Manner of Eating , Drinking and benefits of cereals and fruits Hadees

1. Utensils that are allowed in eating and drinking: Silver and golden plates are not permitted for eating and drinking and even their use f...


1. Utensils that are allowed in eating and drinking:

Silver and golden plates are not permitted for eating and drinking and even their use for other types of work is doubtful. But it is better to avoid their use and display for decoration purpose. Any food which is kept in silver and gold is not permissible though this food can be taken out in other types of utensils. There is no reliability about this tradition. One group of Ulema does not perform Wuzu with utensils of silver and gold.

Many ulema are of the view that the following things should not be made of either gold or silver. Surma bottle, scent case, agar case, chilam, lanterns (which are open on two sides and hung in holy tombs), case of the Quran, cases for the books of prayers and supplications, mirror cases and even walking sticks and pens; but according to me (i.e. Majlisi) their non-permissibility is not proved. However, the end of Hukka pipe (Mohnal) should never be made of gold or silver. To eat or drink in all gilded utensils is makrooh (detestable). If you eat in them, it is better not to let your mouth touch them.

If wine is kept in any utensil of glass or brass, then these utensils can be cleaned by washing them and even raw china which is not porous. But all clay utensils made by potter from ordinary clay need a lot of water to be cleaned once they have been soaked in dirt (wine). The water should be soaked in the clay pot to the extent that the impurity is removed. However, it is better not to use them.

According to a tradition from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), the person who uses utensils of silver and gold in this world will be kept away from them in heaven.

According to another tradition, Umro Bin Abilmukdam brought a cup of water for Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) which was joined with a silver piece which the Imam (a.s.) let loose with his teeth.

According to another tradition, Imam Reza (a.s.) has prohibited the use of clay pot coming from Egypt.

According to Buzi ibne Umar, he saw Imam Mohammed Taqi (a.s.) having food in a black bowl in the middle of which Sura ‘Qulho Wallah’ was written in yellow colour.

2. The right to have good tasty food and prohibition of greed:

According to traditions coming from Ahle Bait (a.s.), it is Mustahab to eat and let others eat good and clean food and serve it with all formalities; and it is not right to make good food Haram upon oneself. It is however necessary that the food is sought by Halal means and one should not eat to the extent of forgetting prayers. One should not be like animals and only bother about eating and drinking; as eating and drinking is done for the sake of prayer and that one may gain strength. One should not spend to the extent of being known as spendthrift as God does not keep this type of man His friend.

According to a reliable tradition, Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) used to serve people with good bread, tasty firni and delicious halwa and used to say that

when God is generous to us, we should be generous to people when serving them, and when we are in need we should be careful.

According to another tradition from the same Imam (a.s.), God will question every Momin on three topics on the day of judgement; firstly, what he had eaten, secondly, what he had worn and thirdly, how much he had fulfilled the desire of obedient wife and kept her away from haram. Abu Khalid Kabuli visited Imam Mohammed Baqir (a.s.) who served him with delicious food during breakfast. When the Imam (a.s.) asked how was the food, Abu Khalid praised the food and recited this Aayat:

‘And on that day will be definitely questioned about the manifold blessings of Allah.’[^2]

According to a tradition from Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), if you eat too much food, then white spots appear.

According to a tradition from Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.), God keeps those people enemies who have these habits:

a) Who sleep during the day when they have not been awake during the night,

b) Who laugh meaninglessly,

c) Who eat after the stomach is full.

According to Hazrat Ali (a.s.), once Hazrat Esa (Jesus) (a.s.) visited a city where a man and a woman were fighting with each other in loud tones. Hazrat Esa (a.s.) enquired about the cause. The man replied that the woman was his wife, very pious and had no vices but he did not like her and desired to be separated from her. When the Prophet Esa (a.s.) further asked the cause he said that the woman was getting old and had lost the freshness of the face. Hazrat Esa (a.s.) asked the woman whether she wanted the freshness of her face. She replied, "Why not." Then Hazrat Esa (a.s.) asked her not to eat much for it spoils the freshness of the face. When the woman acted accordingly she looked young and was accepted by her husband.

According to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), two things; leprosy and white spots are caused by five habits:

a) To use noorah on Friday and Wednesday

b) To perform Wuzu and bathe with the water heated by sunlight

c) To eat during the state of Janabat

d) To cohabit with a woman when she is in period (monthly course)

e) To eat even when the stomach is full.

