Thursday, April 25, 2013

'Barakah' in licking your fingers...

************************* In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. *********************** Reflection ************************ The Declining Day (Al-'Asr) 1. By the declining day, 2. Lo! Man is in a state of loss, 3. Save those who believe and do good works, and exhort one another to truth and exhort one another to endurance. ********************** In Malaysia election time is a fiesta like situatioh and it is a common practise during gatherings and meetings that food would be spread on the table. *********************** As for the coming 13th general election, nomination day would be on April 20th and during the campaigning period until the D-day on May 5th, there are bound to be 'kenduris' (feasts) here and there; sometimes in a village or housing estate there would be two or more 'kenduris' held on the same day. So food and drinks would flow freely and at times sadly the food would be go to waste. ********************* Then there would be individuals and groups trying to show off their weath and popularity, but normally it would be for cheap publicity for example to have their names and feats engraved in the Malaysia Book of Records (MBR) by preparing and making food items such as the longest yee sang (prosperity toss) or biggest 'ketupat' (rice cook inside wrappings made from coconut leaves) in the world. It's ok if the food is channelled properly and consumed by the needy, but on most occassions, the food goes into the dustbin and drain. ************************ Not long time ago, it was reported that the Melaka State Constituency (Dun) of Sungai Rambai had craved that its name be in the MBR for cooking a giant 'ketupat' which weighed 1,800 kilogramme and was 1.2 meters tall. Imagine the wastage of time and resources just to project one's name - 630 kilogrammes of rice was cooked in 21 large pots from 3.00 p.m to 4.00 a.m. The projects was undertaken by 12 people and it took two days to prepare for the neccessary items and ground work. It was reported, the 'ketupat' was distributed to the people in that state constituency but tell me frankly who would want to comsume it? *********************** If in our country good food is wasted, it has been reported that one person in the world dies every three seconds because of hunger. So wasting of food is criminal. But how is the situation in our country where the word ‘hunger’ seemed ‘quite unfamiliar’ to us. ************************ The lavish 'kenduris' including during election time create an immense a mount of waste. Malaysian especially Muslims should be reminded to be moderate with food. Muslims should not be involved in such a wastage project, they should be reminded that they are accountable for five things before the coming of five. The Prophet (pbuh or s.a.w.) said: "Take benefit of five before five - your youth before your old age, your health before your sickness, your wealth before your poverty, your free-time before your preoccupation,and your life before your death." (Hakim) *************************** So do not indulge in such empty, hollow and unbeneficial deeds, for Allah SWT says in Surah Al-Asr: "Verily! Man is in loss, Except those who believe and do righteous good deeds, and recommend one another to the truth (i.e. order one another to perform all kinds of good deeds which Allah has ordained, and abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which Allah has forbidden), and recommend one another to patience (for the sufferings, harms, and injuries which one may encounter in Allah's cause)." ************************** During 'kenduri' especialy if the host gives a buffet style one, there are guests who heap their plates. As there is too much food put on their plates, many would not be able to finish it and finally the food is thrown away. Don’t Muslims realise that food is Allah SWT greatest gift for humans and that we will be questioned on Judgement Day, 'akhirat', on our wasting nature? ********************** Remember Allah SWT decree in Surah Al A’raaf, sentence 3, "Eat and drink, but not in excess. Allah does not like people who are superfluous". Whereas Surah Al Israa’, sentences 26 and 27 states, "And do not waste, as those who waste are the devil’s friends". ********************* Proper cosumption including give to poor or needy people is the best amongst any sadqa (charity). Talking about proper cosumption of food, I was amazed when during a 'tazkirah' (lesson) at a masjid near my house recently when the 'ustaz' (religious teacher) told congregators not to be astonished with great slogans of Western entities such as 'finger lickin' good' (sedap sehingga menjilat jari) because Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. who lived more than 1,400 years ago, has recommended us to lick our fingers after we have finish our food. ********************** The ustaz who was engaging in 'muzakarah' (discussion) on the 'kitab' (book) Badru Mazi written by local renowned Malay scholar, Sheikh Muhammad Idris Rauf Marbawi, told his class that there is 'barakah' (blessing) when one practises the 'sunnah' of Rasul that is to eat with three fingers and after finishing the food, lick our fingers. ******************* He told congregators perhaps there are enzymes on our fingers and if we lick these fingers it would help in the digestion process. We went on to say that is a well known fact that food contacted with our hands would become stale easily; this proves that our fingers have 'certain properties' and when we lick it after finishing our food, it helps in digestion. ********************* In a hadith, Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him or r.a.) reported: the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) said, "When one of you finishes eating, he should not wipe his fingers until he has licked them himself or has given them to someone else to lick for him." (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) *********************** The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) instructed his followers that after taking meal they should lick up their fingers before they wash or wipe them with a towel. Or they may get them licked by somebody - wife, son or disciple - provided he or she feels no aversion to doing so. Since the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) approved of this act, it is commendable. *********************** In another hadith, Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) commanded the licking of fingers and the gleaning of the dish, saying, "You do not know in which portion the blessing lies." (Muslim). *********************** This hadith underlines the wisdom behind licking the fingers and the vessel. The eater never knows whether a blessing underlies what has been eaten by him, or the particles sticking to his fingers and vessels contain it. Those particles, therefore, should not be wasted; they should be made part of food by being licked. They may be invested with a blessing and proved more useful for the eater's health and strength. Moreover, by this way he escapes disregarding the Bounty of Allah. ********************** The ustaz also said it is recommended to pick up the morsel which has fallen and eat it. "There's 'barakah' in taking the food, perhaps that food is the most blessed from our share," he said. ******************* In a hadith, Jabir (r.a.) reported: the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) said, "When a morsel of any of you falls, he should pick it up and remove any of the dirt on it and then eat it, and should not leave it for Satan nor should wipe his hand with towel until he has licked his fingers, for he does not know in what portion of the food the blessing lies." (Muslim) *********************** This hadith tells us to pick up a fallen morsel and eat it after cleaning the dirt that may have stuck on it. This marks the expression of humility overcoming Satan as well as getting the blessing. *********************** Present-day Muslims hardly care for this directive of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) because they think that this act will bring disgrace and dishonour upon them. To make matters worse, they throw away a large quantity of unconsumed food in street dumps and dunghills and drains. ********************** They even deem it necessary to leave over some food in plates and dishes, still less of licking them. What a pity, the Muslim community has gone far away from the teachings and excellent example of their Prophet (s.a.w.)!

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