الحمد لله رب العالمين، وصلى الله وسلم على نبينا محمد وعلى آله وأصحابه أجمعين، أما
Shaikh Muhammad bin Haadi Al-Madkhali (hafidhahullaah) said:
“There are four factors which the scholars have mentioned that aid upon the performance of worship, there are four things that aid upon the performance of worship generally, and in Ramadhaan specifically, so it is upon the servant to reflect upon them and to pay attention to them.
From them is the first of that which they mentioned concerning them which is reducing excessive intake of food and drink which leads to indigestion. So the person gets up and is heavy so cannot bow (in prayer) nor can he prostrate, so it is upon him that he reduces the intake of food as the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) indeed said:
((The son of Aadam has never filled a vessel worse than his own stomach, if it must be; then [he should keep] a third for his food, a third for his drink, and a third for his breathing.))
Food has for it a third, not that one should fill his stomach completely and then he says the water becomes pickled (acidifies/marinates) and the breathing will come by itself – no that is incorrect. If you lessen the intake of food then the soul is lightened and is revived, so this is the first reason.
The second reason; is that upon you is to take a light siesta during the day which will help you in standing in the night (in prayer) for the taraweeh as well as in standing in the night in other than Ramadhaan. Take the siesta during the day, for if you take the siesta in the day and along with that you sleep a portion of the night you will be revived (rejuvenated) by the permission of Allaah, The Blessed and Most High.
The third affair which will help you upon the performance and undertaking of obedience is to abandon excessiveness in mixing with the people through the passing (loss) of the timings along with them. It is essential for you that you guard your time, for excessiveness in mixing is harmful – even if that which comes from it is nothing but the passing of time then that is sufficient as a harm, and time – you are responsible upon guarding it.
From the people are those with whom mixing with them is at the level of medicine.
From them are those with whom mixing with them is at the level of nourishment.
From them are those with whom mixing with them is at the level of sickness.
Likewise from them are those with whom mixing with them is at the level of air.
So the one with whom mixing with is at the level of sickness; then these are the companions of evil – there is no good in them, mixing with them is harmful upon the servant in his religion as well as in his worldly life.
The one with whom mixing with is at the level of nourishment; then this one is required at times, not that you eat and eat and eat all the time, rather the utmost amount of food required is three meals, in the morning and at the middle of the day and in the evening shortly before you sleep. So this one you should mix with at the level of nourishment, you sit with him at calculable limited timings.
From them are those with whom mixing with is at the level of medicine, so this one you come to upon sparseness so your chest should be amply enriched with him with that which is permissible, you will find fine speech and good discourse with him and there could be with him poetry of the Arabs and the stories of the Arabs and wisdoms and parables of that which would amply enrich your chest by way of them; and so you conduct an affable friendship with him toward yourself and you spend time in that in other than sinfulness to Allaah, The Blessed and Most High. This one; if you are in need then you sit with him for your recreation and to relax yourself.
From them are those whom mixing with is at the level of air, if you were to stop – you would die. These; they are the righteous, the people of rectitude, the people of worship, the people of obedience about whom it has been said:
‘Do not accompany except those that seeing them reminds you of Allaah or that his words direct you to Allaah.’
‘Do not accompany except those that remind you of Allaah by way of his circumstance or that he directs you to Allaah by way of his speech.’
These; they are the best, so accompany them, for if you accompany them, then you will be the successful one by the permission of Allaah, and if you leave them; then perhaps you will become weak and perhaps the people of wickedness and Satan will gain authority over you, we ask Allaah for well-being and safeguard.
So if you fear for yourself from this, then adhere to these people, for indeed in adhering to them for you is the level of air; if you stop it you will die, the breathing will go. The righteous actions are the nourishment of the soul, so the people – then not all of them are to be mixed with O people – never, the people are upon these levels.
So it is upon the servant that he utilizes these days, and upon him is to know their prestigious value and upon him is to be ardently eager over them.”
(Taken from: an audio recording of a lecture entitled: ‘Hadiy As-Salaf fee Ramadhaan’ [64:15-69:00])
 The Shaikh mentioned that there are four factors, however there are three factors listed here as this is what was found on the audio lecture of the Shaikh.
 Reported by At-Tirmidhee (no.2380) Ibn Hibbaan (no.1349 – Al-Muwaarid) and others, the full wording of the hadeeth as it is found in At-Tirmidhee is:
((A person has never filled a vessel worse than his own stomach, sufficient for a son of Aadam are some mouthfuls [which he takes] to keep his back straight, if it must be; then [he should keep] a third for his food, and a third for his drink, and a third for his breathing.))
The hadeeth was declared Saheeh (authentic) by Shaikh Al-Albaanee in his Saheeh Sunan At-Tirmidhee (no.2380) as well as in Silsilatul Ahaadeeth As-Saheehah (no.2265).