A Tayyib Lifestyle Can Reinstate Hope and Healing
Who created you, proportioned you, and balanced you? (Qur’an, 82:7)
Our bodies are protected by a series of miraculous defense systems working round the clock to keep our bodily activities functioning smoothly, i.e. to keep us healthy. When we live imbalanced lives filled with toxic foods, constant stress, toxic environments (physical, mental and social) and an overwhelming negativity, our bodies are destroyed and our beautiful bodily systems stop working properly, leading to chronic diseases.
In the middle of a pandemic, when we have limited answers and need hope, we must turn to the Qur’an and look for what Allah says that we should do. Allah says: And Allah presents an example: a city which was safe and secure, its provisions coming to it in abundance from every location, but it denied the favours of Allah. So Allah made it taste the envelopment of hunger and fear for what they had been doing…. Then eat what Allah has provided for you [which is] lawful and pure. And be grateful for the favours of Allah, if it is [indeed] Him that you worship. (Qur’an 16:112-114)
This verse depicts exactly what is going on right now. We undoubtedly take for granted the blessings and bounties bestowed on us. We stuff our bodies and our children’s bodies with artificial toxic food and chemicals, keep spraying the earth with toxins, live with chronic stress, lack of sleep and negativity without thinking about the consequences. Have we stopped to think that our bodies and the resources of earth are gifts from Allah and that we should be grateful to Allah for them? Taking care of our bodies and the earth is a true act of gratitude. But by polluting our bodies and earth we have become truly ungrateful. We are now suffering more than ever from the consequences of feeding toxins to our bodies and throwing toxins on earth.
6 out of 10 adults in the world have a chronic disease and 4 out of 10 adults have two or more chronic health conditions. 60% of Americans are overweight or obese. In 2018, 1 in 36 children were diagnosed with autism, and if we continue following the same trajectory, 1 in 4 children will have autism by 2033. We have lost half of all livestock species, 90% of edible plant species, and 75% of all pollinator species, which are disappearing at the rate of mass extinction. There are about 400 marine dead zones around the world (combined together they are as big as Europe) upon which 500 billion people depend for food. The UN informs us that we have only about 60 harvests left! What will happen then, to humanity?
Unfortunately, the development of agriculture is leading to a decrease in food diversity which is causing disease. Our children are getting sicker, we are getting sicker, and our planet is getting sicker, and it is all our own doing
Corruption has appeared throughout the land and sea by [reason
of] what the hands of people have earned so He may let them taste
part of [the consequence of] what they have done that perhaps they
will return [to righteousness]. (Qur’an 30:41)
However, even though the problem is of our own making, Allah has given us the solutions to fix it. How are we going to address this problem? Immediately after mentioning fear and hunger in the Qur’anic verse mentioned above, Allah talks about how we can change our circumstances. Allah immediately mentions our food. So what does Allah say about our food?
Then eat what Allah has provided for you [which is] lawful and
pure. And be grateful for the favours of Allah, if it is [indeed] Him
that you worship. (Qur’an 16:114)
We said that COVID-19 badly affects those with metabolic syndrome, which is linked to a bad diet and lifestyle, and this is exactly what Allah has said. We have to start with halal and tayyib food.
What is Tayyib (Pure) Food?
What is tayyib food? I had heard about halal food, but I never knew anything about tayyib food until I started researching. The word ‘tayyib’ itself means pure, good, clean, wholesome, gentle, excellent, fair and lawful; so it’s good and a bit more than being merely good. It is the opposite of khabith food, which means food that is impure, genetically modified, with artificial like colours, preservatives, toxins, etc., something that causes us harm and is bad for us.
Tayyib and halal come together and also separately in the Qur’an. When Allah mentions something more than once, we have to pay attention. The word tayyib is repeated over and over in the Qur’an and Sunnah.
And We shaded you with clouds and sent down to you manna and
quails, [saying], “Eat from the pure things with which We have
provided you.” And they wronged Us not - but they were [only]
wronging themselves. (Qur’an 2:57)
O men! eat the lawful and pure things out of what is in the earth,
and do not follow the footsteps of the Shaytan; surely he is your
open enemy. (Qur’an 2:168)
O you who have believed, eat from the pure things which We have provided for you and be grateful to Allah if it is [indeed] Him that you worship. (Qur’an 2:172)
And eat of what Allah has provided for you [which is] lawful and pure And fear Allah, in whom you are believers. (Qur’an 5:88)
Say, “Not equal are the impure and the pure, although the
abundance of impure might impress you.” So fear Allah, O you of
understanding, that you may be successful (Qur’an 5:100)
“…Eat of what Allah has provided for you and do not follow
footsteps of Satan, indeed he is your clear enemy. (Qur’an 6:142)
Those who follow the Messenger, the unlettered Prophet, whom they find written in what they have of the Torah and the Gospel, who enjoins upon them what is right and forbids them what is wrong and makes lawful for them the pure things and prohibits for them the impure things and relieves them of their burden and the shackles which were upon them. So they who have believed in him, honoured him, supported him and followed the light which was sent down with him ‒ it is those who will be the successful (Qur’an 7:157)
“Eat from the pure things which we have provided you”. And they wronged Us not, but they were [only] wronging themselves”
Then eat of what Allah has provided for you [which is] lawful and pure. And be grateful for the favour of Allah, if it is [indeed] Him that you worship (Qur’an 16:114)
“Eat of the pure things we have provided for your sustenance, but commit no excess therein, lest my wrath should justly descend on you, and those on whom descends my wrath do perish indeed”
[Allah said], “O messengers, eat from the pure foods and work
righteousness. Indeed, I, of what you do, am Knowing. (Qur’an
As one sees from these Qur’anic verses, eating tayyib food is directly equated with true success, just as it opens the doors to Jannah and is also linked to true taqwa, while disbelieving and eating khabith food are linked to following in the footsteps of the Shaytan.
Even Allah’s punishments are associated with eating that which is not tayyib:
“Eat of the pure things we have provided for your sustenance, but commit no excess therein, lest my wrath should justly descend on you, and those on whom descends my wrath do perish indeed” (Qur’an 20:81)
This excerpt is from
The Pandemic Prescription: Restoring Hope from the Qur'an, Sunnah and Science
by Saeed Madiha