The World Federation One Stop Fiqh

Ruling 2653

With regard to eating and drinking, the following things are recommended (mustaḥabb) for one to do:

  1. to wash both hands before eating;
  2. to wash both hands after eating and dry them with a piece of cloth;
  3. the host should start eating before everyone else and stop eating after everyone else. Before eating, the host should wash his hands first, then the person seated to his right [should wash his], and so on until the turn comes to the person seated to the left of the host. After eating, the person seated to the left of the host should wash his hands first, and so on until the turn comes to the host;
  4. to say ‘bismillāh’ at the beginning of the meal. If there is a variety of dishes on the table, one should say ‘bismillāh’ before eating each of them;
  5. to eat with the right hand;
  6. to eat with three or more fingers and to avoid eating with two fingers;
  7. if a number of people are seated at a table, each person should eat the food that is in front of him;
  8. to eat small morsels;
  9. to sit for a long time at the table and to prolong the meal;
  10. to chew the food properly;
  11. to praise the Lord of the worlds after the meal;
  12. to lick one’s fingers;
  13. to use a toothpick after the meal. However, one should not pick his teeth with a toothpick made from a sweet basil plant, pomegranate tree, reed, or the leaf of a date palm;
  14. to gather and eat the pieces of food that have fallen on the table cloth. However, if one is having a meal outdoors, it is recommended to leave the pieces of food for birds and animals;
  15. to eat at the start of the day and the start of the night and to avoid eating during the day and during the night;
  16. to lie on one’s back after a meal and place the right foot over the left foot;
  17. to eat salt at the start of the meal and the end of it;
  18. to wash fruit before eating it.