We wrote this article with the goal that anyone who reads this article will have a firm understanding of the sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad around eating (peace and blessings upon him). More specifically we’ll cover authentic hadith narrations that cover what he said and did before eating and drinking food.
Insha-Allah these hadiths will inform and perhaps bring about behavioral changes and new habits you can incorporate in your life. We’ll go over some duas which you can also memorize to increase you imaan.
Dua Before Eating
Transliteration: Bismillah (In The Name of Allah)
Narrated Umm Kulthum: From ‘Aishah that the Messenger of Allah (saws) said: “When one of you eats food, then let him say: ‘Bismillah.’ Grade : Sahih (Darussalam) Reference : Jami` at-Tirmidhi 1858 In-book reference : Book 25, Hadith 75
Dua If You Forget To Say Bismillah
If you forget to recite Bismillah you should recite this Dua above.
Narrated Umm Kulthum: From ‘Aishah that the Messenger of Allah (saws) said: If he forgets in the beginning, then let him say: ‘Bismillah Fi Awwalihi Wa Akhirih (In the Name of Allah in its beginning and its end.)” Sahih (Darussalam) Reference : Jami` at-Tirmidhi 1858 In-book reference : Book 25, Hadith 75
There’s another hadith which tells a story of a man who forgot to recite Bismillah. “That man did not mention the Name of Allah (before commencing to eat) till only a morsel of food was left. When he raised it to his mouth, he said: “Bismillah awwalahu wa akhirah (With the Name of Allah, in the beginning and in the end).” Messenger of Allah (saws) smiled at this and said, “Satan had been eating with him but when he mentioned the Name of Allah, Satan vomited all that was in his stomach.” Graded Sahih [Abu Dawud and An-Nasa’i]
Dua For After Eating
Dua after eating was related in Al-bukhari by Abu Umamah, may Allah be pleased with him:
Whenever the Prophet (saws) finished a meal, he would say: “Al-hamdu lillahi hamdan kathiran taiyyiban mubarakan fihi, ghaira makfiyyin wa la muwadda`in, wa la mustaghnan `anhu, Rabbuna. (All praise is due to Allah, praise which is abundant, pure, and full of blessings, which is indispensable and to which one cannot be indifferent).” Reference : Sahih al-Bukhari 5458 In-book reference : Book 70, Hadith 87
Hadith and Etiquette of Eating
Serve Others First
Abu Qatadah reported: Messenger of Allah (saws) said, “He who serves others with drinking water should be the last to drink himself.” [At-Tirmidhi].
On Criticizing Food
According to the book Riyad as-Salihin by An-Nawawi, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) never criticized, complained, or whined about the food he had in front of him. He had a simple yet powerful approach which is described below.
Abu Hurairah reported: Messenger of Allah (saws) never found fault with food. If he had inclination to eating it, he would eat; and if he disliked it, he would leave it. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Jabir reported: The Prophet (saws) asked for sauce and was told that there was nothing except vinegar. He asked for it and began to eat from it saying, “How excellent is vinegar when eaten as sauce! How excellent is vinegar when eaten as Udm!” [Muslim]
Always accept an invitation for food
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (saws) said, “When any of you is invited to a meal, he should accept the invitation. If he is observing Saum (fasting), he should supplicate for the betterment of the host and if he is not fasting, he should eat.” [Muslim]
Licking Fingers and Food that has been dropped on the Floor
Ka’b bin Malik reported:I saw Messenger of Allah (saws) eating with three fingers (i.e., the thumb, the index finger and the middle finger) and licking them after having finished the food [Muslim]
Ibn ‘Abbas reported: Messenger of Allah (saws) said, “When one of you finishes eating, he should not wipe his fingers until he has licked them himself or has given them to someone else to lick for him.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
Jabir reported: Messenger of Allah (saws) commanded the licking of fingers and the gleaning of the dish, saying, “You do not know in which portion the blessing lies.” [Muslim]
Jabir reported: Messenger of Allah (saws) said, “When a morsel (small piece of food) of any of you falls, he should pick it up and remove any of the dirt on it and then eat it, and should not leave it for Satan nor should wipe his hand with towel until he has licked his fingers, for he does not know in what portion of the food the blessing lies.” [Muslim]
Related Post: What Dua To Recite Before Driving Your Car
Importance of sharing food
Abu Hurairah reported: Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “The food of two persons suffices for three persons, and the food of three persons suffices for four persons.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
Be Seated When Eating and Drinking + Drink Slowly
Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:The Prophet (ﷺ) forbade us from drinking while standing. Qatadah reported: “We asked him: ‘What about eating?”‘ He said: “That is even worse, (or may be he said) more detestable. [Muslim].
Ibn ‘Abbas reported: Messenger of Allah (saws) said, “Do not drink in one gulp like a camel, but in two or three (gulps). Mention the Name of Allah (i.e., say Bismillah) when you start drinking and praise Him (i.e., say Al-hamdu lillah) after you have finished (drinking).” [At- Tirmidhi].
Hadith #10 from the 40 hadith of Nawawi states to only eat food that is halal. Those who have been lawful towards Allah will have their duas answered.
The Almighty has said: “O you who believe! Eat of the lawful things that We have provided you.” [Surah Baqarah verse 172]” Then he (saws) mentioned [the case] of a man who, having journeyed far, is disheveled and dusty, and who spreads out his hands to the sky saying “O Lord! O Lord!,” while his food is haram (unlawful), his drink is haram, his clothing is haram, and he has been nourished with haram, so how can [his supplication] be answered?
Related Post: If you want to read more to understand why pork is haram
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