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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.’

from the book ISLAMIC MANNERS
By Shaykh Abdul-Fattaah Abu Ghuddah (RA)

Manners of Visiting

3.3 CONTROL YOUR EYES

When asking permission to enter a home, avoid glancing unnecessarily at its interior or beyond the guests’ quarters. This is shameful and harmful. Abu Dawood and Tabarani explained that Sa’d bin ‘Ubada (RA) said: ‘A man came and stood at the door of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) asking permission while facing the door. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, ‘Turn this way,’ turning him away and ordering him to move farther from the door, saying, ‘Asking permission is prescribed to prevent intrusion.’ ‘

Bukhari also explained in Al-Adab Al-Mufrad that Thawban (RA) recounted that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: ‘A person should not look inside a house before getting permission, if you do [look inside before asking permission] , you have already entered [or trespassed].’ Al-Bukhari also stated in Al-Adab Al-Mufrad and Abu Dawood and Al-Tirmidhi narrated by Abu Huraira who said that the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: ‘If the sight leaps, permission should be denied.’ Also, Al-Bukhari narrated that ‘Ammar bin Sa’id Al-Tujiby stated that Omar bin Al-Khatab said: ‘Whoever fills his eyes with the sight of the interior of a house before being permitted is a wrong doer.’

Al-Bukhari, Muslim and others narrated that Sahl bin Sa’d (RA) said that a man peeked through a hole into the room of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) while he was scratching his head with a small pitch fork. When The Prophet saw the intruder, he told him: ‘Had I known you were looking I would have poked your eye! Asking permission is prescribed to prevent intrusion.’

3.4 REMOVING YOUR SHOES

When entering the house of your host, or even your home, be gentle as you enter or leave. Lower your eyes and your voice. As a rule, you should take off your shoes unless your host asks you to keep them on. Take off your shoes at an appropriate spot, and set them in an orderly fashion. Do not forget the manner in which you put the shoes on and take them off: you put on the right shoe first and you take off the left shoe first. It was noted by Muslim and others that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: ‘When you put your shoes on, start with the right shoe. When taking your shoes off start with the left one. The right shoe is the first to be put on and the last to be taken off.’

Before entering your house or that of your brethren, inspect your shoes. If they are dirty, remove them or wipe the shoes against the ground. Islam is the religion of cleanliness and courtesy.

from the book ISLAMIC MANNERS
By Shaykh Abdul-Fattaah Abu Ghuddah (RA)

Manners of Visiting

3.1 KEEPING APPOINTMENTS, DELAYS AND CANCELLATION
In the first verse of Surat Al-Mai’da, Allah called upon the believers ‘O’ you the Believers, fulfill your promises.’ In Surat Maryam Allah also praised Prophet Ismail may peace be upon him ‘He was true to his promise. He was a Messenger and a Prophet.’

To keep an appointment is vital to our lives, since time is the most precious commodity, once wasted it could not be replaced. If you made an appointment, whether to a friend, colleague or for business you should do your utmost to keep this appointment. This is the right of the other person who gave you part of their time and may have declined other appointments. Not only have you disrupted their schedule but you have marred your image and personality. If your punctuality becomes lousy you will lose people’s respect. You should keep all your appointments whether it was with an important person,a close friend or someone else. You will be responding to the call of Allah in Surat Al-Issra’ ‘and keep your promises. The promise is a responsibility.’

It is enough to know that our kind Prophet gave an appointment to one of his companions. The companion came three days later. The Prophet gently reprimanded him ‘You have caused me some trouble. I have been waiting expecting you since three days.’ The companion probably had an excuse for this delay. Then, he had no means to inform the Prophet about his inability to meet the appointment.

Today, fast and reliable communication means are available everywhere. As soon as you realize you will not be able to keep an appointment, you should inform the other parties to enable them to utilize their time. Do not be careless or irresponsible. Do not think that the appointment is so unimportant that it does not merit a notice or an apology. This is totally irrelevant. Regardless of its importance an appointment is a commitment. It must be kept or canceled properly in advance.

Never make a promise while you do not intend to keep it or fulfill it. This is forbidden as it falls within lying and hypocrisy. Al-Bukhari and Muslim narrated that the Prophet said: ‘Three traits single out hypocrites, even if he prayed and/or fast and claimed to be Muslim: If he talks, he lies. If he promises, he does not keep it. If he is entrusted, he betrays the trust.’

