Why is overeating forbidden in Islam?

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A balanced diet is important for fulfilling nutritional needs and a healthy lifestyle. Excessive consumption has a negative impact on the quality of life.

There is no prohibition in Islam to eat healthy food allowing us to worship Allah in a healthy and strong body. However, consuming and wasting extra food has been discouraged.

God the Almighty said,’O children of Adam, take your adornment at every masjid, and eat and drink, but be not excessive. Indeed, He likes not those who commit excess.’

(Surah Al-A’raf, verse 31)

Miqdam bin Madikarib said: ‘I heard the Prophet (SAW) say: ‘A human being fills no worse vessel than his stomach. It is sufficient for a human being to eat a few mouthfuls to keep his spine straight. But if he must (fill it), then one-third of food, one third for drink and one third for air.’

Moderate food has been encouraged in the above hadith. Hadith said that excessive food makes people weak. According to scientists, food is responsible for 80% of human diseases. Day after day, unhealthy food drives people to death. Even a dietary change will eliminate 23.8 % or 11.6 million premature deaths worldwide, according to scientists.

It was narrated that ‘Atiyyah bin ‘Amir Al-Juhani said: ‘I heard Salman, when he was forced to eat food, say: ‘It is sufficient for me that I heard the Prophet (SAW) say: The people who most eat their fill in this world will be the most hungry on the Day of Resurrection.’

(Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith: 3351)

In another hadith, Narrated Nafi`: I heard the Prophet (SAW) saying, “A believer eats in one intestine (is satisfied with a little food), and a kafir (unbeliever) eats in seven intestines (eats much food).

(Sahih Bukhari, Hadith No: 5393)

Diabetes is the primary consequence of overeating. The consumption of excess food triggers paralysis. It narrows the blood vessels; as a result, blood circulation is interrupted. Therefore, the respective limbs get surrounded as their veins get narrow. And when this condition suddenly appears in any part of the brain, people become paralyzed.

Overeating leads to early ageing. If you eat too much, the limbs cannot function properly. As a result, man becomes weak or powerless before a certain time, and he seems to grow old at a very young age.

So in every aspect of life, including food, we should follow the Prophet’s (SAW) Sunnah. We can only live a holy and healthy life in that way.