14 April 2007

Arriving from a Journey

When travelling to visit someone or intending to receive guests, we should ensure that our hands, feet, socks and clothing are clean and we have a neat appearance. No matter whether those in question are your parents, relatives, peers, friends of a different age, or others. We should never underestimate the importance of our appearance. This could not only lead us to harming others with our bad odour, or untidy appearance but may actually impact the meeting as a whole. As has been mentioned earlier, humans have a natural tendency to love and be attracted to that which is beautiful, and pleasant.

The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said to the Companions on their return from a journey:
“You are on the way to meet your brothers, put on nice dress and fix your saddles so you appear distinct among people as a beauty mark [on a beautiful face]. Allah likes neither roughness nor rough manners”.

When visiting or receiving guests, we should also try to present suitable gifts to those receiving you, or to your guests. However large or small, or even symbolic, this etiquette can greatly enhance the pleasure of a meeting. The joy of meeting with others, is such that you will be remembered when your gift to them is seen or used. The gift can be as simple as a small bottle of itr or an siwak stick.

The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:
"Exchange gifts; Exchange love"

An important point to note here however is not to expect gifts, or to try and give that which is greater; for truly all actions are but by intention. We should give to increase love and for the sake of Allah (سبحانه وتعالى), not to compete, or show our wealth; as this may constitute arrogance. We should also remember the basic etiquette's of giving and receiving in that we don't give just because we receive, and we don't belittle or show lack of gratitude for a gift, no matter what it is. Even if we don't like the present.
The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:
"I shall accept the invitation even if I were invited to a meal of a sheep's trotter, and I shall accept the gift even if it were an arm or a trotter of a sheep."
in another hadith, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:
"O Muslim women! None of you should look down upon the gift sent by her she-neighbour even if it were the trotters of the sheep (fleshless part of legs)."
(Sahih Bukhari)

A further note to add here is that often in disagreements, people are renowned to "take back their gifts". The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) clearly forbade this in the following hadith:
(صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:
"One who takes back his gift (which he has already given) is like a dog that swallows its vomit."
(Sahih Bukhari)
**The Adab of exchanging gifts will be discussed further in chapter 6 inshaAllah

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

mashallah very nice site and some wonderful articles. hope to carry on reading it...half way through at the moment..May Alah reward u for all ur efforts ameen.