Imam Ghazali in Al-Ihya said that this Hadith fits those who promise while intending not to fulfill it, or those who, without excuse, decide later not to fulfill a promise. Those who promise but could not fulfill, their promise due to a proper excuse are not hypocrites. But we should be careful not to create excuses that are not valid. Allah knows our inner thoughts and intentions.

3.2 DECLINING A VISIT
If you visit friends with or without an appointment and they apologize for not being able to receive you, accept their apology without ill-feeling. You should understand that something may have come up compelling them to decline your visit. Their own affairs, or the state of their house, may have made your visit inconvenient. It is perfectly all right for them to ask to be excused.

The follower (Tabi’ee) Qatada bin Di‘ama Al-Sadüsy said: ‘Do not hang around at the door of those who declined your visit. Accept their reason, leave to attend your business, and let them attend their own business.’ Do not ask for reason or explanations. Imam Malik used to say: ‘Not all people can disclose their reasons.’ Accordingly, when it comes to visiting, our righteous ancestors used to say to their hosts: ‘Perhaps you just became busy and cannot receive us,’ making them feel at ease in case they wanted to be excused. Imam Al-Tabari in his Tafseer (18:113) reported that a man of Muhajirin said: ‘All my life, I wanted to practice this Sura ‘If you are told to turn back then do so, it is much better for you’ but I could not. I was hoping I will seek permission to visit a brother and he will tell me: Go back! I gladly will go back fulfilling this directive to Allah.

This particular etiquette is very important in order to remove any ill-feelings that could linger because of declining of a visit. Allah SWT said, ‘If you are asked to go back, go back: that makes for greater purity.’

Many people do not know what to do, and become disturbed by the visit of someone whom they do not want to receive under the circumstances, and may resort to lying. Not only their children learn these bad manners, but such behaviour may lead to antipathy.

The Quranic etiquette provides a better alternative to such unpleasantness and guards us against lying. It provides for the host to kindly present a reason to visitors and asks that they accept it in good faith and without hesitation: ‘If you are asked to go back, go back: that makes for greater purity.’

from the book ISLAMIC MANNERS
By Shaykh Abdul-Fattaah Abu Ghuddah (RA)

Entering/ Leaving a House

2.6 KNOCKING AND RINGING
Knock at the door, or ring the door’s bell in a pleasant way and not louder than is necessary to make your presence known. Do not knock loudly and violently or ring the bell continuously. Remember that you are a visitor and not a thug or an oppressor who is raiding the house and frightening its occupants. A woman came to Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal seeking his opinion on a religious matter. She banged at his door loudly. He came out saying, ‘This is the banging of policemen.’ Al-Bukhari reported in Al-Adab Al-Mufrad that the companions of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) used to knock on the door of the Prophet with the tips of their nails.

This nimble and gentle knocking, or ringing, is appropriate for those whose living quarters are close to the door. For those living farther from the door, it is appropriate to knock on their door, or ring the bell loud enough to enable them to hear it, without banging. In this regard the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, ‘Gentleness adorns every act, its absence will tarnish it.’ In addition, Muslim reported that the Prophet also said, ‘Whoever lacks kindness, lacks all good things.’

Leave an adequate time between two knocks, or rings. This will enable those performing ablution, praying, or eating, to finish without rushing. Some scholars estimate this interval to be that of the praying time of four rak’as. Keep in mind that a person may have just started the prayers just before you rang the door bell.

After three spaced knocks, or intermittent rings, you may feel that the person you came to see is busy, otherwise, he or she would have answered you. If this is the case, leave. Al-Bukhari and Muslim reported that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: ‘If you asked permission three times, and were not granted permission, then you must leave.’

While waiting for permission, do not stand in front of the door. Instead, stand to the right or to the left. The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم), upon coming to someone’s door, avoided facing the door directly. Instead, he would stand to the right or to the left of the door.

2.7 ANSWERING ‘WHO IS IT’
If you knock on the door you may be asked, ‘Who is it?’ Identify yourself , using your most common name but do not respond with, ‘It is me,’ ‘Somebody,’ or, ‘Guess who?’ These words are useless in identifying who is at the door. You should not assume that your voice is known to the person or persons who live there, because your voice may resemble another person’s voice. Don’t forget that people differ in their ability to distinguish voices.

