Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
I have heard that blowing on your food with the purpose of cooling it down is haram/disliked.
Can you please explain whether or not it is forbidden or disliked.
I hope you are in the best of health and spirits, insha’Allah.
It is not disliked (makruh) to blow upon one’s food — as long as it is done without a sound. [‘Ala al-Din ‘Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-‘Ala’iyya]
The Fatawa Hindiyya, too, mentions a quote from the Nawadir in which Qadi Abu Yusuf was asked whether or not it was disliked to blow upon food; he responded that it was not, as long as it was done without a sound.
The upshot is that it would be better, from the sunna and closer to proper manners, to wait for one’s food or drink to cool down before eating/drinking.
The Traditions (hadiths) interdicting Blowing upon Food and Drink
There are a number of prophetic traditions (hadiths) that outwardly seem to interdict blowing upon food and into drinking vessels.
Ibn ‘Abbas said that, “The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) interdicted blowing into food and drink.” [Musnad Ahmad] Munawi explains that blowing indicates excessive greediness and a lack of patience. [Munawi, Fayd al-Qadir Sharh al-Jami‘ al-Saghir]
Moreover, a number of the hadith commentators clarify this, and similar traditions, by quoting Muhallab who said that the interdiction is due to the fact that saliva may fall into the food or drink and it could well put oneself, and specifically others, off the food. However, as for eating or drinking alone, with one’s family and the like (i.e. those who would not be put off the food were anything to fall into it) there would be no harm in doing so. [Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani, Fath al-Bari]
Consuming Food while Hot
Others have said that eating very hot food (or by extension drink) causes the blessing (baraka) to lessen or even leave, as is understood from some traditions (hadiths) from the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace).
Bayhaqi, in his Sunan al-Kubra, mentions a hadith in Asma bint Abu Bakr would cover the food over until it stopped boiling; she then said that she heard the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) say that it was of greater blessing (baraka).
Therefore, following the sunna would entail, as Munawi mentions, allowing the food to cool. (nb: allowing to cool does not mean eating the food cold; rather, cooling it such that it is not boiling and hence possible to eat comfortably.)
And Allah knows best and He alone gives success.
[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorized the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan, and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.