The Prophet’s guidance concerning food and drink

Including observing diets, refraining from excessive eating and the general guidelines that should be observed regarding eating and drinking.

Al-Musnad (by Imam Ahmad) narrated that the Prophet a said:

Hadith 1
“The son of Adam never fills a vessel worse than his stomach. The son of Adam only needs a few bites that would sustain him, but if he insists, one third should be reserved for his food, another third for his drink and the last third for his breathing.

Physical aliments

Physical aliment attack and harm the body and alter its normal functions, because of an excess amount of a substance. This type constitutes the majority of diseases and occurs because of overeating or consuming more than what the body needs, that which brings about little benefit or is not digested easily, or due to complex meals. When the son of Adam habitually fiks his stomach with these types of foods, he will end up with various types of illnesses, some of which take a long time to remedy. On the other hand, when one consumes moderate amounts of food and eats sensibly, the body will get the maximum benefit from this diet, as opposed to when one overeats.

The foods we eat are either for necessity. sufficiency or excessiveness. The Prophet a told us that one only needs a few bites to sustain him, so that his strength does not fail him. When one wishes to exceed what is barely enough, he should reserve a third of his stomach for his food, another third for the water or drink and the last third for breathing. This is the best method of eating, both for the body and the heart. When the stomach is full of food, there will not be enough space for drinking. When one consumes something to drink on a full stomach, one’s breathing will be difficult, thus bringing about laziness and fatigue. One will feel heavy, as if carrying a load on his stomach. Consequently, one will be lazy fulfilling his obligations and will seek other desires now that his stomach is full!

Eating until one is full harms the body and the heart, when it becomes a habit. There is no harm if one occasionally eats his fill. For example, Abu Hurairah once drank some milk in the presence of the Prophet é until he said, “By He Who has sent you with the Truth! I do not find a place for it.” The Companions at times used to eat The first assumption is not plausible, because fire naturally ascends and does not descend, otherwise it would depart from its center and descend to the earth. Also, if in fact fire descends, it would have to pass through spheres of bitter cold that exist on earth and it would still have to remain intact. However, what we in fact observe in this world is that a great fire is extinguished with a little amount of water. Thus if the fire were to descend from its center, it would certainly be extinguished due to the bitterly cold spheres it would pass through.

The second assumption is that fire is formed inside the solid and watery bodies.This is even less plausible, because the body that has turned to fire must have been watery, earthly, or composed of air beforehand, along with being surrounded by such elements. In this case, the element that is surrounded and interconnected with the watery or solid elements would not turn to fire on its own, because it is not composed of fire in essence. Also,the elements that surround it are cold. How can the solid and watery body turn to fire under these conditions?

* Editor’s note The science at the time of the author 691-751 Hÿriah (1364 1423 Gregorian approx.) understood creation consisting of 4 basic elements: water. earth, fire. and air. There was a dispute between the scientists of this trine concerning whether the element of fire was part of the human body or not. 1-rom the perception of the Prophet concerning the proper proportions of food and drink our author seems to have brought this Hadith as evidence that fire was not part or the human body. The rest of the chapter is a divergence on this subject in support of his theory and not part of the Prophetic medicine.

Some might suggest that parts of these elements are composed of fire and thus turn parts of the body to fire upon mixing with it.

We answer by stating that the refutation of this theory is explained in the refutation we offered regarding the first theory.

Some people might say that when they pour water on slaked lime, it causes fire to emerge from it. They might also say that sunrays start a fire when they pass through a crystal and that when they strike a stone on an iron rod, fire bursts occur. All these fiery parts occur when such substances are mixed, they might say, adding that this conclusion refutes what we stated in the beginning.

Those who reject this opinion say that they do not deny that violent impacts could sometimes start a fire, as when one strikes a stone with iron, or when the sun heats an object such as a crystal, causing fire bursts to emerge. Yet, they refute the opinion that this might occur inside the bodies of animals and plants. The bodies of the animals and plants are not susceptible to produce fire upon violent impacts, because they are neither smooth nor polished enough to act like a crystal. In fact, sunrays fall on the outer bodies of the animals and plants, and do not cause them to burst into flames. So, how can sunrays that might or might not reach their interior start a fire inside their bodies?

