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Home » culture » Somali Foods(Modern) Vs Islamic (Prophetic) Foods.

Somali Foods(Modern) Vs Islamic (Prophetic) Foods.

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Assorted fruits
Assorted Fruits

Food, do we eat to live or live to eat? most of us have different opinions on the latter question. But I constantly tell my peers and clients that we eat to live.

Somalis reside in many different parts of the world the Islamic world. Geography, culture, and religion influenced food habits. For instance, fish is frequently eaten by people who populate the coastal regions. While the ones from inland areas consume more meat from animals.

According to the Quran, pork utilization is forbidden to Islamic script (2:173, 5:3, 6:115,). Most Somalis eat at least three meals a day. They have not inherited this from our beloved Prophet peace and blessings be upon him.


It’s the most important meal to Somalis and there is a prominent Somali proverb that says“Men for tea, women for talk,” tea is the king of meals and can pick any of the following;


Somali traditional food that’s less sour than injera. Ethiopians say it’s injera but for f** sake it’s canjera. God damn get it f*** right.Canjeero is way better than injera .

A plate of Canjera


It’s another type of canjera that people feed on as breakfast lunch or dinner with some soup or curry.

Folded Chapatis


It originated from Yemen, the same as canjeero. Some people interchangeably say canjeera is lahoh, as I was writing this piece we had augured with my friend. 


It’s the mean dish of the day, a juice drink blended fruits plus any of the following food will do for lunch a banana and sliced tomato and onions is an added advantage;


Entered Somali cuisine during the Italian colonization of southern Somalia, which lasted from the 1880s 

Basta is an Italian and Spanish word meaning “Stop!” or “That’s enough!

This signifies that we need to stop eating Basto at all.

Pasta Mint.


Aromatic preparation of rice and meat with a lot of Somali spices like hawaji served in special occasions like weddings eid celebration et al. in the coastal region of Kenya they call it Pilau.

http://Photo by Yasser Mohamed from Pexels


Flatbread preparation like the rice it is also served with maraq (soup).



A rice preparation accompanied by lamp deylo Zurbian or surbiyan is a type of Biryani that is popular in Yemen, other parts of Arabia, and parts of Somalia. The Arabic name زربيان (zurbiyan) was taken from رز برياني (ruz biryani) the first two letters were reversed.

Surbian, a variant of Hyderabadi biryani, is habitually cooked with lamb and potatoes, but some recipes use chicken instead of lamb.

http://Photo by Rajesh TP from Pexels


It’s a common meal served with milk beans or soup. Most Kenyans serve kale (sukuma wiki), which is readily available and cheap.

Sliced Ugali.


Its usually served from after Maghrib prayer, around 7 pm until 10 pm. They can be:


Some can identify it as Baris Digir in the Northern part of Kenya. Every single household whether rich or poor mostly serve it, mascara or any animal fat will serve it better.


Qamadi is wheat either cracked or uncracked can be severed with camel milk.

http://Photo by DS stories from Pexels

Note: Marred men take a cup of milk before they ‘sleep’.


Somalis are fond of eating sugary foods. There is a belief that anything sweeter is healthier. We can not write all about the sweet foods we eat in this article some are as follows:

Xalwa/ Halwa.

This is made from sugar, cornstarch, oil, and nutmeg, and cardamom is used for the spices, nutmeg, and cardamom.

Food historians claim that the first known recipe of halwa appeared in the 13th century Arabic Kitab al-Tarikh (The Book of Dishes) written by Muḥammad ibn al-Ḥasan Ibn al-Karīm.


Comes from gelato, which is Italian for is frozen.

Female holding ice cream

i cun.

 This is a sweet mostly eaten during festivals. People prefer to say I cun, I calaangi, caloosha I gee

I cun with differnt colur.


This is a sweet treat that is popular in Somalia. It is shaped like a butterfly and it is as sweet and beautiful as it.

Good balbalow should be light, crunchy but not hard, and have a nice, crumbly texture.

Crunchy Balbalow

Prophetic Foods.

Muslims derive guidance base on their life upon two sources; The Holy Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The foods have innumerable health benefits in the prevention and curing of certain illnesses. The Prophet(PBUH) was clear on eating clean and healthy habits among his followers.