According to Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.), man needs to eat that much food which is needed for his strength. One part of the stomach should be for food, the second for water and third for breathing. One should not try to fatten oneself like the lamb meant for Zabeeha (slaughter). He also said that a full stomach causes revolt (disobedience) and quarrels.

Except fever, all sudden diseases and pains are caused by over-eating.

Another tradition from Hazrat Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) states that if the followers of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) follow the ways and manners of alien people especially those of dress and food, they will not be blessed and on the contrary, they will be degraded.

3. Ways and timings of eating:

It is Sunnat (recommended - optional) to eat early in the morning and be without food for the whole day and then have food for a second time after Isha prayers. The morsel should be small, the food should be chewed properly, while eating one should not stare at anyone and should not take very hot food. One should not cool the food by blowing with the mouth instead, let the food remain for some time till it cools. One should not cut the bread with knife and should not completely empty the bones. At least three fingers should be used to hold the morsel, and when quite a few people are eating in one plate, one should not put the hand in front of the other's section. The plate and fingers should be completely cleaned. It is Makrooh (detestable) to eat in the state of Janabat. The rigidity of order is relaxed if one performs Wuzu or washes hands, gargles and puts water in the nose or simply washes hand and face and gargles. It is stated in a tradition that one may suffer from the disease of white spots if he neglects the above direction.

According to a reliable tradition, the nephew of Shahab went to Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) complaining of stomach ache and heaviness of bowels. The Imam (a.s.) asked him to eat only two times - day and night - for God has said the same in the praise of food in Heaven.

‘(For those whose abode is Heaven), they will get their food already prepared both the times, morning and evening.’[^3]

According to another tradition, a person who does not eat in the evening gets old, and old people should eat a little before going to sleep that they may be able to sleep. This will also cause good breath in the mouth and the person will grow more polite.

According to Hazrat Ali (a.s.), any person who wants that the food should not harm him should not eat until his bowels are clear and he feels very hungry. When he begins his food, he should recite ‘Bismillah’. The food should be chewed and when there is a little bit of hunger left to be appeased, then one should stop eating.

According to Hazrat Imam Hasan (a.s.) twelve points should be kept in view about food by every muslim. Four are compulsory, four are Sunnat (optional) and four are about manners.

The compulsory ones are:

a) Knowing one's ‘Giver’

b) To know that all that we have is from God and be satisfied with the food He gives

c) Saying ‘Bismillah’

d) Thanking God.

The Sunnat are:

a) To wash hands before eating

b) To sit by keeping one's weight to the left side

c) To eat with atleast three fingers

d) To lick the fingers.

The manners of eating are:

a) To eat that food which is placed before one

b) To take small morsels

c) To chew the food

d) Not to look at others' faces while eating.

4. Complete etiquette of having food:

It is Sunnat to eat with the right hand and sit on the knees. No food should be taken while lying or relaxing but one can rest on the left hand while having food as there is no harm. It is wrong to squat while eating and worse to put one foot over the other. Eating alone is makrooh (abominable). It is sunnat to eat with servants and slaves - sitting on the ground. It is a popular belief among ulema that one should not eat while walking and that it is sunnat to wash the hands before and after the meal and not to dry them on a towel.

Certain ulema are of the opinion that one should not eat with people who take Haram (non-permissible) food or perform Haram (non-permissible) act. Even to sit on a table set for them is Haram. It is also Haram to sit and eat with those people who lie about muslims and blame them of performing non-permissible deeds. To taste salt before and after the meals is sunnat.

Another reliable tradition from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) states that a man who sits on the table with drunkards is cursed.

According to many of the reliable traditions, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) has prohibited the use of left hand for having food except when a person is forced to or whose right hand is diseased.

Another tradition prohibits eating while lying on one's stomach, relaxing or resting.

According to a tradition from Hasan, one day Ibad-e-Basari, a noted Sufi and Sunni Alim visited Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) while he was having food. Imam (a.s.)'s left hand rested on the ground. Ibad said to Imam (a.s.), "Aren't you aware that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) has stopped us from resting our hand on the ground?" The Imam (a.s.) lifted his hand a little and rested it back again. Ibad commented again. The third time the Imam (a.s.) replied that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) has certainly not prohibited the resting of the left hand while having food.

A tradition states that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) used to eat only from what was in front of him. He used to sit as one sits in the state of Tashahud while praying. The right foot used to be on the left and the back of the right foot used to meet with the front of left. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) used to say that he was a creature who was like others and sat among them.

According to Hazrat Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.), when a person can use his right hand for eating, it is makrooh to use the left hand.

