Recently, milk has been getting a bit of a bad rep amongst nutritionists and scientists. Certain experts have even gone to the extreme of branding it as a ‘white poison’, whilst others argue that milk is the ‘fountain of healthy life’. So, what is actually going on?
I feel it is important to ascertain where the truth lies and analyse what the Quran and Sunnah have to say about milk since it has been mentioned multiple times in both.
Before we do some detective work, let’s see what milk actually is and what it contains.
Milk is essentially a mix of water, proteins, fat and some natural sugar. Although 87.5% of milk is mainly water, it’s still a pretty complex food. After all, it contains all the nutrition a little calf needs from its mother.
One cup of full-fat cow’s milk provides roughly around:
- Calories: 150
- Protein: 7.7 grams
- Carbs: 11.7 grams
- Sugar: 12.3 grams
- Fat: 8 grams
Apart from containing high-quality proteins, milk also contains loads of other essential vitamins, such as vitamins A, B12, and D. so, milk seems to be rather wholesome, wouldn’t you say?
What the Quran and Sunnah Say About Milk
Allah subuhanwutaa’la talks about milk in a very engaging and thought-provoking manner: “And verily! In cattle, there is a lesson for you. We give you to drink of that which is in their bellies, from between excretions and blood, pure milk; palatable to the drinkers” (Surah An-Nahl, 66).
After reading this verse, it is plain to see that milk is a good source of food, sanctioned by Allah subuhanwutaa’la.
Also, a hasan Hadith mentioned in Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud reinforces the meaning of this Quranic verse: “Whoever Allah gives food, let him supplicate, “O Allah! Bless it for us and grant us what is better.” And whoever Allah grants some milk let him say, “O Allah! Bless it for us and grant us more of it,” for I do not know of a more complete food or drink than milk.”
In another authentic hadith, the Prophet (PBUH) said, “There is hardly a disease that has been sent by Allah except He has provided a cure for it. Hence, get yourself treated by cow’s milk for indeed I hope that Allah will put cure in it as it eats from all types of trees.” (Tabarani, Nasai, and Ahmad).
When Allah and His Messenger (PBUH) clarify to us that milk is healthy and wholesome, then there is no doubting the validity of what they advise, Alhamdulillah!
Having said that, I want us to have a holistic perspective on milk that is informed by science just as much as by faith. Naturally then, I should explain why many scientific studies associate drinking a lot of milk with various forms of cancer, diabetes, neurological disorders and cardiovascular diseases. Right?
Well, this is what we’ll discuss in next week’s article, bi’idhnillah. Keep an eye out!