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Tuesday, May 18, 2004  

On the Manners to be Observed when Eating The Messenger of Allah said: ‘O lad, mention the Name of God, eat with your right hand and eat what is before you.’ (Bukhari and Muslim) One should begin the meal with the words ‘In the name of God’ and end it with ‘Praise be to God’. (Bukhari and Muslim) It would be well if one were to say with every mouthful ‘In the name of God’, that greed may not distract one from mentioning the name of God (Exalted is He!). One should say with the first mouthful ‘In the name of God’, with the second ‘In the name of God the Merciful’, with the third ‘In the name of God the Merciful, the Compassionate’—and loudly to remind others. A person should eat with the right hand, commencing and ending with salt. He should keep each mouthful small and chew it well. He should not stretch out his hand for another mouthful before swallowing the first, for eating this way would be too hasty. Moreover, he should not decry any [food] being eaten. The Prophet found no fault in anything he ate; if he liked something he ate it, otherwise he left it alone. (Bukhari and Muslim) A man should eat of that which is closest to him, save in the case of fruit, where he may let his hand rove around and choose. The Emissary of God (may God bless him and grant him peace) said, ‘Eat of that which is close to you.’ (Bukhari and Muslim) Then he circled round the fruit with his hand. He was asked about this and he said, ‘It is not all of one sort.’ (Tirmidhi) ‘Blessing [al-baraka] descends from the centre of the food, so eat from the circumference, not from the centre.’ (Tirmidhi) A person should not eat from the rim of the bowl nor yet from the centre. He should eat from the circumference of the loaf—unless it is only a small loaf which should be broken instead of cut with a knife (Ibn Hibban in his collection of weak hadith). Meat, too, is not to be cut. [The Emissary of God] forbade it, saying: ‘Tear it into pieces.’ (Abu Dawud saying the hadith has no strength) Neither a dish nor anything else ought to be placed on bread; only that which is eaten with it [may be placed on it]. The Prophet said, ‘Hold bread in esteem for God (Exalted is He!) has sent it down as one of Heaven’s blessings.’ (Bayhaqi and ‘Uqayli; Ibn al-Jawzi included this saying in his collection of fabricated hadith) Thus one should not wipe one’s hand with bread. He (may God bless him and grant him peace) said, ‘If a morsel falls from one of you, let him pick it up and remove what is harmful from it—let him not leave it for Satan. He should not wipe his hands with a cloth until he has licked his fingers, for he knows not which part of his food contains the blessing.’ (Muslim) And one must not blow on hot food. This is prohibited. One should wait patiently until it is easy to eat. (Ibn Hanbal and Tirmidhi relates a sound hadith prohibiting blowing into vessels) Of dates a person should eat an odd number: seven, eleven, or twenty-one, or however many they may come to. He must not place the dates and their stones together in one dish, or bring them together in the palm of the hand, but should place the stones from his mouth to the back of his hand and then discard them. Anything that has a kernel or dregs should be dealt with similarly. Any food found distasteful must be left with the dregs rather than put aside in the dish, lest it mislead anyone into eating it. A person should not drink much while eating unless he has choked on a mouthful or is truly thirsty, for it has been said that this is medically desirable, it being stomachic. (That is, not drinking a lot of water helps digestion.) As for the manners of drinking, one should take the jug in the right hand (Muslim), say ‘In the name of God’ and drink it in sips rather than in gulps. The Emissary of God (may God bless him and grant him peace) said, ‘Drink water in sips, do not gulp it down—for liver ailments are brought about by gulping.’ (Bayhaqi) Do not drink either standing up or lying down, for the Emissary of God (may God bless him and grant him peace) forbade drinking while standing. It was related that sometimes he drank standing up; but he no doubt had a good excuse for doing so. (Muslim relates ‘The Prophet forbade drinking while standing.’ This is the general rule while Bukhari states ‘The Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) drank from the well of Zamzam standing.’) A person should be careful about the bottom of the jug lest it drip on him; and he should look into the jug before drinking. He should neither belch nor breathe into the jug, (Tirmidhi) but move it away from his mouth, saying ‘Praise be to God’, and handing it back with the words ‘In the name of God’. (Tirmidhi) After drinking, the Emissary of God (may God bless him and grant him peace) said, ‘Praise be to God who has made it sweet and wholesome through His mercy, and has not made it salty and bitter with or sins.’ The jug and everything that is passed around to people should be passed to the right. The Emissary of God (may God bless him and grant him peace) was drinking some milk with Abu Bakr on his left, a bedouin on his right and ‘Umar alongside him. ‘Umar said, ‘Give it to Abu Bakr’—and the bedouin passed it over. The Emissary of God said, ‘To the right, the to the right.’ (Bukhari) And he would drink in three swallows, (Bayhaqi) saying ‘Praise be to God’ after each one and ‘In the name of God’ before. After the first swallow he would say ‘Praise be to God’, after the second he would add ‘Lord of the Worlds’, after the third ‘the Merciful, the Compassionate.’ The above amounts to nearly twenty ways of behaving when eating and drinking which the Narrations and Traditions of God’s Emissary furnish evidence. -Hujjatul Islam, Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali, The Manners Relating to Eating (Kitab adab al-akl); Book XI of The Revival of the Religious Sciences (Ihya' 'Ulum ad-Din)

posted by Abubak'r | 5/18/2004 07:13:00 PM |
As for him who fears to stand before his Lord and restrains the ego its desires, the Garden is shelter.
(The Snatchers:40)
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "The Fire is surrounded by all kinds of desires and passions, while Paradise is surrounded by all kinds of disliked, undesirable things."
Whoever does good at night is rewarded during the day and whoever does good during the day is rewarded at night. Whoever is sincere in abandoning a desire is saved from catering to it. God is too noble to punish a heart that has abandoned a desire for His sake.
(Abu Sulayman ad-Darani)
Beware of your ego, and trust not its mischief;
The ego is worse than seventy devils.
(Arabic Poem)
Abu Bakar Balkhi
Md Mubaraq
Md Firdaus

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I seek God's forgiveness, and do not claim that my intention in producing this Blog is confined to good religious purposes; how may I do so when I am aware of the hidden desires, egotistic passions, and worldly wishes that I harbour? I do not claim innocence for myself; the ego is indeed an inciter to evil, save when my Lord shows mercy; my Lord is indeed Forgiving, Merciful. O God! I seek Your protection against my committing idolatry [shirk] knowingly, and Your forgiveness for that of which I am not aware! I ask God to make me and all other believers benefit from this Blog and to render my production of it purely for the sake of His Noble Countenance.

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