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Social and Moral Code of Islam

By Dr. Muhammad Sharif Chaudhry

CHAPTER 4

CODE OF MANNERS

  1. Drinking

  2. Eating

  3. Taking Bath

  4. Dress

  5. Veil

  6. Ornaments

  7. Hairs

  8. Greeting

  9. Entering Houses

  10. Sitting in Assemblies

  11. Lying and Sleeping

  12. Walking

  13. Sneezing and Yawning

Manner, according to dictionary meaning, is the way or mode in which a thing is done or a thing occurs or happens. It is a mode of life, outward bearing, style of utterance, behaviour in social intercourse. It is also one’s way of performing or behaving, personal style of acting or bearing, style of writing or thought, social conduct or behaviour currently considered as polite or impolite, pleasing or displeasing. Appearance, bearing, behaviour, approach, custom, fashion, habit, method, mode, practice, procedure, routine, style, etc. are some of synonyms of manners. But here we are taking manners in the sense of etiquettes which stand for conventional requirements as to social behaviour.

Manners can be good or bad, decent or indecent. Good and decent manners please others while bad and indecent manners make one unpopular. Islam likes good manners for its followers. The Qur’an says that none is better than a Muslim in speech, while the Prophet of Islam said that he was sent to complete good manners. In this chapter we shall discuss manners relating to various activities of life such as manners of entering houses, sitting in assemblies, eating and drinking dress, etc. in the light of Islamic teachings.

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I – Drinking

The Qur’an enjoins upon the believers to eat and drink but avoid wastage. It says: “………and eat and drink, but be not prodigal.” (7:31). Drinking of wine and taking of other strong drinks has been prohibited by the Qur’an :”O ye who believe! Strong drinks and games of chance and idols and divining arrows are only an infamy of satan’s handiwork. Leave it aside in order that ye may succeed” (5: 90).

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has issued detailed instructions on the manners of drinking to his followers. The following are some of his traditions and Ahadith which throw light on this subject:

Ahadith of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH):

1.   Hudhaifa told that he heard God’s messenger say, “Do not wear silk or brocade, do not drink from gold and silver vessels, and do not eat from gold and silver dishes, for others have them in this word, but you will have them in the next.”  
   (Bukhari and Muslim)

2.    Anas told that a domestic sheep was milked for God’s Messenger and its milk was mixed with water from a well in Anas’s house. God’s messenger was then given a cup and drank, Abu Bakr being on his left and a nomadic Arab on his right. Umar asked God’s messenger to give it to Abu Bakr, but he gave it to the nomadic Arab who was on his right, saying, “He who is on the right, then he who is on his right.” A version has, ”Those on the right, then those on their right; go to the right,”   (Bukhari and Muslim)

3.   Sahl b. Sa’d told that the Prophet was brought a cup from which he drank, and on his right was a youth who was the youngest present, while the old men were on his left. He asked the youth to permit him to give it to the old men, but he replied, “I am not one to give anyone preference in a favour from you, messenger of God,” So he gave it to him.  
   (Bukhari and Muslim)

4.   Ibn ‘Abbas told that when he brought the Prophet a bucket of Zamzam water he drank it while standing.  
   (Bukhari and Muslim)

5.   Amr b. Shu’aib, on his father’s authority, said his grandfather told that he saw God’s Messenger drink both standing and sitting.    (Tirmidhi)

6.   Ibn ‘Abbas said God’s messenger forbade breathing or blowing into a vessel.   (Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah)

7.   Ibn Abbas reported God’s messenger as saying, “Do not drink without stopping as a camel does, but divide your drink into two or three sections; mention God’s name when you drink and praise Him when you finish.”   (Tirmidhi)

8.   Abu Saeed Khudri told that God’s messenger forbade drinking from a broken place in a cup and blowing into a drink.  
   (Abu Dawud)

9.   Ibn Abbas reported God’s messenger as saying, “When one of you eats food he should say, ‘O God, bless us in it and give us good nourishment from it’, and when he is given a drink of milk he should say, ‘O God, bless us in it and prosper us from it,’ for no food or drink satisfies like milk.”  
   (Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud)

10.   Ibn ‘Umar (Allah be pleased with him) has reported: In the era of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) we ate as we walked and we drank as we were standing.   (Tirmidhi)

11.   Jabir told that when Abu Humaid, one of the Ansar, brought a vessel of milk to the Prophet from an-Naqi ‘The Prophet said, “Why did you not cover it up, even by putting a piece of wood on it?”   (Bukhari and Muslim)

12.   Ibn’Abbas said God’s messenger forbade drinking from the mouth of a water-skin.   (Bukhari and Muslim)

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II – Eating

The Qur’an prohibits excess or wastage in eating. It permits you eating from your houses and the houses of your relatives and friends. You may eat together or apart. When you are invited, you must not stay longer in the house of your host as it may annoy him but he may be shy in telling you to go. Therefore, you may disperse and linger not for conversation.

The Prophet of Islam has given exhaustive instructions about the manners of eating. Eat with right hand, mention Allah’s name when you start eating, praise Allah when you have finished, and eat from what is next to you. Eat simple food and exercise moderation. Do not eat from the vessels and dishes made of silver and gold. Preferably eat together. Such are some of the directions of the Prophet.

Following are the Verses of the Qur’an and Ahadith of Muhammad which guide a believer regarding manners of eating.

