When we were children, everyone was giving us advices about what we could and could not do. I do not recall all of them; but I have some very clear memories. I remember drinking the milk that my grandmother had just milked from our cows, and then sneaking around to see if I could get another filling; the smell of the fresh tarhana soup; waiting impatiently for the freshly baked bread; learning that having chicken for a meal was not so easy as it had to be plucked and cleaned and cooked… Unfortunately, my son has no such memories, nor will he seem to have in the near future.
Compared to the past, having access to almost anything is so easy today isn’t it? Whether you want whole chicken, or just the thigh, or breast, just take your pick. If you want milk, there are lots of them in cartoon. Do you want tomatoes during in the middle of the winter, not a problem the grocery stores have the most exquisite ones. Then comes the question: What is the effect of these abundance on our palate and health? To what extent is a Muslim allowed to buy and to consume anything that he/she can afford in the market?
We are consuming things that have no nutritious value. We consume junk food or carbonated drinks in order to satisfy our hunger or even to enjoy. We do not care about their ingredients, and how they have been made. We just think that it would not be selling if it was unhealthy. As city dwellers, we think that we have no choice but to consume what ever is available. We eat vegetable and fruit which are out of season while thinking that it is an achievement to produce them out of season. We are illiterate about the genetically modified foods and their potential damages.
Recently, on our way to the supermarket, an old lady offered my son a candy. I said: “We do not consume foods kind of things”. She down in the dumps said “this little can do no harm”. We took the candy and gave it to cats later on. In the market an employee offered us a wafer. I said the same thing that we did not consume foods with additives again. Then the answer was the same: “Nothing happens with this little amount.” After the market, another one. They are here and there, everywhere.
As if everybody has gathered together and competing to give my son the junk food. These very little amounts make a big deal when added. As if everyone gets a package of unhealthy food in their pocket and looks for a baby whose cells are just developing to give the package to. I know that they mean no harm; but I just want these “normalized” wrong attitude to change. The ones that are most dearest to us are exposed to the worst trash just because of this attitude. Have you ever seen that dried figs, apricots, or other fruit offered to our children. It sounds abnormal, is not it? Anyway, today’s children have nothing to do with these natural foods anyway.
Just think for a few seconds, when did you start eating these kind of foods? One of the first solid food fed to the babies of this day and age is pretzels so that they teethe easier. And so they are prepared to eat chips at age two. Even doctors give candies as a prize after they have seen the children. All of these are the outcome of the thought that “nothing would happen with that little amount”… And no one knows how much it takes before something bad happens. As Muslims we should pay even more attention than any one else to what we eat and drink.
Allah (swt) says ”O you who have believed, eat from the good things which We have provided for you and be grateful to Allah if it is [indeed] Him that you worship.
Each and every product we find in markets can not be clean and safe. We should care about the safety of products for our moral and spiritual development as well as our health. Instead of saying “this child does not listen to advise, I wonder who s/he has taken after”, we should think outside the box and consider the possibility that it may be what they have been eating that makes them restless and ungrateful.
May Allah (swt) increase our good deeds…
Narrator: BÜŞRA YAZ ÖKTEN
Translation: H.Sadiyye ERYILMAZ