the description of the eating of
Sayyidina Rasulullah Saliallahu "Alayhi Wasallam
A few of the eating and table
manners of Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam are mentioned
in this chapter. Five ahaadith are mentioned herein.
Hadith Number 1.
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 cormmentators
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.
Hadith Number 2.
Radiyallahu 'Anhu says: "Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam used
to lick his three fingers after having eaten".
It was the noble habbit 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 (rnorsel) 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.
Hadith Number 3.
Juhayfah Radiyallahu 'Anhu says: "Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallain
said: 'I do not lean and eat"'.
This hadith has been discussed in a previous chapter.
Haadith Number 4.
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. The 'ulama have mentioned many
benefits in this method (sequence). The first is that the licking of the
fingers will run in a manner where it goes to the right. The Sha-haadah
finger will be on the right of the middle finger. The second is that the
middle finger is long, therefore it will be more contaminated. For this
reason it is oppropriate to begin with this finger. Khattaabi says: 'Some
foolish people do not like to lick the fingers, and think it disgraceful,
but they do not reason that the food that is on the finger is the same
that they have been eating, there is nothing new on it'. Ibn Hajar says:
'If someone thinks of his own deed as disgraceful, it could be discussed.
But to think of any act of Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallasm
as disgraceful, could be dangerous and may even lead to kufr (disbelief).
-Jam'ul Wasaa-il. In reality these things have alot to do with habit.
If one has a habit of something, it does not matter, and one will not
even take notice of it. This is why if one naturally feels these deeds
to be disgraceful, then too one should try to form a habit of it, (and
should remind one's self that it is sunnah of Sayyidina Rasulullah (Sallallahu
'Alayhi Wasallam)). Once when this humble servant went to Hijaaz (Saudi
Arabia), a few who had not been to India asked me surprisingly and with
great astonishment, that we hear that there is a fruit in India known
as the Mangoe. We hear such disgusting things about it that it surprises
us. It is put to the mouth and sucked, it is removed then put to the mouth
and sucked again, It is again removed looked at, and sucked again. They
were describing it with such disgust that it seemed they were about to
vomit. An Indian will not feel anything disgusting about it. There are
many such examples. One takes a spoonfull of custard and puts it into
the mouth, then puts the same spoon which has some saliva on it, into
the plate again, eating from it a second and third time. There are countless
other instances where a person is used to a certain way and manner and
does not feel the least disgusted about it.
Hadith Number 5
bin Maalik (Radiyallahu anhu) says: "Dates were presented to Rasulullah
(Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam). I saw him eating them. Due to hunger he
was sitting on the support of something and not on his own support".
That means he was supporting his back on a wall or something. It has been
prohibited in the Ahaadith to lean on something and eat. Here it was due
to weakness, therefore it cannot be said that it is contrary to the ahaadith
prohibiting it, nor can it be reasoned from this hadeeth that it is permissable
to lean and eat.
taken (with Thanks) from Darul-uloom Bury