Verses of the Holy Qur’an:

1.   “….. and eat and drink, but be not prodigal. Lo! He (Allah) loveth not the prodigals.   ––7: 31

2.   No blame is there upon the blind nor any blame upon the lame nor any blame upon the sick nor on your selves if ye eat from your houses, or the houses of your fathers, or the houses of your mothers, or the houses of your brothers, or the houses of your sisters, or the houses of your fathers’ brothers, or the houses of your fathers sisters, or the houses of your mother’s brothers, houses of your mothers sisters, or (from that) whereof ye hold the keys, or (from the house) of a friend. No sin shall it be for you whether ye eat together or apart. But when ye enter houses, salute one another with a greeting from Allah, blessed and sweet. Thus Allah maketh clear His revelations for you, that haply ye may understand.  
   ––24: An-Nur: 61

3.   O ye who believe! Enter not the dwellings of the Prophet for a meal without waiting for a proper time, unless permission be granted you. But if ye are invited, enter, and when your meal is ended, then disperse. Linger not for conversation. Lo! That would cause annoyance to the Prophet, and he would be shy of (asking) you (to go); but Allah is not shy of the truth….  
   ––33: Al-Ahzab: 53

Ahadith of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH):

1.    Ayesha (Allah be pleased with her) has reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: When any of you begins to eat, he should mention the name of Allah, the Exalted. If he forgets to do it in the beginning, he should say: In the name of Allah at the beginning and at the end of it.   (Tirmidhi and Abu Daud)

2.   Jabir (Allah be pleased with him) has reported that he heard Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) as saying. If a person mentions the name of Allah at the time of entering his house or eating, Satan says addressing himself: You will find no shelter to spend the night and no supper. If he enters without mentioning the name of Allah, Satan says: You have found lodging. If he does not mention the name of Allah at the time of eating, Satan says: You have found lodging to spend the night and food.   (Muslim)

3.   Hudhaifa (Allaha be pleased with him) has narrated: When we attended a dinner with the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) we did not stretch forth our hands towards the food until he had commenced eating. Once we were with him when a girl rushed in as if some one were impelling her. She was about to lay her hand on the food when the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) seized her hand. Then a desert Arab came in rushingly as if some one were pursuing him. He caught his hand also and said: Satan considers that food lawful for him on which the name of Allah is not mentioned. He had brought this girl to make the food lawful (for Satan) through her but I caught her hand. Then he brought desert Arab to make it lawful through him but I seized his hand also. Now by Him in Whose hand is my life, it was Satan’s hand that was within my grasp along with their hands. Then he mentioned the name of Allah and began to eat.   (Muslim)

4.   Umayya bin Mukhshi (Allah be pleased with him) has reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was sitting while a man was eating food. He did not mention the name of Allah till only a mouthful of food was left. When he raised it to his mouth, he said: In the name of Allah the First and the Last. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) smiled at this and said: Satan had been eating with him. When he mentioned the name of Allah, Satan vomited all that was in his stomach.  
   (Abu Daud and Nisai)

5.   Ayesha (Allah be pleased with her) had reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was eating in the company of his Companions when a desert Arab came and ate up the food in two morsels. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: Had he mentioned the name of Allah, it would have sufficed for all of you.   (Tirmidhi)

6.   It has been narrated on the authority of ‘Umar bin Abi Salama (Allah be pleased with him) that ho was a boy under the protection of Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and as my hand used to roam at large in the dish he said to me: Mention Allah’s name, eat with your right hand, and eat from what is next you. I always followed this way of eating after he had directed.   (Bukhari and Muslim)

7.   Salman reported: I read in the Torah that the blessings of food is in wash after it. When I mentioned it to the Prophet, he said: The blessing of food is in wash before it and wash after it.  
   (Tirmizi, Abu Daud)

8.   Ibn Umar reported that the Prophet forbade a man’s eating two dates till he seeks permission of his companion.  
   (Bukhari and Muslim)

9.   Wahshi bin Harb (Allah be pleased with him) has reported that some of the companions of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: We eat but are not satisfied. He said; (It is so), perhaps you eat separately. The Companions replied in affirmative. He told them; Eat together and mention the name of Allah over your food. It will be blessed for you.   (Abu Daud)

10.   Ibn ‘Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) has reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: Blessings descends upon food in its middle, so eat from the edges of the vessel and do not eat from its middle.  
   (Tirmidhi and Abu Daud)

11.   Ibn Umar reported that the Apostle of Allah heard a man belching. He said: Make your belching short, because the most hungry man on the Ressurrection Day will be one who is among them over-fed in this world. (belching is vomiting due to overeating)   (Tirmidhi)

12.   Ibn Umar reported God’s messenger as saying, “When any of you eats he should eat with his right hand, and when he drinks he should drink with his right hand.”   (Muslim)

13.   Ibn Umar reported God’s messenger as saying, “None of you must ever eat or drink with his left hand, for the devil eats and drinks with his left hand.”   (Muslim)

14.   Jabir told that he heard the Prophet say, “the devil is present with one of you in everything he does, even being present when he is at food; so if any of you drops a mouthful he should wipe away anything injurious on it and eat it and not leave it for the devil; and when he finishes he should lick his fingers, for he does not know in what part of the food the blessing lies.”   (Muslim)

15.   Abu Juhaifa reported the Prophet as saying, “I do not eat reclining.”   (Bukhari)

16.   Qatada quoted Anas as saying that the Prophet never ate at a low table or from a small bowl and that thin bread was not baked for him. Qatada was asked what they ate off and replied that it was off leather cloths.   (Bukhari)

17.   Anas said he was not aware of the Prophet having seen a thin loaf till he met God, nor did he ever see with his eye a sheep roasted in its skin.   (Bukhari)

18.   Sahl b. Sa’d said that God’s Messenger never saw white bread from the time God commissioned him till God took him. He also said that God’s messenger did not see a sieve from the time God commissioned him till God took him. He was asked how they could eat unsifted barley and replied that they ground it and blew it, and when some of it had flown away they moistened and ate what was left.   (Bukhari)

19.   Abu Hurairah said that the Prophet never expressed disapproval of food; if he desired it he ate it and if he disliked it he left it alone.   (Bukhari and Muslim)

20.   Abu Hurairah told that a man who used to eat a great amount accepted Islam and began to eat little. When that was mentioned to the Prophet he said, “The believer eats in one intestine but the infidel in seven.”   (Bukhari)

21.   Jabir told of hearing God’s Messenger say, “One person’s food is enough for two, two persons’ food is enough for four, and four persons’ food is enough for eight.”   (Muslim)

22.   Ayesha told that she heard God’s messenger say, “Talbina gives rest to an invalid’s heart and removes some of his grief.”  
   (Bukhari and Muslim)

23.   Anas said: A tailor invited the Prophet to a meal which he had prepared and I went along with the Prophet. He presented bareley bread and soup containing pumpkin and dried sliced meat, and I saw the Prophet going after the pumpkin round the dish, so I have always liked pumpkin since that day.  
   (Bukhari and Muslim).

