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Friday, January 26, 2007

Etiquettes For Eating and Drinking according to Quran and Sunnah

A Muslim eats and drinks in order to keep his body healthy so that he may worship Allah the Almighty. This is the worship that will make him qualified for the honour of the life and happiness of the Hereafter. He does not eat and drink for the sake of eating and drinking and its desires. Therefore, if he is not hungry, he does not eat. If he is not thirsty, he does not drink.

Etiquette Before Eating

1. Make SURE your food and drink is HALAL, by preparing them from the permissible sources and your source of earning is halal, too. Allah said: "0 you who believe! Eat of the lawful pure things that We
have provided you. (2:172)

2. The intention for eating should be to strengthen oneself for the purpose of worshipping Allah and to be rewarded for one's eating and drinking. The permissible act then becomes an act of worship that is rewarded by Allah due to the good intention.

3. Wash your hands before eating .

4. The food may be placed on a spread on the floor. This makes the act more modest. Anas (ra - may Allah be pleased with him) said: "Allah's Messenger (saw - may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did not eat upon a table or from a platter. (Bukhari). However, if one eats at a table, there is no harm.

5. Sit to eat in a modest fashion. Allah's Messenger (saw) said:"I do not eat while reclining. Instead, I am a servant (of God), so I eat like a servant eats and I sit like a servant sits. (Bukhari)

6. Be satisfied by the food that is presented in front of you and don't find fault with it. If you like it, eat it. Otherwise, leave it. This is based on the statement of Abu Hurayrah (ra): "Allah's Messenger (saw)| never found fault with any food. If he desired it, he would eat it. If he disliked it, he would leave it." (Bukhari)

7. Eat along with others. This is based the Hadith: "Eat your food together, for you will thereby be blessed in it." (Abu Dawud, Tirmithi)

Etiquette While Eating

1. Begin eating by saying: Bismillaah (In the Name of Allah). Allah's Messenger (saw) stated: "If any of you is about to eat, he should mention the Name of Allah. If he forgets to mention the Name of Allah at the beginning, he should say, 'In the Name of Allah over the beginning and the ending.' (Abu Dawud)

2. Eat with your right hand ONLY. The Prophet (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).

3. Eat with three fingers of the right hand. However, you may eat with a fork or spoon. There is no harm.

4. Eat food that is close to you and not take from the middle of the plate. Allah's Messenger (saw) said: "The blessings descend from the middle of the food. So eat from the edges and do not eat from the middle. "(At-Tirmithi)

5. If you drop some food, PICK IT UP,clean it and eat it. Allah's Messenger (saw) stated: "If a morsel of food falls from any of you, he should take it and wipe it clean of any dirt and then eat it. He should not leave it for
the Shaytan." (Muslim)

6. Do NOT blow over hot food; instead, wait until it cools down. Remember this, especially when feeding our kids.

7. Avoid overeating. Allah's Messenger (saw) said: "A human does not fill any container worse than his stomach. It is enough for a human to have some morsels to strengthen his back (keep his back straight). If he must eat more, then it should be one-third of his stomach for food, one-third for drink and one-third for breathing." (Ahmad)

8. Do NOT criticize food. "The Prophet (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. Bukhaari, Muslim. Or he would say, "I do not feel like eating this." Bukhaari, Muslim).

9. You may praise food, as when the Prophet (saw) asked his family for food, and they said, "We have nothing but vinegar." He asked for it and started to eat it, saying, "What a good food is vinegar." Muslim

10. It is OK to talk while eating, as is seen from the report quoted above about vinegar.

11. Do not begin to take food or drink if there is someone else present who should go before you, such as an older person or a virtuous person. This is considered impolite behavior.

12. Be considerate of your eating companion, especially if there is not much food. In that case, you may be eating the food that someone else has a right to.

13. Do not do anything that the others generally consider gross behavior, like talking with your mouth full, making loud chewing sounds, slurping, etc.

Etiquette After Eating

1.Stop eating before becoming full, thereby following the example of Allah's Messenger (saw).

2. Messenger of Allah (saw) instructed His followers that after taking meal they should lick their fingers before they wash or wipe them with a towel.

3. Pick up whatever has fallen from your food while eating.This is a way of expressing gratitude for Allah's bounties.

4. End your meal with the praises of Allah. Allah's Messenger (saw) said: "If a person eats any food and then says, 'Praise is to Allah who fed me this and provided for me without any strength or power on my part,' all of his previous sins will be forgiven." (At-Tirmithi)

5. If you drank milk, say: "O Allah, bless us in what You have provided for us and increase it for us. "(Abu Dawud) 6.If you break your fast at a someone's place, say:
"May the fasting break their fast with you, may the pious eat your food and may the angels invoke blessings for you." (Abu Dawud)

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