18 October 2017 CE | 27 Muharram 1439 AH

Hadith Explanation

Don’t Feed Shaytaan

“The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) was sitting while a man was eating food. That man did not mention the Name of Allah (i.e. say 'Bismillah') till only a morsel of food was left. When he raised it to his mouth, he said: ‘Bismillah awwalahu wa akhirahu’ (With the Name of Allah, in the beginning and in the end). The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) smiled at this and said, ‘Shaytaan had been eating with him but when he mentioned the Name of Allah, Shaytaan vomited all that was in his stomach.’” [Abu Dawud]

The meaning given of Shaytaan's eating and vomiting are a few. Two of the main opinions are:

1. Shaytaan eats and vomits in reality; he actually partakes from the food and vomits it out when one recites Bismillah.

2. Shaytaan eats and vomits the Barakah (blessings) that is in the food. Therefore, when one does not recite Bismillah there is no Barakah in one's food but when a person does recite it then the Barakah is returned.

Therefore, prior to eating we must say Bismillah. However, if we forget to say it in the beginning we may say “Bismillah awwalahu wa akhirahu” whenever we remember, during eating or at the end of the meal.

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