In this wise hadith, Muhammad orders Muslims to lick their fingers—or have someone else lick them (!)—after eating.
The reason is that Allah’s food blessing might be in these food particles. If you do not lick your fingers, you must at least give someone else the chance to suck off Allah’s blessings from your fingers.
The way that Allah’s food blessing works is as follows:
- Allah beams His blessing from the sky into the dead center of your food
- After hitting the center of your food, the blessing spreads outward across the dish
- The blessing does not reach all of the food. Some food parts are missed
Perhaps because it is embarrassing that Muhammad orders Muslims to eat like cats and dogs, the Darussalam translator adds a parenthetical “wiping” to “the Prophet ﷺ enjoined licking one's fingers and (wiping) the plate.”
There are hadiths in which Muhammad says “wipe,” but in Muslim 2033a, as well as multiple other sahih hadiths, Muhammad instructs that Muslims specifically lick the plate.
And -Allah- Muhammad knows best.