The Beverages Of Prophet Muhammad (saw)
Human anatomy is mostly made up of liquid. It is said that human body is composed of seventy percent liquid. And it is well and true that Allah Ta’ala has revealed it to us fourteen centuries ago. “And We have made from water every living thing.” (21: 30). Liquid is therefore very vital for our existence. Allah Ta’ala has created twice as much water as earth on our planet in order to provide us with what is required for living.
Having said that, fluid is very important for human eco-biology. It is so important that we are advised to consume much liquid daily. For a good digestion, for the proper functioning of our kidneys and for the moisturizing of our system, doctors recommend that we drink three litre of liquid every day. Fifteen glasses of liquid made up of water, juice and milk. As you can see, health is a very great favour of Allah Ta’ala which has to be protected as much as possible. Believe me, those who take precaution to be in top form in order to discharge their responsibility to Allah Ta’ala and to be of service to their family and society will be rewarded in their account books. It id the sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (saw) to choose the best means while at the same time invoking Allah for good health. There is therefore the need to study the ways adopted by the most intelligent man, Prophet Muhammad (saw), as regards to the drinks that he consumed.
Among the liquids consumed by our Nabi (saw) there was water, honey, milk and nabeez. Water has always been part of the menu of the holy Prophet Muhammad (saw). Water is the source of all drinks, in other words, the source of life. The Prophet of Allah (saw) used to drink fresh water from rivers and wells. A hadith of Abu Dawood tells us that fresh water from the rivers of Buyutu Suqyaa used to be brought for the Prophet of Allah (saw). These rivers are situated at some fifty kilometers from Madinah Munawwarah. And he also used to drink water from the well of Bairuhaa garden situated opposite to the mosque. (Bukhari)
At the time of iftaar (breaking fast), his menu was made up of some dates and water. A narration from Ali (ra) informs us that, after his ablution, the prophet (saw) used to drink the water remaining in the container. In fact, whatever the circumstances, water was always present in the houses of the prophet (saw). In the world of water, the most sacred and the most beneficial water is without doubt Zam Zam water (originating directly from Makkah). Then, we have fresh water from rivers and the natural water of wells. In short, mineral water is better than drinking water from reservoirs.
Nabeez is in fact concentrated juice extracted from dates. Nabeez is simply pieces of dates diluted with water. Leave stoned dates in a glass of water during one night only. In the morning, throw away the dates and consume the liquid so extracted. Nabeez is indeed an easily digestible tonic, but above all it is the sunnah of the Holy Prophet (saw). According to a hadith reported by Ayesha (ra), the prophet (saw) also liked nabeez mixed with honey.
In fact, the prophet of Allah (saw) preferred much pure honey. Honey is a very nourishing drink and also a remedy for many illnesses. It is mentioned in the Qur’an: “There comes forth from their bellies a drink of varying hues. Therein is cure for men.” (Nahl: 69). This verse is very general and hence grants us the freedom to use honey for all diseases of a general nature. Thus, in traditional medicine, the hakeems (Muslim traditional doctors) use honey in practically every drug. Among their prescription, one finds remedy for sore throats.
Honey on an empty stomach is also very effective. If you suffer from sinusitis, put some drops of honey into your nostrils. For eye infections there is no better disinfectant than honey. Although honey is painful in the nostrils and the eyes, yet, by the grace of Allah, its cure is certain. Some drops of honey in the ear ease ear ache. The famous author Ibn Qayyim has written in his book, ‘The medicine of the Holy prophet (saw)’, “Honey is one food among (many) foods, it is one of the remedies, it is one of the drinks, one of the sweet nourishments, one of the coatings, one of the things that liven us up; and no food or nourishment has been created as food as it or like it, or even approaching it. People in order times would only swear by honey.”
That is why honey was one of the favorite beverages of the Prophet of Allah (saw). Incidentally, we have a lot to learn from bees about values. Allah Ta’ala says: “Verily in this (i.e. the bee) is a sign for those who give thought.” (An Nahl: 69). One does not always have an idea of how they organize themselves, of their team spirit, and of their particular talent to leave what is deplorable behind and to take what is best. You see, they leave behind dung and thorns of roses and perceive only the perfume of petals! We should adopt such values ourselves: by ignoring people’s shortcomings and understanding their qualities, friendship will be born and discord will disappear. Such values will give rise to much friendship and love among couples. Certainly, if you are not happy about certain things concerning your spouse, bear then with patience and take into consideration her good qualities.
And bear in mind the extent of protection that bees deploy within their organization: self-defense. Nowadays, people wonder that everywhere in the world Muslims are adopting self-defense whereas it is only an instinctive and human reaction to defend one’s territory and heritage against invaders who make a mockery of human rights and belittle religious values.
Bees neutralize any matter or foreign insect which enters into their beehive. Do you know why? In order to keep their honey free from impurities and thus protect it from any virus or microbe. And they do all this in order to produce honey that is wholesome and pure. Of course, other than honey, we have many things to learn from bees!
In addition to water, nabeez and honey, there is milk. Milk is a beverage that is at once nutritious and worthy. Milk is the basic food of the newborn. It is synonymous with purity and value. Milk is the drink that the Prophet of Allah (saw) chose during Me’raj. Allah Ta’ala has revealed to us: “Verily in cattle, you will find an instructive sign. And from what is within their bodies, between excretion and blood, We produce, for your drink, milk, pure and agreeable to those who drink it. (An Nahl: 66). The prophet of Allah (saw) has told us that milk is the best of nourishment:-
“Whoever has eaten some food, should say: ‘O Allah! Bless this food for us, and grant us a better one’. And whoever has drunk milk should say: ‘O Allah! Bless this beverage for us, and make it abundant for us, because I have not seen any food or drink which is more nutrious than milk.” (Abu Dawood). For that reason, the Prophet of Allah (saw) wished to consume milk every night. We too can follow this sunnah by drinking milk every night. It should be noted that tea, coffee and other drinks do not appear on the list of drinks of Prophet Muhammad (saw). But all beverages which are alcohol-free and free from other prohibited (haram) ingredients are halal (licit) for drinking. “All drinks that cause drunkenness are haram.” (Bukhari). It should be noted that even half a drop of alcohol is sufficient to make the whole drink haram. “Alcoholic drinks, even in small quantities, are haram.” (Ahmad)
One cannot terminate this article without mentioning the hadith as reported from Umme Soulaim (ra), who has stated: “I have served all drinks to Rasoolullah (saw) in this container: water, honey, milk and nabeez.”
May Allah grant us the quality of following the example of the Prophet of Allah (saw). Ameen.