Treating sick with Talbinah – Tibb-e-Nabawi

Treating sick with Talbinah

رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ

Prophet’s Guidance on treating the sick with the simplest types of food

فى “الصحيحين” من حديثِ عُرْوةَ، عن عائشةَ: أنها كانتْ إذا ماتَ الميتُ من أهلِها، واجتمع لذلك النساءُ، ثم تفرَّقْنَ إلى أهلهن، أمرتْ ببُرْمَةٍ من تَلْبينةٍ فطُبِخَتْ، وصنعت ثريداً، ثم صبَّت التلبينةُ عليه، ثم قالت: كُلوا منها، فإنى سمعتُ رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول: “التَّلْبِينَةُ مَجمَّةٌ لفؤادِ المريضِ تَذهبُ ببعضِ الحُزْن “.

In the Sahihain, it is narrated that Aishah Radi Allaho Anha said that when a relative of hers would die, the women would gather on that occasion and then would depart except for her family members and close associates. She would then order that TALBINAH (milk porridge) be prepared. Then, Thareed would be made and she would pour the milk porridge on it. Aishah Radi Allaho Anha would then ask them to eat saying, I heard the Messenger of Allah saying:

“TALBINAH (Barley+milk porridge) brings relief to the heart of the sick and takes away some of the anguish”.

وفى “السنن” من حديث عائشة أيضاً، قالت: قال رسولُ الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: “عليكُمْ بالبَغيضِ النَّافع التَّلْبِينِ”، قالت: وكان رسولُ الله صلى الله عليه وسلم إذا اشتكَى أحدٌ من أهله لم تَزلْ البُرْمةُ على النارِ حتى ينتهىَ أحدُ طرَفَيْهِ. يَعنى يَبْرَأ أو يموت

Aishah Radi Allaho Anha also narrated that the Messenger (Sallallaahu Alaihe Wasallam) said, “You should eat the beneficial thing that is unpleasant (for few) to eat (Talbinah). If any member of the Messenger of Allah’s family was sick, the cooking pot would remain on the fire until one of two things happened, either the person recovered or died.” [Ibn Maajah (3446)].

وعنها: كان رسولُ الله صلى الله عليه وسلم إذا قيل له: إنَّ فلانَا وَجِعٌ لا يطْعَمُ الطَّعَامَ، قال: “عَلَيْكُم بالتَّلْبِينَةِ فحُسُّوه إيَّاها”، ويقول: “والذى نفْسى بيدِه إنَّهَا تَغْسِلُ بَطْنَ أحدِكُم كما تَغسِلُ إحداكُنَّ وجهَها مِنَ الوَسَخ”.

Whenever Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam was informed that a certain person was suffering with pain & would not eat the food, he said “You have the Talbinah (with husk & milk), give it to the sick person”. And then he said ” For by the One in Whose Hand Muhammad’s soul is , it cleans the stomach of one of you just as dirt is cleaned from the face with water.” [Mustadrak ].

TALBINAH means the kind of porridge that is similar to milk in consistency. This is a beneficial food suitable for the sick, especially when well cooked until acquiring a soft consistency. The milk like porridge is as beneficial as barley soup, even better. Barley soup is made of whole barley grains, while the milk like porridge is made of ground barley flour with its bran & husk.

Whole grain barley porridge digests quickly, provides good nutrition, and cleanses the stomach, especially when taken while it is still hot. In this case, its cleansing and digestive qualities are stronger and the porridge will develop its instinctive heat quicker and will soften the outer layers of the stomach.

Our beloved Prophet’s statement that TALBINAH takes away some of the sadness refers to the effect of sadness on the mood and in weakening the instinctive well being, which in turn affects the soul and the heart. Talbinah brings strength to one’s inner energy and thus the body will be able to rid itself of the sadness and grief that took it over.

We could say that some foods bring relief to the heart, such as the type of porridge mentioned above, because they possess a special quality that affect people’s mood and brings them relief and comfort. Allah Knows best.

We might in addition say that the sick person’s strength becomes weaker because of his grief and sadness that will translate to dryness in the body and stomach (due to the scarcity of food). Talbinah brings wetness and strength to the stomach, which will bring relief to the heart. Furthermore, the sick person may complain from an accumulation of harmful flatulence or phlegm in his stomach. Talbinah will dissolve these harmful substances or dilute them, so that the pain and harm they cause are diminished, especially for those accustomed to eating barley bread, such as the people of Madinah Munawwarah. During the times of Khairu Khalqillah, barley bread was the staple diet for people of Madinah as wheat was scarce at that time.