By: Saadiq Abdulazeez Aboo Zayyaan
Talbeen is a meal that is usually cooked from grinded barley and flavored with honey and milk. Its main ingredients include: milk, barley and honey. It is called Talbeen because it resembles milk (laban in Arabic).
Talbeen can be made simply by mixing two spoonfuls of barley flour with bran and adding a cup of water to it then cooking these altogether over a low fire for five minutes or more.
Just like the Prophet (alayhi salaam) exposed us to the immense benefit of camel urine, he taught us how the consumption of Talbeen can help ward off grief, distress and anxiety, thereby guarding against suicide.
Imam Al-Bukhaari recorded that 'Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) used to order Talbeen for people who were sick or had been stricken by tragedy, and she would say: I heard the messenger of Allaah (alayhi salaam) say:
Talbeen warms the heart of the sick person and alleviates some of a person’s grief.
It was also narrated from her that if a member of her family died, the women would gather together, then they would depart, except her own relatives and close friends. She would order that a pot of Talbeenah be cooked, then some thareed (gruel) would be made and the talbeenah would be poured over it. Then she would say:
Eat some of it, for I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “Talbeenah soothes the heart of the sick person, and it takes away some of the grief.” (Al-Bukhaari, 5101; Muslim, 2216.)
In Zaad al-Ma’aad (4/120), Ibn al-Qayyim - rahmatullaah alahyi - said:
'If you want to know the virtue of talbeenah, then think of the virtue of barley water, for it is barley water for them. It is a soup that is made from barley flour with bran. The difference between it and barley water is that the latter is made from whole grains, whereas talbeenah is made from flour, which is more beneficial as the properties of the barley are released through grinding.'
Undoubtedly, depression is part and parcel of every human being. Even the most beloved of Allaah (Alayhi Salaam) had a taste of it; his life was wrapped in trials, grief and persecution yet he didn't allow them to weigh him down. And Allah says:
And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-Sabirun (the patient). Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: "Truly! To Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return."_[2:155-156].
However, it is evident from the above that Talbeen serves as a protection against the disease of the heart, thus can restrain an individual from becoming suicidal.
Other benefits of Talbeen which have been discovered in modern studies are: lowering cholesterol, treating depression, treating high blood sugar and high blood pressure, reducing risk of diabetes, reducing hunger, aiding weight loss, improving digestion, softening the stool, reducing the incidence of colon cancer, preventing gallstones, etc.
This is yet another miraculous nature of the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).