Food is meant to nourish the body ; similarly, food (for thought) enriches the soul with vision and intellectuality. Buying a cup of corns for Rs. 100 and a mere club sandwich for hundreds of rupees from an expensive eating outlet is not haraam but eating out at pompous places and spending money on lavish items of foods do mark significant impact on our inner soul. This sole thing might not have been considered by many of us due to our love for lazzat-e-ta’aam – the taste of food but it suffices as a hindrance in keeping a heart-to-heart relation with Allaah Ta’ala.
One would ask why?
The lust for food satisfies our nafs and rips apart the heart-to-heart qalbi relation a mo’min wishes to keep with Allaah Ta’ala. It breaks the vibrant signals of vision, helps increasing laziness and above all directs an individual towards sins and transgression. Because every time my nafs says “I should get a scrumptious platter of chopsuey and Singapori Rice” and I get myself one and slurp it down my throat. What results you think possibly lie afore? Would I like a thankful servant of Allah thank Him and boast His favours upon me? No! That would never occur (okay we may recite a couple of times the supplication by heart but it won’t be earnest all the time). I may after eating such food become an addict of it and any taste more decent than that might not match my taste buds after that. I may also start taking it for granted by the I-deserved-it-all feeling. The most disastrous of all is that all of these behaviour leads only to one thing: a deceased heart. Remember once this relation is broken maintaining it again takes a much longer time span. That is why fasting is an obligation to strengthen the contact with the divine and stay humble to the poor and less privileged. That is why the doors of knowledge spring open and wisdom sprinkles for those destitutes who yearn for ‘ilm and hunger doesnot deprive them of seeking knowledge.
Today we spend tens of thousands of rupees on food be it the wedding ceremonies or the general parties. The problem is not the food itself but its excess and extravagancy because Islaam takes decency in its account. Allaah Ta’ala will surely ask us about the energy we gain from this nourishing exercise. Would not we want to spend it in utter compliance of Him? For that reducing the lust for food is the key.
Allah Ta’ala in Suratul Baqarah verse 60 says:
Eat and drink from the provision of Allah , and do not commit abuse on the earth, spreading corruption.”