Category: Drinks

Coffee: the “Muslim Drink”?

Coffee is the common man’s gold, and like gold it brings the feeling of luxury and nobility for every person.

For many Americans, waking up and brewing coffee is as vital as breathing. But not everyone knows where that hot cup of joy originally came from.

The hot, caffeinated beverage that invigorates the Western world was born in Yemen. Back then coffee was called the Arabic name qahwa. It was drunk by Sufi monks who were the first ones to brew the drink.

For the pious Muslims over eight hundred years ago the night could not begin without a freshly brewed cup of coffee. Coffee was the power drink of the pious.

For the first 300 years after its discovery, coffee was closely associated with Muslims, in particular the Sufi’s. They consumed coffee to stay awake during the night in contemplation of Allah.

There are different stories regarding the discovery of coffee in Yemen. Some say, a shepherd discovered it when all of a sudden his goats started to work energetically right after they ate wild coffee berries. Another story says that some would use coffee as a medicine in the forest and that method spread across the land.

Arab historians agree that coffee drinking began in Yemen in the middle of the twelfth century. This was after Arab traders went to coffee-mecca the Ethiopia, where coffee beans were primarily used for medicinal purposes, and brought back coffee to cultivate for the first time.

It reached the port of Mocha about a thousand years ago. After this, all coffee plants around the world originated from Yemen. It became the most popular drink amongst Muslims, which helped them in their night prayers.

However in the 1400s when the Turks conquered Mocha, they were introduced to coffee. Later on they ordered to spread it in the Middle East and North Africa.

Many Muslims thought coffee as an evil drink and requested it to be banned. Fatwas were issued against coffee. Several reasons were given; it was intoxicant, it was roasted to the point of carbonization similar to fermented drinks, which are prohibited under the Law of Islam.

But coffee is NOT a fermented fruit beverage!!!

For hundreds of years Yemen was the sole trader of these precious coffee beans until in 1600s when coffee beans were smuggled to Europe and America.

By the end of 17th century, coffee drinking had spread all over Europe and coffee beans became the major cash crop till this day.

Yes, coffee is a Muslim drink, which helps them in their night prayers very efficiently, but its legacy has also shared throughout the world. Hence it is safe to say that ‘Coffee: a universal drink!’

What can Muslims drink?

According to Islamic Law, anything that is beneficial for the human body is permitted.

Water – which is the king of all drinks (stated in hadith) can be drunk by the Muslims. It is an important drink in a human’s life because it supports life, and is very beneficial in the biological workings of human body. An average human’s body uses water in all its cells, organs, and tissues to help regulate its temperature and maintain other bodily functions. Because your body loses water through breathing, sweating, and digestion, it’s important to rehydrate by drinking fluids and eating foods that contain water.

Coffee and tea – Long ago, Muslims discovered coffee beans from which they created a drink. Muslims were fascinated by the brewed coffee that it became a habit for them. It also helped them in their nightly contemplation of Allah. Coffee in the beginning was cultivated in Yemen, and through Yemen it spread throughout Europe and other parts of the world.

Although the Muslims of old drank coffee akin to what we know as Turkish coffee today, modern Muslims(myself included) always enjoy a nice espresso or cappuccino brewed at home or at a cafe!

Aerated Drinks – Likewise aerated drinks are permissible for Muslims to drink until it does not reach the fermentation process. Islam prohibits the consumption of alcoholic drink or any fermented drinks, but it is not advisable to consume a lot of it as it does have its own drawbacks. Such as, consumption of a lot of aerated drinks can lead to dehydration, high-sugar intake, and weight gain and calcium depletion.

Juices – Moreover the drinking of healthy fruit and vegetable juices are the best drink a Muslim can enjoy, as all the fruits and vegetables are permissible to consume in Islam, except for the wild ones. Their juices are a perfect and healthy option for a Muslim. Experts say that they are rich in antioxidants and vitamin C. Cranberry juice is considered an anti-inflammatory powerhouse. It’s known to help prevent kidney stones, cavities and fend off urinary tract infections.

Intoxicants – Intoxicants in Islam are strictly prohibited. Alcohol is one of the intoxicant drinks that is forbidden for a Muslim. Rasulullah states in one of his hadith, when a Muslim consumes alcohol, his prayers do not count for 40 days. Many debates are there on the consumption of alcohol for a Muslim. Some say that it is allowed in certain circumstances but Quran clearly states in one of its verse that, alcohol is one of the devil’s works and it is forbidden for Muslims. Also it distracts a Muslim from the contemplation of Allah, which clearly misleads one from the righteous path.

Experts say Alcohol consumption is one of the most dreadful habits. It leads to various problems in life- from health to family problems and in society. Skin problems, anxiety, memory loss, depression, dehydration are some of the problems alcohol causes. Hence it is forbidden for a Muslim to drink alcoholic drinks.