WHAT TYPE OF DINING-MAT [DASTARKHUWAN] IS SUNNAH ?
The Renowned Exegetist [Mufassir] of Quran, Mufti Ahmad Yar Khan Na’iimi stated, “It is sunnah to bow down a little in front of the food, to eat. The Holy Prophet Rasulullah sallalahu alaihi wasallam ate on three types of dining-mats; made from cloth, animal skin or from leaves of palm trees (date trees). A dining-mat used to be placed on the floor and the Holy Prophet Rasulullah sallalahu alaihi wasallam would sit on the floor near it.” (Mirat-ul Manajih, pp. 13, vol.6)
Use a dining-mat that does not have any alphabets, words, statements, names and logos of the companies inscribed on it.
It is Sunnah to use RED (Surkh) dining-mat (Dastarkhwan)
Eating on a bed without placing a dining-mat is cause the deprivation of blessings
It is Sunnah to eat on a dining-mat on the floor. Do not eat in the following manner:
• resting against a support
• bear headed
• reclined on a hand placed on the floor
• lying down
• sitting cross-legged.
If bread is served on the dining-mat before the curry; one should commence eating the bread and not wait for the curry to be served. (Rad-dul-Muhtar, pp. 490, vol. 9)
Hold the bread in your left hand and break the bread with your right as this is Sunnah. Habitualize yourself to break the bread on top of the plate or container so that the grains of bread fall on the food, otherwise the grains will go to waste if they fall on the dining-mat.
The Immaculate Prophet Rasulullah sallalahu alaihi wasallam ‑ has said, “Whoever picks up grains of food which have fallen on the dining-mat and eats it, he will live a life of ease [farakhi] and his children and the children of his children will be protected from mental ineptitude (lack of intelligence). (Kanz-ul-’Ummal, pp. 111, vol. 15, hadis. 40815)
It is permissible to feed the grains and particles of food on the dining-mat to chicken, birds, cows etc. One can also gather them and put them in a place where ants can consume them.
Do not rise before the dining-mat has been taken away.
The dining-mat should be picked up first and then the people should get up. (Sadly, nowadays, the trend is completely the opposite; people get up first and then the dinner-mat is picked up.)
Dear Islamic Brothers! It is not a sin to dine on a table but it is Sunnah to lay a dining-mat on the floor and eat on that dining-mat. Remember there is dignity and grace in following the Sunnah. It is unfortunate that in this day and age, Muslims in large, have forgone this Sunnah. Even those who seem to be religious have been observed to dine on a table. Dining on tables is very commonplace nowadays, especially in weddings, where chairs are no longer used and people have been observed to gather around the table and eat while standing! Alas! When will this graceful practice [Sunnah] return?
VIRTUES OF EATING COLLECTIVELY
Glad tidings are for those who eat collectively (together) on one dining-mat. Sayyiduna Anas bin Malik rehmatullah alaih has narrated Allah azwajal is pleased the most when He sees a Muslim on a dining-mat sitting with his wife and children to eat. When they sit together to eat, Allah azwajal looks at them with mercy and forgives them before they separate (Tanbih-ul-Ghafilin, p. 343).
