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Preparing Food

Adopted from the book : "Principles of Marriage" by : "Sheikh Ibrahim Amini"

Another very important responsibility of a housewife is preparing food for her family. A good housewife is also a good cook who can prepare delicious food with little money, while a bad housewife cooks bad food with expensive ingredients. Delicious food is a means of attracting her husband towards her. A man whose wife cooks well, does not particularly enjoy eating out. "The Prophet (SA) of Allah stated: 'The best of your women is one who perfumes herself, prepares food skillfully and would not overindulge in spending. Such a woman is one of the workforce of Allah and a person who works for Allah would never have to face either regret or defeat'." 118

It is not possible for me to write down recipes, but there are many good books on the subject which can be obtained and used to cook delicious foods.

But just a few points to remember:

The purpose of eating is not to fill one's stomach but that it also supplies the body with all the nourishment it needs to continue its function. The necessary nourishment for the body is contained in meat, fruits, vegetables and cereals and can be classified into six groups:

(a) Water,
(b) Minerals, such as calcium, phosphorus, iron, copper, etc,
(c) Starchy substances (carbohydrates),
(d) Fats,
(e) Proteins, and
(f) Vitamins like, A, B, C, D, K.

The majority of one's weight is water. Water dissolves the solid food in order to prepare it for absorption by the intestines. Water also regulates the body's temperature.

The minerals are necessary for the growth of bones, teeth, and the regulation of muscle functions. Carbohydrates create energy and heat. Protein helps in the replacing of old or dead cells causing the growth of the body. Vitamins are also important for the growth, strengthening the bones, regulating the chemical reactions in the body, and are vital in maintaining a healthy nervous system.

Each of the above substances is vital for the body. Malnutrition causes many illnesses and can be fatal. The quality of the food is important and has a proportional relationship with one's life span, happiness or sadness, beauty or ugliness and healthy nerves or mental disorders. We are what we eat. If one monitors his food and cares for his eating habits, he would become ill less frequently. It is not wise to eat just delicious food without pondering over its quality. Once one's health is impaired as a result of bad food, one would have to seek medical treatment by a doctor, but unfortunately the human body would never be restored to its original health.

"The Prophet (SA) of Allah stated: 'The stomach is the centre of all illnesses'." 119 Since the choice of food is with the women, therefore, they are very much responsible for the family health. The smallest carelessness on her part, would expose the health of all the family members to many illnesses. Therefore a housewife, besides being a good cook, should be able to identify the quality of the food. Firstly: She should make a food which has all the nourishment necessary for a human body to function properly. "The Prophet (SA) of Allah stated: 'The duty of a woman towards her husband is to turn the lights on in the house and to prepare good and suitable food'." 120

"A woman asked the Prophet (SA) of Allah: 'What good (reward) is awaiting a woman who performs her duties in her husband's house?' The Prophet (SA) stated: 'For every activity that she does concerning the household matters, Allah looks on her kindly, and whoever enjoys the grace of Allah would not be tormented'." 121 Secondly: The dietary needs of people are not the same. Age, size of the body and other possible factors determine the level of our nutritional requirements. For instance, a child, who is growing, need more calcium in comparison with a middle-aged person. The youth need more energy providing food because they have more activities.

One's job is also a factor in determining the type of food one should eat. For instance, a worker needs more fatty, sugary, and starchy food, because he is very active.

The weather is another factor. Our nutritional requirements differ from each other in the seasons of summer, and winter. Also an ill person would eat differently from a healthy one. A good cook should remember all these points. Thirdly: It is a fact that when one reaches the age of forty and over, he is likely to get fat. Perhaps some people regard obesity as the sign of health, but they are mistaken. Obesity is an illness which could have very bad effects on the heart, blood pressure, kidneys, gall-bladder, liver, and may cause angina and diabetes.

Statistics coming from medical sources and insurance companies suggest firstly that thin people live longer than fat ones. Beyond the age of forty, one becomes less active and thus needs less fat, sugar, and starch. The calories are not turned into energy as much as before and therefore contribute towards the fattening of the body. It is therefore better to reduce your consumption of these substances. A woman who cares for her husband's health should put him on a special diet to stop him from getting fat. He should eat less sweets, fat, and cream, but more eggs, liver, poultry, red meat, fish and cheese. Dairy products are also useful. If permitted by the doctor, the overweight person should consume plenty of fruit, and vegetables.

If you are fed up with your husband, if you prefer to be a widow, or if you want to murder your husband without the risks of being prosecuted by the police -then you will not have to do much. Just put plenty of delicious and fattening foods before him. Encourage him to eat as much bread, rice and cakes as possible. Consequently you will get rid of him and not only will you become a widow but he would also thank you for feeding him with all these delicious foods.

You may suggest that such a program is possible for the wealthy people who can afford to buy any type of food they wish. You may think it impossible for those who are not so well off. But one should not forget that all the nutritional values are hidden in the simple and natural foods. A woman who has learned about cooking would tell you that one could get all the nutritional requirements for the body from simple foodstuff such as fruits, cereals. vegetables. and dairy products. One can cook a meal with these ingredients which is both hygienic, healthy, and cheap.

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