How we live by being our usual self defines us the best. The way we dress up, the way we walk, talk and eat are the habits which can make and break our positive image. This is why these things are very important. Our beloved prophet Muhammad pbuh is the best example for all of us to follow. He pbuh had extremely polished habits, habits that were liked by every one. The points given below are extracted from the sunnah of prophet Muhammad pbuh with regards to eating.
1: Start every meal with the name of Allah. Prophet Muhammad pbuh used to say bismillah before starting eating. He (pbuh) 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 fi awwalihi wa aakhirihi (in the name of Allaah at its beginning and at its end).” (Saheeh) Tirmidhi (1859) and Abu Dawood (3767).
2: When raising food to mouth recite this sunnah zikr, “Al-hamdu Lillaahi hamdan katheeran tayyiban mubaarakan fihi 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). Bukhaari (5142).
3: Eating with right hand: in almost every culture and religion, eating with right hand is considered mannered and eating left hand is always seen as ill manners. Prophet Muhammad pbuh used to east with his right hand and he pbuh used to eat with the first three fingers of his hand, leaving the smallest finger. Prophet Muhammad pbuh said, “The Shaytaan eats with his left hand and drinks with his left hand.” Narrated by Muslim (2020). therefore, it is forbidden to eat with left hand.
4: Do not speak and say bad about a food you do not like. Mostly, when we do not like something we say a lot of bad things. But this is against the sunnah of prophet Muhammad pbuh. whenever he pbuh did not like something to eat, he would keep quite or simply say that he did not feel like eating it as described in the following ahadith. Bukhaari (3370) and Muslim (2064). “I do not feel like eating this.” Bukhaari (5076) and Muslim (1946).
5: Prophet Muhammad pbuh was a very generous host. He pbuh used to tell his guests and urge them to eat. So, acting upon sunnah, we should urge our guests to eat so that they do not feel shy. Abu Hurayrah, narrated the story of drinking milk, where prophet Muhammad pbuh 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!” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (6087).
6: Prophet Muhammad pbuh never ate too much, instead he pbuh ate only as much for going. There is a sahih hadith which says that a momin eats only one stomach and a kafir eats seven stomachs. That is, one should eat only enough to sustain. Eating should not be made a hobby.
Eating habits are important to develop. They not only reflect in a good personality but they also keep from getting fat.