Is there a hadith meaning “It is enough as extravagance to eat whatever you wish”? If yes, is it regarded as extravagance/waste for people who are well off to eat until they are full, without harming their health?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

According to what Ibn Majah reports from Hz. Anas, the Prophet (pbuh) said,

“It is extravagance to eat anything you want.”(Ibn Majah, At’ima, 51)

It is stated in Zawaid that this hadith is weak. (ibid)

The meaning of the hadith might be as follows:

It is extravagance/waste to eat everything one sees acting upon the desires of his soul and with a false appetite though he does not need.

Extravagance, in a sense, means to eat what is not useful for the body. It is known that it is generally harmful to the stomach and to the body to fill the stomach with various foods in order to fulfill all wishes of the soul. 

"O ye who believe! Eat of the good things that We have provided for you, and be grateful to Allah, if it is Him ye worship!” (al-Baqara 2/172)

As it is stated in the verse above, it is permissible to eat all kinds of halal food. However, it is necessary to act moderately while eating and drinking and to avoid waste and extravagance as it is the case in all issues. This stated is expressed as follows in the Quran:

“…Eat and drink: But waste not by excess, for Allah loveth not the wasters.” (al-A'raf, 7/31)

Every deed has an aim; intention has a great duty in determining the value of the deeds that are done. Food will be strength for any aim for which it is eaten. Therefore, what is meant by eating is not being dominated by the soul by taking pleasure but gaining strength to worship Allah. That is, eating should be regarded as a means, not as an end. What is dangerous in eating and drinking is to commit sins due to having a full stomach.

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