By Hatim Harith Al Abdissalaam
“We are people who don’t eat unless we are hungry and when we eat we make sure that we don’t get our stomachs full!”
This is a very common saying among Arabs of yesteryear.
So, our forefathers have thought about this in great deal and more importantly, have practiced what they preached too. Therefore, I am totally with the idea that we should consume only what is necessary for us to survive.
Great sin to waste
In Islam, it is considered to be a great sin to waste resources. But, let it be clear that it is not about consumption of food alone, it extends to time too. It is considered sinful to waste time.
The Almighty Allah says in the glorious Quran, “O children of Adam, take your adornment at every masjid, and eat and drink, but be not excessive. Indeed, He likes not those who commit excesses.”
We have to be moderate
On most occasions, people mix up between elements of a religion and their local culture, which creates confusion as well as wrong practices. This is not only unique in the Islamic world but it is also witnessed in other faiths as well. Islam is very clear in its teachings that a Muslim has to be moderate in every single thing that he does, but for sure ignorance has always been the enemy of the human being!
To want more is in our blood
The nature of a human being is to always want more things to consume in life and there is always the fear of the lack of resources and the pressure to compete with others. This turns into a practice and later on they end up consuming more than what they need. This starts from a very early age when we unconsciously programme our children to consume what they don’t need.
No need to force children to finish food
It is a common practice to see parents on a dinner table forcing their children to finish the food on their plates although the child has expressed that he/she is full and can no longer consume more. The unfortunate downside to this is that it leads to the child forcing himself to eat more than what he requires on a daily basis, which not only leads to obesity but it also leads to killing the sensors of the brain that inform us when we are actually full. The worst part is when parents preach to their children about how it is important to finish the food on their plate and that they should not waste food for the sake of the starving children of the world while on the other hand the same parents prepare excessive meals for guests that ends up in the trash, which is a total contradiction.
Allah is the provider and sustainer
Indeed, Almighty Allah is the provider and sustainer of this universe. He took it upon Himself to provide our sustenance throughout our life but this does not give us the right to waste resources and consume what is not ours.
Every extra belongs to the next generation
Whatever extra you consume in life does not actually belong to you, but it belongs to the next generation.
So to conclude: the next time you take a long shower for hours or have a feast for 100 people when you have invited only 20 or force your kids to eat more food for the sake of the starving kids, just think twice and remember that on the Day of Judgment we will all be accountable for our actions.