According to Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.), one should not eat while walking, except when forced.

Many reliable traditions from Ahle bait and Hazrat Ali (a.s.) state that if a person wants his house to be blessed then he should wash his hands before every meal. Washing of one's hands after taking the meal stops poverty and body pains.

Another tradition from Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) explains the etiquette of washing hands. Before the meal, the host should wash his hands first, followed by the guests and there may be no lapse of time between the washing of hands and having the meal. However, at the close of the meal, guest seated on the left of the host should wash his hands first followed accordingly by the other guests so that the turn of the host comes last. It is

compulsory and obligatory for the host to wait with patience until all the guests have washed their hands.

Another tradition from the same Imam (a.s.) states that when one washes one's hands before the meals one should not dry it but keep it wet for the food is blessed as long as the hands are wet. After the meal, the hands should be washed and rubbed on one's face so that one's daily bread may increase and the freckles on the face disappear.

Mufazzal ibne Umar states that he complained of pain in the eyes before Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.). The Imam (a.s.) told him that when he washes his hands after the meal, he should keep the wet hands on his eyebrows and eyelids and recite three times:

‘All praise is due to Allah who ministers kindness, makes one beautiful, showers one with blessings and elevates one!’

Mufazzal states that he followed the instructions of the Imam (a.s.) and never again had eye pain.

When Imam Moosa Kazim (a.s.) was having a meal in the house of Fazal bin Yunus, Fazal brought a napkin so that the Imam (a.s.) may cover his lap but Imam (a.s.) refused, saying that it was the etiquette of non-Muslims and allies nations.

It is narrated in a reliable tradition that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) asked Hazrat Ali (a.s.) to have salt before and after the meals; for, a man who takes salt before and after the meal is saved from seventy types of curses and a major of them is leprosy.

A tradition from Imam Mohammed Baqir (a.s.) says that salt is the cure for seventy diseases and if people will come to know the advantages of salt, they will not use any other cure except salt. The Imam (a.s.) also said that God asked Hazrat Moosa (a.s.) to order his followers to have salt before and after the meals and if the order was not obeyed they will be encircled with troubles and at that time they will curse themselves.

Another tradition advises one to have vinegar before meals as it sharpens one's brains. A tradition states that Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) had said that he took salt before and after the meals.

Yaser, the servant of Imam Reza (a.s.) states that the Imam (a.s.) used to call the young and old and even all the servants before sitting for the meals and make these people sit with him.

The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) commands us to take off socks and shoes before taking meals as; besides being the best of sunnat, it is very comfortable for us.

A reliable tradition states that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), while having food with congregation, used to order the guests to start the food early and to finish late or at leisure so that they may be able to eat more.

It is narrated in a reliable tradition that Sama bin Mahran asked Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) what he should do first when the time for food and prayers collide. The Imam (a.s.) asked him to have his meal first if the time for prayer was there, but if having food will cover the precious time for prayer, then he should pray first and take his meal later.

5. Prayers to be recited at the time of eating:

According to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), when food is laid on the dastarkhwan or the food tray is brought, thousands of angels descend from heaven and surround the food. When those who start their food say ‘Bismillah’, the angels pray to God to send His blessings on the eaters and to increase their daily bread and order Shaitan to leave them alone as he is the one who broke the law of God and therefore he cannot join them. And when after having eaten, the eaters say ‘Alhamdolillah’, then the angels say that these people are among the thanks-givers as they have thanked God for the good food He has given them. If they do not say Bismillah while eating, then they invite shaitan to have food with them and if they do not say ‘Alhamdolillah’ when they have eaten their food, then the angels remark that these people are those who are not satisfied with what good food God has given them for they have forgotten to thank God for the blessing; as such they are the cursed.

According to a tradition from Hazrat Abdullah (Abdullah bin Abbas), one should say ‘Alhamdolillah’ while having food. According to a tradition from Amir-ul-Momineen Hazrat Ali (a.s.), a man who takes the name of Allah before starting his food and praises Allah after he ends the meal, then he will not be questioned about his food on the Day of Judgement.

According to a reliable tradition a person complained to Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) that he is always harmed when he takes a certain type of food. The Imam (a.s.) said that perhaps the man did not say Bismillah. But the man said that he did. At that the Imam (a.s.) replied that perhaps he talked while taking food and did not recite Bismillah when he restarted taking his food and that was thee cause of his suffering from pain, and advised him to say Bismillah again when he restarted his food after talking.

