Prophet’s Guidance on Beverages / Drinks – Tibb-e-Nabawi

Prophet’s Guidance on Beverages / Drinks

اللَّهُمَّ إنِّي أسألُكَ صِحَّةً في إيمانٍ، وإيماناً في حُسْنِ خُلُقٍ، ونَجَاةً يَتْبَعُهَا فَلاحٌ، ورَحْمَةً مِنكَ وعَافيةً ومَغْفِرةً مِنكَ ورَضْوَاناً

Prophet’s Guidance on Beverages / Drinks

Habits / choices of Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam regarding beverages were the most beneficial for preserving the health. Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam used to drink honey with cold water, and this is an especially effective method to preserve the health that only the best doctors could have knowledge of. Drinking honey on an empty stomach will dissolve phlegm, purify the stomach’s protective layers and dissipate its viscidity and excrements while heating it mildly. Honey helps against the clogs in stomach, kidney, liver and prostate. Honey is much more profitable to the stomach than any other sweet.

We should state that honey might harm those suffering from bile, because it aggravates it. In this case, the harmful side effect of honey is neutralized when taking it with vinegar, as this method makes the honey very beneficial. In addition, honey is much more preferable than any other sugar based drink, especially for those who are not used to these types of sweet drinks. When one takes sweet drinks that he is not used to, he will not benefit as much as he will from honey, as this is the role that one’s customs play. Customs remove foundations & establish foundations.

When the drink is both sweet & cold, it will be most beneficial for the body and one of the best methods to preserve its health and well-being of the soul, strength, liver & the heart. When a drink is both cold & sweet, the body will be eager for it (nutrition wise), will quickly digest and transfer it to other organs.

Allah Said in Quran:

وَجَعَلْنَا مِنَ الْمَاءِ كُلَّ شَىْءٍ حَىٍّ

“And We Have Made from water every living thing”. (Surah Ambiaa ~ verse # 30)

Cold water is wet, quenches the thirst, preserves the moistures in the body, and regenerates the moistures that the body has lost, softens the food and helps transfer it through the veins quickly.

In short, when water is cold and mixed with a sweet substance, such as honey, raisins or dates, it will be one of the most beneficial substances that enter the body and will indeed preserve health. This is why the best drink to Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam was cold and sweet. Warm water begets flatulence and is not favorable for the body or the health.

Since water that is kept overnight is more favorable than recently drawn water, Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam said when he entered the garden of Abu At-Taihan:

قال النبىُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم وقد دخل إلى حائط أبى الهيثم بن التيهان: “هَلْ من ماءٍ بات فى شَنَّة” ؟ فأتاه به، فشرب منه، رواه البخارى ولفظُه: “إنْ كان عِنْدَكَ ماءٌ باتَ فى شَنَّة وإلاَّ كَرَعْنَا”

“Do you have any water that was kept in its skin overnight?”

He was brought some of that water and he drank from it. [Abu Dawood, Ibn Majah].

This Hadith was collected by Bukhari, who narrated that our beloved Prophet said:

“If you have some water still in its skin, then bring me some, otherwise we will sip from the well”.

When water is soaked overnight, its earthly and sandy pollutants will rest in the bottom. It was mentioned that Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam liked kept water, as Aishah Radi Allaho Anha said:

وقالت عائشة: كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يُستقى له الماء العذب مِن بئر السقيا

“Fresh water was being brought to the Messenger of Allah (Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam) drawn from the well designated for drinking”.

Water that is kept in skins, especially leather skins, has a better taste than water kept in clay containers; this is why our beloved Prophet asked for the water that was kept in skins rather than other types of pots. When water is kept in skin, it will filter through the pores [thus making the taste better].

Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam had the best methods, the most honorable soul & the best guidance in every manner. He has shown his Ummah (nation) the most beneficial methods and means concerning the benefit of their hearts and bodies in this life & the next life (Aakhirah).

Aishah Radi Allaho Anha said that the best type of drink loved by Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam was cold & sweet. This statement might indicate that the drinks of Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam contained fresh, sweet water drawn from wells & springs. Her statement might indicate that Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam used to drink water that that mixed with honey or soaked dates / raisins, or her statement could carry both meanings, which is the correct opinion.

Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam guided his Ummah (nation) to drink while sitting down. He specifically commanded his Ummah not to drink while standing up, & he ordered those who drink while standing to vomit, yet he did drink while standing (at very few occasions) as is correctly reported of him.

Some people said that our beloved Prophet’s drinking while standing only demonstrates that this practice is only disliked not prohibited. Another group said that there is no contradiction between the two Ahadeeth. Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam drank while standing when he needed to do so, as he came to the well of ZamZam and was given a bucket of water; from which he drank while standing.

