To Eat or Not to Eat: Food Combinations according to the Sunnah

  • 09 Feb 2021
A famous philosopher, Jean Jacques-Rosseau once said, ‘A good digestion turneth all to health’. 
As much as food is celebrated all around the world in different cultural diversities, we often eat mindlessly without considering the right and proper ethics when it comes to food combinations that could lead to digestive troubles such as constipation, PH level imbalance, allergic reactions, vomiting and diarrhea
The significance of consuming proper food combinations is for our stomach to digest at ease as well as avoiding the delineating effect of the other types of food combined with it. It is vital for our stomach to absorb nutrition from foods in its fullest potential! Always be kind to your body, and feed what is necessary. It is best to practice mindful eating and avoid overeating as it is prohibited by the Prophet.
Here are some interesting facts and proper food combinations as suggested and prohibited by the beloved Prophet, Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him:
1. Consume fruits as appetizers
The common mistake in most cultures is eating fruits as a part of dessert rather than an appetizer. This is due to the fact that fruits are generally sweet like other types of desserts such as cakes and ice cream. This is false practice! Fruits are also known to be pre-digested, so it is better to eat them before meals rather than after.
2. Milk should be taken separately
Many of the Western culture adopt eating milk with cereal, which is not the right way of consuming milk. In fact, milk should not be consumed with anything else except on its own. Milk is already a wholesome and a hearty meal to begin with, and if added with other whole meals, it will prolong the digestion process which can lead to nausea and vomiting.
3. Prophetic Combinations
Here are some hadiths on how the Prophet emphasizes on certain food combinations.
“The Prophet, Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him, forbade (mixing) unripe dates and dried dates, and (mixing) raisins and dried dates” - Bukhari
Ummal Mu’minin Aisha RTA narrated, “The Apostle of Allah (SAW) used to eat melon with fresh dates, and he used to say, ‘The heat of the one is broken by the coolness of the other, and the coolness of the one by the heat of the other.’ - Bukhari
Some weak traditions also show that the Prophet never combined fish and milk. He used to combine dates with bread sometimes. At other times he mixed ripe dates with cucumber, or dates combined with ghee. There are also some examples of him drinking nothing during meals.
To live a healthy life is to watch what you eat. Food combinations might seem a tad bit petty, but the impact of practicing this is substantial. Whatever enters your body will be manifested in the long run, so take good care of your health and eat according to the Sunnah. 
In taking care of the mind and body, you must first equip yourself with the knowledge on which foods are good for you, especially from the Prophetic paradigm. Only then can you lead a healthy lifestyle, live off of a well-balanced diet and grow to be a happier Muslims overall, InshaAllah. If you are interested to learn about the Prophetic foods and issues revolving around it, visit our Islamic learning website to learn all you need to know to be a well-informed Muslim.
About The Author:
Written By:
Lily Syahirah Ramlan
Lily Syahirah is a Content Writer of SimplyIslam Academy based in Selangor, Malaysia. She recently graduated with a Bachelor's Degree of Education (Teaching English as a Second Language) from International Islamic University Malaysia in 2020. She is actively invovled in public speaking, English language debates, poetry and theatre and loves to express her work through writing. Her love for language arts and imagination has led her to produce, direct and write experimental plays she's passionate about during her degree years. She was also actively invovled as a Master of Ceremony (Emcee) where she hosts minor and major events in IIUM.