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In the name of All°h, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful

Topic of Discussion: Topic of Discussion: Topic of Discussion: Topic of Discussion: Two Despised Characteristics : Eating too Much Two Despised Characteristics : Eating too Much Two Despised Characteristics : Eating too Much Two Despised Characteristics : Eating too Much
and Looking at Others and Looking at Others and Looking at Others and Looking at Others - -- - Øad¢th # Øad¢th # Øad¢th # Øad¢th #1 11 12 22 2 [ Discussion # [ Discussion # [ Discussion # [ Discussion #1 11 13 33 3 ] ]] ]
Lectures on Akhl°q given by His Eminence
Ayatull°h al-`U®m° al-Ø°jj ash-Shaykh N°•ir Mak°rim ash-Sh¢r°z¢ (may All°h protect him)

Translated by Saleem Bhimji – www.al-mubin.org – al-mubin@al-mubin.org
Topic: Two Despised Characteristics :
Eating Too Much and Looking at Others

Text of the Øad¢th:

· ..` . ' · ) ¸. ' . ·¯ ·`, · `· ( ´ ..`.· `. ¯ ' `. `·` · . ·= ' =` ` .·.` . ¸ .
. - ¸ · - ' = '. .` .·· ' `¸ · . . - ' ·=·`. · ´ · `. ¯ ..`. ' .=` · , `` ` . ' ` .` ... .
' · ·
Translation of Øad¢th: Translation of Øad¢th: Translation of Øad¢th: Translation of Øad¢th: The Messenger of All°h (blessings of All°h be upon him and his family) has said, “I warn
you in relation to eating too much since surely this act poisons the heart by making it hard (no emotional feelings)
and makes your body parts lazy and lethargic in relation to obedience (of All°h – through worship) and deafens
the ears from hearing advice and good counsel. And I also warn you in relation to looking around with
inquisitiveness since surely this act excites your desires and passions and gives birth to negligence.”
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Commentary of Øad¢th:

In the above Øad¢th, we have been prohibited from eating too much (filling our stomach) and looking at
others and other things with inquisitiveness.

1 11 1. .. . Eating too much Eating too much Eating too much Eating too much
The issue of observing moderation in our food is something whose importance we do not know or realize as
we do not know what important benefits – both from the point of view of our physical body and health, and
also in relation to our spirit and r£¶ - this action has upon us. Thus, eating too much can be looked at from
two different angles: the physical aspect and the spiritual aspect.

A) The Physical Aspect: The Physical Aspect: The Physical Aspect: The Physical Aspect: It has been confirmed that a majority of the diseases that people are afflicted with
are due to eating too much food. There are some doctors that have even brought proof to back up this claim
and state that, “Microbes can and do enter the body from four different ways: from the air, food, water and
sometimes even through our skin and there is no way to prevent these from coming into our system.”
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Bi¶°r al-Anw°r, Volume 73, Page 182
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When this skin of ours – which is a thick barrier that should prevent the microbes from entering into us –
has a scratch or wound on it, it is possible that through this injury, microbes enter into the body and thus
break through the barrier of protection. Therefore, we always try to defend ourselves from various types of
attacks from microbes and various types of illnesses. In addition, our body develops the means of
protection and the defense mechanism needed so that it does not become a source of infections.

Also, it has been said that the extra fat that is covering over the tissues in the body is a place were various
types of microbes can form and grow – just like a garbage can which is full and which if kept in a place for a
long time could lead to sicknesses and the spreading of various diseases.

Some of the things which can protect us from such diseases is to burn off all of this excess body fat - and one
of the ways that the fat can be burnt off is through fasting. This is proof that all people can understand since
everyone can discern that when there is excess food in his or her body which is not absorbed into itself, then
the body stores this excess, and in the end, the job of the heart then increases.

In summary we state that when a person becomes heavier, it has a negative affect on all parts of his body
and thus the heart and other organs also get sick faster, and naturally the life of the person is then cut short.
Therefore, if a person is sincerely trying to attain goodness for his self, he must abstain from eating too
much food and must habituate himself to eating less especially those people who do not exercise much.

