Children’s Rights on Parents 6

Children’s Rights on Parents 6

The Harms of Overeating

The Commander of the Faithful (PBUH) said: Man's soul is spoiled by overeating and oversleeping and brings losses to him/her.(1) He also said: One who overeats is not healthy, and he/she has to pay a high price.(2) He also said: Overeating is due to abnormal appetite which is a form of disease.(3)

The sixth Imam (PBUH) said: Nothing is more harmful for a believer's heart than overeating. Overeating results in cruelty and sexual arousal.(4) Almighty Allah, the Almighty told the Israelites: Do not overeat. One who overeats will oversleep. One who oversleeps will pray less and one who reduces his prayers is included among the Ignorant.(5)

The Prophet (PBUH&HP) said: Abstain from overeating since it will spoil your body and cause illness and sluggishness in prayers.(6) He also said: Nothing is despised by Almighty Allah more than a full stomach.(7) Imam Musa Kadhim (PBUH) said: If all people eat moderately, their bodies will be moderate.(8)

Regarding the issue of eating and drinking, the Prophet (PBUH&HP) said the following which is the key to health: Eat when you have an appetite, and stop eating while you still have an appetite to eat. Certainly overeating is very harmful for the digestive system, and is a great threat to our health. The best way to maintain health and vigor, and be thin and agile and live a long life is to eat only when you are hungry and to stop eating before you get full.(9)

An Educational Story

It is narrated that one of the great commanders dispatched an expert physician to Medina to treat the patients for free. The physician stayed in Medina for a while, but either no one or only a very few people came for a visit. He was really surprised and complained to the Prophet. The Prophet (PBUH&HP) told him that this is the way in this town since I have asked the people to eat only when they are hungry, and to stop eating before they get full.

The physician told the Prophet(PBUH&HP): You have in one decree summarized all the rules of medicine and health. That is why the people do not get sick easily here. Imam Ali (PBUH) has said the following regarding how to start a meal: Start your meal with some salt. If the people only knew of its benefits, they would have preferred it to established medications.(10) The Prophet (PBUH&HP) has admonished not eating hot meals. He has said that Almighty Allah has put the blessings in meals that have cooled down a bit, and has ordered not to blow at the food to cool it down.(11)

It has strictly been forbidden to eat food and ignore living creatures present. Najih said that he saw Imam Hassan Mujtaba (PBUH) eating food and a dog was near him. He would eat a bit and give the dog a bite. I asked him why he did not shoo away the dog. He answered that he was ashamed before Almighty Allah to eat while being watched by a living creature, and not pay any attention to it.(12)

Yes, we must eat and feed, since this eating is necessary for our body, and feeding is a sign of morality and nobility; a means of helping the needy; a cause of Almighty Allah’s Mercy, favor, reward and forgiveness. Strictness in this issue to your wife and children, relatives and the people is unjust and is similar to partnership with Satan.

Imam Mujtaba (PBUH) has said that there are twelve things that each Muslim must know about food and eating: recognizing the blessings and their Provider; being content with our share of daily bread bestowed by Almighty Allah; starting our meals in the name of Almighty Allah; thanking Almighty Allah at the end of our meal; making ablutions before eating; sitting on the left-hand side; using three fingers; licking the fingers; eating what is nearby; eating in small bites; chewing well; and looking less at the people who are eating around the tablecloth.(13)

Imam Reza(PBUH) has recommended us to eat a light meal at night since it helps your merits and also helps you to stay thin.(14) The Prophet (PBUH&HP) said: Whoever spends more time praising and worshipping Almighty Allah and spends less time eating, drinking and sleeping is more eagerly welcomed by the divine angels.(15) He also said: Be just to your body regarding eating, drinking and clothing. Such consideration is a part of Prophethood.(16)

Imam Ali (PBUH) said: Eating light meals, and nobility are more lasting for our health.(17) He also said: When Almighty Allah the Glorious wishes the well-being of His servant, He shall inspire him/her to talk less, to eat less and to sleep less.(18) Other important issues to be considered by the family and more importantly by the head of the family are to abstain from smoking cigarettes, using Hubble-bubbles and narcotics.

Smoking of any kind is religiously forbidden according to some Shiite jurisprudents, since it endangers our health and sometimes causes moral and social corruption. Islam has also forbidden the joint use of personal things such as a comb, a towel or a tooth brush. It is hoped that these issues are considered by all the families, and especially by the heads of each family.

This will aid in maintaining the physical and mental health of everyone. Since these are religious decrees, abiding by them is considered to be worshipping Almighty Allah and disobeying them is a sin and a cause of Almighty Allah's punishment and retribution.

Continue in the next article: ( Children’s Rights on Parents 7 )



1. [Mizan al-Hikmat, v.1, p.117]

2. [Ibid]

3. [Ibid]

4. [Mizan al-Hikmat, v.1, pp.117-118]

5. [Ibid]

6. [Ibid]

7. [Ibid]

8. [Vasa'il, v.16, p.406]

9. [Mizan al-Hikmat, v.1, p.123]

10. [Vasa'il, v.16, p.520]

11. [Vasa'il, v.16, p.518]

12. [Mizan al-Hikmat, v.1, p.125]

13. [Vasa'il, v.16, p.539]

14. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.62, p.324]

15. [Mizan al-Hikmat, v.1, p.116]

16. [Ibid]

17. [Ibid]

18. [Ibid]