Part 1 | Part 2
In Part 1 of this series, we addressed the dangers of gluttony. We now present the Prophetic solution to this deadly sin. The reality is that if we were to follow the guidance on consumption that Islam has enlightened us with, we would not fall into gluttony or be affected by its detrimental harms from becoming overweight and obese.
Our religion has provided an elegantly simple yet hugely effective model for us with three golden rules to follow. What are these rules?
Golden Rule #1 | Eat what is lawful (Ḥalāl)
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ كُلُوا مِمَّا فِي الْأَرْضِ حَلَالًا
“O mankind, eat from whatever is on Earth [that is] lawful…” 
Eating Ḥalāl food and drink is well-known but is limited by most of us to only mean that the meat is slaughtered according to Islamic law.
This is only a partial understanding, as al-Ṣa’di explains Ḥalāl to mean:
أي: محللا لكم تناوله، ليس بغصب ولا سرقة، ولا محصلا بمعاملة محرمة أو على وجه محرم، أو معينا على محرم
“That is, it is permissible for you to eat it, and it has not been usurped or stolen, acquired by means of a prohibited transaction or in a forbidden manner, and that it is not used to help in committing forbidden actions.” 
So, this is the first rule, that the food that we consume, meat and otherwise, is lawful.
Golden Rule #2 | Eat what is good (Ṭayyib)
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ كُلُوا مِمَّا فِي الْأَرْضِ حَلَالًا طَيِّبًا
“O mankind, eat from whatever is on Earth [that is] lawful and good.” 
We tend to give far more emphasis to ensure the food is Ḥalāl than we do for the expression that follows it: Ṭayyib, loosely translated as ‘good’.
Looking at the commentary of this term, we find that it means ‘what is not filthy’, as al-Ṣa’di explains:
أي: ليس بخبيث، كالميتة والدم، ولحم الخنزير، والخبائث كلها
“That is, it is not evil or filthy (khabīth), such as dead meat, blood, the flesh of swine, and all other unclean things.” 
However, we also find in scholarly observations that Ṭayyib has the meaning of:
النافع غير الضار
“Beneficial, and not harmful.” 
Nowadays, harmful food and drink is everywhere. Manufacturing is optimised to produce vast quantities of products for the lowest possible cost at the expense of quality.
Animals are often given the lowest quality feed, farmed in abysmal conditions and injected with drugs to maximise output with minimal input.
Vegetables, fruit, and other food types are often processed with the use of chemical fertilisers, pesticides, and other artificial chemicals.
Ultra-processed food and drink – that contain artificial sweeteners, preservatives, additives, flavouring, colouring, and other synthetic ‘enhancers’ – is widespread.
Studies have found links with such a poor diet and a range of health problems such as heart disease and cancer. 
Golden Rule #3 | Do not be excessive
We have mentioned this point in the previous article, when Allah revealed:
وَكُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا وَلَا تُسْرِفُوا ۚ إِنَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُسْرِفِينَ
“…and eat and drink, but be not excessive. Indeed, He loves not those who commit excess.” 
So what is excess?
This manifests itself in a couple of ways:
a) Excess amounts
This is explained beautifully by the Prophet (ﷺ) when he said,
حَسْبُ الآدَمِيِّ لُقَيْمَاتٌ يُقِمْنَ صُلْبَهُ فَإِنْ غَلَبَتِ الآدَمِيَّ نَفْسُهُ فَثُلُثٌ لِلطَّعَامِ وَثُلُثٌ لِلشَّرَابِ وَثُلُثٌ لِلنَّفَسِ
“It is sufficient for a human being to eat a few mouthfuls to keep his spine straight. But if he must (fill it), then one third for food, one third for drink, and one third for air.” 
Therefore, the default guidance is to eat what is enough to keep your spine straight. The exception that is allowed is to eat a third and drink a third!
Caution needs to be taken with the volume of macronutrients and not just the total food volume. Excess salt and sugar, for example, can by themselves lead to serious health problems.
b) Excess frequency
It is possible to consume moderate portions, but so often throughout the day and night that the total daily intake far exceeds what is adequate.
Snacking is a very common habit that when totalled, can result in extremely excessive consumption.
Fasting is an excellent way to maintain moderation, both the Islamic fast, and simply allowing for lengthy periods of time every day without consuming food (known as intermittent fasting) – whilst resisting the temptation to over-indulge when the fast ends.
The act of gluttony has become rampant in our communities, and it is imperative that we take action to address this and prevent its disturbing harm to our soul, mind, and body.
Islam has prescribed the ideal approach to diet with three golden rules: Ḥalāl, Ṭayyib, and not committing excess. It is our duty to adopt this and share it with others.
The three golden rules can be remembered by the 3 Qs:
- That our diet is not questionable, i.e. it is Ḥalāl;
- that it is of high quality, i.e. Ṭayyib;
- and that it is of low quantity, i.e. not excessive.
Part 1 | Part 2
 al-Qur’ān, 2:168
 Tafsīr al-Ṣa’di, Vol. 1: Juz 1-3, p. 202
 Tafsīr al-Muyassar
 al-Qur’ān, 7:31
 Sunan Ibn Mājah 3,349