24.   Amr b. Umayya told that he saw the Prophet cutting slices from a shoulder of mutton in his hand. He was summoned to prayer, and after throwing it and the knife with which he was slicing it away, he stood up and prayed without performing ablution.   (Bukhari and Muslim)

25.   Magalam bin ma’adi Kareba reported: I heard the Apostle of Allah say: No man shall fill up his belly with obnoxious deposits. There should be victuals for belly moderate for the son of Adam which can keep his backbone erect. If it is not possible, then one-third (of belly) for food, one third for drink and one third for his breath.   (Tirmizi, Ibn majah)

26.   Anas reported God’s messenger as saying, “God most high is pleased when a man eats smoething and praises Him for it, or drinks something and praises Him for it.”   (Muslim)

27.   Abu Sa’ad al-Khudri told that when God’s messenger finished his food he said, “Praise be to God who has given us food and drink and made us Muslim.”  
   (Tirmidhi, Abu Daud and Ibn Majah)

28.   Abu Huraira reported God’s messenger as saying, “The one who eats and is grateful is like the one who fasts and shows endurance.”   (Tirmidhi)

29.   Abu Ayyub told that when God’s messenger ate or drank he said, “Praise be to God who has given food and drink, made it easy to swallow, and provided an exit for it.”    (Abu Daud)

30.   Sa’d told of hearing God’s messenger say, “He who has a morning meal of seven ‘ajwa dates will not suffer harm that day through poison or magic.”   (Bukhari and Muslim)

31.   Jabir reported the Prophet as saying, “He who eats garlic or onions must keep away from us.” Or he said, “must keep away from our mosque,” or, “must sit in his house.” A pot containing green vegetables was brought to the Prophet, but on noticing that it had an odour he told them to give it to one of his Companions, to whom he said, “Eat, for I hold intimate converse with one with whom you do not.”  
   (Bukhari and Muslim)

32.   Al-Miqdam b. Ma’dikarib reported the Prophet as saying, “If you measure out your food you will be blessed in it.”   (Bukhari)

33.   Abu Usaid al-Ansari reported God’s messenger as saying, “Eat olive oil and anoint yourselves with it, for it comes from a blessed tree.”   (Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and Darimi)

34.   Anas b. Malik reported God’s messenger as saying, “The lord of your condiment is salt.”   (Ibn Majah)

35.   Anas reported God’s messenger as saying, “When food is set down take off your sandals, for it gives more rest to your feet.”  
   (Mishkat)

36.   Ibn ‘Umar reported God’s messenger as saying, “When the cloth is set down a man must not get up till it is removed, nor must he withdraw his hand even if he has had enough till the people have finished, but if he does he should make his excuse, for that embarrasses his companion and he does not stretch out his hand although he may perhaps require the food.”   (Ibn Majah and Baihaqi)

37.   Ja’far-b-Muhammad reported from his father who said: Whenever the Messenger of Allah took meal with a people, he was invariably the last to finish eating.   (Baihaqi)

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III – Taking Bath

Before offering prayer, to take bath or to make ablution or to make dry ablution in case of non-availability of water is essential. The Holy Qur’an says: O ye who believe! Draw not near unto prayer when ye are drunken till ye know which ye utter, nor when ye are polluted, save when journeying upon road, till ye have bathed. And if ye be ill, or on a journey, or one of you cometh from the closet, or ye have touched women, and ye find not water, then go to high clean soil and rub your faces and your hands (therewith) Lo! Allah is Benign, Forgiving” (4: 43). Bath is also essential in order to cleanse the body from physical impurities and dust.

The jurists of Islam have framed some rules regarding bath in the light of the Qur’anic teachings and traditions of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Bath is compulsory in three cases, namely: after sexual intercourse, after ejaculation of semen with lust, after menstrual discharge and after stoppage of blood on child-birth. Bath is wajeb on the following occasions: To give bath to the dead body before burial, and to wash the body in case it is polluted with stool or urine or other impurities, the whole of it or part of it. Bath is sunnat for Friday prayer, for Eid prayer, for Pilgrimage or Umrah before taking Ihram, for embracing Islam, etc. Procedure of bath which comes down to us from various traditions of the Prophet is given as follows: Before taking bath keep the tub of water on your right side, then begin with the name of Allah, wash your hands thrice then wash off the impurities if any, perform ablution as for prayers, throw water thrice over the head, thrice over the right side and thrice over the left side, then again cleanse further impurities over the skin by rubbing with a towel or something else.

With regard to use of bath-rooms there are certain rules. In case of use of a public bath-room, one must protect his private parts from the sight of others and hence one should use trousers. Females should be disallowed the use of public bath-rooms unless they are meant exclusively for the use of females.

Following Ahadith of the Prophet set the manners, procedure and necessity of taking bath:

1.   Ayesha reported that whenever the Messenger of Allah took bath from impurities, he used to begin and wash his hands, then make ablution as he used to do for prayer. After wards he used to introduce his fingers into water and make picks therewith unto the roots of his hairs. Then he used to pour three jugs (of water) upon his head with his hands and then allow the water to flow over his entire body.  
   (Bukhari and Muslim)

2.   Umme Salamah reported: I asked: O Prophet of Allah! verily I am a woman who ties up the tuft of her head. Shall I untie it for bath from impurities? ‘No’ said he, ‘It will suffice you if you pour three pourings over your head, and them you allow water to flow over you and thus become pure.   (Muslim)

3.   Ayesha reported that the Messenger of Allah was asked about a man who noticed moisture but did not remember emission of semen (in dream). He said: He should take bath: And (he was asked) about a man who saw (in dream) that he emitted semen but did not find moisture. He said: There’s no bath for him. Omme Solaim asked: Is there bath for a woman who sees that (moisture)? ‘Yes’ replied he, ‘women are of the same nature as men.   (Tirmizi, Abu Daud)

