Friday, May 4, 2007

Be Careful How You Drink

Arab News has their weekly exposition about their prophet Mohammed and what we can learn from him. If you thought that taking a drink of water was mundane, you are an ignorant heretic infidel because EVERYTHING in life has religious consequences.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) often taught by practical example. He might not state any recommendation, but he would make his conduct clearly visible so that people would learn and emulate his practice. Muslims have always been keen to follow his example, because they realized that whatever the Prophet did was good.
Or they had nothing better to do than to worship this man.
Moreover, even in ordinary matters that are not related to religion, we will earn reward from God if we intentionally follow the Prophet’s example.
You gotta love the diversity of thought in Islam.
There is, however, nothing religious about taking a drink in large gulps or short sips. Yet the Prophet’s companions were keen to follow his example in the way he drank water. Anas reports: “When the Prophet took a drink of water, he stopped to take a breath three times."
Not two. Not four. Three.
"He used to say that in this way, the drink is ‘more gratifying, enjoyable and helps healing.’ Therefore, I stop three times to take a breath when I drink water."
Naturally. But this is not a rule.
There is no doubt that drinking slowly, in small portions, and taking a breath each time is better and healthier. Moreover, there are a number of reports that the Prophet mentioned God’s name each time before resuming drinking, but these reports are rather poor in authenticity.
And it gets worse.
-People mention that drinking while standing is strongly discouraged by Islam. Yet there are several Hadiths that make clear that this is a misconception.

-Other reports also confirm that the Prophet used to take his drink of water standing...

-In another Hadith one of the Prophet’s companions reports: “I have seen the Prophet (peace be upon him) drinking when standing and when seated.”

-He [Mohammed] said: ‘The one pouring the drinks is the last to drink.’

-[Mohammed] said: ‘Take it in turn starting on the right side.’...The Prophet thus demonstrated that when there is a preferred way, it should be followed in all situations and should not be disregarded in order to appease someone of a senior position.

-Sahl ibn Saad reports: “One day the Prophet was brought something to drink. A young man was to his right and some older men were to his left. ... The Prophet put the drink into the young man’s hands.”
Only in Islam can there be disputes about drinking water. So much so that it is repressive.
Hence, we read about scholars refraining from doing some ordinary thing because they did not know how the Prophet did with such a matter. When they learned how he did, they performed that thing in the same way.
No doubt they drank no water until they learned the "correct" way to do it. It really makes you wonder about these people.

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