According to Hazrat Ali (a.s.), one should remember God while eating and should not talk too much as the food is a blessing of God and when one consumes that blessing, then it is time to praise and thank God.

6. Etiquette to be observed after the meals:

A tradition from Imam Reza (a.s.) advises to lie down flat after having food and to keep the right foot over the left.

A tradition from Yasar and Nadeer, slaves of Imam Reza (a.s.) states that the Imam (a.s.) ordered them not to stand up to show their respect even to him while taking food, even if the Imam (a.s.) is standing near them and not to work while having food. Yasar says that if they answered that they were having meals when the Imam (a.s.) called them, then the Imam (a.s.) used to order them to finish their meal before doing the work.

7. The advantages of bread, sattu (flour of chana, rice & cereals), meat, margarine (ghee) & all those foods which are got from the animals and also of vinegar and sweets:

According to a reliable tradition from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), one should give due respect to the bread, for it is the result of the hard work of many angels in heaven and men on the earth.

It is stated from Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) that bread should not be kept under the bowl of curry.

Another tradition states that the Imam (a.s.) asked people to respect bread. The people questioned Imam (a.s.) as to how they should show their respect for bread. The Imam (a.s.) replied that one way is when the bread is kept before them, they should start eating it without waiting for anything.

According to a tradition from Imam Reza (a.s.), the bread should be baked in small loaves so that it may be sufficient for all groups.

According to Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.), sattu (a blend of cereal powder or flour) was made with reference to a revelation from God. It increases weight, strengthens bones and is the food of Prophets. Dry sattu cleans and diminishes white spots and when had with olive oil, increases weight, strengthens bones, and freshens complexion and increases sexual strength; and if three tablespoons of sattu are taken in the morning, then it cures phlegm and cholera (i.e. Balgham and Safra).

Another tradition states that sattu diminishes thirst and cures all troubles of stomach and nausea. Cleans it and cures seventy other diseases including high blood pressure.

It is stated from Imam Mohammed Taqi (a.s.) that if a woman takes sattu, it will stop the flow of blood which exceeds the specified period of menstruation.

According to a reliable tradition from Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.), meat increases the flesh of one's body and if for forty days a man has not eaten meat, then he should take loan and eat meat and this loan will be returned by the Almighty.

A person visited Imam Reza (a.s.) and said that the people of his house do not eat lamb as it creates melancholy (sauda) and also creates headache and other pains. The Imam (a.s.) replied that God prefers only lamb meat better than other kinds of meat otherwise he would not have preferred a sacrifice of it instead of Hazrat Ismail (a.s.).

According to Imam Mohammed Baqir (a.s.), the people of Bani Israel complained to Hazrat Moosa (a.s.) that the disease of dandruff had increased a lot among them. God revealed unto Hazrat Moosa (a.s.) that the people should be ordered to have beef with beetroot.

It is stated from Imam Sadiq (a.s.) that thee meat of birds and cows cures dandruff. Cow's milk is it's medicine, ghee or oil is it's cure and meat is a disease itself.

A reliable tradition states that whosoever wants that he should cure his anger and decrease sadness and grief should take the meat of partridge.

Hazrat Moosa Kazim (a.s.) states that the person who takes chakor meat will get strength in his knees and it will also cure fever.

A reliable tradition from Hazrat Imam Mohammed Taqi (a.s.) states that the meat of asfardad is good. It was liked by his father who used to say that this meat should be baked or grilled and given to those suffering from jaundice.

A tradition states that when people questioned Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) about having raw meat he stated that it was the food of animals of lower grade.

Most of the traditions prohibit having meat dried in the shade as it causes many types of pains and weakens the stomach and very few traditions negate it.

According to Imam Sadiq (a.s.), three things destroy health and even lead one to one's death:

a) To have meat dried in shade and smelling bad

b) To bathe after having a full meal

c) To intercourse with old woman.

According to another tradition from the same Imam (a.s.), there are three things which have nothing to do with eating but increase weight - wearing Katan cloth, smelling good scent and applying Noorah (lime water); and there are three things which are concerned with eating but decrease weight - dried meat, cheese and buds of dates. And there are two things which are always advantageous - luke warm water and pomegranate; and there are two things which are always harmful - dried meat and cheese.

A reliable tradition from Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) states that meat cooked in milk was the special diet of Prophets.

Another reliable tradition states that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) liked pomegranate among all the fruits.

It comes down from a reliable tradition that Imam Sadiq (a.s.) liked porridge (Hareera) made of currants. When currants are added after the preparation of Ash, it becomes currant porridge.

