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1,001 Sayings and Deeds of the Prophet

Dining Does and Don'ts

Conservative believers like you find in Saudi Arabia will still not use toilet paper to clean themselves. They use their left hand, just like the Prophet did. For such faithful imitators of the personification of the perfect human being, his insistence you use your right hand when plowing into a communal dish of victuals is a reasonable one; not to avoid spreading germs whose existence was not revealed by Allah, but so as not to change the taste and appearance of the food.

I would assume that God's Messenger's admonition, in the following hadith, to eat only from the dish closest to you does not preclude you're asking that a dish not within easy reach be brought closer.

Narrated Umar bin Abi Salama:

I was a boy under the care of Allah's Apostle and my hand used to go around the dish while I was eating. So Allah's Apostle said to me, "O 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.

Bukhari 65.288

Vegetarians are not Muslims!

Narrated Anas bin Malik:

Allah's Apostle said, "Whoever prays like us and faces our Quibla and eats our slaughtered animals is a Muslim and is under Allah's and His Apostle's protection. So do not betray Allah by betraying those who are in His protection."

Bukhari 8.386

A sit down dinner with flat bread as accompaniment  was out of the question for God's Messenger, as was eating out of a plate.

Narrated Anas bin Malik:

The Prophet never took his meals at a dining table, nor in small plates, and he never ate thin well-baked bread.

The sub-narrator asked Qatada, "Over what did they use to take their meals?"

Qatada said, "On leather dining sheets."

Bukhari 65.326

If the Prophet had to stand while eating, he did not lean against anything.

Narrated Abu Juhaifa:

Allah's Apostle said, "I do not take my meals while leaning (against something)."

Bukhari 65.310

Finger licking is good, especially if someone else does it!

Narrated Ibn 'Abbas:

The Prophet said, "When you eat, do not wipe your hands till you have licked it, or had it licked by somebody else."

Bukhari 65.366

As you can imagine, in one of the hottest spot on earth, you could not appreciate enough the one who quenched your thirst.

Narrated Abu Umama:

Whenever the Prophet finished his meals (or when his dining sheet was taken away), he used to say. "Praise be to Allah Who has satisfied our needs and quenched our thirst. Your favor cannot be compensated or denied."

Once he said, "Praise be to You, O our Lord! Your favor cannot be compensated, nor can be left, nor can be dispensed with, O our Lord!"

Bukhari 65.369

Utensils as an abomination in this world and an amenity in the next.

Narrated 'Abdur-Rahman bin Abi Laila:

We were sitting in the company of Hudhaifa who asked for water and a Magian brought him water. But when he placed the cup in his hand, he threw it at him and said, "Had I not forbidden him to do so more than once or twice?"

He wanted to say, "I would not have done so," adding, "but I heard the Prophet saying, "Do not wear silk or Dibaja, and do not drink in silver or golden vessels, and do not eat in plates of such metals, for such things are for the unbelievers in this worldly life and for us in the Hereafter."

Bukhari 65.337

Narrated Um Salama: (the wife of the Prophet)

Allah's Apostle said, "He who drinks in silver utensils is only filling his abdomen with Hell Fire."

Bukhari 69.538

If you must eat using an unbeliever's utensils make sure to wash them first. Don’t snicker at the questions asked God’s Messenger, including the one about eating game killed by an arrow or brought down by a trained or untrained dog; but consider how successful he was in getting his followers not to think for themselves no matter the activity. It’s quite astounding, really!

Narrated Abu Tha'laba Al-Khushani:

I said, "O Allah's Prophet! We are living in a land ruled by the people of the Scripture; Can we take our meals in their utensils? In that land there is plenty of game and I hunt the game with my bow and with my hound that is not trained and with my trained hound. Then what is lawful for me to eat?"

He said, "As for what you have mentioned about the people of the Scripture, if you can get utensils other than theirs, do not eat out of theirs, but if you cannot get other than theirs, wash their utensils and eat out of it.

If you hunt an animal with your bow after mentioning Allah's Name, eat of it. and if you hunt something with your trained hound after mentioning Allah's Name, eat of it, and if you hunt something with your untrained hound (and get it before it dies) and slaughter it, eat of it."

