26 April 2007

Announcing Your Presence

When entering the house, one should always make their presence known to those inside before approaching them. We should avoid startling or freightening them and shouldn't descend upon them suddenly. Anu 'Ubayda Amir ibn Abdullah ibn Mas'ud said, "My father Abdullah ibn Mas'ud used to announce his arrival by calling his family in a cordial tone."
So our presence should be known from the door, especially if we are returning from a long journey. Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (رحمة الله عليه) said;
"When a person enters his house, it is recommended that he makes a noise by clearing his throat or tapping his shoes". His son Abdullah said "When returning home from the masjid, my father used to announce his arrival before entering, by tapping with his shoes or clearing his throat."
It is disliked to surprise ones family as Jabir ibn Abdullah (رضى الله عنه)is narrated to have said in Bukhari and Muslim; that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) denounced surprising the family at night, whether returning from a trip or otherwise, as if they distrusted them and want to discover what goes on behind their backs. Women are often fragile and easily frightened/startled; if you do not let them know you are acting like a spy. This is important as Allah clearly forbids spying in the Quran:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اجْتَنِبُوا كَثِيرًا مِّنَ الظَّنِّ إِنَّ بَعْضَ الظَّنِّ إِثْمٌ وَلَا تَجَسَّسُوا وَلَا يَغْتَب بَّعْضُكُم بَعْضًا أَيُحِبُّ أَحَدُكُمْ أَن يَأْكُلَ لَحْمَ أَخِيهِ مَيْتًا فَكَرِهْتُمُوهُ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ تَوَّابٌ رَّحِيمٌ
O you who believe! Avoid much suspicions, indeed some suspicions are sins. And spy not, neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting) . And fear Allah. Verily, Allah is the One Who accepts repentance, Most Merciful.
(Surah Al Hujarat: verse 12)
So one must be aware not to be overprotective or attempt to search for the wrong doings of others; in any form.
"A man went away from his family to work in the USA, after some time, he decided he wanted to go back home to visit his family. Because it had been such a long time, he wanted to surprise them. He went back bearing many gifts and souvenirs. When he landed at the airport, he took a taxi to his home. Unfortunately in the midst of this journey the taxi driver changed his intention; saw that this person obviously had alot of money, or belongings, and ended up murdering and robbing the man. Although the man was trying to surprise his family, things took an unexpected turn. With the family not being aware, they simply thought he was still in the USA. As some weeks and months passed by, the family were worried as he hadn't made contact with them. On investigation they discovered he had come back to visit them but been murdered."
1. Always announce your presence before arrival or at the door (clear throat, tap shoes, call)
2. Do not be suspicious
3. Avoid arriving at night.

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