Many reliable traditions praise meat-broth in which the bread is put; and also kababs which is supposed to cure weakness and fever and redden the complexion.

Even there is praise of the cheekbones, brain and tongue of the goat and it's head as they are away from the place of dirt.

According to Hazrat Ali (a.s.), Hareera (meat porridge) should be taken as it gives the strength for forty days' prayers. Hareera was a part of the food which descended on the Holy Prophet from God.

According to Haroon ibne Nafaq, he was invited to Hazrat Moosa Kazim (a.s.)'s place one day. There was a lot of halwa on the dastarkhan (table). He was surprised and the Imam (a.s.) said that he and his friends and followers take a lot of sweet.

According to Abdul Ala, incidentally, he was at the house of Imam Sadiq (a.s.) when the food was being laid. There was chicken whose stomach was filled with dates and oil.

According to another reliable tradition from Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.), the yolk of hen's egg is very delicious. One no longer requires or feels like having meat when one takes the yolk. It does not possess the disadvantages of meat.

When a person complained to Imam Reza (a.s.) of having few children, he (a.s.) asked him to eat egg with onion.

According to Hazrat Ali (a.s.), there is nothing better than vinegar to have bread with as it cures nausea and protects the heart.

Many traditions state that olive oil is good for eating as well as rubbing on the body. Many of the Prophets used to have bread with olive oil and olive is praised a lot as it expels bad air from the body.

From many authorities it is taken that Aaima-e-Tahereen (the Holy Imams) used to praise honey which is a cure for many diseases. Reciting Quran and chewing a gum called kundur cure sputum and sharpen memory.

According to a tradition, Imam Moosa Kazim (a.s.) used to have sweets before going to sleep. Sugar is advantageous besides curing sputum.

In many of the traditions ghee has been praised a lot, specially the ghee made from cow's milk. But aged persons who are fifty and above are advised not to take ghee.

It is stated that milk was the diet of the Prophets. A person came to Imam Sadiq (a.s.) and said that after drinking milk he did not feel well. The Imam (a.s.) replied that milk was not harmful and that he must have taken something else with milk.

A person complained to the Imam (a.s.) about body weakness, at which the Imam (a.s.) ordered him to drink milk as it increases flesh on the body and strengthens bones.

According to Hazrat Ali (a.s.), cow's milk is a medicine.

According to Hazrat Ali (a.s.), walnut seeds if eaten during summer, increase body heat and cure boils, pimples etc. but if eaten during winter, warm kidneys and fight cold. Many traditions say that walnut, if taken with cheese is highly advantageous. If taken alone, it is harmful.

8. Advantages of cereals, vegetables, fruits and other kinds of eatables:

According to Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.), rice is a good food as it expands intestines and cures dysentery.

According to another tradition, a person complained to Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) about stomach-ache. The Imam (a.s.) asked him to wash the rice, dry it in shelter, powder it and have nearly a tablespoonful every morning.

Reliable traditions from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) state that seventy Prophets have prayed for the advantages of chana (gram).

One of the traditions states that having Masoor Dal softens one's heart and makes one cry easily.

According to a reliable tradition, having baqlah increases marrow of the knee and brain and produces fresh blood in the body.

It is stated that a person complained to Imam Moosa Kazim (a.s.) of white spots; the Imam (a.s.) asked him to take mash (dal) in his food.

It is stated from Suleman ibne Ja'far that when one day he visited Imam Reza (a.s.), he saw a huge quantity of fresh dates kept before the Imam (a.s.) who was having the dates. When Suleman commented that Imam (a.s.) was helping himself to the dates quite generously, the Imam (a.s.) said that he liked the dates very much because they were liked by the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), Hazrat Ali (a.s.), Imam Hasan (a.s.), Imam Husain (a.s.), Imam Zainul Abedeen (a.s.), Imam Mohammed Baqir (a.s.), Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) and his father Imam Moosa Kazim (a.s.). All those who have accepted the faith of the Imam (a.s.) will like them as they are made from same matter and enemies of Imam (a.s.) and Ahlul Bait will like wine because they are made from fire.

Another tradition states that having seven Ajwa seeds at night kills worms in the stomach.

A reliable tradition states that five fruits have come from heaven - Beedana (pomegranate), Behi (quince), pea apples, white green grapes and fresh dates.

Another tradition states that Hazrat Ali (a.s.) said that fruits are of 120 kinds but the best among them is pomegranate. Pomegranate appeases the hunger and for those who already had their fill, pomegranate helps to digest the food. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) liked pomegranate the best and he never wanted to share it with others (the cause of which is shown in the next tradition).

