The Etiquettes Upon Meeting

Date: 26th December 2014; 3rd Rabi’ al-awwal 1436

As Muslims, we have to be aware of how each one of us deals with people in our circles. Our good dealings not only will ensure that we are not violating other people’s rights but can also make us accepted, loved and appreciated by others. The Quran says:

And be kind and humble to the believers who follow you.

Surah Ash-Shu’ara, Ayah 215 (26:215) Translation: Muhsin Khan

Dua is considered to be one of the most important Ibadah for any kind of Muslim. One Hadith states:

The Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said “Dua is the essence of Ibadah (worship).”

References: Jami at-Tirmidhi, Musnad of Imam Ahmad (Rahmatullah Allaih)

In the Quran it is mentioned:

And your Lord says, “Call upon Me; I will respond to you.” Indeed, those who disdain My worship will enter Hell [rendered] contemptible.

Surah Ghafir, Ayah 60 (40:60) Translation: Sahih International

In the Hadiths it is also mentioned:

The Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said  “There is nothing more dear to Allah Ta’ala than a servant making dua to him.”

Reference: Jami at-Tirmidhi

The Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said “The person who does not ask from Allah Ta’ala, Allah Ta’ala becomes angry with him.”

References: Jami at-Tirmidhi, Musnad of Imam Ahmad (Rahmatullah Allaih)

Allah expects us to make supplications to Him and He is always ready to hear our supplications. So we should make dua to only Him as much as possible. Making abundant dua is one of the qualities of a Muttaqin because this quality proves that he asks for all his need to Allah only. Sometimes when we are in trouble we only take money and other forms of wealth to be our source of finding a solution. But for a Muttaqin dua is his ultimate solution. Another Hadith states that:

Narrated by Abu Hurairah (Radi Allahu Anhu) that the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said “Du‘a is a weapon of a Muslim, a Pillar of Deen and the light of the skies and earth.”

Reference: Mustadrak al-Hakim

Just as a Muttaqin is humble while asking Allah for His mercy and His blessings, he is also humble in treating others properly. Islam possesses a profound notion of treating people with love and justice. This ayah of Surah Hujurat was previously discussed and it goes like this:

Indeed, those who call you, [O Muhammad], from behind the chambers – most of them do not use reason.

And if they had been patient until you [could] come out to them, it would have been better for them. But Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.

Surah Al-Hujurat, Ayahs 4-5 (49:4-5) Translation: Sahih International

According to Tafsir, these verses were revealed based on another incident.

In this verse, Allah (Subḥānahu Wa Ta’Ala) has mentioned a third etiquette about dealing with the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). It was directed that when he was at home, one should not call him from outside. Particularly calling him by his name is an unmannered attitude. Reasonable persons should not do it.

Imam Baghawi, on the authority of Qatada (Radi Allahu Anhu), reports that the delegation of Bani Tamim arrived in Madbah in the afternoon and came up to the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) when he was resting in one of his apartments. These bedouins were not acquainted with the social manners and etiquette of a civil society. They stood outside the apartment and called out: O Muhammad, come out to us! On this occasion, verse four of Surah Hujurat was revealed (Musnad of Ahmad, Tirmidhi)

Reference: Ma’ariful Quran by  Mufti Muhammad Shafi. Tafseer of Surah Hujurat Ayahs 1-5 (49:1-5). Volume 8. pp. 117-118.

Derived from the lesson learnt previously regarding our etiquette towards the Imam, we once more practice this etiquette when approaching another Mumin. When we approach someone we should know the best timing. We are not allowed to approach someone when he is not ready to talk to us. Likewise, if we call someone at twelve or one o’clock at night, it will definitely considered indecent in the lights of Islam. We can never cause discomfort towards other for our own good. Hadith says:

Narrated Abdullah ibn Mas’ud Radi Allahu Anhu: Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, “Allah Most High has allotted you your characters just as He has allotted you your provisions. Allah Most High gives worldly things to those whom He loves and those whom He does not love, but He gives religion only to those whom He loves, so he who is given religion by Allah has been loved by Him. By Him in Whose hand my soul is, a man is not a Muslim till his heart and tongue are submissive, and he is not a believer till his neighbour is safe from injurious behaviour on his part.”

References: Jami at-Tirmidhi, Musnad of Imam Ahmad (Rahmatullah Allaih) and Bayhaqi.

A quality of Muslim is demonstrated through his behavior towards others. If someone is resting, we should not annoy him by waking him up. Another issue needs to get addressed is about turning off the cellphone before coming to the Salah. Lots of times, we have experienced that because their ringing cellphone in the middle of the Jamaat Salah, the other Mumins tend to get distracted. The ruling if the cellphone by chance rings during Salah is to turn it off with one hand and if it is not possible, then he should leave the Salah and then turn off the cellphone and later on join in and complete the Salah like the Masbooq do. It is indeed a sinful act to disturb others while they are performing Salah and we tend to take this matter really lightly. No one actually realizes the severity of this sin.

We need to know the suitable time when approaching someone. The Quran and the Hadith teaches us good manners and if someone is unable to help or listen to us, it is rather recommended that we should retreat without disturbing the person.

When entering someone else’s home, we should at first seek permission. The Quran mentions:

O you who have believed, do not enter houses other than your own houses until you ascertain welcome and greet their inhabitants. That is best for you; perhaps you will be reminded.

Surah An-Nur, Ayah 27 (24:27) Translation: Sahih International

Regarding the permission, we are only allowed to call out thrice to a person if he is at home, if he still does not respond we should retreat. Hadith says:

Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, “Permission should be asked no more than three times; if you were given permission (enter). Otherwise, go back.”

Reference: Sahih al-Bukhari & Sahih Muslim

The same ruling goes when we call someone on the phone, if he/she does not respond up to the third call then we should not disturb him by calling to him several times. One Hadith states:

Narrated from Anas ibn Malik (Radi Allahu Anhu) or someone else told that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) asked permission to enter the house of Sa’d ibn Ubadah (Radi Allahu Anhu) saying: “Peace and Allah’s mercy be upon you. Sa’d replied: And upon you be peace and Allah’s mercy, but did not speak loud enough for Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) to hear. He gave the salutation three times and Sa’d responded three times, but did not speak loud enough for him to hear, so Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) went away. Sa’d went after him and said: O Rasulullah, for whom I would give my father and mother as ransom, you did not give a salutation without my hearing it and responding to you, but I did not speak loud enough for you to hear because I wanted to receive many of your salutations and so receive great blessing. They then entered the house and he offered him raisins which Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) ate. Then when he finished he said: May the righteous eat your food, may the angels invoke blessings on you, and may those who have been fasting break their fast with you!”

References: Jami at-Tirmidhi & Sharh as-Sunnah    

This Hadith teaches us to spread Salam softly but not so soft that the other may not hear. Also it is teaches us when giving Salam if someone does not answer back we should say the Salam only thrice. Even after that, if the person does not respond we should leave the matter.

A Mumin is the one who has the best of the manners and based on this his character will be evaluated on the Day of Judgement.

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May Allah reward us for our dedication towards Islam, Ameen. Let’s all be a part of a well-refined Muslim Ummah!

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