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How Much Should We Eat and Drink?

26 October, 2020
Q I need to ask how much amount of water did our prophets used to drink, we have heard about using the water, food, sleeping, speaking everything to be moderate in amount but how much to drink, i know moderate but answer with hadiths or something like covering the whole topic of my question in detail,


Short Answer: 

  • The equation goes like this: 1/3 for your food, 1/3 for your liquids, and 1/3 for your breath = longevity and a healthy lifestyle. 


Salam dear questioner,

Thank you for your question and thank you for concern to follow the footsteps of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in all you walks of life. We read in the Quran what means:

*(Certainly there is for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent example.)* (Quran 33:21)

As you know, eating and drinking are among the basic requirements of our material life. If we do not eat and drink well, our body and spirit will be affected badly.

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We believe that the body is the drive of our soul. If any disorder affects our body, the soul will be disrupted. Therefore, if we want the soul to move forward and get us closer to Allah and help us concentrate more on our different acts of worship, we have to provide the body, which is the instrument for the soul, with the basic needs; i.e. eating and drinking.

Moderation was the Key Factor in the Prophet’s life

As you put it, moderation was the key factor in the Prophet’s life. He practiced moderation in all his affairs. A Muslim is advised to practice moderation in everything he does. There is nothing wrong with enjoying the pleasure of life in a moderate and lawful way.

We should not become slaves to our desire and we should not lose the sight of our ultimate goal in this life.

The golden rule with regard to eating and drinking lies in this verse which gives the meaning of:

*(O children of Adam! wear your beautiful apparel at every time and place of prayer; eat and drink, but waste not by excess. For Allah loves not the wasters.)* (Quran 7:31)

With regard to eating and drinking habits, there are so many Prophetic traditions that tell us more about these habits.

First, we have to thank Allah for providing us with the food and the drink. Millions of people have nothing to eat or drink. The Prophet said:

“Whosoever begins the day feeling family security and good health; and possessing provision for his day is as though he possessed the whole world.” (At-Tirmidhi)

We have to mention the name of Allah before starting our meals. The Prophet said:

“When one of you eats food, then let him say: ‘Bismillah.’ If he forgets in the beginning, then let him say: ‘Bismillah Fi Awwalihi Wa Akhirih (In the Name of Allah in its beginning and its end.)” (At-Tirmidhi)

After eating, we have to thank Allah for providing us this food. The Prophet used to say:

Al-hamdulillaahil-ladhi at-amanaa wa-saqaa-naa wa-ja-a-lanaa muslimeen (Praise be to Allah Who has given us food and drink and made us Muslims.) (Abu Dawud)

How Much Should We Eat and Drink?

As for the amount of food the Prophet ate, it is reported that he said:

“No man fills a container worse than his stomach. A few morsels that keep his back upright are sufficient for him. If he has to, then he should keep one-third for food, one-third for drink and one-third for his breathing.” (At-Tirmidhi)

So, the Prophet never ate to his full. Modern science has proved that eating less prevents sickness and disease.

The equation goes like this: 1/3 for your food, 1/3 for your liquids, and 1/3 for your breath = longevity and healthy lifestyle.

The Prophet never insisted on having a specific type of food. He ate whatever he was provided as long as it was halal food.

The Prophet never criticized food at all. If he liked it, he would eat it, and if he did not like it, he would leave it and not say anything. 

It is said that: “Do not eat very much, so as to not drink very much, so as to not sleep very much, so as to not regret very much.”

As for drinking water, there is no specific amount of water that one should drink. It depends on your weight. Generally speaking, the more water you drink, the healthier you will be.

The Prophet advised us to drink slowly. Anas used to breathe twice or thrice in the vessel (while drinking) and used to say that the Prophet; used to take three breaths while drinking. (Al-Bukhari)

Science proved drinking too much water in a short period of time can cause headaches, imbalance in blood electrolyte levels and sometimes dizziness.

Drinking water after taking meals is not the sunnah of the Holy Prophet.

The best drink of the Prophet was the sweet, cool drink.

Finally, eat what will nourish your body not what will fill your stomach. Feel the hunger pain of the poor and the needy and share the food with them.

To remain fit and healthy, exercise a lot as it increases the muscle tone and improves flexibility. It also helps you lose weight.

And Allah knows best.

I hope this helps.

Salam and please keep in touch.

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

It’s Called Junk and You Still Eat It

What Does Islam Say about Nutrition?

10 Benefits of Hunger – The Fifth is the Greatest Benefit

About Dr. Mohsen Haredy
Dr. Mohsen Haredy holds a PhD in Hadith literature from Leiden University, the Netherlands. He is the former Executive Manager and Editor-in-Chief of E-Da`wah Committee in Kuwait, and a contributing writer and counselor of Reading Islam. He graduated from Al-Azhar University and earned his MA in Hadith literature from Leiden University.