The Beloved (pbuh) and balance in what he ate

March 17, 2009 at 10:47 am Leave a comment

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
والحمدلله رب العالمين والصلاة والسلام على أشرف الأنبياء  والمرسلين

In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful the Most Compassionate
All praise be to Allah, and may peace and blessings be upon the most noble of the Prophets and Messengers

Salaam Alaikum

Muslims always speak about being a ‘balanced’ Ummah- indeed it is Allah who has called us “Ummatan Wasata”- a Middle Nation. But do we really practice what we preach?
It may seem strange to have an email on how the Prophet (pbuh) ate. But this topic is actually important, as the opposite of being balanced in our food intake is being excessive, and we know as Muslims we should not be wasteful. Allah says in the Qur’an:
O children of Adam! Look to your adornment at every place of worship, and eat and drink, but be not wasteful. Lo! He loveth not those who are wasteful.” (Quran 7:31)

We all know that the Prophet’s (pbuh) way was best. He was balanced in all respects, not least in the way he ate. Al-Hassan (ra) narrated:

“All the parts of his body were of moderate size, and fully fleshed. His body was proportionately jointed. His chest and stomach were in line” (At-Tirmidhi)

SubhanAllah- even when the Prophet (pbuh) reached his 60s, it was reported that his chest and stomach were even, and he did not have a hanging belly. Allowing ourselves to over-indulge in our eating and in addition to that not exercising is not leading a balanced life. Some might say that this no big deal, but it is because it is a symptom of something greater- sloth. Imam Al-Ghazali said that one of the things we must do if we find it difficult to pray Qiyaam is to reduce what we eat, because having a heavy meal makes us lazy. How can one be a successful da’iya to islam, and perform all our acts with itqan (perfection), when our bodies testify to our laziness? This all leads to health problems and diseases, which in itself should make us think that Allah is giving us a sign that what we are doing is wrong. One more thing to think about is that that the Prophet (pbuh), when mentioning some of the negative things that would occur when the Day of Judgment is closer, is that fatness will appear. He encouraged keeping ourselves physically fit, as he has said:

“The one who is physically healthy, safe in his community and is sufficiently nurtured will possess the whole world.” (Tirmidhi)

If we look at the Companions (ra), none of them was described as being fat. Umar (ra) once saw a man who was very fat. He said, “What is that?” [meaning the man’s belly] The man responded by saying, “This is a blessing from Allah.” Umar responded, “No! It is a punishment from Allah.”

What is being emphasized here is not that we should not enjoy food or treat ourselves, as this is obviously halal for us, and not that we should starve ourselves. But the point is that we should reflect on ourselves personally and think of our lifestyles and whether or not they are in accordance with the way of the Prophet (pbuh).

Finally, the Prophet (pbuh) advised us to eat what we need, saying:

“No human being fills a container to worse effect than he fills his own stomach. It is sufficient for a human being to have a few bites to keep himself fit (which means that it is sufficient to have only what one needs to maintain strength and well-being).
If he must eat ( or according to another version “If a human being cannot resist the temptation…”), then let him use one-third for food, one-third for drink and one-third for breathing

Disclaimer: I am not saying I am a very healthy eater myself. I research and write these things in order to force myself to inshAllah be better 🙂 Also, there are differences with men’s bodies and women’s, so I am also not advocating crash diets for fast weightloss, what is important here is health [drink camel milk, it’s good for you]

Simple Sunna: don’t be so critical

Anas (ra) relates from the Prophet (pbuh) that he would not criticize any food ever: When he desired a food, he used to eat it, or else he used to leave it and abstain from eating it.


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

The Beloved (pbuh) and the way he enjoined good and prohibited evil The Beloved (pbuh) and being in the service of others

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