A tradition coming from Imam Moosa Kazim (a.s.) states that a person should have one pomegranate first thing in the morning on a Friday, then his heart will remain bright for forty days. If he has two, it will remain bright for eighty days and if he has three, it will remain bright for one hundred and twenty days. That person will also be protected from the temptations of the devil and he who is safe from temptations is safe from sinning against God and he who does not sin against God will enter heaven.

According to Hazrat Imam Moosa Kazim (a.s.), eating apple keeps one protected from all types of poison, magic, influence of jinns and increase of sputum.

Another tradition states that Sattu of dried apple stops blood coming out of the nose on account of excess heat and is the best medicine for cleaning body from any kind of poison. If people come to know the advantages of apple, they will not use any medicine except apple.

The effects of eating Behi (quince), as stated by Hazrat Ali (a.s.), are the following:

a) Strengthens weak heart

b) Causes increase in weight

c) Cleans the stomach

d) Increases reason

e) Makes a man courageous

According to Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.), eating Behi (quince) improves complexion and causes beautiful children.

Another tradition states that whosoever will have a seed of Behi first thing in the morning, God will bless his tongue with wisdom for a period of forty days. No Prophet has passed whose body had not smelt of behi (quince). He also said that behi (quince) seed makes sorrow depart from the sad people in the same way as one's hand cleans one's sweat.

A tradition from Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) states that eating guava cleans stomach and gives strength. It is better if one takes it after meals instead of first thing in the morning.

According to a reliable tradition from Imam Reza (a.s.), fig cleans bad smell of the mouth, strengthens bones, increases hair and cures different types of pains. One does not need any medicine after having figs. Among all the fruits, fig has close similarity with the fruits of heaven. It also cures colic (qulanj).

It is also stated that figs cure piles and pain in toes and fingers of leg. It increase sexual strength.

Ziad Kundi states that when he visited Imam Moosa Kazim (a.s.), he saw a plate of aloo-bukhara (plum). The Imam (a.s.) said that he was suffering from fever and fresh aloo-bukhara makes the temperature fall and causes nausea. Dried aloo-bukhara balances the temperature of blood and cures all types of pains.

Some people enquired from Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) as to what the doctors think about chakotra (grape fruit). The Imam (a.s.) said that it should be taken after the meals though the doctors ask grape fruit to be taken before meals.

According to a tradition from Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.), from the pulp of sanjad (a fruit like plum), meat is created, skin from its dermis and bones from its seed. Eating sanjad softens and cleans stomach and cures piles.

According to Imam Reza (a.s.), one should not take melon before breakfast as it causes paralysis. It should always be taken with dried dates or sugar as the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) used to take.

A tradition from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) states that if one says Bismillah before having any fruit then it does not harm.

According to a tradition from Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.), the meal of Hazrat Ali (a.s.) always consisted of green vegetables. He stated that the heart of momin is green and has a leaning towards greenness. He also stated that whosoever has eaten 7 kasni leaves during the night, he will be safe from the colic pain and whosoever desires many offsprings should take kasni leaves in large quantities.

Another tradition describes green kasni leaves as a very good vegetable. Not a single leaf of kasni is devoid of a drop of water of heaven and therefore when one eats one should not shake it. It is also stated that kasni leaves (endive) are superior to all vegetables in the same manner as Ahlul Bait (a.s.) are superior to all mankind. Kasni leaves when eaten cause birth of male children who are also beautiful. When a person was ill with fever and headache, the Imam (a.s.) asked kasni leaves to be beaten in pulp, spread on paper, and sprinkled with oil of banafsha and then applied on the forehead of that person as it will completely cure both the fever and the headache.

According to another tradition from Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.), one should have Tura vegetable as it has four good effects - it cleans bad breath, takes out poisonous gases from the body, cures dysentry and safeguards one from leprosy and dandruff.

Another tradition from the same Imam (a.s.) asserts that no other vegetable is as good and beneficial as Khurfa which was the vegetable liked by Hazrat Fatima Zehra (a.s.).

In yet another tradition he states that one should eat salad leaves to clear one's blood.

Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) had shown the Jews two methods of curing dandruff, one was eating beetroot and the other was taking out vein from meat.

Hazrat Imam Reza (a.s.) had stated that the leaves of beetroot should be given to those who are ill as it has got beneficial effects and no harmful effect. They will sleep comfortably after having them. But the roots of beetroot cause melancholy (sauda).

