16 Sunnah of Eating food

There are 16 Sunnah of eating food as derived from the life of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. If you follow the sunnah way of eating food, you will get rewarded in the afterlife. 

Sunnah before eating food

Washing hands

If Prophet Muhammad ﷺ wanted to eat when he was sexually impure, he would wash his hands. –  Sunan Ibn Majah 593

Sitting on the floor

It is a sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to eat food sitting on the floor as it relates to having a meal like a slave.

Sitting on the floor - sunnah of eating food

Starting with Bismillah

The first Sunnah of eating food is to start it with the name of Allah. The Dua you should recite before eating food is “بِسْمِ اللَّهِ وَعَلَى بَرَكَةِ اللَّهِ“.

If you forget to say it in the beginning, recite بسم الله أوله وآخره whenever you remember it. – Riyad as-Salihin 728

Sunnah while eating food

Eating with the right hand

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: Do not eat with your left hand, for Satan eats with his left hand. – Sahih Muslim 2019

Eating with the right hand - sunnah of eating food

Eat that nearest to you

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: Eat with your right hand and eat from what is near to you. – Sahih Muslim 2022a

Eat Together

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: Eat together and do not eat separately, for the blessing is in being together. – Sunan Ibn Majah 3287

Eat with Three Fingers

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ used to eat with three fingers (i.e., the thumb, the index finger, and the middle finger) and not wipe his before licking it. – Sunan Abi Dawud 3848

Don’t Overeat

It is a sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to eat food in a way that leaves a third of your stomach empty.

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: ]The human does not fill any container that is worse than his stomach. It is sufficient for the son of Adam to eat what will support his back. If this is not possible, then a third for food, a third for drink, and a third for his breath. – Jami` at-Tirmidhi 2380

Don’t waste food

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: When a morsel of any of you falls, he should pick it up and remove any dirt on it, and then eat it. He should not leave it for Satan. – Riyad as-Salihin 751

Don’t lean while eating

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: I do not eat while reclining. – Sunan Abi Dawud 3769

At that time, the rich rulers used to eat while leaning. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ had a humble attitude so he made his sunnah to eat on the floor while sitting straight.

Wiping Dish

Anas Ibn Malik narrates in Sahih Muslim “(The Prophet) commanded us to wipe our plates”.

Never Criticize Food

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ never criticized any food (he was invited to) but he used to eat if he liked the food and leave it if he disliked it. – Sahih al-Bukhari 5409

Compliment the food

It is a sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to complement the tasty food to appreciate the efforts of the one who made it.

Compliment the food - sunnah of eating

Sunnah after eating food

Licking the Fingers

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ commanded the licking of fingers and the gleaning of the dish, saying, “You do not know in which portion the blessing lies.” – Riyad as-Salihin 749

Praise Allah

It is sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to say the following dua after eating food “الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي أَطْعَمَنَا وَسَقَانَا وَجَعَلَنَا مُسْلِمِينَ” – Sunan Ibn Majah 3283

Rinse Mouth

It was the sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to rinse his mouth after eating food. – Sahih al-Bukhari 5384

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