World’s population is estimated to be around 8 billion people. The Muslim population is around 1.5 billion. If we divide that number by 5, the average number of a Muslim family, we have 300 million families. If we estimate 2.5% of that number of families who can offer the Sunnah of Udhia, we will have around 7.5 million Qurbanis offered this year alone. If one Udhia can feed 20 people, that means around 150 million people were fed meat this year alone in a period of three days because of a Sunnah that the prophet ﷺ urged us to practice 1400 years ago.

Just for a moment, think about that and reflect on how rituals were made in Islam to serve the needs of people, especially the basic needs for humans such as food!

Allah ﷻ reminded the people of Quraish of His blessings in two basic matters of life; food and safety. Allah ﷻ said: {For the composing of Quraish * their composing for the winter and summer caravan * So let them serve the Lord of this House * who has fed them against hunger and secured them from fear.} 106:1-4. And in such reminder, Allah ﷻ asked that He is to be glorified in worship for that.

In another verse, chapter number 80, Allah ﷻ asked us to reflect on how food was brought to us by Him as a mean for sustenance and enjoyment. {Let Man consider his nourishment * We poured out the rains abundantly * then We split the earth in fissures * and therein made the grains to grow * and vines, and reeds * and olives, and palms * and dense-tree’d gardens * and fruits, and pastures *an enjoyment for you and your flocks.} 80:24-32.

In chapter 16, Allah ﷻ spoke about seas or oceans and how matters were made in it to also serve the need of people, including fish for consumption. {It is He who subjected to you the sea, that you may eat of it fresh flesh, and bring forth out of it ornaments for you to wear; and thou mayest see the ships cleaving through it; and that you may seek of His bounty, and so haply you will be thankful.} 16:14.

Because of all that which God has granted us of His blessings of food, we need to remember two basic things as we owe it to Him. ﷻ

One, we should always relate the provisions and blessings to Him alone and that we will be asked about it at the Day of Judgment. We read in chapter 26 {[He] who created me, and Himself guides me * and Himself gives me to eat and drink.} 26:78-79. This is where prophet Ibrahim ﷷﷵ spoke about the provisions of God. Prophet Mohammad ﷺ once was offered some meat and dates. After he ate with his companions, he said, quoting a verse from the Quran: {Then you shall be questioned that day concerning true bliss.} 102:8.

Two, we should eat only what we need and not be wasteful. This is a demonstration of the appreciation of the blessing of food availability while others around the world might not enjoy the same blessing. Allah ﷻ said: {Children of Adam! Take your adornment at every place of worship; and eat and drink, but be you not prodigal; He loves not the prodigal.} 7:31. Scholars said that this verse has the foundation of a healthy lifestyle in it, if you consume only what you need and not be of extravagance.

Among other manners that are related to the blessing of food availability that Muslims should consider and remember, is remembering the less fortunate or your neighbors when you cook food. The prophet ﷺ told Abu Zar Al-Ghifari when he saw him cooking food, “Add more water to it so you can offer some extra food to your neighbors.” And in another Hadith, the prophet ﷺ said: “One who is blessed with food let him offer some to those who do not have any.

Let us be grateful to Allah ﷻ that He made food available for us, and let us demonstrate that in simple words of thanks, for Allah ﷻ will be pleased with us. The prophet ﷺ said: “One who eats something and says Al-Hamdulillah, Allah will be pleased with him.

By Sheikh Kifah Mustapha