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Eat and Drink But Waste Not By Extravagance

EsinIslam Ramadan Explorer

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

All the praises and thanks be to Allah, and peace and blessings of Allah be upon the Messenger of Allah.

Fasting has a lot of morals among which is that the fasting Muslim should be economical in consuming his food and drink.

It is noted on most of fasting people that they make the season of Ramadan as a season of the banquets which are full of different kinds of food; and that they are extremely extravagant in this matter. They rush to the markets to buy delicious foods to most of which they are not familiar with at any other time except in Ramadan.

This leads to the wasting of money and fatiguing of the body in consuming a lot of food. Souls become lazy in performing acts of worship; long periods of times are wasted in shopping and preparing huge quantities of foods most of which are thrown in wastebaskets.

Such extreme preparation of most of the Muslims for Ramadan by diversifying and increasing foods and drinks is contrary to Allah's order, contrary to the wisdom of fasting, contrary to preserving health, and contradictory to the rules of economy.

If such people were adopting the religious ethics, they would have been satisfied with their regular food and drink and would have spent the excess in the ways of charity that suit Ramadan, such as feeding the poor and orphans, breaking the fast of the needy fasting people and so on.

In most cases, each of these rich squanderers has a poor or a needy neighbor, who is more deserving for the charity of the rich neighbor.

If these rich have no such kind of neighbors, so let them give their surplus money to charities or to those who can spend it well on all charitable causes.

If the spendthrift rich do that, they will add a great means of nearness to Allah along with the means of nearness to Him by fasting; that is charity to the needy. This is an advantage to society as it brings hearts closer in this blessed month and makes all fasting persons feel that they are in the month of charity, mercy and brotherliness.

In addition, if man follows his desires to the extremes and devours all kinds of food; sweet and sour; cold and hot, he will suffer the bad consequences of misery and blight, lack and imbalance of health. Sometimes, it would be an obligation ordered by the advising physician to relieve the body systems, save some power for old age, maintain mild mood and well-manage the health.

This is the outstanding wisdom of fasting, so then, how are matters turned upside down? And how is the month of fasting made into a wide field for extravagant eating and drinking?

Allah Glorified and Exalted has said, {and eat and drink but waste not by extravagance,} [Surat Al-A'râf 7:31]

{وَكُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا وَلَا تُسْرِفُوا} الأعراف: 31

Transliteration: wakuloo waishraboo wala tusrifoo

Some scholars said: ''Allah has collected all the medicine in this verse.'' (Tathkirat As-Sami' wa Al-Mutakallim [The Reminder of the Listener and Talker], p 121)

The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, has said, ''The son of Adam never fills a container worse than his stomach. It is enough for the son of Adam [to eat] a few morsels that raise his backbone. If it cannot be helped (that he will fill his stomach), so a third (of his stomach be) for his food, a third for his drink and a third for his breath.'' [Reported by Ahmed 4/132 and authenticated by Al-Albani in Sahih Aj-Jâmi' (the Authentic Collection): 5674]

«ما ملأ ابن آدم وعاء شراً من بطن، بحسب أبن آدم لقيمات يقمن صلبه، فإن كان لا محالة فثلث لطعامه، وثلث لشرابه، وثلث لنفسه» أخرجه أحمد وصححه الألباني

O fasting person: besides the aforementioned, it is well known for any wise man the bad consequences of increasing eating and drinking in man's religion and life. It causes dullness, hinders right thinking, is a reason of laziness, necessitates hardheartedness, causes psychical sickness and motivates causes of evil and the empwerment of the Devil.

The sheikh of Islam, Ibn Taymiyya, may Allah have mercy on him, said, ''It is authenticated that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, has said, ''Satan circulates in the body of the son of Adam as his blood circulates in it.'' [Reported by Al-Bukhari]

«إنّ الشيطان يجري من ابن آدم مجرى الدم» رواه البخاري

There is no doubt that blood is generated from food and drink, so when man eats or drinks, the passages for Satan become wide. Therefore, it is said: narrow his passages by hunger.''

If these passages become narrow, the hearts will be motivated to do good deeds by which the gates of Paradise are opened, and to leave forbidden actions by which the gates of Hellfire are opened. The devils are chained, so their power and action weaken and they will not be able to do in Ramadan what they used to do in other months.

He did not say that they were killed or that they died. He said, rather, ''They were chained''. The chained devils can hurt, but lesser and weaker than in other months than Ramadan. This is according to the perfection of Fasting. Whoever fulfils a perfect fasting will push the devil away more than he who performs a deficit fasting. This is a clear suitability for preventing a fasting person from eating and drinking. The rule is fixed according to that.'' (The Reality of Fasting, pp. 58-59)

Luqman, peace be upon him, said to his son, ''O my son, if the stomach is filled, the idea will be dulled, the wisdom will be mute, and the limbs will refrain from worshipping''.

Omar, may Allah be pleased with him, said, ''Whoever eats much will not find pleasure in remembering Allah''

Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, said, ''If you become paunchy, so count some time for yourself''

A wise man said, ''Lessen your food so you will sleep well''

A poet said:

and how many morsels prevent its eater
In a one hour pleasure from the food of an age
And how many men seeks for a matter
Which contains destruction if he knows it?


Ibn Al-Qayyim, may Allah have mercy on him, said, ''Extra food is a reason for many types of evils. It motivates organs to performing acts of disobedience and makes it heavy to perform acts of obedience. These two evils are enough. How many acts of disobedience are brought about by surfeit and extra food and how many acts of obedience are prevented due to that. Whoever is preserved from the evil of his stomach will be preserved from great evil''

He, may Allah have mercy on him, then said, ''even if being filled with food is only a reason for neglecting the remembrance of Allah Glorified and Exalted, [so it is enough evil]''.

If the heart is negligent for one hour from remembering Allah, the devil will oppress, promise, indulge, allure and roam with him everywhere. If the soul is sated, it moves, roves and wanders for lustrous desires. If it is hungry, it clams down, becomes humble and subservient''.

In addition, those who eat much do not find pleasure as those who are frugal.

The sheikh of Islam, Ibn Taymiyya, may Allah have mercy on him, said, ''Those who are frugal in food have more pleasure with it than those who are extravagant in it, because if they become addicted and familiar with it, they then do not have much pleasure with it. They may even be unable to be without it and their diseases will increase due to it''.

O gentle fasting persons

If the matter is as it is, then it is more appropriate for us to turn the noble month into a chance to adapt ourselves to moderation in eating and drinking. Souls are aspiring; they are not satisfied with little pleasures. If we strive with them, they stop following their lustrous desires. The words of Abu Zueib Al-Hazly are considered one of the wisest sayings of the Arabs:

The soul desires if you awake its desire
And if restored to the little, it becomes satisfied

But if we give it full rein and all that it lusts for, it will lead us to sin and to the most evil end.

And Allah knows best. Peace and blessings of Allah be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his family and companions.


Ibn Khuzaymah House
 

EsinIslam Ramadan Team

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