The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) discouraged people from saying ‘it’s me’ because it does not reveal your name. Bukhari and Muslim reported that Jabir bin ‘Abdullah said: ‘I came to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and knocked on his door, and he asked, ‘Who is it?’ I answered, ‘It is me,’ and the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) disapprovingly said, ‘ Me is me, me is me!’ ‘ For this reason, the companions used to mention their names whenever they were asked, ‘Who is it?’

Bukhari and Muslim reported that Abu Zar said: ‘While walking out one night I saw the Messenger of Allah walking by himself. I opted to walk in the shade of the moon, but he turned around and saw me and said, ‘Who is there?’ I replied, ‘It’s Abu Zar.’ ‘ Bukhari and Muslim also reported that Umm Hani, a cousin of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم), and the sister of ‘Ali bin Abi Talib, said: ‘I came to see the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم). He was taking a bath and his daughter Fatima was sheltering him, and he asked ‘who is this?’ I replied, ‘I am Umm Hani.’ ‘

from the book ISLAMIC MANNERS
By Shaykh Abdul-Fattaah Abu Ghuddah (RA)

Entering/ Leaving a House

2.3 GREETING
When entering or leaving your house, acknowledge those inside. Use the greeting of Muslims and the label of Islam: ‘Assalam ‘Alãikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakãtuh; Peace and mercy of Allah be with you.’ Do not forego this Islamic greeting by replacing it with something else, such as ‘Good Morning,’ or ‘Hello.’ This greeting is the sign of Islam and the phrase that the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) recommended and practiced. The greeting of Muslims and Islam is: Assalam Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. Peace, mercy, and blessing of Allah be upon you. The Prophet, peace be upon him, taught his faithful servant Anas bin Malik to greet his family when entering or leaving his house. Imam Tirmizi reported that Anas said: ‘The Messenger of Allah said to me, ‘My son, greet your family when you enter [your home], for that is a blessing for you and your family.”

Qatada, a prominent follower (Tabi’y), said: ‘Greet your family when you enter your house. They are the most worthy of your greeting.’ Al- Tirmidhi reported another Hadith whereby Abu Huraira (RA) stated that the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: ‘If you join a gathering, greet them, and if you want to leave, dismiss yourself. The first is no less important than the second.’

Imam Al-Suyuti in his book ‘Praising the Abyssinians’ cited from Abo Taleb Al-Jumahi’s Al-Tahyat the following: ‘Every nation has a way of greeting. Arabs will say salams. Persians Emperors require prostrating and kissing the floor. The Persians touch their hand on the floor in front of the king. The Abyssinians quietly, gather their hands at their chest. The Romans uncover their head and bow. The Nubians would gesture as if kissing the guest and then putting both hands on their face.’ All these greetings, except Salam, are forbidden.

Imam Nawawi in Al-Majmu said ‘It is preferred to say ‘Bismillahi Arrahman Arrahim’ when you enter your house or others’ houses. You ought to say Salam if you enter it regardless whether it was empty or occupied. You say a prayer when you go out. Imam Tirmizi and Imam Abu Dawood narrated a Hadith by Anas that the Prophet said: ‘If you say in the name of Allah, I seek help from Allah, no strength or means but with Allah. Then he will be told: you are protected and saved. The Satan will leave him.

He cited another Hadith narrated by Muslim that Jaber bin Abdullah related that he heard the Prophet, peace be upon him, saying: ‘If you enter your house and pray to Allah when entering and before your meals, the Satan will say [to his group]: No sleep and no food. If you entered it without praying to Allah. Satan will say [to his group]: You secured your sleep and dinner.’

2.4 ANNOUNCING YOUR PRESENCE
When entering a house, make your presence known to those inside before you approach them. Avoid startling or frightening them. Do not descend upon them suddenly. Abu ‘Ubãida ‘Àmer bin ‘Abdullah bin Mas’wüd (RA) said: ‘My father ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’wüd used to announce his arrival by addressing his family in a cordial tone.

Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal said: ‘When a person enters his house, it is recommended that he/she creates noise by coughing or tapping his/her shoes.’ His son Abdullah said: ‘When returning home from the mosque, my father used to announce his arrival before entering, by tapping with his shoes or coughing.’

