Islamic Laws

Eating and Drinking

Ayatullah al-`Uzma al-Hajj ash-Shaykh Lutfullah as-Safi al-Gulpaygani
Almighty Allah has made nature so beautiful and has placed all the animals, fruits and greenery at the disposal of mankind for his own use, for eating and drinking, covering himself, to build his shelter, and other necessities. However, for the protection of man’s life, and for the security of his body and soul and for those who will come after him, as well as to protect the rights of others – laws and regulations have been laid down, and some of the ones which will be explained in this chapter are related to eating and drinking.
Issue 428: Eating those things that are harmful to a person, is Haram.
Issue 429: Eating and drinking those things, which are Najis, is Haram.
Issue 430: Eating dirt is Haram.
Issue 431: Eating a very small amount of the dust from the grave of Sayyid ash-Shohada al-Imam al-Husain bin ‘Ali (‘a), for Shafa’ (recovery) from a sickness is permissable.
Issue 432: It is Wajib upon every Muslim, to give bread and water to those Muslims who are near him, who may otherwise die from hunger or thirst in order to save their lives.
The Etiquettes of Eating
Issue 433: The following actions, which are related to eating food, are Mustahab:
1. Washing the hands before and after eating.
2. Saying “بِسْمِ اللهِ” when starting to eat, and saying “اَلْحَمْدُ للهِ” when one is finished eating.
3. Eating with the right hand.
4. Eating small bites of food.
5. Chewing the food properly.
6. Washing fruit with water before eating it.
7. If many people are sitting at a dinner table, then one should start with that food which is in front of him.
8. The host should start eating before all the guests, and should finish after all of them.
Issue 434: The following actions, which are related to eating food, are Makruh:
1. Eating food when one is full.
2. Eating to one’s fill (eating too much food).
3. Looking at the faces of others while eating.
4. Eating hot food.
5. Blowing on hot food.
6. Cutting the bread with a knife.
7. Placing the bread under the dishes.
8. Throwing away fruit before it has been completely eaten.
The Etiquettes of Drinking Water
Issue 435: The following actions, which are related to drinking water, are Mustahab:
1. Drinking water while standing, in the daytime.
2. Before drinking water, saying “بِسْمِ اللهِ” and saying “اَلْحَمْدُ للهِ” when one is finished drinking the water.
3. Drinking water in three sips.
4. After drinking water, remembering Hadhrat Imam Husayn ibn ‘Ali (‘a), his family, and companions, and cursing their killers.
Issue 436: The following actions, related to drinking water, are Makruh:
1. Drinking too much.
2. Drinking water after eating fatty foods.
3. Drinking with the left hand.
4. Drinking while standing, in the evening.
5. The Rules of Slaughtering
Issue 437: If the four large veins in the neck of an animal whose meat is Halal to eat, are completely cut from the bottom to the top, then with the conditions that are listed below, that animal will be Tahir, and Halal to eat: Conditions for the Slaughtering of an Animal
Issue 438: There are five conditions for the slaughtering of an animal:
• The person who is slaughtering the animal must be a Muslim.
• An instrument made of iron must be used to slaughter the animal.
• At the time of slaughtering, the face, legs, feet and stomach of the animal must be facing Qiblah.
• At the time of slaughtering, the name of Allah must be said, and even if just “ بِسْمِ اللهِ” is said, this is sufficient.
• After the animal has been slaughtered, it should move around a bit so that one can be sure that it was alive (before being slaughtered).
Hunting by Weapons
Issue 439: If a Halal meat, wild animal is hunted with a weapon, then by the conditions that will be mentioned, it will be Tahir and the meat will be Halal:
• The weapon of hunting is something such as: a sharp dagger or knife, a sword, something sharp or pointed like a dart or an arrow, and its sharpness is such that it cuts through the body of the animal.
• The person who is hunting the animal must be a Muslim.
• The weapon must be used for the hunt, therefore, if one is aiming for something else, and then accidentally an animal is hit, that animal will not be Halal.
• At the time of using the weapon (for example at the time of shooting the arrow,) the name of Allah must be said.
• After hunting the animal, one must quickly go towards the animal, and when one reaches there, if it is dead, or if there is not enough time to slaughter the animal then if the animal has not yet died, and there is enough time to slaughter the animal, but this is not done, then until the animal dies, it is Haram
Issue 440: If a fish that has scales is taken out of the water alive, and it dies outside the water, then it is Tahir, and Halal to eat. However, if it dies inside the water, then although the body is Tahir, it is Haram to eat.
Issue 441: As for the fish that does not have scales, even if it is taken out of the water alive and then it dies, it is still Haram to eat.
Issue 442: It is not necessary that the person who catches the fish be a Muslim nor is it necessary that the name of Allah is taken over the fish.

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