Praise be to Allaah.
It is proven in the saheeh Sunnah that the first food offered
to welcome the people of Paradise when they enter it will be “the caudate
lobe of whale liver”. That is mentioned in the hadeeth of Thawbaan, the
freed slave of the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon
him), according to which one of the Jewish rabbis came to ask the Prophet
(blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) about some matters to test him.
In the hadeeth it says:
The Jewish man said: What will be presented to them first
when they enter Paradise?
He said: “Caudate lobe of whale liver.”
He said: What food will be given to them after that?
He said: “The bull of Paradise, which used to graze along its
edges, will be slaughtered for them.”
He said: What will their drink be?
He said: “From a spring there that is called Salsabeel.” …
Narrated by Muslim, 315
Imam an-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: The words
“What will be presented to them” refer to that with which a man is welcomed.
Ibraaheem al-Halabi said: It is usually good quality fruits.
End quote from Sharh Muslim, 3/227
He also said:
This refers to a whale, according to scholarly consensus… As
for the caudate lobe of the liver, this is a separate piece that is attached
to the liver and it is the best part of it.
End quote from Sharh Muslim, 17/135-136
That is also proven in other saheeh hadeeths in as-Saheehayn
and as-Sunan. We quoted this particular hadeeth because of what it
contains of differentiating between the first food presented to the people
of Paradise, which is the caudate lobe of fish liver, and the food that they
will eat after that, which is the meat of the “bull of Paradise”.
We could not find anything to indicate the wisdom behind the
caudate lobe of whale liver being the first food presented to the people of
Paradise, but we believe that Allah’s wisdom is great and that Allah, may He
be glorified and exalted, is the All-Knowing, Most Wise, and that He said of
Himself (interpretation of the meaning):
“And your Lord creates whatsoever He wills and chooses, no
choice have they (in any matter). Glorified be Allah, and exalted above all
that they associate as partners (with Him)”
That should not prevent some of the scholars from trying to
see the wisdom behind the choice of the caudate lobe of whale liver in
particular. Some of them said that this is an indication of the end of this
world, which is a transient abode, and moving to Paradise, which is an
eternal abode, because the fish or whale is an aquatic animal which is
indicative of the essence of life on earth, and the bull is a land animal
which is indicative of tilling the soil and earning a living, so the people
of Paradise are given these two things to eat to signal the end of this
world and the beginning of the Hereafter.
See: Rooh al-Ma‘aani by al-Aloosi, 7/94
With regard to the benefits of the caudate lobe of fish
liver, they are many, as has been discussed by doctors and nutrition
specialists. Among these benefits are: lowering the level of cholesterol in
the blood, reducing fat in the body, and lessening joint pain. It is also
rich in vitamin D which has many benefits.
For more information on that, refer to specialist references
in that field.
And Allah knows best.