7 June 2008

Phone conversations

Whether talking to a friend, family, a scholar, a teacher, or any other person one much always keep the following basic priinciples in mind. Do not always assume that because you or the other person has "free call time" it is always convenient or appropriate for your to call. Keep in mind:

1. Always identify yourself by saying your name unless it is someone very close to you - indeed there maybe more than one Ayesha or Abdullah the person you are calling knows, and voices are not always easy to distinguish by all.

2. Ensure it is convenient for the person to speak and that they are not engaged in other activities.

3. Do not engage in conversation or answer questions until you know who is calling - lest you disclose something you shouldn't.

4. Choose the right time for your call, whether calling relatives, friends, employees or officials - avoid meal times and prayer times in particular.

5. Make your conversation brief and to the point, so it will not interfere with thier business or other calls they themselves have to make or receive (Particularly important with Shaykhs and such like - do not make a 20 minute story about a simple question, be succinct and try to mention only that which is relevant).

6. When conversing with a member of the opposite sex, for an appropriate reason (eg: a teacher, scholar etc) then be sure not to go off topic, and maintain a level of respect and formality.

7. Sisters - If you have a naturally soft voice, try to make it more 'rough' - so as not to encourage the one who may have illness in thier heart. Indeed in the extra effort this involves will come extra reward inshaAllah for wanting to please Allah (سبحانه وتعالى).

6 June 2008

Answering a Question...

One often without realising hastens to answer something without any knowledge, or understanding. Whether it be giving a hasty diagnosis to a friend or family member who has "a similar symptom" to what links to disease x, y, z or whether you simply delve in, glory seeking, to answer a question on a "fiqh" issue with your five minutes of studying at hand.

If someone else in your company is asked a question about something you may also know, do not rush to answer. Instead, do not answer until you are asked. This is the better manner and the nobler attitude. It will generate interest in what you say at the same time as enhancing your respect.

The Tabi'i Mujahid Ibn Jabr (رضى الله عنه) recalled that Luqman the wise, said to his son,

"If another person was asked a question, never hasten to answer, as if you are going to gain booty or win a special prize. By doing so you will belittle the questioner, will offend the questioned and will join obnoxious people with your stupidity and ill manners."

So in effect, one should not act as if on a quiz show "fastest finger first" - but one should hasten to adhere to correct manners, by ensuring others are not harmed by our tongue or actions.

5 June 2008

Adab of Discussions and Debates

When it comes to discussions and debates, many of us fail to see far beyond our own opinions, ideas and beliefs. Through our inability to attentively listen, or our lack of patience we fail to maintain the correct adab in discussions and debates, hastening in arguing and fighting instead.
One should be aware that it is only when a speaker has finished speaking that one should pose questions on things they may not have understood. Gently, politely and with a proper introduction one should ask for clarification. One should never interrupt another's speech, raise one's voice with a question or in any other way attract attention to oneself. This is contrary to the correct adab of listening and may initiate contempt. This however is not the rule if the meeting is for studying or learning.
When studying or learning, one should ask questions and initiate discussion in a respectful and tactful manner, yet only after the speaker has finished. The Khalifa al-Mamun said,
"Discussion entrenches knowledge much more than agreement."
Al-Haytham ibn 'Adi, a scholar, historian and a member of the court of four Caliphs - Abu Ja'far al-Mnsur, al-Mahdi, al-Hadi and al-Rashid said,
"It is ill mannered to overwhelm someone while speaking and to interrupt him before he ends his talk".
If a colleague did not understand an issue and asked a scholar or an elder to explain, one should listen attentively to what is being said. It may be that the repeated explanation may give you an additional insight to what you already know. Never utter any word, belittling your colleague; nor allow your face to portray such an attitude.
Perhaps due to some illness or disease in the heart, some look to catch out a speaker, or look for a fault or mistake with which they can fuel an arguement; not realising they are simply playing into the hands of shaytaan. hen an elder or a scholar speaks, listen attentively. Never busy yourself with private talk and discussion with your colleagues. Do not let your mind wander elsewhere, keep it focussed on what is being said. Today many think because they have a small amount of knowledge they are a mufti, shaykh, or alim in their own right. Few of us realise that even if someone is repeating something we have heard before, this repetition may be the difference between knowledge and deeper penetration of that knowledge into one's life, emaan, and actions.
Never interrupt a speaker.
Never rush to answer if you are not very confident of your answer.
Never argue about something you do not know.
Never argue for the sake of arguing.
Never show arrogance with your counterparts, especially if they hold a different opinion.
Do not switch the arguement to belittle your oponents views.
If their misunderstanding becomes evident do not rebuke or scold.
Be modest and kind.

4 June 2008

The Art of Listening...

Many of us talk much and listen little. Of the manners in Islam is the art of listening when a person starts to tell you something whether in private or in the company of others. If what that person is talking about is something you already know very well, you should not hasten to let everyone know, but you should pretend as if you do not know it. One major issue amongst Muslims today is that we rush in to reveal our knowledge or to interfere in speech, not considering the person who is speaking or the severity of illness in our ettiquettes. One should show attention and concentration no matter what.
One of the Tabi'i Imam Ata ibn Abi Rabah (رضى الله عنه) said:
"A young man would tell me something that I may have heard before he was borm. Nevertheless, I listen to him as if I had never heard it before."
Khalid ibn Safwan al-Tamimi, who frequented the courts of the two Khalif'as Umar ibn And' al-Aziz (رضى الله عنه) and Hisham ibn 'Abd al-Malik (رضى الله عنه) said:
"If a person tells you something you have heard before, or news that you already learnt, do not interrupt him to exhibit your knowledge to those present. This is rude and ill mannered."

A wise man said to his son:

" Learn the art of listening as you learn the art of speaking"

Listening well means to maintain eye contact (when appropriate), allowing the speaker to finish their speech and restraining your urge to interrupt his speech.

"Never interrupt a talk, though you know it inside out".

- Al Hafiz al-Khatib al-Baghdadi

So one must try to be an attentive listener, giving the speaker respect while they talk, not harming them physically or mentally. We should think before we speak. Whether we agree or disagree with what is being said, we should always follow the correct ettiquette as Muslims.

1 June 2008

Watch your tone...

