Is It Obligatory to Eat Everything? Is It Ingratitude to Deny Food?

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch


I believe this is a spiritual question, but I’m not sure myself. I have been told Muslims should “eat everything” because Allah has given us so many beautiful foods that we should not say “no” to any of them. And if you say no, that means you are not thankful to Allah. I believe that since Allah has given us a variety, Muslims have the amazing blessing to choose what they want and stay away from what they want. Just because a person does not eat something does not mean they are not thankful to Allah.
What do you think?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

There is no obligation in Islam to eat everything. In fact, there are many verses in the Quran and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and give him peace) that would indicate the contrary.

Allah Most High commands in the Quran, “O believers! Eat from the good things We have provided for you. And give thanks to Allah if you ˹truly˺ worship Him ˹alone˺.” [Quran, 2:157]

This verse does not say ‘everything’. Rather, it limits it to that which is pure and lawful. Furthermore, the command here is not obligatory but rather mere permission.

The Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and give him peace) himself declined when offered certain types of food that he was not accustomed to eating.

He is described by his companion Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) as follows, “The Prophet  (may Allah bless him and give him peace) never found fault in food. If he liked it, he ate of it; if he disliked it, he left it.” [Bayhaqi]

We can see clearly that not eating certain foods does not constitute ingratitude.

Hope this helps
Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch teaches Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he completed four years at the Darul Uloom Seminary in New York, where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences.

He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he studied for three years in Dar al-Mustafa under some of the most outstanding scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib.

In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Quran and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Quranic exegesis, Islamic history, and several texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.