The Eating Habits of God's Messenger


Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Eating Habits of God's Messenger

Question: What were Prophet Muhammad's manners when eating meals and what was his monthly nutritional intake?

Answer (Theologian Nimet Yılmaz): Our Prophet always lived a simple and humble life. He would distribute his income to those in need. There were times when he did not eat for days and when a single meal would not be cooked in his house for 2 months on end. He rarely ate bread made of wheat flour, and he rarely consumed barley bread two days in a row.

The Prophet's dining manners are also known as the Sunnah of eating. The most fundamental of Sunnah that has been passed down to us through the life of Prophet Muhammad is eating with the right hand, eating from directly in front of one (rather than reaching for a further corner of the plate), not speaking badly of the food you are consuming, beginning eating with the name of Allah and finishing by praising Him, sharing one's food, not eating too much and not eat when not hungry.

The sensitivity practiced in consuming daily meals on time and regularly was not present at that time, due to the general lack of sustenance. Eating habits then were generally determined by the level of hunger, the restrictions of time and the type of food. Thus, it is not really possible to speak of a monthly pattern. Examining the month of Ramadan, the worship of fasting and any supererogatory fast that is spread out over weeks and months is possible when examining the eating habits of Prophet Muhammad.

Prophet Muhammad cannot be thought of having had "vacation time", or spending time idly; similarly, he did not spend time in a state of inactivity. Night prayer, as well as sleep at night, a short nap following the noon prayer, discussions with his wives following morning and afternoon prayers, night discussions, paying visits to graves, and visiting friends and neighbors were activities that he carried out... In short, the life of the Messenger of Allah was one in which rest was finishing one act before moving on to the next. This is how we can define the concept of rest that Prophet Muhammad held. 

عن أبي هُرَيْرَةَ ـ رضى الله عنه قَالَ:
قَبَّلَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم الْحَسَنَ بْنَ عَلِيٍّ وَعِنْدَهُ الأَقْرَعُ بْنُ حَابِسٍ التَّمِيمِيُّ جَالِسًا‏.‏ فَقَالَ الأَقْرَعُ إِنَّ لِي عَشَرَةً مِنَ الْوَلَدِ مَا قَبَّلْتُ مِنْهُمْ أَحَدًا‏.‏ فَنَظَرَ إِلَيْهِ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ثُمَّ قَالَ ‏"‏ مَنْ لاَ يَرْحَمُ لاَ يُرْحَمُ ‏"‏‏
God's Messenger kissed Al-Hasan bin Ali (his grandchild) while Al-Aqra' bin Habis At-Tamim was sitting beside him. Al-Aqra said, "I have ten children and I have never kissed anyone of them", God's Messenger cast a look at him and said, "Whoever is not merciful to others will not be treated mercifully." (Bukhari, Good Manners and Form (Al-Adab), 18)

Title: Tracks from Neyzen Sadreddin Özçimi's album, Sufi Rhythms - Sultan-i Ask Artist: Sadreddin Özçimi