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Thursday, December 15, 2005

How should we eat our food?

By Imaam Ibnul-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah(d.751H) (rahimahullah - may Allah have mercy upon him)) Zaadul-Ma'aad

FOOD:

[1]: When he (the Prophet Mohammed - may the peace nad blessings of Allah be upon him) put his hand in the food, he would say, "Bismillaah (in the Name of Allaah),'' and he told people to say this when eating. He (saw - may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

"When any one of you eats, let them mention the name of Allaah (in the name of Allaah). If they forget to mention the name of Allaah at the beginning, let them say 'Bismillaahi fee awwalihi wa aakhirihi,' (in the name of Allaah, at its beginning and at its end)." A-Tirmidhee

The correct view is that it is obligatory to mention the name of Allaah (to say Bismillaah) when eating.

[2]: When he (saw) 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). Al-Bukhaaree

[3]: He (saw) 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. Al-Bukhaaree

Or he (saw) would say, "I do not feel like eating this." Al-Bukhaaree

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

[5]: He (saw) used to talk whilst he was eating, as is seen from the report quoted above about vinegar. And he (saw) said to his stepson 'Umar Ibn Abee Salamah (ra - may Allah be pleased with him) when he was eating with him:

"Say Bismillaah and eat from that which is in front of you in the dish." Al-Bukhaaree

[6]: He (saw) would repeatedly urge his guests to eat, as generous hosts do, and as is seen in the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah (ra), 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!" Al-Bukhaaree

[7]: When he (saw) ate with others, he would not leave until he had made du'aa (supplication) for them. He (saw) 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." Muslim

[8]: He (saw) commanded people to eat with their right hands and forbade them to eat with their left hands. He said, "The Shaytaan (Devil) eats with his left hand and drinks with his left hand." Muslim

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.

The Prophet (saw) told a man who was eating with his left hand in his presence, "Eat with your right hand!" The man said, "I cannot." He (saw) said, "May you never be able to," and the man never lifted his right hand to his mouth after that. Muslim

If it was permissible (to eat with the left hand), he (saw) 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 (saw) 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 (Allah) might bless it for them. Abu Dawood

[10]: It was also reported that he (saw) said, "I do not eat reclining." Al-Bukhaaree

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

THE PROPHET'S GUIDANCE REGARDING EATING:

[1]: The Prophet (saw) used to know what he was eating.

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

[3]: He (saw) used to eat enough to keep him going, but no so much as to make him fat. Ibn 'Umar related that the Prophet (saw) said,

"The believer eats in one stomach whilst the disbeliever eats in seven." Al-Bukhaaree

[4]: He (saw) taught his Ummah (nation) something to protect them from diseases caused by eating and drinking. He (saw) 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." At-Tirmidhee

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