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Manners of Visiting
3.5 CHOOSING A SEAT
Sit where asked to by your host. Do not argue with your hosts about the place where they wish you to sit. If you sit where you want, you may overlook a private area of the house, or you may cause inconvenience to the house residents. Ibn Kathir narrated in Al-Bidayah wa Al-Nihayah that the honoured companion ‘Adi bin Hatam Al-Tay converted to Islam and came to Madina to see the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم). The Prophet honoured Hatam by seating him on a cushion, while he himself sat on the floor. ‘Adi said: ‘…then the Prophet took me along and upon reaching his house, he took a leather cushion filled with palm fiber and threw it on the floor. ‘Sit on this,’ he said. ‘No, you sit on it,’ I answered. The Prophet insisted, ‘No you.’ So I sat on it while the Prophet sat on the floor.’ ‘
Kharija bin Ziada visited Ibn Sireen. He found Ibn Sireen sitting on a cushion on the floor and wanted to also sit on a cushion, saying, ‘I am content as you are.’ Ibn Sireen replied: ‘In my home, I will not be content until I provide you with what I am usually comfortable with. Sit where you are asked to sit.’ Do not sit in the patron’s seat unless he invites you to it.
In this regard, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: ‘No person shall lead another in prayer while the first is at the latter’s house. No person shall sit, uninvited, at the favourite seat of the patron of the house.’
If it happened that you arrived early and your host, out of kindness, directed you to sit at the most prominent seat, be prepared to stand up and give this seat to the elder, the notable, or the scholar when they arrive after you since they are more deserving of this seat.
Do not be insensitive and tactless. If you refuse to give your seat to those who are considered more deserving of it by those around you, this will only indicate your lack of manners and common sense. You will become one of those referred to by the Prophet, when he said, ‘Those who do not respect our elders do not belong to us.’
To remain entrenched in your seat will not elevate your status, and it will certainly surprise those present. You will be considered a snob since you are insisting upon an undeserved honour. This rule applies equally to men and women. Insensibility does not enhance social standing. On the contrary, it will be a terrible mistake that will only tarnish your reputation. To honour an honourable person can only improve your standing and stir admiration for your manners and humbleness.
If you happened to sit in the second best place and a notable person entered the room, you should give up your seat to that person. To be respectful of our elders is evidence of your good manners and social sense. Imam Muslim reported that the Prophet said, when organizing prayers, ‘The wisest of you and the elders should stand next to me, then those below them, then those below them.’
In the gathering, a prominent person may call upon you to discuss a matter, or to answer a query, or to give you an advice. If you sat beside him or near him, it is desirable that you return to your previous seat once the matter is concluded unless that person or other notables insist that you remain at your new seat. This is provided that by doing so, the space does not become so tight as to cause discomfort to those already sitting there. Manners are based on common sense. They could be developed by socializing with prominent and tactful individuals. By observing how they act and behave, you will be able to enhance your common sense, good manners and graceful behaviour.
You could be called to a gathering where you are the youngest. In such cases, do not sit before you are invited to do so. Do not sit if you will be crowding out others, or forcing others to leave their seats for you. If you are invited to sit, do not proceed to the best place when there are others more deserving of it. Be prepared to give up your seat to such individual. Doing this on your own, before being requested to do so, will enhance admiration and respect for you.
3.6 A VISITOR IS NOT AN INSPECTOR
When you enter a home, whether as a visitor or an overnight guest, do not closely examine its contents as an inspector would. Limit your
observation to what you need to see. Do not open closed closets, or boxes. Do not inspect a wallet, a package, or a covered object. This is against Islamic manners and an impolite betrayal of the trust your host has accorded to you. Uphold these manners during your visit and seek to cultivate your host’s love and respect, and may Allah bless and protect you.
Imam Muhasibi in Risalat Al-Mustershidin said: ‘The duty of sight is to preclude forbidden sights and not to try to see what has been hidden or covered. Dawood Al-Ta’i said ‘I was told we will be accountable for our minor gazes as we are accountable for minor deeds.’
The Arabic poet Miskin Al-Darimi said:
‘My neighbor should not worry if
his door is not closed.’
