Barley is no doubt one of most favorite foods of Holy Prophet S.A.W. Barley has been named in nearly 250 hadiths with reference to its used in barley bread and talbina over and over in walks of trade, economic, health and social life of Muslims. It is a whole grain that benefits the body in numerous ways and brings healing to several forms of physiological and psychological ailments.
Why Barley Was Recommended by Holy Prophet?
Barley is the core ingredient of many Arabic dishes eaten at the time of Holy Prophet S.A.W. Barley is a member of the grass family Poaceae and an excellent source of both soluble and insoluble fiber. The reason why it is so beneficial in contrast to other grains such as wheat is because it contains abundance of beta-glucans. Beta-glucans are comprised of β-D-glucose polysaccharide group which are highly effective in reinforcing the body’s immune system.
Vitamins in Barley
Barley is rich in several forms of vitamins. Two of the most major vitamins found abundantly in barley are Vitamin B1 and B3.
- Vitamin B1 or also known as thiamine is a vital mineral for the body’s health. It helps in breaking down of fats and proteins which prevents unnecessary accumulation within the body and also keeps the mucous membranes healthy. It works as a coenzyme for metabolizing food to produce energy and maintain proper heart and nerve function. Its deficiency can mean weakness, chronic fatigue, psychosis, heart complications and even nerve damage
- Vitamin B3 or also known as niacin has the ability to lower bad cholesterol and maintain it on a healthy level. It also helps in releasing energy into the body’s cells which is used in carrying out chemical reactions. It reduces chances of cardiovascular diseases and internal coagulation which prevents strokes in heart patients.
Minerals in Barley
- The presence of Copper makes barley and effective medicine for treating rheumatoid arthritis. Its reduces the symptoms by restoring the flexibility in blood vessels, joints and bones
- Selenium in barley works as protection agent for the skin by enhancing its elasticity and shielding it from free radical damage.
- Manganese combines with B complex vitamins and produces a feeling of well being after it has been consumed and assimilated. The compound relaxes the brain and helps overcomes feelings of grief and pain.
- Chromium is another essential mineral present in barley. It is a very popular mineral amongst nutritional therapists as it helps fight diabetes (hyperglycemia) and obesity.
- Barley is rich in magnesium, a mineral that serves as a co-factor for 300+ enzymes. These enzymes include those which are involved in the body’s use of glucose and insulin secretion, preventing type 2 diabetics from high uncontrolled glucose levels.
Benefits of Barley Grass
Aside from the use of barley grains, barley grass is also used as Chinese medicine. The grass itself is full of vitamins A, C, B1, B2, B12, calcium, folic acid, potassium, iron and chlorophyll. Many common ailments of the body such as poor spleen and indigestion can be easily cured by consuming barley grass medicine. It also contains strong antioxidants that has been medically proven to assist the body in killing of cancer cells, fighting acne and removing ulcers.
Benefits of Barley Bread
Barley bread is made from the flour of barley. It is one of the simplest ways to consume barley with meat, gravy, fruits and honey. At the time of Holy Prophet S.A.W, barley was also mixed with wheat flour to prepare bread. It is narrated that a boy used to sell his home baked bread prepared from barley and beet roots at the gate of Masjid-e-Nabwi each Friday. His preparation were so liked and popular that Holy Prophet S.A.W’s companions used to wait for the boy eagerly each Friday so they could eat the bread.
- Hazrat Anas Bin Malik narrates that once a tailor invited Holy Prophet S.A.W to join in his meals. He prepared barley bread and meat with pumpkin. The Prophet S.A.W very affectionately ate the pumpkin pieces from the curry – Bukhari/Muslim
- Yousuf Bin Abdullah states that I saw the Prophet taking a piece of barley bread and put a date on it and stated that was bread’s vegetable – Abu Dawood
- Hazrat Ummul Manzar states that the Prophet S.A.W along with Hazrat Ali came to our house, we had the dates and those were presented to them. Both of them ate from those dates. When Hazrat Ali consumed a little of those, Holy Prophet S.A.W said “You recently recovered from illness, hence you are weak, don’t eat more. Therefore, that lady prepared a dish from barley and beet root. Then, the Holy Prophet S.A.W told Hazrat Ali “eat from it, it is better for you” – Ibn-e-Maja, Sanad-e-Ahmed, Tirmizi
A gruel prepared from the barley boiled with milk and sweetened with honey is famous meal called ‘Talbina’. Holy Prophet ate talbina several times and recommended its use for many forms of ailments of the mind and body.
How it’s Made
Talbina is made from from barley flour milk with the slight flavoring of Honey. To prepare a meal of talbina, you need 1-2 tablespoons of whole grain barley flour and add into one and a half cup of milk. Once you have mixed the two in vigorous motion to avoid lump formation, cook on a low heat for 10-15 minutes. The same broth is ideal for being added in soups and stews to thicken the consistency instead of using artificial ingredients. Honey or brown sugar can be added to flavor and served as breakfast.
- Each time someone from Holy Prophet’s family fell sick, talbina was prepared. Holy Prophet S.A.W stated “it removes the grief of the patient’s heart, removes its weakness as any of you removes the dirt from your face after washing it” – Ibn Maja
- Hazrat Aisha used to order preparation of talbina for sick persons and used to say “though the patient may dislike it, but it is highly beneficial for him – Bukhari
There are 21 hadiths that recommend the used use of sattoo as a healthy diet. Sattoo is powdered barley used in confections and soups. It’s easily mixed to add consistency in gravies and makes up for a thick gruel for porridges.
Holy Prophet S.A.W liked Sattoo very much. When Khyber was conquered, Holy Prophet S.A.W. agreed to join hand in marriage with Hazrat Safia and ordered Hazrat Anas Bin Malik to make preparations Dawat-e-Walima of Hazrat Safia and invite guests. According to the narrations of Tirmizi, Ibn Majah and Bukhari, a confection made from dates and sattoo was served to the guests at the walima.
Health Benefits of Barley
Barley has numerous health benefits. It is known for its ability to help alleviate diabetes, high cholesterol and obesity. It is also effective against diseases like atherosclerosis, diabetes, insulin resistance etc. Given below are some of the Barley benefits.