Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
“A Muslim eats with one intestine while the kaafir eats with seven intestines.”
“A person does not fill any utensil which is worse than the stomach. A few morsels suffice for the son of Aadam. If his desire overwhelms him, then one third of the stomach for food, one third for water and one third for air.”
“Abu Juhaifah (Radhiyallahu anhu) narrates: ‘I ate thareed and meat, then I came to Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) whilst I was burping. Then Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “O Aba Juhaifah! Restrain yourself, for verily those of you who are the most satiated on earth (i.e. loading and overloading the stomach) their hunger will be the longest on the Day of Qiyaamah.” The narrator says: “Thereafter, Abu Juhaifah never ever filled his stomach until he departed from this dunya. If he ate in the morning, he would not eat in the evening. If he ate in the evening, he would not eat in the morning.”
A whole volume could be prepared on the virtues of frugal eating, i.e. eating little, and on the harms and evils – physical and spiritual – of satiation and gluttony. The aforementioned few Ahaadith and advices of the Auliya are adequate for men of intelligence.
The purpose of this discussion is not to promote incumbency of the very austere methods of eating of the Ambiya and Auliya. Although it is virtually impossible in this day to attempt emulation in exactitude of the extreme austerity of the illustrious predecessors, it should be understood that the Auliya had the basis for their austerity and abstinence in the Ahaadith of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). That Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) reprimanded Hadhrat Aishah (Radhiyallahu anha) for having eaten twice on the same day on a rare occasion despite the frugality of her meals, and the fact that Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) ate only once a day, and that too a very meagre diet, and many other examples of frugality in the lives of the Sahaabah, are all the solid basis for the extreme austerity of the later Auliya.