Some etiquettes of the Prophet (peace be upon him) concerning food
27 Aug 2011 09:43 GMT
 
I would like to clarify whether certain things are actually Sunnah regarding food. I read in Sahîh al-Bukhârî that the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not eat thin bread and roasted sheep? Is it a prohibition? Also, is there a hadîth which states that the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not eat two consecutive meals in his whole life.

Answered by

Sheikh Muhammad al-Qannâs

Before answering your question, I would like to mention some of the good mannerisms of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and some of his personal preferences regarding the partaking of food.

1. He used to eat what he found available. He would not ask for what was not available.

2. He never criticized any food. Abû Hurayrah said: “The Prophet (peace be upon him) never dishonored any food. If he liked it, he would eat it; if not he would leave it."

3. When food was not available for the Prophet (peace be upon him), he would suffer from hunger until people could hear it in his voice. He would also tie a stone to his belly due to hunger. It was related that `Aishah said: “I swear by Allah, O my niece, (addressing her niece `Urwah b. al-Zubayr), we would see month after month after month without having a cooking fire in the houses of the Prophet (peace be upon him).

`Urwah asked: "How did you survive, my aunt?"

She said: "We survived on water and dates. And some of our neighbors had cattle and they used to provide us with some of its milk.”

4. The Prophet (peace be upon him) encouraged his people to be moderate in taking food. He said: “A person does not fill any vessel worse than his stomach. A few morsels to support him is enough for him. But if he is insisting on having more food, then he should allocate one third of his stomach for food, one third for drink, and one third for air." [Musnad Ahmad and Sunan al-Tirmidhî]

As for some of the foods that the Prphet (peace be upon him) liked to eat, `Aishah said: “The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to like sweets and honey.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî].

He used to eat the cooked and grilled meat. It is authentically related that `Amr b. Umayyah saw the Prophet (peace be upon him) cutting a piece of lamb’s shoulder, and when they called him for prayer he put it down together with the knife. It is also authentically related that someone brought meat to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and he ate some lamb shoulder. It is clearly related in Sahîh al-Bukhârî that he used to eat grilled meat.

He also ate bread soaked in soup as well as winter squash. It is also authentically related that he used to combine between two kinds of fruits by eating, for instance, watermelon with dates.

This is a brief description of the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) way of eating. Now, we talk about the hadîth mentioned in the above question.

`Aishah said: “From the time they went to Madinah, the family of the Prophet (peace be upon him) never had their fill of wheat-based food for three continuous nights until he died.”

There are two qualifications mentioned here. The first is that they never got their fill for three days in a row. This means that they did eat their fill on many occasions, just never three days in a row.

The second is regarding wheat. They were not eating their fill of wheat, either because the available quantities on hand were not much at the time or because they used to give preference to others over themselves.

At the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him), soft bread was not available. It was related in Sahîh al-Bukhârî that sieves did not exist at the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him). They used to blow over the barley to prepare it for baking.

It is, therefore, not upon you to imitate in the matters mentioned in this hadîth.

And Allah knows best.

Source: Islam Today



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