By Eman Bukhari
Islam is a way of life, so what does it say about food etiquette?
Islam touches every aspect of our lives, helping us live not just an honest life, but also one that is healthy and happy. Some teachings we come across as we grow older and some we are made aware of at a very young age. One of the most common teachings in Islam is food etiquette and practices carried out by the prophet (PBUH). Some of the customs might seem basic or common sense, but they carry a great spiritual value and contribute to our overall wellbeing.
It’s not only a doctor’s recommendation to wash your hands before you eat, but also an Islamic practice for the same reasons: to wash away germs and avoid getting sick.
We strive to remember Allah and thank him throughout the day for his blessings, and this includes the food we are blessed with. Therefore, before we take our first bite, we remember him by saying “Bismillah” (in the name of Allah), and if we forget we can say, “Bismillaahi awwalahu wa aakhirahu” (in the name of Allah at the beginning and at the end).
It is also courteous to eat, especially when sharing food, from what is in front of you. Also, common etiquette includes not critiquing food you might not like in respect to the cook and those around you who might have a taste for the dish.
Sometimes we overindulge and overeat, and to this regard the prophet (PBUH) has said, “It is sufficient for the son of Adam to eat enough to keep him alive. But if he must do that, then one-third for his food, one-third for his drink and one-third for his air.”
And finally, when we have finished, we remember to thank the one who provided us our food, “Alhamdulllah” (thank you Allah).
Simple teachings and practices as these go along way for our mind, body and soul.