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muslim dining etiquette
prohibited food & drink
- Gelatine from animal source which is not halal
- Meat that is not slaughtered in the prescribed Islamic way
- Meat from a lawful animal that died before slaughter
- Any food or drink with alcohol in it
- Any human substance or part
- All carnivorous animals and birds of prey
food laws and beliefs
Eating is a matter of faith in Islam. Muslim dietary practise is fundamentally about obeying God. All practising Muslim believers obey God Almighty by eating the allowed foods (halal) and avoiding the forbidden foods (haram) which are mentioned in the Qur’an and in the sayings of the final prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).
The following are a list of Muslim dietary practises.
- Recite the name of God (Allah) before eating and thank God after finishing.
- It is a good thing to eat by the right hand and in company.
- Muslims must pronounce the name of Allah on all animals while slaughtering.
- Think and contemplate in every item of food you eat by remembering God the creator the Designer, The Organiser and the Provider.
- It is important to eat only when you are hungry.
- When you do eat, you should not eat in excess.
- Halal pure healthy meat, chicken, fish, milk, olive oil and honey are highly recommended in Islam.
All types of fruit and vegetable (when grown naturally and not genetically modified) by Islam.
Grapes, dates, figs, pomegranate, pulse and cereal are also acceptable.
Honey and olive oil are prescribed as medicinal.
There is no prohibition to be vegetarian in Islam, but any practising Muslim will come across meat on many Islamic occasions when meat is provided.
feasts and fasting
Feast days (dates vary according to the lunar calendar) include
Eid al-Fitr (after finishing the fasting months of Ramadan),
Eid al-Udha, and
Maulud n'Nabi (the birthday of the Prophet Mohummmad – some Muslims do not celebrate this).
Fasting is considered an opportunity to earn the approval of Allah, to wipe out previous sins, and to understand the suffering of the poor. Fasting is also partly to be in control of appetite and to avoid food addiction. It is the fourth ritual observance in the Five Pillars of Islam.
Fasting includes abstention from all food and drink from dawn to sunset. Voluntary fasting is common on Mondays and Thursdays (it is undesirable to fast on certain days of the months and on Fridays).
Ramadan, the ninth month of the Muslim calendar, is a mandatory fasting period that commemorates the period when the Qur'an was first revealed to Prophet Muhammad. During Ramadan, Muslims abstain from food and drink (and sex) from before the break of dawn until sunset.
Muslims are encouraged to fast
- six (6) days during the month of Shawwal (the month after Ramadan),
- on the 10th day of Muharram (the first month in the Islamic calendar), and
- on the 9th day of Zul Hijjah (the month of Hajj - pilgrimage).
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- Mike Lininger, Editor, Etiquette Scholar
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