Good Deeds Challenge #12

Allah (SWT) says in the Holy Qur’an:O you who believe, do not forbid the good things which Allah has made lawful for you and do not exceed limits. Surely Allah does not love those who exceeds the limits.'” (5:90)

The Prophet said, “No man fills a vessel worse than his stomach. A few mouthfuls that would suffice to keep his back upright are enough for a man. But if he must eat more, than he should fill one third (of his stomach) with food, one third with drink and leave one third for easy breathing” (Ahmad).

“One will also feel heaviness in his body, his heart and spirit will experience languor and drowiness and his limbs will fail to obey him in performing his basic religious duties. Hence a filled stomach is damaging to one’s body, heart and spirit. Moderation is the path of good health and the body benefits from moderate and nutritious meals.” (Taken from great article at http://islamic-world.net/sister/h23.htm)

I think we all know how we are supposed to deal with food, but I think applying what we know is an entirely different thing. ALLAH (SWT) makes it clear to us in the Quran that he has bestowed upon us bounties within the earth from which we are to eat and drink. However, throughout the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet (SAW), we are repeatedly warned about excess and waste. BALANCE. I think that that word is the essence of so many components of our deen. Yet balance (it sounds easy enough to achieve) is sensitive. Picture a scale on which you must balance two weights- the slightest difference will determine whether you achieve balance or imbalance.

The Prophet (SAW) told us that our stomachs are the worst vessels that we fill, meaning that it so easily tempts us to excess, and leads us to lose control. Let’s try to follow the sunnah- even for one day, with the intention of following the Sunnah of our Prophet (SAW), and obeying the commands of our Lord (SWT). As you do this, make sure that you are partaking of the bounties He (SWT) has provided us, following the etiquettes of eating, and finishing with praise to Him for His graciousness and generosity.

One third food, one third water, and one third air (and the hadith says that this ratio is “if [man] needs to eat more” than a few mouthfuls)!

This is also very topical given the current food crisis in the world. In America, very few of us know what a shortage of food means. I obsess over my children’s school lunches, often panicking if I don’t have every component of a balanced meal ready to pack up (protein, carb, veggie, fruit, and dairy). SubhanALLAH, this challenge is a reminder of the bounties of our Lord, and an opportunity to experience a life in which we eat to live- imbibing food to nourish our bodies and sustain our faculties. It is less about being social and more about being practical. Let’s see how our worship will benefit from this, insha’ALLAH. I have a feeling that if we purify our intentions on this challenge, there will be a whole host of tangential benefits.

I’d love to hear your feedback, insha’ALLAH.

Fi AmanILLAH.

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~ by deedschallenge on May 10, 2008.

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