Islam is a complete way of life. The religious doctrines of Islam do not just stop at teaching its followers how to pray to Allah, Islam teaches Muslims how to eat, walk, dress, speak etc. Having good manners when it comes to eating is a way of worshipping God. Prophet Muhammad urged all of his followers to eat clean and healthy food. Aside from the fact that Muslims eat only halal food and are forbidden to eat haram food, Prophet Mohammad taught his followers etiquettes on how Muslims are supposed to eat. It is important for a Muslim to respect and appreciate every little food that is in front of you. According to Aisha, the youngest wife of the Prophet, she said that the prophet never filled his stomach for three consecutive days. Even though he had food to eat, he prioritized the needs of the poor and needy first.
#1. Invoking Allah’s Blessing On The Food You Are About To Eat
The first and most important thing a Muslims has to do apart from ensuring that your hands are thoroughly clean is to invoke Allah’s blessing on the food you are about to eat by saying Bismillah meaning in the name of Allah. Prophet Muhammad said in a Hadith “Whenever one eats then he should say the name of Allah and if he forgets to say Bismillah in the beginning then he should say ‘’Bismillah from the beginning to the end.’’ The Prophet emphasized this because whenever one doesn’t say Bismillah, Satan eats with you; therefore it is obligatory for a Muslim to say Bismillah before eating
#2. Eat Together
Islam teaches it followers to dine together. Prophet Muhammad said eating together brings Allah blessing upon ones food. Eating together brings unity to the family and it promotes togetherness. Also while eating, the Prophet urges his follower to speak of righteous things and things that are permissible.
#3. Eat With Your Right Hand
Prophet Muhammad said in a hadith, “No one among you should eat with his left hand, or drink with it, for the Satan eats with his left hand and drinks with it.’’ According to the prophet, it is compulsory for every Muslim to eat with the right hand as long as there is no physical disability or illness preventing you from using your right hand. Eating from the side of the plate that is nearest to you is considered as a very good manner in Islam. It is very rude for a person to start eating from the side of others or from the middle of the food basin.
#4. Washing Up
It is part of the Prophet’s Sunnah to wash your hands thoroughly with water after eating and also rinsing of the mouth helps to remove the pieces of the food particles which will remain in the mouth. Prophet Muhammad told his followers not to eat the pieces of food that remains in their teeth after eating and Allah knows best why.
Other etiquettes of eating include:
- One should eat the pieces of food that falls on the ground.
- Avoid blowing the food with one’s mouth.
- Muslims are urged to take off shoes while eating and sitting down while drinking and eating.
- Avoid eating extremely hot meals.
- One should not spit or blow ones nose whilst eating unless when it is necessary.
- Licking the fingers after eating.
- One should be moderate during eating; that is not filling ones stomach completely.
Finally, the most essential thing to do after eating is to thank Allah for his mercy and provisions by saying Alhamdoulillah, meaning praise be to Allah.