When one speaks to a guest or any other person in a gathering or alone, one should always maintain a pleasant voice, with a low but audible tone. Raising the voice is contrary to correct adab and indicates lack of respect for the person to whom you are talking. One should maintain this adab whether at home or in any other place, with family friends and others. Adab starts at home. If you only observe something outside of the home and not outside then this is clearly only for show.

Perhaps the most important point to note is to adhere to this adab when speaking with one's parents or someone of status or an elder or someone whom you have great respect for. If appropriate one should smile whilst talking to others (obviously not to non-mahrams!). It is is the simple action such as the smile that may act as your charity or simply allow others to be more receptive towards what you have to say, dispelling the stern and humourless impression many have of Muslims today.

The Quran relates to us the advice of Luqman the sage to his son, directing him to speak in a gentle manner, speaking loudly is detested and ugly.
وَٱقۡصِدۡ فِى مَشۡيِكَ وَٱغۡضُضۡ مِن صَوۡتِكَ‌ۚ إِنَّ أَنكَرَ ٱلۡأَصۡوَٲتِ لَصَوۡتُ ٱلۡحَمِيرِ
"And be moderate in thy pace, and lower thy voice; for the harshest of sounds without doubt is the braying of the ass."
(Surah Luqman: verse 19)

Similarly in verses two and three of Surah Hujarat:
يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لَا تَرۡفَعُوٓاْ أَصۡوَٲتَكُمۡ فَوۡقَ صَوۡتِ ٱلنَّبِىِّ وَلَا تَجۡهَرُواْ لَهُ ۥ بِٱلۡقَوۡلِ كَجَهۡرِ بَعۡضِڪُمۡ لِبَعۡضٍ أَن تَحۡبَطَ أَعۡمَـٰلُكُمۡ وَأَنتُمۡ لَا
تَشۡعُرُونَ - إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ يَغُضُّونَ أَصۡوَٲتَهُمۡ عِندَ رَسُولِ ٱللَّهِ أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ ٱلَّذِينَ ٱمۡتَحَنَ ٱللَّهُ قُلُوبَہُمۡ لِلتَّقۡوَىٰ‌ۚ لَهُم مَّغۡفِرَةٌ۬ وَأَجۡرٌ عَظِيمٌ
O ye who believe! Raise not your voices above the voice of the Prophet, nor speak aloud to him in talk, as ye may speak aloud to one another lest your deeds become vain and ye perceive not. (2) Those that lower their voice in the presence of Allah's Messenger― their hearts has Allah tested for piety: for them is Forgiveness and a great Reward. (3)

Imam Bukhari (رحمة الله عليه) reported that 'Abdullah ibn al-Zubayr (رضى الله عنه) said that after the revelation of this verse, whenever Umar ibn al-Khattab (رضى الله عنه) wanted to speak to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم), he would talk almost in whispers and the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) could hardly hear him and would ask him to repeat what he said (Sahih Bukhari).
Al Hafiz al-Dhahabi wrote in his biography of Imam ibn Sireen (رحمة الله عليه) the great scholar, "Whenever he was in his mother's presence, he would talk in such a hushed voice that you would think he was ill." (Tarikh al-Islam)
In his biography of Abdullah ibn Awn al-Basri (رحمة الله عليه), a student of Imam Ibn Sireen (رحمة الله عليه) and one of the famous scholars, he noted:
"One time his mother called him and because he responded with a voice louder than hers, he was fearful and repentant, thus freeing two slaves." (Ibid)
So it is important to only talk as loud as is necessary, and not to raise ones voice over the one whom one respects or is honourable.

Ettiquette between brothers and sisters in conversation

It may ofte be necessary, particularly in the west for a non related brother and sister to speak, whether it be in a shop, at school, college, a hospital, or otherwise. Talking reflects ones personality, this can often cause a problem in conversations between sisters and brothers who are non-mahram to each other. When a sister talks with a non-mahram brother, she should be aware of her tone. She must not beautify her voice but attempt to make it thicker with the intention of pleasing Allah and not falling prey to the one who may have illness in his heart. This means she has to make more effort if her voice is particularly gentle, so inshaAllah will have a greater reward for it. This is not something one should overlook, particularly given the times we live in.
Another problem one faces today is the western ettiquette of "looking at the person you are talking to". This is another cause for concern, as the commands of Allah are being shelved and brothers and sisters believe it is okay to "look" because you are talking to that person. One should ask oneself, does the blind man see the people he talks to in order to judge their tone or understand what they are saying? It is simply unnecessary, and one should take care of ones tone and lower one's gaze when talking to members of the opposite sex, do not give shaytaan a free invitation.

29 November 2007

The Manners of Conversation


In Surah al-Hajj, Allah described the believers:

وَهُدُوا إِلَى الطَّيِّبِ مِنَ الْقَوْلِ وَهُدُوا إِلَى صِرَاطِ الْحَمِيدِ

"And they have been guided to the purest of talk; and guided to the path of Him who is worthy of praise (22:24)

When one speaks, one should speak only what befits a situation and be brief in doing so. If one is amongst the youngest present, you should not speak unless you are asked to, or you know that your talk will be well received, will benefit or please others. One should not prolong speech, but be clear, concise and to the point rather than prolonging on and on.

Anas (رضى الله عنه) reported;

"The Prophet's (صلى الله عليه وسلم) speech was clear and succinct, neither too long nor too short, and he disliked chattering and ranting." (Sahih Bukhari)

Similarly it was reported in Bukhari and Muslim that 'Aisha (رضى الله عنها) said,

"The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) spoke [so few words] that you could count his words."

If you hear the athān, stop talking, listen to it and respond to the call of Allāh. Many people, even those with Islamic knowledge, continue talking while the athān is being called. This is rude, as those hearing the athān should listen to it and quit speech, study and even the recitation of the Qurān. Thoughtfully, one should reflect on the words of the athān and the meaning of the call, and one should stop doing all other things, such as speech, study or recitation of the Quran even.

Speech, and the adab of conversation reflects one's personality. It is speech and the actions of the tongue that may lead a person to the hellfire. The tongue is the best and most delicate muscle, for it can benefit and harm. The wise one is He who thinks before speaking. This not only involves the tone, the topic of conversation, the benefit of our speech and the adāb and ettiquettes of listening and debating, but encompasses also one's intention. When one speaks, the tongue should not just flow mindlessly, but one should think about the consequence first.

