What is the Islamic ruling about drinking water in a standing position? Should Zam Zam water be drunk in a standing position? The Ahadith of the Holy Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم prohibit the drinking of water in a standing position so could you explain those narrations please.
To drink Zam Zam water in a standing position is a blessed Sunnah. It is narrated on the authority of Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Abbas رضى الله عنه, “I gave some Zam Zam water to the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) and he drank it whilst standing”.
[Sahih Bukhari vol. 1 pg. 221]
Also in vol. 2 page 840, “The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) drank Zam Zam water whilst standing”. Also the left over water from wudu should be drunk whilst standing as has been reported by Imam Bukhari رضى الله عنه on the authority of Sayyiduna Ali رضى الله عنه.
[Sahih Bukhari vol. 2 pg. 840 and Sahih Muslim vol. 2 pg. 173]
According to the strongest opinion the Ahadith which prohibit drinking water whilst standing mean that this is only minor disliked (makrooh tanzihi). Also Zam Zam water and left over wudu water are exceptions from that rule. This explains the proper context of those narrations.
Some scholars have explained that the secret and wisdom in this is that when a person drinks water whilst seated the water becomes a cure (tiryaaq) for the food and when he drinks water standing then the water does not benefit his body in fact it flows through all parts of the body quickly. On the other hand the purpose of drinking Zam Zam water and left over wudu water whilst standing is to make the blessings of that water reach all parts of the body quickly.
[Hashiyah Bukhari vol. 2 pg. 84]
Allah تعالى is most knowing.
Answered by Mufti Shams ul Huda Misbahi
Translated by Mawlana Muhammad Rashid Madani