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10 Benefits of Hunger – The Fifth is the Greatest Benefit

Know that one of the most difficult desires to overcome is that of the stomach because it is built into the natural human self.

Hunger has been given to humans so that they may nourish their body. However, if left uncontrolled, the appetite of the stomach will become one of the mortal vices, gluttony.

The way to break the desire of the stomach, is to prevent it from becoming full. In other words, maintaining a state of hunger.

10 Benefits of Hunger

Hunger has ten benefits:

1-     Purifies the Heart

Hunger purifies the heart and its spiritual perception.

2-     Softens the Heart

It softens the heart and renders it more receptive to divine grace.

3-     Humbleness

It humbles the ego.

4-     Feeling the Poor

It reminds one of the sufferings of the poor

5-     Controlling Desires

It weakens passion and enables one to control their desires, which is the greatest benefit.

6-     Fighting Laziness

It reduces the need for sleep. A full stomach leads to laziness.

7-     Saving Time

It frees up time that otherwise what have ever been spent in preparing and eating food.

8-     Health and Fitness

It has health benefits. Many deceases stem from overeating.

9-     Money

It saves money.

10-   Generosity

It makes one more generous.

Know that the merit of hunger does not lie in hardship just as the merit of Medicine does not lie in its bitterness.

3 Rules of Food

You should be aware of three rules regarding food:

1-     You should quantify the amount of food and eat only what is necessary to nourish the body.

2-     You should estimate the speed and frequency with which you eat. Eat in as slowly and infrequently as possible.

3-     You should eat simple foods and avoid unnecessary luxury.

Know that the stomach is the tank at the body and it irrigate its limbs and organs.

The stomach’s desire is the source of all other desires. When the stomach is full, other designers are activated. Thus, to control the desires of the body and prevent diseases of the heart, one must address its route cause and break the desire of the stomach.

The objective of controlling the systemic appetite is to attain a position between hunger and fullness so neither one distracts from the remembrance of God.

Know that the worst container you can fill is the stomach.

One-third if it is for food, one-third is for drink, and the remaining third is for the Remembrance of God.


About Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali

Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali (1058-1111) is one of the greatest Islamic Jurists, theologians and mystical thinkers. Al-Ghazali wrote many works on theology and philosophy like al-Iqtisad fi'I-i`tiqad (The Middle Path in Theology), al-Risala al-Qudsiyya (The Jerusalem Epistle), Ihya’ ‘ulum al-din (The Revival of the Religious Sciences)

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