When I cook, I start at noon. To me, preparing meals for others is on of the most enjoyable and wonderful things a human being can do. Cooking is healing in its essence. I have one dish made of basmati rice with chopped pistachios, almonds, raisins, and tiny carrots slivered into peices the size and shape of toothpicks. I need about three dozen large carrots to make this dish for eight or ten people. I always sit down with a sharp knife and spend an hour or more at this task of slicing, until a huge pile of carrot slivers is sitting before me.
One day someone helping in the kitchen saw me doing this and informed me “I have a great idea. Here, put those carrots in the food processor, and the job will be done in less than a minute!” I thanked my assistant for the suggestion and then explained that the reason I preferred doing the job by hand was that with each slice I made a little prayer that the food be a healing influence for the person who eats it. So the thought of desiring wellness for people also needs to be added to the foods that you prepare for them.
We certainly can tell the difference between food eaten in a restaurant and food prepared properly in the home. Too often, the people who work in public eating establishments have no concern whatsoever for the food they serve (food which is almost always is prepared by machines). In fact, many people having jobs in restaurants are angry and disgusted that they have to work there in the first place. The mental vibrations of such people inevitably work their way into the food.
… Before eating, the Sufi says, “Bismi Llahi ir Rahman, ir Raheem- In the name of God the most merciful, the most compassionate. Oh My Lord! I will eat this food only to be a better servant of Yours. Use this food to uplift me and uplift all of your humanity. Ameen”.
-Shaykh Hakim Moinuddin Chishti
“The Book of Sufi Healing” chapter on Food and Health