On October 17th, 2016 during our Quran study session in the New York City, we discussed chapter 41 which is based on the following ayas:
Sura 16, Ayas 114-115:
So eat what God has provided you, lawful and wholesome, and be grateful for the favors of God if it is God that you serve.
God has forbidden to you only what has died of itself, and blood, and the flesh of swine, and anything offered up to other than God. But if anyone is compelled by necessity, without wanting to or being excessive, then God is very forgiving, very merciful.
Eat the wholesome things We provided for you, but not to excess, lest My anger descend on you. And whoever My anger settles upon has already fallen.
Most of the food practice in the Muslim culture has been around prohibitions. It is, however, equally important to focus on the other information in these ayas and understand the deeper message behind God’s words. We now understand a lot about food compared to generations before us and we can easily understand that the above prohibitions were articulated to us to keep us healthy.
In addition, God specifically indicates that when we eat, we must be careful about how much we eat. This is something that we now understand is important for our health given all the problems that come from over-eating.
We will also notice that every aya concerning food specifies that we eat what is wholesome. That is clearly because by eating wholesome food, we keep our bodies healthy. When we are healthy, we can do whatever we set our mind upon, while illness, especially prolonged illness, causes pain and we depend on others and are unable to do much.
Therefore, it seems very clear after we break these ayas down that living healthily and making that our priority – that being the absolute basis of our being able to do anything else in life – should be a matter of common sense.
The exercise accompanying this chapter states as follows:
- Think of a habit you have that you know is bad for your health. Write a paragraph in your journal on how your future life will be damaged if you continue this habit. Make a plan to get rid of this habit as soon as possible.
- Think of a healthy habit you would like to add to your lifestyle. Write a paragraph in your journal on how your future life will be improved if you succeed in adopting this new habit. Make a plan to change your daily routine to include this habit.
Summary by Alma Subasic