1. Kaa'b bin Maalik Radiyallahu 'Anhu says: "Rasulullah Sallallabu 'Alayhi Wasallam licked his fingers thrice (after eating)".
After eating it is mustahab to lick the fingers before washing the hands. According to some authorities, due to this narration it is mustahab to lick the fingers thrice. Mulla 'Ali Qaari says three times is not meant here, but that three-fingers should be licked, as will be stated in another narration. Therefore, another narration of Sayyidina Kaa'b bin Maalik Radiyallahu 'Anhu is also mentioned in this chapter. Some commentators of the hadith say that it is a separate etiquette to lick the fingers thrice, so that it becomes completely clean, and in another narration where three fingers are mentioned, is also one of the etiquettes.
2. Anas Radiyallahu 'Anhu says: "Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam used to lick his three fingers after having eaten".
It was the noble habit of Sayydina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam to eat with three fingers only. Although we find in a few narrations that he used five fingers also. In most narrations the three fingers; thumb, and middle fingers are mentioned. The benefit of eating with three fingers is that the amount taken (morsel) will be less, and one will not eat more. Imaam Nawawi says: 'We gather from these ahaadith that it is mustahab to eat with three fingers'. For this reason the fourth and fifth fingers should not be used unnecessarily. But if such food is eaten, where it is difficult to use only the three fingers, then there is no harm in using more. Mulla 'Ali Qaari has written that to eat with five fingers is a sign of greediness. Many a time due to the morsel being big, it results in the stomach being unnecessarily strained, it is also the reason for food getting stuck in the throat.
3. Abu Juhayfah Radiyallahu 'Anhu says: "Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallain said: 'I do not lean and eat'".
4. Ka'b bin Maalik Radiyallahu 'Anhu says: "It was the noble habit of Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallamn to use three fingers whilst eating and-he also licked them".
It has been mentioned in some narrations that he first licked the middle finger, then the sha-haadah finger, then the thumb. It was the noble habit of the master to use these three fingers.
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