Commercial Food and Family

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Q: After much reading my husband has decided that we should not eat any commercial food. This means no cakes, biscuits, cereals, cold drinks, ice-cream, breads or any other food stuff that is ready made. My husband has found only bread at one bakery which is really far that he is happy with. I am finding it really difficult to manage making everything from scratch. I am now spending a lot of the time in the kitchen with little time for any thing else at home. My kids really feel for ice-cream and chocolate sometimes. Please let me know the names of any bread, ice-cream, chocolate, etc. that are halaal to consume.

A. This decision by your husband is unreasonable. There is no need to doubt the commercial foods that are prepared unless positive evidence comes up to prove that certain foodstuffs are Haraam. If I suggest names of biscuits, ice-creams, etc. these will be the same that everyone eats and that are available in all outlets.

If your husband feels averse to eating the above mentioned foods and preparations then he is not allowed to place the burden on the wife to prepare all these items. He should then make his own arrangements to get the bread, biscuits, cakes, etc of his choice, or he should start baking them himself, or else not eat them at all. It is wrong to impose this on his wife and children. When children are deprived of luxuries that others are eating, then they will make an effort to obtain these items in a discrete and secretive manner. This is not good for the character of the children, and might impact on the family life should the father find out later. So why bring distress and stress upon the family for something that is neither Fardh nor Waajib, and which is the choice of the individual.

Mufti Siraj Desai