Aminah Assilmi was a renowned female scholar of Islam she traveled around the United States to give lectures, her personal story has admired hundreds of individuals, she was also President of International Union of Muslim Women, the organization that has many achievements under its belt.
“I am very glad that I am a Muslim. Islam is my life. Islam is the beat of my heart. Islam is the blood that courses through my veins. Islam is my strength. Islam is my life so wonderful and beautiful. Without Islam I am nothing, and should Allah ever turn His magnificent face from me, I could not survive.” Aminah Assilmi
It all started with a computer glitch.
She was a Southern Baptist girl, a radical feminist, and a broadcast journalist. She was a girl with an unusual caliber, who excelled in school, received scholarships, ran her own business, and were competing with professionals and getting awards – all these while she was going to college. Then one day a computer error happened that made her take up a mission as a devout Christian. Eventually, however, it resulted into something opposite and changed her life completely around.
Aminah Assilmi was instrumental in the
U.S. Postal Service’s 2001 issuing of the
It was 1975 when for the first time computer was used to pre-register for a class in her college. She was working on her degree on Recreation. She pre-registered for a class and then went to Oklahoma City to take care of a business. Her return was delayed and she came back to college two weeks into the class. Making up the missed work was no problem for her, but she was surprised to find that the computer mistakenly registered her for a Theatre class, a class where students would be required to perform in front of others. She was a very reticent girl and she was horrified to think about performing in front of others. She could not drop the class for it was too late
Failing the class was also not a choice, for she was receiving a scholarship that was paying for her tuition and receiving an ‘F’ would have jeopardized it.
Advised by her husband, she went to her teacher to work out some other alternative to performing, such as preparing costumes, etc. Assured by the teacher that he would try to help her, she went to the next class and was shocked by what she saw. The class was full of Arabs and “camel jockeys”. That was enough for her. She came back home and decided not to go back to the class anymore. It was not possible for her to be in the middle of Arabs. “There was no way I was going to sit in a room full of dirty heathens!”
Her husband was calm as usual. He pointed out to her that God has a reason for everything and that she should think about more before quitting. Besides, there was the scholarship that was paying her tuition. She went behind locked doors for 2 days to think about. When she came out, she decided to continue the class. She felt that God gave her a task to convert the Arabs into Christianity.
Thus she found herself with a mission to accomplish. Throughout the class, she would be discussing Christianity with her Arab classmates. “I proceeded to explain to them how they would burn in the fires of hell for all eternity, if they did not accept Jesus as their personal savior. They were very polite, but did not convert. Then, I explained how Jesus loved them and had died on the cross to save them from their sins. All they had to do was accept him into 1their hearts.” They still did not convert, and so she decided to do something else: “I decided to read their own book to show to them that Islam was a false religion and Mohammed was a false Prophet”.
At her request, one student gave her a copy of the Qur’an and another book on Islam. With these two books she started on her research, which she was to continue for the next one and half years. She read the Qur’an fully and another fifteen books on Islam. Then she came back to the Qur’an and re-read it. During her research, she started taking notes that she found objectionable and which she would be able to use to prove that Islam was a false religion.
Unconsciously, however, she was changing from within which did not escape the attention of her husband. “I was changing, just in little ways but enough to bother him. We used to go to the bar every Friday and Saturday, or to a party, and I no longer wanted to go. I was quieter and more distant.” She stopped drinking and eating pork. Her husband suspected her of having an affair with another man, for “it was only for a man that a woman changes”. Ultimately, she was asked to leave, and she soon found herself living in a separate apartment
“When I first started to study Islam, I did not expect to find anything that I needed or wanted in my personal life. Little did I know that Islam would change my life. No human could have ever convinced me that I would finally be at peace and overflowing with love and joy because of Islam.”
