In most Asian countries, Muslims start to lick their fingers after meals. This they say is “sunah”. But this act does create a sense of unhygenic acts, since Muslims tend to continue licking after each mouth, which gives out a negative reaction towards others eating with them.
Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) mentioned, ?When anyone of you has eaten, he should not wipe his hands until he has licked it.? (Mishkaat pg.363)
In another Hadith, Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) commanded us to lick one’s fingers and the plate as well, i.e. to clean the plate by using one’s fingers. Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) further mentioned that we don’t know in where Allah has kept blessings (in which morsel of portion of the food).
Whatever Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) has taught us, we have to accept. That person who ridicules the Sunnah or looks down up it and regards it to be disrespectful or unhygienic, is very unfortunate indeed. There is a great danger of Imaan leaving the heart of this person. How can we take into consideration what a non-Muslim thinks, while he deems himself pure and clean after he leaves the toilet without using water.
How could it be unhygienic or disrespectful to clean one’s fingers by licking it. The saliva of a person if pure as well. How many a Sunnah of Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) has many medical benefits which was only discovered centuries later. Our duty, as believing Muslims, is to abide strictly and to the best of our ability to the great lifestyle of Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam). Then only will we witness a change in our lives in the forms of blessings, happiness and peace of mind.
and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ebrahim Desai