4.   Ayesha reported that the Messenger of Allah did not make ablution after bath.   (Tirmizi, Abu Daud, Nisai, Ibn Majah)

5.   Ibn ‘Abbas reported that Maimunah said: I put bathing things for the Prophet and I covered him with a garment, and he poured water over his hands and washed them. Then he poured water with his right hand over his left and then he washed his private parts. He then put his hand on the ground and wiped it and then he washed it. Then he gurgled and suuffed up water and he washed his face and forearms. Then he poured water upon his head and flowed it down upon his head and flowed it down upon his body. Then he moved aside and washed his two feet. Then I handed over a cloth to him but he did not take it. He then went away shaking his hands.   (Bukhari and Muslim)

6.   Abdullah-b-Amr reported that the Messenger of Allah said. Foreign countries shall soon be conquered for you and then you will find therein houses called bathrooms. Men shall never enter them except with trousers, and prevent women from (entering) them except those who are ill or suffering from child-birth.   (Abu Daud)

7.   Jaber reported that the Prophet said: Whoso believes in Allah and the Last Day shall not enter a bath-room without trousers, and whoso believes in Allah and the Last Day shall not allow his wife (to enter) a bath-room, and whoso believes in Allah and the Last Day shall not sit at a dinner where wine served.  
   (Tirmizi, Nisai)

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IV – Dress

According to Holy Qur’an, God has revealed the garments to protect you from the heat and coats of mail to protect you in your wars. Clothing also covers your nakedness and preserves your physical beauty. You must take your proper dress particularly when you go to your places of worship. Let not the Satan seduce you as he caused Adam and Eve, your parents to get out of Paradise and he tore off from them their robe and made them see their shame. In the light of the Qur’anic teachings, we can understand the purpose and importance of dress. Briefly speaking the purpose of dress is protection of body from heat and cold and covering of body from nakedness specially the private parts. The dress of armour protects you in your mutual fighting.

Islam has not fixed or prescribed any code of dress and has left the matter to be decided by the individuals and the society according to weather conditions, customs and environments. However, some fundamental rules have been laid which require that dress should be simple and not very expensive. The men should not be too short or too thin to cover the private parts properly from nakedness. The dress should not wear silk. The Prophet liked the clothes of white and green colour and he discouraged the use of red clothes by the men. Lengthening of trousers beyond ankles was strongly forbidden as it gives an air of vanity and makes the robes dirty. Women have been enjoined to observe veil or purdah which means that they should cover their body fully. The subject of purdah would be discussed in detail at the proper place. Perfume was liked by the Prophet and he recommended its use to men as well as to women. Use of shoes and socks is also recommended.

Let us now reproduce the verses of the Qur’an and Ahadith of the Prophet of Islam which throw ample light on the subject of dress.

Verses of the Holy Qur’an:

1.   O Children of Adam! We have revealed unto to you raiment to conceal your shame, and splendid vesture, but the raiment of restraint from evil, that is best. This is of the revelations of Allah, that they may remember.   ––7: Al-A`raf: 26

2.   O Children of Adam! Let not Satan seduce you as he caused your (first) parents to go forth from the Garden and tore off from them their robe (of innocence) that he might manifest their shame to them. Lo! he seeth you, he and his tribe, from whence ye see him not. Lo! We have made the devils protecting friends for those who believe not.   ––7: Al-A’raf: 27

3.   O Children of Adam! Look to your adornment at every place of worship, and eat and drink, but be not prodigal. Lo! He loveth not the prodigals. Say: Who hath forbidden the adornment of Allah which he hath brought forth for His bondmen, and the good things of His providing? Say: Such, on the Day of Resurrection, will be only for those who believed during the life of the world. Thus do we detail Our revelations for people who have knowledge.   ––7: Al-A’raf: 31-32

4.   ………He made you garments to protect you from heat, and coats of mail to protect you from your (mutual) violence. Thus does He complete His favours on you, that ye may surrender to his will (in Islam).   ––16: An-Nahl: 81

Ahadith of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH):

1.   Ibn Omar reported that the Messenger of Allah said: Whoever imitates a people, he belongs to them.   (Ahmad, Abu Daud)

2.   Anas reported that the dress most pleasing to the Prophet for use was green-coloured robe.   (Bukhari and Muslim)

3.   Ibn Omar reported from the Holy Prophet who said: When a man lets flow his trouser out of vanity, Allah will not look at him on the Resurrection day.   (Bukhari and Muslim)

4.   Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said: Whatever flows of trouser below the ankles will be in the Fire.  
   (Bukhari)

5.   Jaber reported that the Messenger of Allah forbade a man’s eating with his left hand, or walking with one shoe, or wrapping himself completely in a garment, or sitting in a single dress with his hands round his knees exposing his private parts.   (Muslim)

6.   Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah cursed the man who puts on dress of a woman, and the woman who puts on dress of a man,   (Abu Daud)

7.   Abu Darda’a reported that the Messenger of Allah said: Verily the best dress with which you can meet Allah in your graves and mosque is of white colour.   (Ibn Majah)

8.   Salem from his father reported who said: Flowing is allowed in trousers, gown and turban. Wheoever lets loose anything therefrom out of vanity, Allah shall not look to him on the Resurrection Day.    (Abu Daud, Ibn Majah)

9.   Anas reported that the Messenger of Allah gave permission to Zubair and Abdur Rahman-b-Auf to put on dress of silk owing to itches on them. Agreed upon it. And in a narration of Muslim. He said: They complained of lices. So he gave them permission to put on shirts of silks.

