There are numerous guidelines which have to be followed when drinking liquids. If adhered to, these guidelines will assist the body in gaining maximum benefit from the liquid and prevent the body from being harmed by it.

How to Drink

· Drink according to the Sunnah method i.e. three large sips should be taken, pausing to breathe between each sip.

· Preferably remove the utensil from the lips between each sip.

· Do not inhale (breathe in) while drinking.

· Drink while sitting.

· Do not drink while standing, walking or reclining.

The health benefits of adhering to these guidelines are:

· It lessens the chances of one choking.

· It quenches the thirst quicker.

· It aids the appetite.

· It reduces gas in the stomach.

When a person is dehydrated, water should not be gulped but should rather be taken in small sips. The same applies to a person suffering from heat exhaustion i.e. he should drink in small sips and should not take excessive liquids as it will cause the body to pain.

When to Drink

· Liquids should not be taken with meals.

· Do not drink liquids within half an hour of meals (before and after the meal) as drinking liquids with the meal impedes the digestion and causes gas in the stomach.

· If a person has a very hot and dry temperament, as an exception to the rule, he will be allowed to sip on a small amount of water (quarter of a glass) while eating in order to wet his throat and counter the dryness that arises from eating.

· Do not drink liquids immediately after eating fruit as this causes indigestion and creates excessive bloating and wind.

· Do not drink immediately after exercising. Rather, allow the body to cool down first. If there is a need to drink, however, take just one or two small sips.

Adapted and summarized from “Your Health” by Moulana Hakeem Jalil Muhammad Pandor (An Nasihah – November/December 2009)