Part 1 | Part 2
Gluttony is known to be one of the ”seven deadly sins” – a classification of vices within Christian teachings. The dictionary meaning of the word is “excess in eating or drinking” or “greedy or excessive indulgence”. 
Despite its history with roots in Christianity, it is also warned against in the Islamic tradition – in the Qur’ān, Sunnah, and scholarly works. And yet, we are seeing an astronomical rise in obesity in what is a relatively very short space of time, over the last 40-50 or so years around the globe and the Muslim world.
This should come as no surprise to us. In a miraculous prophecy, we were informed that this travesty would occur.
The Prophet (ﷺ) foretold,
إِنَّ بَعْدَكُمْ قَوْمًا يَخُونُونَ وَلاَ يُؤْتَمَنُونَ، وَيَشْهَدُونَ، وَلاَ يُسْتَشْهَدُونَ وَيَنْذِرُونَ وَلاَ يَفُونَ، وَيَظْهَرُ فِيهِمُ السِّمَن
“There will be some people after you, who will be dishonest and will not be trustworthy and will give witness (evidences) without being asked to give witness, and will vow but will not fulfil their vows, and obesity will appear among them.” [ [2
Allah has categorically forbidden us from excess in eating and drinking:
وَكُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا وَلَا تُسْرِفُوا ۚ إِنَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُسْرِفِينَ
“…and eat and drink, but be not excessive. Indeed, He loves not those who commit excess.” 
Let us all take heed from this, that whenever we reach out for those excessive portions of food, we are disobeying Allah, and we risk losing out on His love as a result.
In his explanation of the above passage, al-Ṣa’di comments that one of the meanings of excess is,
أن يكون بالزيادة على القدر الكافي والشره في المأكولات الذي يضر بالجسم
“…consuming more than what is sufficient”. 
In addition, it is,
أي لا تكثروا من الأكل فوق الحاجة وقال الأطباء إن الطب كله مجموع في هذه الآية
“…eating too much of foods that are harmful to the body.” 
Ibn Juzayy commented that this prohibition is to “…not eat more than is necessary”. He went even further and added, “…and the doctors said that all medicine is combined in this verse”. 
And the Prophet (ﷺ) warned us against over-consumption when he described the stomach being the worst vessel that can be filled:
مَا مَلأَ آدَمِيٌّ وِعَاءً شَرًّا مِنْ بَطْنٍ
“A human being fills no worse vessel than his stomach.” 
How awful to have our bodies described by the best of creation (ﷺ) as carrying the worst of vessels!
al-Ḥasan narrated a pertinent incident related to this:
عَنِ الْحَسَنِ أَنَّ عُمَرَ بْنَ الْخَطَّابِ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ رَأَى رَجُلا عَظِيمَ الْبَطْنِ فَقَالَ مَا هَذَا قَالَ بَرَكَةٌ مِنَ اللَّهِ
“‘Umar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb, Allah be pleased with him, once saw a man with a large belly and said,
‘What is this?’
“The man replied,
‘It is a blessing from Allah.’
“‘Umar responded with a devastating condemnation:
قَالَ بَلْ عَذَابٌ
‘But rather, it is a punishment!'” 
This is a perfect description of this problem. A punishment is a penalty inflicted as retribution for an offence. The offence in this case is habitually eating excessively.
Sadly, this misconception is still in existence today, that some people regard a fat person as being blessed with provisions. The reality is that it is the consequence of the sin of gluttony.
Note that the unique trait of this sin is that when it becomes a habit, it manifests physically on our bodies.
Is gluttony deadly?
1 | Impact on our worship
As narrated in Fatḥ al-Bārī,
“…and the reports which say that it is not allowed (to eat to one’s fill) are to be understood as referring to fullness that weighs heavily in the stomach and makes a person slow to do acts of worship, and leads to feeling sleepy and lazy.
“The prohibition on doing that (which is disliked) may go so far as being forbidden (Ḥarām) according to the negative consequences that result from it.”
Let us remember that worship is the very purpose of our life. Anything that may negatively impact its quality or quantity must be taken exceptionally seriously.
We may have all experienced this when we have over-eaten, a feeling of tiredness, lethargy, and fatigue. We are less likely to pursue worship in this state, and if we do, it is likely to be of a lower standard.
These ramifications may occur to the deeds that would have otherwise tipped the scales in our favour on the Day of Judgment!
Therefore, “deadly” is without doubt a befitting description.
2 | Impact on our body & mind
As published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
“People who have overweight or obesity, compared to those with healthy weight, are at increased risk for many serious diseases and health conditions.
- Type 2 diabetes
- Low quality of life
- Gall-bladder disease
- Many types of cancer
- Coronary heart disease
- All-causes of death (mortality)
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Sleep apnoea and breathing problems
- Body pain and difficulty with physical functioning.
- Osteoarthritis (a breakdown of cartilage and bone within a joint)
- Mental illness such as clinical depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders
- High LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, or high levels of triglycerides (dyslipidemia).” 
The increased risk of mortality is enough to regard gluttony as deadly, let alone the rest of the sicknesses that studies have shown are linked to overeating.
In summary, gluttony leads to a determinantal impact upon our spiritual, physical, and mental well-being.
In the next part of this short series, we will address this problem with the Prophetic solution, and reveal the three golden rules of the Islamic diet.
Part 1 | Part 2
 Bukhārī, 2,651: Book 52, Ḥādīth 15
 al-Qur’ān, 7:31
 Tafsīr al-Ṣa’di
 al-Tas-hīl li-Ulūm al-Tanzīl by Ibn Juzayy
 Sunan Ibn Mājah, Vol. 4, Book 29, Ḥādīth 3,349
 Ḥadīth Muḥammad ibn ‘Abd Allah al-Anṣārī, 42