Drinking while standing begets many ailments and does not quench the thirst, nor will the water settle in the stomach so that the liver transforms it to the rest of the body. In this case, water will descend quickly so the stomach and will aggravate it, and the water will not be digested properly. However, if one does this occasionally, it will not harm him.

Drinking water in 3 separate breaths

وفى “صحيح مسلم” من حديث أنس بن مالك، قال: كان رسولُ الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يَتنفَّسُ فى الشَّراب ثلاثاً، ويقولُ: “إنه أرْوَى وأمْرَأُ وأبْرَأُ”

Sahih Muslim narrated that Anas Radi Allaho Anh said that Messenger of Allah (Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam) used to sip water in three separate breaths and would say: “This method quenches the thirst better and is more palatable and sanitary”.

This Hadith indicates that Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam used to remove the cup away from his mouth, take a breath and then drink some more. In another Hadith, Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam commanded that one should not breathe in the cup, but should move the cup away from his mouth and breathe away from it. This method of drinking is very beneficial for quenching the thirst and more sanitary as our beloved Prophet has stated. When water enters the hot thirsty stomach in intervals, the second sip of water will quench the thirst left by the first, and the third will quench the thirst left by the first two. In addition, this method it better suited for the temperature of the stomach, so as not to suddenly invade it with cold substances. When a person drinks water in a single breath, it will only partially quench the thirst unlike when he drinks it in separate sips.

This method gives better results than drinking the water or liquids in one breath, since water might dissipate the instinctive heat or weaken it, thus spoiling the temperament of stomach and the liver.

Our beloved Prophet’s statement, “It quenches the thirst better and is more palatable and sanitary” is similar to what ALLAH Said:

فَكُلُوهُ هَنِيئاً مَّرِيئاً

“And enjoy it without fear of any harm”. (4:4)

In addition, when one takes the drink in one breath, he might choke on it because of the large amount of liquid. However, there is no fear from choking when one takes a breath while drinking. Furthermore, when one takes a drink, hot gases accumulating in his body will ascend from around the liver and the heart because of the cold water or liquid that is descending on the stomach. In this case, water will come rushing down while the gases are ascending, causing flatulence and sometimes choking the person. One will not enjoy the drink in this case.

When cold water descends suddenly on the liver, it will weaken it and cause a decrease in its temperature. However, when one takes the drink in separate sips, the liver will not lose its warmth and thus will not weaken. Similarly, when one (slowly) pours water on a boiling pot, it will not decrease its temperature significantly.

وقد روى الترمذىُّ فى “جامعه” عنه صلى الله عليه وسلم: “لا تَشْرَبُوا نَفَساً واحداً كَشُرْبِ البَعيرِ، ولكن اشرَبُوا مَثْنَى وثُلاثَ، وسمُّوا إذا أنتم شَرِبُتم واحْمَدُّوا إذَا أنتُمْ فَرَغْتُمْ”.

Tirmizi narrated that the Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam said: “Do not drink in one breath just as the carnal does. Rather drink twice & thrice, and mention Allah’s Name before drinking and thank Him upon finishing”.

Mentioning Allah’s Name before drinking and thanking Him upon finishing has a significant effect in benefiting from the drink, enjoying it while fending off its harm. Imam Ahmed said “When the food has four qualities, it will become perfect; when Allah’s Name is mentioned before having it, when Allah is Thanked after finishing the food, when there are many hands to eat from it and when it is from legal & pure sources”.

Covering Pots and closing water skins

وقد روى مسلم فى “صحيحه” من حديث جابر بن عبد الله، قال: سَمِعْتُ رسولَ الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول: “غطُّوا الإناءَ، وأَوْكُوا السِّقاءَ، فإنَّ فى السَّنَةِ لَيْلَةً ينزِلُ فِيهَا وِباءٌ لا يَمُرُّ بإناءٍ ليس عليه غِطَاءٌ، أو سِقاءٍ ليس عليه وِكاءٌ إلا وَقَعَ فيه من ذلك الدَّاء”.

Muslim narrated in his Sahih that Jabir bin Abdullah Radi Allaho Anh said, I heard the Messenger of Allah Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam saying; “Cover the pots and tie the knot of water skins, for there is a day during the year in which a disease descends and falls in whatever pot that is not covered, or water skin which is not tied”.

This Hadith contains a type of divine knowledge which doctors could never reach on their own.

Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam commanded that the pots should be covered, even with a branch, so that one makes (covering) it a habit. When one covers the pot with a branch, crawling insects will not fall in the food but would pass over it on the branch.

Furthermore, Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam commanded that we mention Allah’s Name when covering the pot to repel Sheytaan, insects and animals.

Drinking from the mouth of the water skin is not allowed

وروى البخارى فى “صحيحه” من حديث ابن عباس، أنَّ رسولَ الله صلى الله عليه وسلم نهى عن الشُّرب مِنْ في السِّقاء.

