Background reading material for medicine and fiqh panel discussion
held at the Kulliyah of Medicine, International Islamic University, Kuantan, on 19th February
2000 by Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr.
1.0 HALAL AND HARAM NUTRIENTS
A. Human Nutrients
B. Basis For Halal And Haram
C. Halal Foods
D. Haram Food:
E. Slaughtering, dhabh
2.0ETIQUETTE OF MEALS, adab al ta'aam
A. Type, Amount And Frequency Of Meals
B. Start Of The Meal
C. Course of the meal
D. Food Hygiene
E. End of A Meal
3.0 CONTROL OF APPETITE
A. Stages of Satiety, maraatib al ghadha
D. Physical exercise
E. Food habits
4.0 WASTE OF FOOD
A. Wastage while eating
C. Indiscriminate Eating
D. Wastes in buying
E. Waste in preparation
A. Ramadhan And Compassion
B. Feeding The Needy
C. Food Security for the individual
D. Food Security for the Family
E. World Food Security
1.0 HALAL AND HARAM NUTRIENTS
A. HUMAN NUTRIENTS
HUMAN NEED FOR NUTRITION
The human needs food to survive, haajat al insaan li al ta'aam (2:35,
5:75, 6:14, 7:19, 15:3, 19:25-26, 20:121, 21:8, 23:33, 25:7, 25:20, 32:27, 47:12, 106:4). Humans need different amounts and
types of food depending on their gender, age, health status, and type of activity. The body needs about 50 different nutrients.
Nutrients: Nutrition is the science that studies nutrients in food and their effect on health. Human food
consists of nutrients, which are different elements and compounds needed by the body. Nutrients are classified as carbohydrates,
fats, proteins, minerals, vitamins, and water.
Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are the main source of energy; about 55% of energy requirements are supplied
by carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates are small molecules like glucose. Complex carbohydrates like starch consists of larger
molecules made up of several molecules of sugars. Complex carbohydrates have to be broken down in the process of digestion
to simple carbohydrates that enter the metabolic pathways.
Fats: Fats supply twice as much energy as an equal weight of carbohydrates. The body has the ability to
synthesize fats from carbohydrates. Most body energy is stored in the form of fats. Saturated fats contain the maximum number
of hydrogen atoms and are found in animal products like meat, milk, cheese, eggs, and butter. Unsaturated fats can take on
more hydrogen atoms. They are found in foods of plant origin like corn, peanut oil, and certain types of margarine. It is
recommended that no more than 30 percent of food energy should be from fats and not more than 10 percent from saturated fats.
Saturated fats increase amount of cholesterol in the body.
Proteins: Proteins are needed to build and repair the body. They are made up of amino acids. The body is
able to synthesize 12 amino acids, these are called non-essential amino acids since they need not be part of the diet. There
are 8 essential amino acids that must be taken in the diet because the body can not synthesize them. A complete protein is
one that can supply all the essential amino acids. Incomplete proteins miss one or more of the essential amino acids. When
carbohydrates and fats can not supply enough energy, recourse is made to proteins.
Minerals: Calcium is the most important mineral being a major component of teeth and bones. Iron is needed
Vitamins: are needed in small quantities. They help enzymatic function.
Water: Water is the most important nutrient. It is possible to survive without food for weeks but not without
water. Water serves the following functions: a major component of all tissues, a solvent that transports food and wastes in
the body, temperature stabilization, and lubrication
Fiber: fiber is not a nutrient but is still a very important part of human diet. It is made up of complex carbohydrate
molecules that can not be broken down or absorbed by the body. They help in intestinal voiding.
FOOD BY ALLAH'S PERMISSION
Humans are at the top of the food chain. Allthe universe was put
at the disposal of humans. Thus humans can take the life of plants and animals for purposes of their nutrition with the permission
of Allah. It is in recognition of this that they must mention Allah's name, basmalah, when slaughtering or starting to eat
food. Basmalah was enjoined when eating, tasmiah ala alta 'am (KS 343
Bukhari K70 B2, B3; Muslim K36 H102, 103, 108; Abudaud K26 B14, B15; Tirmidhi K23 B41, B47; Ibn Majah K29 B7, B17; Darimi
K8 B1, B15; Muwatta K49 H32; Ahmad 1;153, 234, 302; Ahmad 3:346, 383, 397, 501; Ahmad 4:26, 27, 189). In the same way Allah's
is praised at the end, al hamdu ala al ta 'am (KS 343 Muslim K48 H89; Abudaud K25 B21; Tirmidhi K45 B54; Ahmad 1:153,
225; Ahmad 2:283; Ahmad 3:100, 439).
B. BASIS FOR HALAL and HARAM
Every food has its benefits and harms. In the end it is the balance of the two that is used as a guideline in decisions
regarding halaal and haraam.
