Eating with the hand or with a spoon
Fatwa No: 90913

  • Fatwa Date:21-12-2005 - Thul-Qi'dah 21, 1426
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Is it necessary in Islam to eat with hand? It’s not allowed to use spoon. I dislike drinking or eating in the used utensil without washing it. Is it sin?


All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger. We ask Allaah to exalt his mention as well as that of his family and all his companions.


It is a recommended act of Sunnah for a person to eat with his hand; if one eats with a spoon he is not sinful but he is neglecting what is better. Eating with the hand is a recommended act and not an obligation. Ibn Al-Muflih may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said in his book 'religious etiquettes' reporting from Imaam Ahmad may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him: 'The Sunnah is for a person to eat with his hand and not eat with a spoon or else, and whoever eats with a spoon or another utensil has neglected what is desirable, but it is permissible.'

The great Fiqh Fataawa reads: 'He (Ibn Taymiyyah may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him) was asked: 'Is it an innovation to eat with a spoon?' He replied: 'It appears that it will be an evil innovation if the spoon is touched by some saliva and then one puts it back inside the food, or if one eats with the spoon to show off or imitates the non-Muslims, otherwise it is permissible to eat with a spoon.'

Therefore, there is no harm in eating with a spoon, but it is better to eat with the hand.

As regards disliking the use of utensils or glasses without washing them, if these utensils or glasses belong to the people of the book, then the Sunnah is to wash them before using them. The evidence is that Abu Tha’labah Al-Khushani  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him asked the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ): 'We are in the land of the People of the Book, shall we eat from their utensils?' He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) replied: "Since you mentioned that you are in the land of the People of the Book, if you find other utensils to use, then do not eat in theirs, but if you are unable to find other utensils, then you may use them after washing them." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

However, if the utensils belong to Muslims, it is not disliked to use them before washing them, but if one washes them, he is not sinful.

Allaah Knows best.

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