10.   Abdullah-b-Amr-b-al A’s reported: The Messenger of Allah found two coloured silk dresses on me and so he said: This is of the clothes of the infidels. So don’t use them. (And in a narration: I said: I shall wash them. He said: Rather burn them).   (Muslim)

11.   Umme-Salamah reported that the dress most liked by the Messenger of Allah was long gown.   (Tirmizi, Abu Daud)

12.   Abu Hurairah reported that when the Messenger of Allah put on gown, he began from his right side.   (Tirmizi)

13.   Abu Raihanah reported that the Messenger of Allah forbade ten things: Sharpening teeth, anointing palms, plucking out hairs, a man’s lying with another man without under-garments, and a woman’s lying with another woman without under-garments, a man’s putting on silk underneath his dress like the foreigners, or his putting on silk upon his two shoulders like the foreigners, plunder, riding on leopards and using seal excepting for one who is a ruler.   (Abu Daud, Nisai)

14.   Abu Musa reported that the Prophet said: Gold and silk have been made lawful for the females of my followers, and unlawful for their males.   (Tirmizi, Nisai (Approved, Correct)

15.   Abu Sayeed-al-Khodri reported that whenever the Messenger of Allah put on new robe, he used to name it with its name – turban, or gown, or sheet, and then say: O Allah! all praise is to Thee as Thou hast dressed me therewith. I ask Thee the good of it and the good of what has been made for it. I seek refuge to Thee from evil and the evil of what has been made for it.   (Tirmizi, Abu Daud)

16.   Muaz-b-Anas reported that the Messenger of Allah said: Whoso takes food and then says: All praise is for Allah who gave me this sustenance without any power and strength from me, he is forgiven of his past sins. Tirmizi narrated it, and Abu Daud added: Whoso puts on a cloth and says: All praise is for Allah Who clothed me with this and gave me this provision without any power and strength from me, he is for forgiven of his past and future sins.

17.   Jaber reported. The Prophet came to see us and found a man of disheveled hairs, and his hairs were not arranged. Then he said: This man is not finding with what thing he should comb his head! And he saw man with dirty cloth on. So he said: This man is not finding with what thing he should wash his cloth!  
   (Ahmad, Nisai)

18.   Abul-Ahwas reported from his father who said: I came to the Messenger of Allah while there was a torn cloth on my person. He asked: Have you got wealth? ‘Yes’ said I. He asked: What wealth have you got? “Every kind of wealth,” replied I; “Allah has given me camels, cows, sheep, horses and slaves,” He said: When Allah has given you wealth, let the signs of the gifts of Allah and His generosity be shown upon your person.  
   (Nisai)

19.   Ayesha reported: I used to apply to the Prophet a perfume which we found best, so much so that I perceived air of perfume in his head and beard.   (Bukhari and Muslim)

20.   Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said: The perfume of man is that of which fragrance comes out and the colour remains hidden, and the perfume of women is that of which the colour comes out and the fragrance remain hidden.  
   (Tirmizi, Nisai)

21.   Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said: When any of you puts on shoes, let him begin from right-side; and when he puts off, let him begin from the left side, so that the right-side will be the first of them for putting on shoe and the last of them for putting it off.   (Bukhari and Muslim)

22.   Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said: None of you shall walk with one shoe; let them both be bare, or let them both be shoed.   (Bukhari and Muslim)

23.   Jaber reported that the Messenger of Allah said: When the lace of shoe is cut off, let him not walk with one shoe till its lace be mended; and let him not walk with one sock; and let him not eat with left hand, and let him not cover his body with one cloth and let him not tread hard path.   (Muslim)

24.   Jaber reported that the Messenger of Allah forbade a man’s putting on shoes standing.  
   (Abu Daud, Tirmizi and Ibn Majah from Abu Hurairah).

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V – Veil

Islam requires the believers, both men and women, to lower their gaze and guard their modesty. However, for women the fulfillment of certain additional responsibilities in the matter of dress, adornment, etc, is required. When the women come in the presence of men or they come out of their homes, they are required to act upon the following rules:

1.       The believing women should lower their gaze and should not intentionally gaze at men or at the indecent scenes.

2.       They should be modest, protect their chastity and guard their private parts. Guarding of private parts means to avoid exposing their private parts or satar. Satar of a woman is the entire body except her face and hands.

3.       The women should not display their adornment except that which is displayed of itself. Adornment means ornamentation and decoration and, to use the modern terminology, make-up.

4.       The women should draw their veils on their bosoms. They should cover their bosom properly with a wrapper and should not keep exposed any part thereof.

5.       The women should not reveal their adornment except before the following:

i)   Men who are their husbands or close relatives within prohibited degrees like fathers, brothers, sons, etc.  

ii)   Slaves, male servants who are not interested in sex matters.

iii)   Children below age of puberty who have no knowledge of sex.

iv)    Their female associates.

6.       The women should not stamp their feet on the ground so as to reveal their hidden adornment. So the sound of ornaments should not be audible.

Verse 60 of chapter 24 of the Holy Qur’an relaxes the conditions regarding purdah in respect of the old women who are past the prospect of marriage and are no longer capable of exciting the passions of men. According to the verse, it is no sin for them if they discard their outer clothing in such a way as not to display or exhibit their adornment or make-up. However this permission cannot be used by those women who still have sexual desires or who want to attract others by displaying their embellishments.

Now let us have a look at the relivant Verses of the Qur’an and Ahadith of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Verses of the Holy Qur’an:

1.   Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and be modest. That is purer for them. Lo! Allah is Aware of what they do. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest, and to display of their adornment only that which is apparent, and to draw their veils over their bosoms, and not to reveal their adornment save to their own husbands or fathers or husbands father, or their sons or their husbands’ sons, their brothers or their brother’s sons or sister’s sons, or their women, or their slaves, or male attendants who lack vigour, or children who know naught of women’s nakedness. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And turn unto Allah together, O believers, in order that ye may succeed.   ––24: An-Nur: 30-31

2.   As for the women past child-bearing, who have no hope of marriage, it is no sin for them if they discard their (outer) clothing in such a way as not to show adornment. But to refrain is better for them. Allah is Hearer. Knower.  
   ––24: An-Nur: 60

3.   O Prophet! Tell thy wives and thy daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks close round them (when they go abroad). That will be better, so that they may be recognized and not annoyed. Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful.  
   ––33: Al-Ahzab: 59

Ahadith of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH):