Further, doctors agree that the older the drink gets, the hotter it gets. It is not possible that this inner warmth in the drink could be caused by fire, otherwise the fiery part would be extinguished by the much larger watery part and would not remain intact for a long time. In fact, we notice that a great fire is usually extinguished by a little amount of water.

Thirdly, if the animals and the plants have fiery parts within them, then the fiery parts would be overwhelmed and dissipated by the water parts. Some elements are superior to others in nature, and thus the weaker element succumbs to the stronger element. If such fiery parts exist in the body, they will certainly be turned into watery parts, which is the opposite of and superior to fire.

Fourthly, Alläh has mentioned the creation of mankind in His Book in many instances. Sometimes Alläh would inform us that He has created mankind from water. Sometimes He would state that he created them from soil, a mixture of both and from day that the sun and wind strike until it becomes just like a clay pot. All of these statements are true and describe the stages that mankind pass through. Alläh never stated that He has created mankind from fire, as in the case with the creation of Satan, being of the Jinn. Imam Muslim narrated that the Prophet g said:

Hadith 1
“The angels were created from light while Satan was created from the smokeless flame of fire. As for Adam, he was created from what has been told to you.”

This statement is dear in its indication that Adam was created from what Alläh has stated in His Book about this subject. Alläh did not state that He created Adam from fire or that fire exists within him.

Fifthly, the best evidence they rely on, to prove that there are fiery parts in the body, is the warmth in the bodies of animals which they claim proves that the bodies are partly fire. We say that there is no proof in this observation, because there are several other causes for inner heat. For instance, fire produces heat, and so does movement, reflection of sunrays, the heat of the air and from being dose to the fire, as the fire transmits the heat through the air. There are several causes behind the inner heat, but not necessarily fire.

The followers of the fire theory say that fire is necessary for sand and water to be mixed and blended, Otherwise, they would not blend or produce a compound. Also, they say, if the seed is buried in the mud so that the air and the sun could not penetrate the mud to reach the seed, it would get spoiled. Therefore, the seed should have an inner part that leads it to maturity, and later on to spoil, that is, the fire, they claim. Otherwise, the seed would only mature and then spoil due to an outside effect or else it would be in a state of deep freeze. They say that when the outside effect ends, the body will not be heated unless there is an inner fiery part in it that matures it, such as the case with some foods and medicines that are warm by nature.

They also say that if the body did not consist of a fiery part that produces heat, the body would be cold. If the nature of the body is susceptible to coldness and the surrounding environment does not have the opposite effect, the body will reach the coldest degree there is. In this state, the body would not feel the coldness because it would have reached such coldness that it would be in fact frozen. Therefore, the state of coldness and the body would be in the same cool degree and thus the body would not feel the cold nor would it feel any pain because of the extreme cold. The same argument can be said when the body is in a lower temperature than the cold substance itself. Thus, if the body did not have any fiery part, it would not normally feel the cold nor be affected by it.

They also say that, “Your proofs only serve to refute the opinion that the fiery parts remain as fire within the bodies. We do not support this statement. Rather, we say that fire changes when it is mixed with the body.

Those who oppose this idea reply, “Why not say that the heat of the sun blends the earth, water and air? Then, when the resulting mixture reaches maturity, it would be ready to take new shapes whether these shapes are plants, animals or minerals, with the heat as the medium. Why not say that the inner heat and warmth that exist in the body are the result of certain qualities and powers that Alläh brings into existence upon blending the mixture, not that they actually contain fiery parts? You have no way of denying this possibility, as some of the best medical authorities agree.”

Also, the fact that the body feels the cold only indicates that there is an inner heat in body. Who denies this fact anyway? But, what is the evidence that this heat is only produced by fire? Yes, the fire radiates heats, but not every type of heat is the result of fire. Rather, the correc statement in this regard is that some types of heat are produced by fire.

Also the statement that the fire’s essence changes when it mixes with the body is not supported by the opinions of the best doctors, or by fact. Also, some of your (those who say that the body is part fire) best supporters (i.e. Ibn Sina, the misguided philosopher) has admitted in his book Ash-Shifaa (The Cure) that the four essential elements (water, fire, earth and air) retain their essential qualities when blended in a compound.

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