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What is healthy & halal? 0

The greatness of Islam resides in the structure and guidance Allah provides for His followers. What Allah asks of His followers is all that is good for them. He forbids them from what is bad for themselves and society, for example, drugs. He encourages what builds communities and people, for example through caring for one's parents.

Allah told Muslims what they should abstain from in clear context in the Holy Quran, this is called Haram. In his book Halal and Haram in Islam, Yusuf Al-Qaradawi an Islamic Theologist and the chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars wrote the definition of haram is that which Allah has given strict commands to stay away from and when a person engages in these acts s/he shall be punished in the Hereafter and in some cases maybe even during life. Dr. Al-Qaradawi also defined Halal in his book as what Allah accepts a person to engage in with no danger of punishment. Living halal is what every Muslim should strive for.

What does it mean to live a “Halal” life? It means to live a life which Allah is pleased with. A life which a Muslim does what pleases the Creator and refrains from what Allah has forbidden. Is living halal difficult? Of course not. Out of His mercy, Allah has made everything that is good for humans halal and what is bad for people he has forbidden. For example, Prophet Muhammad Peace Be Upon Him taught Muslims through his example, otherwise known as his Sunnah, that brushing one's teeth is a halal act. With the correct intention, brushing your teeth every night is a halal act for which a Muslim receives grace or good deeds. Living a halal life is a life in which a Muslim strives to live free of sin.

But when living in a globalized society where products are manufactured in one country and consumed in another, other important dynamic surfaces. The product may not adhere to ‘Halal Guidelines’ for example some toothpaste includes gelatin in its ingredients. Gelatin can come from multiple animal sources such as cow, horse, and pig, just to name a few. Therefore, it is crucial for Muslims to be conscious of the ingredients in products they consume. One Stop Halal does the research for you, so you can be sure what you use is in-line with Islamic Halal guidelines.

To Muslims, the desire to live halal is obvious. Living a life following Allah’s commands; striving to do what pleases Him and refraining from what he has forbidden, will lead to Paradise with His ultimate mercy. But how does healthy tie into this?

Being healthy and strong for those who are blessed with the ability is celebrated in the Sunnah through the Hadith narrated by Abu Hurayrah in the Comprehensive Book (16, 1569) that Prophet Muhammad, Peace Be Upon Him, said (A believer who is strong (and healthy) is better and dearer to Allah than the weak believer, but there is goodness in both of them.)* When a Muslim is healthy s/he has more energy to do what pleases Allah. When a Muslim is healthy s/he can perform salat with more comfort so s/he can focus on the connection with Allah, s/he has the endurance to fast the long days of Ramadan, s/he has the strength to serve those in need. Being healthy and strong is not only Sunnah but it opens doors to many more Ibaddat.

People, no matter what religion or background, love to be healthy. No one in their right mind wants to be sick. Healthy individuals feel their best, look their best and perform their best. Healthy people are happier and more productive. Being productive, positive and energetic enables people to perform better at work, provides them with the energy they need to help others and energizes them to be present for their family and loved ones. All of which are key principles for Muslims to fulfill their community obligations and please Allah. Being healthy and halal is more than just picking the right products, it is a whole lifestyle that enables a Muslim to be the best s/he can be.

Furthermore, exercise, healthy eating, portion control, tooth brushing, and many other aspects to living a healthy life are part of the Sunnah Prophet Muhammad, Peace Be Upon Him, passed on to his followers. Islam is not only a religion of establishing a strong connection with one's Creator but it teaches it's followers the means to live a healthy, happy, productive life if a person follows what is halal and refrains from what is haram. Back to our original question, is living halal hard? No, on the contrary living halal makes us healthy, strong Muslims. Out of His mercy and love, Allah made what is good for His followers permissible or Halal and made what is bad for them forbidden or Haram. All praises be to Allah, what an amazing religion!

*Translation from Sunnah.com

  • Dec 26, 2017
  • Sarane Alsharif, LDN, MPH Collaborator

How to healthy & halal? 0

The goal of most Muslims is to live halal and healthy. Reaching such a milestone enables a Muslim to enjoy the best of the worldly life and the Hereafter by the Mercy and Grace of Allah. In general, Muslims understand what halal is and what healthy is, but how can one be healthy and halal? What does that type of lifestyle look like?

Allah taught his Prophet Muhammad, Peace Be Upon Him, the keys to success in this life and the Hereafter which the Prophet then taught his followers. Here is a list of healthy, halal practices we can learn from the Quran and Prophet Muhammad, Peace Be Upon Him.


1. Eat Halal:
Be sure to eat what Allah has allowed Muslims to eat and refrain from what He has forbidden. This is especially important for children. Parents must diligently seek halal monetary sources and halal foods for the health and well-being of their children. According to the Quran, Muslims must refrain from eating:
  • Blood
  • Anything from Pig
  • Dead animals
  • Alcohol
All food that is free of the ingredients is halal. This is simple in essence but when most of what society consumes is processed foods and manufactured products with lengthy lists of ingredients, most of which are difficult to understand, being sure what one is using is halal may not be as easy as before. Therefore, One Stop Halal, does the research for its customers and only sells certified and verified halal products making it easier for you to eat and feed your family halal.


