6 Best Proofs Why Eating or Drinking Standing Is Halal
The issue of whether eating or drinking while standing is halal or not has created a lot of confusion among Muslims. Many scholars have given their ruling stating that eating or drinking while standing is haram. One such scholar is sheikh Albani. But when we analyse all the hadiths, the correct conclusion is that drinking or eating while standing is not haram at all. In this article I hope to inshaAllah prove once and for all why eating or drinking while standing is halal. Below are the six proofs proving why eating or drinking while standing is halal in Islam.
Proof-1-Ali (rali) Allowed Drinking While Standing
“Ali came to the gate of the courtyard (of the Mosque) and drank (water) while he was standing and said, "Some people dislike to drink while standing, but I saw the Prophet (sal) doing (drinking water) as you have seen me doing now.”
This hadith proves clearly that drinking while standing is halal in Islam. In another hadith narrated in Musnad Ahmad (hadith number 797) narrated that ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (rali) drank whilst standing and the people looked at him as if they objected to that. He said: “What are you looking at? If I drink whilst standing, I saw the Prophet (sal) drink whilst standing, and if I drink sitting, I saw the Prophet (sal) drink whilst sitting.”-Ahmad Shakir said in Tahqeeq al-Musnad: its isnad is sahih.
Some try to come to the assumption that Ali (rali) did not know that the prophet (sal) had forbade the Muslims from drinking while standing. My question is what is the evidence they have to prove this assumption? and the answer is none. in the second hadith which I have quoted, Ali (rali) himself said" If I drink whilst standing, I saw the Prophet (sal) drink whilst standing, and if I drink sitting, I saw the Prophet (sal) drink whilst sitting.”
This clearly shows that Ali (rali) was clearly aware of what the prophet (sal) said and did. The prophet (sal) told to follow the Sunnah of the rightly guided caliphs and if Ali (rali) wa so ignorant, the prophet (sal) would not have told to follow his sunnah. The people who say that Ali (rali) did not know about the ruling of drinking while standing are not more knowledgeful than the rightly guided caliphs. Irbaad ibn Saariyah narrated: the prophet (sal) said,
“I advise you to fear Allaah and to hear and obey even if an Abyssinian slave were to rule over you. For surely, he who lives from amongst you will see much differing, so it is upon you to be upon my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the Rightly Guided Caliphs. Bite on to it with your back molar teeth and beware of newly invented matters, for verily, every newly invented matter is an innovation, and all innovation is misguidance.”
(Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi –Authenticated by Albani)
Many people go to the extent of telling that only Ali (rali) drank while standing. This opinion is proven wrong by the following hadith in the next Proof.
Proof-2-Ibn Mas’ood (rali) too Narrated Of Prophet (sal) Drinking While Standing
Ibn Mas’ood (rali) said:
“I brought water to the Messenger of Allaah (sal) from Zamzam and he drank whilst standing.”
(Bukhari and Muslim)
This is clear evidence that ibn Mas’ood (rali) was also aware that prophet drank while standing and singling out and arguing that only Ali (rali) saw the prophet (sal) drinking while standing is a false argument put forward by people who are ignorant.
Proof-3-Even Ibn Umar (rali) Used to Eat and Drink While Standing
Ibn ‘Umar (rali) said: “We used to eat at the time of the Messenger of Allaah (sal) whilst walking and we used to drink whilst standing.” (Classed as saheeh by al-Albani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi)
Here, ibn Umar (rali) too drank while standing making it clear that the sahaba themselves ate and drank while standing and they were the most knowledgeful of the saying and actions of prophet(sal).
Proof-4-Reconciling the Various Hadiths on Drinking While Standing
The thing that has gone wrong among Muslims is that many have only come to a conclusion based on one or two hadiths and have not reconciled all the available sahih hadiths on the subject. As a result of this, they fall in to misjudged opinions and assumptions. there are similar examples of prophet(sal) forbidding one thing in one hadith and allowed it in another hadith. For an example,
Abu Hurayrah (rali) related that a man asked the Prophet (sal) about a fasting person
fondling [his wife] and he allowed it for him. Another asked him and he forbade
it. The one who he permitted was an old man and the one he forbade was a young
Man (Abu Dawud-graded sahih by Albani)
In this hadith it is very clear that the prophet (sal) forbade the young man because his sexual urge is strong and would not have been able to control his urge and would have broken his fast by having intercourse with his wife.(by penetrating his penis on to her vagina). the reason for allowing the old man was because he could control his urge. these are supported by so many other authentic narrations. The other example is in the next proof.
Proof-5-Praying Two Unit Prayers after It Was Prohibited
Umm Salamah said (rali):
“I heard the Messenger of Allaah (sal) prohibiting them (two units after the
Afternoon prayer), but later on I saw him praying them. When he prayed them, he had offered the
afternoon prayer. He then came to me while a number of women from the Haraam clan of the
Ansar were sitting with me. He prayed these two units of prayer. I sent a slave-girl to him and
told her: Stand beside him and tell him that Umm Salamah has asked: Messenger of Allaah, I
Heard you prohibiting these two units of prayer (after the afternoon prayer) but I see you praying
them yourself. If he makes a sign with his hand, step backward from him. The slave-girl did so.