12 October 2007

Ok so alhamdulillah, the day of Eid has passed, and I pray that all our ibadah was accepted, and we are forgiven for the shortfalls, and mistakes we made during this month and our lifetimes.

May Allah (swt) protect us from the lure of shaytaan and give us the tawfiq to fast in shawwal too. May we all be granted the best of the dunya and akhirra (Ameen)

"Abu Ayyoub reported that the Messenger of Allah, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam said "Whoever fasts the month of Ramadhan and then follows it by fasting six days during the month of Shawwal will be rewarded as if he had fasted the entire year. [Muslim, at-Tirmithi, Ibn Majah, Abu Dawood and Ahmad by way of Jabir]. "

These days can be anytime during the month of Shawwal except the first day because it is unlawful to fast the day of Eid. These days do not have to be at beginning of the month nor do they have to be consecutive. Hence, Muslims should seize this opportunity and fast these six days to gain Allah's reward inshaAllah.

7 September 2007

Brief advice to the sisters

In the book "Islamic Manners", Shaykh 'Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghuddah mentions the following key points directed towards the sisters predominantly. That is not to say that brothers are innocent of that which is mentioned but just to say that it is ooften the women who partake in such things.

1. Timing your visit: If you want to visit your relatives or your Muslims sisters, be careful when selecting the days and the hour of your visit and its duration. Do not arrive for example at meal times or at resting times as this may cause inconvenience to the host. Even with relatives and friends make your visit short, brief and pleasant. Avoid turning your visit into a boring wearisome, inquisitive and lengthy visit.
2. Purpose of your visit: The purpose of your visit should be to rekindle and nourish friendship or kinship. A brief considerate visit is more beloved that the long tedious one in which the conversation moves from being purposeful to being aimless and trivial.
3. Conversation:

The tabi'i Muhammad ibn Shihab al Zuhri said:

"When a meeting becomes too long, Satan increasingly participates in it."

As the length of a visit increases and shaytaan increasingly participates, the conversation turns from that which is beneficial to tale bearing, gossip, backbiting and other undesirable and unislamic traits. The worst of all people on the day of judgement will be the one who is 2 faced. So be careful and aware of that which leaves your tongue. The sane and intelligent Muslim sister does not have time for the nonesense of idle talk, gossip and backbiting, speak that which is of benefit or remain silent.

The evils of Al-Ghiba'a are deeply rooted in today's socieety, to read more about Al-Ghiba'a, its causes and cures CLICK HERE and HERE. May Allah purify us and distance us from the evils of the tongue. Ameen.

4 September 2007

Keeping in Touch

When one can not visit relatives, friends or acquaintances one should still keep in touch with them by calling, emailing, or sending a letter. This leaves a deep and amicable impression and will keep the relationship alive. Al Fadl ibn Marwan, the vizer of the Abbasid Khalifa al Mu'tasim said,

"Inquiring about friends is like meeting them"

One should however in these situations look to the topic of conversation and pay attention not to fall into the traps of backbiting, idle gossip and slander etc when communicating with people. These manners of conversation will be covered in the following chapter (Chapter 5). However, needless to say the idle chit chat time has increased with the increase of mobile phone contract packages and so called surge in "FREE Ghiba'a" time... a better way to overcome the urge to spend long lengthy conversations of no benefit on the phone is to send a text, or briefly call someone simply to ask how they are; especially those that live some distance away and you are unable to visit so frequently, those that are ill, or perhaps alone.

3 September 2007

Duties of the Host and the Rights of the Guest

Duties of the Host

1. Food & drink: If one is expecting to receive guests, one should endevour to be hospitable and generous yet not excesively. Excessiveness in providing food and drink is NOT from the sunnah.

2. The guests stay: You should try to make your guests stay pleasant and comfortable during the day and night. Informing them of the direction of the Qibla and showing them the way to the bathroom. Don't let the closeness or informality of a guesst give you reason to lapse.

3. Bathroom: You should provide towels for your guests to use after ablution, having a shower or washing the hands before and after meals. Do NOT offer towels that your family members have used. It is also a nice idea to provide the guest with perfume and a mirror. One should make sure the toiletries and bathroom accessories will be clean and sanitised. One should finally make sure and inspect the bathroom in advance to remove anything you wouldn't want the guest to see. (i.e. laundry baskets and such like private/personal items). Put your guest at ease and do not burden him.

4. Sleep: A guest would require rest and quiet sleep. The guest should be spared the noise of children and the house as much as possible. One should remove any intimate clothing from view in that room, and if the guest is a man one should remove all womens clothing and belongings from that room.

5. Meeting guests: Receive them with tact and respect. Dress properly and look your best but do not be excessive in this. A close relationship between you and your guest is not and excuse for negligence or indecency in manner or appearance. Imam Bukhari (رحمة الله عليه) reported in Al Adab Al Mufrad that our forefathers used to looktheir best when visiting one another.

6. Kindness: One should be kind and considerate to ones guests. As a general rule do not ask them to help you with house chores. Imam Al-Shafi'i (رحمة الله عليه) said, "Gentlemen do not emply their guests". So don't expect help or demand it.

Duties of the Guest

1. Timing of the visit: When visiting a close friend or relative one should be mindful of the host's circumstances and other commitments. A visit should be made as brief as possible as everybody has various jobs and duties. The host will also appreciate this more as you will burden him less. A guest is only a guest for three days after that he is not considered a guest anymore.

2. Kindness: Be gentle, and be considerate of your hosts and volunteer your help with their business, house chores and obligations.

3. Do not inspect: When at your host's house do not inspect or examine every corner, especially when you are invited beyond the guest room, lest you see something you are not supposed to notice. If you go beyond your room don't look at what you shouldn't be looking at. Also, do not bother your guest by asking to many questions about the host themselves, their families, or the house itself.