Bukhari narrated that Ibn Abbas Radi Allaho Anh said:

“The Messenger of Allah Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam disallowed drinking from mouth of the water skin”.

There are many benefits in this Hadith. For instance, when one drinks from the tip or the mouth of the water skin, he will breathe in it and will give it an offensive odor. In addition, water may descend strongly and harm the stomach. Furthermore, there might be an insect in the water that one is unaware of, and that might harm him if he swallows it. Water might be polluted with harmful substances that will enter the person’s stomach while he is unaware. Drinking from the mouth of the skin fills the stomach with air and thus the water will not have sufficient space.

Drinking from a chipped cup is not allowed

وفى “سنن أبى داود” من حديث أبى سعيد الخُدرىِّ، قال: “نهى رسولُ الله صلى الله عليه وسلم عن الشُّرب من ثُلْمَةِ القَدَحِ، وأن ينفُخَ فى الشَّراب”

Abu Dawood narrated in his Sunan that Abu Said Al-Khudri said:

“The Messenger of Allah Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam disallowed drinking from the chipped side of the cup and from breathing in the drink”.

This Hadith teaches the Muslims many types of good behaviors, for instance, drinking from the chipped side of the cup might cause one to swallow the substances that have accumulated near the chipped side. Is addition, one might not be able to enjoy his drink when he is drinking from the cup’s shipped side. Dirt and fat concentrate near the chipped side and are usually not fully cleaned when rinsed. Furthermore, chipped side of the cup is the worst and is not beneficial. One of our friends saw a man once buying inferior goods and said to him, “Do not buy it, do you not know that Allah Has not Blessed inferior things”? In addition, the chipped side of the cup might cause injury to the mouth.

As for breathing in the cup, it will transfer the foul odor from the person to the drink. This is why our beloved Prophet has disallowed breathing or blowing in it. In the Hadith that Tirmizi narrated, Ibn-e-Abbas Radi Allaho Anh said:

رواه الترمذىُّ وصحَّحه، عن ابن عباس رضى الله عنهما، قال: نهى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أن يُتنفَّسَ فى الإناء، أو يُنْفَخَ فيه.

“The Messenger of Allah (Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam) prohibited breathing in the pot (cup) or blowing on it”.

If someone asks, what about the Hadith in Sahihain narrated by Anas Radi Allaho Anh as

فى “الصحيحين” من حديث أنس، “أنَّ رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم كان يتنفَّسُ فى الإناء ثلاثاً”

“The Messenger of Allah (Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam) used to take three breaths while drinking”.

We believe in this Hadith; and that it does not contradict with the Ahadeeth which we mentioned earlier, because it only means that Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam did not sip the drink in one breath.

Prophet (Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam) drank milk undiluted or mixed with water

Drinking sweet milk in hot areas is very beneficial in preserving the health and providing moisture for the body and the liver. This is especially the case when the animals that produce the milk have grazed on wormwood, lavender, lavender cotton, and so forth, because their milk is both a food and a medicine.

وفى جامع “الترمذى” عنه صلى الله عليه وسلم: “إذا أكل أحدكم طعاماً فيلقُلْ: اللَّهُمَّ بارِكْ لنا فيه، وأطْعِمنا خيراً منه، وإذا سُقى لبناً فليقل: اللَّهُمَّ بارِكْ لنا فيه، وزِدْنا منه، فإنه ليس شىءٌ يُجْزِئُ منَ الطعام والشرابِ إلاَّ اللبنُ”. قال الترمذى: هذا حديث حسن.

Tirmizi narrated that Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam said:

“When any of you eats food, let him say ‘O Allah! Bless it for us and give us what is better than it’. But when someone is given milk, let him say ‘O Allah! Bless it for us and give us more of it. Certainly, milk is the only food or drink that is sufficient”.

Furthermore, Muslim narrated:

وثبت فى “صحيح مسلم” أنه صلى الله عليه وسلم كان يُنْبَذُ له أوَّل الليل، ويشربُه إذا أصبح يومَه ذلك، والليلةَ التى تجىءُ، والغَد، واللَّيلةَ الأُخرى،

“The Messenger of Allah (Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam) liked Nabeez (some dates soaked in water) to be made in the beginning of the night and would drink it in the morning of the next day, the next night and the next day, and another night, and the next day until ASR. If any of it remained, he would then order that it should be thrown away”.

Nabeez mentioned in this Hadith is the drink that is made with dates that are soaked in water; to sweeten the water and it is used both in drinks and foods. Nabeez has a great benefit in strengthening the body and preserving the health. Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam did not drink the Nabeez that was more than three days old; fearing that it might have started to decompose and become intoxicating.