Mustafa Jaane Rehmat Pe Laakon Salam_
The Hunger of the Prophet
Alahazrat Imam Ahmad Rida Khan (Allah’s mercy be upon him) says:
مصطفٰی جان رحمت پہ لاکھوں سلام
شمعِ بزمِ ہدایت پہ لاکھوں سلام
Countless benedictions on al-Mustafa, the Essence of Mercy.
Countless benedictions on the most resplendent light of Guidance!
کُل جہاں ملک اور جو کی روٹی غذا
اُس شِکَم کی قناعت پہ لاکھوں سلام
The entire dominion is his yet he eats dry bread;
Countless benedictions upon the contentedness of that stomach!
The Prophet was the most austere in his asceticism (zuhd) and one in utter poverty (faqr). He had no inclination for the world even though its entire delights were at his very beckoning. One of the honourable outcomes for the Muslim umma is their emulation of the Prophet in this asceticism.
The Prophet would often remain in complete hunger and members of his household would also have little more than dried barley bread to eat as related by the mother of the believer’s `A’isha (ra).
The Prophet also chose humility, poverty and utter servitude to Allah over being a Prophet and a king with valleys of gold. This was one of the innumerable favours Allah gave to His beloved. He thus attained complete ‘contentment’ (qana`a) with the decree of Allah.
Abundant salutations and peace,
On Our Beloved, The Chosen One.
Upon his family, companions and all
Who follow them. Amin.
 For an account of the Prophet’s asceticism, see Imam Qadi `Iyad’s al-Shifa bi-Ta`rif Huquq al-Mustafa, §22, pp.72-75 (= Bewley’s trans.) and Imam al-Qurtubi’s chapter in Qam` al-Hirsi bi al-Zuhdi wa al-Qana`ah (= ‘The Secrets of Asceticism’, trans. A. Al-Adani), pp.41-44. Imam al-Busiri also cites the extreme hunger of the Prophet who shunned the the world and gave it no consideration. See Imam al-Ibrahim al-Bajuri’s Sharh of the Burda, l.30-34, pp.40-41.
 For narrations, see Imam al-Nawawi’s Riyad al-Salihin (#491-520).
 Tirmidhi, Sunan (#2348) and cf. Sultan al-`Ulama’ al-`Izz ibn `Abd al-Salam’s Bidayat al-Sul fi Tafdil al-Rasul, p.36 (29 = Bewley’s trans.).
 On this spiritual station, refer to Imam al-Qushayri’s al-Risala (=trans. by Kynsh as ‘Epistle on Sufism’), s.v., pp.175-177 for a list of quotes.