By: Moulana Muhammad bin Haroon
We eat and drink several times a day. By implementing the sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) we can gain maximum reward for these mundane activities.
10 Sunnahs of Eating
- To wash both the hands before and after meals. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Hadith: 3755)
- To sit on the floor (Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 5386)
- To sit in one of the following three postures;
- In the Tashahud position (like in Salah) (Fathul Bari, Hadith: 5399).
- Same as above with the right knee raised, (Ibid; Takhrijul Ihyaa, Hadith: 1304) and
- In the squatting posture (Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 5299).
- To eat with the fingers (thumb, index and middle fingers). (Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 5265 and Majma’uz Zawaid)
- To take the name of Allah before eating. (Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 5376)
- To eat with the right hand. (Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 5376)
- To eat from the closest part of the plate and not from the middle. (Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 5376)
- As far as possible, to eat collectively from one plate. (Ibn Kathir Surah 24, Ayah 61; Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith: 3287)
- To clean every bit of food left on the plate and to lick the fingers before washing them. (Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 5268)
- To recite the various Masnun du’as after meals. One of them is, ‘Alhamdulillahil ladhiy at’amana wa saqana wa ja’alana muslimin’. (Sunan Abi Dawud)
10 Sunnahs of Drinking
- To sit and drink. (Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 6452 and Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 5242, 5247). Zamzam water and left over water in the utensil used for wudu are excluded from this.
- To drink with the right hand. (Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 5380; Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 5233)
- To take 3 sips (or more in odd numbers). (Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 5631; Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 5255)
- To say Bismillah before drinking. (Sahih Bukhari and Al Adhkar; Fathul Bari vol.10 pg.117)
- To say Alhamdulillah after drinking. (Ibnus Sunni, Hadith: 472; Majma’uz Zawaid vol.5 pg.81; Sunan Tirmidhi, Hadith: 1885; Fathul Bari vol.10 pg.117 Hadith: 5631)
- If there are several people who are going to share the drink, it should be given to the one on the right. (Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 5612; Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 5257)
- The one who is distributing the water (or food) should himself drink after everyone. (Sunan Tirmidhi, Hadith: 1894)
- To recite the following Du’a after drinking, ‘Alhamdulillahil ladhiy at’ama wa saqa, wa sawwaghahu wa ja’ala lahu makhraja.’ (Sunan Abi Dawud, Hadith: 3847). This du’a could also be recited after eating. (Ibid)
- One may also recite: Alhamdulillahil ladhy saqani ‘adhban furatan bi rahmatihi walam yaj’alhu milhan ujajan bi dhunubi. (Ibnus Sunni and Tabarani)
- After drinking milk to recite ‘Allahumma barik lana fihi wa zidna minhu’. (Sunan Abi Dawud, Hadith: 3723; Sunan Tirmidhi, Hadith: 3455; Ibnus Sunni,Hadith 474).
Food and drink are a blessing from Allah. By implementing the Sunnah and avoiding wastage, we would be physically expressing Shukr (gratitude) to Allah.