The people of the past would say, the one who overpowers their stomach, will be able to do more righteous actions and be strong in their religion.
Umar (ra) said, be careful of what you eat, things which bloat the stomach makes a person lazy in prayer and gives illnesses and diseases.
Hassan said, the crisis of our father was that he ate at the wrong time and this will be our crisis until the Last Day!
Yusuf ibn Asbat said, hunger softens the heart.
- This was the way of the Prophets.
Al Amash said, if you dishonour your stomach, it’ll honour you.
Malik ibn Dinar said, a person who masters his stomach, masters all righteous actions.
Wisdom doesn’t settle in a stomach that is full.
Shaafi’ee (rh) said, I haven’t bloated (meaning over-eaten) for 16 years, except once and I vomited myself as bloating makes a heart heard, reduces intelligence, induces sleep and weakens one in ibaadah.
Statement of Ibn Hazm (may Allah be pleased with him):
“If the learned ponders how the hours he spent learning saved him from the humiliation of being dominated by the ignorant and from the distress of having no access to the facts, and how those hours provided him with the joy of discovering that which is hidden from others, he would excel in praising Allah, the exalted, full of majesty, and would be more pleased with the knowledge he has and would deepen his desire to increase his knowledge.”
Imam Shafi’ee (rh) said, “After the obligatory deeds, nothing is more beloved to Allah than studying knowledge.”
Qatada (rh) said, “A door of knowledge that a man preserves for rectifying himself and those after him is better than constant worship for a whole year”
Hassan was told about slaves and their being oppressed, expecting Hassan to give one of his powerful reminders. However, Hassan stayed quiet for three weeks.
Then Hassan gave some reminders about freeing the slaves. The man asked him, why did you stay quiet for 3 weeks? Hassan replied, I didn’t want to tell the people to do something and I didn’t do it myself, so I freed a slave and then I reminded others.
It’s very important that when we learn something we are doing it to benefit ourselves first and foremost. Otherwise, we will be getting weak whilst we are helping others to increase their emaan.
Many think that reciting the Qur’an is just during the day when fasting, however the Prophet (saw) would meet Jibreel (as) in the night. So, try to read some Qur’an at night too.
Also, remember that if you can, even if it’s only 5 minutes, pray more after tarawih prayer. A person may pray tarawih, go home and miss out on the blessed last third of the night.
Finally, do some istighfar in the time just before Fajr as this was the practice of the Sahaaba and the righteous of the past.
Some of the people of the past would say that it’s more beloved for us to feed poor Muslims than to do Hajj every year.
This shows the weightiness of doing obligatory actions!
Remember that your actions behind closed doors determine how solid you are in public, in spirituality and in acceptance.
An example of this is al Nawawi (rh) and some of his books. He didn’t write all of 40 Nawawi, he added 16 Hadith and there are many arbaeeniyyat, yet his works have recieved mind blowing acceptance.
Even though he had a few mistakes in aqeedah, these are totally overlooked as he was an Imam and also due to his acceptance. The scholars use this as an example of his phenomenal sincerity.
And the asl of good deeds is to be done in secret but this doesn’t mean you miss out on doing good deeds in public.
This raises the question then, how comes we know about the Salaf and their private actions? The answer is that when someone is sincere, Allah reveals the person’s good no matter how much he tries to hide it.
Fill every second with the remembrance of Allah! If you are seeking knowledge and there is no increase in your actions then check your intention. There’s a defect somewhere.
As one of the people of the past said, I do not want to be a donkey taking care of errands all day long while death is approaching me.
Not that a person can’t get rewarded for doing errands and so on but we need time for all acts of worship.