29 August 2007

Manners of Sitting amongst others

Sitting between two people

If one enters a room, one should not sit between two people, but should sit to their left or right. Abu Dawud reported that the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:

"Noone is to sit between two people without their permission"
Sometimes two people may be kind enough to favour a person by making room for them to sit between them. One should in this situation acknowledge the gesture by thankfully accepting and being greatful in a good manner by not sitting crossed legged and crowding them. One should be aware that it is not from correct adab to make someone get up for you.
"Two people are truly ungrateful: a person whome you give advice to and he hates you for it, and a person who is favoured with a seat in a tight place and he sits crossed legged".
(saying of Ibn A'araabi)
Listening in...and private conversations
If one sits next to two people one should be careful not to eavesdrop and listen to what they say, for it could be that their conversation is confidential and about a private matter. Eavesdropping is a bad habit and a sin. Imam Bukhari (رحمة الله عليه) reported that the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:
"Whoever listens to people's conversation against their wishes will be punished by liquid lead being poured down their ears on the Day of Judgement".
If the conversation is not private then it is allowed for you to contribute that which is necessary. If one sees two people having a private conversation it is not permissible for one to go and join them. Similarly if there are 3 people in a gathering 2 of them should not exclude one by having a private conversation or a conversation in a language that the 3rd person does not understand, this is from bad adab. It may be that this is the cause of hurt, hatred or rancour in the heart of the 3rd person. It is an inappropriate manner to whisper something to the person next to you if you are in a group of three. Hence the 3rd person should not be isolated in this manner.
Imam Malik and Abu Dawud reported that the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:
"No two shall exchange whispers in the presence of a third person".
The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) emphasised "No two..." in an assertive negative form, indicating that such a mistake is not only inappropriate but dispicable. In another hadith reported in Bukhari:
"If you were three, two of you should not whisper to each other till you join other people, lest the third feel offended". Abdullah Ibn Umar (رضى الله عنه) was asked; "What if they are four?" "Then this doesn't matter", he answered; meaning it is not then offensive.
Whispers are usually secrets, so if a friend entrusted you with a secret, do not betray it. Do not tell even your best friend or closest relative.
In the company of elders
Generally one should seek to benefit from the company and wisdom of the elders who are traditionally described as "A fruit at the end of the season" or "A sun setting among the clouds". Soon they will depart and leave us behind. Be keen to attend the gatherings of elders, scholars, pious persons, nobles and relative so you may benefit. All to soon we lament at the departure of the irrecoverable loss and missed opportunities. When a person in your company speaks to you afce them, do not ignore them, give them their right of respect and be attentive.

27 August 2007

Greeting a Group

The Salaam
If one enters a room, one should greet everyone inside "Asalaamualaykaa". One should never just give to salaam to those they know, but also extend it to those one doesn't know. The salaam should be made with the intention of three: The angels and those one is visiting, or joining. The distinguished salaam of the Muslims is an important quality one must always remember.
Shaking Hands
When shaking hands with those present, one should endeavour to start with the most prominent, the most knowledgeable, the most pious, the elder or the one who has similar Islamic distinctions. One shouldn't start with the first person seen on ones right for one may in turn overlook a more distinguished prominent person. If one can't decide who is the most distinguished in terms of the above,or if they are all of comparable status then one should first greet the elder of the gathering as they are the easiest to distinguish. Imam Bukhari (رحمة الله عليه) explained that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: "The elder! The elder!". In another narration He said: "The elders come first".

Levels of respect

There are 3 main factors that should be considered when one takes into account the level of respect for others; namely age, piety and knowledge. Islam gives importance to quality in salah, knowledge, prayers, age, the one who memorises the Quran, piety. These noble qualities should be paid attention too when respecting someone.

The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: "Treat people according to their class/honour" (Abu Da'ud)

For example the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) gave more time to the leaders as they were the most influencial on the people to encourage others to embrace the deen of Islam.

Even if the person is a younger scholar, there should be mutual respect. We should be careful when given a title such as mufti/hafidh(a)/shaykh(a) etc and should still respect the elders for their wisdom/guidance/experience.


Even when serving it must be remembered that the qualities mentioned above with regards to noble qualities of the believers, one must serve in accordance to the most distinguished/noble of the gathering. If it is a gathering of equals one should start from the right moving from that person's right anticlockwise. One shouldn't leave more important people to serve someone lower. One should first serve the one with the most noble Islamic state.

General rules in conversation

- When a noble person comes from the community give them respect.

- Keep conversation short, brief, concise. Inform the person you wish to converse with, before rambling on and perhaps causing them an inconvenience (this applies also on the phone).

- In a gathering do not talk unless it is to respond to something.

- In a gathering of elders and youngsters, the youngsters of the group should have respect for the elders and the elders should have mercy on the younger people present during conversation.

- Out of respect one should not preach or lecture an elder in a gathering. This shows insincerity and lack of adab.

- Pay attention to the way you sit when having a conversation. When talking to someone, face them, not just simply half heartedly, but fully if possible. This is from the sunnah and the person will feel respected that they're words are being paid attention to.

11 July 2007

Adab in Islam (Day 1)

Alhamdulillah, this concludes the notes for day 1 of the "Adab in Islam" course notes.

Still to come....
Remainder of Chapter 4
Chapter 5
The Manners of Conversation

Chapter 6
Social Manners

Chapter 7
Dealing with Non Muslims

Chapter 8
Wedding Manners

Chapter 9
Visiting the sick

Chapter 10

10 July 2007

Burdening the Host with Requests

Whether one is visiting friends or relatives, one must avoid unnecessary requests that may inconvenience the host. For example, using the phone, going to the toilet or performing ablution.
Good manners dictate that you should be considerate, for not every house may have facilities prepared for the use of guests. The condition or location may cause embarrassment or inconvinience to the host or the family of the host.
One should prepare for things before leaving home, in order to minimise the potential inconvience or burden on the host. A host can only be pleased at a burden-free, non-embarrassing visit; and will enjoy your visit more as a result. One should always consider the convenience and appropriateness of ones actions when visiting.

9 July 2007

A Visitor is not an Inspector

When you enter the home of your host, whether as a visitor or an overnight guest, one should not closely examine its contents as an inspector would. It is important to limit ones observation to what you need to see. Do not open closed closets, suitcases, files or boxes. Do not inspect a wallet, a package or a covered object. This is against Islamic manners and is an impolite betrayal of the trust your host has accorded to you. In order to cultivate the hosts love and respect, one should uphold these manners during the visit.

