Intentions of eating
INTENTIONS OF EATING
WHAT INTENTIONS SHOULD ONE RENDER WHEN EATING?
It is Sunnah to eat only when one is hungry. One should have the intention that ‘I am eating to attain strength to worship Allah azwajal One should not eat just to relish the taste. Sayyiduna Ibrahim bin Shayban alaihi rahemtul mannan states, “I have not eaten anything merely for the satisfaction of my carnal desires [nafs], for eighty years.” (Ihya-ul-‘Ulum, pp. 5, vol. 2 ) One should also intend to eat less than the appetite, as the intention for eating to gain strength to worship Allah azwajal can only be true if one lives up to the former intention (that is to eat less). Gluttony is only a hindrance in worship. Furthermore, eating less food is conducive to good health, and such a person rarely needs to visit a doctor
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF INTENTIONS
The very first Hadis in the authentic book of Bukhari is that “actions are dependent upon intentions (Sahih Bukhari, pp. 5, vol. 1, Hadis. 1) .”One gets reward [sawab] for an action [‘amal] that is carried out to please Allah azwajal. On the other hand, if that same action is carried out for the purpose of ostentation [riya] it will engender sin. Contrary to both of the positions above, if the action is performed without an intention, one will not reap reward [sawab] nor will he gain any sins, provided that the action itself is Mubah [Permissible].
It should be noted that intention is defined as the purpose in one’s heart, towards an action. It is not incumbent to utter it with the tongue. However just verbal utterances without a willingness of the heart will not be valid. If the heart is devoid of the intention, one will not be rewarded, as he has not fulfilled the necessary condition. Here are 43 examples of intentions that can be rendered for the consumption of food. It should be noted that the list of these examples is by no means exhaustive, and those who are cognizant of the science of intention can use these as a guide to render many other righteous intentions. The more intentions one makes, the more reward [sawab] one will attain.
43 INTENTIONS OF EATING
1. Make Wudu [Ablution] prior to (wash the hands, rinse the mouth and do gargles), and
2. Subsequent to the consumption of food.
I will consume food, to gain strength to:
4. Recite the Holy Quran.
5. Assist my parents.
6. Acquire religious knowledge.
7. Travel to learn the Prophetic Ways [Sunnah],
8. Partake in the tour to call people towards righteousness.
9. Reflect on the matters of the hereafter and,
10. Seek Halal [Lawful] sources of sustenance.
(Note that these former intentions can only be beneficial if one consumes less than his appetite. Conversely, eating excessively only engenders indolence (laziness) towards worship, inclination towards sin, stomach ailments and disorders.)
I will eat in the following manner:
11. Sit on the floor.
12. Sit on a dining-mat according to Sunnah.
13. Overlay (with the kurta or the shawl).
14. Sit according to the Sunnah.
15. Recite “Bismillah” and other Supplications [Dua] prior to consuming food.
17. Eat with three fingers.
18. Eat small morsels.
19. Properly chew the food before swallowing.
20. Recite “Ya Wajidu” with every morsel (or will recite “Bismillah” and “Ya Wajidu” prior to the consumption of every morsel and “Al Hamdulillah” at the end.)
21. Pick up and eat the grains of food that may fall on to the dining-mat.
22. Break the bread above the container of curry (so that every bread crumb falls into the container.)
23. Wipe (lick) the bones and spices (like cinnamon and cloves) clean before throwing them away [so that no particles of food remain].
24. Eat less than the appetite.
25. Wipe the plate clean with the intention to practice upon the Sunnah.
26. Lick the fingers clean, three times, with the same intention as above.
27. Clean the plate and drink from it to earn the reward of freeing a slave.
28. Not get up unnecessarily from the dining-mat until it is picked up (this is also Sunnah), unless I am required to do so.
29. Recite the Traditional Supplications [Masnun Dua] after eating.
30. Pick my teeth (use floss or a toothpick) [khilal].
MORE INTENTIONS OF EATING COLLECTIVELY
31. Not begin eating before a scholar or an elder, if they are present on the dining-mat.
32. Seek the blessings [barakah] of the company of Muslims.
33. Please others by offering them the various items from the cuisine to eat or drink. (Remember that it is disrespectful to place food in other people’s plate without their permission. Perhaps at that moment, they do not desire the edibles that you put into their plate).
34. Reap the reward [sawab] of giving Charity [Sadaqah] by smiling upon others.
35. Recite the Supplication [Dua] upon observing someone smile.
(The following Supplications [Dua] should be recited upon observing someone smile:
“May Allah azwajal always keep you smiling”.
(Sahih Bukhari, pp. 403, vol. 4, hadis. 3294)
36. Inform others of the various intentions that should be rendered at the time of eating food.
37. Inform others of the various Sunnahs.
38. Recite the Supplications [Dua] prior to eating in an audible tone so that others can repeat.
39. Recite the Supplications [Dua] subsequent to eating in an audible tone so that others can repeat.
40. Give [Iisar] the finer portions (more pleasing to one’s taste) of the cuisine to others and guard myself from greed [hirs].
The Holy Prophet sallalahu alaihi wasallam has stated, “Whosoever gives others the things that he needs for himself, Allah azwajal forgives that person.” (Ithaf-us-Sadat-il-Muttaqin,pp. 770, vol. 9)
41. Gift others floss/toothpick so that they may clean their teeth.
42. Gift others a rubber band so that they may bind the two fingers (pinkie and the ring finger) not used to eat and make a habit of eating with three fingers.
43. Recite “Ya Wajidu” in an audible tone so that others can be reminded to do the same, prior to the consumption of every morsel.
Re: Intentions of eating
bohat zabardsat sharing ki ha yar...
Re: Intentions of eating
Jazakallah very nice share