A little food is praiseworthy in every case and with all people, because it is salutory for the outer and the inner being. Eating is praiseworthy when done out of necessity, as a means and provision, at a time of plenty, or for nourishment. Eating out of necessity is for the pure; eating as a means and provision is a support for the precautious; eating at a time of plenty is for those who trust; and eating for nourishment is for believers.
There is nothing more harmful to the believer’s heart than having too much food, for it brings about two things; hardness of heart and arousal of desires. Hunger is a condiment for believers, nourishment for the spirit, food for the heart, and health for the body. The Holy Prophet said, ‘The son of Adam fills no worse vessel than his belly.’
David said, ‘Leaving a morsel of food that I need is preferable to me than staying up for twenty nights.’
The Messenger of Allah said, ‘The believer eats to fill one stomach, and the hypocrite seven.’ And elsewhere, ‘Woe to people who are swollen in two places!’ When he was asked what they were, he replied, ‘The stomach and the genitals.’
‘Isa (‘a) said, ‘The heart does not have any worse disease than hardness, and no soul has been more weakened than by lack of hunger. They are two halters of banishment and disappointment.’