Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Eating: Before and After

1. Abu Ayyub Ansaari Radiyallahu'Anhu reports: "We were once present in the assembly of Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam. Food was brought to him. 1 did not observe any food that had so much barakah at the beginning and at the end of which there was no barakah left in the food. We therefore asked Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam reason?. He replied: 'In the beginning we all recited 'Bismillah' before we began eating. Then someone in the end joined us, and did not recite ''Bismillah'. The shaytaan ate with him'".

According to the majority of the 'ulama, by the word 'Sh'aytaan eating the actual meaning is intended. It is not impossible for the shaytaan to eat and drink. In this hadith only Bismillah is mentioned, therefore the 'ulama say, if one only recites Bismillah before eating, it will suffice, but it is better and recommended that the full 'Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim' be recited. The 'ulama have also written that it is better to say the bismillah audibly so that others who may have forgotten may also remember it.

2. Aayeshah radiyallahu 'Anha says: "Rasulullah Sallallahli 'Alayi Wasallam said: 'When one eats and has forgotten to recite 'Bismillah', then when one remembers while eating, one should recite 'Bismillahi awwalahu wa aa-khirahu'".

3. Umar bin Abi Salamah Radiyallahu 'Anhu came to Rasululah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam while food had been served to him. Rasulullah Saliallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam said: "O my Son come near, recite Bismillah, and eat with your right hand from that portion which is in front of you".

The 'ulama are unanimous that it is sunnah to recite 'Bismillah'. According to the majority it is sunnah to eat with the right hand, and some say it is waajib. The reason being Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam cursed a person who ate with his left hand, subsequently that persons hand became paralysed. This exemplary incident is mentioned in the kitaabs of hadith,that a person was eating with the left hand. Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam advised him to eat with the right hand. He replied: 'I cannot eat with the right hand'. Sayyidina Rasulullah Saliallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam said: 'You will not be able to eat with it in the future also'. After that, his right hand did not reach his mouth. In another narration it is related that Sayyidina RasulIullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam once saw a woman eating with her left hand. 'Sayidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam cursed her, the woman died in a plague. It is stated in Ibn Maajah that Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallailahu 'Alayhi Wasallam said: 'The shaytaan eats with the left hand, therefore do not eat with the left hand'. According to some 'ulama, because of this narration, it is waajib to eat with the right hand. The majority of the 'ulama say it is sunnaah. Nevertheless, due to these ahaadith strict importance should be paid to eating with the right hand. Nowadays people do not pay head to this, especially when drinking water (and tea). This disease has spread wildly. Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam has commanded, 'Eat with the right hand and drink with the right hand because the shaytaan eats and drinks with the left hand'. In the same manner according to some 'ulama it is waajib to eat from one's ownside (the food that is before one), but according to the majority it is sunnah.

4. Abu Sa'eed Khudari Radiyallahu 'Anhu says: "After eating Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam read this du'aa:

Alhamdulillaahil-ladhi at-amanaa wa-saqaa-naa wa-ja-a-lanaa muslimeen.


Praise be to Allah who fed us, and gave us drink and made us muslims".

It is evident that after eating we must thank Allah and as stated in the Qur-aan: '...if you give thanks to Me I will increase for you'. - Surah Ebrahim, 7.

This an opportunity for giving-thanks. The word 'made us Muslims' is included because together with worldly favours, Allah has granted us spiritual favours by making us Muslims. Or because in reality the offering of thanks for eating and drinking and also the praising and thanking of Allah is the result of Islaam. Therefore this too has been included.

5. Abu Umaamah Radiyallahu-'Anhu says: "When the dastarkhaan (table cloth) was being removed in the presence of Rasulullah Sallailahu 'Alayhi Wasallam, Rasulullah Saliallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam recited this du'aa:

Alhamdulillaahi hamdan kathiran tayyiban mubaarakan fihi-ghayra mu-wadda-in wa-laa mus-taghnan 'anhu rabbuna.


Praise be to Allah, abundant, excellent, blessed praise! Unceasing, never parting, indispensable (praise), Lord of us".

6. Anas Radiyallahu 'Anhu relates from Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam that, Allah Ta'aala is pleased with that servant who eats one morsel (bite) or drinks one sip and gives thanks to Him.

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