Throughout these times, she continued studying Islam and although she was changing subtly from within, she remained a devout Christian. Then one day, there was a knock on her door. It was a man in traditional Muslim robe, who appeared to her as a “man in a long white night gown with a red and white checkered table cloth on his head”. His name was Abdul-Aziz Al-Sheik and he was accompanied by three other men in similar dress. She was very offended by Muslim men coming to her in nightgowns and pajamas. She was further shocked when Abdul-Aziz told her that he understood that she waited to be a Muslim. She replied that she was a Christian and she did not have any plan to become a Muslim. However, she had some questions to ask if they had the time.
At her invitation, they came inside. She now brought up the questions and objections that she noted down while she was researching. “I will never forget his name”, she said of Abdul-Aziz who proved to be a very patient and soft-mannered person. “He was very patient and discussed every question with me. He never made me feel silly or that a question was stupid.” Abdul-Aziz listened to every question and objection and explained it within the proper context. “He explained that Allah had told us to seek knowledge and questions were one of the ways to accomplish that. When he explained something, it was like watching a rose open – petal by petal, until it reached its full glory. When I told him that I did not agree with something and why, he always said I was correct up to a point. Then he would show me how to look deeper and from different directions to reach a fuller understanding.”
It would not be long before she would externally submit to what she had already been submitting to internally during the last one and half years. Later in that same day, this Southern Baptist girl would declare in front of Abdul-Aziz and his companions: “I bear witness that there is no god but God and Mohammed is His Messenger.” It was May 21, 1977.
Conversion to Islam, or to any other religion for that matter, is not always a simple thing to do. Except for a few fortunate ones, a new Muslim usually face consequences. The convert may face isolation from family and friends, if not pressure to go back to the family faith. Sometimes, a convert may even face sever economic hardship, as in the case of those who are asked to leave the house because of converting to Islam. Some converts are fortunate to continue to be well respected by family and friends, but most of them face minor to severe hardship especially during the first few years after the conversion.
But the difficulty that Aminah Assilimi had to go through and the sacrifice that she had to make for the sake of her conviction and faith is almost unheard of. There are few who could rely so much on Allah as she did, standing firm and meeting the challenges, making sacrifices, and yet maintaining a positive posture and influencing people around with the beauty of what she found and believed in.
She lost most of her friends, for she was “no fun anymore”. Her mother did not accept her becoming a Muslim and hoped that it was a temporary zeal and that she would soon grow out of it. Her “mental health expert” sister thought that she lost her mind. She attempted to put her in a mental health institution.
Her father was a calm and wise man. People would come to him for advice and he could comfort anyone in distress. But when he heard that his daughter became a Muslim, he loaded his double-barrel shotgun and started on his way to kill her. “It is better that she be dead rather than suffering in the deepest of Hell”, he said.
She was now without friends and without family.
She soon started wearing hijab. The day she put it on, she was denied her job. She was now without family, friends, and job. But her greatest sacrifice was yet to come.
She and her husband both loved each other very much. But while she was studying Islam, her husband misunderstood her for her apparent changes. She became quieter and stopped going to the bar. Her changes were visible to him and he suspected her of having affair with another man, for whom she must have been changing. She could not explain to him what was happening. “There was no way to make him understand what was changing me because I did not know.” Eventually he asked her to leave and she started living separately.
After she openly accepted Islam, it went worse. A divorce was now inevitable. This was a time when Islam was little known, much less understood for what it is. She had two little children whom she loved dearly and whose custody should have rightfully be given to her. But in a grave violation of justice, she was denied their custody just because she became a Muslim. Before giving the formal verdict, the judge offered her a harsh choice: either renounce Islam and get custody of the children, or keep Islam and leave the children. She was given 20 minutes to make a decision.
