Download PDF: [S] The Sunnah of Eating

The Etiquette or good manners of eating.

 

What should be remembered and how should we as Muslims eat?

 

We first present a Qur’anic verse, thereafter, various Ahadith, and finally certain Islamic laws which pertain to this subject.

 

In Surah Maidah (5), verse 87, Allah Almighty Allah declares,

 

یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا لَا تُحَرِّمُوۡا طَیِّبٰتِ مَاۤ اَحَلَّ اللہُ لَکُمْ وَلَا تَعْتَدُوۡا ؕ اِنَّ اللہَ لَا یُحِبُّ الْمُعْتَدِیۡنَ ﴿۸۷﴾

 

“O you who believe! Do not make unlawful the good things which Allah has made lawful for you. And do not commit excess for Allah does not love those given to excess. Eat of the things which Allah has provided for you, lawful and good and fear Allah in Whom you believe.”

 

We now present various Ahadith on this aspect.

Importance of ‘Bismillah’ before eating

Hadrat Sayyiduna Huzaifah – may Allah be pleased with him – narrates that Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – has stated that, “The food on which the “Bismillah” has not been recited, (it) becomes Halaal for the Satan”. In other words, when the “Bismillah” is not read before eating, then the Satan also joins in when that food is been eaten. (Muslim Shareef)

 

‘Bismillah’ when entering one’s house

Hadrat Jaabir – may Allah be pleased with him – narrates that Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – has stated that, “When a person enters his house and while entering or before eating, he reads the “Bismillah”, the Satan tells his friends, ‘In this house you will not find accommodation neither will you find food.’ If, however, when the person enters his house and does not read the “Bismillah” or does not do so before eating, then the Satan tells his friends, ‘Now you will find a place to stay and also food.’” (Sahih Muslim Shareef)

 

Eating with the right hand and from one part of the plate

Hadrat ‘Umar bin Abi Salma – may Allah be pleased with him – narrates that, “I was still young, (and in the care of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) and while eating, I used to eat from all parts of the plate. Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – advised me, “Read the Bismillah, eat with the right hand and eat from that part of the plate which is close to you.’” (Sahih Bukhaari Shareef; Sahih Muslim Shareef)

 

Sayyidah Ayesha Siddique – may Allah be pleased with here – narrates that Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – has stated that, “When a person eats, he should remember Allah, (meaning that he or she should read the ‘Bismillah’), and if he or she forgets to read the ‘Bismillah’ in the beginning, then they should read, ‘Bismillah awwal lahu wa aakhira hu.’” (Abu Daud, Tirmidhi and Haakim)

 

If you forget the ‘Bismillah’ and eating together?

In the narration as found in the Musnad of Imam Ahmed, ibn Maja, Ibn Habban and Bahiqi, the words, “Bismillah fi Awwali hi wa Aakhiri hi” has been mentioned. Hadrat Wahshi bin Harb – may Allah be pleased with him – narrates that Sayyiduna Rasoolullah, – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – has stated that, “Eat in a group and read the ‘Bismillah’, there is Barakah in this for you.” (Imam Ahmed, Abu Daud, Ibn Maja and Haakim)

 

Eat together!

In Ibn Maja, there is a Hadith Shareef in which the people complained, “O Prophet of Allah! When we eat, our stomachs do not become satisfied”. He replied, “Perhaps you eat separately?” (Meaning that you eat alone). They replied in the affirmative. To this, Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – replied, “Eat together and read the ‘Bismillah’, there will be Barakah in this.”

 

Hadrat Abu Ayub – may Allah be pleased with him – narrates: “Once we were in the blessed company of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – when food was presented to us. At the beginning there was so much of Barakah in it that we had not seen so much in any food, however, at the end there was no Barakah at all. We asked Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – about this, he replied, “All of us read the ‘Bismillah’ before we began to eat, then a person joined in who had not read the ‘Bismillah’ and with him the Satan also began to eat.” (Sharahus Sunnah)

 

Hadrat Ummayah bin Makhshi – may Allah be pleased with him – narrates that a person began to eat without reading the ‘Bismillah’. When a single morsel was left, he picked it up and saying, “Bismillahi Awalla hu wa Aakhirahu”, he eat this morsel. Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – smiled and said, “The Satan was also eating with him and when he took the name of Allah Almighty, whatever he, (the Satan) had eaten, he spewed it out.” (Abu Daud) It also signifies that whatever Barakah had gone away had suddenly returned.

 

Evil of not reading the ‘Bismillah’

Hadrat Sayyiduna Huzaifah – may Allah be pleased with him – narrates: “Whenever we used to be with Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – we never used to commence eating as long as Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – did not commence. Once, we were with Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – when a young girl came running towards the food as if someone was pushing her forward. Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – grabbed her hand. Thereafter, a villager came running as if someone was also pushing him. Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – also grabbed his hand. Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – then stated, “When the ‘Bismillah’ is not read before eating, then that food becomes Halaal, (permissible) for the Satan. The Satan appeared with this young girl so that he could also join her while eating and I held her hand. He then appeared with the villager so that he could also join him while he was eating and I held his hand. By Allah in Whose Power is my life! His Divine Hand is in their hand and their hand is with my hand.” Thereafter, Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – recited the Name of Allah Almighty Allah and commenced eating. (Sahih Muslim Shareef. The same has also been recorded in the Musnad of Imam Ahmed, Abu Daud, Nisaa’i and Haakim)

 

Hadrat Uqbah bin Aamir – may Allah be pleased with him – narrates that Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – has stated that, “That food on which the Name of Allah has not been recited is a disease and there is no Barakah in it. Its penitence, (penalty),  is that if the eating cloth has not yet been removed, then one should eat a small morsel after reading the ‘Bismillah’ and if the eating cloth has already been removed, then one should read the ‘Bismillah’ and lick ones fingers”. (Ibn Asaakir)

 

Read this before eating or drinking!

Hadrat Anas – may Allah be pleased with him – narrates that Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – has stated that, “When a person eats or drink, he should read, ‘Bismillahi bil laahil lazi laa yadurru ma’as mihi shayun fil ardi wa laa fis samaa’i – Ya Hayyu, Ya Qayyumu.’ (By doing this), there would no sickness or disease from this food even though it may contain poison”. (Daylimi)

 

Eat and drink with the right hand

Hadrat Abdullah ibn ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with him – narrates that Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – has stated that, “When you eat, eat with the right hand and when you drink, drink with the right hand.” (Sahih Muslim)

 

From the same eminent Companion, Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – has also stated that, “No one should eat or drink with the left hand because to eat or drink with the left hand is the manner of the Satan.” (Sahih Muslim)

 

Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah – may Allah be pleased with him – narrates that Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – has stated that, “Eat and drink with the right hand and give and receive with the right hand because the Satan eats and drinks with the left hand and gives and receives with the left hand.” (Ibn Maja)

 

Hadrat Jaabir – may Allah be pleased with him – narrates that Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – commanded that one should lick one’s fingers and the eating container, (plate) after eating. He also declared that “you do not know in which part of the food there is Barakah.” (Sahih Muslim)

 

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