Benefits of Staying Hungry

A person of the past mentioned that times of hunger are better for memorisation than times of being full. 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 and not eating too much food!

Ibn Jama’ah (rh) mentions that eating and drinking leads to sleeping too much, being lazy in one’s thoughts and body and it dulls the senses.

It has also been mentioned that it leads to more desire.

One who controls his stomach will be able to:

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

It’s narrated on the Sahaaba, in the Sahih, that some of them would fast most of the year!! Yet we fill our stomachs and over eat almost daily!

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Not Overeating and Its Benefits

Ibn ‘Umar (ra) narrated that the Prophet (saw) 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 (rh), 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 (ra), 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 (ra) 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 (rh), 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 Sahih narrated by ‘Aa’ishah (ra), “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 (ra), also said, “The family of Muhammad (saw) did not eat two meals on one day, but one of the two was of dates.” And she (ra), 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.”

Memorising the Book of Allah

Try to memorise the book of Allah.

A Shaykh once mentioned that a man would pray 10 juz in his qiyaam ul layl just to help him revise his Qur’an.

A Shaykh in Egypt finished the Qur’an in eight months. If you recite from anywhere in the Qur’an, he can carry on from that Verse!

A man started memorising the Qur’an when he was in his fifties, He memorised a few Aayahs a day and when he reached his late 70s/80s, he had memorised the entire Qur’an!

A blind Shaykh was on a journey and the people didn’t have a watch so couldn’t tell the time. The blind Shaykh told them the time. They enquired as to how he knew and he replied that they left at this time and it takes him 15 minutes to recite one juz from his memory and that he had already completed a few juz.

Memorising is not hard, it just takes discipline and sincerity.

The Reward of Leaving Even a Little Good

Ibn Abdul Barr mentions that one of the scholars saw another, who passed away, in his dream and asked him, what did Allah do with you? He replied, he forgave me for a Hadith that I narrated that spread between the people!

This is the reward for leaving just some good!

Working on Our Character

The Prophet (saw) said that the best of you are those with the best character!

The ulema have said that if knowledge without good character was something praiseworthy, Shaytaan would have been from the best of people.

The one who has no ilm and good character doesn’t damage anyone but himself. However, the one with ilm and poor character damages himself and others!

Thinking About Our Sins and Asking for Forgiveness

Wahb ibn Munabbih said that Aadam (as) cried for 300 years after eating from the tree and never looked up after being sent down to earth.

The Prophets were forgiven by Allah, yet they weren’t complacent! We should be in the state of regret even after the sin, even if it’s many years later.

The least that can be said is that it’s recommended to repent and feel regret for sins which a person did in the past and for which one has already repented for.

Wanting to be Known

Ibn Taymiyah (rh) quotes Abu Dawud that those who want to be known by everyone have a disease of the heart known shahwa khafiyya; a hidden desire.

Bishr bin Haarith mentioned that the one who wants to be famous will not taste the sweetness of the Aakhirah.