I don’t have Khushoo in Salah! I can’t get up for Fajar! I feel tired!
We have heard saying these phrases from others and from ourselves too. These conditions are a result of eating too much. Eating excessively is the root of many health problems that we are facing in recent times. Our body only requires few bites to live and stay fit. Overeating is not only bad for the physical health of a person, but equally bad rather worse for the spiritual wellbeing and health, and eventually for his hereafter.
Our beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said:
“The son of Adam doesn’t fill any vessel worse than his stomach. A few morsels are ample enough to keep him alive. He should fill it, one-third for his food, one-third for his drink, and the one-third for air. –al Tirmidhi
Sunnah Eating Habits
Islam set out the premise of dietary regulations together with the limits inside which it instructs man to appreciate pleasures of life including food, in a moderate way. It condemns us to turn into a slave of desires by forgetting the ultimate spiritual goal.
Abu Juhayfah reported:
A man burped in the presence of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. He responded, “Keep your burps away from us, for the one who eats to his fill in this world would be the hungriest for the longest time on the day of Resurrection.” –Saheeh Al Tabaraani
After this incident, Abu Juhayfah never ate to his full until his last breath. If he had breakfast in the morning he would miss dinner, and if he had dinner he would not have breakfast. He once stated: “I did not fill my stomach for thirty years.”
However, instead of adding food moderately on our plates, we force our children to eat until they clean their plates and do the same ourselves. We don’t realize that overeating is against the wise lessons of our Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and keep us away from the focused and sincere worship of Allah ﷻ.
Best Eating Exercise
The main principle of good health is a balanced diet. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ always emphasized on eating less as it prevents disease and sickness. Ramadan gives the best eating exercise. We eat less as compared to a whole year and acquire patience, serenity and gain taqwa. When we eat to our full, it leads to laziness and yawning during worship of Allah which becomes a laborious job. Dearest Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said:
“A believer eats in one intestine (is satisfied with little food), and a non-believer or a hypocrite eats in seven intestines (eats too much). –Bukhari
Hazrat Ayesha RA stated:
“From the time of arrival (hijrat) to Madina up until his death, the family of Muhammad ﷺ never ate their fill of wheat bread for three nights in a row.” –Bukhari
Drawbacks of Excessive Eating
Eating too much cause the heart to harden and heedless of Allah Almighty. That is why Leader of the Prophets Muhammad ﷺ with his companions used to stay hungry quite often even if the food was present in abundance.
Omar (Allah be pleased with him) stated; By Allah, if I wanted, I could wear the finest clothes among you, and eat the best food, and live the most luxurious life –but, I heard that Allah will condemn people for some of their actions and told in Quran;
Eating less keeps the heart soft, weakens desires, increases memory, disciplines the soul and keeps body light and healthy while overeating brings the opposite of these qualities.
Ibrahim ibn Adham stated:
“Anyone who controls his stomach, is in control of Islam, and whoever controls his hunger is in control of good behavior. Disobedience towards Allah is nearest to a person who is satiated with a full stomach, and utmost away from a person who eats little.”
For a Muslim, the food is only to keep his body healthy and able for the worship of Allah ﷻ. This worship makes him qualified for the rewards in Hereafter. The science has proved even the wisdom behind the Sunnah way of eating after 1400 years. It shows the truthfulness of our Prophet and excellent of our religion Islam, the perfect way of life.
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