Learn About Islamic Supplication (Du'a) During Meals

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When eating any meal, Muslims are instructed to recognize that all of their blessings come from Allah. Throughout the world, Muslims say the same personal supplication (du'a) before and after meals. For members of other faith, these acts of du'a may seem similar to prayers, but strictly speaking, Muslims see these acts of supplication and invocation as a means of communicating with God that is decidedly different than the five daily prayers that Muslims routinely practice.

For Muslims, a prayer is a set of ritual moves and words repeated at fixed times of the day, whereas du'a is a way of feeling a connection to God at any time of the day. 

Unlike the "grace" prayers said before meals in many cultures and faiths, the Islamic Du'a supplication for meals is not communal. Each individual says their own personal Du'a silently or quietly, whether eating alone or in a group. These du'a are recited whenever food or drink passes the lips--whether it be a sip of water, a snack or a full meal. There are several different types of Du'a to be recited in different circumstances. The words of the various du'a are as follows, with the Arabic transliteration followed by the meaning in English.

Before Eating a Meal

Brief Common Version: 

Arabic: Bismillah. 
English: In the name of Allah.

Full Version: 

Arabic: Allahomma barik lana fima razaqtana waqina athaban-nar. Bismillah.
English: Oh Allah! Bless the food You have provided us and save us from the punishment of the hellfire. In the name of Allah.

Alternative:

Arabic: Bismillahi wa barakatillah.
English: In the name of Allah and with the blessings of Allah.

When Finishing a Meal

Brief Common Version: 

Arabic: Alhamdulillah. 
English: Praise be to Allah.

Full Version: 

Arabic: Alhamdulillah.
English: Praise be to Allah.) 

Arabic: Alhamdulillah il-lathi at'amana wasaqana waja'alana Muslimeen.
English: Praise be to Allah Who has fed us and given us drink, and made us Muslims.

If One Forgets Before Beginning the Meal

Arabic: Bismillahi fee awalihi wa akhirihi.
English: In the name of Allah, in the beginning and the end.

When Thanking the Host for a Meal

Arabic: Allahumma at'im man at'amanee wasqi man saqanee. 
English: Oh Allah, feed the one who has fed me, and quench the thirst of the one who has given me drink.

When Drinking Zamzam Water

Arabic: Allahumma innee asalooka 'ilman naa fee-ow wa rizq-ow wa see-ow wa shee-faa amm min kool-lee daa-een. 
English: Oh Allah, I ask you to grant me beneficial knowledge, abundant sustenance, and cure for all diseases.

When Breaking the Fast of Ramadan

Arabic: Allahumma inni laka sumtu wa bika aamantu wa alayka tawakkaltu wa 'ala rizq-ika aftartu. 
English: Oh Allah, I have fasted for You, and believe in You, and put my trust in You, and I break my fast from the sustenance given by You.