Islamic Studies

The "Soul Food Diet" Imam Zaid Shakir

Asalamu alaykum,

Last Saturday evening at the MCA Qiyam Imam Zaid Shakir spoke on what he called the soul food diet:

The Soul Food Diet consists of the following:

1. Qiyam [night vigil]

The Prophet [sa] said, ” Spread the salutations, feed the poor, pray while the people are sleeping and you will enter your Lord’s paradise in peace.” Related by al-Tirmidhi who declared it “Authentic” on the authority of Abdullah the son of Salam. Sunna al-Tirmidhi Vol. 9 pg. 25 # 2409.

2. Fasting

The Prophet said, “Fasting is a shield.” related by al-Bukhari and Muslim on the authority of Abu Hurairah.

3. Remembrance of Allah and Reciting the Qur’an

Sheikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said, “The remembrance of Allah is like water to a fish. What happens to a fish when taken out of water?”

4. Silence

The Prophet [may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him] said, “Speak well or remain silent.” Related by al-Bukhari and Muslim on the authority of Abu Hurairah.

5. Seclusion

The poet said,

If you fail to see me don’t fret nor worry

The sun is hidden by clouds before the blessing of rain occurs

About the author

Suhaib Webb

Suhaib Webb

Suhaib Webb is a contemporary American-Muslim educator, activist, and lecturer. His work bridges classical and contemporary Islamic thought, addressing issues of cultural, social and political relevance to Muslims in the West. After converting to Islam in 1992, Webb left his career in the music industry to pursue his passion in education. He earned a Bachelor’s in Education from the University of Central Oklahoma and received intensive private training in the Islamic Sciences under a renowned Muslim Scholar of Senegalese descent. Webb was hired as the Imam at the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, where he gave khutbas (sermons), taught religious classes, and provided counselling to families and young people; he also served as an Imam and resident scholar in communities across the U.S.

From 2004-2010, Suhaib Webb studied at the world’s preeminent Islamic institution of learning, Al-Azhar University, in the College of Shari`ah. During this time, after several years of studying the Arabic Language and the Islamic legal tradition, he also served as the head of the English Translation Department at Dar al-Ifta al-Misriyyah.

Outside of his studies at Al-Azhar, Suhaib Webb completed the memorization of the Quran in the city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia. He has been granted numerous traditional teaching licenses (ijazat), adhering to centuries-old Islamic scholarly practice of ensuring the highest standards of scholarship. Webb was named one of the 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center in 2010.

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  • wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah

    mashaAllah that was great, Jazakum Allahu khayran.

    I was a bit puzzled when I saw the ‘soul food’ title and the pic of the restaurant, but mashaAllah what a pleasant surprise.

  • Ma Sha Allah,

    May Allah reward Imam Zaid! I like the translation of Qiyam to night vigil. Of course there are many words which don’t cross over well and thus may be better transliterated from Arabic, but in order to seriously integrate and present ourselves as a valid modern English speaking enitity we must do more to articulate ourselves in a way that is more familiar to the common English speaker regardless of their background.

  • As salamu alaikum all,

    Can I recommend some books that I personally found nourishing for the Soul?

    “The Invocation of God” by Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah –

    I personally found this book a life/heart saver. In short, my Heart was dying, from years of dry, legalistic, ‘Sa***i Dawah’. This book was like an Ocean of life sustaining water that my Heart needed to prevent it from drying up completely.
    Mashallah, Ibn Qayyim’s Sheikh was correct (point 3 above).

    “The Book of Assistance” by Imam Abdallah al-Haddad –

    Subhanallah, Short, sweet, highly beneficial.

    “Standing Firm in Islam: Weakness of Faith and The Means to Steadfastness” – by Sheikh Salih Al Munajjid –

    Subhanallah, the book reels off a litany of symptoms that you may be suffering from and also provides the cures. It’s more complete version of writings found here
    and here

    “Forty Hadith on the Islamic Personality” – by Sheikh Ali Hasan Abdul Hamid

    A nice general guide on how we should construct our character. Gold. What more can I say.

    There’s an online (legal ! ) version readable here.

    Hopefully you’ll find these titles beneficial.



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