Diet Failed?

Assalamualaikum. 🙂

I’ve been noticing for some reason that so many people are going on diets around me whether they be brothers or sisters. Some are successfully losing weight while others are simply getting very very frustrated with themselves.

I figured since the Quran and Ahadith always have the answers, this issue wouldn’t be the exception.

I sat down to pick out a few Ahadith on the manners of eating and also the sort of food that the Prophet (s) ate or even recommended us to eat as well. Things that could perhaps help us in coming up with that perfect diet plan.

So here I’m going to mention all the amazing ‘diet tips’ we get from the Sunnah of RasoolAllah (s).

#1 Say Bismillah and the dua before eating….

Most of us have been taught to do so since we were little children, but now that we’ve grown older and our moms don’t coax us to do so, we forget to do it. Every deed we do can be a part of Ibadah if we start it in Allah’s name and have good intentions. Having a bite to eat is no exception.

The Prophet (s) advised Umar ibn Abu Salamah:

“Boy, mention the name of Allah, and eat with your right hand and eat from what is nearest to you.” (Muslim #5012)

So to make sure we get the ajr and barakah from the food so it keeps us strong and healthy (in all the right places), let’s follow the example of the Prophet.

#2 Eat while sitting on your knees…

Now obviously, this isn’t always an option. Especially when you’re at a party etc. But even then, I believe the point is to NOT get comfortable while eating. Don’t lean on something while you eat or such. It’s also proved to be bad for you by medical research and the Prophet (s) also admonished us not to do it, instead telling us:

“I do eat like the slave of Allah does.”

His position as he ate was described as such: He ate sitting on his heels. It’s said that he used to kneel forward on his knees, his left foot under his right.
So even if you’re sitting on a chair at home, you can bring your legs up and try the position. Personally, I’ve experienced that you eat less this way.

#3 Eat the foods mentioned in the Sunnah…

I went through many ahadith to pinpoint certain foods that the Prophet (s) ate. I found these:

Dates (Ajwa dates are mentioned specifically and recommended especially to eat in the morning), Soups, Pumpkin, Cucumbers, the juice of Manna (which is apparently corriander seeds, it is said to be good for your sight as well), vinegar, bread, foods of barley (said to help speed up your digestion), and milk (the natural or organic rather than the chemical filled drink we call milk today).

#4 Not eating until you’re “full”.

Ibn Umar repored that the Messenger of Allah (s) said:

“A believer eats in one intestine, whereas a non-believer eats in seven intestines.” (Muslim #5116)

We should eat until we get that feeling that if we ate more it would only be out of the pleasure of eating. Our portion has been made more specific in the following Hadith:

“The son of Adam will never fill a container with something worse and evil than his stomach. It will suffice him some morsels (food) that will keep him on his feet, otherwise, he should divide his stomach into three parts: one third for his food, the other for his drink and the other third for his breath.” (Ibn Hibban)

This is one great way to keep our food in good proportions.

#5 Don’t eat right before sleeping.

Abu Nu’aim has related that:

“The Holy Prophet (s) prohibited sleeping immediately after dinner as he said that this fact hardens the heart.”

Even doctors today recommend that you walk or such after dinner before going to sleep. We can save our witr prayer for after dinner or perhaps just eat it at an earlier time so there’s some activity between eating and sleeping.

I’m sure these tips will help you out. Following the Sunnah only brings positive results as the Prophet (s) is the best example just as Allah describes him in the Quran:

لَقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِّمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو اللَّهَ وَالْيَوْمَ الْآخِرَ وَذَكَرَ اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا

VERILY, in the Apostle of God you have a good example for everyone who looks forward [with hope and awe] to God and the Last Day, and remembers God unceasingly. [33:21]

Good luck with your new Sunnah-inspired diet plan!

Ma-as-Salam!

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