To Eat Or To Pray? (Ahadith 640-642)
The Prophet said, “If supper is served, and Iqama is pronounced one should start with the supper.”
Narrated Anas bin Malik:
Allah’s Apostle said, “If the supper is served start having it before praying the Maghrib prayer and do not be hasty in finishing it.”
Ibn ‘Umar said, “Allah’s Apostle said, ‘If the supper is served for anyone of you and the Iqama is pronounced, start with the supper and don’t be in haste (and carry on eating) till you finish it.” If food was served for Ibn ‘Umar and Iqama was pronounced, he never came to the prayer till he finished it (i.e. food) in spite of the fact that he heard the recitation (of the Qur’an) by the Imam (in the prayer). Narrated Ibn ‘Umar: The Prophet said, “If anyone of you is having his meals, he should not hurry up till he is satisfied; even if the prayer has been started.”
Now, it’s not an everyday situation. We make sure that our meal times do not conflict with prayer times. But in case food is served to you at prayer time and you’re hungry, you may continue eating. And don’t make haste in finishing your food, as Prophet (SAW) said.
So, bon appetit! :)