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Search Fatawaa

Subject : Throwing away Leftovers in the Trash

Fatwa Number : 1909

Date : 14-08-2011

Classified : Foods & Drinks

Fatwa Type : Search Fatawaa

Question :

What is the ruling on throwing the leftovers in the trash? And what should we do instead as the aforementioned act is impermissible?

The Answer :


All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of The Worlds, and may His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all of his family and companions.

Throwing away eatable leftovers is impermissible, because food is one of Allah's, The Exalted graces upon people; besides, throwing them is considered disgrace from two perspectives:

First one: It is considered a degrade and disbelieve of a grace, because a Muslim is obliged to be thankful for Allah's graces and bestowals not otherwise.

Second: This act is wasting of wealth, since the Prophet (PBUH) forbade doing so, in the following Hadith, where he says (What means):" Verily Allah disapproves three things for you: irrelevant talk, wasting of wealth and persistent questioning." [Agreed upon].

Furthermore, Allah, The Exalted forbade wasting drinkable and eatable food, as He said (What means):" eat and drink: But waste not by excess, for God loveth not the wasters. [Al-Araf/31]. Thusly, it is more prudent to disallow the waste of wealth in particular since it is much worse than wasting food; yet, Allah's loveth not the wasters.

In addition, there are many prophetic narrations that stress people to show gratitude and preserve Allah's, The Exalted graces; in addition that the Prophet (PBUH) is our role model and we are obliged to follow his footsteps, his narrations in this regard, read as follows:

Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated:" The Prophet (PBUH) passed by a fallen date and said, "Were it not for my doubt that this might have been given in charity, I would have eaten it." [Related by Al-Bukhary].

Besides, he (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:" When the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) finished eating his food, he would lick his three fingers (i.e., the forefinger, the middle finger and the thumb). He (PBUH) said, "If anyone of you drops a morsel, he should remove anything harmful from it and then eat it. He should not leave it for Shaitan." He commanded us to clean out the dish saying, "You do not know in what portion of your food the blessing lies." [Related by Moslim):" 

Therefore, showing gratitude and preserving a grace is a mean of being grateful to Allah, because He said (What means):" If ye are grateful, I will add more (favours) unto you." [Ibrahim/7].

As for food's leftovers from feasts that took place in houses, farms and restaurants and most of them end up in trash due to the fact that the host didn't know what to do with it. In this regard, a prophetic narration show us what to do in similar cases: the Prophet (PBUH) said (What means):" he who has surplus food should give it to who has no food. We thought that none of us had a right in surplus food." [Related by Abu Dawood].

We advise the people who ruin eatable foods to cooporate with the charitable organizations as regards benfitting from the leftovers instead of being thrown away in trash, for the purpose of being distributed to the poor and needy in order to get the reward from Allah for this charitable act,as well as, they (the people) are demanded to intensify their efforts to preserve such a grace by gathering leftovers, medications and clothes and distributing them later to the poor and needy in our generous country. And Allah knows best.




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