Sunnah of Eating:
1. Wash both the hands before and after meals. (Sunan Abi Dawud Hadtith3755)
2. To sit on the floor. (Sahih Bukhari Hadith5386)
3. To sit in one of the following three postures;
a) In the Tashahhud position (like in Salaat) (Fathul Baari Hadith5399),
b) Same as above with the right knee raised, (Ibid; Takhrijul Ihyaa Hadith1304) and
c) In the squatting posture (Sahih Muslim Hadith5299).
4. To eat with the fingers (thumb, index and middle fingers). (Sahih Muslim Hadith5265 and Majmauz-zawaaid)
5. To take the name of Allah before eating. (Sahih Bukhari Hadith5376)
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ وَعَلَى بَرَكَةِ اللَّهِ
In the name of Allah and with the blessings of Allah I begin (eating)”.
On forgetting to recite Bismillah at the beginning, recite:
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ أَوَّلِهِ وَآخِرِهِ
“In the name of Allah in the beginning and end”.
By not reciting Bismillah, Satan has an opportunity of partake in the food.
6. To eat with the right hand. (Sahih Bukhari Hadith5376)
Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “If one of you eats, he should eat with his right hand. And if he drinks something, he should drink with his right hand. For indeed, Satan eats and drinks with his left hand.” [Sahîh Muslim (2020)]
7. To eat from the closest part of the plate and not from the middle. (Sahih Bukhari Hadith5376)
8. As far as possible, to eat collectively from one plate. (Ibn Kathir Surah24 Aayat61; Sunan ibn Majah Hadith3287)
9. To clean every bit of food left on the plate and to lick the fingers before washing them. (Sahih Muslim Hadith5268)
Jabir reported that the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) commanded people to lick their fingers and the plate, saying, ‘You do not know where the blessing lies.’” [Muslim]
In one variant of it, “When one of you drops a morsel of food, he should pick it up, remove any dirt on it and then eat it, not leaving it for Shaytan. He should not wipe his hand with a cloth until he has licked his fingers. He does not know in which part of his food the blessing lies.”
In one variant of it, “Shaytan is present with each one of you in every thing you do, he is even present with you when you eat. So when you drop a morsel of food, you should remove any dirt on it and eat it and not leave it for Shaytan.”
10. Eating with three fingers :
Ka’b bin Malik (radi Allahu anhu) reported: “I saw the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) licking his three fingers after eating.” [Sahih Muslim, #5296]
Thus, the best way of eating is that shown by the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) which was eating with his three fingers.
11. To recite the various Masnoon du’aas after meals. including:
الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي أَطْعَمَنَا وَسَقَانَا وَجَعَلَنَا مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ
“All praise belongs to Allah, who fed us and quenched our thirst and made us Muslims”.
Alternate dua after meals:
الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي هُوَ أَشْبَعَنَا وَأَرْوَانَا وَأَنْعَمَ عَلَيْنَا وَأَفْضَلَ
“All praise belongs to Allah who filled our stomachs and quenched our thirst, rewarded us and gave us plentiful”.
Note: If the meals are commenced with the above dua, then there will be no accountability of the food eaten on the Day of Qiyamat.
اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ لَنَا فِيهِ وَأَطْعِمْنَا خَيْرَاً مِنْهُ
“O Allah, You grant us blessings in it and grant us better than it”.
الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي أَطْعَمَنِي هَذَا الطَّعَامَ وَرَزَقَنِيهِ مِنْ غَيْرِ حَوْلٍ مِنِّي وَلَا قُوَّةٍ
“All Praise belongs to Allah who granted this meal, (which I received) without my power or effort”.
All previous sins are forgiven if this dua is recited after meals.