She loved her children very dearly. It is perhaps the worst nightmare that a mother can have: asked to willfully leave her child – not for one day, month, or year, but forever. On the other hand, how could she keep the Truth away from her children and live as a hypocrite? “It was the most painful 20 minutes in my life”, she said in an interview. Those of us who are mothers and fathers, especially of young children, little imagination is needed to feel the pain and torment that she must have passed every second in those 20 minutes. What added further to her pain was that according to doctors, she could never bear another child because of certain complications. “I prayed like I had never done before … I knew that there was no safer place for my children to be than in the hands of Allah. If I denied Him, there would be no way in the future to show my children the wonders of being with Allah.”
She decided to retain Islam. Her two dear children – one little boy and one little girl – were taken away from her and given to her ex-husband.
For a mother, is there a sacrifice greater than this – a sacrifice that is done for no material reason but only for faith and conviction?
“I left the court knowing that life without my babies would be very difficult. My heart bled, even though I knew, inside, I had done the right thing” . She found comfort in the following verse of the Qur’an:
There is no god but He,-the Living, the Self-subsisting, Eternal. No slumber can seize Him nor sleep. His are all things in the heavens and on earth. Who is there can intercede in His presence except as He permitteth? He knoweth what (appeareth to His creatures as) before or after or behind them. Nor shall they compass aught of His knowledge except as He willeth. His Throne doth extend over the heavens and the earth, and He feeleth no fatigue in guarding and preserving them for He is the Most High, the Supreme (in glory). (Quran 2: 255)
Perhaps the air of Colorado was too thin for justice. Or perhaps there was a plan in Allah’s greater scheme of affairs. Aminah Assilimi later fought back and took her case to the media. Although she did not get custody of her children again, a change was made in the Colorado law that one cannot be denied child custody on the basis of his or her religion.
Indeed Allah’s love and mercy engulfed her so much that, as if, she has been granted the touchstone of Islam. Wherever she goes, people are touched by her beautiful words and Islamic manners and become Muslim.
By accepting Islam, she became a changed person, and a much better person. So much so that her family, relatives, and people around her started appreciating her mannerism and the faith that brought about such changes in her. Despite her family’s initial reaction, she remained in touch with them and addressed them with respect and humility, just as the Qur’an enjoins the Muslims to do. She would send cards to her parents on different occasions, but she would always write down a verse from the Qur’an or the Hadith without mentioning the source of such beautiful words of wisdom. It was not long before she started making a positive influence among her family members.
The first to become Muslim was her grand mother. She was over 100 years old. Soon after accepting Islam, she died. “The day she pronounced Shahada, all her misdeeds had been erased, while her good deeds were preserved. She died so soon after accepting Islam that I knew her “book” was bound to be heavy on the good side. It fills me with such a joy!”
Next to become Muslim was her father, the one who wanted to kill her after she became Muslim. Thus he brought alive the story of Umar ibn Khattab. Umar was a companion of the Prophet who persecuted the early Muslims before he converted to Islam. When he heard one day that his sister became a Muslim, he went out with an open sword to kill her. But upon hearing some of the verses from the Qur’an that his sister was reciting, he recognized the truth and went straight to the Prophet and accepted Islam.
Two years after she (Assilmi) accepted Islam, her mother called and said that she appreciated her faith and hoped that she would keep it. Couple of years later, she called again and asked her about what one would need to do to become a Muslim. Assilmi replied that one had to believe that there is only One God and Muhammad was his Messenger. “Any fool knows that. But what do you have to do?”, she asked again. She replied that if that is what she believed, then she was already a Muslim! At this, her mother said, “Well … OK. But let’s not tell your father just yet”.
She was not aware that her husband (Assilmi’s step father) had the same conversation with her a few weeks earlier. Thus the two lived together as Muslims for years in secret without knowing that the other was also a Muslim. Her sister who wanted to put her in mental institution accepted Islam as well. She must have realized that becoming Muslim is indeed the most healthy and sound thing to do.
Her son, upon becoming adult, accepted Islam. When he turned 21, he called her and said that he wanted to become a Muslim.