1.    Ayesha reported that Asma’a daughter of Abu-Bakr came to the Messenger of Allah while there were thin clothes on her. He approached her and said: O Asma’a! When a girl reaches the menstrual time, it is not proper that anything on her should remain exposed except this and this. He hinted on her face and palms.   (Abu Daud)

2.   Jaber reported: My maternal aunt was divorced thrice. She then intended to get fruits of her palm trees. A man threatened her for her coming out. She came to the Prophet who said: Yes, take fruits of your palm trees. It is perhaps you will make gift or do some good act.   (Muslim)

3.   Jabir-b-Abdullah reported: I asked the Prophet about glance at a strange woman. He ordered me to turn away my glance.  
   (Muslim)

4.   Umme Atiyya reported: The Messenger of Allah commanded us to bring out on Id-ul-Fitr and Id-ul-Adha young women, menstruating women and purdah-observing ladies, menstruating women kept back from prayer, but participated in goodness and supplication of the Muslims. I said: Messenger of Allah, one of us does not have an outer garment. He said: Let her sister cover her with her outer garments.  
   (Muslim)

5.   Abu Saeed reported that the Messenger of Allah said: No man shall look to the private parts of a man and no woman to the private parts of a woman, nor a man shall be with another man underneath the same cloth, nor a woman with a woman underneath the same cloth.   (Muslim)

6.   Ibn Mas’ud reported from the Prophet who said: A woman is (like) a private part. When she goes out (not properly dressed), the devil casts glance at her.   (Tirmizi)

7.   Omme Salamah reported that she and Maimunah were near the Prophet when the son of Omme maktum came to him. The Prophet said: Screen from him. I asked: O Messenger of Allah, is he not a blind man who does not see us? The Holy Prophet said: Are you blind and do you not see him?  
   (Ahmad, Tirmizi, Abu Daud)

8.   Anas reported that the Prophet came to Fatimah with a slave whom he gifted her. There was a piece of cloth over Fatimah. When her head was covered with it, it did not reach her legs: and when her legs were covered with it, it did not reach her head. When the Messenger of Allah saw what she was covering with, he said; There is no sin for you therefore. He is your father and he is your slave.   (Abu Daud)

9.   Abu Hurairah reported that the Apostle of Allah said: No woman shall make a journey to the distance of one day and one night except with a man within the prohibited degree (Mahram).   (Bukhari and Muslim)

10.   Alqamah reported from his mother who said: Hafsah, daughter of Abdur Rahman, went to Ayesha with a thin veil over her. Ayesha tore it off and dressed her with a thick viel.   (Malek)

11.   Ayesha reported: The riders were passing by us while we were with the Apostle of Allah in Ihram. When they came by us, one of us let down her veil over her face from her head. When they had passed on, we removed it. (Abu Daud)

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VI – Ornaments

Gold ornaments as well as all types of other ornaments are unlawful (haram) for men except rings of silver. The Prophet used rings of silver which served as seal to be impressed on letters and documents. Women are, however, permitted to wear ornaments of silver, gold as well as of other metals but they are discouraged to use very expensive ornaments. The women are also prohibited to make display of their ornaments when they come out of their houses in the public. They are permitted to display their ornaments before their husbands and near relatives within prohibited degrees while staying indoors. Use of sound making ornaments is absolutely prohibited by Islam.

Following are the Verse of the Qur’an and the Ahadith of the Prophet which bring to light Islam’s view-point regarding are use of ornaments.

Verse of the Holy Qur’an:

And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest, and to display of their adornment only that which is apparent, and to draw their veils over their bosoms, and not to reveal their adornment save to their own husbands or fathers or husband’s father, or their sons or their husband’s sons, or their brothers or their brother’s sons or sister’s sons, or their women, or their slaves, or male attendants who lack vigour, or children who know naught of women’s nakedness. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And turn unto Allah together, O believers, in order that ye may succeed.  
      ––24: An-Nur: 31

Ahadith of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH):

1.    Anas reported that the Prophet intended to write to Chosroe, Caeser and Negus. He was told that they would not accept any letter except with a seal. Then the Messenger of Allah prepared a seal with a lining of silver wherein there was the engraving “Muhammad, the Apostle of Allah”.   (Muslim)

2.   Ibn Omar reported that the Prophet used to put on ring in his left hand.   (Abu Daud)

3.   Ali reported that the Prophet took silk and placed it in his right hand. He then took gold and placed it in his left hand and said: These are unlawful for the males of my people.  
   (Ahmad, Abu Daud, Nisai)

4.   Buraidah reported that the Prophet said to a man who had a ring of yellow copper on him: How is it that I perceive the odour of idols from you? Then he threw it away and came with a ring of iron on him. He said: How is it that I find on you the ornaments of the inmates of Fire? Then he threw it away and enquired: O Messenger of Allah! of what thing shall I take it? He replied: of silver, and don’t make it heavy.  
   (Tirmizi, Abu Daud, Nisai)

5.   Ibn Zubair reported that a female slave of theirs went with the daughter of Zubair to Omar-b-Khattab and there were sound making orraments in her feet. Omar cut them to pieces and said: I heard the Prophet say: With every sound-making ornament, there is a devil.   (Abu Daud)

6.   Sister of Huzaifah reported that the Messenger of Allah said: O assembly of women, have you got no silver (ornaments) wherewith to adorn yourselves? Behold! Every female among yourselves taking gold ornaments which remain exposed will be punished therewith.   (Abu Daud, Nisai)

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VII – Hairs

Beard and Moustaches: Keeping bread is Sunnah of the Prophets. The Holy Qur’an makes mention of the beard of Prophet Aron (20:94).

The Prophet of Islam had profuse and thick beard. He advised his followers to keep beard and clip the moustaches. Although the length and breadth of beard is not prescribed, however, the jurists rule that the beard should be proportionate in length and breadth being neither too long nor too short. Some people recommend its length equal to four fingers hold. Beard should be combed, washed and oiled properly. The advantages of beard have been counted by Maulana Fazlul Karim as follows:

1)       It enhances the beauty of males just as the mane of a lion and the peak of a cock enhance their respective beauties.