He asked his companions to wash their hands before and after eating. Eating using the right hand, not eating until they really felt hungry, not eating, and drinking excessively. Finally, by praising and thanking Allah for the food and drink examples of the foods are:


Dates are the fruit of the palm tree. And they contain several vitamins and minerals, in addition, to fiber and antioxidants. Holy Prophet (PBUH) said, “If anyone is fasting let him break his fast with dates. If he does not have them, then with water”. “He who eats seven ‘Ajwa dates every morning, will not be affected by poison or magic on the day he eats them”.

Some of the medical properties of dates are; Polyphenol that dates contain are found to have anticancer effects as reported by the study of Eid et al. (2014). Studies prove the protective effect of dates on hepatorenal toxicity. Dates being a low glycemic index food it’s classified as a superfood.

Example of dried dates.


The Prophet peace be upon him “Eat of its oil and use it (the olives), for indeed it is from a blessed tree”.

The benefit of olives and their oil is oleic acid that is effective against certain cancerous cells. Consequently, it can treat many ailments among them are; anti-cancer and rheumatic arthritis among others.


“The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) entered upon us. And with him was ‘Ali bin Abu Talib, who had recently recovered from an illness. We had bunches of unripe dates hanging up, and the Prophet (PBUH) was eating from them.

‘Ali reached out to eat some, and the Prophet (PBUH) said to ‘Ali: ‘Stop, O ‘Ali! You have just recovered from an illness.’ I made some greens and barley for the Prophet (PBUH). And the Prophet (PBUH) said to ‘Ali: ‘O ‘Ali, eat some of this, for it is better for you’


Milk wipes away heat from the heart just as the finger wipes away sweat from the brow. It strengthens the back, increases brain function, augments intelligence, renews vision, and drives away forgetfulness.

Ibn Abbas (RA); “Prophet`s Allah’s peace be upon him best beverages was milk.

Milk is being poured into a glass.


Honey is the best remedy for diarrhea when mixed in hot water. It is the food of foods, drink of drinks, and medicine of medicines.

Used for creating appetite, strengthening the stomach, eliminating phlegm, as a meat preservative, hair conditioner, eye salve, and mouthwash. In addition, it’s beneficial in the morning in warm water and is also a Sunnah to consume.

The Prophet Muhammed Allah’s peace be upon him; “You have two medicines: honey and the Quran.”


The Prophet was very fond of grapes. It purifies the blood, restores vigor and vitality, strengthens the kidneys, and clears the bowels.

The Prophet Muhammed Allah’s peace be upon him; “Eat raisins, but spit out the stones, for there is an illness in it. And there is healing in the flesh.” Narrated by Ibn Abbas and Suyuti.


The Prophet Allah’s peace be upon him; “Pomegranate removes the effect of Satan and his whispers for 40 days”

Ali(RA) “Eat pomegranate with its white membrane for it is a (therapeutic) dye for the stomach.”



“The best drink in this world and the hereafter is water. Therefore, when you are thirsty drink it by sips. Do not gulps, gulping produces sickness of the liver” Said by Prophet Allah’s peace be upon him.

Water being poured into a glass.

The Litmus Test.

One of the main principles of good health is a balanced diet. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) emphasized the habit of eating less as a method of preventing sickness and disease. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:

Nothing is worse than a person who fills his stomach. It should be enough for the son of Adam to have a few bites to satisfy his hunger. If he wishes more, it should be; One-third for his food, one-third for his liquids, and one-third for his breath.”

Change or perish. We need to follow the teaching of the Holy Prophet. Most Somalis are fighting obesity chronic illnesses like diabetes type two, hypertensive and degenerative disease of the eye.

What to avoid

  • Avoid not forgetting to start with the name of Allah, eating with the right hand, and eating what is near you.
  • Avoid or reduce sugar and sugary content; honey included.
  • Vegetable oil.
  • Excessive consumption of foods and fluids.
  • Avoid or reduce deep-fried foods.
  • Do not forget to return gratitude to Allah.
  • Sugar and sugary.

What to consume.

  • Animal fats like camel, goat, and cattle.
  • Less food and fast often; Mondays and Thursdays.
  • Chew the food slowly and take your time.
  • Eat a healthy balanced diet.
  • Always remember the less fortunate.

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1 thought on “Somali Foods(Modern) Vs Islamic (Prophetic) Foods.”

  1. Pingback: Move It to Improve It: The Power of Regular Exercise for a Healthier You | healthyfity.com

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