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How Can I Stop Overeating and Regain the Will To Live?

Answered according to Shafi'i Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org
Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad 
Question:
I am constantly thinking of food. After I am done with my meals, I don’t feel satisfied, and I have been consistently overeating. I also feel empty and useless sometimes. My thoughts have become highly harmful, and I feel overpowered by them. I am only eating and sleeping and barely just getting through the five prayers. Please help; what should I do? I have lost the will to live. I have taken therapy in the past but stopped as it wasn’t helping.
Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. Please don’t let the Devil control you; he is jealous of your faith. Allah loves you; He wants you to live, worship Him, thank Him, and love yourself.

The will to live

The best thing that I can tell you to regain the will to live is to read the following answers:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/ridding-oneself-of-depression-and-suicidal-thoughts/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/asking-allah-to-end-my-life/

Rest assured that you are not in as desperate a situation as you think you are because you are still praying five times a day. This is your rope to Allah, and you have not let go of it; that is a tremendous feat and gift in itself. Hold on tight and know that by shunning your negative thoughts, discarding them, and seeking refuge in the Devil, you have your whole future in front of you, and no one can take it away from you except by Allah’s decree. You are not useless; you are wanted and needed by those around you, even if you can’t see it.

Reality

Never compare yourself to those who are better off than you, materially or financially, but only measure your dunya by this hadith. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The one among you who wakes up secure in his property, healthy in his body and has his food for the day, it is as if the whole world were brought to him.” [Tirmidhi]

Steps

Start your journey to healing and bettering yourself with these small steps:

-Start a gratitude journal, write in it what you are thankful for every day
-Volunteer to help others in any way that you can
-Take a look at your job or study and prioritize what is important to you, replace it if necessary, and follow through with it
-Keep the company of positive religious friends who will support you and encourage you
-Don’t spend time alone unnecessarily
-Make dhikr in your free time, especially before sleeping, even if only in your mind. Try Al-Salat al-Kamaliyyah:

اللّهمّ صَلّ و سَلّم وبارِك عَلى سَيّدِنا مُحمَّد وعَلى آلِه كَمالًا نِهايةَ لِكَمالِك وعَدَدَ كَمالِه

O Allah, send greetings, peace, and blessings on our Master Muhammad and his companions as there is no end to Your Perfection and to the extent of his perfections.

Please refer to this article as well for excellent du’as and for calming your worries. Recite them daily:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/living-religion/how-do-i-calm-my-worries/
https://seekersguidance.org/articles/general-artices/selected-prophetic-prayers-for-spiritual-physical-and-emotional-wellbeing-by-chaplain-ibrahim-long/

Overeating

We know that overeating is harmful due to the following Prophetic hadith: Miqdam bin Madikarib said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah, (Allah bless him and give him peace), say, ‘No man fills a container worse than his stomach. A few morsels that keep his back upright are sufficient for him. If he has to, then he should keep one-third for food, one-third for a drink, and one-third for his breathing. ‘”[Tirmidhi]

You can stop overeating with the right help and determination. Make an intention to do this for Allah and ask Him to help you accomplish this. You will feel better, look better, and pick up your spirits just by regulating your food. Determine to have a higher purpose through your eating. Pray two rak’ahs of the Prayer of Need and kick off your new lifestyle.

https://seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/how-does-one-perform-the-prayer-of-need-salat-al-haja/

Here are some tips to start:

-Limiting distractions.
-Eating slowly.
-Eating healthful portion sizes.
-Removing temptation.
-Eating fiber-filled foods.
-Eating protein-rich foods.
-Eating regularly.
-Reducing stress.
-Track your diet
-Eat mindfully
-Avoid last-minute food choices
-Stay hydrated with water
-Figure out your reasons for overeating
-Eat with others who have similar goals
-Fast twice a week
-See a doctor if necessary

Please see the details here, and read the related articles about food:
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325258#when-to-see-a-doctor
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/permissible-fast-intention-lose-weight-along-intention-get-closer-allah/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/what-does-islam-tell-us-about-eating-etiquette-for-people-with-weight-problems/

Given the considerations in such cases, we urge you to please consult reliable local scholars or counselors about the specifics of the situation. Jazakum Allah khayr.
May Allah facilitate all ease and good for you

May Allah give you the best of this world in every aspect of your life and give you in the afterlife that which no eye has seen, which no ear has heard, and that which no mind has ever imagined.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria, for two years, where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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