What were the diet and eating habits of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)?
Really simple principles that I’ll share with you.
Less is More
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) wasn’t a person who would gorge. He wasn’t a person who would chug, he was a person who would sip. He taught us to breath-in-between our sips of water.
When we eat, we would eat a third for our food, a third for our drink, and a third for our breathing.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) taught us that food is one of the primary reasons for illness if we eat too much of it or if we eat the wrong types.
Prophet Muhammad was a very organic eater. He ate dates, he drank water and he drank fresh milk. And he was a person who would enjoy the luxuries of Allah.
He loved tharid (a meat filled dish on buttered bread with broth). He used to love the excessive amount of soup.
Some of his favorite vegetables were pumpkin, cucumber, watermelon.
Prophet Muhammad was a person who was a healthy eater. He never ate alone, and that’s a really important thing; he was so social in his eating.
There is no hadith where you ever hear that at any time he ever had a meal that wasn’t shared with others.
He ate with his hands, not just because there weren’t utensils, there were hadiths where he ate with utensils, but because his hands limited the kind of quality.
He taught us not to blow on our food; not to be so greedy that we can’t wait until it cools down a little bit.
He taught us that the person who serves others should be the last to eat; and therefore, it was an honor to make sure that everyone was well-fed and watered before a person considered their own needs.
There were times when Prophet Muhammad taught us to restrict food; he would fast every Monday and Thursday, the 13th, 14th, 15th of every lunar calendar, and of course the month of Ramadan and other special days in the month of Muharram.
The holistic approach of Prophet Muhammad is really what is key. I’ll give you three important verses that are of benefit that you can see reflected in the level of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Allah says:
Eat and drink but don’t be excessive. (7:31)
We’ve made the night a place of repose and rest and made the day for livelihood. (78:10-11)
Therefore, eating at night wasn’t the habit of Prophet Muhammad, that was something from the active part of our day.
And third and most importantly, Allah says:
… and made from water every living thing. (21:30)
You and I need to drink much more water. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said in an authentic hadith:
One day you’ll be questioned about the bounties of life; and he said one of those is a drink of cold water on a hot day.