My mother looks at the milk and the blue edge it makes in the pot, just delivered by the milkman and shakes her head. “What is it?” I ask, “ He has mixed water in the milk” she says shaking her head disapprovingly…
That made the milkman deceitful to my young eyes. He wanted to make two quarts out of one quart so he would make more money. Mentally I excuse him because I believe he is poor and thus he does that to make ends meet.
The first part of this article are the quotes about Tayibbaat plural of Tayyab from the Quran, and the second part (scroll down) is what I have surmised from reading the Quran, some tafsir and from observation and medical facts……….So bear with me as I bring Allah’s commands with the way we live and how science is the outcome of Allah’s words and promotes His words, only if we listen………..
Allah Subhanawataala commands us to eat from the beautiful and bountiful food that he has made for us which is halal and tayyab.
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ كُلُوا مِمَّا فِي الْأَرْضِ حَلَالًا طَيِّبًا وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ ۚ إِنَّهُ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ مُّبِينٌ ﴿١٦٨﴾
[2:168] Sahih International
O mankind, eat from whatever is on earth [that is] lawful and good and do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy.
He reminds us again of the delicious and wonderful things he has made for our palate:
So eat of the lawful and good food which Allah has provided for you. And be grateful for the Favour of Allah, if it is He Whom you worship.
Allah Subhanawataala says that he has honored us by providing us the Tayibbat (loosely translated here as lawful and good)
And indeed We have honoured the Children of Adam, and We have carried them on land and sea, and have provided them with At-Tayyibat (lawful good things), and have preferred them above many of those whom We have created with a marked preferment.
Allah Subhanawataala defines some of the characteristics of some of the Tayyabaat which is the plural of Tayyab:
They ask you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) what is lawful for them (as food). Say: “Lawful unto you are At-Tayyibat And those beasts and birds of prey which you have trained as hounds, training and teaching them (to catch) in the manner as directed to you by Allah; so eat of what they catch for you, but pronounce the Name of Allah over it, and fear Allah. Verily, Allah is Swift in reckoning.”
In the final passages he offers beauty, and good ness in food to His creation and offer them: (Tayyibaat translated as lawful and good)
And eat of the things which Allah has provided for you, lawful and good, and fear Allah in Whom you believe.
Allah Subhanawataala commands Prophet Muhammad pbuh to reiterate His blessings to the people:
Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم): “Who has forbidden the adornment with clothes given by Allah, which He has produced for His slaves, and At-Taiyyibat of food?” Say: “They are, in the life of this world, for those who believe, (and) exclusively for them (believers) on the Day of Resurrection (the disbelievers will not share them).” Thus We explain the Ayat (Islamic laws) in detail for people who have knowledge.
Here Allah Subhanawataala connects the Messendgers, Tayyibaat and righteous deeds and that Allah knows what people do including the Messengers:
O (you) Messengers! Eat of the Tayyibat and do righteous deeds. Verily! I am Well-Acquainted with what you do.
Allah Subhanawataala again reminds of his blessings of the Tayyibaat in food provided by HIm:
(Saying) eat of the Tayyibat (good lawful things) wherewith We have provided you, and commit no transgression or oppression therein, lest My Anger should justly descend on you. And he on whom My Anger descends, he is indeed perished. [Tafsir At-Tabari]
The halal part is easy…you avoid the flesh of the swine and carrion, dead animals, and alcohol and you are almost home free.
Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم): “I find not in that which has been revealed to me anything forbidden to be eaten by one who wishes to eat it, unless it be Maitah (a dead animal) or blood poured forth (by slaughtering or the like), or the flesh of swine (pork); for that surely is impure or impious (unlawful) meat (of an animal) which is slaughtered as a sacrifice for others than Allah (or has been slaughtered for idols, or on which Allah’s Name has not been mentioned while slaughtering). But whosoever is forced by necessity without wilful disobedience, nor transgressing due limits; (for him) certainly, your Lord is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
However what I have noted living in the west and observed also in the East that people love packaged food, the packaging is enticing and the inside is sweet.
