Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
I have forwarded a hadees tat our prophet PBUH used to eat with 3 fingers nd used to lick the fingers aftr eating. One of my friend has asked me then wat is the purpose of the other 2 fingers. Please answer my question.
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Prophet(saws) eat with three fingers
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
Sahih Muslim Hadith 5039 Narrated by Ka'b ibn Malik
Ka'b bin Maalik (r.a.) that he saw Allah's Messenger (saws) licking his three fingers (after having finished the food).
The exact number of fingers or parts of the hand one uses to eat one’s food is normally determined by the food one eats. If one eats rice, one would naturally require the support of all of one’s fingers; if one eats fruit or breaks bread, one would not require the usage of all of one’s fingers, but a few of them would suffice; and if one wishes to eat or taste honey, etc….even a single finger would suffice.
The staple food at the time of the Prophet (saws) was obviously dates, and it is possible and probable that when Hadrat Kaab (r.a.) witnessed the eating of the Messenger of Allah (saws), he used only three of his fingers when eating the fruit.
The truth remains that there is no restriction placed in the authentic and established Sunnah regarding the number of fingers one must use when eating one’s food; depending on the food one intends to eat, if a couple of fingers need to be used…that is fine and acceptable; and if one needs all of one’s fingers to consume the food…that too is fine and acceptable.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your brother and well wisher in Islam,