I come home thirsty and I drink a cup of water in one breath. Is this OK?
It was narrated from Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade breathing into one’s drink. A man said to him, “O Messenger of Allaah, my thirst is not quenched in one breath.” The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to him: “Remove the cup from your mouth, then take a breath.” He said, “What if I see specks in it?” He said, “Then pour them out.”
(Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 1887; classed as saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaani in al-Silsilat al-Saheehah, 385).
Shaykh al-Albaani said, discussing what we learn from this hadeeth:
It is permissible to drink in one breath, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not denounce the man when he said, “My thirst is not quenched in one breath.” If drinking in one breath were not permissible, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) would have explained that to him, and he would have said, for example, “And it is permissible to drink in one breath?!” That would have been more appropriate than saying, “Remove the cup from your mouth…” if that were not permissible. What he did say indicates that it is permissible to drink in one breath, and that if he wants to take a breath he should do so outside the vessel. This is what is clearly stated in the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him), who said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘When any one of you drinks, let him not breathe into the vessel. If he wants to take a breath, then let him remove the cup from his mouth, then if he wants to drink more he may do so.” (al-Saheehah, 386).
Al-Haafiz said in al-Fath:
“Maalik used this as evidence to indicate that it is permissible to drink in one breath. Ibn Abi Shaybah narrated that doing so is permissible from Sa’eed ibn al-Musayyib and a group [of scholars]. ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azeez said: what he forbade was breathing into the vessel, but if a person does not breathe into the vessel, if he wishes he may drink in one breath.”
Furthermore, what was said above about it being permissible to drink in one breath does not contradict the fact that the Sunnah is to drink in three breaths. Both are permissible, but the latter is preferable, because of the hadeeth of Anas ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: “When he drank he would take a breath three times, and he said, that is more enjoyable and more healthy.”
(Narrated by Muslim. Al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, hadeeth no. 385, 386.