IT IS NOT SUNNAH TO EAT ON A DINING TABLE
Sayyiduna Anas radiallahu anhu has stated that The Prophet Rasulullah sallalahu alaihi wasallam , “did not eat on a table, nor did he eat in small bowls, [furthermore,] thin bread was not prepared for him.” When Sayyiduna Qatadah radiallahu anhu was asked as to what they would eat on; radiallahu anhu replied that they ate on a dining-mat. (Sahih Bukhari, pp. 532, vol. 3, hadis. 5415)
TO EAT SEATED AT A TABLE
Imam Ahmad Raza Khan rehmatullah alaih has stated, “It should be noted that if one is eating on the floor wearing his shoes in the absence of a dining-mat underneath, then only one preferred Sunnah has been forgone. However, it would have been better to take off the shoes. On the other hand, it is the practice of the Christians to set the food on the table and eat while sitting on a chair with shoes on. Therefore, one should refrain from this action as the Holy Prophet Rasulullah sallalahu alaihi wasallam‑ has stated, “Whoever resembles a people, he is of them.” (Sunan Abi Dawud, pp. , vol. 4, Pg: 62, Hadis. 4031)
MUFTI MUHAMMAD AMJAD ‘ALI AAZMI STATES
Even though it is not a sin to eat on a dining table, it is not a Sunnah. Sadr-ush-Shariah Allama Maulana Amjad ‘Ali A’zami in the 16th part of Bahar-e-Shariat states, “High eating stations like a table were used by the rich so that they would not have to bow down while eating. This was the custom of those who were arrogant and conceited. Certain people who use a table while eating perform the same action today. Eating in small plates was also the custom of the rich as it was customary for them to place various different foods in small bowls or plates.” (Bahar-e-Shari’at, pp. 12, part. 16)
PROTECTION OF CHILDREN FROM BEING MENTALLY INEPT
The Beloved of Allah, Rasulullah sallalahu alaihi wasallam ‑ said, “Whoever picks up grains of food which have fallen on the dining-mat , he will live a life of ease [farakhi] and his children and the children of his children will be protected from mental ineptitude [lack of intelligence].” (Kanz-ul-’Ummal, pp. 111, vol. 15, adiš. 40815)
JINNS AT THE DINING-MAT OF THE MUSLIMS
Shaykh Jalal-ud-Din Suyuti Ash-Shafai rehmatullah alaih has quoted from a Taba’i [Companion of the Sahaba],”Jinns live on the roofs of the Muslims’ homes. They come down from the roofs to eat, as the dining-mat is laid in the afternoons and in the evenings (as the family members sit to eat) and join with them. Allah azwajal deters the wicked Jinns because of their presence (Luqt-ul Marjan, p. 44).”
DO NOT EMBARRASS OTHERS
Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah ibn Umar radiallahu anhuma has narrated that the Leader of the Prophets, Rasulullah sallalahu alaihi wasallam ‑ has stated, “When the dining-mat is laid, each one of you should eat from your side [of the plate, when eating in the same plate] and do not eat from the sides of others. Avoid eating from the center of the plate [because blessings descend there.] No one should get up and leave before the dining-mat has been lifted and do not stop eating before everybody else has done so, even though you have had enough. Stay there with everyone because if you stop eating, others might be induced to also pull back and stop eating even though they wish to eat more.” (Shu’bul Iman, pp. 83, vol. 5, hadis. 5864)
LAY THE DINING-MAT
It has always been the practice of the eminent Saints that when they finished eating, they never used to say “remove the mat” but rather “lay the mat” or “augment the food”. This would be, in essence, a Dua [supplication] for Abundance in food and for blessings and prosperity. (Sunni Bahishti Zaiwar, p. 566)
“Oh Allah azwajal For the sake of the Prophet sallalahu alaihi wasallam forgive us, our parents, and all the Muslims. Oh Allah azwajal Forgive all our sins, give us the passion to become practicing Muslims and make us obedient to our parents. Oh Allah azwajal Make us your sincere devotees and of your Beloved Prophet sallalahu alaihi wasallam Cure us from the illness of sins. Oh Allah azwajal Free every Muslim from disease, debt, unemployment, wrongful court cases and every type of worry. Oh Allah azwajal Bless every Muslim with obedient children. Oh Allah azwajal Grant us death with Iman in the beautiful city of Madina-tul-Munawwara and while lost in the visions of your Beloved Porphet sallalahu alaihi wasallam Make our place of burial in Jannah-tul- Baqi and make us companions of your Beloved sallalahu alaihi wasallam in Jannah-tul-Firdous. Oh Allah azwajal for the sake of the cool and fragrant air in Madina, accept all our lawful Dua’s.” - Aamin
Re: Dining-mat [dastarkhuwan]
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