Bukhari and Muslim reported that the Prophet denounced those who unexpectedly surprise their families at night, whether returning from travel or otherwise, because it makes them appear to be distrustful.

2.5 SEEKING PERMISSION TO ENTER
If family members are resting in their rooms, and you want to join them, it is appropriate to ask for permission and/or knock on the door. Otherwise, you may see them in a condition that you, or they for that matter, may not like. This applies to your entire household; your immediate family or otherwise. In the Muwata by ‘Ata ibn Yasãr,
Imam Malik narrated that a man asked the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) the following: ‘Should I seek permission to enter my mother’s room?’ The Prophet answered, ‘Yes.’ The man said, ‘We live together in the same house.’ The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, ‘Ask for permission to join her.’ The man argued, ‘But, I am her servant.’ The Prophet said, ‘Ask for permission. Would you like to see her naked?’ The man replied, ‘No!’ The Prophet said, ‘Then ask permission when entering.’

A man asked ‘Abdullah bin Mas’wüd: ‘Should I ask permission to enter my mother’s room?’ He answered him, ‘Yes. There are certain circumstances in which you would rather not see her. ‘ Zaynab, the wife of ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’wüd said that upon reaching the door, ‘Abdullah used to make noise, fearing that he might surprise us and encounter an embarrassing situation. A man asked Huzaifa ibn Al-Yamãn, ‘Should I ask permission to enter my mother’s?’ Huzaifa replied, ‘Yes, if you do not ask for her permission, you may encounter an embarrassing situation.’

Müsa the son of the companion Talha ibn ‘Obaidillah said: ‘My father went to my mother’s room. I followed him as he entered, he turned toward me and pushed me down forcing me to sit. Then he reprimanded me: ‘How dare you to enter without permission?’

Nafi,’ the patron of ‘Abdullah bin Omar said: ‘When any of Ibn Omar’s children come of age, Ibn Omar would assign him/her another room. He would not allow any of them to enter his room without permission.’

‘Ata bin Abi Rabãh asked Ibn ‘Abbas: ‘Should I seek permission when calling on my two sisters?’ Ibn Abbas answered, ‘Yes.’ I said: ‘I am their guardian, supporter and provider of their needs.’ He said, ‘Would you rather see them naked?’ Then he read the Quranic verse, ‘And when the children among you come of age, let them ask for permission, as do those senior to them in age; thus does Allah make clear His signs. Allah is full of knowledge and wisdom.’ Thus, Ibn ‘Abbas concluded that asking permission is obligatory for all people. Ibn Mas’wüd said: ‘A person should seek permission whenever entering the room of a father, mother, brother and sister.’ Jãber also said: ‘A person should seek permission whenever entering the room of a son, a daughter, a mother -even if she is old, a brother, a sister, or a father.’

from the book ISLAMIC MANNERS
By Shaykh Abdul-Fattaah Abu Ghuddah (RA)

Entering/ Leaving a House

2.1 HOW TO ENTER
Enter or leave your house with your right foot first, as it was the tradition of the Prophet. Imaam Abul Ala Hasan ibn Ahmad al-Hamazani, a great scholar of Hadith of his time, was so keen on applying this Sunnah to the extent that if someone entered his house with their left foot first, he would ask them to go out and re-enter with their right foot first. He was so much respected that the Sultan of the day would visit him at school and sit in front of him as a student. At one occasion, he told the Sultan to exit with his right foot first and walk on the right side of the road.

When entering or leaving a house, do not push the door violently, or slam it shut, or leave it to close by itself wildly. Such actions stand in contrast to the gracefulness of Islam to which you are honoured to belong. Close the door quietly with your hand. You may have heard a Hadith reported by Imam Muslim whereby ‘Aisha (RA) quotes the Prophet: ‘Gentleness adorns every act. Its absence will tarnish it.’

2.2 ENTERING WHILE OTHERS ARE ASLEEP
If you enter a place where people are sleeping, whether during day or night, be quiet and gentle. Be considerate. Do not cause any undue noise when entering or exiting. You have heard the saying of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم): ‘Whoever is deprived of gentleness, is deprived of all sorts of goodness.’ Muslim and Al-Tirmidhi reported that the honourable companion Al-Miqdad bin Al-Aswad (RA) said: ‘We used to preserve the Prophet’s share of the milk, when he came back at night he would greet us with a voice loud enough for those awake to hear, without disturbing those who were asleep.’ In addition, whenever the Prophet used to pray at night, he would recite the Quran with a voice that pleased those that were awake, without disturbing those that were asleep.’