Sixteen years after the divorce, her ex-husband also accepted Islam. He said that he had been watching her for sixteen years and wanted his daughter to have the same religion that she had. He came to her and apologized for what he had done. He was a very nice gentlemen and Assilimi had forgiven him long ago.
Perhaps the greatest reward for her was yet to come. Assilmi later married another person, and despite the doctors’ verdict that she could never conceive another child, Allah blessed her with a beautiful boy. If Allah (swt) makes a gift to someone, who can prevent Him? It was truly a wonderful blessing from Allah (swt), and so she named him “Barakah”
The sacrifice that Assilmi made for the sake of Allah (swt) was tremendous. And so Allah (swt) turned in mercy to her and rewarded her with enormous blessings. Her family discarded her after she accepted Islam, and now by Allah’s mercy, most of them are Muslim. She lost her friends because of Islam, and now she is being loved by so many. “Friends who loved came out of nowhere”, she said. Allah’s blessings came upon her so much that wherever she goes people are touched by the beauty of Islam and accept the Truth. Both Muslims and non-Muslims now come to her for advice and counseling.
She lost her job because of wearing hijab, and now she is the President of the International Union of Muslim Women. She delivers lectures nationwide and is on high demand. It was her organization that successfully lobbied for the “Eid Stamp” and had it approved by the United States Postal Service, but it took many years of work.
She had tremendous trust on Allah’s love and mercy and she never looses faith on Him. She was once diagnosed with cancer some years ago. Doctors said that it was in an advanced stage and that she would live for another year. But her faith in Allah (swt) remained strong. “We must all die. I was confident that the pain I was experiencing contained blessings.” As a brilliant example of how much one can love Allah, she mentions about a friend of her named Kareem Al-Misawi who died of cancer when he was in his 20’s:
“Shortly before he died, he told me that Allah was truly Merciful. This man was in unbelievable anguish and was radiating with Allah’s love. He said: “Allah intends that I should enter heaven with a clean book.” His death experience gave me something to think about. He taught me of Allah’s love and mercy.”
Despite health issues, Sister Aminah maintained a rigorous schedule of speaking engagements around the nation and the world. Her current project included a Center for Muslim Women’s Studies that would serve as a resource center for new Muslims and as a summer camp for Muslim children.
Aminah Assilmi, a national Muslim community activist, scholar, author, and advocate for women’s rights who died at March 5th, 2010 in a car accident outside of Newport, Tenn. She was returning with her son from a speaking engagement in New York. Her son, who was injured in the accident, was taken to a hospital in Knoxville. She was 65.
She is survived by her daughter Amber, and sons, Whitney and Mohammad, as well as by several grandchildren.
Extremism ‘experts’ are everywhere these days. Assertions thrive about what Shariah law allows, especially when it comes to warfare and ‘Jihad’. Two very unlikely bedfellows, Islamophobes and extremists, have taken up one allegation, that Islam is violent, and run with it. They both misquote Islamic sources to prove their shared fantasies, and to good effect, with media outlets falling over themselves to give them a platform. This convenient lie has become the Blood Libel of the Muslims, which is spread by various groups to achieve their own agendas.
So here is a list of actual rules of engagement taken from Islamic law, together with their original sources. This is what forms the basis of what Muslims believe and follow. These 8 laws expose the ‘Islam is violent’ line as lazy and shamefully dishonest.
N.B. War is unfortunately an inevitable part of civilization and at times countries need to respond to aggression. Islam allows the use of force to stop evil and bring security to a country’s citizens therefore a set of laws pertaining to war has been laid out by the Prophet Muhammad himself.
What follows are mainstream laws of Islam as taught by the orthodoxy of the religion. This is what the vast majority of Muslims around the world observe as their religion. It does not mean however, that all those who claim to be Muslim actually follow orthodox Shariah laws. Such groups and individuals would rightly be labelled as heretics for inventing new beliefs that run counter to explicit statements found in original sources of Islamic law.
