Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Islamic view on eating disorders

Physical appearance shouldn't be the priority. People shouldn't be objectified.

Physical appearance shouldn't be the priority. People shouldn't be objectified.

Is it haram for me to stop eating -- not for fasting or anything -- but for the sake of weight loss? If I train myself to almost completely stop eating in order to develop anorexia, is that a sin on my part? Is it a major or minor sin?

Also, would it be considered haram to force myself to throw up after I eat? I stopped self-harm as I found out that was a sin.

PLEASE no answers like "don't starve yourself, its bad for you" or "you'll die"...etc. I am not looking for the health perspective, I am looking for the islamic perspective.

And am I living in sin right now, because I am overweight? My mom tells me it is not islamic to be overweight like me, because Allah(swt) gave me my body and it's my amaanah. So am I committing a major sin by being fat?

(btw I am 14 years old and already 120 pounds)

Thank you,


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11 Responses »

  1. Assalaamualaikam

    Sister, I hope that you won't be upset by what I say, but I think you need to speak with a medical professional like your GP/family doctor or a counsellor. These aren't healthy thoughts and worries for a person to have, and help and support are available inshaAllah.

    From an Islamic viewpoint, my understanding is that we should not do things which intentionally damage ourselves or place us at serious risk. Starving yourself or purging after eating would count as this - it's not healthy to do either and can have very serious consequences.

    Assuming you aren't extremely short, a weight of 120 pounds is absolutely fine for a 14 year old girl. That's not an excessive weight, especially as you'll have a lot of growing and developing still to do as you go through puberty. If people are being mean about your weight, that says far more about them than it does about you.

    Rather than placing so much importance on your weight, re-frame how you think of your body, so that your focus is on the awesome things you can do, rather than whether you're a particular weight. Find something that inspires you - go hillwalking, learn how to ride a horse, join a sports team, enter a 10k race.... - do something that makes you feel positive, and remember that it was your body that did that! Then, when you start worrying about your weight, you can remind yourself of that achievement.

    From a medical perspective, trust me when I say you do not want to develop an eating disorder. Eating disorders aren't just extreme diets; they're major mental illnesses which have significant consequences for a person's physical health. People can die, and people can lose years of their life battling to recover from these illnesses. Some women who recover may even find that their fertility is affected. If you think you're developing an eating disorder, it's really important for you to speak with a medical professional, who can inshaAllah help you.

    Midnightmoon editor

    • Is it a major sin for me to cut? I did it in the shower today and my wrists bled and now I feel kinda guilty but not guilty enough, I don't think.

      • It is haram to deliberately damage or disfigure yourself in any way. More important than this, however, is the question of why you did this. Are you suicidal? Or is this simply a mental disorder or an expression of inner turmoil? Either way, you need to see a mental health professional right away - someone like a counselor or therapist who can help you work through the negative emotions you are experiencing. Please do so. Harming yourself is not a solution to anything.

        Wael Editor

        • Ya Allah, I did it again 🙁
          but i didnt bleed as much this time, el7amdolilah
          at times I feel very suicidal but I know that suicide is a major sin and the punishment in the afterlife 4 the 1 who does it is severe, much worse than any pain in this life. I also read the pages on this website about suicide, and that brouht me some ease.

          so no, I am not going to commit suicide, inshallaah. but i do it out of anger, like when I m very emotional i get very violent towards myself ,ocassionaly.

            1. Anorexia and Bulimia is a mental illness, people who don't have it, definitely can't sympathise or say anything because it does change mental images a lot.
            - But the actions after the mentality such as starving and purging are the aftershocks of the mental illness.
            - mental help can be seeked.

            However, Cutting is Haram
            1. Blood shed of another is haram, especially your own!
            2. you realise if you end up dying from cutting, you're going to hell.
            3. depression can be the cause of this, if so get mental help!

          • It’s been 6 years but I really hope you’ve healed and are doing well now<3

  2. Assalamu alaykum sister, yes I think it is a sin if you start starving yourself to loose weight because you will be questioned about your body on the day of judgement. If you starve yourself it is extremely unhealthy for you and as muslims we are supposed to take care of ourselves.
    120 pounds doesn't sound fat, maybe a bit chubby. Anyway if you are not happy with your body, the solution isn't starving yourself since even if you loose weight, it will be temporarily, once you start eating normal again you will put all the weight back on and even more . You will feel bad physically and mentally. You are still young, you will eventually grow.
    You can eat and still loose weight and be healthy . You need to change your diet. Starving yourself won't ever help. Start eating healthy. By eating healthy I mean real food. Like fresh vegetables, fruits, lean meat...drink a lot of water. Always eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. But don't eat too much for dinner and don't eat to late. If you crave sweets eat a banana instead, or few, or any fruit you like, if after you still crave chocolate have a small piece. Don't deprive yourself from anything just control how much you eat of the unhealthy stuff. Don't eat packaged food, or too much fast food. Eat until you are satisfied but stop before you feel full, dont over eat.If you train yourself to eat healthy you won't just loose weight but you will feel better without starving also tastes much better!!! I understand you are 14 years old and probably eat whatever your mum cooks at home.if the food is too greasy or unhealthy than don't just eat about it to your mum, I'm sure she will help you to eat healthy, you could start cooking some healthy recipe together? When she goes grocery shopping, you could go with her and pick up vegetables and fruits. don't obsess about your weight!!! Think poitive.Start doing some sports or walking few times a week, it will help you to feel better physically and mentally.
    Also as sister midnightmoon mentioned, it's good to speak to a counsellor.

