Is it sunnah to start a meal with salt?

Details of the Question

Is it sunnah to start a meal with salt?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

We have not been able to find a hadith narration about starting a meal with salt in sound hadith resources.

Imam Ghazzali states that it is nice to start a meal with salt but he mentions it as adab (good manners) not as sunnah. (Ihya, II/ Kitabu adabil-akl/al-babul-awwal)

According to what Ghazzali states, Hz. Ali said,

“Allah wards off seventy troubles / illnesses from a person who starts a meal with salt.” (ibid)

The statements translated as "It is sunnah to start and to finish a meal with salt. If one intend the salt in bread, this sunnah is fulfilled" mentioned in Abdulqadir Ghaylani’s work called Ghunya, are not hadith narrations. He called it mustahab –because it was a nice custom that existed for a long time.  Therefore, it is wrong to translate his statement as “It is sunnah to start and to finish a meal with salt.”

To sum up, we have not been able to find a sound hadith narration about starting a meal with salt. However, it is a nice custom adopted by Hz. Ali and many more salaf people.

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