Assalamu aleikum bloggers! I hope you had an amazing week and weekend :).
Today’s topic is the uninvited party of eating out: ishraf (waste). Every now and then, we eat out. We like to go to this well known Middle Eastern Buffet in the city I live in. The food selection is great and the price is right. Many Muslims families eat there with their friends and relatives. For big parties, you normally see the men and the boys on one side and the women and girls on another long table. This is the good part because you don’t see men and women interacting if there are not mahram.
The bad part about these gatherings is the food waste that takes place without anybody being outraged. Children taking more than they can eat, not cleaning up their plates, and parents doing the same. When there are done eating, food is left untouched on the tables. And it all goes to trash. We need to teach our children better! And we need to lead by example. Muslim should not take any place in food waste! It is so wrong!
I remember when I was a child, my parents would scold us if we dropped a grain of rice on the floor while eating. They would asked us if our mouths were whole-punched (meaning if they have holes). One time, we (children at the time), were not allowed to eat breakfast and lunch so that we can reflect on our bad behavior. We knew better than waste food after that. We were mad at our parents then but today we understand why they raised us that way. We were lucky to have food on the table every single day. Many people do not get even get the chance to get one meal a day. Allah has said that He will take away what we take for granted if we continue wasting. It is so true! How many people do you see and know who were so rich and lived sumptuously and found themselves at the bottom of the latter later in their life? Many and it is sad.
Having said that, I am not saying deprive you children from food to teach them a lesson. Norms have changed, nowadays. CPS will knock at your door if you raise them the way we were raised B-) …
This is what I do when I eat out. I serve myself a little of everything. If I cannot finish, I pay the extra $6 per pound to take the food home. What’s better? Money in this life or the Akhiret? I choose the after-life no matter how much deep inside, my nafs advise me not spend that six bucks and walk out. If I do not want to pay, I beg my husband to help me finish, he always has a bigger appetite ;). The last resort is to put it in the napkin when no one is looking. I take the napkin with the left overs next to the dumpster where I know rodents will get to it. Is that legal? no. Is it ethical? yes! I also use a piece of bread to clean my plate. If you see a slice of bread that has been cut into and put back in the bag, that would be me, oops ;).
Anas said: “The prophet ordered us not to leave anything in the plate and he said: “You do not know in which portion of your food Allah has put the Barakah (Blessing).” (Muslim).
Someone trying to undermine our religion can use this waste behavior against us. Let’s teach our children at home that food waste is not ok. If they don’t waste food at home, they will not when they eat out.
Jazak’Allah Khair for reading 🙂
Author of “Between Sisters, SVP”