Imam al-Muhasibi (رحمة الله عليه) in Risalat al-Mutarshidin said, "The duty of sight is to preclude forbidden sights and not to try and see what has been hidden or covered. Likewise Dawud al-Ta'i said,
"I was told we would be accountable for our minor gazes, as we are accountable for our minor deeds".
The Arab poet, Miskin al-Darimi said,
"My neighbour need not worry if his door is not closed".
1. Do not closely examine anything or uncover that which is hidden.
2. Do not be nosey and keep your gaze lowered.
3. Inspecting without permission is a breach of trust and a sign of the munafiq.
4. Uphold and know these ettiquettes in order to gain reward with Allah (سبحانه وتعالى).

8 July 2007

Choosing a seat

When visiting someone, one should sit where requested to by the host and should be weary of arguing with the host about the place they wish you to sit. If you sit where you want, you may overlook a private area of the house, or may cause some inconvenience to the hosts.
When the honoured companion, 'Adi ibn Hatam al-Ta'i (رضى الله عنه) embraced Islam, he came to Medina to the the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم). The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) honoured Hatam by motioning him to sit on a cushion, while he himself sat on the floor. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) took a leather cushion filled with palm fibre and threw it on the floor. "Sit on this" he said, "No, you sit on it", the companion responded. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) insisted "No, you". So the companion sat on the cushion whilst the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) sat on the floor.
(Ibn Kathir: al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya)

"Kharija ibn Zayada visited Ibn Sirin and found him sitting on a cushion on the floor and wanted to sit like him, saying, "I wish to sit as you sit". Ibn Sirin replied, "In my home, I will not be content to provide you with my ordinary seat. Sit where you are asked to sit".

It is hence important not to sit in the host's seat unless he invites you to do so. In this regard, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:
"No person shall lead another in prayer while at the latter's house. No person shall sit, uninvited, at the favourite seat of the master of the house."

If one arrives early at a gathering and the host out of kindness directs you to sit at the most prominent seat, be prepared to stand up and give the seat to the elders, the notables or the scholars when they arrive after you. they deserve the seat more than you. do not be insensitive and tactless. Refusing to give up a seat to those who traditionally deserve it, only indicates lack of manners and common sense.

The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:
"Those who do not respect the elders do not belong to us."

Remaining entrenched in ones seat does not help to elevate ones status, but will certainly raise eyebrows amongst those present. Insisting upon undeserved honour is considered arrogance. This rule applies equally to men and women. Being insensible does not enhance ones social status, but on the contrary tarnishes ones reputation. Honouring an honourable person will only improve ones standing and stir admiration for ones manners and humbleness. Something many today are in dire need of.
If one is sat in the second best place and a notable person entered the room, one should give up that seat for the person. To be respectful of the elders testifies good manners and social awareness/sense. Imam Muslim (رحمة الله عليه) reported that when organising the prayers the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:
"The wisest of you and the elders should stand behind me, then those below them then those below them."

A prominent person may call upon you to discuss a matter, or to answer a query, or to give you advice. If you sit beside or near them for this purpose, it is desirable that you return to your previous seat once the matter is concluded, unless that person insists you remain in that new seat. One should be aware of the place becoming so crowded that it causes a discomfort to those already sitting there and in these circumstances decline the invitation. These manners are based on common sense, but can be developed by socialising with prominent, tactful individuals; in order to enhance ones good manners and graceful behaviour.
If one is the youngest in a gathering, one should not sit before being invited to do so, or if one would be crowding others or forcing them out of their seat. If invited to sit, one should not proceed to the best place if others are more deserving of it, and one should be prepared to give up that seat to that person. doing this before being prompted to do so, may increase ones social standing and admiration of ones manners and good character.
1. Wait to be told where to sit and sit where requested.
2. Do not insist on sitting in the hosts seat, or where you wish, for you may see something private and cause inconvenience.
3. Accept whatever hospitality is offered.
4. Always give up your seat for the more deserving.
5. If you are the youngest, do not sit until invited to do so, and be prepared to rise for one more deserving of that seat.

22 June 2007

Removing your shoes

As a general rule, one should take their shoes off unless asked by the host to keep them on. Remove your shoes at an appropriate spot and set them in an orderly fashion. Do not forget that the manner in which you put shoes on and take them off, is important. Take off the left shoes first then the right, and then when [preparing to leave] put on the right shoe first then the left.

Imam Muslim (رحمة الله عليه) and other scholars narrated that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:

"When you put on your shoes, start with the right shoe. When taking off the shoes, 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 bretheren look at your shoes. If they are dirty, remove the dirt or brush the shoes against the ground. Islam is the religion of cleanliness and courtesy.

19 June 2007

Control your Eyes

Controlling the eyes is a key part of a Muslims duty. Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) says in the Quran

قُل لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ يَغُضُّوا مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِمْ وَيَحْفَظُوا فُرُوجَهُمْ ذَلِكَ أَزْكَى لَهُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا يَصْنَعُونَ
"Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: And Allah is well acquainted with all that they do."
(Surah an Nur: verse 30)

When asking permission to enter a home, avoid glancing unnecessarily at its interior or beyond the guests quarter's. One should lower the gaze to prevent one from seeing awrat or anything else that is not lawful for us to see. What is private should remain so. This is shameful and harmful. Abu Dawud and al Tabarani explain that:

Sa'd ibn 'Ubada (رضى الله عنه) said. " A man stood facing the door of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) while asking permission to enter. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, "Turn this way," turning him away and ordering him to move further from the door, saying, "Asking permission is prescribed to prevent intrusion."

In other narrations:

Huzail (رضى الله عنه) said, "A man came and stood at the door of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) seeking permission to enter. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said to him, "Like this or like this (perhaps indicating that he should stand to the right or left of the door but not directly efore it), for seeking permission is legislated for sight.

(Abu Dawud : Sahih)

Imam Bukhari (رحمة الله عليه) also explained in Al Adab Al Mufrad that the person should not loook inside a house before getting permission. If you do [look inside before asking permission], you have already entered [that is, trespassed]." Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi and Bukhari stated in Al Adab Al Mufrad a hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah (رضى الله عنه) who said:

The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said "Is the sight leaps, permission should be denied."

