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15 Rules for Eating in Islam According to Sunnah

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Manners of eating has become an important part in everyone’s life, regardless of their religions. The way how someone is eating define his manner and affecting our lifestyle strongly. Our character even could be judged by how we eat. Islam is one of the religion that is famous for a strict eating rules.


Our Prophet (SAW) has given us flawless example on how we should eat and drink. Here are the rules for eating as how the Prophet (SAW) used to do:

1. Washing the Hands Before Eating

Before we touch any of the food, we must washing clean our hands first. We never know how many dirt and bacteria in our hand. We need to clean them first so that the other people who eats with us will not get the dirt. Bacteria and dirt that live in our hands can cause some serious disease for us.

2. Hastening the Food Served by the Host

When we are visiting other people’s home and got offered foods, it’s better to eat them hasten. As the host show a hospitality to us, they will get disappointed if we do not touch their food. They might think badly of us. Hastening to eat the food makes the host feel lighter and happier.

3. Mentioning Allah’s Name Before Eating

Mentioning Allah’s name before eating is a must. As narrated from Umm Kalthoom from ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

“When any one of you eats, let him mention the name of Allaah. If he forgets to mention the name of Allaah at the beginning, then let him say ‘Bismillaahi awwalahu wa aakhirahu (In the name of Allaah at the beginning and at the end).’” – Tirmidhi

4. Eat Using the Right Hand

The Prophet (SAW) himself used to eat using his right hand, as narrated from Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

“No one among you should eat with his left hand, or drink with it, for the Shaytaan eats with his left hand and drinks with it.” – Muslim

5. Eating the Food That Right in Front

While we are eating, eat the food that placed right in front of us, not a food that placed in front of someone else. The Prophet (SAW) once said to Umar ibn Abi Salamah,

“O young boy, say Bismillaah, eat with your right hand, and eat from what is directly in front of you.”- Bukhari.

Eating what’s in front of other person is considered impolite, as Ibn ‘Abbaas narrated, Prophet (SAW) said:

“The blessing descends in the middle of the food, so eat from the edges and do not eat from the middle.” – Tirmidhi

6. Rinse the Mouth After Eat

It was also said that rinsing the mouth after eating is a must, as how the Prophet used to do. A story come from Basheer ibn Yashaar whom narrated the story of Suwayd ibn Al Nu’maan. The Prophet was eating some barley mush when the prayer’s time is coming.

After eating some, the Prophet (SAW) then asked for water and rinsed his mouth, directly performing prayer without doing Wudu’.

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7. Eat Using Three Fingers

Eat using three of five fingers is Sunnah, so it is allowed if we prefer to eat with with spoon. If we are eat using more than three fingers, it considered as a sign of greed, and also showing a bad manner. But when the food is light and can’t be gathered with three fingers, he is allowed to use the fourth or the fifth.

8. Not Eating with Reclining

The Prophet (SAW) never reclining whenever he is eating, as he said.

 “I do not eat whilst I am reclining.” – Bukhari

So following the Prophet’s (SAW) example, we should eat with our back straight, not with leaning on a side or resting one of our arm on the ground.

9. Don’t Criticize the Food

Prophet Muhammad (SAW) never criticized any foods. When he likes it, he eat it. But when he doesn’t like it, he left without any words. Beside, good food and delicious food is solely based on preference. A food that considered as tasty by someone, could be not tasty according to someone else.

As well as things like thick, thin, salty, too sweet, or not well cooked, it is all according to personal preference. We better keep it inside in order to not offending the cooker.

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10. Stopped Eating Before Full

The Prophet has taught us to eat moderately.

 “A man does not fill any vessel worse than his stomach. It is sufficient for the son of Adam to eat enough to keep him alive. But if he must do that, then one-third for his food, one-third for his drink and one-third for his air.” – Tirmidhi

More Rules for Eating in Islam

  • Don’t drink or eat from a gold and silver made platter and goblet, because it’s haram in Islam.
  • Don’t forget to say Alhamdulillah after eat, because all the food that we are able to eat is due to Allah SWT.
  • Eat only the Halal food and never touched the haram ones. We must know what is allowed and what is not allowed to eat. Such as pork, animals living in two worlds, and also cats and dogs.
  • Eat meat only when it’s labeled halal. Because it means the meat is slaughtered in Islamic way, by mentioning Allah’s name. Not mentioning Allah’s name before slaughtering animals make the in pain.
  • Alcohol is haram in Islam, even though it’s only one drop. Make sure that the food we eat doesn’t involve any kind of alcohol in the middle of cooking.

After reading the rules for eating in Islam, we might become aware that all these time we haven’t done eating rightly and probably still far away from how the Prophet (SAW) used to do. But it’s always better late than never. We could start from now on, following the Sunnah from the Prophet (SAW) in our eating manners.

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