  3. Salam, you're only 14 trust me when I say this in a few years It's not going to be the same. I was in your position in my teen and as l got older I lost it and did not had to do anything. My mother always told me that it was "baby" fat but I never believed her, I was OBESSESED. People were also making fun of me 🙁 and I went on a diet like literally starving my self and it got to a point where I was tired and sleepy ALL the time and couldnt study properly in school either. Anyways, I decided to stop because I hated feeling the way I did, I didn't had energy to do the usually stuff i enjoyed doing. I started eating how I normally would and doing my usual activity and I promise u this, I have no reason to lie, by the time I was 17/18 I had lost ALL the excess weight. U will grow out of it, Inshallah. Just stick to the sunnah when eating if u r worried about the amount of food u r consuming.

  4. Please take away this picture, I don't want people associate Muslim with black niqab or think that we support burqa or any of these attire. Being modest or being proud to be veil does not equal to this. The picuture is just so unsettling.

  5. Human life is highly valued in Islam: it is considered a gift from Allah.
    In the Islamic view, Muslims are not supposed to think that it is their
    life with which they can do whatever they want. Instead, Allah has
    entrusted individuals with life. Muslims are supposed to look after life.
    A healthy body is a gift from Allah, and each individual is its trustee.
    Therefore Muslims believe we have no right to misuse or abuse the body.
    The holy Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) has stressed the
    importance of health many times. He once said to his companion, ‘O
    Abbas, ask Allah for health in this world and in the next” (An-Nasai).
    “No supplication is more pleasing to Allah than a request for good
    health” (Tirmidhi). Muslims should therefore avoid any act which may
    harm physical or spiritual health.

  6. I will tell you the health problems caused because that does matter in Islam because you shouldn't do anything to harm yourself knowingly in Islam because that's haram.

    Eating disorders are terrible. At first it seems ok and you think "i'm only going to purge and starve until i lose weight" but the vomiting becomes addictive and then after a few weeks of this sick addiction the pain will kick in. And vomiting sometimes doesn't even help you purge out all of the calories because your body won't let you vomit out everything. All you'll get is a deep ache in your stomach as well as stress about food. Starving will eventually lead to death or binge eating and binge eating causes weight gain and sometimes even bulimia. Your muscle mass will decrease and you'll feel lethargic and you might end up socially isolating yourself. Eating disorders are dark and lonely and it's honestly stupid to try to actively get an eating disorder. I would know.

    I love my family but I can't stop becoming so irritable towards them when they suggest I eat something that I feel anxious about. I end up isolating myself at dinner times so "I won't get tempted" and it really sucks. I ditched all my friends because "they were getting in the way of my diet" and now I'm lonely with only these stupid anxious thoughts about "how many calories did I eat?", "I need to lose fat" and "I need to vomit after eating this or I'll turn fat". Tomorrow I'm turning 16 years old and my parents have bought me sweets and I can't eat them because I know I'll vomit and I had to ask for no cake but I really loved cake before. I can't have a big party because I know I'll just spend most of my time in the bathroom puking out foods. I'm doing badly in my GCSE exams because I'm too tired to do anything but force myself to exercise and I have to make up fasts because during ramadan I vomited after suhoor because I was worried I ate too much and I spent so long vomiting that I vomited past fajr time. I spend so long vomiting outside of ramadan that I miss prayers and then have to make up for them. Even if you become skinnier, eating disorders are so addictive that the more skinny you get, the more obsessive you become because you think "it's working". I've became skinnier recently through my ED but it's honestly made my life worse because now I spend hours staring at my fat in the mirror and eating even less. My muscle mass has decreased, which does make me look a bit skinnier, but my fat has barely decreased.

    Trust me when I say this: don't try to get an eating disorder. If you get one, get help as soon as possible. Life with an eating disorder is lonely and depressing. In Islam you're not allowed to harm yourself and purging (vomiting, taking laxatives, over exercising to prevent weight gain) and starving is harming yourself. Also, if you vomit or starve, it's a waste of food and you should remember that wasting is looked down upon in Islam. It's haram. The mental effects of an ED could lead you to haram acts such as social isolation and self-harming acts such as cutting which are both also haram. Eat healthily because you'll be rewarded for taking care of your body and eat like the Prophet (SAW). He recommended to only eat when you're actually hungry and only eat to satisfy yourself and not fill yourself because it says in the Qur'an (or hadith?) that there is no worse vessel a human can fill than their stomach. Fill your stomach one third with food, one third with water and one third with breath (leave one third empty) and don't beat yourself up over not doing this if you fail but just try to correct yourself. It's sunnah to exercise so just exercise regularly but not to the point that you feel terrible afterwards and exercise for the sake of keeping yourself healthy and happy for the sake of Allah. Worrying about what others think is not good and you should only worry about what Allah thinks because in the end, you're going to have to answer to God. Also 120 pounds is NOT overweight unless you're small. Be grateful for what you do have: you have food to nourish you, you're clearly able to read and write, you have a working body and so much more that some people just don't have.

    Insha Allah, everyone suffering from an eating disorder will benefit from sticking to the sunnah and getting help and Insha Allah, you won't feel the need to starve or purge anymore and I will also try to correct my ways and become healthy. Take it from me, DON'T try to get an eating disorder.

    I get that this was created a while back and this problem may have already been solved but giving this advice really helps me cope and understand how to help myself and I hope it will also help others who face the same problem as the OP who come across this page Insha Allah.

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