Islam is a deen–a complete, total, and comprehensive way of life. Islam teaches us everything, from how to worship Allah (سبحانه وتعال), to how to eat, sleep, socialize, govern a state, perform financial transactions, everything!
What, then, are some of the etiquettes of eating?
‘Umar bin Abu Salamah (رضي الله عنه) reported: Messenger of Allah (صلي الله عليه وسلم), said to me, “Mention Allah’s Name (i.e., say Bismillah before you start eating), eat with your right hand, and eat from what is near you.”
From this hadith, we deduce three etiquettes:
- Say bismillah before you start eating
- Eat with your right hand
- Eat what’s closest to you–don’t grab that tasty tidbit from the opposite side of the plate!
But what if you forget to say bismillah? What should you do then?
‘Aisha (رضي الله عنها) reported: Messenger of Allah (صلي الله عليه وسلم) said, “When any of you wants to eat, he should mention the Name of Allah in the beginning, (i.e., say bismillah). If he forgets to do it in the beginning, he should say: Bismillah fiy awwalihi wa akhirihi (I begin with the Name of Allah at the beginning and at the end).”
May Allah (سبحانه وتعال) allow us all to understand and comprehend the greatness and completeness of our perfect and eternal deen, ameen!