Washing the hands
Abdullah (R) narrates from Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) that one should perform ablution 'before and after eating, as it obviates poverty and is the practices of the Prophets u.'
This simply entails washing the hands and rinsing the mouth, and not performing Wudhu as one would for Salah.
Eating whilst seated on the floor
Qatada (R) states that, Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) would eat his food from a mat (placed on the floor).
Postures of sitting
When eating on the floor, sit either with both knees raised and the posterior on the ground, or by raising one knee and keeping the other on the ground. A third posture is to sit with both knees on the ground (as in the position of Qa'dah in Salah) and lean forward to eat.
Supplication (Dua) before eating
'Bismillahi wa-'Ala Barkatillah’
Translation:'I begin with Allah's name, and with the blessings of Allah'
Other basic etiquettes
Eat with the right hand.
Preferably eat with three fingers, i.e. the thumb, index and the middle finger.
Spread out a cloth on the floor (to lay the food on).
If only one type of food is in the utensil, eat from the side in front of you.
If a morsel falls, pick it up, clean it and eat it.
When eating with company, have great consideration for the others who are eating with you.
Do not lean against anything whilst eating.
Do not find fault with the food.
Shoes should not be worn whilst eating.
Clean the plate and other eating utensils thoroughly after eating. The utensils will then make Dua for one's forgiveness.
Lick the fingers after eating.
Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) guided us that Allah loves it most when a meal is partaken by many persons.
Do not eat very hot food as this lessens the Barakah and weakens the stomach.
Blowing on the food to cool it removes the Barakah.
Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, 'Whoever eats onions or garlic should stay away from our Masjid.' or according to another narrator, Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said that “he should remain in his home” (as long as its smell remains on him).
Do not eat too much food. Try to keep to the 1/3 food, 1/3 water, 1/3 air ratio. Excessive eating brings misfortune.
Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) prohibited us from eating and drinking from gold and silver utensils.
Supplication after eating
'Al Hamdu lillahi ladhi at'amana wa saqana wa ja'alana Muslimeen'
Translation: All praise is due to Allah who has granted us food and drink and has made us Muslims.
The importance of nutritional, wholesome, good and pure food is the hallmark of lawful consumption. “O you who believe, eat of good things.” (2:172)
Some beneficial properties in food
Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) once informed Allah about feeling weak, and was advised to eat meat cooked in milk.
Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) says: 'The eating of figs prevents colic.”
Abu Bakr (R) reports: “Amongst the better dates is the Burnee date (a particular kind of date) ... it removes stomach ailments and is harmless.”
Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) states: “O People! Make a habit of eating marrow (any pumpkin) for it strengthens the mind.”
Ayesha (RA) reports that Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) advised her: “O Ayesha! When you cook a meal, add marrow to it, for it strengthens a grieving heart.”
Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) advised: “Every pomegranate contains a drop from the water of Jannah.” For this reason the pomegranate has many cures, among other things, it :-
1. Purifies the blood
2. Invigorates and stimulates the body
3. Cleans the stomach
4. Removes obstructions in the digestive tract
5. Stops diarrhoea (running stomach)
6. Improves digestion
7. Strengthens the digestive organs
8. Removes nervousness
9. Clears the throat
10. Clears the skin
11. Neutralises acid in the stomach
Muawiyah (R) reports that Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was fond of grapes. The reasons given are as follows:
1. It purifies the blood
2. It gives vigour and health
3. Strengthens the kidneys
4. Clears the bowels
Abu Hurairah (R) narrates that Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “For every sickness there is a cure in the black seed (kulunji seed), except for death.”
Ali (R) reports from Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) saying: “Eat garlic, O people, and treat yourself with it, for it contains a cure for many sicknesses.”
Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is reported to have said that bitter orange is a cure for all illnesses. The known equivalent is grape fruit.
Some best dishes
Ayesha (RA) reports that Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was very fond of 'heast'. Heast is a very tasty dish which is prepared from a mixture of butter, dates and kheer. It is a kind of pudding and is very good for strength.
Abbas (R) reports that the most favourite dish of Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was thareed. This is a mixture of pieces of bread, mixed with curry. It's very beneficial for it strengthens the mind and helps digestion.
Sunnahs of Eating
Covering the head
Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) would always cover his head when eating.