Princess Qatrul Nada (Dew point) was famous for her intelligence, manners and beauty. She was the daughter of Khimarwaih bin Ahmad bin Toulon, the King of Egypt. She married Al-Mu’taded Billah. Qatrul Nada said: ‘My father taught me an important manner – do not sleep among sitting people and do not sit among sleeping people.’

from the book ISLAMIC MANNERS
By Shaykh Abdul-Fattaah Abu Ghuddah (RA)

Importance of Appearance

1.1 Distinct Muslim Personality

Islam advocates this etiquette and stresses it so as to perfect the Muslim personality and to bring about harmony among people. There is no doubt that embodying such manners and virtues enhances personal style and qualities, refines personality and brings us closer to the hearts and minds of others. The forthcoming manners and etiquette are central to Islam, its purposes and its aims. Calling it ‘etiquette’ by no means implies that it is marginal to life and social behaviour. It does not mean Muslims have the option of ignoring this code of behaviour, or that it is merely preferable to adhere to it.

In pointing out that manners rank higher than deeds, Imam Al-Qar�fi in his book Al-Furw’q said, ‘Learn that a little etiquette is better than a lot of good actions.’ Rw’aim, the righteous scholar, told his son, ‘Oh my son, make your deeds salt, and your manners flour.’ Many good manners with few good deeds are better than many good
deeds with few good manners. Even if some of these rules appear to be simple common courtesy, it is important to highlight their significance. Many Muslims commit errors which blemish the Islamic personality, whose purpose is meant to be unique in its beauty, perfection and traits. Our master, the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) directed the blessed companions by saying: ‘You are on your way to meet your brothers, put on a nice dress and fix your riding so you appear distinct among people as a fleck [on a beautiful face]. Allah does not like roughness nor rough manners.’

When the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: ‘No one will enter Paradise if they have at heart a grain of arrogance.’ A man asked: ‘A man may like his dress to be nice and his shoes nice.’ The Prophet answered ‘Allah is beautiful and likes beauty. Arrogance is to deny rights and look down at people.’

Shaikh Ibn Taimia said that the beauty that Allah likes include nice clothes. Hence it could be said that Allah likes all nice things. Therefore, a Muslim ought to be recognized by neat dress, cleanliness and graceful appearance.

1.2 CLEANLINESS AND WASHING

The Sunna is to keep perfume and to use it regularly on oneself. Al-Bukhari narrated that Salman Al-Farsi said: the Prophet, peace be upon him, said ‘Allah will forgive the sins of the past week for he who on Friday will take a bath, cleanse himself, put on his [regular] perfume or any perfume available in house. Then, he goes out [to Jumu’ah prayer] and does not try to separate two friends. Then he prays wherever he could and listens to the Imam.’ If the body became odorous a day or two before Friday, one should not wait till Friday to cleanse the body. We should wash our bodies as soon as it require washing to keep ourselves clean and fresh.

To take a bath on Friday is specifically required since a large number of people will be gathering at mosques. However, if our body became dirty or we sweat on a particular day, then, we should take a bath at the end of day or the next morning. This is indicated by a Hadith narrated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim that Abu Huraira said, the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: ‘It is the duty of every Muslim to have a bath once every week to wash his head and body.’ Another Hadith

1.3 ARRIVING FROM A JOURNEY

If you are traveling to visit someone or if you are about to receive guests, whether those in question are your parents, relatives, peers, or friends of a different age, make sure that your hands, feet, and socks are clean, and your appearance and clothing is neat. Never neglect or underestimate the importance of your look, for that would certainly mar the pleasure of the meeting, while dulling the enjoyment of those you meet. In this regard, the Prophet directed his companions upon returning from a journey: ‘You are returning to your brethren, dress nicely, and sort out your rides so that you may become a beauty mark among people, for Allah does not like sloppiness or acting in a sloppy way.’