2. Eat Healthy:
Prophet Muhammad, Peace Be Upon Him, ate a very healthy diet. He enjoyed mainly vegetables and fruits. His favorites were said to be pumpkin, melons, cucumbers, and dates just to name a few. The Quran mentioned many foods and swore by their benefits like figs, olives, pomegranate, fish, milk, honey and many more. Now, more than 1400 years later scientists are still discovering the nutritional benefits of these different foods. The United States Department of Agriculture, USDA, recommends filling half your plate with fruits and vegetables for a healthy diet. It also encourages individuals to select healthy proteins like lean meats, nuts, legumes, eggs, and fish and fill one-quarter of their plate with proteins. Finally, the last quarter should include healthy grains such as wheat, rice, barley and more. Constructing 3 meals a day following these guidelines will provide an individual will optimal nutrition for a healthy, productive lifestyle.


3. Control Portion Sizes:
Selecting healthy foods is crucial to maintaining a healthy body, but controlling how much food one eats is important as well. Overeating can result in weight gain, multiple chronic diseases, sleep apnea, cancer, and osteoarthritis just to name a few according to National Institutes of Health (NIH). Numerous organizations have made tables and charts to help people visualize and understand how to control their portion sizes but Prophet Muhammad, Peace Be Upon Him, gave Muslims a simple guide through his magnificent Sunnah. In a famous Hadith, Prophet Muhammad 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" (Tarmazi, ibn Majah and Hakim). From this, a Muslim can learn to only eat what satisfies his/her hunger and not to overindulge.


4. Exercise:
Exercise is crucial for a healthy lifestyle. Habitual exercising wards off many diseases such as some cancers, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people should get 30 minutes of aerobic exercise 5 days a week, such as walking, running, swimming, etc and 30 minutes of strength training 3 days a week such as yoga, weight lifting, mat exercising and more. Prophet Muhammad saw the importance of exercise and physical strength, he said in a Hadith, “Any action without the remembrance of God is either a diversion or heedlessness except four acts: Walking from target to target, training a horse, playing with one’s family, and learning to swim” (Tabarani). He said in another Hadith, “Teach your children archery, swimming, and horseback riding” (Sahih Muslim). Exercise is not only crucial for a healthy lifestyle but is encouraged by the Sunnah for a strong body and proper development of children. Muslim should make exercise a family priority for both physical, spiritual and psychological benefit.


Following the teachings of the Quran and Sunnah will not only give Muslim many hasanats (good deeds) but it also leads to a balanced and healthy lifestyle. Choosing halal, healthy foods, controlling portion sizes and exercising habitually will not only give a Muslim barakah, blessing, in his/her life but it will also lead to a healthy, productive, energetic person. Incorporate these habits into your daily life and teach them to your children so your entire family can prosper by living halal and healthy.
  • Dec 26, 2017
  • Sarane Alsharif, LDN, MPH Collaborator

Halal on the Go! 0

 

In a perfect life, families would have time to prepare and enjoy healthy meals all the time. Unfortunately, the reality of life is most families are racing against time to get from one place to another and due to these constraints food preparation is not always possible, making eating healthy and halal difficult. But not all hope should be lost. Here are some tips and tricks for choosing halal, healthy snacks:

1. Fresh fruits and vegetables:
Choose fruits that are portable, the best ones have their own wrapping to keep them fresh and clean. Tangerines, oranges, and bananas are great and do not need any preparation in advance. Grapes, apples, pears, cucumbers, carrots, and peppers require little preparation and hold well without going bad. Watermelon, corn-on-the-cob, cantaloupe, and pineapple are great for picnics and outings. Although they are a little messy and require some preparation they are refreshing, nutritious and little hands love them. Fruits and vegetables are wonderful options but there are other nutritious snacks as well.

2. Dried fruits:
Dried fruits make great emergency stashes. Dried fruits like dried figs, dates, and dried apricots can last a long in book bags and purses for unexpected delays to cure hunger pains. Dates and figs are fruits both mentioned in the Quran for their health benefits and current research has confirmed their superior nutritional qualities supplying fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. 

3. Nuts and legumes:
Nuts and legumes are protein powerhouses providing nutrition, calories, and fiber, all of which play a crucial role in a healthy diet for adults and children. Nuts and peanuts can be packed into small snack size bags which are easy to take along in backpacks and purses. Also, peanut butter, nuts butter, and hummus can be enjoyed with fresh vegetables or crackers making fun, nutritious, delicious snacks to go.

4. Cookies and crackers:
Plain crackers and cookies pair well with nut butter and spreads for a filling snack. Some simpler options are cookies stuffed with dates or biscuits kneaded with nuts for a kick of delicious flavor and healthy nutrition.

Keeping healthy, halal snacks on hand can give individuals and families the boost they need until the next meal. But it is important to keep in-mind snacks play an important role in optimal nutrition and health. Just because it is a”snack” does not mean it is ok to eat chips and donuts. Choosing healthy, filling snacks promotes satiety and a healthy body. Especially, concerning children it is crucial to provide them with healthy options because their bodies are still growing. For strong, healthy bodies children must eat healthy foods because remember, “You are what you eat.” One Stop Halal has got you and your family covered with halal, healthy snacks making it easy to find all your family needs. Keeping yourself and your family is a priority, so do not fall short when it comes to snacks.
  • Dec 26, 2017
  • Sarane Alsharif, LDN, MPH Collaborator

More to halal than meat! 0

  • Dec 26, 2017
  • Sarane Alsharif, LDN, MPH Collaborator