To begin with, all the following laws of war revolve around these overarching statements in the Qur’an that acts as a general rule:
وَقَاتِلُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ الَّذِينَ يُقَاتِلُونَكُمْ وَلاَ تَعْتَدُوا إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يُحِبُّ الْمُعْتَدِينَ
And fight in the way of God those that fight you, but do not transgress,
for indeed God does not like the transgressors. [Qur’an 2: 190]
لاَ ينْهَاكُمُ اللهُ عَنِ الَّذِينَ لَمْ يُقَاتِلُوكُمْ فيِ الدِّينِ وَلَمْ يُخْرِجُوكُم مِّنْ دِيَارِكُمْ أَنْ تَبَرُّوهُمْ وَتُقْسِطُوا إِلَيْهِمْ إَنَّ اللهَ يُحِبُّ المُقْسِطِينَ
God does not prohibit you from showing kindness and being just with those who do not fight you nor have driven you out of your homes. Indeed God loves those who are just. [Qur’an 60: 8]
The first verse forms the basis of all Islamic laws relating to fighting, i.e. you are allowed to fight those that fight you, but not to tyrannize those who have done you no harm. The second one goes further and explains that, not only is fighting innocent civilians forbidden, but Muslims are ordered to be kind and just with those who did no harm to them. It is these verses that inform all other laws of engagement, which are as follows:
1. The prohibition of killing women and children
Anas ibn Malik reports that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) forbade the killing of women and children. [Muslim: 4320]
This instruction of the Prophet became a universally accepted law in Islam, and it has been the practice of the Muslims throughout history. It is because Muslims obeyed this law that we never saw Islamic equivalents of things like the Spanish Inquisition or the slaughter of civilians during the Crusades, even after the Muslims reclaimed Jerusalem.
Or closer to our time, the genocide that Europeans exported to other continents, such as North and South America and Australia, or the widespread slaughter of humans during the 1st and 2nd ‘World War’, which was mainly a European feud. None of these have comparable Muslim examples, and it’s because of the Prophet’s advice.
2. Killing of non-combatants such as old people, monks and workers is explicitly forbidden in Islamic scripture
Ibn Abbas narrates that the Prophet (may peace be upon him) said to an outgoing army, “Leave in the name of God, and upon the way of his messenger. Do not kill any old person”. [Al-Bayhaqi: 16689]
Ibn Abbas also narrates from the Prophet (may peace be upon him) said, “Do not ever kill the people living in towers (i.e. monks). [Nayl al-Awtar: 3324]
Rabah ibn Rabee’ says he left in an expedition with the prophet (peace be upon him), who went up to Khalid ibn Walid [his general] and said “Do not kill the workers / wage earners [i.e. those workers not fighting you]”. [Ahmad: 15562]
The above hadiths are the words of the Prophet himself, explicitly banning the harm of those who fall into the broader classification of non-combatants. These traditions specify that the old who cannot participate in any aggression, the monks who have forsaken any interest in worldly life, and those regular workers that are not involved in politics or war are to be left alone. Furthermore, Muslim scholars have used these traditions to deduce through analogy, that more groups stand protected by Islamic law.
3. The prohibition of hurting the disabled and infirm
The blind, the infirm and the monks are not to be killed according to Islamic legal scholars as they are not from among the combatants, similar to the old person. [Al-Mugni: 7612]
This is the statement of ibn Qudamah, the compiler of Islamic jurisprudence, who can be likened to Maimonides in Judaism or St Augustine in Christianity in terms of their influence and acclaim. Here you can see that he has deduced from the words of the Qur’an and Hadith laws to protect other groups not explicitly mentioned, but are understood through inference. This is stated in the book Al-Mughni, which is described as the ultimate book to Shariah law.
In addition to banning various types of killings, the Prophet goes further to include more restrictions on the way Muslims engage in war.
