Moderation as a Way of Life in Islam


Moderation as a Way of Life in Islam

Moderation in food consumption improves human memory. Recent studies affirm that moderate food consumption is the best way to gain a strong memory. Moderation in food consumption has been advocated in Islam centuries ago. This is a new item of scientific news; a recent study confirms the fact that lower consumption of calories means a better memory. This study says that control of calories consumption might help elderly people to improve their memory, as lowering the amount of calories in our diet is essential to improve human memory, especially to the elderly.

Researchers at the University of Münster in Germany have discovered that participants of both genders that have been included in the research, i.e., those who have been restricted to low-calories diet, have performed much better in memory oral tests in comparison to those who have not followed the same diet. Veronica West, and the body of researchers at the same university, says that these research results are the first scientific evidence showing that lowering calories consumption helps in reinforcing the memories of adults.

Earlier studies done on animals have shown that following a low-calories diet and another healthy-fats-rich one protects the brain from signs of ageing. The study on humans, which has been done for three months, has had fifty overweight participants of both genders, with the average age of sixty years in this group.

The participants have been divided into three groups as follows. The first group has restricted its calories consumption to the percentage of 30%. The second group has had a non-saturated-fats-based die that has included, for instance, olive oil and certain kinds of fish. The third group is the control group that has not followed any type of diet.

After three months, the first group has showed a considerable improvement in the memory oral tests and the ability to remember words, in contrast to the second and third groups whose participants have not registered any level of memory improvement. Researchers say that the present results might help to develop new preventive strategies and remedies to maintain healthy memory and brain during the ageing process.

This study follows another one whose researchers have found out that diets that are based on avoiding carbohydrates-rich food items might result in depriving the brain from the vital energy that enables it to functioning normally. The study that has included women whose ages have varied between 22 and 55, whose diet has been based on lowering the carbohydrates-rich food items such as bread, potatoes, and pasta, asserts that these women have suffered memory weakness after only one week of following this type of diet.
What do these studies mean to us as Muslims?

We can deduct from such studies, among many ones done by nutritionists, that moderation in food consumption is the best policy. As both the total deprivation and excess of food consumption lead to memory weakness, what is the ultimate solution, then?

Contemplate this Quranic verse that shows to us the best method of food consumption, as Allah orders us to eat and drink with enjoyment all halal (permitted) kinds of food but without excess; that is, we should not consume huge food amounts. Allah says in the Quran: “… and eat and drink without going to excesses. For Allah does not like those who go to excess.” (7:31)

As for those who follow a very strict type of diet and deprive themselves of moderate food consumption, researchers have proved that such a strict diet results in dangerous symptoms such as reduced immunity, memory weakness, and mood disorder. Allah says in the Quran: “Say, “Who has forbidden the adornment of Allah which He has produced for His servants and the good [lawful] things of provision?” Say, “They are for those who believe during the worldly life [but] exclusively for them on the Day of Resurrection.” Thus do We detail the verses for a people who know.” Say, “My Lord has only forbidden immoralities – what is apparent of them and what is concealed – and sin, and oppression without right, and that you associate with Allah that for which He has not sent down authority, and that you say about Allah that which you do not know.” (7:32-33).

Please consider this method of moderation ordained by Islam fourteen centuries ago! When human beings commit sins and immoralities and deny Allah, this state of living is the worst kind of excesses. If we to follow the rates of certain crimes such as acts of violence, committing suicide, and rape, we would easily observe that the rates of such crimes are very high in permissive societies. Accordingly, Islamic teachings order us to follow moderation in everything; our food, drink, morals, and relationships. Islam prohibits fornication and sanctions marriage. Islam prohibits food excess and permits moderation. Hence, Islam is the epitome of moderation. Allah says in the Quran: “And thus we have made you a just community that you will be witnesses over the people and the Messenger will be a witness over you…” (2:143).

Translated by: Ahmad Fathy

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