33. The entire hand along with the fingers should not be immersed into the food. This is a sign of being uncultured.
34. It is recommended that one uses only three fingers of the right hand when eating; namely, the thumb, index, and middle finger.
It is narrated from Kab bin Mālik (r.a.) that the Messenger of Allāh (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) would eat with three fingers and would lick his fingers before cleaning them. (Muslim)
When eating with three fingers, the morsel tends to be of an average size, which eases chewing and swallowing. Nevertheless, there is no harm if the need arises to use more than three fingers.
35. To soak bread thoroughly in soup has been proven to be medically beneficial for health.
There are many narrations which report the Messenger of Allāh (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) having a liking for tharīd. Tharīd is a traditional Arab dish made from pieces of bread in a vegetable or meat broth. Along with being a delicious meal, it is also good for digestion.
36. Some scholars have recommended taking salt at the beginning and end of meals.
However, the narrations which contain the benefits and virtues of taking salt at the beginning and end of meals, the muḥaddithīn (ḥadīth scholars) have ruled them to be unauthentic and unreliable. Thus, to consider taking salt at the beginning and end of meals as sunnah or recommended, is something which is contrary to precaution and carefulness.
(Adapted from Khāne Pīne ke Ādāb by Muftī Muhammad Riḍwan. Published by Kutub Khāna Idāra Gufrān, Rawalpindi.)
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