The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) said to Hazrat Ali (a.s.) that he should take pumpkin as it increases brain and wisdom.

According to Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.), there are three qualities of radish. Its leaves take out poisonous gases from body, its seeds are easily digestible and its veins take out sputum.

Another reliable tradition orders human beings to take turnip in large quantities for it dissolves the capacity of leprosy and dandruff in those who eat sweet potatoes and turnip.

According to reliable traditions, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) used to have cucumber with salt. Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) has said that cucumber should be eaten from the root side as it is more advantageous.

Another tradition from the Imam (a.s.) states that onion cleans dirt of teeth and sputum, lessens fatigue and laziness, strengthens veins and muscles and the roots of the teeth, increases offsprings, beautifies complexion and cures fever.

A tradition from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) narrates that whenever a person visits any new city, he should eat the onion grown over there so that he may be safe from all the diseases of that city.

According to a tradition from Imam Mohammed Baqir (a.s.), the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) asked the person who eats not to come in his mosque on account of it's bad smell. But the person who is not in a mosque or who is not going to the mosque can have it.

According to another tradition from Imam Mohammed Baqir (a.s.), the biggest snare of shaitan is to make you eat mud. Eating of mud causes many types of pains in the body, itch and dysentery lessens the strength of legs and on account of lessening of strength of body, there is lessening in good deeds. That man will be questioned on the Day of Judgement and he will be cursed.

According to Imam Moosa Kazim (a.s.), four things are temptations by devil - eating mud, to break mud in hand habitually, to bite nails with teeth and to bite one's beard.

9. Manners of welcoming momin to one's home:

According to Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.), whenever a fellow momin visits one's house, one should make him have food and if he refuses to have food then one should offer him something to drink and if he does not even accept that, then one should wash his hands with any scented water or just plain water.

Another tradition from the same Imam (a.s.) asserts that a person will be considered not worthy of reward who thinks his friends unworthy and is hesitant in offering towards his guests.

Another reliable tradition from the same Imam (a.s.) states that if a momin comes by himself to your place, then offer him whatever you have; but if you have called him, then take all the trouble over his visit.

According to a reliable tradition coming from Husham, he visited Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) in the company of Ibne Abi Yafoor. When Hazrat ordered for breakfast (chasht), Husham said that he would have only a little. The Imam (a.s.) said that perhaps Husham did not know that one could find out the depth of friendship between two momins by the amount of food they take in each other's company. The more friendly they are, the more they will eat in each other's company. Many reliable traditions are always stressing this aspect.

According to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), inviting relatives, friends and neighbours for a dinner (Valeema) is sunnat on five occasions - Marriage, Aqiqa (first shaving of the child's head), Khatna (circumcision), when one has bought a new house or made a new house and lastly, when a visitor returns from travel.

However, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) has asked people not to accept an invitation for dinner where only the well off are invited and the poor excluded.

The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) has also stated that one should not reside with host for such a long time that the host faces trouble in meeting with the expenses of the guest and is worried on account of it.

Ibne Yafoor states that once he saw a guest at Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.)'s place getting up for some work. The Imam (a.s.) stopped him and performed that job for him personally. He stated that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) has prohibited any work to be taken from the guest.

According to Imam Mohammed Baqir (a.s.), laziness and lack of manners also cause one's failure to return the obligation someone has done for him. To take any work from a guest is lack of good behaviour and morals. Whenever a guest arrives one should welcome him by helping him in unpacking in a befitting manner; but when the guest is packing to leave, one should not help, as it is a sign of one's selfish motive. One should provide the guest with most delicious food to have on his way, as it is a sign of one's generosity and manliness.

Another tradition from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) states that the host should go at least as far as the door when the guest is leaving.

According to Imam Mohammed Baqir (a.s.), when a person visits a certain place, he should stay wherever the host thinks it suitable for him as the host knows the internal problems of his own home very well.

It is enumerated according to Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) that eight types of persons are worthy of being cursed:

a) A person who joins the meal uninvited

b) The guest who orders his host

c) One who expects a good turn from one's enemy

d) One who hoards, is mean and stingy and still expects to be obliged by others

e) One who interferes without permission when two people are having a talk or a secret

f) One who does not give due respect to the king or those in authority

g) One who sits in the company of those who are not worthy of it

h) One who talks with a person who does not give due attention to his words.

Another tradition orders one to ask only those people to have food with whom one is friendly, just on account of God.

