49 – The Etiquette of Eating
Jul 18 – 24, 2022
Dhul Hijjah 26 1443 – Muharram 2, 1444

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The Etiquette of Eating

What have Allah and His Messenger said about

The Etiquette of Eating

يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلنَّاسُ كُلُوا۟ مِمَّا فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ حَلَـٰلًا طَيِّبًا وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا۟ خُطُوَٰتِ ٱلشَّيْطَـٰنِ ۚ إِنَّهُۥ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ مُّبِينٌ۝
O mankind, eat from whatever is on earth [that is] lawful and good and do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy.

[Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayah 168]
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ كُلُوا۟ مِن طَيِّبَـٰتِ مَا رَزَقْنَـٰكُمْ وَٱشْكُرُوا۟ لِلَّهِ إِن كُنتُمْ إِيَّاهُ تَعْبُدُونَ۝
O you who have believed, eat from the good [i.e., lawful] things which We have provided for you and be grateful to Allah if it is [indeed] Him that you worship.

[Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayah 172]
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلرُّسُلُ كُلُوا۟ مِنَ ٱلطَّيِّبَـٰتِ وَٱعْمَلُوا۟ صَـٰلِحًا ۖ إِنِّى بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ عَلِيمٌ
O messengers! Eat from what is good and lawful, and act righteously. Indeed, I fully know what you do.

[Surah Al-Mu’minun, Ayah 51]
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ طَيِّبٌ لاَ يَقْبَلُ إِلاَّ طَيِّبًا وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ أَمَرَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ بِمَا أَمَرَ بِهِ الْمُرْسَلِينَ فَقَالَ ‏{‏ يَا أَيُّهَا الرُّسُلُ كُلُوا مِنَ الطَّيِّبَاتِ وَاعْمَلُوا صَالِحًا إِنِّي بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ عَلِيمٌ‏}‏ وَقَالَ ‏{‏ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُلُوا مِنْ طَيِّبَاتِ مَا رَزَقْنَاكُمْ‏}‏ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ ثُمَّ ذَكَرَ الرَّجُلَ يُطِيلُ السَّفَرَ أَشْعَثَ أَغْبَرَ يَمُدُّ يَدَيْهِ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ يَا رَبِّ يَا رَبِّ وَمَطْعَمُهُ حَرَامٌ وَمَشْرَبُهُ حَرَامٌ وَمَلْبَسُهُ حَرَامٌ وَغُذِيَ بِالْحَرَامِ فَأَنَّى يُسْتَجَابُ لِذَلِكَ ‏”
Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying:
O people, Allah is Good and He therefore, accepts only that which is good. And Allah commanded the believers as He commanded the Messengers by saying:

يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلرُّسُلُ كُلُوا۟ مِنَ ٱلطَّيِّبَـٰتِ وَٱعْمَلُوا۟ صَـٰلِحًا ۖ إِنِّى بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ عَلِيمٌ
O messengers! Eat from what is good and lawful, and act righteously. Indeed, I fully know what you do.

And He said:

يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ كُلُوا۟ مِن طَيِّبَـٰتِ مَا رَزَقْنَـٰكُمْ وَٱشْكُرُوا۟ لِلَّهِ إِن كُنتُمْ إِيَّاهُ تَعْبُدُونَ
O believers! Eat from the good things We have provided for you. And give thanks to Allah if you ˹truly˺ worship Him ˹alone˺.

He then made a mention of a person who travels widely, his hair disheveled and covered with dust. He lifts his hand towards the sky (and thus makes the supplication): “O Lord, O Lord,” whereas his diet is unlawful, his drink is unlawful, and his clothes are unlawful and his nourishment is unlawful. How can then his supplication be accepted?

[Sahih Muslim 1015]

Commentary of Ayah 168

The real meaning of the root word حلَّ (halla) in (halalan tayyiban: حَلَاً طَیِّباً : permissible and good) is ‘to open a knot’. In that sense, what has been made halal حلال means that a knot has been opened and the restriction has been removed. The blessed Companion Sahl ibn ` Abdullah ؓ has said: “Salvation depends on three things – eating halal حلال ، fulfilling (Divine) obligations and following the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet ﷺ .” The word طَیَّب (tayyib) means ‘good’ as inclusive of the clean and the pure and covers the twin aspects of being lawful, permissible or halal حلال and being naturally desirable.

