The Importance of Food and What Lies Beyond It

First Khutbah – Main Points

إن الأكل من الدين

“Eating is part of religion.” [from the Companions – RAH]

لا طريق إلى الوصول للقاء الله إلا بالعلم والعمل

“There is no path to the meeting with God except by knowledge and deeds.” [advice from al-Ghazali]

ولا تمكن المواظبة عليهما إلا بسلامة البدن

“And there can be no devotion to it [knowledge and deeds] except with a sound body” [advice from al-Ghazali

كلوا من الطيبات واعملوا صالحا

“Eat from that which is good and perform righteous acts.” [Q: ‘A’raf (7):100]

إن الرجل ليؤجر حتى في اللقمة يرفعها إلى فيه وإلى في امرأته

The Prophet [s] said: “A man is rewarded even for the morsel of food he raises to his mouth and to the mouth of his wife.” [related in Bukhari]

الوضوء قبل الطعام ينفي الفقر وبعده ينفي اللمم, ينفي الفقر قبل الطعام وبعده

The Prophet [s] said: “Wudu’ [ablution] before eating removes poverty and performing it afterwards removes minor sins.” [related in Abu Dawud and at-Tirmidhi]

Eating is a barometer of sorts for the believer. It gives us an indication of where our nafs is at:

وأما من خاف مقام ربه ونهى النفس عن الهوى فإن الجنة هى المأوى

“And as for the one who fears the Station of his Lord and forbade his nafs [lower self] and its appetites, the Garden will be his refuge.” [Q: an-Nazi’at (79):40-41]

But not only is a it a meter for ourselves, but also for our society. And it’s here that I want to address this notion of “quietism” that we see in the Muslim community today. I will touch on this in the second half of the khutbah.

Second Khutbah Points

يأيها الناس كلوا مما في الأرض حلالا طيبا ولا تتبعوا خطوات الشيطان إنه لكم عدو مبين
يأيها الذين ءامنوا كلوا من طيبات ما رزقناكم واشكروا لله إن كنتم إياه تعبدون

“O’ Mankind! Eat of what is good and lawful and do not follow Shaytan! He is an outright enemy.”
[Q: 2:168-172]

Allah addresses mankind and the Muslims all in the same passage.

ما ملأ آدمي وعاء شرا من بطنه حسب ابن آدم لقيمات يقمن صلبه فإن لم يفعل فثلث طعام وثلث شراب وثلث للنفس

The Prophet [s] said: “No human being has ever filled a container worse than his own stomach. The son of Adam needs no more than mere morsels to sustain him; doing so, he should consider that a third of his stomach is for food, a third for drink, and a third for his soul/for breathing.” [related in at-Tirmidhi]

There are so many eating related disorders in this society: diabetes, heart disease, cancer. Many of the behavioral disorders we see in children and in adults also can be traced and linked with food.

I want to address and appropriate a word that has been previously associated with piety: quietism. Some traditions see quietism as a means of quieting oneself to the world so that one may hear God. But there is another form of quietism, one that is silent in the fact of that which it knows is not good. We claim to be people of the Truth and yet we have a tendency to retreat to ourselves. But God commanded the Prophet Muḥammad [s] to “go forth and proclaim the blessing and favor of your Lord!” [Q 93: 11].

Listen/download the khutbah here: [audio:|titles=The Importance of Food and What Lies Beyond It|artists=Marc Manley]

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