Chapter 42: Eating and Drinking

This chapter is about the adab of eating and drinking.

42.1. Invocation before and afterwards

When you eat or drink, it is mandatory for you to say, "In the name of Allah" - "Bismillah" and to take the food using your right hand. When you finish, you should say, "Praise be to Allah" - "Al-hamdu lillah."

[ This is the sunna, to say "In the Name of Allah," aloud and not add "the All-Merciful, Most Merciful". It is recommended to use the right hand for eating and drinking. After eating, one says, "Al-hamdu lillah" silently.

[Hashiyya: If one forgets to say "In the Name of Allah" when he begins, then when he finishes, he says, "In the Name of Allah, the first of it and the last of it." It is recommended to say it aloud to remind others who might forget it and to instruct someone who does not know that. One does not add "the All-Merciful, Most Merciful" because chewing is punishment, and punishment is not combined with mercy, just as one does not add that when slaughtering an animal. Some, however, like Abu Mahdi, the shaykh of Ibn Naji, prefer to add that.

One is recommended to say "al-hamdu lillah" silently so as not to embarrass someone who is eating and is not full.]

42.2. Eating manners

42.2a. Licking the hand

It is good to lick your hand before wiping it.

[ One version says "fingers" since it says in Muslim that the Prophet used to lick his hand before wiping it. One eats with three fingers.

[Hash: Qadi 'Iyad said, "(Eating with fingers is) part of the adab and sunna of eating. Eating with more than them is greed and bad manners unless more are needed because of the fineness of the food. ]

42.2b. Thirds

The manners of eating include leaving a third of your stomach for food, a third for drink and a third for breath.

[ So when someone eats a lot of food, he has no space for breathing.]

42.2c. Eating from in front of one

If you are eating with others, you eat from what is in front of you.

[ When you are eating with other than your famly, you eat from what is in front of you because the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, commanded that.]

42.2d. Finishing one bite before taking another

Do not take another bite until you have finished the previous one.

[ Until you have swallowed it so that you are not greedy for food and so that you do not choke and become embarrassed. Part of the proper adab is that you eat small morsels and take your time while eating, even if that is not your habit.]

42.2e. Drinking

Do not breath into the vessel while you are drinking. Take the cup away from your mouth and then return it if you wish, Do not drink in gulps, but sip it.

[ The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, forbade breathing into the vessel. It is permitted to drink in one gulp. That is the position of Malik. It is said, however, that it is disliked, because the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, "When one of you drinks, he should take three breaths. It is more healthy and satisfying.

42.2f. Chewing properly

Chew your food properly before swallowing it.

[ That is better for enjoyment and for digestion.]

42.2g. Cleaning the mouth after eating

Clean your mouth after eating. It is good to wash your hands of grease and milk. It is good to pick out any food between your teeth.

[ Clean your mouth after eating by rinsing and using the siwak to prevent bad breath. It is good to wash your hands after licking it to remove grease and fat and milk. That is recommended. One removes food from between the teeth because the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, commanded that.]

42.2h. Not eating with the left hand

The Messenger, peace be upon him, forbade eating or drinking with the left hand.

[ That is because Shaytan eats and drinks with his left hand.]

42.2i. Passing to the right

When you drink, you pass it to the one on your right.

[ That is based on the report is the Muwatta' that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace,was given some milk mixed with water. There was a bedouin to his right and Abu Bakr as-Siddiq to his left. He drank and then gave it to the bedouin, saying, "The right and then to the right."]

42.2j. Not blowing on food or drink

It is forbidden to blow on food or drink or on a book, or to drink from a gold or silver vessel.

[ What is meant by book is a book of fiqh or hadith. In the case of food or drink, it is to protect it from dirt, and it is for respect in the case of books.

The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, in the two Sahih collections, said, "Do not drink or eat from a gold or silver vessel nor their plates They have them in this world and you have it in the Next World," meaning the unbelievers.}

42.2k. One can drink standing

There is nothing wrong in drinking standing up.

[ As it is related in at-Tirmidhi that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to drink both standing up and sitting down, and 'Umar and 'Uthman that. That is the position of the fuqaha'.]

42.2l. Not entering a mosque after eating garlic

It is not permitted for someone who has eaten raw leeks, garlic or onions to enter a mosque.

[ It is disliked because Ibn al-Qasim heard from Malik that more than one preferred that that is prohibited. Ibn 'Umar took the works of the author to mean that.]

42.2m. Not eating reclining

It is disliked to eat reclining.

[ It is to lean on one's left side on the left leg and rest on the left elbow with the right thigh upright.]

42.2n. Not eating from the top

It is disliked to start eating from the top of tharid (bread soaked in broth).

[ Since it is confirmed that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was brought a bowl of tharid and said, "Eat from its sides and do not eat from its middle. The blessing descends on the middle."]

42.2o. Eating two dates at the same time

It is forbidden to eat to two dates at the same time, but it is said that this prohibition only applies to co-owners of the dates they are eating. There is nothing wrong in doing that with your own family or people you are feeding.

[ The prohibition is one of dislike either because of being bad manners or because of self appropriation. If the people are partners in the dates, then it is a forbidden. He is permitted to do that in his own family because it is his, or with those he is feeding if the reason is appropriation. If it is bad manners, the prohibition remains.]

42.2p. When there are different fruits on the plate

When eating dates and other fruits, there is nothing wrong in reaching your hand around the dish to eat what you want of them.

[ When, for instance, there are dates and raisins. Then you can reach to take them wherever they are on the plate. That is reported in the Sunna.]

42.3. Washing the hands

42.3a. Washing the hands before eating

Washing one's hands before eating is not sunna unless they are dirty.

[ Indeed, it is disliked if they are clean according to the well-known position of Malik. One does not act by his words, peace be upon him, "Washing before eating removes poverty and after it removes pains." It is not the action of the people of Madina, i.e. their action is put before the hadith, even if the hadith is sound. That is because the fact that their action was contrary to the hadith must oblige that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, acted differently which indicates that it was abrogated. If, however, they are dirty, they are washed to honour the food.]

42.3b. After eating

After eating, a person should wash his hands and mouth free of grease and rinse the milk from his mouth.

[ Yusuf ibn ÔUmar said that this is a ruling particular to milk because it has fat and that is strengthened by the hadith in which the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, drank milk and then called for water and washed his mouth. He said, "It has fat."]

42.3b. Not using foodstuff for cleaning the hands

It is disapproved to clean one's hands with food or any bean flour or even the chaff of grain, but there is disagreement about the latter.

[ The disagreement is about whether it is permitted or disliked.]

42.4 Going to a wedding feast

If you are invited to a wedding feast, you must go unless there is well-known or objectionable entertainment there. It is up to you whether you eat. Malik stated that it is allowed not to go if it is too crowded.

[ It is said that this is a recommendation and it is said that it is an obligation. It is obliged to accept the invitation when one is specifically invited. He adds more preconditions: that there are not forbidden musical instruments there and disliked things like men and women mixing and silk couches.]

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