nutrients. In addition, he found a remarkable number of sterols, especially beta-sitosterol, which has anti-carcinogenic properties.
The Journal of American Scientists reported that the black seed has a number of useful properties such as antihistamine, antioxidant, antibiotic, antimycotic and broncho-dilating effects.
These findings possibly explain its long history as a lung tonic. Humans have used the Black seed for almost 3,000 years. It clears up blockages and phlegm in the lungs. It cures asthma and asthma attacks. Moreover, it stops runny noses with colds.
Allah’s Messenger (PBUH), in fact, used to soak 20 seeds wrapped in a linen cloth in water overnight. He placed drops of this solution into his nostrils to relieve congestion and head colds (Al-Akili, Medicine of the Prophet).
Another famous use of black seed is for digestive problems. It dries up soggy stomach, ease colic pain, and expel intestinal worms. It also removes bloating in the intestines caused by eating wheat bread. The warmth of the black seed also increases the flow of all fluids in the body.
Black seed ointment is also useful for all kinds of ailments where a topical application is indicated including warts, skin allergies, insect bites, baldness and gray hair. In fact, black seed has been classified by many modern scientists as a “tonic herb” or “cure all.”
Dr. Peter Schleicher, a German immunologist, has found that black seed contains the unsaturated fatty acids, Linoleic and Gammalinolen. In fact, Linoleic stabilizes the cell membranes.
Also, the Prostaglandin in black seeds has the effect of inhibiting inflammation. This combination halts immune reactions and the start of many chronic illnesses like eczema, asthma and even cancer.
“Ever since ancient times, people have been using tree twigs, sticks, Arak tree roots (in Arabic countries) and lemon tree or orange tree roots (in Africa) to clean their teeth and oral cavities,”
American Indians used fresh bark from the prickly ash tree to clean their teeth. The sap from this tree kills bacteria. Mojave Desert Indians used twigs from the cresote bush and rural villagers in India used the neem and peelu tree.
According to researchers, the people with the best teeth are not those who have the fanciest sonic toothbrushes – but those who use their toothbrushes regularly and after each snack and meal. In fact, ancient cultures and developing nations lacked the technology to create such machines for the teeth, yet there have always been reliable ways to clean them.
Muslims use what is called a miswak. A miswak, or siwak, is a small stick with which the teeth are rubbed and cleaned. The end is shaped into a brush through biting or chewing, which serve to separate the fibers and release the healing herbal powers of the twig. Some advantages of the miswak are that is does not require toothpaste, water or a special area to use it, and may be easily carried in one’s purse or pocket. It is also disposable and biodegradable – therefore, it is the ultimate environmentally safe toothbrush. Some people even believe it works better than a toothbrush.
Nevertheless, a more compelling reason to use the miswak is that it is Sunnah to do so. Abu Hurairah (r.a.) reported that prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, “Were it not that I might overburden believers, I would have ordered them to use the miswak at every prayer” (Imam Muslim, Vol. 1).
It is as difficult to envision speaking to Allah (through prayer) with bad breath and dirty teeth as it is to envision speaking to a friend when you are suffering from bad breath and dirty teeth.
According to researchers it is this regular cleaning of the teeth, along with a proper diet, that makes the difference between healthy and unhealthy teeth. Keeping your teeth clean is as important Islamically as it is medically.
The Prophet himself (saws), used to use the miswak before every prayer (Sahih Muslim, Vol.1). Modern science suggests we would do well to follow his example.
The story of Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) and his family was filled with constant test and trials to prove their love and faith to Allah.
As a result of their sacrifices, the blessings of their good actions are still present with this Ummah today.
Prophet Ibrahim, his wife Hajar and their little baby Isma’il had been travelling for days. They stopped at a place that had no water, plant or human life. The only thing they could see was hills and sand.
Prophet Ibrahim helped his wife and child dismount and then left them with a small amount of food and water. He climbed back onto his camel to return home. Hajar was very surprised and asked him, “Where are you going Ibrahim, leaving us in this barren valley?” He did not answer her. She repeated herself but he remained silent. She was worried something terrible would happen to them, especially their baby who could die of hunger and thirst. Then she asked him,” Did Allah command you to do so?” “Yes,” he replied. Then because she was an obedient wife who trusted Allah and had a strong faith, she said with deep faith in her heart, “If this is Allah’s Command, then He will not abandon us.”
Running between Safa and Marwa
Prophet Ibrahim was very worried about his family being alone in this deserted place, but after all, he obeyed Allah’s command. He knew Allah was testing him; after all, Allah tests those He loves most. Out of concern for them he prayed,
“O our Lord! I have made some of my offspring dwell in a valley without cultivation, by Your Sacred House (Kaba at Mecca) in order, O our Lord that they may offer prayer perfectly. Incline the hearts of some men towards them in pity, and O Allah provide them with fruits so that they may give thanks.” (Qur’an 14:37)
After a few days, the water and food had been used up; Hajar and her baby Isma’il were gripped with hunger and thirst. Hajar had been feeding Isma’il milk from her breasts, but that too had dried up. Baby Isma’il began to cry piteously and Hajar’s tears too began to flow.
Imagine how she must have felt – she was in agony over her baby. She could not bear to see him suffer like this so that she placed him down on the ground and started running toward Mount As-Safa hoping to find some food, water or somebody to help them in this distressing time. She stood on the mountain, looking keenly at the valley but nothing and nobody could be seen. Then she descended mount As-Safa and ran in the valley reaching the mountain of Al-Marwa. There too she stood, hoping to see somebody to help them but there also, she found nothing and no one. Frantically,
She ran back to the first hillock, then from one to the other, completing seven runs. It was hard but Hajar remained patient and kept praying.
This event marks the Pilgrimage rite of Sa’y in Hajj between Safa and Marwa.
Hajar returned to her little baby with an aching heart and found him shrieking. “Mercy, O my Lord!” she cried. She looked at her baby helplessly who appeared as if he was on the verge of dying, praying with all her heart for Allah to help them.
Then suddenly, in this moment of deep anguish, she saw crystal clear water bubbling out of the dry earth. Allah had responded to her cries!
Quickly, she poured water onto Isma’il’s mouth and he drank. She thanked Allah tremendously for His never ending mercy as they filled their stomachs. Allah rewarded her patience by causing water to gush forth from the dry earth to ease their sufferings.
It is this miracle water which is called Zam Zam. This 4000 year old stream is still flowing, providing millions of pilgrims with water.