Eat while standing

Q: “Is it allowed to eat while standing?”

Shaikh al-Albaani:

“There is no legislative text to prohibit eating while standing like the text that prohibits drinking while standing. But there is a narration from Anas bin Maalik رضي الله عنه that when he told those around him in a gathering that the Prophet ﷺ prohibited drinking while standing, someone said to him: ‘What about eating (while standing)?’ and he replied: ‘It is worse.’

I say here, we should follow this Companion because we don’t have anything with which we can contradict him. But what is the distinction between eating while standing and eating while walking? Eating while walking is allowed, because there is legislative text clearly stating that they used to eat while walking during the time of the Prophet ﷺ. As for eating while standing, there is no such text regarding it from the Prophet ﷺ, neither negative nor positive. All we have is this authentic narration from Anas bin Maalik and this is what we act upon.

Moreover, maybe some of you noticed in these times that it has become a fashion for disbelievers to eat while standing although chairs are available; but they don’t sit on them out of pride. In that case, the previous ruling is further strengthened. So we are with the narration of Anas because Anas knew what we don’t know, and because disbelievers nowadays and Muslims who imitate them eat while standing, hence we differ from them.”

[silsilatul-hudaa wan-noor 246 / alalbaany.com]

Eat while standing

Eating with three fingers

Q: “Does it occur in the Sunnah to eat with three fingers in general with respect to all food or just with thareed (a dish of meat and bread)?”

Shaikh al-Albaani:

“There isn’t anything in the Prophet’s ﷺ Sunnah that would help us answer this question. There isn’t anything except that the Prophet ﷺ used to eat with three fingers; but what we should say about the meaning of this hadeeth is:

This hadeeth definitely does not mean that it is impermissible for a Muslim to eat with other means like spoons that are well-known today. Rather it only means that if a Muslim eats a type of food that can be eaten with three fingers, then he does not show that he is greedy with the food such that he eats with the whole hand when he is able to eat like Allaah’s Messenger ﷺ would eat: with three fingers. This is the first point. Secondly, it is known that meat gravy for example cannot be eaten with three fingers so here one must use other means to eat it. This is from the worldly affairs; it is not from the affairs of the religion, all the rulings of which Allaah’s Messenger ﷺ was charged to convey to the people. Regarding the worldly affairs, he ﷺ said: ‘You are more knowledgeable about your worldly affairs than me.’”[1]

[1] Saheeh al-Jaami` 1488

[silsilatul-hudaa wan-noor 692 / alalbaany.com]

Eating with three fingers