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When to Eat

 “It is sufficient for the son of Adam a couple of bits (of food) to raise his spine (1). When he does -inevitably - , one third should be for food, one third for liquids, one third for air.”(2)  The Prophet (pbuh)

This saying is one of the many sayings that guide Muslims to live a good and healthy life. Food is a necessity in our lives, and like how the hadith states it is what keeps humans going, the fuel for bodies so we can complete our tasks. At the same time over eating or eating in the “wrong fashion” will cause diseases. Imam al-Sadiq (a.s) stated “Every sickness is because of gluttony [excess in eating] except fevers…” (3). So to fulfill the purpose of food and felling of hunger which are blessings from Allah (swt) it has to be organized. One of the important factors in organizing is timing, therefore it is important that we know when to eat.  
The main rule to follow is do not eat until you are hungry. Imam Ali (a.s) advising his son stated “…do not sit to eat unless you are hungry…”(4) and Imam Al-Baqir (a.s) said “Whoever wants food to not sicken him should not eat until he/she is hungry and his/her stomach is filtered…” (5).
Another instruction is to eat breakfast and dinner without eating in between. Imam Al-Sadiq (a.s) answered to his companion who was dealing with pain and dyspepsia with “Have breakfast and dinner and do not eat between them anything as it damages the body, haven’t you heard what Allah (swt) stated {and they will have their provision therein, morning and evening.}” (6) .
Finally, the most important meal of the day according the sayings of Ahl Al-Bayt (a.s) is not breakfast but dinner at night -not the afternoon- so it should not be left. Imam Ali (a.s) said “The prophets dinner is after darkness, do not leave dinner as not having dinner ruins the body.” (7).

1.      This is a phrase which means to have energy 
2.      Bihar Al-Anwar v1 p266 
3.      Al-Kafi v6 p269
4.      Wassail Al-Shia v24 p245 
5.     Wassail Al-Shai v24 p433
6.      Al-Mahasin v2 p195
7.     Al-Mahasin v2 p195

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