He made a sign with his hand, so she turned away from him. When he finished his prayer, he said:
O daughter of Abu Umayyah, you asked about the praying of two units of prayer after the
afternoon prayer. In fact, some people from the ‘Abul-Qays clan had come to me with the news
That their people had embraced Islam. They hindered me from praying the two units after the
noon prayer. It is those two units.” (Abu Dawud-graded sahih by Albani)
In this hadith, it is very clear that the prophet himself told why he prayed the two unit after afternoon prayers because he was asked why. This shows clearly there is no contradiction in the Sunnah of Rasulullah (sal). but no one asked the prophet on the issue on why he drank while standing while forbidding some sahaba from doing the same. so the correct conclusion. is we should not make this an issue and come to our own conclusion of what he would have really meant. Because no matter how much we try we won't be able to come to the correct conclusion.
Proof-6-Praying Asr after Reaching Banu Quraiza
There is a hadith reported in both Bukhari and Muslim in which the prophet Muhammad (sal) ordered his companions after the battle of Al-Ahzab saying, “No one of you should pray Asr until you reach the village of Bani-Quraiza (A Jewish tribe). The hadith is as follows,
Narrated Ibn Umar (rali):
“On the day of Al-Ahzab (i.e. Clans) the Prophet said, "None of you Muslims) should offer the 'Asr prayer but at Banu Quraiza's place." The 'Asr prayer became due for some of them on the way. Some of those said, "We will not offer it till we reach it, the place of Banu Quraiza," while some others said, "No, we will pray at this spot, for the Prophet did not mean that for us." Later on it was mentioned to the Prophet and he did not berate any of the two groups.”
Aisha (rali) narrated a similar narration stating:
”While they were on their way, the time of Asr came. Some companions said we should not pray until we reach Bani-Quraiza. Others said we should pray Asr now because the Prophet (S.A.W.) did not mean for us to leave the Asr prayer, but he wanted us to be in a hurry. So some of the companions prayed ASR, while others continued on until they reached Bani-Quraiza after sunset. When they went back to the Prophet, they mentioned to him the story; He accepted the action of all of them."
(Bukhari and Muslim)
This clearly shows that the prophet (sal) accepted both the actions of two groups of the companions because both of them prayed Asr prayer according to the sunnah of the prophet (sal). Similarly drinking or eating while standing and sitting are both in the Sunna. the correct thing to do is to follow the sunnah of prophet(sal) by reconciling all the sahih hadiths and coming to a correct conclusion. And the conclusion is that eating or drinking while standing is not haram. The below hadith of the prophet (sal) prohibiting drinking while standing should be understood according to the above mentioned hadiths.
Anas ibn Malik reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, prohibited a man from drinking while standing up. We said, “And eating?” The Prophet said, “That is even worse.”
Imam Nawawi interpreted the above hadith by saying,
“The correct opinion is that the prohibition is interpreted as moderately discouraged. As for the Prophet drinking while standing, it makes clear it is permissible.”
(Sharḥ al-Nawawī ‘alá Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2024)
In this hadith Anas rali is mentioning that the prophet (sal) forbade drinking while standing. And he was asked about the eating while standing, he gave his opinion that it's worse. This is only Anas rali opinion and this cannot be taken as evidence to prove that eating while standing is haram. Even for the sake of argument if we accept this hadith based on the opinion of a sahabi, then this is what ibn Umar rali (rali) had to say about eating while standing,
Ibn ‘Umar (rali) said: “We used to eat at the time of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) whilst walking and we used to drink whilst standing.”(Classed as sahih by al-Albani in Sahih at-Tirmidhi)
Abu Hurayrah (rali) reported Allah's Messenger (sal) as saying:
“None of you should drink while standing; and if anyone forgets, he must vomit.”
Abu Sa'id Khudri (rali) reported that Allah's Messenger (sal) warned against drinking while standing
Based on all the available hadiths it is very clear that eating and drinking while standing is completely halal in Islam and there is nothing contradictory about some hadiths prohibiting and others allowing drinking while standing because what needs to be understood is that both are correct but Islam encourages leniency and lenient view of drinking while standing is what is more correct. Aisha (rali) narrated,
“Whenever Allah's Messenger (sal) was given the choice of one of two matters, he would choose the easier of the two, as long as it was not sinful to do so, but if it was sinful to do so, he would not approach it. Allah's Messenger (sal) never took revenge (over anybody) for his own sake but (he did) only when Allah's Legal Bindings were outraged in which case he would take revenge for Allah's Sake.” (Bukhari)
There is a majority view that drinking while standing is makrooh and this opinion has no clear basis in Islam and is only the opinion of some scholars. There are several arguments for and against drinking while standing. There are several views and studies supporting or criticizing drinking or eating while standing but there are many health benefits associated with drinking or drinking while standing. In an article published by Healthline.com which you can read by clicking this link https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/eating-while-standing-up said the following about eating while standing,
“Individuals with reflux or heartburn may benefit from standing upright while eating. Moreover, standing up and walking during a meal may speed digestion, further reduce the likelihood of reflux and heartburn.”
It is clear from the evidence in Islam that eating or drinking while standing is not at all haram. Islam is silent when it comes to eating while standing and there are several hadiths proving that you can drink while standing. Islam is an easy religion and taking a lenient stand on this issue will solve this problem.