2)       It serves economy and saves time which a shaver of beard loses.

3)       It serves as a check to free mixing with the fair-sex.

4)       Constant shaving makes the skin of face loose so as to appear old before due time.

5)       Beard brightens eye-sight and shaving shortens it.

6)       Beard lends gravity and respect to appearance.

Moustaches must be shaved or clipped because long moustaches may mix with food and drink and thereby cause injury to health.

Following are some of the Ahadith of Prophet regarding beard and moustaches:

1.   Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said: Natural habits are five: Circumcision, shaving hairs of private parts, clipping the moustaches, pairing the nails and shaving of the hairs of armpit.   (Bukhari and Muslim)

2.   Ibn Omar reported that the Messenger of Allah said: Act contrary to the polytheists, keep beards and clip the moustaches. (And in a narration: Shave the moustaches and let the beard flow).   (Bukhari and Muslim)

Hair dressing and combing: “Whoso has got hair, let him honour it”, is the advice of the Prophet. It means that the hairs should be washed, cleansed, oiled and combed regularly. One may shave the hairs or keep them short or long. But keeping the hairs very long in case of a male is not desirable. Women are prohibited to shave their heads. Shaving of a portion of head with another portion left unshaved is prohibited. Keeping of long tuft of hairs in any portion of the head is also prohibited. Keeping the hairs equal on every side of the head is desirable course of action.

Following are the Ahadith of the Prophet regarding up-keep of hairs:

1.   Ali reported that the Messenger of Allah prohibited a woman to shave her head.   (Nisai)

2.   Ata’a-b-Yasar reported that the Messenger of Allah was within the mosque. A man, dishavelled in hairs and beard, entered. The Messenger of Allah hinted at him with his hand as if he was directing him to arrange his hairs and beard. So he did. Afterwards he returned. Then the Messenger of Allah said: Is this not better than that one of you comes while he is disheveled in hairs as if he is a devil.   (Malek)

3.   Ibn Omar reported that the Prophet saw a boy some portion of whose head was shaved and some of it was left out. So he prohibited them from that and said: Shave the entire of it or leave the entire of it.   (Muslim)

4.   Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said: Whoso has got hair, let him honour it,   (Abu Daud)

5.   Ibn-al-Hanjaliyah, one of the companions of the Prophet, reported that the Messenger of Allah said: How good the man, Khurram Asadi, would have been, but for his long hairs and long trousers! That reached Khurram who look a knife and cut off his long tuft to his ears and raised his trousers to half of his legs.   (Abu Daud)

Dyeing of Hairs: Dyeing of grey hairs is allowed provided it is with red or yellow colour and not with black dye. Henna and katam are preferred as dyeing materials.

Following Ahadith of Prophet Muhammad enlighten us about the manners of dyeing the hairs of head and beard:

1.   Jaber reported that Abu Quhafa was brought on the day of the conquest of Mecca and his head and beard were white like hyssop. The Holy Prophet said: Change it with something and avoid blackness.   (Muslim)

2.   Abu Zar reported that the Messenger of Allah said: The best of things with which grey hairs should be changed are Henna and Katam.   (Tirmizi, Abu Daud, Nisai)

3.   Ibn Abbas reported that a man passed by the Prophet. He painted (his beard) with henna. He remarked: How good it is! Then another passed by. He was painted with henna and katam. He remarked: This is better than the former. Afterwards another man with yellow-paint passed by. He remarked: This is the best of them all.   (Abu Daud)

4.   Amar-b-Shuaib from his father from his grand-father reported that the Messenger of Allah said: Don’t pluck out grey-hairs, because it is light of a Muslim. Whoever grows a grey hair in Islam, Allah writes for him a merit in exchange and removes a sin from him in exchange and raises for him a rank in exchange.   (Abu Daud)

5.   Ibn Abbas reported that the woman who wears false hairs and the woman who dresses (others) with false hairs, and the woman who plucks out her hairs and who plucks out hairs of others and the woman who puts on tattoo-marks and woman who causes to put on tattoo-marks on others without any disease are cursed.   (Abu Daud)

6.   Thabit told that when Anas was asked whether the Prophet dyed his hair he replied, “If I had wanted to count the hoary hairs which were on his head I could have done so,” adding that he did not dye his hair. In a version he added that Abu Bakr dyed his hair with henna and katam, and ‘Umar dyed it with henna alone.   (Bukhari and Muslim)

7.   Yahya b. Said told that he heard sa’id b. al-Musayyib say: Abraham, the friend of the Compassionate One, was the first man to entertain a guest, the first man to be circumcised, the first man to clip his moustache, and the first man to notice grey hairs, so he said, “What is this, my lord?” The Lord who is blessed and exalted replied “Dignity, Abraham,” He said, “My Lord, give me more dignity.”   (Malik)

8.   Anas said they were told not to let more than forty days elapse between the times they clipped the moustache, pared the nails, plucked out hairs under the armpits and shaved the pubes.   (Muslim)

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VIII – Greeting

The Muslims have been enjoined upon by their prophet to greet each other, when they meet, with the word ‘salam’ which means ‘peace’. One says ‘Salam-u-Alaikam’ (peace be on you), the other replies by uttering ‘wa Alaikam-u-salam’ (and on you also peace). This signifies that they assure each other peaceful conduct by communicating: Be sure that your life, property and honour is safe in my hands! The Qur’an exhorts the believers to greet the others by a better greeting while Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) assured them of immense rewards in the Hereafter and many blessings in this world which are brought by greeting. Greeting removes ill feeling, malice and hatred between the people and promotes brotherhood and fraternity. It also demolishes sense of vanity and superiority complex in the upper class people and promotes equality. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) directed his followers that irrespective of the social status, one riding shall salute the one walking, one walking shall salute one sitting, the small party shall salute the big party, and the junior in age shall greet the senior one. These directions of the Prophet cut at the roots of social distinctions and biases which divide the people into classes.

