Eating With Fingers


Is eating with one’s fingers a custom or a Sunnah (supererogatory act of worship following the example of the Prophet)?


Eating with one’s fingers or using spoons is a part of customs. It was the guidance of the Prophet (peace be upon him) that he used to eat with three fingers. It is reported by Imam Muslim, in the chapter of “Drinks”, section on “Recommendation on licking one’s fingers and plate”, on the authority of Ka`b ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him), saying: “I saw the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) eating with three fingers which he licked when he completed his food.1

  1. Ahmad, vol. 6, p. 386; Muslim, vol. 3, p. 1605, no. 2032; Al-Tirmidhi, Al-Shama’il Al-Muhamadiyyah, pp. 126 and 129, nos. 130 and 133, (verified by Al-Zughbi); Al-Darimi, vol. 2, p. 67; Ibn Abu Shaybah, vol. 8, pp. 107 and 111; Ibn Hibban, vol. 12, pp. 55 and 56, no. 5251; Al-Hakim, vol. 4, p. 117; Al-Tabarani, vol. 19, pp. 94, 95, 96, and 99, nos. 182, 187, 188, 195, and 196; Al-Bayhaqi, Sunan, vol. 7, p. 278, and Book on manners, p. 218, no. 552; and al-Baghawi, vol. 11, p. 315, no. 2874. 

May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet, his family and Companions