Leaving Something for The Sake of Allah

Abu Qatadah (rh) reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Verily, you will never leave anything for the sake of Allah the Exalted except that Allah will replace it with something better.”

Source: Musnad Ahmad 22565
Grade: Sahih (authentic) according to Al-Albani

عَنْ أَبِي قَتَادَةَ عَنْ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ إِنَّكَ لَنْ تَدَعَ شَيْئًا لِلَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ إِلَّا بَدَّلَكَ اللَّهُ بِهِ مَا هُوَ خَيْرٌ لَكَ مِنْهُ

Overcoming Our Desires

Some of the people of the past would say those that fast will be a given a table to eat from whilst the people are being held to account!

They will say, we are being held to account whilst they are eating  and it will be said to them, they would be fasting in the world whilst you would be eating and they would be praying at night and you would be sleeping!

Ibn Rajab (rh) mentioned this in his book, Lataaif al Maarif.

Benefits of Eating Less

Khateeb al Baghdadi mentions that times of hunger are better for memorisation than times of being full. Some, when they are hungry, don’t memorise but for the one who wishes to memorise the most, and he’s hungry, takes a very light snack and continues. He mentioned taking a bit of pomegranate. One doesn’t eat too much food!

Ibn Jamaah (rh) mentions that eating and drinking means drinking too much leads to sleeping too much, being lazy in one’s thoughts and body and having dulled senses.

Some mentioned it leads to more desires too.

The one who controls his stomach will be able to:

  • Cry more easily for the sake of Allah
  • Memorise better
  • Think more clearly
  • Control his desire.

We need to work on this a lot SubhanAllah. It’s even narrated on the Sahaaba in the saheeh that some of them would fast most of the year!! Yet we fill our stomachs and over eat almost daily! Even when a person fasts they have a huge iftaar to make up for their fast!

This is in addition to being careful what a person eats. A person may eat a little but it’s all junk food or oil. The people of the past would watch this too. Everything in moderation.

Eating In Moderation

The Prophet’s (saw) house was seen without a fire for long periods! When they asked Aisha (ra) she said, we survived on dates and water.

This is not saying that we should leave eating and not eat nice food but it must be done in moderation and far less.

Who said we have to eat 3 times a day and at specified times? These are all new things which have been invented in recent times.

Watching How Much We Eat

Ibn ‘Umar (ra) 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).

Muhammad ibn Wasi (may Allaah have mercy upon him) said,

“Whoever eats little will understand and make others understand and will be clear and humble. Overeating weighs a person down and keeps him from much of what he wants [to accomplish]

Ash-Shaafi’ee (may Allaah have mercy upon him) said, “I have not eaten to my fill in sixteen years because filling oneself makes the body heavy, removes clear understanding, induces sleep and makes one weak for worship.”

In addition, Abu Juhayfah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said, “A man burped in the presence of the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and he said: ‘Keep your burps away from us, for the one who eats his fill the most in this world will be hungry for the longest time on the Day of Resurrection.’” [at-Tabaraani] After hearing that, Abu Juhayfah (may Allaah be pleased with him) did not eat his fill until he departed from this world; if he ate breakfast he would not eat dinner and if he ate dinner he would not eat breakfast, and he said, “I have not filled my stomach for thirty years”.

Sufyaan ath-Thawri (may Allaah have mercy upon him) said, “If you want your body to be healthy and to sleep less, then eat less.” Eating too much also makes the heart hard and heedless of Allaah. It was said to Imaam Ahmad (may Allaah have mercy upon him) “Does a man find any softness and humility in his heart when he is full?” He said, “I do not think so.”

In the saheeh narrated ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) “The family of Muhammad had never eaten their fill of wheat bread for three successive days since they had migrated to Madeenah till the death of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)”.

She (may Allaah be pleased with her) also said, “The family of Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, did not eat two meals on one day, but one of the two was of dates.” And she (may Allaah be pleased with her) said, “A complete month would pass by during which we would not make a fire (for cooking), and our food used to be only dates and water unless we were given a present of some meat.”

Control Your Desires

Some of the ulema mention the one who can’t control his hunger can’t control  his desire as he eats everything and whenever he wishes. The one who can’t control his desires eventually becomes debased, whereas the one who controls his desires is raised.

Look at Yusuf (as) as an example. He was sold like a slave, yet he became the minister of the entire country after he controlled his desire!

And look at the one who desired him; rich, powerful and beautiful, yet she became mocked and derided!