What Muslims Should Do With Bones?

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    By Abbas Jimoh

    What Muslims should do with bones?

    Allah Says: “You have an excellent model in the Messenger of Allah, for all who put their hope in Allah and the Last Day and remember Allah much.” (Surat al-Ahzab 33:21).

    He also says: “I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.” (Ad-Dhariyat 51:56).

    The scholars disagree over the difference between jinn and demons. Some say that the word jinn encompasses the jinn as well as the demons. The word also includes the believing and unbelieving jinn.

    However, the word demon or shaytan is used to refer to the unbelieving ones among the jinn. Allah Almighty says, “…and the devil was ever an ingrate to his Lord.” (Al-Isra’17: 27).

    Human relationship with the jinns is a broad issue.

    Muslims have opportunities of earning rewards through the food they eat, especially the bones which are expected to be left for the believers among the jinns.

    Poverty or lack of abundance of sustenance should not be an excuse to eat bones instead of just meat by many people. Nutritionally a piece of meat is better than chunks of bones and it is better and rewardable to eat alternatives if meat is not affordable.

    The Prophet’s wife Aisha (RA) says that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “The angels were created from light, the jinn were created from fire, and Adam was created from that which has been described to you.” (Muslim).

    Ibn Mas’ud (AS) reports that the Prophet says: “There came to me an inviter on behalf of the jinn and I went along with him and recited to them the Qur’an.” He (the narrator) said: “The Prophet then went along with us and showed us their traces and traces of their embers. The jinn asked the Prophet about their provision and he said: “Every bone on which the name of Allah is recited is your provision. The time it will fall in your hand it would be covered with flesh, and (you can have) all the droppings as food for your animals.” The Prophet (PBUH) said, “So do not use (these things) for cleaning yourselves (after relieving oneself or visiting toilets), for they are the food and provision of your brothers (believing jinns).” (Muslim).

    The believing jinn may eat any bone on which the name of Allah has been mentioned. Anything on which Allah’s name has not been mentioned is for the unbelieving jinn.

    “And there are among us (jinn) some who have surrendered (to Allah) and there are among us some who are unjust. And whoso hath surrendered to Allah, such have taken the right path purposefully.” (Al-Jinn 72:14).

    The Prophet (PBUH) said: “Satan considers any food lawful on which Allah’s Name is not mentioned.” (Muslim).

    The disbelieving jinn eat and drink anything on which Allah’s name is not mentioned.

    It is recorded on the authority of Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (PBUH) told him to get some stones in order for him (Prophet) to clean himself after defecation. The Prophet told Abu Hurayrah, “Do not bring me bones or dung.” Abu Hurayrah asked the Prophet why he specifically mentioned not to bring those two items. The Prophet told him, “They are food for the jinn. A delegation of Naseeb came to me, and what nice jinn they are, and asked me about their provisions. I supplicated to Allah for them that they would never pass by dung or bones except that they would find meat upon them”. (Bukhari).

    In another hadith the Prophet (PBUH) said: “If the man enters his house and mentions the name of Allah upon entering it and upon eating therein, Satan says, ‘There are no lodging for you here and no meal here.’ But if the man enters his house and neglects to mention the name of Allah upon entering it, Satan says, ‘I have found lodging for you.’ And if he does not mention Allah’s name upon eating his meal, Satan says, ‘I have found lodging and a meal.’” (Ahmad).

    The Prophet also said that the devils/demons eat with their left hand and ordered us to be different from them in this respect.

    On the authority of Ibn Umar, the Prophet said: “If one of you eats, he should eat with his right hand. And if he drinks, he should drink with his right hand. Verily, Satan eats with his left hand and drinks with his left hand.” (Muslim).

    It is noteworthy that the life of prophets that has been made into movies even by non-Muslims did not show any of them eating or drinking with the left hands.

    Unfortunately, nowadays many Muslims have borrowed a defective habit or try to please others even when no one would challenge them when they eat with their right hand when using knife and fork. One can use the right hand to cut the food, and use same hand to eat.

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