(Abu Dawud - Chapter of Adab)

In other narrations by Abu Huraira (رضى الله عنه):

"When one looks inside of the home of people without their permisssion, it becomes permissible for them to gouge out his eye."

"Were a man to look into your home/private property wihtout your permission, and were you to pelt him with pebbles and knock out his eye, there would be no sin upon you."
(Bukhari & Muslim)

Also, Imam Bukhari (رحمة الله عليه) narrated that:

Ammar ibn Sa'id al-Tujibi reported that Umar Ibn al-Khattab said, "Whoever fills his eys with the sight of the interior of a house before being permitted is a wrongdoer".

Bukhari, Muslim and others narrated that:

Sahl ibn Sa'd (رضى الله عنه) 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 pitchfork. When the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) saw the intruder he told him, "Had I known you were looking I would have poked your eye! Asking permission was prescribed to prevent intrusion."

In another narration

Anas Ibn Maalik (رضى الله عنه) reported that a man looked through a hole into one of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) apartments, and so the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) stood up to go to him with an arrowhead(s). It was as if I saw the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) try to take him by surprise in order to stab him."


1. Seek permission and stand to the right or left of the door when visiting.

2. Lower your gaze.

3. Looking into properties without permission is similar to spying, and intrusion.

4. Control your eyes and control your nafs.

30 May 2007

Declining a Visit

If one visits a friend, with or without an appointment and they apologise for not being able to receive you accept their apology without any ill feelings. You should understand that something may have come up for them to decline your visit. Their previous plans, or state of their house, may have made your visit inconvenient. Similarly one should cancel an appointment (in whatever capacity this may be) if one is aware of not being able to attend. This adab is important as it removes any ill feelings that may otherwise linger due to declination. Those that do not decline, or cancel a visit may in turn end up disgracing themselves. It is hence important to fulfil promises and keep appointments and if we are declined, not to hold a grudge.

Allah says:

فَإِن لَّمْ تَجِدُوا فِيهَا أَحَدًا فَلَا تَدْخُلُوهَا حَتَّى يُؤْذَنَ لَكُمْ وَإِن قِيلَ لَكُمُ ارْجِعُوا فَارْجِعُوا هُوَ أَزْكَى لَكُمْ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ عَلِيمٌ

"If ye find no one in the house, enter not until permission is given to you: if ye are asked to go back, go back: that makes for greater purity for yourselves: and Allah knows well all that ye do."
(Quran 24:28)

Many don’t know how to act in such circumstances where a guest arrives and it is not convenient for them to be received. Often people resort to lying, but not only do children learn from this behaviour, but it may lead to further problems. Lying promotes enmity and hatred and displays the signs of the munafiq. Don’t clearly and blatently lie about your presence. Declination of a visit does not require explanation, as not everybody is able to express such reasons. There is hence great importance on not holding a grudge but reflecting on the abover ayah from the Quran. Too much time is spent and wasted today in persuit of minor issues and disputes.

The Tabi’i Qatada ibn Di’ama al-Sudusi said, “Do not hang around the door of those who decline to recieve your visit. Accept their reason, move on to attend to your business, and let them attend to theirs”.

One should not ask for a reason or an explanation as Imam Malik (رحمة الله عليه) used to say;

“Not all people can disclose their excuses”

The one visiting should seek permission by saying; “You’re not busy are you” or “Perhaps you’re busy and can’t receive us” to make the hosts feel at ease. One should always remember even in telephone calls to seek permission to take that persons time, removing any ill feelings if declined. It is important adab not to make it difficult for someone to decline, as that in turn may cause some harm to them or their situation.

Imam al-Tabari in his Tafsir reported that a man of the Muhajirin said, “All my life, I wanted to practice this verse :If ye find no one in the house, enter not until permission is given to you: if ye are asked to go back, go back: that makes for greater purity for yourselves: and Allah knows well all that ye do.” (Quran 24:28), but I could not. I was hoping I would seek permission to visit a brother and he would tell me to ‘Go back!’ I would gladly have left, thus fulfilling the commandment of Allah”

1. If you can’t make an appointment, cancel it.
2. If something comes up, decline your visitor, and tell him to return; but don’t lie!
3. If you are declined, don’t hold a grudge.
4. Strive to be frank, true, brave, generous by following the example of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and His companions, wherever possible.

25 May 2007


Asalamualaykum wahrehmatullahi wahbarakatuhu

The new "user-friendly" version of Adab in Islam is now up and running at:


Notes will however also be updated here for those that prefer this style to the new one. If u have any constructive criticism, or feedback, please add comments to this post.

JazakhumAllahu khairun.

Wa'alaykum asalaam wahrehmatullahi wahbarakatuhu

21 May 2007

The Right Time?

One should always choose an appropriate time for visiting. It is disliked to visit at inconvenient times:
1) Meal times
2) When it is the time for the noon rest
3) When people are resting or relaxing
4) Before Fajr prayers
5) After Isha' Prayers


The length of a visit should correspond with how well you know the host, their circumsances and conditions. Do not overstay your welcome by making your visit too long or burdensome. One should always be aware not to sit for too long, as we may be harming the hosts.

Today many of us neglect this adab and continue to sit for hours, assuming it is okay because we know the hosts well, and are very close to them. This is not correct. Often a longer visit, is of little benefit and increases opportunity for purpose to divulge into major sins of Backbiting, slander and idle gossip.

When visiting someone, there is a fine line between being welcome and harming the host, by over burdening them with requests and demands. Often people are in a hurry and one should seek ijaza for their time. This is especially important when visiting Ulema. One should always endeavour to seek an appointment where possible to avoiding inconveniencing someone. As people have their own schedules and it may not be convenient for them

Imam Nawawi (رحمة الله عليه) said:

"It is strongly recommened for Muslims to visit the pious people, their brethren, neighbours, friends and relatives, and to be generous, kind and obliging to them. However, the extent of the visit varies according to the hosts circumstances. The visit ought to be conducted in a pleasant manner and at convenient times. There are numerous sayings and traditions in this regard."

