السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته
Please advise on the best way to deal with food remaining after completing dinner or lunch with family or friends who are visiting.
Is it allowed to let go of the food or should it be packed and brought home and consumed.
بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
:الجواب وباللہ التوفیق
Leftover food in feasts is an issue that needs attention. In addition to disrespect of sustenance, there is also waste and extravagance, which is strictly forbidden in Sharia.
One way to solve this is to keep the feasts simple and devoid of unnecessary formalities, so that it is convenient to invite people of all classes. It has been observed and experienced that the food in such feasts is blessed, and easier to manage its leftovers.
As for storage of food in refrigerators to continue eating afterwards; although it is permissible according to Sharia, but there is an element of greed in doing so. Generally, the frozen food is consumed for only a couple of days, and out of distaste is either given out to poor or is trashed. It is clearly an act of disrespect of Allah’s bounties, extravagance, and indecent behavior.
One option would be for the leftover food to distribute it among the poor of the immediate neighborhood or sent over to under privileged localities. Or this extra food can be sent to a nearby Madrasa, where teachers and students can enjoy this special food.
Another option would be to arrange carry-on food boxes for the guests, which shall be presented to them at the end of the feast.
In case the food goes bad for any reason, it should in no way be trashed, or placed at unclean places, rather it should be placed where animals can eat it.
عَنِ المُغِيرَةِ بْنِ شُعْبَةَ، قَالَ: قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: " إِنَّ اللَّهَ حَرَّمَ عَلَيْكُمْ: عُقُوقَ الأُمَّهَاتِ، وَوَأْدَ البَنَاتِ، وَمَنَعَ وَهَاتِ، وَكَرِهَ لَكُمْ قِيلَ وَقَالَ، وَكَثْرَةَ السُّؤَالِ، وَإِضَاعَةَ المَالِ "(صحیح بخاری: بَابُ مَا يُنْهَى عَنْ إِضَاعَةِ المَالِ،۲۴۰۸
فقط واللہ اعلم واتم