Prophetic Medicine in Modern Times
By Hamza Mohammed
Many Muslims grow up hearing and seeing sunnah foods around them. From grandpa breaking his fast with dates, to grandma sprinkling black seeds (nigella sativa) in her famous potato curry, and mom giving a spoonful of honey to relieve a cough.
However, it is interesting to study whether these sunnah foods continue to be in one’s pantry after parents and grandparents are no longer around. Do college students and then young parents rush to the nearest pharmacy when they have a bad cough, or do they reach for the jar of honey?
Quick and Easy Snack Bars
If there’s one thing that everyone is nowadays, it is busy. From professionals to parents, students to service professionals, everyone is stretched for time. That could be one of the main reasons why some companies have introduced sunnah foods in more accessible forms.
Cure your World is a Muslim owned and operated company that produces a unique snack, the Cure Bar, as well as black seed products and supplements. Founder, Zobaida Falah fell victim to junk food as a student. When she became a teacher, she witnessed this trend continuing with her students who were also consuming junk food throughout the school day. Zobaida created Cure Bars in an effort to provide an alternative to unhealthy, readily available snacks. She was inspired by her grandmother, whom she watched prepare a mix of nuts, seeds, and honey each morning as a child. Zobaida’s grandmother called it her “secret cure for everything”, and believed it to have medicinal values and that it protected her from illness.
Manufactured in Washington and Ohio, Cure Bars, which increased in popularity after being featured in an AJ+ viral video, come in three flavors: Peanut Butter, Roasted Almonds and Honey, and Coconut Cashew. In addition to black seed and honey, the bars also contain healthy ingredients, such as oats, sesame seeds, and chia seeds and are a great source of magnesium and zinc. CURE also sells black seed products and Supplements, including black seed oil, black seed oil capsules, and turmeric and black seed powder capsules.
“The benefits of black seed are extraordinary,” said Noor Salem, author of Sunnah Superfoods: Miraculous Remedies & Recipes that will change your life forever. “They’ve been found to contain benefits for preventing cognitive decline, obesity, bloating, arthritis, inflammation, and blood sugar dysregulation to name a few. Honey has incredible healing benefits that researchers continue to uncover. Some include suppressing cough, balancing blood sugar (which many find surprising), and healing the intestinal lining. Both this book and her “Sunnah Superfoods for Kids” are available on Amazon.
“There is healing in black seed for all diseases except death.” [Sahih al-Bukhari 5688, Book 76, Hadith 11].
In 2021, Aresh Saqib launched Sukoon Nutrition, Muslim owned and operated company that makes Halal gummies using foods such as black seed, honey, and elderberry. He got the idea after seeing his father, a medical doctor, eat black seed and honey together every day for 20 years. It always blew his mind how his father almost never got sick, even while working 12-hour shifts at the hospital.
Their biggest surprise has been how customers have reacted to the gummies. “We never thought it would get as big as it has,” Saqib said. “Alhumdulilah the gummies have helped hundreds of people with ailments such as joint pain, hair loss, blood sugar levels, immunity and more. Some have even told us they were in pain for years until they tried our gummies.”
“I love Sukoon gummies,” said 9-year old Soha Rasul. “My mom said many of the gummy vitamins at the store are not halal, so I was so excited to try these. They taste just like candy, but are good for you. I wish I could have more every day.”
Sakoon Nutrition contributes a portion of each of their sales to charity. Located in Laguna Beach, Calif. their five different types of gummies are sold across the world, including the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and in the U.S.
However, like many companies, they have had their share of challenges. “One of the biggest challenges, he said, has been growth,” said Saqib. “After the Tik Tok honey moon phase died out, which was when everyone was getting 10,000 views a video, they had to pivot to paid social media advertising. Growth has been slow but steady,” he added.
Founded in 1995, two brothers in Kuwait shared their pure honey to friends and neighbors. Today, Mujeza Honey, based in Tampa, Florida, is one of the world’s leading companies in honey production. They produce a variety of different types and flavors of honey including turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, and black seed.
“One of the biggest struggles was making sure people know that we sell natural, authentic honey,” said Omar, one of the founders. “Many companies use sugars and syrups rather than real honey. We were also surprised how online sales through our website and Amazon have helped the business grow. We got far more customers than we could have at a retail store.”
Mujeza Honey has received many international certifications.They sell more than 15 different types and flavors of honey, and their products can be purchased at more than 500 retailers in 20 countries as well as on their website.
Worth a Shot
Dua Aldasouqi, a registered dietitian nutritionist in Champaign, Ill. agreed that black seed is used in many types of disease management. One of the most common ways of it being consumed today is through black seed oil. Research has shown good results of black seed treating diabetes and types of heart diseases. She said that honey has been used medicinally in many civilizations in the past. It has antibacterial properties, and can also be used to treat some colds and skin conditions.
With thousands of reviews on Amazon, many people are also trying out paraben-free black seed toothpastes and hair growth oil.
“While it is hard to accurately judge the intentions of companies making these products,” said Aldasouqi. “I believe if it brings youth closer to sunnah foods, it is a great initiative.”
Hamza Mohammed, attends Farragut High School in Tennessee. He is an avid reader and enjoys writing in his free time.