The haram foods are specified. The rest are halaal. The Qur'an listed permitted food, ta'aam mubaah akluhu (2:57-58,
2:168, 2:172, 3:93, 5:1, 5:87-88, 5:96, 6:118-119, 6:141-142, 7:160-161, 8:69, 16:5, 16:14, 16:114, 18:19, 20:54, 20:80-81,
22:30, 23:19-21, 23:51, 34:15, 35:12, 36:72, 40:79). It also listed foods that are forbidden, al haraam min al ta'aam
(2;173, 5;3, 5;90, 6:121, 6:145, 16:115). Exemptions were made for certain foods, rukhas al ta'aam (2:173, 5:3, 6:119,
6:145, 16:115, 24:61). Haram foods can be eaten in situations of necessity, dharurat.
Meat slaughtered by people of the book is permitted, hill ta'aam ahl al
kitaab (5:5). The food of magians may also be allowed (KS 343).
C. HALAL FOODS
·All land animals not specifically forbidden.Products of halaal animals like hair, skin, and bone are halaal. The following were
specifically mentioned as allowed, al dhabb (KS 346), locusts, jaraad (KS 347), wild donkeys, laham al himaar al wahshi
·All acquatic life except frogs and crocodiles
D. HARAM FOOD:
·Animals found dead except in exceptional exemptions,
ibaahat laham al maitat (KS 346).
·Animals not slaughtered according to the Law.
Meat found and whose method of slaughter is unknown is eaten after mentioning basmalah on it (KS 343 Bukhari K34 B5, Abu daud
·Animals that prey/hunt with fangs or talons (KS
·The following were specifically mentioned as
forbidden: laham al ghuraab (KS 346), laham al bighaal (KS 346).
·Pork is najasat
·Any food that is harmful to health
Animals for food must be slaughtered in the Islamic way. The prophet did not eat meat not slaughtered
in the Islamic way (KS 343: Bukhari K72 B16; Abudaud K16 B13; Ahmad 6:24). Meat slaughtered in other than the prescribed way
is forbidden (p 441 2:173, 5:3, 6:121, 6:145, 16:115). Allah's name must be mentioned while slaughtering otherwise taking
the life of the animal is illegal. The best method is using a sharp knife. It causes little pain to the animal when done quickly.
Use of gunshots and electric shocks are still controversial.
3.0 ETIQUETTE OF MEALS, adab al ta'aam
A. TYPE, AMOUNT and FREQUENCY OF MEALS
Humans eat a wide range of foods, tanawu 'u al ta 'am (2:61, 6:141, 13:4)
The believers eat differently from the non-believers (KS 345: Bukhari K70 B12; Muslim K36 H182-186; Tirmidhi K23
B20; Ibn Majah K29 B3; Darimi K8 B13; Ahmad 2:21, 43, 74, 145, 257, 318, 375, 415, 435, 455; Ahmad 3:336, 337, 357, 392; Ahmad
5:369; Ahmad 6:335, 397; Tayalisi H1834, 2521). They eat only when they are hungry and do not eat their fill.
Supper should not be abandoned even if it is one date (KS 347: Tirmidhi K23 B46; Ibn Majah K29 B54
B. START OF THE MEAL
Allah's name is mentioned at the start of the meal (Bukhari K70 B2, 3; Abudaud K26 B38; Tirmidhi K23 B19; Ibn Majah
K29 B35; Darimi K8 B1, Muwatta K49 N32, 34; Ahmad 3:117; Ahmad 4:62, 336, 337; Ahmad 5:375, 382, 397; Ahmad 6:143, 207, 246,
265). A supplication, dua may also be recited.
Hands should be washed to remove any infectious or toxic material that when ingested with the food may cause disease.
Hand-washing should be done immediately before starting the meal in order not to give an opportunity to infectious and toxic
material to accumulate.
C. COURSE OF THE MEAL
The Qur'an has taught the etiquette of eating, adab al ta'aam (33:53). Many sayings and actions of the prophet
also give guidance on how to eat.
It is recommended to eat in a group because it has blessings, barakat (KS 343: Abudaud K26 B14; Ibn Majah
It is forbidden to eat at a table where alcohol is served
Eating is with the right hand (KS 344) even if the person is left-handed.
Eating should be in haste and with earnestly; the objective being to finish food and go on to do other things.
The meal should not be treated as a form of entertainment to be taken and enjoyed over a very long time. It is a necessary
act of ibadat to give the body the energy and nutrients needed to undertake the human mission on earth. Enough time should
be spent chewing the food well to ensure good digestion.
It is sunnah to eat from the top of the dish
It is sunna to eat only the food next to you, yakul kullu rajuli mimma yaliihi (KS 344: Bukhari K70 B2,3;
Muslim K36 H104-108; Muslim K37 H71; Abudaud K26 B19; Abudaud K31 B41; Tirmidhi K23 B47; Ibn Majah K29 B8; Darimi K8 B9; Muwatta
K49 H5,6; Ahmad 2:8, 33, 80, 106, 128, 134, 146, 325, 349; Ahmad 3: 202, 254, 293, 327, 334, 357, 362, 387; Ahmad 4:26, 27,
45, 46, 50, 69, 383; Ahmad 5:311, 380; Ahmad 6:77, 165, 170, 265, 287, 288; Tayalisi H1358).