Bukhari 67.387

Death often causes an evacuation of the bowels and bladder which will remain in the dish after you have removed the corpse. I am not sure I would want to eat from a dish in which a mouse, or any creature has died.

Narrated Maimuna:

The Prophet was asked about a mouse that had fallen into butter-fat (and died). He said, "Throw away the mouse and the portion of butter-fat around it, and eat the rest."

Bukhari 67.448

It's not only eating with your right hand that is a must when dining, every action must be from right to left.

Narrated Anas bin Malik:

I saw Allah's Apostle drinking milk. He came to my house and I milked a sheep and then mixed the milk with water from the well for Allah's Apostle. He took the bowl and drank while on his left there was sitting Abu Bakr, and on his right there was a Bedouin.

He then gave the remaining milk to the Bedouin and said, "The right! The right (first)."

Bukhari 69.516

You should not object to a neighbour sticking a peg in the wall of his house; but his pressing his lips on the mouth of a water-filled container when drinking is quite another matter.

Narrated Abu Huraira:

Allah's Apostle forbade drinking directly from the mouth of a water skin or other leather containers and forbade preventing one's neighbor from fixing a peg in (the wall of) one's house.

Bukhari 69.531

It's okay to drink standing up.

Narrated An-Nazzal:

Ali came to the gate of the courtyard (of the Mosque) and drank (water) while he was standing and said, "Some people dislike to drink while standing, but I saw the Prophet doing (drinking water) as you have seen me doing now."

Bukhari 69.519

If offered a choice between a glass of milk or a glass of wine, or a choice between a bowl of milk, a bowl honey or a bowl of wine always pick the milk.

Narrated Abu Huraira:

On the night Allah's Apostle was taken on a night journey (Miraj) two cups, one containing wine and the other milk, were presented to him at Jerusalem. He looked at it and took the cup of milk.

Gabriel said, "Praise be to Allah Who guided you to Al-Fitra (the right path); if you had taken (the cup of) wine, your nation would have gone astray."

Bukhari 69.482

Narrated Ibn 'Abbas:

Allah's Apostle drank milk and then rinsed his mouth and said, "It contains fat."

The Prophet added: "I was raised to the Lote Tree and saw four rivers, two of which were coming out and two going in. Those which were coming out were the Nile and the Euphrates, and those which were going in were two rivers in Paradise. Then I was given three bowls, one containing milk, and another containing honey, and a third containing wine. I took the bowl containing milk and drank it."

It was said to me, "You and your followers will be on the right path (of Islam)."

Bukhari 69.514

A drunk and disorderly believer will not always do as he is told. An excellent reason for a man who wants to control every aspect of his followers’ existence to band intoxicating beverages.

Narrated Aisha:

The Prophet said, "All drinks that produce intoxication are Haram (forbidden to drink).

Bukhari 4:243

Should you not  be clear on the concept:

Narrated Abu Al-Juwairiyya:

I asked Ibn 'Abbas about Al-Badhaq. He said, "Muhammad prohibited alcoholic drinks before It was called Al-Badhaq (by saying), 'Any drink that intoxicates is unlawful.'"

I said, "What about good lawful drinks?"

He said, "Apart from what is lawful and good, all other things are unlawful and not good (unclean Al-Khabith)."

Bukhari 69.503

The Prophet extended Allah's prohibition of alcoholic beverages to the containers in which it was served, but had second thoughts about prohibiting jars altogether, except perhaps green jars.

Narrated Abdullah bin 'Amr:

When the Prophet forbade the use of certain containers (that were used for preparing alcoholic drinks), somebody said to the Prophet . "But not all the people can find skins." So he allowed them to use clay jars not covered with pitch.

Bukhari 69.497

Narrated Ash-Shaibani:

I heard Abdullah bin Abi Aufa saying, "The Prophet forbade the use of green jars."

I said, "Shall we drink out of white jars?"

He said, "No."

Bukhari 69.501

Domesticated donkey is forbidden, but not the wild variety e.g. onager.

Narrated Salama bin Al-Akwa:

On the day of Khaibar the Prophet saw fires being lighted. He asked, "Why are these fires being lighted?"

The people replied that they were cooking the meat of donkeys.

He said, "Break the pots and throw away their contents."