Try to bring some gifts to those receiving you, and likewise present your guests with a present. Always be prepared to reciprocate with a suitable gift. The subtle joy of seeing your beloved ones will be vividly remembered for many years. A gift, however symbolic, will greatly enhance the pleasure of such a meeting. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم), as reported by Bukhary, said: ‘Exchange gifts; exchange love.’ Our Muslim predecessors used to leave their host with a present which could be as symbolic as an Arak stick.

1.4 DRESS PROPERLY WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS

Dress properly, even among friends and relatives. Dress properly when visiting your parents, a pious person, an elder, or even a relative or a friend. Your attire should be clean and elegant, not ugly or unsightly. We are attracted or repulsed by what we see. If you look good in clean clothes, smelling nice, you will be pleasant to look at and people will be attracted to you and enjoy your presence. If you were the opposite, people will look down on you even if you were a relative or friend. To look good while visiting or being visited is an instinctive trait in addition to being an Islamic manner. Do not ignore this aspect because you consider yourself to be close to your hosts or guests.

Imam Bukhari in his book, ‘Al-Adab Al-Mufrad’ reported that the great follower Abi Al-�Alia Al-Riahi Al-Basri said, ‘Muslims were at their best when visiting each other.’ Al-Hafez Al-Haithami in ‘Majma Al-Zawaed’ (1:169) reported that Thabet Al-Banani, the student of Imam Anas bin Malik said, ‘When I used to visit Anas, he would call for a perfume and run it along his cheeks.’ Accordingly, if you were visited at home while dressed very casually, as it sometimes happens, you should change for your visitor. This will enhance his respect for you and will complement your hospitality. It is, after all, the manners of the early Muslims.

from the book ISLAMIC MANNERS
By Shaykh Abdul-Fattaah Abu Ghuddah (RA)

Slippery Stone: An Inquiry into Islam’s Stance on Music

By Khalid Baig

What does Islam say about poetry, singing, musical instruments, musicians, and the business of music? What is the truth about the much-publicized “music controversy” in Islam? This book demystifies the issue of music in Islam. More than six hundred references and more than a hundred twenty biographical notes on the authorities quoted add to the value of a discussion that is comprehensive without being boring, and detailed without being confusing.

What does Islam say about poetry, singing, musical instruments, musicians, and the business of music? How have Muslim societies historically looked at these questions and how have their attitudes changed in the media age? Why have mosques remained music-free while churches have not? What is the truth about the much-publicized “music controversy” in Islam? Why did Sufis call sama as the slippery stone? These are some of the questions explored in-depth in Slippery Stone: An Inquiry into Islam’s Stance on Music.

Of late, increasing attempts are being made to promote “Islamic music,” and the distinction between what is allowed and what is not has become hazy and unclear for many. This book demystifies the issue of music in Islam by going to original source books in Arabic, many of them brought to light for the first time in the English language. It traces the attitudes of the Muslim society about music and the musician throughout its history and quotes extensively from the deliberations of the Qur’an and Hadith scholars and jurists from all schools of Islamic Law, both Sunni and Shi’ah. Separate chapters are devoted to a discussion of the views of Sufi masters as well as the arguments of Ibn Hazm.

 

It examines in considerable depth the impact of colonialism and the media revolution (beginning with the gramophone) on the attitudes of Muslim societies regarding music. It also subjects the works of Orientalists to a scrutiny that was overdue.

 

By referring to it as a slippery stone, Sufis vividly pointed out the dangers associated with this enterprise and emphasized the need for caution. History is filled with the corpses of those who fell off the slippery stone by ignoring this advice. Combining historic, cultural, and jurisprudential perspectives this book brings the truth of that metaphor into sharp relief.

 

More than six hundred references and more than a hundred twenty biographical notes on the authorities quoted add to the value of a discussion that is comprehensive without being boring, and detailed without being confusing. This book has left no stone unturned in its examination of the slippery stone.

 

Reviews:

 

“… a wonderful book. May Allah accept it and may He make it a source of guidance to those who wish to be guided.

 

Its historical sweep, its comprehensiveness, its details, its overall plan, presentation of material, a thoroughly worked out schema and anchorage in solid scholarship is simply outstanding.

 

Its respectful handling of tricky areas, and reliance on primary sources has combined to produce a kind of book that is seldom available on a contemporary issue.

