By Dr. M.Laiq Ali Khan
Barley crops are cultivated throughout the country during the season of rabi crops and utilized in various forms including the Barley flour. The plants of barley are very similar to wheat and the seeds are elongated in shape in comparison to wheat with a covering of light yellow colour. Prophet Muhammad (saws) liked it very much and used it in various forms such as barley bread, gruel and dough.
During the period of the Prophet (saws) the people either used to eat the Barley bread or to mix the wheat flour with Barley flour to prepare the bread generally. One lad used to sell the preparation from Beet roots and barley at the gate of Masjid-e-Nabwi on every Friday and it is said that holy companions liked this preparation as much as they used to wait for Friday eagerly. Ummul Manzar states that the Prophet (saws) along with Ali came to our house, we had the dates and those were presented to them. Both of them ate from those dates. When Ali (Ra) consumed a little of those, the Prophet (saws) said
"You recently recovered from illness, hence you are weak, hence don’t eat more. Therefore, that lady prepared a dish from barley and beet root. Then, the Prophet (saws) told Ali "eat from it, it is better for you". (Ibn-e-Maja, Sanad-e-Ahmed, Tirmizi)
This proves that after illness, the preparation made from barley and beet roots is very good tonic for weak persons.
Anas Bin Malik states that a tailor invited the Prophet (saws) to meals. He prepared the barley bread and meat with Pumpkin. The Prophet (saws) very affectionately ate the pumpkin pieces from the curry. (Bukhari, Muslim)
Yousuf Bin Abdullah Bin Salam states that I saw the Prophet (saws) taking a piece of barley bread and put a date on it and stated that was bread’s vegetable (salan). (Abu Dawood)
The barley gruel was especially prepared after boiling barley with milk and sweetened with honey. That preparation was called as Talbina.
Whenever a person of the family of Muhammad (saws) fell sick then it was ordered that the barley gruel should be prepared for him. Then he used to state
"it removes the grief of the patients heart, removes its weakness as any of you removes the dirt from your face after washing it". (Ibn Maja)
Aisha (R.A) used to order preparation of Talbina for sick person and used to say "though the patient dislike it, but it is highly beneficial for him. (Bukhari)
Another narration is found on record from Aisha Siddiqua (R.A). Whenever anyone complained of loss of appetite to the Prophet (saws), He ordered to use Talbina and stated
"By Allah who hold my life, this removes the dirts of your abdomen as one of you removes the dirt of your face by washing it".
Powdered barley (Sattoo) was very much liked by the Prophet (saws). At the time of victory of Khaibar, the Prophet agreed to marry to Safia, the very next day he directed to Anas Bin Malik to invite the people to attend the Dawat-e-Walima of Safia.
According to the narrations of Tirmizi and Ibn Majah the walima comprised of dates and sattoo, but according to Bukhari a confection was prepared from dates, barley and sattoo and served before the guests.
In Nisai, Abu Dawood, Bukhari, Ibn-e-Majah, Tirmizi and Ahmed Bin Hambal, there are 21 hadiths recommending the consumption of Sattoo. Besides this the description of Sattoo is also available in other Hadiths.
According to the scholars of hadith barley is very nutritious and provides energy for the body, besides this is also beneficial in pharyngitis and cough. It resolves the inflammation of the stomach (Gastritis), expels the toxins from the body and a good diuretic. It quenches the thirst. Barley water is a good remedy in kidney problem, to quench the thirst and provide the best nutrition for indisposed and weak persons. Preparation of Barley water is described by Ibn Al-Qayyim. According to him, barley with five times water should be boiled, till the contents become 3/4 and the colour of the mixture becomes milky.
Scientists have found the following items during the chemical synthesis of barley- albuminoids, starch, fat, fiber, ash and water. Chemical composition shows that it contains the fat in the form of Leucosine Gluten Albumen, the compound of Nitrogen as palmatic Acid, Salisylic Acid, Phosphoric Acid. Besides, it contains Hypoxanthens. British Pharmacopoeia recommends Malt extract for internal use. It contains 4 per cent Proteins, the enzymes for digestion of carbohydrates and vitamins. Some scientists also indicate the presence of Arsenic in the barley grain.
The ancient physician’s explained various experiences regarding the use of barley. Ibn Sina says that the blood produced by consuming barley is neutral, pure and of low consistency.
According to Firdous Al-Hikmat the suspension prepared from one part of barley and fifteen part of water until after boiling this volume becomes 2/3rd of its basic solution, is beneficial for at least hundred diseases of the body.
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