Meaning that a hungry person who is offering Salaah would make his Salaah his food by constantly thinking of eating and awaiting the end of the Salaah so he could fulfil his need to eat. Therefore, his entire Salaah would primarily be without concentration and his attention would have been on food.
However, some after graduating, whilst in the company of my respected teacher, Maulana Imran Sahib, this Hadith was brought up and Maulana Imran Sahib gave me an explanation, whilst quoting someone, which shows another perspective and the true purpose of this Hadith.
This was in response to those people who take this Hadith to avoid offering Salaah whilst they are hungry and hence giving food preference and priority.
Indeed our Salaah should not be an opportunity to think of our meal and need to eat but at the same time when we are asked to eat it should be such that our food should become Salaah…
With every morsel that we take our attention and concern should be of Salaah and therefore our food becomes Salaah.
This Hadith has been stated for those people who are extremely hungry and cannot wait any longer, or that waiting will cause distractions within their Salaah. However, whilst resolving to eat first, one should eat enough to suffice him to offer Salaah.
Therefore, in such cases one’s food should become his Salaah and not vice versa.