Islamic Pulse recently posted that “The sunnah of the Holy Prophet (S) is to to wash the hands before and after eating.”  This is easily recognised as an important issue of hygiene with regards to washing your hands before eating, and commonly taught in the west.  However, according to the Purified Household, Peace Be Upon Them, hygiene is NOT the only reason why we should follow this sunnah.  Not only is the washing of the hands recommended, but performing ablution before and after food also has benefits other than the obvious one of being “constantly in the state purity”.

Benefits include:

  • prevents poverty
  • strengthens the eyes
  • and banishes grief.

الوضوء قبل الطعام ينفي الفقر و بعده ينفي الهم ويصحح البصر

“Ablution before food banishes poverty and after it banishes grief  and corrects the eyesight”.  The Prophet blessings be upon him and his Purified Household.

Makarim AlAkhlaq p139


غسل اليدين قبل الطعام وبعده زيادة في الرزق

“Washing of the hands before food and after it increases sustenance.” Imam Ali peace be upon him.

Tuhf AlUqool p101

الوضوء قبل الطعام يبدأ صاحب البيت لئلا يحتشم أحد فإذا فرغ من الطعام بدأ بمن عن يمين (صاحب) البيت حرا كان أو عبدا 

“The owner of the house starts ablution before food , lest someone feels embarrassed (to start), and when (the owner) finishes the food (ablution starts) from the right of the owner (and ends with the owner), be he a slave or a free man.” Imam Sadiq peace be upon him.

Ilal AlSharia’e p291 and AlKafi v6 p290

الوضوء قبل الطعام وبعده يزيدان في الرزق

“Ablution before food and after it increases sustenance.” Imam Sadiq peace be upon him.

AlKafi v6 p290

In a similar narration also in AlKafi v6 p290, washing of the hands is said instead of ablution.

من غسل يده قبل الطعام وبعده عاش في سعة وعوفي من بلوى في جسده

“Whomever washes his hands before food and after it lives in abundance and is forgiven (healed) from adversity (illness) in his body.” Imam Sadiq peace be upon him.

AlKafi v6 p290

Sourced from The Keys of Life- Ayatoallah Jawadi Amoli, p140.