 

Its lucidity is indicative of a light from the Divine guidance that produces in the human mind and heart a clarity of such nature.

 

The author’s choice of using the Arabic text and the beautiful production also adds to the usefulness of the book. “ – Dr. Muzaffar Iqbal, President, Center for the Study of Islam and Science, Canada

 

“Khalid Baig, in his Slippery Stone, has written an impressive academic tome on the issue of music, poetry and singing in Islam. He discusses the historical development of these genres in the Muslim context, and documents various theological and legal responses that followed.

 

This work is sure to become a standard reference in its field for many years to come.” – Shaykh Yasir Qadhi, Dean of Academic Affairs, Almaghrib Institute, USA

 

“Khalid Baig has discussed relevant issues surrounding the issue of music, singing, use of musical instruments, and popular music etc., and has explained clearly what is permissible and what is prohibited by Islam . . . The extensive list of original and secondary sources used indicate the author’s grasp of the subject.” – Syed Salman Nadvi, Formerly Professor and Chairman, Department of Islamic Studies, University of Durban-Westville

 

“Appropriately titled, Slippery Stone deals with the topic of music in Islam in substantial detail clarifying all the issues on music in a lucid manner. Contemporary, convincing, comprehensive . . . this book is a must read for all who wish to learn about this subject.” – Mufti Zubair Bayat, Darul Ihsan Research and Education Center

 

“For centuries, the fiqhi rulings on music have been quite evident. In this day and age of information and temptation, the minds of Muslims have become convoluted in this regards. Khalid Baig has done a marvelous job of bringing together every traditional, shar’ee, and historic evidence regarding the status of music in Islam. A must read for every Muslim who is in doubt in regards to this topic.” – Imam Tahir Anwar, Imam and Director, South Bay Islamic Association

More info on Al Balagh bookstore – http://www.albalagh.net/bookstore/?action=view&item=1355
Purchase in UK – http://www.azharacademy.com/scripts/prodView.asp?idProduct=1947

Ashraf’s Blessings of Marriage

This new enlarged and revised book is an essential Islamic step-by-step guide to marriage and marital bliss. Herein are the advices of the Glorious Qur’an, the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace), and some of the leading scholars of this era.

This book discusses the often vexed issues of when to marry; choosing a marriage partner; how to marry; how to live happily with one spouse and in-laws; what the often trampled rights are of wives and daughter’s in-law; how to avoid marital problems and the harms of divorce; and how to transfer your home into paradise.

Secondly, it openly addresses the sensitive topic of lovemaking; how to enjoy, improve, and transform this most intimate act into worship. Common sexual problems between the husband and wife and wholesome remedies and cures are shown. The spiritual and physical harms of adultery, masturbation, and homosexuality are highlighted.

Thereafter, all aspects of pregnancies, childbirth, the growing problem of caesarean births, the sunna acts upon birth, infant care, breastfeeding, and the correct sunna tarbiya (training) of Muslim children are discussed in detail.

A must for every Muslim couple, engaged person, teenager, and home.

Essential reading before and after marriage.

An ideal wedding gift.

Based upon the teachings of Shaykh Ashraf Ali Thanwi, Shaykh Maseehullah Khan, Shaykh al-Hadith Ibrahim Palanpoori, Shaykh Taqee Uthmani, Shaykh Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi, et al.

Introduction by Shaykh Muhammad Saleem Dhorat

Islãm is a code of life which encompasses every aspect of human existence. This includes all facets of the relationship between husband and wife. Mãshã’Allah, my respected student/brother Muhammad Aslam has prepared one of the most comprehensive books on this subject which outlines the principles for husband and wife right from before engagement to tarbiyyah of their children-to-be. It is only through the Fadhl of Allah that this work has been granted wide acceptance and alhamdulillah the third edition of this very beneficial work is going for printing. The readers will find in it the fragrances of many flowers.

 

In the books of hadeeth and fiqh clear guidance on conjugal behaviour is explained in detail. Adhering to these teachings will not only be a means of acquiring a blissful marriage but it will also help in safeguarding one’s health.

 

Nowadays, the subject of sex has been over-exposed; degraded and misrepresented through channels of mass education and the media (especially on TV and internet). Accordingly it is important to guide our youth in order to save them from sexual deviancy.

Wasalam