The word حُطُوَات (khutuwat) is the plural form of خُطوہ (khutwah) which is the distance between the two feet when striding. Here the khutuwat of Shaytan means Satanic deeds.

[Maarif ul Quran Vol-8 (pg 419) , Maktabah Dar al Uloom, Translation by Prof. Muhammad Hasan Askari & Prof. Muhammad Shamim]

The effects of eating Halal حلال and Haram حرام

Verse 172 forbids eating that which is Haram and along with it, allows eating that which is halal in all gratefulness to Allah. The reason is that the act of eating haram promotes evil instincts, kills the taste of ` ibadah and makes the prayers ineffective. In contrast, eating halal generates inner light, creates a distaste for evil deeds, leads towards high morals, and creates a state in which the heart welcomes ` ibadah and finds the very thought of sin sickening and of course, prayers are answered. Therefore, Allah Almighty has told all his prophets to eat from what is good and do what is righteous:

یأَيُّهَا الرُّ‌سُلُ كُلُوا مِنَ الطَّيِّبَاتِ وَاعْمَلُوا صَالِحًاً 0
O Messengers, eat of the good things and do the righteous. (23:51)

This shows that eating and using what is halal حلال plays a vital role in doing what is good and virtuous. Similarly, living by the halal حلال helps the chances of a prayer being answered while living by the haram حرام kills those chances.

[Maarif ul Quran Vol-8 (pg 424) , Maktabah Dar al Uloom, Translation by Prof. Muhammad Hasan Askari & Prof. Muhammad Shamim]

Spiritual Reminders

Etiquette Before Eating

There are seven rules before eating.

1) The food must be lawful. Allah (SWT) has enjoined eating good and lawful food and prohibited bad and unlawful food. There is benefit in the former and harm in the latter.

2) The hands should be washed before eating. We learn from various hadith that the Prophet (SAW) would wash his hands before eating or drinking. This also prevents various harmful germs and bacteria from being attached to our hands while we eat.

3) Food should be placed on the ground as it is the way of the Prophet (SAW). Whenever any food was taken to the Prophet (SAW), he kept it on the ground as it is the sign of humility. The Prophet (SAW) used to not take food in any plate except in a big dish with others.

4) One should take food while sitting straight. To eat leaning is also bad for the stomach.

5) One should make niyyah before eating: I eat to gain strength in worship. The more one’s intention is pure, the less one is greedy for food.

6) Be satisfied with the food served and don’t be greedy for varieties.

7) The more people partake in the meal, the more blessed it is. The Prophet (SAW) would not eat single.

Etiquette During Eating

1) Reciting بِسْمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحْمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

2) Eating with the right hand.

3) Beginning and ending with salt

4) Taking little morsels and chewing each morsel well

5) Not extending the hand for another morsel until you finish chewing the previous

6) Not to speak about any defects of the cooking or food. When the Prophet (SAW) liked the food, he would eat it and if he did not like the food, he would not eat it.

7) Eat from your side of the dish and not from the middle

8) If a morsel of food falls down, one should take it a clear off any dust attached to it and consume the morsel

9) One should not blow on hot food, rather they should wait until it becomes cooler.

10) Eating a odd number of fruits that can be counted such as dates, grapes etc.

11) One should not drink water at the time of eating unless they are extremely hungry

12) One should not breath or yawn into a pot of water

13) After finishing one should lick their fingers and end by saying الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي أَطْعَمَنَا وَسَقَانَا وَجَعَلَنَا مُسْلِمِينَ (All praise is due to Allah who fed us and gave us drink, and made us Muslims)

[Adapted from Ihya Ulum Al-Din by Imam Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali, Translation by Fazl Ul-Karim, Darul Ishaat Eidition]

YOUR WEEKLY DOSE OF

Sirah

Not Criticizing Food
Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet (ﷺ) never criticized any food (he was invited to) but he used to eat if he liked the food, and leave it if he disliked it.

[Sahih al-Bukhari 5409]

Sunnah Acts

Licking Fingers After Eating
Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying:
When any one of you eats food he should lick his fingers, for he does not know in what part of the food sticking to his fingers the blessing lies.

[Sahih Muslim 2035a]

Adhkar/Dua

Supplication Before and After Eating
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ
“In the Name of Allah”
[Jami` at-Tirmidhi 1858]

الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي أَطْعَمَنَا وَسَقَانَا وَجَعَلَنَا مُسْلِمِينَ
All praise is due to Allah who fed us and gave us drink, and made us Muslims
[Jami` at-Tirmidhi 3457]

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