Is there a hadith meaning ‘Cold water was made lovable to me’?

The Details of the Question

1. Can it be said that drinking cold sherbet or water is sunnah?
2. Is it a sin to drink boiling water or to make wudu or to have a bath with boiling water? Can such a meaning be deduced from verse 46 of the chapter of ad-Dukhan?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

According to a narration, the Prophet (pbuh) went to somebody from Ansar with one of his Companions and said to him,

“If you have cold water that has remained in the waterskin all night, bring it; if not, we will drink from this water channel with our mouths without a glass and without using our hands.” (Bukhari, Ashriba 14, 20. Abu Dawud, Ashriba 18; Ibn Majah, Ashriba 25)

The Prophet (pbuh) asked the owner of the house to bring cold water that had remained in the waterskin all night if he had any because it was summer. The reason for it is that the water that has been kept in the waterskin all night is cold. He said that if there was no water in the waterskin, they would sip the water with their mouths without using hands and without a glass. 

Some hadiths about drinking sherbet and cold water are as follows:

  • The Prophet (pbuh) had water brought from wells with high quality water. The following was reported from Hz. Aisha: "Fresh water was brought to the Prophet from the wells of Suqya, two day’s distance from Madinah.” (Abu Dawud, Ashriba 22)
  • “Feeling hot and thirsty is a surge from Hell. Cool it with cold water.” (Bukhari, Tibb 28)
  • Hz. Aisha narrates: “The Prophet’s favorite beverage was cold sweet sherbet.” (Tirmidhi, Shamail, 31. Bab, No. 206)
  •  The Prophet (pbuh) sometimes drank milk by adding water to it. When it was hot in particular, he would cool the milk by adding cold water to it and drink it. (Abu Dawud, Ashriba 18)

As it can be seen, the Prophet (pbuh) preferred clean, high quality and cold water as a human need in a hot region like the Arabian Peninsula. It is medically known that it is also very important for health.

The issue that drinking cold water and sherbet is sunnah can also be explained as follows:

As it is known, the Prophet (pbuh) had sunnahs such as fard-wajib, nafilah and adab. This style of drinking water is related to adab (good manners). There is no sin if you abandon it; it is permissible to do it. If a person drinks water like the Messenger of Allah thinking that he drank like that, his drinking water becomes a deed of worship and he gains thawabs.

Eating and drinking boiling or extremely hot food are considered makruh. There are some narrations regarding the issue:

"Avoid eating hot food because it removes abundance. I recommend eating food by cooling it a bit because it will be easier to digest and its abundance is greater."  (Suyuti, al-Jamius–Saghir, No: 2896) 

It is also stated that the Prophet (pbuh) did not blow on hot food and drink and kept his breath away from the dinner plate. (Ibn Maja, Atima, 18)

It is known that very hot and very cold foods are harmful to health and cause some diseases. Although it can be considered makruh in this respect, it is not a sin to eat and drink hot foods.

The issue of hot water in the verse in question is related to the drink of the people of Hell.

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