possessions,1 so too innumerable events show that wastefulness and the failure to give zakat cause increase and plenty to be taken away.
The Plato of Islamic sages, the shaykh of physicians, and master of philosophers, the famous genius Abu ‘Ali Ibn Sina explained the verse,
Eat and drink, but waste not in excess(7:31)
just from the point of view of medicine, as follows: “I concentrate the science of medicine in two lines, the best word is the shortest; when you eat, eat little, and do not eat again for four or five hours. Health lies in digestion. That is to say, eat so much as you can digest easily. The heaviest and most tiring thing for your stomach and yourself is to eat many things one on top of the other.”2
An Extraordinary and Instructive ‘Coincidence’:3 In all the copies of the Treatise on Frugality written by five or six scribes – three of whom were inexperienced, who were in different places far from one another, were writing it out from different copies, whose handwriting was all different, and who did not take the Alifs23 into consideration at all, the Alifs which ‘coincided’ numbered fifty-one, or with a prayer, fifty-three. These numbers coinciding with the date the Treatise on Frugality was written and copied, which was 51 according to the Rumi calendar and 53 according to the Hijri calendar, undoubtedly cannot be chance. It is an indication that the blessing of plenty resulting from frugality has risen to the degree of wondrousness, and that this year is fit to be named Frugality Year.
Indeed, this wonder of frugality was proved two years later, during the Second World War, by the widespread hunger, destruction, and waste, and mankind and everyone being compelled to be frugal.
Glory be unto You! We have no knowledge save that which You have taught us; indeed, You are All-Knowing, All-Wise.(2:32)
See, al-Tabarani, al-Mu‘jam al-Kabir, x, 128: Idem., al-Mu‘jam al-Awsat, ii, 161, 274; al-Bayhaqi, al-Sunan al-Kubra, iii, 382; iv, 84.
That is to say, the most harmful thing for the body is to eat without having had a break of four to five hours, or to fill the stomach with a variety of foods one on top of the other just for the pleasure of it.
‘Coincidence’ (T. tevâfuk; Ar. tawafuq): the correspondence of letters or words in lines or patterns on one or several pages. (Tr.)