Answered by Shaykh Yūsuf Badāt
Is it okay to use a knife, fork or spoon when eating? Would it be sinful to eat with a spoon and fork? Some people look down upon me when I eat in this manner.
بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
There is no doubt that the general noble practice of the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) was to eat food with his hands. It is also reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) would lick his fingers after eating, which denotes his eating food with his hands. Hence it would be considered ‘sunnah’ (prophetic practice) to eat with the hands. Following this practice will most certainly bring blessings and rewards.
As for eating with a knife, fork or spoon, it is mubaah (allowed). There are some reports indicating that the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) also used a knife when eating.
Ja’far ibn ‘Amr bin Umaiya (may Allāh be pleased with him) states, my father said,
“I saw Allah’s Messenger taking a piece of (cooked) mutton from the shoulder region and then he was called for prayer. He put his knife down and prayed without repeating ablution.” (Ṣaḥīḥ Bukhārī)
Shaykh Muftī Khālid Saifullāh Al Raḥmānī writes, “It is not appropriate for one to exaggerate, be vehement or harsh in this matter” (See Nawāzil Fiqhiyyah Mu’āsirah)
And Allāh Knows Best
This answer was collected from Mathabah.org. It’s an Islamic educational institute based in Canada. The questions are generally answered by Sheikh Yusuf Badat and Sheikh Omar Subedar.