4. Islam prohibits the mutilation of dead combatants
Sulaiman b. Buraid through his father reports that when the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) appointed anyone as a leader of an army or detachment he would especially exhort him to fear Allah and to be good to the Muslims who were with him. He would say:
“Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah… do not break your pledge; and do not mutilate (the dead) bodies; do not kill the children. [Muslim 4294]
This order is not concerning civilians but dead combatants. The Prophet taught Muslims to respect even dead enemy soldiers who were fighting against the Muslims just before their death. This was when it was common practice among the pagans of Makkah to disfigure dead enemy soldiers after the battle was over. In addition to dead enemy soldiers, there are also clear instructions of how to treat enemy soldiers that are still alive.
5. The Qur’an commands Muslims to show mercy to those combatants who surrender
And if one of the disbelievers surrenders and pleads mercy, then show mercy so that they can hear the words of Allah, and then allow him to go back to his place of safety. [Qur’an 9: 5]
Verses like these are regularly overlooked by both the Islamophobe when they quote certain verses in isolation to the broader message of the Qur’an, as well as extremists who try to convince Muslims that Islam demands merciless violence and claim that anyone who disagrees are not real Muslims.
In fact, the most popularly quoted verse used to make Islam appear uber violent is, “And fight them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out” [Qur’an 2: 192]. This verse comes straight after the one quoted in the beginning of this article, (“And fight in the way of God those that fight you, but do not transgress”). However when taken on its own, without looking at what proceeded it, “them” in this verse could be understood as anyone and everyone, not just “those fighting you”.
So Islamophobes and extremists seem to misquote the same verses and choose to ignore the same ones, arguing the same lazy lie. Unfortunately for them, the sources of Islamic law say otherwise.
6. Treatment of prisoners of war
And they give food, in spite of their love for it (or for the love of Him), to the Miskeen (the poor), the orphan, and the captive, (Saying): ‘We feed you seeking Allah’s Countenance only. We wish for no reward, nor thanks from you”. [Qur’an 76:8-9]
Ibn ‘Abbas said: in those days their prisoners were mushrikeen (polytheists; on the day of Badr the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) commanded them to be kind to their prisoners, so they used to put them before themselves when it came to food… Mujahid said, this refers to the one who is detained, i.e., they would give food to these prisoners even though they themselves desired it and loved it. [Tafsir ibn Kathir: Al-Insan]
In Islam, prisoners of war are treated with dignity and care. Islam introduced such rules of war 1400 years ago while the Geneva convention only decided to outlaw torture in 1977. And just like the clear cut rulings of Islam have had no affect on the actions of terror groups that claim to be Muslim, similarly the Geneva convention has not stemmed the torture and abuse by western nations in recent history.
7. Even the cutting of trees, destroying surroundings and killing animals without reason is illegal
Abu Bakr said, “I advise you, do not cut the fruitful trees, or destroy homes. And do not wound the sheep, goats or cattle except to for eating”. [Al-Muwatta: 949]
This ruling, as ordered by the first and most important of the rightly-guided Caliphs sets the precedence for Muslim army conduct in foreign lands. This statement is part of a longer speech delivered to Muslim army generals who were about to set off for war against the Roman empire. There is no ‘shock and awe’ tactics which armies new and old employ, where infrastructure and civilian populations are terrorised into surrendering.
8. There can be no forced conversion
Let there be no compulsion in religion – Truth stands out clear from Error! Whoever rejects evil and believes in God has grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah hears and knows all things. [Quran 2: 256]
As concise an instruction as can be; this one verse has stopped any attempt by Muslim armies to try and force people to accept Islam. Although Islam is indeed a missionary religion that seeks to win over followers, forced conversions are not counted.
There can never be a Spanish Inquisition in Islam. Simply because it won’t count. Islam can only be spread through strong arguments and debate, and it can only be embraced through sincere acceptance of the facts. So no, Islam did not, and could not have spread through the sword.
