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Spirituality and Food in Ramadan

Food has a great significance in Islam. It is associated with one's relationship with God. Chapter 20 verse 89 of the Qur¡¦an states: "eat of the good and wholesome things that We have provided for your sustenance, but indulge in no excess therein" The physical body is a gift from God; it is given to humans as an amanah (trust) to take care of for a fixed period. How much food is consumed and the choice of food has a direct impact on the physical and spiritual well-being of the person.


The food that you consume affects your behaviour and personality. Wholesome, natural and healthy food assists the development of a good personality. Over-eating has long been frowned upon in Islam as it is thought to increase worldly appetites and cause sluggishness, thereby "dulling¡" the soul, hampering spiritual growth and increase physical ailments.

The blessed Prophet said: "The children of Adam fill no vessel worse than their stomach. Sufficient for him is a few morsels to keep his back straight. If he must eat more, then a third should be for his food, a third for his drink, and a third left for air". (Sunan al-Tirmidhi) Islam sees health and ¡¥well-being¡¦ as much more than just bodily health: well-being or tranquillity requires a strong relationship with one's spirituality, good physical health, mental happiness, a sense of purpose and good character and relationships. Islam makes a strong connection between food and worship and teaches that all forms of worship have a deeper purpose and impact and contribute in someway to individual and social well-being.

In chapter 7 verse 31 the Qur¡¦an is categorical "Eat and drink freely: But waste not by excess, for He does not like the wasters."

Islam thus creates a sense of responsibility in people to take a healthy living lifestyle as normal. Fasting in the month of Ramadan teaches us to manage and practice spirituality and not to eat excessively. The essential part of spirituality in food is that we are grateful and thankful for the food we get.

The blessed Prophet once said: "God has a right over you; your body has a right over you¡K." To strike a balance between theneeds of the physical body and your spiritual needs, one must on the one hand consume the right type and amount of food and on the other hand develop excellent inter-personal skills.

The blessed Prophet Muhammad said: "I have only been sent for the perfection of character". Fasting in the month of Ramadan is an opportunity to make significant changes in your lifestyle and develop the resolve to make healthy living choices.

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