The proper etiquette or manner of eating are very essential part of our live. As each country have their own culture and custom, they also have their own manner of eating. Eating is very important for someone health including drinking, therefore we need to pay more attention of this activity. This activity play significant role for our lifestyle, health, including our physical appearance and even our mind. Great and healthy food will bring healthy body and mind.
How Islam Sees Eating Etiquette
As for Islam we have The Prophet SAW, who always gives us guidance and example including how to eat in a proper manner. The Prophet always give us a good example and it is always have a significant impact to ourselves in a good way. As mentioned in the following hadith,
Narrated by Umar ibn Abi Salma (May Allah be please with him): I was a boy under the care of Allah’s Messenger and my hand use to go around the dish (as I was eating) so Allah’s Messenger said to me, ‘Oh boy, Mention the Name of Allah and eat with your right hand, and eat of the dish what is nearer to you.’ Since then I have applied those instructions when eating.
From the above hadith, it is explained that the most important manner that must be applied before or while eating are as follows,
- To mention the name of Allah SWT before we start to eat “bismillah” (in the name of Allah)
- To use our right hand for eating and with three fingers (thumb, index finger, and middle finger). Eat accordingly with a small bite is recommended.
- To eat what close to us first. It means that when you eat with group of people, and serves with meal, it is better for us to eat from the edge of the dish which close to us. Rather than eating from the edge of others who are eating with us. Since it’s considered as a bad manner, inappropriate, or impolite.
Narrated By Anas bin Malik: “A tailor invited the Prophet (SAW) to a meal which he had prepared, and I went along with the Prophet (SAW). The tailor presented barley bread and soup containing gourd (kind of pumpkin) and cured meat. I saw the Prophet picking the pieces of gourd from around the dish.”(Bukhari and Muslim)
Reasons Why Eating Etiquette From Prophet Are Good For Health
Now let us learn more deeply, why this etiquette are very important for people. We know that the Prophet always give us good example, and it must have a great meanings of why he give us that example.
Since food is very important and play significant role for human, therefore Islam must teach us how to maintain it carefully. Rasulullah as our example have given us many guidance of eating in proper were good things are contained in the Prophet’s teachings.
Here we would like to discuss about why eating etiquette from Prophet are good for health, let’s begin with the following explanation :
1. Eat with three fingers keep us balanced
Eating with our three fingers psychologically help us to eat carefully and not greedily. Therefore we will eat enough and balanced.
2. Eat with three fingers are healthy according to science
Eat with three fingers including thumb, index finger, and middle finger are scientifically healthy. By using three fingers, food eaten by human will be balanced with the amount enzyme. Amylase and lysozyme produced by saliva will be more leverage on digesting food. This will help food digestion easily and softer so as to facilitate the work of the digestive organs.
3. Licking our fingers after eating food
It is narrated from the hadith reported by Ka’b bin Malik that Rasulullah always lick his finger after eating as follows,
“I saw Messenger of Allah eating with three fingers and licking them after having finished the food.”Narrated by Muslim
Licking fingers after eating is proven to stimulate body to produce enzyme for digesting food. This will make our digestion become more perfect.
4. Leave no leftover at the table will prevent bacteria and germs carried by flies
Leftover could easily attract flies which usually carry thousands of bacteria and germ. If we leave no food in the table, the potential for flies to fly around will decrease.
And from Anas reported as follows,
“Whenever Messenger of Allah ate food, he would lick his three fingers and say, ‘If anyone of you drops a morsel of food, he should remove any dirt that may have stuck in and then eat it, and should not leave it for Satan.’ He also commanded us that we should glean the pot, saying, ‘You do not know in which part of your food the blessings lies.'”Narrated by Muslim
5. Washing hands before eating
Indeed we know that in hand there must be so many germs and bacteria since we used it in daily activity. Islam always teach us to keep our personal hygiene and cleanliness. Therefore we are recommended to wash our hands prior eating. Our hands involved in every day’s activities which increases potential for germs and bacteria to stick in. Water and soap will help us to release this germs and bacteria so that it does not enter the stomach.
6. Eating with hands
Spoon or eating utensil may clean from germ and bacteria, but this will only happened under certain conditions. Like sterile storage, suitable temperature, and perfect washing. But using hands is different since we continue to wash our hands before eating, and does not need any special treatment.
7. Finish eating before we are full
It is very important for our health to finish eating before our stomach begin to full. Eating excessively proven to be the trigger of obesity, or other disease. Therefore we should eat with small portion or enough for doing activity.
8. Don’t eat too hastily
It will give digestion organs bad effects, chew your food calmly until it’s easy to digest. This will make the food digested and absorbed perfectly by the body.
9. Washing hands after eating
It is clear that after finish eating we should wash our hands to maintain personal hygiene and remove the odor inherent in the hand.
10. Rinsing our mouth after eating
The reason of rinsing our mouth after eating is to remove any leftover food left in the mouth and also help us to avoid oral disease and maintain oral and dental hygiene.
11. Sitting while eating
“Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, ‘I do not eat reclining (against a pillow).'”Narrated by Bukhari
Apart from the sunnah above, sitting while eating is scientifically proven to be great for our health. It prevent our stomach to be sick or weakening.
And those are the reasons why eating etiquette from Prophet are good for health. Hope that you can gain more knowledge from this articles!