Chapter 104: Eating from what is in front of One
740. `umar bin abu salamah (may allah be pleased with them) reported: i was a boy under the care of messenger of allah (pbuh), and as my hand used to wander around in the dish, he (pbuh) said to me once, "mention allah's name (i.e., say bismillah), eat with your right hand, and eat from what is in front of you.''
[al-bukhari and muslim].
commentary: `umar bin abu salamah (may allah be pleased with them) had learnt table manners from messenger of allah (pbuh) who was his stepfather and guardian. hence, everybody is morally bound to teach his wards or children good manners.
741. salamah bin al-akwa` (may allah be pleased with him) reported on the authority of his father: a man ate with his left hand in the presence of messenger of allah (pbuh), whereupon he said, "eat with your right hand.'' the man said: "i cannot do that.'' thereupon he (the prophet (pbuh)) said, "may you not be able to do that.'' it was vanity that prevented him from doing it and he could not raise it (the right hand) up to his mouth afterwards.
commentary: this report has already been given earlier and is being repeated here owing to its relevance to the chapter. in the light of this hadith, we are supposed to keep table manners in our focus and also to urge others to observe them. furthermore, it is extremely undesirable to deny a reality out of sheer arrogance as it incurs the displeasure of allah. we are also informed of a miracle of messenger of allah (pbuh) whose supplications were instantly answered.