His Physical Posture At Meals

God’s Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم ate his meals in sitting position, and rarely was he seen eating standing up. He sat on the floor leaning on one foot and sitting on the other, or he would sit cross legged, without using pillows for comfort, or stretching out while eating. He used to say: “I sit like a servant of God Almighty, and I eat like a servant of God Almighty.” He also forbade a man to eat while laying on his stomach. (Reported in Sunan Ibn Mãja).

Eating while reclining on one side obstructs food passages, overburdens the organs, hinders the natural passing of food through the digestive tract, and effects the speed and naturalness of processing food in the body. The other kind of laying down while eating is the reclining of tyrants when they sit on puffed cushions, rest heir arm on a bolster, and leisurely stretch their hand to a raised table. Such sitting position at meals is certainly a gesture of arrogance and ingratitude to one’s Lord. That is why God’s Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم said: “I sit like a servant, and I eat like a servant.” Sometimes, he knelt down to eat, placing the bottom of his left foot under his right foot as a show of gratitude and humility before his Lord, and in respect for the food and its Provider. In this sitting posture, the organs hold to their natural posture, the way God Almighty intended for them, and the digestive process progresses naturally. On the other hand, eating while sitting properly, and without bending over the food prevents pressure from building on the diaphragm separating the chest cavity and the abdominal cavity, which otherwise causes indigestion (ullem), thus eliminating any possible pain (odynophagia) associated with constipation, or a hampered digestive process. Finally, sitting in the correct and proper posture while eating displays an attitude of decency and proper etiquette.

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