Etiquettes Of Eating In Islam

Islam is a complete way of life. It does not cover only the aspects of worship or war or politics but a huge part of Quran and sunnah deal solely with the morals and values of humans. Islam offers a great system of morality which covers from the big issues of society to the issues regarding the building of an impressive personality.

These offers cannot be found in any other religion no matter how much others claim to have such system of morality. From among the personality building aspects of the Islamic morals, the etiquettes of eating is important to know.

It is said that the person can be judged from three things; the way he speaks, the way he responds to the situations and they way he eats. Imagine that you meet a person wearing a nice dress and talking nice and looking very nice over all, but when he starts eating al his nice image goes down the drain because he does not know how to eat and that too when he is among people.

One should not eat too much that he puts on weight because of his excess eating. This is against sunnah and also morally as well as medically wrong. Before going to sunnah, we should discuss the medical part; when a person eats too much he fills his stomach and if he continuous this habbit a time comes when his stomach outgrows its usual size and demands for more food hence making a person obese. Obesity is biggest problem today and mother of all diseases.

The moral aspect of this issue is that when a person eats too much, he think of himself only. He does not think about others while eating thus leaving a very bad impression on others. Also such a person is the most ungrateful man. The sunnah par of this is that prophet Muhammad s.a.w.w used to eat only what could keep him going i.e. He s.a.w.w used to eat only that much so that His stomach is not full. This helps not only easy digestion of food but also a regard for the rizq is developed in man.

The sunnah of Muhammad s.a.w.w and eating etiquettes are described below with thew scholarly point of view.

Food and Eating Habits According to the Sunnah
By Imaam Ibnul-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah (d.751H)

"PIVOTAL QUOTE"It is sufficient for the son of Aadam to eat a few mouthfuls, to keep him going. If he must do that (fill his stomach), then let him fill one third with food, one third with drink and one third with air.

[1]: When he put his hand in the food, he would say, “Bismillaah (with the Name of Allaah),’’ and he told people to say this when eating. He said, “When any one of you eats, let him mention the name of Allaah. If he forgets to mention the name of Allaah at the beginning, let him say ‘Bismillaahi fee awwalihi wa aakhirihi,’ (with the name of Allaah, at its beginning and at its end).” The correct view is that it is obligatory to mention the name of Allaah (say Bismillaah) when eating. The ahaadeeth which state this are saheeh (authentic) and are clear, with no contradictions in them.

[2]: When he raised the food to his mouth, he would say, “Al-hamdu lillaahi hamdan katheeran tayyiban mubaarakan feehi ghayri makfiyyin wa laa muwadda’ wa laa mustaghni ’anhu Rabbanaa ’azza wa jall (Allaah be praised with an abundant, beautiful, blessed praise. He is the One Who is Sufficient, Who feeds and is never fed, The One Who is longed for, along with that which is with Him, and the One Who is needed. He is Our Lord, may He be glorified).

[3]: He never criticized food at all. If he liked it, he would eat it, and if he did not like it, he would leave it and not say anything. Or he would say, “I do not feel like eating this.”

[4]: Sometimes he would praise the food, as when he asked his family for food, and they said, “We have nothing but vinegar.” He asked for it and started to eat it, saying, “What good food is vinegar.”

[5]: He used to talk whilst he was eating, as is seen from the report quoted above about vinegar. And he said to his stepson ’Umar Ibn Abee Salamah (radiyallaahu ’anhu) when he was eating with him: “Say Bismillaah and eat from that which is in front of you in the dish.’’

[6]: He would repeatedly urge his guests to eat, as generous hosts do, and as is seen in the hadeeth of Aboo Hurayrah (radiyallaahu ’anhu), related by al-Bukhaaree, about the story of drinking milk, where he repeatedly said to him, “Drink,” and he kept telling him to drink until he (the guest) said, “By the One Who sent you with the truth, I have no more room for it!”

[7]: When he ate with others, he would not leave until he had made du’aa (supplication) for them. He made du’aa in the house of ’Abdullaah Ibn Bishr, and said: “O Allaah, bless for them that which You have provided for them, forgive them and have mercy on them.”

[8]: He commanded people to eat with their right hands and forbade them to eat with their left hands. He said, “The Shaytaan eats with his left hand and drinks with his left hand.” This implies that eating with the left hand is haraam (unlawful), and this is the correct view, because the one who eats with his left hand is either a shaytaan (devil), or he is imitating the Shaytaan. It was also reported in an authentic hadeeth that he told a man who was eating with his left hand in his presence, “Eat with your right hand!” The man said, “I cannot.” He said, “May you never be able to,” and the man never lifted his right hand to his mouth after that.  If it was permissible (to eat with the left hand), he would not have prayed against him for doing so. It was the man’s stubborn arrogance that made him refuse to obey the command, and this is the utmost disobedience which deserved this prayer against him.

[9]: He commanded those who complained that they never felt full to eat together and not separately, and to mention the name of Allaah (say Bismillaah) over the food so that He might bless it for them.

[10]: It was also reported that he said, “I do not eat reclining.”

[11]: He used to eat using the first three fingers (of his right hand), which is the best way of eating.

[1]: The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) used to know what he was eating.

[2]: He used to eat what was good for him.

[3]: He used to eat enough to keep him going, but no so much as to make him fat. Ibn ’Umar related that the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “The believer eats in one stomach whilst the disbeliever eats in seven.”

[4]: He taught his Ummah something to protect them from diseases caused by eating and drinking. He said, “The son of Aadam does not fill any vessel worse than his stomach. It is sufficient for the son of Aadam to eat a few mouthfuls, to keep him going. If he must do that (fill his stomach), then let him fill one third with food, one third with drink and one third with air.”
Next Post »