(Al Adhkar in the chapter of Isti'dhan)

20 May 2007

The Manners of Visiting



Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) says in the Quran:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ أَوْفُواْ بِالْعُقُودِ

"O you who believe, fulfil your promises....."

(Surah Al Mai'da: Verse 1)

Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) also praised Prophet Isma'il;

وَاذْكُرْ فِي الْكِتَابِ إِسْمَاعِيلَ إِنَّهُ كَانَ صَادِقَ الْوَعْدِ وَكَانَ رَسُولًا نَّبِيًّا

"Also mention in the Book (the story of) Isma’il: He was (strictly) true to what he promised, and he was an Apostle (and) a Prophet."

(Surah Maryam: Verse 54)

Keeping appointments is vital to life. Time is the most precious commodity. Once wasted, it can never be recovered. If you make an appointment, whether with a friend, Ulema or for business, you should do your utmost to keep this appointment. This somewhat simple adab is the right of the person you are visiting, as they have favoured you by sacrificing their valuable time for you. Lapse in timekeeping and failure to keep an appointmentnot only disrupts and causes inconvenience to the one you are visiting/meeting/arranged to see but also marrs your image and reputation. As your time keeping skills decline, peoples respect for you will also. Regardless of their importance, one should always endeavour to keep appointments;

وَأَوْفُواْ بِالْعَهْدِ إِنَّ الْعَهْدَ كَانَ مَسْؤُولاً

"....And keep your promises; the promise is a responsibility"

(Quran Surah Al-Isra: verse 34)

The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) once gave an appointment to one of his Companions. The Companion came 3 days later. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) gently reprimanded him saying "You have caused me some trouble. I have been waiting for you for 3 days". The Companion probably had an excuse for this however he had no means by which to inform the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) of this in advance.

Today in an age of technology and reliable communication available everywhere, one would wonder why we have MST (Muslim Standard Time) or general widespread lateness amongst the Muslims. One should realise that we may infact be inconveniencing those who are to be visited. To seek an appointment is to seek permission. One should always endeavour to inform of the inability to make an appointment as that valuable time can be utilised elsewhere. No matter how unimportant a meeting may seem, it always merits an apology or prior notice of lateness, or cancellation.

An appointment is a commitment which shoould be kept properly or cancelled in advance.

In an age where the words "إن شاء الله" and "promise" are merely lipservice, one should be reminded of the clear prohibition of breaking promises and trust:

The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: "Three traits single out the hypocrite, even if he prays or fasts and claims to be Muslim: if he speaks he lies. If he makes a promise, he does not keep it. If he is entrusted, he betrays the trust."

(Bukhari & Muslim)

Imam Ghazali (رحمة الله عليه) explained that this hadith is applicable to those who promise while intending not to fulfil it, or those who, without excuse, decide later not to fulfil a promise. Those who promise but could not fulfil their promise due to a proper excuse are not hypocrites. One should be careful not to present a false excuse as Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) knows that which is in our hearts.

Never make a promise while intending not to keep it, for verily, actions are but by intentions. This is forbidden as it falls within lying and hypocrisy.

Adab In Islam Part 2

Click above poster to enlarge

JazakhumAllahu khairun to the organisers and Mufti Muhammad for an enlightening part 2 to the course. May Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) reward them in this life and raise their rank in the akhirra Ameen.
May He (سبحانه وتعالى) give all of those that attended both parts the tawfiq to implement what they learnt and become role models through their adaab. May we all continue to seek knowledge, strive in the path of Allah, and solely implement these adaab for the sake of Allah alone, inviting and guiding others to Islam through the beauty of our character, inshaAllah. May Allah forgive us all and purify us.
NB: If you attended the course, please leave feedback comments (on what you thought of it) on this post. JazakhumAllahu khairun.

13 May 2007

ADAB in Islam Course

Teacher : Imam Imran Nauth

Time : 7pm Friday (11th May - 13th July 2007)

Event Location : The IslamBradford Centre, Preston Street, Bradford, BD7 1JP
Cost: Your TIME!

10 May 2007

Identifying Oneself

If you knock a door or ring the bell when you visit someone, and are asked "Who is it?" you should identify yourself by giving your common name or kunya. It is disliked to respond "It is me" or "Somebody" or "Guess who?" because these do not give away your identity and may agrevate the person being visited who may indeed not recognise voices easily.

Jabir Ibn Abdullah (رضى الله عنه) narrated: "I went to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) for a debt that was upon my father. I knocked on the door, and He (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, "Who is there?" I answered "Me". He said "Me, me" in a way that showed His dislike of my answer.
(Bukhari & Muslim)
During the year of the Makkan conquest, Umm Haanai رضى الله عنها (the sister of Ali ibn Abi Talib) once went to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and learned that he was taking a bath. His daughter Fatimah رضى الله عنها was holding up a cover to protect him from the view of others. Umm Haanai later said, "Then I extended greetings of peace to Him, and He said, 'Who is this?' I said, Umm Haanai Bint Abu Taalib..."
(Bukhari and Muslim)
Abdullahi ibn Buraidah (رضى الله عنه) related that his father said, "The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) left to go to the Masjid; meanwhile Abu Moosa was reciting. He (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, "Who is this?" I said, 'I am Buraidah; may I be made ransom for you', He (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said 'This one has been given the flute (i.e. his voice) from the flutes of Dawood's family".
(Al Adab Al Mufrad)
Abu Dharr (رضى الله عنه) said "One night while I was walking I saw the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) walking by himself. I walked behind him in the shade of the moon, but he turned around and saw me and asked, "Who is there?" I replied, "It is Abu Dharr".
So the correct adab of identifying oneself is to avoid confusion and clearly convey ones identity.

6 May 2007

Knocking & Ringing

When at the door, one should knock or ring the bell in a pleasant way and not louder than necessary to make your presence known. One should not knock loudly and violently or ring the bell continuously. In other words, one should act like a visitor, and not a thug or oppressor attempting to frighten the occupants.

A woman went to visit Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (رحمة الله عليه) seeking his opinion on a religious matter. She banged the door loudly. He came out saying "This is the banging of the police". Likewise Imam Bukhari (رحمة الله عليه) reported in al-Adab al-Mufrad that the Companions of the Prophet used to knock with the tips of their fingers in a soft and gentle manner.

