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Quran and Sunnah

Revive A Sunnah: Don’t Loosen That Belt!

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Your mom cooked an amazing meal for Jumu’ah. It’s a wedding. Or a fundraising iftaar. Basically, it’s good food – and even better ‘cuz it’s free! But before you grab your plate and turn it into the next Mount Kilimanjaro, heed these wise words of advice from the greatest example for all mankind (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and from the Salaf.

Ibn ‘Umar narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The believer eats in one stomach whilst the kaafir eats in seven.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (5081) and Muslim (2060).

He also said: “The son of Adam does not fill any vessel worse than his stomach. It is sufficient for the son of Adam to eat a few mouthfuls, to keep him going. If he must do that (fill his stomach), then let him fill one third with food, one third with drink and one third with air.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (1381), Ibn Maajah (3349); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah (2265).

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And, of course:

Do not let your eyes be bigger than your stomach.” – Shaykhah Fulaanah bint al-Fulaan, in al-Kitaab al-Adab al-Akl (volume 3, pg. 342).

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The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Zainab bint Younus (AnonyMouse) is a Canadian Muslim woman who writes on Muslim women's issues, gender related injustice in the Muslim community, and Muslim women in Islamic history. She holds a diploma in Islamic Studies from Arees University, a diploma in History of Female Scholarship from Cambridge Islamic College, and has spent the last fifteen years involved in grassroots da'wah. She was also an original founder of MuslimMatters.org.

11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. tabman

    July 19, 2008 at 3:07 AM

    could anyone suggest what would be a good way to realize that you are 1/3rd full ?
    For me personally its always hard to realize I’m really full till I stand up and walk and realize I ate a lot today :)

    • Fareedah zawj IsmailOgunbambi

      October 2, 2009 at 2:56 AM

      As Salaam Alaikum,
      I think one way of knowing is to take a small/medium sized portion of food and eat it slowly. Studies have shown that it takes about 20minutes for your stomach to send a signal to your brain that you’re full so if you rush your food, you will eat more than your fill.
      Ma Salaam

  2. greekmuslimgirl

    July 19, 2008 at 5:16 AM

    One of my favorite topics, ma sha Allah. You know, everyone remembers the 1/3 part, but it’s interesting we don’t concentrate on the “a few mouthfuls…if he MUST fill his stomach THEN 1/3…”

    Tabman, inituitive eating. Your body knows when it’s full, how much you should eat, what foods and how much to drink. But there is one condition: you have to be eating healthy already. If your body is out of whack, it can’t tell anymore. I used to be like that but after I got into healthy eating, I was amazed at how easy it is to practice these ahadith.

  3. Fulaanah5

    July 19, 2008 at 6:00 AM

    This was an invaluable reminder. JazakAllah khayr.

    “Shaykhah Fulaanah bint al-Fulaan”

    ^ I caught that, and it was kind of funny to me:)

  4. ibnkhalil

    July 19, 2008 at 8:58 AM

    No doubt a very good reminder. It is so easy to get carried away with food. Allah Help me in making Jihad against eating too much!

  5. Umm Abdullah

    July 19, 2008 at 9:33 AM

    Jazaakillah Khairun for the reminder!

  6. MuslimahBloggerer

    July 19, 2008 at 11:44 AM

    Tabman: Something that helps me is being moderate in the portions of food I put on my plate. So go for half a (normal-sized!) plate and opt for second or third helpings as required.

  7. abrar

    July 22, 2008 at 3:12 AM

    asalamualaykukm wa rahamtullahi wa baraktu

    Everything mentioned above is correct, however, a brother ( who is really reliable) told me, that he listened to a lecture by Imam Muhamad ibn Salih al uthmeen, ( may allah have mercy on him) , that the shaykh said, sometimes, or once and a while, it is permissible to go past your full, the shakyh’s proof was that , one time the prophet peace be upon him gave like milk or brouth from chicken or some meat, to a shabi, and the shabi took to his full. So the shaykh used that as evidence for once and a while to go past you full.

    Sadly this was in audio lecture so i cant post the refernce.

    and this shows mashallah the fiqh that ibn al uthameen had. how many of us could see that, subhanallah!!!

  8. khawla

    August 18, 2008 at 7:55 PM

    MashaAllah sister Anonymouse, I missed this post. What a beautiful reminder. I like the title even better. I would like to share a fews words mentioned by a scholar recently…… in a kind of funny way. He said he was a little bit offended by all these ahadith that talk about food and how little we should eat because he loves food and he is huge. A few years ago he set out to make a personal research trying to count how many great scholars of Islam in the past and present who are overweight, to proof that these ahadith are not authentic. He asked how come many great scholars of Islam are overweight? Should they not take heed?….

  9. Mu7aqiq

    March 19, 2009 at 2:25 AM

    Salam 3laikum,

    This is a good hadith to learn from and ponder on. But I wanted to point out to everyone that “hadith” is not the word of God. It is chains of narrations and ‘probable’ on what the prophet (saw) may have said. So I think a “hadith” should be taken, and used for study and to see if we can gain some knowledge from it.

    For example:
    Ibn ‘Umar narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The believer eats in one stomach whilst the kaafir eats in seven.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (5081) and Muslim (2060).

    The context surrounding what is being said, I also think is important. For example, here the prophet (saw) may mean that the believer is not ‘greedy’…and is modest, even in what they ‘want’ and ‘eat’. For the rejectionist person (kaafir) is more likely to be ‘selfish’ and ‘greedy’ thus they fill their desires and stomachs more.

    The Tirmidhi hadith was really good. Anyways if I’m wrong, I’m sorry, and Allahu 3lim.

    ws

    • musa

      August 6, 2016 at 3:39 PM

      Allah commanded us to follow the prophet. Without the hadith we wouldn’t be able to follow the quran. There are many hadiths showing where the prophet tied stones to his stomach in order to bear the hunger. You can’t decide something is metaphorical simply because it goes against your desires. FURTHERMORE some hadiths have the status of “probable that he said ” whereas others are verified to the degree we can be sure. Thats the whole point of the science of verification bro.

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