3.7 TIMING YOUR VISIT
Choose an appropriate time for your visit. Do not visit at inconvenient times such as mealtime, or when people are sleeping, resting, or relaxing. The length of the visit should be in accord with how well you know the hosts, as well as their circumstances and conditions. Do not overstay your welcome by making your visit too long or burdensome.
Imam Al-Nawawi said in the book of Al-Azkar: ‘It is strongly recommended for Muslims to visit the pious people, the brethren, the neighbours, friends and relatives, and to be generous, kind, and obliging to them. However, the extent of the visit varies according to the host’scircumstances. The visit ought to be conducted in a pleasant manner and at convenient times. There are numerous sayings and traditions in this regard.’
Meeting another Muslim with a cheerful countenance
May 29th, 2012 by Ahmed.
When one Muslim meets another he should confront him with a smile and cheerful countenance and physically express his delight in meeting him. This will entail a fortification of love and affection between them. If you confront a grieved person with a cheerful countenance, you might just allay his grief or at least pacify him. A person feels unrestrained in expressing himself if he is confronted cheerfully thereby aiding him in fulfilling his needs.
Hadhrat Abu Dhar (رضى الله تعالى عنه) narrates that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:
“Don’t ever belittle any of your good deeds even though this may be meeting your brother with a cheerful countenance.” [Muslim]
The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:
“When two Muslims meets and clasp each others hands, their sins are shed as a tree sheds it’s leaves.”
Together with a buoyant confrontation, clasping each others hands is also mustahab (preferable) as this increases mutual love and affection.
Hadhrat Qatadah (رضى الله تعالى عنه) relates that he enquired of Hadhrat Anas (رضى الله تعالى عنه) if the companions of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) grasped each others hands whilst meeting. Hadhrat Anas (رضى الله تعالى عنه) replied: “Yes of course!” [Fathul Baari]
Hadhrat Baraa (رضى الله تعالى عنه) narrates that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:
“When two Muslims meet one another and clasp each others hands, they are forgiven even before they separate from one another.” [Abu Daud]
Deeds are according to intentions
Jun 27th, 2008 by Ahmed.
Allah Accepts Deeds That Are Only For Him
عَنْ أَمِيْرِ المؤْمِنِيْن أَبِي حَفْصٍ عُمَرَ بْنِ الْخَطَّابِ رضي الله عنه قَالَ: سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللهِ صلي الله عليه و سلم يَقُولُ : إِنَّمَا الأَعْمَالُ بِالنِّيَّاتِ، وَإِنَّمَا لِكُلِّ امْرِئٍ مَا نَوَى، فَمَنْ كَانَتْ هِجْرَتُهُ إِلَى اللهِ وَرَسُولِهِ؛ فَهِجْرَتُهُ إِلَى اللهِ وَرَسُولِهِ، وَمَنْ كَانَتْ هِجْرَتُهُ لدُنْيَا يُصِيبُهَا، أَوِ امْرَأَةٍ يَنْكِحُهَا؛ فَهِجْرَتُهُ إِلَى مَا هَاجَرَ إِلَيْهِ
رَوَاهُ البُخَارِيُّ وَمسلم
It is related by Umar Ibn al-Khattab (رضى الله تعالى عنه ) that he heard the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم ) say:
The actions are but judged according to intentions; and to every man is due what he intended. Thus, whosoever migrates for the sake of Allah (SWT) and His Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم ) (and there is no other motive of his migration except compliance with the commands of Allah (SWT) and his Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم ) and winning of their good pleasure), his migration is accounted for the sake of Allah and His Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم ) (and doubtlessly, he is to true Muhajir- Emigrant- and shall receive the recompense prescribed for Hijrat-Migration-towards Allah and His Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم )); and whosoever migrates for the sake of this world or to wed a woman (his migration will not be for Allah and the Prophet [صلى الله عليه وسلم ]), and will be accounted only for the purpose for which it is intended. (Bukhari and Muslim)
The Main purpose of the Hadith is to Show that the goodness or badness and acceptability or otherwise of all human actions is dependant on intention.
Or, in other words, only such deeds will be deemed good and carry merit in the sight of Allah (SWT) which is done with a good and virtues intention and a good deed noble and meritorious; on the contrary, it will held to be wicked and detestable according to the intention which motivated it through, apparently, it may be good and praiseworthy.
To summarise, Allah (SWT) judges the worth and value of a deed by the motive with which it is performed.