كَمْ مِنْ أكْلَة مَنَعَتْ أكَلات۔

How often has [the eating of] one food prevented [the eating of] other foods.



How often has [the eating of] one food prevented [the eating of] other...

— Imam Ali a.s.
(Ghurar al-Hikam: Eating)

Personal Reflection

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all worlds. May peace and blessings be upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad (), his pure progeny, and his noble companions.

The Arabic Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) states,

كَمْ مِنْ أكْلَة مَنَعَتْ أكَلات۔

This can be translated into English as,

How often has [the eating of] one food prevented [the eating of] other foods.

Let us delve into the deeper meaning of this thought-provoking saying in light of the Quran. The word (aklah) "أكْلَة" refers to a single food item or a meal. It signifies the act of consuming nourishment. The word (mana'at) "مَنَعَتْ" means to prevent or hinder. It implies that the consumption of one type of food can hinder or prevent the consumption of other types of food.

This Hadith highlights the importance of moderation and gratitude in our approach to sustenance. It reminds us that indulging excessively in one type of food can lead to neglecting other essential nutrients that our bodies require. Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) draws our attention to the consequences of imbalanced eating habits and encourages us to maintain a balanced and diverse diet.

The Quran supports this concept of moderation and balance in various verses. In Surah Al-A'raf (7:31), Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says,

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 excess.

This verse emphasizes the importance of enjoying the blessings of food and drink but warns against excessive indulgence.

Furthermore, in Surah Al-Baqarah (2:168), Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) advises,

O mankind, eat from whatever is on earth [that is] lawful and good and do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy.

This verse encourages us to consume what is permissible and beneficial, while also cautioning against following the temptations of Satan, who may entice us towards unhealthy and immoderate eating habits.

Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) Hadith serves as a reminder for Muslims to be mindful of their dietary choices and to avoid excessive attachment to any particular food. By doing so, we can maintain a balanced and healthy lifestyle, both physically and spiritually.

From a spiritual perspective, this Hadith can also be understood metaphorically. Just as excessive focus on one type of food can prevent us from enjoying the variety and nutritional benefits of other foods, excessive attachment to worldly desires and pursuits can hinder our spiritual growth and prevent us from attaining higher levels of piety and closeness to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ).

In Surah Al-Hadid (57:20), Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) states,

Know that the life of this world is but amusement and diversion and adornment and boasting to one another and competition in increase of wealth and children - like the example of a rain whose [resulting] plant growth pleases the tillers; then it dries and you see it turned yellow; then it becomes [scattered] debris.

This verse reminds us that worldly pursuits, although temporary and fleeting, can distract us from our ultimate purpose of seeking Allah's pleasure and preparing for the eternal life hereafter.

Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) Hadith encourages us to strike a balance between our worldly responsibilities and our spiritual obligations. By not allowing ourselves to be consumed by the pursuit of material possessions and desires, we can focus on nurturing our souls and developing a deeper connection with Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ).

In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) serves as a reminder for Muslims to maintain balance and moderation in all aspects of life, including our dietary choices and our spiritual pursuits. By avoiding excessive attachment to any particular food or worldly desire, we can lead a balanced and fulfilling life that is pleasing to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ). May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) grant us the wisdom and strength to follow the teachings of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) and strive for a balanced and righteous existence.

. : . (Readers are advised to verify the sources mentioned above, and to independently research for an accurate understanding of Hadith. Remember, personal research and seeking guidance from scholars are essential in gaining a better insight. Please, do contact us if you find any wrong citations or explanations.)

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