There are names of various spices in the Holy Quran. One of them is onion.
Its scientific name is Allium cepa. ‘Basal’ in the language of the Qur’an. Onion is part of human diet.
One of the foods that Bani Israel asked for instead of the heavenly food ‘manna-salwa’ was onion. It is mentioned in the Holy Qur’an, ‘When you said, O Musa! We will never tolerate such a diet. So pray to your Lord for us. May he produce for us the produce of the land, vegetables, crabs, wheat, lentils and onions. Musa said, Do you want to exchange better things for worse things? Then land in a city. Whatever you want, surely it is there. They were humiliated and poverty-stricken and they became the wrath of Allah. This is because they used to deny the verses of Allah and kill the Prophets unjustly. This was their consequence for disobedience and transgression. (Surah: Baqarah, verse: 61)
In the said verse, onion is said to be inferior to other foods because these worldly foods are insignificant compared to the ‘manna-salwa’ of Paradise. But this does not mean that these foods are prohibited for Muslims. But yes, it is forbidden to eat raw onion and garlic before going to mosque or any gathering. Because, through this, a bad smell is created in the mouth, which will cause trouble for other people and the angels in the mosque. It is mentioned in the hadith, Jaber Ibn Abdullah (RA) said, the Prophet (PBUH) said, ‘Whoever eats garlic or onion should stay away from us and sit in his house. (Bukhari, Hadith: 855)
However, eating cooked onions with curries etc. does not smell bad, so in that case it is permissible to eat onions and come to the mosque.
On the authority of Madan Ibn Abu Talha (RA), Omar Ibn Khattab (RA) said, ‘O people! You eat two types of vegetables. I find both fears inferior. That is (raw) onion and garlic. I saw Rasulullah (s.a.w.s.), when he smelled it on someone, he would order him to be expelled. He would then be driven out to the ‘baki’ (name of a place). So whoever eats it, let him dry it and remove the smell. (Nasa’i, Hadith: 708)
So everyone should refrain from eating raw onion, garlic and mouth-smelling food while going to mosque or gathering.
Bangladesh Time: 1759 hours, November 21, 2023