Eating while reclining is not encouraged, la yaakul mutakia (KS 344).
Eating and drinking while standing is prohibited (KS 345: Ibn Majah K29 B25; Ahmad 3:199, 291; Tayalisi H1904,
Eating hot food is forbidden (KS 345: Darimi K8 B17)
Food served should be finished (KS 343: Bukhari K70 B12, B13, B44; Muslim K36 H150-151; Abudaud K26 B16, B18, B43;
Tirmidhi K23 B16, B28; Ibn Majah K29 B6, B21, B41, B62; Darimi K8 B24, B30; Muwatta K49 H32; Ahmad 2:371).
Certain foods like onions should not be eaten when planning to enter a mosque (KS 345).
D. FOOD HYGIENE
It is forbidden to blow over food, la yanfakhu ala al ta'aam (KS 345: Ibn Majah K29 B18; Ahmad 1:309, 357).
This will spread bacteria and viruses over the food that others will eat and may lead to infections.
E. END OF A MEAL
At the end of the meal Allah is praised and His name is mentioned, al hamdu wa al basmalah ba'ada al ta'aam
(KS 343: Bukhari K70 B54; Muslim K36 H147; Abudaud K26 B52; Abudaud K31 B1; Tirmidhi K23 B18; Tirmidhi K45 B55; Ibn Majah
K29 B16; Darimi K8 B3; Ahmad 3:32, 98; Ahmad 4:62, 187, 188, 190, 236, 336, 337; Ahmad 5:252, 256, 261, 269, 375, 415).
Using a tooth-pick, khillal
Washing hands after food,
Rinsing mouth after eating
Praising the host at the end of food, hamd al mudhiif ‘aqiba al ta’am (KS 345).
3.0 CONTROL OF APPETITE
A. STATES OF SATIETY, maraatib al ghadha
Dharurat: minimum nutritional requirements: excessive, too little, balance
Haajat: do not eat to satisfaction (shabian). believer and non believer’s intestines
Fadhl: this is the excess beyond the need
Desire for obesity: medicine for making women fat
Physical ibadat for the obese: saum, salat, and hajj
E. FOOD HABITS
4.0 WASTE OF FOOD
A. EVIL OF WASTING FOOD
Waste in eating and drinking is condemned ()
Licking the fingers, la’aq al asabi’u (KS 344)
A Muslim should eat only what satisfies hunger and give the
rest of the food to the needy (K 344-345: Ahmad 5:65). It is a waste to eat more than what you actually need.
C. INDISCRIMINATE EATING
It is considered bad to eat whatever you desire without discrimination,
sharr akl kull ma ishtahayta (KS 345: Ibn Majah K29 B51; Ahmad 4:132)
D. WASTE IN BUYING
E. WASTE IN PREPARATION
A. RAMADHAN and COMPASSION
Voluntary hunger in Ramadhan gives the rich practical experience of hunger which makes them understand and appreciate
the suffering of the poor
B. FEEDING THE NEEDY
Giving food to the needy (2:184, 5:89, 18:77, 22:28, 22:36, 36:47, 58:4, 69:34, 74:44, 76:8-9, 79:18, 90:14, 107:3;
p 311 90:14)
Zakat al maal & zakaat al fitr
Food of 3 suffices 4 (KS 344)
If you do not need food give it to others, man kaana ghaniyan ‘an al ta’aam faliyuwajihahu ila ghayrihi
Feeding the hungry, it’aam al jai’u (KS 343)
Merit of feeding others, fadhl al ‘it’aam (KS 344)
C. FOOD SECURITY FOR THE INDIVIDUAL
D. FOOD SECURITY FOR THE FAMILY
E. WORLD FOOD SECURITY
1.Rulings on meat prepared by non-Muslims
2.Rulings on non-meat food prepared by non-Muslims
3.Microbiological basis for prohibition of some foods
4.Toxicological basis for prohibiting some foods
5.Prohibition of some foods based on digestive and metabolic considerations
6.Epidemiological basis for declaring some foods makruuh because of high disease
7.Appetite control for disease prevention
8.Medical benefits of the Islamic methods of animal slaughter
9.Microbiological and toxicological basis for prohibition of eating meat of dead animals
10.Explanation of the prohibition of eating animals that prey or hunt with fangs
11.Microbiological and toxicological explanation of the requirement to wash hands before and after food
12.Social aspects of eating food together in a group
13.Explanation of the sunnat to eat starting from the top of the dish
14.Physiological explanation of the prohibition of eating while reclined
15.Physiological explanation of the prohibition of eating while standing
16.Microbiological explanation of the prohibition of blowing over food
17.Physiological determination of the minimum food requirement, dharuurat
18.Physiological determination of the needed food, haajat
19.Physiological determination of excess food, fadhl
20.Physiological explanation of the recommendation to eat a variety of foods
21.Explanation of the prohibition of indiscriminate eating
22.Ruling on government restriction or ban of foods known to be associated with high risk of diseases like