“Eat and drink [freely]. But do not be excessive.” (Sūrah al Aʿrāf: 31)
In the above verse, after being granted permission to eat, the permission has been conditioned with a sentence which encompasses all Islamic and medicinal principles: “Do not be excessive”.
Many prophetic narrations also address this subject matter.
ʿAmr bin Shuʿayb has narrated that the Messenger of Allāh (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: “Eat, drink, give in charity, and wear clothes (according to your ability), but without pride or extravagance. Verily, it pleases Allāh to see His blessing appear on His servant. (Aḥmad)
There are many other narrations of this nature which the muḥaddithīn (ḥadīth scholars) have explained very meticulously. Similarly, health experts and doctors have also given the same guidance based on their experiences.
If the importance of food as a blessing, it’s legal and medicinal principles, and etiquettes are understood, then not only will one obtain religious and worldly benefits, but will be also saved from many harmful illnesses. Hence, it is vital for Muslims to learn and acquaint themselves with the correct principles and etiquettes.
Things which enter the stomach through the mouth are of two types; food and drink. As the former is dominant over the latter, the etiquettes of eating will be mentioned followed by the etiquettes of drinking.
(Adapted from Khāne Pīne ke Ādāb by Muftī Muhammad Riḍwan. Published by Kutub Khāna Idāra Gufrān, Rawalpindi.)