Five eating habits by the Prophet (PBUH)
Holy Ramadan has come back again. It is the time to learn sacrificing attitude and practice healthy habits. The Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) made a point of developing remarkably clean and healthy eating habits. He asked his companions to wash their hands before and after, to start eating with the praise of 'Almighty', not to eat and drink excessively. Finally, by praising and thanking Allah for the food and drink, for making it easy to swallow and for producing an exit for it.
The following are some food habits according to Hadith-Sahih Bukhari, Tirmidhi & Ibn Majah that had been practiced by the Prophet (PBUH):
1. Never criticise any food: It is good not to criticise for any reason when offered to you. "The Prophet (PBUH) never criticised any food (he was invited to) but he used to eat it if he liked the food and leave it if he disliked it."
2. Eat less: One of the main principles of good health is a balanced diet. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) emphasised the habit of eating less as a method of preventing sickness and disease. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, "Nothing is worse than a person who fills his stomach. It should be enough for the son of Adam to have a few bites to satisfy his hunger. If he wishes more, it should be: One-third for his food, one-third for his liquids and one-third for his breath."
3. Self-control: Religion teaches human to enjoy the pleasure of life, including food, in a moderate way, not becoming a slave to his desires. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) elaborated on the duty of the Muslim to suppress greed, especially in eating.
4. Sharing: Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) demonstrated to his followers the pleasures of sharing as opposed to over-indulgence in the good things of life. The sharing of food with neighbours, relatives, friends, the needy and the destitute bring harmony and understanding among people. People are usually more relaxed when eating in company. Their minds are less absorbed in their daily activities and are free of worries. According to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), "Eat together and not separately, for the blessing is associated with the company."
5. Eat slowly: Eating slowly is recommended for health. Slow eating helps in chewing the food well. This results in the exercise of the jaws and mixing of the saliva with food. Hence, efficient digestion takes place because the food particles are cut into smaller pieces, not requiring as much churning in the stomach or intestine. It was also reported that Prophet (PBUH) said, "I do not eat reclining."