Islam on Prevention of Heart Diseases

Prevention through moderate eating habits

Medical research has revealed that most of the heart diseases originate from the stomach. The more one eats the more diseases he contacts, whereas abstention from excessive eating is of paramount importance in prevention of heart diseases. The diet and eating habits have a direct effect on the heart itself. That’s why Islam has strongly prescribed the moderate eating habits. Intake of a large quantity of food or having a full breakfast, a full lunch and a full dinner daily, is much more than that is essential for good health. Full three meals a day, specially consisting of foods high in calories and saturated in fats, are not only excessive but are highly harmful and surely risky for heart diseases and other serious ailments such as hypertension, atherosclerosis and diabetes mellitus etc.

Islam believes in the prevention of diseases more than their treatment. Therefore overeating has been vehemently condemned and prohibited in the Qur'an and sunnah. The Qur'an has strongly commanded to avoid excessive use of foods and drinks to keep a balance in dietic habits. It is stated:
Eat and drink and be not immoderate. Verily Allah does not like the transgressors.[1]

The holy Prophet (saw) has been reported saying metaphorically:
An unbeliever eats and fills seven intestines while a believer uses only one.[2]

It means, one may eat seven times more than what is required. It is nearly an act of disbelief and highly condemned by the holy Prophet (saw). It is further reported by Prophet Muhammad (saw):
Allah hates those who eat excessively.[3]

The holy Prophet (saw) further said:
No man fills a vessel worse than his stomach. A few mouthfuls that would suffice to keep his back upright are enough for a man. But if he must eat more, than he should fill one third (of his stomach) with food, one third with drink and leave one third for easy breathing.[4]

Islamic principle is therefore neither too little nor too much should be eaten. Moderation is the key to health.

The holy Prophet’s own practice in this connection is narrated in the words
The Prophet Muhammad (saw) and his family never took a stomachful meal throughout their life.[5]

This is an ideal model of moderate eating, and if perfectly followed by the people, many heart diseases can be prevented normally.

1. Qur'an (al-A'raf) 7:31.
2. Bukhari, as-Sahih (2:812).
3. Daylami, Musnad-ul-Firdaws.
4. lbn Majah, Sunan.
5. Hadith.

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