The people said, "Shall we throw away their contents and wash the pots (rather than break them)?"

He said, "Wash them."

Bukhari B 43.657

Horse meat is okay.

Narrated Jabir bin Abdullah:

On the day of Khaibar, Allah's Apostle forbade the eating of donkey meat and allowed the eating of horse meat.

Bukhari 59.530

If you have eaten any of the prohibited meats or even drank alcohol before Allah's new dietary restrictions came to affect, you will not be assessed any sins; just don't do it again!

Narrated Anas:

I used to offer alcoholic drinks to the people at the residence of Abu Talha. Then the order of prohibiting alcoholic drinks was revealed, and the Prophet ordered somebody to announce that.

Abu Talha said to me, "Go out and see what this voice (this announcement) is."

I went out and (on coming back) said, "This is somebody announcing that alcoholic beverages have been prohibited."

Abu Talha said to me, "Go and spill it (i.e. the wine)," Then it (alcoholic drinks) was seen flowing through the streets of Medina. At that time the wine was Al-Fadikh.

The people said, "Some people (Muslims) were killed (during the battle of Uhud) while wine was in their stomachs." So Allah revealed: "On those who believe and do good deeds there is no blame for what they ate (in the past)." (5:93)

Bukhari 60.144

If you are unsure about whether Allah's name has been mentioned over what you are about to eat, do the obvious!

Narrated Aisha:

Some people said, "O Allah's Apostle! Meat is brought to us by some people and we are not sure whether the name of Allah has been mentioned on it or not (at the time of slaughtering the animals)."

Allah's Apostle said (to them), "Mention the name of Allah and eat it."

Bukhari 34.273

Be sure to also thank God for the hunting dog which caught that day’s dinner if you do not want to commit a sin by eating it.

Narrated Adi bin Hatim:

... I asked, "O Allah's Apostle! I release my dog by the name of Allah and find with it at the game, another dog on which I have not mentioned the name of Allah, and I do not know which one of them caught the game."

Allah's Apostle said (to him), "Don't eat it as you have mentioned the name of Allah on your dog and not on the other dog."

Bukhari 34.270

A dog has caught the game “for itself” if it takes one or more bites out of it, thereby making it unlawful to eat; the same for game taken down by a pack. It is however lawful to eat carrion (meat that has been dead a number of days) if it has been killed by an arrow and the animal has not wandered into the water to die.

Narrated Adi bin Hatim:

The Prophet said, "If you let loose your hound after a game and mention Allah's Name on sending it, and the hound catches the game and kills it, then you can eat of it. But if the hound eats of it, then you should not eat thereof, for the hound has caught it for itself.

And if along with your hound, join other hounds, and Allah's Name was not mentioned at the time of their sending, and they catch an animal and kill it, you should not eat of it, for you will not know which of them has killed it.

And if you have thrown an arrow at the game and then find it (dead) two or three days later and, it bears no mark other than the wound inflicted by your arrow, then you can eat of it. But if the game is found (dead) in water, then do not eat of it."

And it has also been narrated by Adi bin Hatim that he asked the Prophet "If a hunter throws an arrow at the game and after tracing it for two or three days he finds it dead but still bearing his arrow, (can he eat of it)?"

The Prophet replied, "He can eat if he wishes."

Bukhari 67.393

The meat may be halal, but perhaps not the hide.

Narrated Ibn Abbas:

The Prophet saw a dead sheep which had been given in charity to a freed slave girl of Maimuna, the wife of the Prophet. The Prophet said, "Why don't you get the benefit of its hide?"

They said, "It is dead."

He replied, "Only to eat (its meat) is illegal."

Bukhari 24.569

A hadith you may remember from Bible Stories – Eve’s Burden as to why meat goes bad and women cheat on their husbands:

Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet said, "Were it not for Bani (children of) Israel, meat would not decay; and were it not for Eve, no woman would ever betray her husband."

Bukhari 55.611

The Prophet as chef:

Narrated Abu Qatada:

The Prophet forbade the mixing of ripe and unripe dates and also the mixing of dates and raisins (for preparing a syrup) but the syrup of each kind of fruit should be prepared separately. (One may have such drinks as long as it is fresh )

Bukhari 69.507