So there you have it, the rules of engagement of Islam, straight from words of the Prophet Muhammad and Shariah Law. It doesn’t sound nearly as bad as either the right-wing media or an ignorant extremist would have you think, right? That’s because there is a big difference between mainstream beliefs and practices of Islam which have been set in stone for 1400 years, and lazy tabloid readings of isolated quotes.
One thing is for sure, the Islamophobes who declare Islam to be barbaric and the isolated extremists dreaming up their own versions of Islam are two sides of the same coin. They both benefit from twisting scripture, and they both stand condemned as frauds when presented with the evidence from the sources of Islamic Law. With this knowledge at hand, you stand better equipped than 99% of the so-called experts out there, so use this information and spread it. Hopefully we will soon see a tide of unemployed ‘extremism experts’ lining up outside the job centre, where our trusted Job Centres will help them find real jobs.
According to the traditions and history of the prophet’s life that we have at hand, it can be concluded that the prophet would eat from anything that was halal, without restricting himself, except in cases where he was going to be present in a gathering; in such cases he wouldn’t have onions, garlic, etc., so that his breath wouldn’t smell bad and bother the rest. Or, for example, he wouldn’t have wheat bread because it was somewhat the food of the wealthy class. His most favorite food was meat, and out of its different cuts, the foreshank was his favorite. He considered the hindshank to be makruh because of its proximity to the urinal organ. He would also eat chicken and wild animals and hunted birds, but he himself wouldn’t hunt.
Imam Sadiq (AS) has been narrated saying: “The prophet’s favorite condiments were vinegar and olives, because his excellence had said that these are the food of the prophets.”
The prophet also liked squash; there was a type of squash by the name of ‘Dabaa’ that he liked, and he would also eat cheese. When ‘Rutab’ (fresh dates) season would coincide with his fast, he would break his fast only with ‘Rutab’ and would feed the seeds of the dates to the sheep. His diet was mostly made up of water and dates. He would also have milk and dates and porridge (halim), and liked dates and honey very much.
He would also have bread, oil, vinegar, chicory, sweet mountain basil and cabbage. He would eat unsifted whole wheat bread and never had wheat bread, and never filled himself with whole wheat bread either. Until the day he passed away, he never sat at a lush and colorful table like the wealthy . He wouldn’t have onions, leek or honey that contained ‘Maghaafir’.
Out of the different fruits, pomegranates, melons and grapes were his favorite. He would usually have his grapes one by one. He would have his cucumbers with dates, and his watermelon with melons, sometimes with sugar, and sometimes even with dates.
When food was brought to him that had dates along with it, he would always begin with the dates. He never criticized a food; if he liked it, he would have it, and if he didn’t, he wouldn’t, but he wouldn’t forbid it for others.
If he was invited to a meal by anyone, he would sit wherever they had in mind; on the ground or anything that had been spread for him, and he would have with them whatever they would offer. He wouldn’t eat alone, and for him the best meal was one that had the most number of people sharing in it.
 See: Tabataba’i, Sayyid Muhammad Husayn, Sunan al-Nabiyy (SAW), Farsi translation, Fiqhi, Muhammad Hadi, pp. 166-192, Islamiyyah Bookstore, Tehran, seventh edition, 1999.
 Kulayni, Kāfī, vol. 6, pg. 328, Daar al-Kutub al-Islamiyyah, Tehran, 1986.
 Of course, the reason why the prophet wouldn’t have onion, garlic or leek was because he would go the masjid and didn’t want the smell to bother anyone. Shaykh Saduq, Ilal al-Sharaaryi’, vol. 2, pg. 519, Davari Bookstore, Qum, first edition, 2006.
 Maghaafir is something from plants that remains in the abdomen of honeybees when making honey and has a bad smell to it.
 For further information in this regard, you can refer to the book Sunan al-Nabiyy(SAW), which has collected the traditions on the life of the prophet.