Salt before meals, sunnah ?

  • Status : FABRICATED

Based on the following narration, some recommend taking salt before (and/or after) meals :

“O ‘Ali have salt before and after your meals, for it is a cure for 70 illnesses, the first of which are insanity, leprosy, vitiligo, toothache, sore throat and abdominal pain”

This has been deemed as a fabrication by the hadith masters and should not be quoted.

‘Allāmah Shihāb al-Dīn al-Būsīrī [d. 839 AH] writes: “This is a chain of consecutive weak transmitters”

‘Allāmah al-Hasan al-Saghānī [d. 650 AH] mentions: Among these (i.e. fabrications) are the advices of ‘Alī…Hammād ibn ‘Amr al-Nasībī is the one who forged them”

Commenting on this statement, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Fattāh Abū Ghuddah writes: From the advices of ‘Alī (Allah be pleased with him) which Hammād ibn ‘Amr al-Nasībī is accused of forging, and al-Suyūtī mentions in al-La’ālī al-Masnū‘a, is the Hadīth which some jurists and Sūfīs frequently quote before eating. The Hadīth is as follows: “O ‘Alī, begin your meals with salt, and complete it with salt, as it is a cure for seventy diseases (…)

Abu ‘l-Faraj ibn al-Jawzī [d. 597 AH] writes: This Hadīth is not authentic (i.e. it is a fabrication) from the Messenger of Allāh (peace and blessings be upon him). The one accused of forging it is either ‘Abd Allāh ibn Ahmad ibn ‘Āmir or his father (i.e. Ahmad ibn ‘Āmir), as they would narrate a collection (falsely) ascribed to the Ahl al-Bayt filled with fabrications

Yes, some jurists (ie not hadith specialists) mentioned this but this seems in the end more of a medical prescription, may be linked to the toxicity of food in old times with salt being hyperosmolar (wallahu a’lam). But on the religious ground, this practice has no basis as mentioned by hadith specialists.

Tanzihush Shari’ah, vol. 2 pg.234,

Al Yawaqitul Ghaliyah, vol.2 pg.448

Shaykh ‘Abdul Fattah’s footnotes on Al-Masnu’ fi Ma‘rifa al-Hadīth al-Mawdū’, pg.236

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