Mann-O-Salwa food in Islam: Heavenly food Manna
Bani Israel (the people of Hazrat Musa A.S) received a type of food from Jannah called Mann O Salwa as a gift from Allah. These people urged their prophet to request from Allah a special dinner for them so they wouldn’t go hungry when they were wandering in the field of Teeh for 40 years. The Holy Quran and books of Hadith confirm that Mann-O-Salwa was dispatched to the Bani Israel people.
How does Mann-O-Salwa food look and taste?
We grew up hearing tales about the Bani Israel and how Allah treated them specially. We are aware that Mann-O-Salwa, which was sent for Bani Israel, is the food of Jannah. Have you ever wondered what Mann-O-Salwa looks like or tastes like? We are here to discuss it right now.
Mann-O-Salwa constituted of two things, Mann and Salwa:
Mann was a type of sweet substance, similar to the dew drops that formed on rocks, trees, and plants and eventually transformed into a sweet honey-like substance that they used to pick up and savor. Mann descended upon them like rain/snow, and it used to be whiter than snow and sweeter than honey.
Salwa was a bird, essentially a Quail. People used to capture it so that it would become meat. It was a blessing unlike any other, bestowed only on these people at the Prophet Musa‘s request and after his prayers. What the Mann O Salwa was is best known to Allah.
For us, even the terms “sweetness more than honey” and “anything whiter than milk” is beyond our comprehension. The fact that Allah blessed them without asking his slaves to do anything or work hard is beyond our comprehension. Allah is the wisest. Mann was compared to honey by some. Only Allah is aware of what occurred and who sent it down. Although there are many stories and sayings about what Mann O Salwa was, it is known that despite the words becoming heated with time, Bani Israel received a pure blessing and bounty that is still indescribable.
Story behind Mann-O-Salwa. Why it was descended?
As soon as Prophet Musa (PBUH) attained serenity and peace of mind following the death of Pharaoh in the River Nile and the conversion of the entire Bani Israel to Islam, Allah commanded him to accompany the Bani Israel into the Holy Land (Bayt-ul-Muqaddas). At that time, the Amaliqah people, who were the worst of the infidels, were in control of Bayt-ul-Muqaddas. They were formidable soldiers and extremely vicious. Thus, Prophet Musa (PBUH) and 600,000 Bani Israel soldiers set out for Jihad against the ‘Amaliqah people. However, as soon as they arrived close to Bayt-ul-Muqaddas, the Bani Israel soldiers turned cowardly and began claiming that the ‘Amaliqah are very strong and powerful, so they will not enter the city at all until those people are inside the city.
Even until this point, the Bani Israel apparently responded to Prophet Musa (A.S), ‘O Musa you and your Rab ﷻ should go and fight with such powerful people; we will stay here.’
Prophet Musa (a.s.) was deeply grieved by these remarks made by the Bani Israel and he made the following requests to Allah:
رَبِّ إِنِّي لَا أَمْلِكُ إِلَّا نَفْسِي وَأَخِي ۖ فَافْرُقْ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَ الْقَوْمِ الْفَاسِقِينَ
O Lord! I have no control except over myself and my brother, so keep us separated from the disobedient people.
[Kanz-ul-Iman (Quranic Translation)] Verse 25 of Part 6 of Surah Al-Maidah
Prophet Musa (A.S.) made this request, and in response, Allah revealed his fury by saying:
فَإِنَّهَا مُحَرَّمَةٌ عَلَيْهِمْ ۛ أَرْبَعِينَ سَنَةً ۛ يَتِيهُونَ فِي الْأَرْضِ ۚ فَلَا تَأْسَ عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْفَاسِقِينَ
The (holy) land is therefore forbidden for them for forty years; let them wander in the earth; so, do not grieve for those disobedient people.
[Kanz-ul-Iman (Translation of Quran)] (Part 6, Surah Al-Mai`dah, verse 26)
As a result, these 600,000 Bani Israel wandered in the field for forty years without being able to escape. The “field of Teeh” is the name of this field.
Twelve springs of water erupted from a stone when Musa (A.S.) struck it with his stick after “Mann-O-Salwa” descended. This incident has repeatedly been mentioned in the Holy Quran in many places; among them, Surah Al-Mai’dah contains a somewhat thorough explanation of this incident, which is unquestionably an excellent incident that includes the descriptions of the Bani Israel’s deviation and disobedience.
Despite this, Prophet Musa (a.s.) remained devoted to the Bani Israel, and when they became tired in the field of Teeh from great hunger and thirst, Prophet Musa (a.s.) prayed for them and ordered the Mann-O-Salwa to descend for them. He then struck the stone with his staff, and twelve springs of water appeared. This incident gives us an insight of how calm, patient, and tolerant Prophet Musa alaiyhis salam was.
Bani Israel’s Disobedience and Beginning of decaying of food
Although Allah had instructed them to eat only what was fresh, they began to keep the food for storage for eating later on the basis of the fear that what will happen if the food suddenly stopped appearing. Humans are naturally greedy; it has existed from the beginning of time and will continue to do so as long as we exist. He is constantly striving for perfection and frequently forgets to give thanks to his Lord for His blessings. Allah offers people what is best for them because He always knows what is best for them. Bani Israel was denied this present because they started asking for something more exquisite. These people reportedly began complaining that they were sick of eating the same thing every day, needed more variety, and had stopped being grateful to Allah SWT.
And [recall] when you said, “O Moses, we can never endure one [kind of] food. So call upon your Lord to bring forth for us from the earth its green herbs and its cucumbers and its garlic and its lentils and its onions.” [Moses] sold, “Would you exchange what is better for what is less? Quran 2:61
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