According to Imam Mohammed Baqir (a.s.), a person who gives food to a single fellow momin with whom he is friendly for God's sake, has done something which is better than providing food to the needy.

It is stated that when the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) used to have food with guests, he used to start first and end later than all so that no guest may remain hungry.

Another tradition from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) states that if one offers drinking water to a group, one should drink last of all.

Another tradition states that if a man spends hundred dirhams on food and if a momin has the food with him, then he is not spending foolishly.

Most of the traditions assert that when a guest arrives, he brings his daily food requirements alongwith him by the grace of God, and when he has eaten his fill and gone back, it is a means of forgiveness for the host's sins.

According to Hazrat Ali (a.s.), a person who feels happy at hearing the voice of his guest, has all his sins forgiven; though he may have filled the heaven and earth with his sins.

10. The manners and advantages of cleaning one's teeth (khilal):

A tradition from Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) states that Hazrat Jibrael (a.s.) brought for the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) Miswak Khilal (toothpick) and horn for vivisection and said that Khilal strengthens the roots of teeth, makes them healthy and increases daily income.

A tradition from Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) states that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) has prohibited the use of pomegranate or any fruit-tree's branch as khilal as it causes dandruff.

According to Hazrat Ali (a.s.), doing khilal with the wood of Jhao causes poverty.

Another tradition states that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) has ordained that the host should provide his guest with khilal for angels look with anger at the food particles trapped in any one's teeth.

A tradition from Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) states that the food particles which cling to the roots of the teeth should be eaten and those which are trapped between the teeth should be taken out and thrown away.

According to Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.), whatever is removed with khilal should not be eaten as it causes internal wounds.

11. The types and advantages of water:

A reliable tradition states that in this world and the world-to-come, there is nothing better than water. Anyone who takes pleasure in drinking water will take pleasure when God gives him the wine of Heaven.

According to a tradition from Hazrat Ali (a.s.), Aabe zamzam is the best water among all the waters of the earth and Aabe Burhoot (which is in Yemen) is the worst for it is haunted by the spirits of the nonbelievers (kafirs), and day and night it is in a state of curse.

According to Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.), Aabe zamzam is a cure for all diseases.

Hazrat Ali (a.s.) said that one should drink rain water as it purifies the body and cures all pains and diseases.

According to Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.), cold water lessens temperature, cures vomiting, digests food, and is an antidote for heat and also stated that boiled water is good for all types of pains and is not harmful in any way.

According to Imam Reza (a.s.), the water which is boiled seven times in seven different vessels cures fever and cough.

Ibne Abi Taifur, a doctor, states that when he visited Imam Moosa Kazim (a.s.), he saw him drinking a lot of water. When he stopped, the Imam (a.s.) replied that drinking water even in excess is not harmful in any way as it digests food in the stomach, lessens excitement (anger), increases intellect and cures vomiting.

12. Manners of drinking water:

According to Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.), whosoever, while drinking water, remembers Imam Husain (a.s.) and his Ahle Bait and curses his murderers and tormenters, one lakh good deeds will be written in his record, one lakh sins will be forgiven, he will be elevated one lakh times and he will be rewarded to the extent as though he has freed one lakh slaves in the name of God and on the Day of Judgement God will look towards his welfare. If he recites the following while drinking water, it is better:

‘May Allah shower his blessings on Husain (a.s.) and his Ahle bait and his companions. May He increase His curses on the murderers of Husain (a.s.) and his enemies.’

Another reliable tradition from the same Imam (a.s.) asserts that if a person does not drink water when he is feeling thirsty and appeases his thirst late, then God makes him an inhabitant of Heaven. Actually, before appeasing his thirst, he should wait for a while praising Almighty and then drink and at that time God makes Heaven compulsory for him.

In another tradition from the same Imam (a.s.), it is stated that if a person, before drinking water at night recites three times:

‘Salutation to the water of Zam Zam and water of Furat.’

then the water will not harm him.

According to a tradition from Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.), one should not have water while standing, one should not walk around a grave and should not urinate in standing water. If a person does these things, he will be affected by troubles and then he will have to cure himself alone from these.

According to Imam Mohammed Baqir (a.s.), one should say ‘Bismillah’ before drinking water and ‘Alhamdolillah’ after drinking. If the clay container has a handle, then one should take the water from the front and if it is broken from somewhere or has a hole, then one should have water from the other side as both the situations are related to the devil.

The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) has prohibited blowing with mouth in the water.

It is stated that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) used to drink water in glass utensils which had come as a present from Syria and at times in wooden and leather containers and if none were available, in his hand.

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