Imam Al-Nawawi’s Riyad-us-Saliheen
Eating from the Side of the Vessel
744. Ibn `Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “Blessing descends upon food in its middle, so eat from the sides of the vessel and do not eat from its middle.”
[At-Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud].
745. `Abdullah bin Busr (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) had a large bowl called Al-Gharra’, which would be carried by four men. One day, when the Companions finished their Duha (forenoon optional) prayer, Al-Gharra’ was brought full of sopped bread, meat and broth, and they sat down around it. When their number increased, Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) sat down on his knees and rested on the soles of his feet. A bedouin said to him: “What sort of sitting is that?” Thereupon Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “Verily, Allah has made me a courteous slave not a fierce tyrant.” Then he said, “Eat from the sides of the bowl and leave the central part of it so that your food will be blessed.”