The Holy Prophet’s habits in eating and drinking

Features of the Mode of life of the Holy Prophet, Hadith & Seerah, The Ways of the Prophet (SAWS) / Monday, September 28th, 2009

The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) never ate reclining. He used to say: I am a servant of ALLAH and sit like that and eat like that. (He used to sit in such a manner as it appeared that he was just going to get up with the support of his knees). This otherwise means that he sat with his knees upwards and the bottom of this feet touching the ground. [Zad-ul-Ma’ad]

By sitting firmly and squatting cross legged while taking meals is like sitting on support placed beneath. [Qadi ‘Ayad]

The author of Mawahib says that while taking meals it is desirable to sit in a manner that the knees are upward and the bottom of the feet touches the ground or in a manner that only right knee is kept upward and the left knee touches the ground making a sitting posture. lbn Qaiyim has related that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) as a gesture of courtesy used to keep the inner side of his left feet over the back of the right foot. [Madarij-un-Nabuwah]

Another gesture of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) courtesy was that he never found fault with the food. If he liked it he ate it, otherwise he did not touch it but he never passed any remark as to whether it was bad or sour, or that the salt was not according to taste or that the soup was thin or thick. [Madarij-un-Nabuwah]

This indicates that it is unmannerly to find fault with some food and such an action is against Sunnah. Some theologians have held that it would be in order if it is mentioned by the way that the food has not been properly cooked and that the provision has gone waste. But even in this case, the feelings of the cook are likely to be hurt. As such it is better not to do so. [Madarij-un-Nabuwah]

The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) used to say Bismillah (in the name of ALLAH) before beginning to eat and to praise ALLAH at the end in the following words: [Zad-uI-Ma’ad]

He used to wash his hand before eating, he ate with his right hand and from before him. [Zad-ul-Ma’ad]

If the vessel was full of food to its top, then he would not begin eating from the top but from the bottom before him and is reported to have said that the blessing descends from the top of it (vessel). [lbn Majah, Mishkat]

While eating he would never put the whole of his fingers into the food. [Nashrut-Tib]

Hadis: Ka’b lbn Malik has related that the Holy Prophet’s (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) habit was to eat with three fingers, and he used to lick them clean. [Shamail-e-Tarmizi, Muslim]

In some traditions it occurs that he used to lick the middle finger first, then the forefinger and after it the thumb. [Khasail-e-Nabawi]

If an item of food was thin, he would also use the ring finger, but only rarely. [Taban, Khasail-e-Nabawi]

The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) never blew in any food or drink and considered it to be bad habit. [lbn Sa’ad]

He did not smell the food and thought it undesirable. [Nashrut – Tib]

If there was one item of food only, he would take what was before him and if there were more items but in one dish, he would extend his hand to other sides also. [Zad-ul-Ma’ad]

When meals were served to him, he would say: O ALLAH! Bless us in what Thou has given to us, and save us from the punishment of Hell fire. (I begin) with the name of ALLAH. When the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) took the first morsel of the food, he would say, (O Great FORGIVER) After finishing the meals he would say: All praise is due to ALLAH who gave us to eat and drink and made us Muslims’. [Shama’il-e-Tirmizi]

When the table cloth was removed he would say: Praise be to ALLAH, a praise which is good and pure and blessed. We can neither eschew this food, nor forego it, nor do without it. O our Cherisher! (Accept from us our thanks.

When the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) was invited by somebody (to a meal) he would pray (supplication) for the host in the following words: O ALLAH! Bless them in what Thou hast bestowed on them, forgive them and have mercy on them. [Zad-ul-Ma’ad, Madarij-un-Nabuwa]

After meals he would wash his hands and dry them by rubbing them together or on the face and head. In one of the reports, drying the hands on the other parts washed in Wudu (ablution) has also been mentioned. [Ibn Majah]

One Reply to “The Holy Prophet’s habits in eating and drinking”

  1. assalamuallaikum, will you friends find out for me what the actual amount of food taken for the right muslim with the right iman . is it once in 3 days or once in a day
    thank you. your article is very helpful to many muslim today
    may Allah swt bless u

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