Is it Sunnah to eat a meal before going to bed?

The Details of the Question

It is advised in the Sunnah to eat a meal before going to bed.
However, experts say it is harmful to eat before going to bed. 
What should we say to them?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

The Prophet (pbuh) usually ate dinner before the night prayer (isha); he had a light dinner containing yoghurt and barley bread.

The Sunnah related to meals is to have two meals a day: in the morning and in the evening. When dinner is ready at the time of night prayer, the Prophet advises us to eat first and perform the night prayer after that

The time that the Prophet ate dinner is about the time that the doctors today advise us to eat.

When we calculate the time for the evening prayer in Makkah and Madinah, we see that it is about 19.30. It coincides with the time that modern medicine advises.

The Prophet advised us to eat dinner:

“Eat dinner even if you have only a handful of bad dates. Abandoning eating dinner is a reason for getting old.” (Tirmidhi, At'ima 46)

It is before the night prayer.

It is known based on the knowledge given by medicine that cells are renewed during sleep in adults. Therefore, a lot of energy is needed during sleep. If a person eats dinner, he gets that energy. 

What is meant by dinner here is the meal eaten in the evening, not late at night.

What is meant by dinner is the late hours of the day and early hours of the night. It is between the afternoon prayer and the evening prayer in summer and between the evening prayer and the night prayer in winter.

It has been medically determined that the meal eaten late at night is harmful to the body; we never advise it.

In conclusion, we can say that it is not sunnah to eat a meal before going to bed. What is sunnah is to eat something light before the night prayer. It is medically known to be useful in terms of health.

Unfortunately, the Muslims suffer the consequences of disregarding the Sunnah about manners of eating and drinking by catching various illnesses today.

Good manners about eating are as follows:

1. Do not eat before getting hungry; leave the dinner table before being full up.

2. Eat a little when you eat a meal; do not eat for about four to five hours after eating a meal.

3. Cure is in digestion.

4. The biggest harm to the stomach and the body is given when you eat again after a meal.

5. The best diet is eating based on the Sunnah.

6. A person who eats based on the Sunnah will not suffer from obesity.

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