If the living quarters of the person you are visiting are close to the door, it is important to only softly/gently knock with the tips of the fingers, to make your presence known. For those with living quarters further from the door, it is appropriate to knock a little louder, but without banging, or ring the bell enough for them to hear. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:

"Gentleness adorns every act. Its absence will tarnish it."

In addition, Imam Muslim (رحمة الله عليه) reported that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) also said:

"Whoever lacks kindness, lacks all good things".

Between knocks or rings of the bell, one should leave adequate time to allow those being visited to finish performing wudu, finish salaah (approximate time it takes to read 4 raka'as) , or to allow them to finish eating without rushing. One should keep in mind that the person being visited may have jsut started one of the above acts, before you knocked or rang the bell.

After attempting knocks or ringing the bell 3 spaced times, it is important to understand that the person you are visiting may be busy, or would have answered, hence you should leave. One should never enter without permission. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:

"If you sought permission three times, and were not granted permission, then you must leave".

(Bukhari & Muslim)

When you knock or ring the bell, it is also important that you do not stand infront of the door, but to the left or right of it. The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) recommended that one should stand to the left or to the right of the door and to avoid facing it to prevent people seeing things that are either unlawful for them to see, or that which is private.

1. Knock gently with the tips of the fingers, or just loud enough for the occupants to hear.
2. Do not bang the door or ring the bell continuously. Be patient.
3. Allow enough time for the person to answer the door (about the time it takes to read 4 raka'ahs) between each knock.
4. After 3 spaced knocks, and no answer. Leave.
5. Do not stand infront of the door, but slightly to the right or left, so that you may protect your eyes from that which may not be lawful for you to see.

30 April 2007

Seeking Permission to Enter

Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) says in the Quran:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَدْخُلُوا بُيُوتًا غَيْرَ بُيُوتِكُمْ حَتَّى تَسْتَأْنِسُوا وَتُسَلِّمُوا عَلَى أَهْلِهَا ذَلِكُمْ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ
"O you who believe! Enter not houses other than your own, untill you have asked permission".
(Quran 24: 27)
Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) also says:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لِيَسْتَأْذِنكُمُ الَّذِينَ مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ لَمْ يَبْلُغُوا الْحُلُمَ مِنكُمْ ثَلَاثَ مَرَّاتٍ مِن قَبْلِ صَلَاةِ الْفَجْرِ وَحِينَ تَضَعُونَ ثِيَابَكُم مِّنَ الظَّهِيرَةِ وَمِن بَعْدِ صَلَاةِ الْعِشَاء ثَلَاثُ عَوْرَاتٍ لَّكُمْ لَيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَلَا عَلَيْهِمْ جُنَاحٌ بَعْدَهُنَّ طَوَّافُونَ عَلَيْكُم بَعْضُكُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ كَذَلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمُ الْآيَاتِ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ
" O ye who believe! let those whom your right hands possess, and the
(children) among you who have not come of age ask your permission (before they come to your presence), on three occasions: before morning prayer; the while ye doff your clothes for the noonday heat; and after the late-night prayer: these are your three times of undress: outside those times it is not wrong for you or for them to move about attending to each other: Thus does Allah make clear the Signs to you: for Allah is full of knowledge and wisdom.".
(Quran 24:58)
If family members are resting in their rooms and you want to join them, or enter, it is appropriate adab to seek their permission or to knock on the door. This was recommended by the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) so as to protect us from seeing them in a condition that either you or they may dislike. This is applicable to the entire household.
The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said,
"Seeking permission [to enter another person's private space] has been made compulsory only because of eyesight (i.e. only so that people do not see that which is unlawful for them to see, such as a stranger woman)."
(Bukhari & Muslim)
'Ata Ibn Yasir (رضى الله عنه) narrated:
"A man asked the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) 'Should I seek permission to enter my mother's room?' The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) answered 'Yes'. The man said, ' We live together in the same house'. The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said 'Ask permission to join her'. The man argued 'But I serve her!' The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said 'Ask for permission. Would you like to see her naked?' The man replied 'No'. The prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said 'Then ask for her permission before entering'.
"A man asked 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud(رضى الله عنه) , "Should I ask permission to enter my mother's room?" He answered, "Yes there are certain circumstances in which you would rather not see her".
In another narration, Zaynab, the wife of 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud said that before opening the door of his house, 'Abdullah used to make a noise, lest he surprised and embarrassed his family. Likewise:
"A man asked Hudhayfa ibn al-Yaman (رضى الله عنه) , "Should I ask permission to enter my mother's room?" Hudhayfa replied, "Yes, if you do not ask for her permission, you may cause yourself a needless embarrassment".
When children reach a certain age they must ask permission and be taught to establish prayer. Allah (حانه وتعالى) says in the Quran:
وَإِذَا بَلَغَ الْأَطْفَالُ مِنكُمُ الْحُلُمَ فَلْيَسْتَأْذِنُوا كَمَا اسْتَأْذَنَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ كَذَلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ آيَاتِهِ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ
"And when the children 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 all-knowing all wise"
(Quran 24: 59)
Musa the so of the Companion Talha ibn Ubaydullah (رضى الله عنه) said,
"My father went to my mothers room. I followed him as he entered. He turned towards me and pushed me down, forcing me to sit. Then he reprimanded me "How dare you enter without permission?"
Nafi' (رضى الله عنه) the companion of 'Abdullah ibn Umar said,
"When any of the children of Ibn Umar came of age, Ibn Umar would assign that child to another room. He would not allow any of them to enter his room without permission".
'Ata ibn Abi Rabah (رضى الله عنه) reported that he asked Ibn Abbas
"Should I seek permission when calling my two sisters?" Ibn Abbas answered "Yes". I said, "I am their gaurdian, supporter and providor of their needs". He said, " Would you rather see them naked?" Then he recited the verse of the Quran (24:59), comcluding that is is obligatory to seek permission for all.
Ibn Mas'ud (رضى الله عنه) said, "A person should seek permission whenever entering the room of a father, a mother, a brother, or a sister." Jabir 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."
1. Always seek permission even of those under your care.
2. Don't surprise or embarrass people so you or they dislike it.
3. Knock calmly to seek permission
4. When children come of age, (approx 7) teach them to seek permission.