Never drink water immediately after takingfood nor when the stomach
is quite empty. He who drinkswater drawnfrom a well, his food will be
well digested.Abstainfromverycold water,for it is harmfulto the organs
of respiration,especially after a hot meal or after sweet food or after a
hot bathoraftersexualintercourse.Do notmix well waterwith riverwater.
Never toss down waterwith a single gulp, for a diseasecalled al-Kabar
is caused by such swallowing.Al-Bayhaqiexplains that al-Kabarmeans
‘pain in the liver’ and ‘a single gulp’ means ‘swallowingby great gulps’.
Anasreportsthe traditionthat the Prophetused to takethreebreathswith
Folio I6 each drinkand used to
say that it therebybecame more satisfying,more
health-giving, and more thirst-quenching. Anas added: I also used to
take three breathsin a similar manner.Muslim extractedthis saying.
Abu Nu’aim too
reports the tradition that whenever the Prophet took a
drink (Sharab), he would pause three times for breath, calling upon the
name of God when he began and praising Him during the pause. The
word ‘Sharab’ here means water, but in the terminology of physicians it
means ‘an intoxicant’.
According to al-Tirmidhi the Prophet used to use the tooth-pick sideways and would drink by sucking.
The meaning of the phrase ‘taking a breath’ in the Traditions is drinking
with three
pauses for breath and removing the mout from the vessel.
The prohibition of the Prophet against breathing into the vessel means
that it is forbidden to drink and to breathe into a vessel without removing
the vessel from the mouth. For often some saliva
may fall into the vessel
and the vessel will be contaminated if this often happens. There is thus
no contradiction between his order and his prohibition.
Verily to ration out one’s water is of very great benefit. This is because
some need
may call for the taking of much water because of a violent
thirst and a man cannot be sure of repeated opportunities for drinking
and for reducing his heat. Rationing of one’s water makes this certain.
The benefit of pausing for breath while drinking is as follows. Respiration
stops at the moment of swallowing. But the need is urgent both
for water and for breath. So, if a man takes a breath and inhales a drop
of water into the respiratory passage, this will become for him a cause of
suffocation or choking. So, if a man pauses in his drinking to breathe, he
will be safe from this.
But as for the statement about the three breaths, verily there is no need
Folio I7 for more than this. But it is expedient for everyone while drinking to take
three breaths, as did the Prophet. But with regard to the statement that it
is more satisfying, most certainly it is more satisfying for the thirst than
drinking all in one draught. As for it being more health-giving, this is
because if a man drink for that
reason, he will be cured of his disease or he
will be cured more quickly if he recovers. As for being more thirstquenching or more subtle, this is because it renders digestion easy and
creates an appetite. These are minute points of wisdom and theoretical
truths the telling of which is neglected except by the meticulous. The
wise of olden times and of later times have failed to know them. And
may God be merciful and give peace to this Prophet, the Physician, the
Pure One. May His mercy endure for ever and be without end.
Anas said: The Prophet forbade drinking while .standing up. But
al-Khattabi said: This prohibition refers to the quenching of thirst and to
setting a limit thereto. Al-Khattabi allowed a drink to be taken standing,
as also did ‘Umar, cUthman, ‘Ali, and a large number of theologians.
Others refused. The Prophet himself drank standing up.
The Prophet forbade the closing of water skins. This means that he
forbade the custom of the kinking of the neck of the water-skin and the
drinking from the cup thus formed. This is reported by al-Bukhari. Said
Bin ‘Abbas: The Prophet forbade drinking from the mouth of the waterskin. This is related by al-Bukhari. The reason for this prohibition is
because the drinker will not know what will enter his mouth. For these
may be in the water a leech or something else which will stick in his
throat. Such things have been related.
Ibn Maja says on the authority of Bin ‘Abbas that the Prophet possessed
Folio I8 a
cup and a flask and used to drink out of these.
Said al-Muwaqqaf ‘Abd-ul-Latif: Glass is the best for a drinking vessel.
The Indians preferred it. Their kings used to drink from glass and preferred it to silver and rubies, for it is less likely to carry dirt and becomes new
again when washed. Dirty water or any dirty drink can be perceived
through it. And it is difficult for a cup-bearer to insert poison into it.
These are its most excellent properties for which the kings of India
chose it.