Estimated reading time: 18 minute(s)
by Fudia Muhammad
We cannot survive outside the earth’s atmosphere unless we are confined in a specialized contraption. And those who make it out of the earth’s atmosphere can only survive for a little over one year – maximum. Earth will forever and always be our home planet. There are countless similarities between the physical composition of the earth and the physical make-up of the human body, which bears witness that we came from the earth and must maintain a similar compositional balance as earth, if we want our existence on this planet to be optimal and abundant. The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad wrote, “Our bodies are made of the earth and contain a little of every matter of the earth’s chemicals, stone, gold and silver.”
One of those chemicals is water. Approximately 75% of the earth’s surface is water. This means that the vast majority of the earth is water. Where there is water, there is life. Water allows for the procreation of all life and it is second only to oxygen in its importance to sustaining life. The body of the human being, which came from the earth, has a high proportion of water similar to the earth’s. Water is absorbed in our cells, tissues, organs, blood, muscles and even our bones. Every part of our body has a high water content. For example, 92% of blood plasma is water; 79% of our kidneys is water; 79% of our muscles is water; 83% of our lungs is water; the brain and heart are both 73% water; our skin is 64% water; and even our bones contain 31% water. No water, no life!
We know that we are what we eat; but we are also what we drink. Good or bad drinking habits are instilled very early in childhood; as early as infancy and toddlerhood. Remarkably, breastmilk consists of 88% water – so an exclusively breastfed baby does not require any additional water. Allah (God) formulated the milk in a way that bears witness to the essential quality of water. Unfortunately, many instead seem to believe that children and juice are a great match. We have all seen young children with “sippy” cups and we could fairly speculate that nine times out of ten, they are not drinking water. If we start our children drinking water before their toddler years, they are more likely to continue to desire to drink water regularly throughout childhood – and beyond.
Water (along with milk) has to become the staple beverage in our homes. Many households consist of children (and adults for that matter) drinking orange juice for breakfast; fruit juices with school lunches; soda with a late afternoon snack; and more juice or soda with dinner. To make matters worse, the juice is rarely, if ever, fresh or natural. So why do our children need to drink water? As stated previously – water is life. Water sustains life by balancing the body. It improves digestion, absorption and circulation. Water also naturally cleanses the body by flushing out toxins. In addition, it regulates body temperature and boosts our immune system.
There are no magic tricks required to get children to drink water; just start immediately, so it becomes a part of their regular drinking habit. Water should accompany the introduction of solid foods. Babies and toddlers who are introduced to water early, have no problem drinking water with every meal or snack because this is all they know. The only time they will desire anything other than water to drink is if they see others with something sweeter. This is not rocket science – if a child is given a choice between juice and water, they will almost always go with the sweeter option. So, eliminate the option and watch them submit. We will also find that our children will complete their meals easier with water. If we give our children juices and other beverages with their meals, they will likely fill-up on the sweet beverage instead of the nutritious meal.
If you must – as children get older, offer an alternative every once in a long while, but definitely not every day and absolutely not with each meal. These options should be limited to 100% natural juices (Non-GMO, organic, no added sugar) – ingredients listed should be whole foods only. Water can be used to dilute these juices as well. To be honest, if our children are eating fruit daily, juice is not necessary. Sugar is toxic and highly addictive. The concentration of sugar in one cup of juice is much higher than in a piece of fruit because it takes more fruit to equal a cup of juice. For example, 3 medium apples yield one cup of apple juice; 3 medium oranges yield one cup of orange juice; and 3 cups of strawberries yield one cup of strawberry juice.
No sodas at all – ever! Public health advocates call sodas and other sweet drinks “liquid candy.” Sweetened beverages are one of the leading causes of childhood obesity. They are also linked to childhood diabetes, high blood pressure, low HDL (good cholesterol), tooth enamel erosion and anemia (when replacing meals) – just to name a few. This does not mean we should go to the extreme and risk overhydrating our children. Those who eat three meals a day should in fact drink eight glasses of water per day. But those who subscribe to the dietary law of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad – one meal a day and two meals a day for our children – do not require nearly that much water. Also, if we follow a plant-based diet, much of our water intake will be found in the foods we eat. Most fruits and vegetables have an astounding water content of 75% to 96%.
The Holy Qur’an mentions the value of water several times. Two such verses read, “And He it is Who sends the winds as good news before His mercy; and We send down pure water from the clouds, That We may give life thereby to a dead land, and give it for drink to cattle and many people that We have created” (25: 48-49). As with everything we take into our bodies and provide for our children, we should always seek the best that is available. Allah’s (God’s) water is pure, but our open enemy has tampered with it. The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad wrote, “Water should be at least 99 percent pure in order for it to be good for humans to drink.” Tap or fountain water is not pure. This water is filled with fluoride and other harmful chemicals that are not fit for human consumption. Therefore, we must do our due diligence to not only give our children water to drink as often as we can, but to see to it that it is clean and pure.
(Sister Fudia Muhammad is a member of Muhammad Mosque No. 64 in Austin, Texas. She is married to Student Minister Robert L. Muhammad and they have been blessed with four children. Sister Fudia holds a Master’s degree in Education – she is a writer, an educator and an advocate for God-centered child-rearing.