To support you on your spiritual development, we have set up the “30 Deeds, 30 Days” series. Each day of Ramadan, we will explore one simple deed that could impact our lives. Each day, a new installment of this series will go live.
Ramadan is the month where we reach new heights by discovering how much we could go without. The Prophet Muhammad would prefer to go without food even when it was available. He did have favourite foods that he enjoyed, but food was simply not a priority for him. Sadly, we tend to ignore this teaching, making Ramadan a month of feasting.
This Ramadan, why not take your spiritual growth to a new level? After iftar, try not to eat a large meal, but just what you need. Eat about half the food you normally would, and see what happens!
Bring new life to this Ramadan by enrolling in a FREE On-Demand course.
Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Is it sinful to eat with the left hand?
One of our children is left-handed and he finds it very difficult to eat, and perform other functions, with the right hand.
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,
No, it is not sinful to eat or drink with the left hand. Rather, it is contrary to what is superior, recommended, and the way of Islam, as instructed to us by our beloved Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), because the right hand is used for noble matters.
A man ate with the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) using his left hand, and he (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Eat with your right hand.” He said, “I cannot.” He (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Then you cannot.” Only pride had stopped him and he could not raise it to his mouth. [Muslim]
This is explained by the scholars to be a command of recommendation and propriety, and not of necessity as understood from Imam Nawawi’s comments in Sharh Sahih Muslim and elsewhere. As for the supplication made against him, it was due to his dishonesty, arrogance and acting contrary to the prophetic sunna and command.
In any case, there is no disapproval or impropriety in eating with the left when there is a need to do so due to some kind of inability, such as injury. Moreover, there is also no harm in assisting with the left hand as we have prophetic precedence in this.
Nevertheless, gentle encouragements towards the good will help, as well as the realisation that children (and adults) can be trained to use a different hand to do something. Ask Allah Most High for facilitation, and show him how to eat in a manner which is in greater correspondence to the sunna.
[Ibn `Allan, Dalil al-Falihin; Qari, Mirqat al-Mafatih; Nahlawi, al-Durar al-Mubaha]
And Allah Most High alone knows best.
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
You are what you eat, as the saying goes. Shaykh Walead Mosaad explains how our consumption of food, its preparation and its purchase can have a huge impact on our spiritual lives.
Every age has its considerations and our age is one of encouragement, instilling hope and gratitude. With this Shaykh Faraz Rabbani begins this brief but beautiful podcast about why it is from the Prophetic example to be grateful for every morsel of food we are blessed with.
Video: Importance of Halal Food – Mufti Abdullah Nana
Mufti Abdullah Nana gives a lecture on the importance of eating halal food at Masjid Omar Bin Abdul Aziz on Tuesday, August 3, 2010. He also discusses Halal Advocates of America and the work they do.
Learn more about Halal Advocates of America
From Imam an-Nawwawi’s al-Adhkar:
Question: Chapter on the Supplication for the One Invited and the Guest to the Hosts when finished eating
Answer : اللهم بارك لهم فيما رزقتهم ، واغفر لهم وارحمهم
Allahumma baarik lahum fima razaqtahum wagfir lahum warhamhum
‘Oh Allah, bless them in what You provided for them and forgive them and bestow mercy upon them.’
Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Question: This question is regarding your mention of the sunnah of eating, implying being seated on the floor, eating with one’s hands, etc. How do the scholars determine which of these practices are considered rewardable sunnah, as opposed to happenstances related to the Holy Prophet’s time and place, peace be upon Him? I.e., how do we answer the question, were the Prophet (s) alive today, would he still eat without utensils, etc.
Answer: The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) is unconditionally our exemplar. Everything he did or even approved of is an example for us.
The “sunnas of habit” are rewarded if followed. Some of them are more emphasized than others, which is why we need fiqh and depth of understanding.
Utensils existed in the time of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace); people sat at tables… but he showed us a way of elegant simplicity. This is a value and a practice.
And Allah alone gives success.
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