One of the doctors once said, “It is now twenty years that I have been trying to cure sick people and my
answer to all of the experiences (over these years) that I have seen can be summed up in two phrases:
‘moderation in food’ ‘moderation in food’ ‘moderation in food’ ‘moderation in food’ and ‘exercise.’ ‘exercise.’ ‘exercise.’ ‘exercise.’

B) The Spiritual Aspect: The Spiritual Aspect: The Spiritual Aspect: The Spiritual Aspect: The Øad¢th we started with points to three very important spiritual aspects that a
person who eats too much will face:

1) The first is that a person who eats too much will develop spiritual hardness in his heart.

2) The second point is that eating too much will lead the person to become lazy and lethargic in his worship.
This second point has been witnessed such that when a person eats very heavy food, he is not able to - for
example - easily perform his Æal°t al-Fajr and if he is able to wake up for the Æal°t, he would resemble a
person who is giddy or drunk. However, when a person eats light and simple food, then when the time of
the Adh°n comes – or even before the time of the prayer, he wakes up and is full of joy. He would be in a
mental condition to study or to perform worship of All°h (Glory and Greatness be to Him).

3) The third point is that a person who eats too much will have his ears sealed to listening to and taking
heed of advice and good council. When a person is fasting, we see that his heart has pity and sympathy for
others in it and his level of spirituality increases. However when the person’s stomach is full, his mind does
not work properly and thus, he sees himself as being far away from All°h (Glory and Greatness be to Him).

Maybe you yourselves have noticed that during the Month of Rama§h°n, the people’s hearts are more apt
and ready to hear advice and exhortation since through staying hungry and fasting in the day time, their
hearts have developed a sense of purity.

2 22 2. .. . Looking at Looking at Looking at Looking at O OO Others thers thers thers
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What is the meaning of the word “” in this Øad¢th? First off, we can say that it is in the meaning of
looking at a non-Ma¶ram which would lead a person to take his lower desires as his Lord, however it is not
improbable that this word has a much wider and deeper meaning that just this. By this we mean that any
sort of look with the eyes which would lead a person’s lower desires to get excited. For example: a person
passes by a store or shop and staring with astonishment at the things he sees in the window, he wishes and
longs and says to himself, “Oh! If only I had those things!” Or a person sees the newest model of car that
has come out and has the desire that he had that car. This sort of looking at something and having that
longing and desire and wish (that he had such a thing) would lead to negligence and forgetfulness (of All°h,
Glory and Greatness be to Him) since these sorts of wishes would make a person attracted and attached to
the temporal world.

However the look which is done to take lessons and learn and which is a purely “religious look” or that look
which is for example done to help and reach out to a poor, destitute person and the person who is sick so as
to help and cure him is a look that is very highly recommend and has been emphatically emphasized (in our
religion).

Point: Point: Point: Point: Many types of wealth and levels of status in this material world – just as it has been mentioned in the
a¶°d¢th and Nahj al-Bal°gha – can be described as such:

¯ ¸ `¸ . · ¸ ' ' ` , `¸ · `. =` · `·`· , · ·
“Everything that is in the world which is heard about (that people speak about) is greater than what can be
seen of it.”
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As it is commonly stated, “The sound of the kettledrum is pleasing to hear from afar.” From a great
distance, the sound of such a drum is nice and pleasing however when a person gets closer and closer to it,
he would then realize that it is a flimsy, empty thing that hurts his ears to listen to!

The late Øadhrat Aytull°h al-`U®m° Bur£jerd¢ (may All°h be pleased with him) once gave the following
piece of advice to us in one of his lessons, “If a student (of the Øawza) studies Isl°m with the intention that
he wants to reach to the level or status that I (Aytull°h al-`U®m° Bur£jerd¢) have reached to, then do not have
any doubt about his foolishness and simplicity. You are thinking from afar (not in this position that I am in)
and you see that I am at this position of Marja`iyyat (of course we must keep in mind that he was the
Highest Marja` ever and there has never been anyone at his level) however I see myself at a station where I
amnot the master of my own life and how it passes by. I do not have the ability to even control when I take
a rest and relax.”

Almost all gifts of this world are just like this.

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Khutbah 114
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…and all praise belongs to All°h, Lord of the Worlds, only the mistakes are mine. (Tr.)