In Pakistan and the Middle East people love imported packaged foods from the west. What none of us has realized that in doing so we are negotiating a challenging terrain packed with both haram and non-tayyab items in our food, which may be invisible to our untrained eyes.
Can we call bread as being made out of flour? Apparently not! A Dutch researcher has showed this that some bread have Hog hair added to improve their texture.
I was curious as to what is tayyab versus halal, and at a meeting this was beautifully stated with an example as follows:
A cow is milked and a bucket is ready with its milk, this milk is halal and tayyab, then an animal comes and urinates in it, now the milk is still halal but no longer tayyab. Which means something else not an essential part of it has been added to it.
When do we add things to our food?
- To enhance its taste: such as salt, spices and sugar
- To make it stay on the shelf longer so that it does not rot or loose its palatability
- To make a small amount go a long way (such as the milkman in the story of my mother)
In teasing out what is tayyab and what is not?
Here are my conclusions:
When one adds things such as salt spices and sugar as long as it does not destroy the nutrients of the food, it is tayyab and also if added in small amounts such as not to overpower the original food.
When someone adds something to the food item for the sake of number 2 and 3:
It could be due to:
- Primarily to make money and or
- To transport food to where it is needed.
If this addition is more than the original ingredient, detrimental to the health of the person, or changes the character of the original food, or removes the intrinsic ingredients from that food then that resultant food product is NOT TAYYAB.
Whereas if a cook takes fresh vegetables and put some butter and spices on it those vegetables are still tayyab as long as the vegetables do not lose their character and nutrition in the process of adding those additives.
A great example is high fructose corn syrup.
Earlier in this century the “commodities” in the stock market were farm items, which were entirely dependent on natures whims, thus the stock market could crash if there was a drought or a natural disaster.
Notice that in the last several decades the American stock market is steady. The reason being the farms mainly grow corn, which is collected and stored in Government subsidized bins, and in subsidized factories is converted into several kinds of additives that are added to many different foods. This make it last longer and give it a desirable taste and also boosts the stock market as the product of corn is consistent and last for a very long time and has found use in additives in almost everything, food and otherwise.
This in not my discovery. It is beautifully chronicled in the book “The Omnivores Dilemma”
High fructose corn syrup is used in bread, in juices, in cream, in chocolate milk, in prepared frozen dinners, in some pills; it is in almost everything in the States that is on the grocery store shelf.
Since high fructose corn syrup is not a part of bread, and gives flour a very sweet taste that overrides the destruction of taste and nutrition that has come from years that that baked bread has sat in trucks, warehouses and the grocery store shelf, it is acceptable and even desirable to the American palate.
We Muslims start feeding our children all these lovely baked goods from the grocery store since early infancy. The high fructose corn syrup silently kick their insulin producing mechanisms into high gear, which are very active in their youth attempting to fight this constant inpouring of high fructose into the blood stream.
By the time American Muslim children reach puberty, they are overweight or on a constant diet (diet drinks also have a chemical sweetener that incites hunger). This makes for a young adult who is unhappy with how he or she looks, feels and relates with the rest of the world. Add the dark skin color, immigrant parents with an accent and it makes for a young person who lives a dissociated life, one persona at home and one in mainstream society and tries hard not to mix them.
While in the Middle East and China I find that the affluent class likes to eat European or American baked goods, cheeses, frozen foods and jams. Once while I was in Beijing the line in front of McDonald was long enough to go around almost two blocks.
Most all of these exported gourmet foods are loaded with additives that are unnatural to these foods, and may even have a pig product as demonstrated in the Dutch researchers work and thus are NOT TAYYAB and may not even be HALAL!
Where in the study of the Quran did the scholars forget TAYYAB and just latched on to HALAL and why?
I have no answer to this question, do you?
O mankind! There has come to you a good advice from your Lord and a healing for that which is in your breasts, – a guidance and a mercy for the believers.