The type of bread that Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam ate is mentioned here. Eight ahaadith are mentioned in this chapter.
Hadith Number 1.
'Aayeshah Radiyallahu 'Anha says: "Till the demise of Rasulullah sallallahu'Alayhi Wasallam, his family never ate a full stomach of bread made of barley for two consecutive days".
lt is Possible that they may have eaten a full stomach of dates, but not of bread, where they did not eat it for two consecutive days. A question may arise, that it is evident from the ahadith that Sayidinah Rasulullah Sallalahu 'Alayhi Wasallam gave his wives their expenses for a year.
There seems to be a contradiction between the two ahaadith the 'ulama have explained it in various ways. Among these, one explanation is that, in the hadith the word 'Ahl' (family) is extra and rneans that the expenses were for himself. It also shows that he did not have any other provisions. A narration is related on this topic from Sayyiditina 'Aayeshah Radiyallahu 'Anha at the end of the chapter. Some 'ulama have explained it in this manner, that he gave his wives provision, but they also, in wanting to gain thawaab (reward), gave it away in charity. According to this humble servant there are two other explanations that may be possible. Since it is not taken from the sayings of the great learned, it cannot be taken as an argument or proof, but can surely be assumed. The first is that the yearly expenses were only that much, that they did not cover the cost of continuously eating bread for two consecutive days, but of eating bread sometimes, dates sometimes, and at times remaining hungry. The second is that it may have been in the form of dates. This is not denied in this hadith but that of eating bread is.
Hadith Number 2.
Abu Umaamah Al-Baahili Radiyallahu 'Anhu says: "Bread made of barley was never left over in the house of Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam".
Whenever bread made of barley was prepared, the quantity was so little that there were none left over. There was not enough to fill the stomach. Also Sayyidina Rasulullah Saliallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam used to have many guests and the As-haabus Suffah were permanent guests of Sayyidina Rasuluilah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam.
Hadith Number 3.
lbn 'Abbaas Radiyallahu 'Anhu reports that: "Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam and his family spent many consecutive nights without food, because there would be no supper. The bread of Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam was mostly made of barley". (Sometimes bread made of wheat was also available).
Although there were among the Sahaabah Radiyallahu 'Anhum, a few who were wealthy, Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallailahu 'Alayhi Wasallam did not let anyone know, nor did his family members let anyone know, of their state.
Hadith Number 4.
Someone asked Sahl bin Sa'd Radiyallahu 'Anhu "Did Rasulullah Sallailahu 'Alayhi Wasallam ever eat bread made of white (fine) flour?" He replied: White flour may not have come before Rasulullah Sallailahu 'Alayhi Wasallam till his last days". The questioner then asked: "Did you people use sieved flour in the time of Rasulullah Sallailahu 'Alayhi Wasallam?"
He replied: "No, it was not". The questioner then asked: "How was bread from barley prepared?" (because it has more particles in it). Sahl Radiyallahu Anhu replied: "We used to blow into the flour and the big particles flew out. The rest was made into dough".
Allah! Allah is everlasting. Today it is difficult for us to eat even wheat flour that is not sifted. Whereas unsifted flour is good for digestion. Bread made of fine flour although being heavy (and difficult to digest) has become common. Many homes, because of luxury have kept up this wasteful practice. Some 'ulama have written that the first bid'ah that crept into Islaarn was the use of a sieve. This bid'ah should not be confused with shar'ee bid'ah, which is against the sunnah. It is being called bid'ah in view of new trends. it is undoubtedly jaa iz (permissible).
Hadith Number 5.
Anas Radiyallahu 'Anhu reports that.. "Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam never ate food from a table, nor from small plates, nor was chapaati (a type of thin bread) ever made for him. Yunus Radiyallahu 'Anhu says, I asked Qataadah: 'Then on what did Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam put and eat his food'?'. He replied: on this leather dastarkhaan"'.
Sayyidina Yunus Radiyallahu 'Anhu and Sayyidina Qataadah Radiyallahu 'Anhu who are mentioned in the translation are two narrators in the chain of this hadith. 'Allaamah Munaawi and Mulla 'Ali Qaari say that it has always been the custom of proud people to eat on a table. It has been stated in the 'Kaukabe Durri' that in our times because it is also an imitation of the Christians, therefore it is rnakruh tahreermi.
The question of imitating others is very important. We have been warned many a time in the hadith (under different headings) about it. We have been prohibited from imitating others in the manner of eating, drinking, mode of dress and even that of worship. The subject of imitating others has been mentioned many a time in the ahaadith of the saum (fast) of 'Aa-shura and adhaan. We consider it an insignificant thing and do not take special care of it. And to Allah is our complaint.
Hadith Number 6.
Masruq says. "I went to 'Aayeshah (Radiyallahu 'Anha). She ordered' food for me and began saying 'I never eat a stomachful but feel like crying, then I do cry'. Masruq asked: 'Why do you feel like crying?'. She replied: 'I remember that condition of Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam on which he left us for the next world. I swear by Allah that, he never filled his stomach twice in one day with meat or bread"'.
Hadith Number 7.
'Aayeshah Radiyallahu 'Anha says: "Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam never filled his stomach with bread made of barley for two consecutive days till he passed away".
This is the same hadith that was mentioned in the beginning of the chapter. The only difference is, there the whole household was mentioned, here only Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam himself is mentioned. The aim is the same. Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam preferred a simple life for himself and his family. There was not so much, that all could fill their stomachs. Even if there was something available it was given to the poor.
Hadith Number 8.
Anas Radiyallahu 'Anhu says: "Till the end of his life Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam never ate on a table and never ate a chapaati".
This hadith is also mentioned in hadith number five of this chapter. It is clear from the narrations that Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam preferred a simple life. Whenever Allah Ta'aala sent an angel to ask Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallailahu 'Alayhi Wasallam if he preferred to live a simple life with poverty and hunger or a life with wealth and pomp, he always replied that he preferred the first (simple life). Many ahaadith are mentioned on this subject. The 'ulama give two explanations for this.The first is that because Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam preferred a simple way of life, only that much was made available as has been previously mentioned. Or that although it was available, in humbleness he did not consume it but distributed it.