First Hadith (Little Boy, mention Allah’s Name)!
It is narrated in Bukhari and Msulism that 'Umar bin Abu Salamah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
I was a boy under the care of Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), and my hand would wander about in the dish. Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said to me: "Little boy, mention Allah's Name (i.e., say Bismillah before you start eating), eat with your right hand and eat from what is near to you". I always followed this way of eating after this incident.
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
The Values (38)
1. Eating with the right hand is recommended and using it in good deeds.
2. The permissibility of talking while eating.
3. The permissibility of gathering over the same food whether it is multiple dishes or only one dish.
4. Uttering “Bismillah” before eating is recommended.
5. The narrated dhikr before eating is “Bismillah”
6. The Prophet’s instruction to “eat from what is near to you” indicates that it was one dish. However, if there are multiple dishes, it is permissible to stretch your hand to reach what is not near to you, or you can ask others to get it closer to you.
7. The hadith connotes a hint to those who serve multiple types of food to distribute them over the table so that they can be accessible to all attendees without embarrassing them.
1. Eating etiquette is equally required from the young as well as the old.
2. Sticking to the advice: "I always followed this way of eating after this incident.”
3. Thoughtfulness with the young and advising them gently.
4. The significance of educating the young and not undermining them when they misbehave.
5. The teacher should care for the learners and advise them even on how to eat and drink.
6. The educator should not disregard the children’s misbehavior claiming that they are still young, and that they will learn when they grow up, they should learn and know right from wrong from a young age.
7. Planting the seeds of submission to religion inside the psyche of the child since early childhood, such as telling him to say “Bismillah”
8. Educating the children to be content and not to be greedy.
9. Encouraging the children to mingle with grownups while eating so that they learn good manners from grownups.
10. If the child is smart enough, it is ok to give him/her multiple instructions (Say Bisimillah, eat with your right hand and eat from what is near to you)
11. Using the time of gathering for food to interact with family members and talk to them.
12. Giving advice gently and not rebuking children while educating them especially when in the presence of strangers.
13. The educator’s close observation to the learners.
14. The educator’s disapproval of a certain behavior should not discourage him/her from completing his mission. They should remember that reward is as big as the effort.
1. Carefulness of the companions on narrating the hadith even if this hadith denotes dispraising them.
2. The prophet (Peace Be upon Him) instructed the child with all the etiquette so that the listener would benefit from the advice although he disapproved only one behavior.
3. The prophet (Peace Be upon Him) did not mention the child’s mistake while giving advice.
4. The quick response to the prophetic advice is one reason for continuity on good deeds.
5. It’s acceptable to use direct imperatives while educating
6. The importance of reminding one another to mention Allah and to develop etiquette while eating and while doing other activities.
7. It is acceptable to call people with their ages “little boy, boy, man, old man…etc” this is a prophetic style and it does not mean any belittling.
8. The more succinct the advice is, the more likely it is to stick in the mind of the learner.
1. How much love the Prophet (Peace Be upon Him) had for children!
2. How much the Prophet (Peace Be upon Him) cared for his companions who passed away. The Prophet (Peace Be upon Him) married Um Salama the widow of his foster brother after the latter passed away and supported his orphaned children.
3. Supporting the orphans is not only limited to financial aspects. It is important also to nurture them ethically and educate them.
4. Sharia covers all aspects of life and behaviors and it includes all rights (rights of one’s self and rights of the others)
5. The modesty of the Prophet (Peace Be upon Him) who used to share children the same dish despite its inconvenience.
6. Accepting the narration of those who received knowledge in their young ages
7. The importance of delivering the message of the Prophet (Peace Be upon Him) and not belittling anything therein. This hadith is narrated to millions of Muslims throughout history, they learn from it as it is narrated day and night many times.
8. Tasks complement each other and do not necessarily contradict with one another. The Prophet (Peace Be upon Him) was in charge of a whole nation; however, he did not miss his role as a parent and an educator.
9. The social tradition that prevents widows and divorced women from remarrying should be condemned and come to an end. It is against the teachings of sharia and against the good of the woman and the orphans.