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