Thus it is the duty of a believer to greet the other believer whenever he meets him. The best man is he who greets first. Greeting brings great rewards and when it is accompanied with invoking of blessings and mercy of Allah on the other it increases the rewards. The best form of Islam is your giving of food to the needy ones and your greeting all whom you know and whom you know not. When you enter a house you are obliged to greet the inmates of the house.

The best form of greeting is hand shaking and it should be done with both hands. But the men are not allowed to shake hands with the women. Handshaking promotes love and affection among the Muslims. Embracing and kissing is not encouraged unless you embrace your close friends of your gender and you kiss you children.

Following are the Verses of the Holy Qur’an and Ahadith of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) which exhort the believers to greet each other and also highlight the blessings of this action.

Verses of the Holy Qur’an:

1.   When ye are greeted with a greeting, greet ye with a better than it or return it. Lo! Allah taketh count of all things.  
   ––4: An-Nisa: 86

2.   …… And they call unto the dwellers of the Garden: peace be unto you! ……   ––7: Al-Araf: 46

3.   O ye who believe! Enter not houses other than your own without first announcing your presence and invoking peace upon the folk thereof. That is better for you, that ye may be heedful.   ––24: An-Nur: 27

4.   …… But when ye enter houses, salute one another with a greeting from Allah, blessed and sweet. Thus Allah maketh clear, His revelations for you, that haply ye may understand.  
   ––24: An-Nur: 61

5.   Hath the story of Abraham’s honoured guests reached thee (O Muhammad)? When they came in unto him and said: peace! He answered, peace! (and thought): folk unknown (to me).  
   ––51: Ad dhariyyat: 24-25

Ahadith of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH):

1.    It is narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) that he had heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) as saying: When Allah created Adam (peace be upon him) He said to him: Go and salute to that company of angles who were seated there and then listen to what they say in reply to your greeting because that will be the salutation of you and your off-spring. Adam (peace be upon him) said to the angels: Peace be on you, and they responded with: Peace and the mercy of Allah be upon you. So they added in reply to him: “The mercy of Allah” to his salutation.   (Bukhari and Muslim)

2.   It is narrated on the authority of Al-Bara’ bin Azib (Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) enjoined doing of seven acts upon us: Visiting the sick, following the bier (of a dead believer), invoking the mercy of Allah upon one who sneezes, supporting the weak, helping the oppressed, multiplying the greeting of peace, and fulfilling vows.  
   (Bukhari and Muslim)

3.   It is narrated on the authority of ‘Abdullah bin Salam (Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: O’ you people, exchange greetings of peace, feed people, strengthen the ties of kinship and be in prayer when others are asleep, you will enter Paradise in peace.   (Tirmizi)

4.   It has been narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) that he heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) as saying: When one of you meets a brother he should salute him. Then if a tree or a wall or a stone intervenes between them and then he meets him again, he should salute him.   (Abu Daud)

5.   Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said: There are six duties of one believer to another believer; he will visit him when he falls ill; he will be present before him when he dies; he will respond to him when he invites him; he will salute him when he meets him, he will respond to him when he sneezes; and he will seek his good when he is either absent or present.   (Nisai)

6.   Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said: One riding shall salute one walking, and one walking (shall salute) one sitting and the small party (shall salute) the big party.  
   (Bukhari and Muslim)

7.   Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said: The junior shall tender greeting to the senior, and one passing to one sitting and the small party to the big party.   (Bukhari)

8.   Anas reported that the Messenger of Allah passed by some boys and saluted them.   (Bukhari and Muslim)

9.   Anas reported that the Messenger of Allah said: When the people of the book salute you, say ‘upon thee also.’  
   (Bukhari and Muslim)

10.   Osamah-b-Zaid reported that the Messenger of Allah passed by an assembly in which there were a mixed gathering of the Muslims, polytheists, worshipers of idols and jews, and then he saluted.   (Bukhari and Muslim)

11.   Abu Sayeed-al-Khodri reported from the Holy Prophet who said: Be careful of sitting on the pathways, They enquired: O Messenger of Allah! there is no alternative for us in our assemblies but to hold conversation therein. He said: When you do nothing except sitting, give the road its due. They enquired: O Messenger of Allah! what are the dues of the road? He said: To lower eye sight, to remove nuisance, to return greeting, and to enjoin good and forbid evil.  
   (Bukhari and Muslim)

12.   Asmaa-bn-Yezid reported: The Messenger of Allah passed by us when we were among some women and he saluted us.  
   (Abu Daud, Ibn Majah, Darimi)

13.   Imran-b-Hussain reported that a man came to the Messenger of Allah and said: Peace be on you. He returned it. Afterwards he took his seat and then the Prophet said: Ten. Then another came and said: Peace be on you and mercy of Allah! He returned it. Then he took his seat and the Prophet said: Twenty. Then another man came and said: Peace be on you and mercy of Allah and His blessing! He returned it. Then he took his seat and said: Thirty (rewards).   (Tirmizi, Abu Daud)

14.   Mu’az-b-Anas reported from the Holy Prophet similar to it, but he added: Then came another and said: Peace be on you and mercy of Allah and His blessing and His forgiveness. He said: Forty. And he said: Thus the rewards increase.   (Abu Daud).

15.   Abu Omamah reported that the Messenger of Allah said: The best of men to Allah is he who greets first.  
   (Ahmad, Tirmizi, Abu Daud)

16.   Amr-b-Shuaib reported from his father from his grand father who said that the Messenger of Allah said: He is not of us who imitates other than us. Don’t imitate the Jews and the Christians, because the salutation of the Jews is to make hint with fingers. And the salutation of the Christians is to make hint with palms.   (Tirmizi)

17.   Al-Bara’ (Allah be pleased with him) has reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: Two Muslims will not meet and shake hands without having their sins forgiven before they separate.  
   (Abu Daud)

18.   Anas reported that the Messenger of Allah said: O my darling! When you go in to your family, salute so that there may be blessing on you and on the inmates of your house.   (Tirmizi)

19.   Jaber reported that the Messenger of Allah said: Greeting is before talk.   (Tirmizi)

20.   Abu Hurairah reported from the Holy Prophet who said: When someone of you comes to an assembly, let him greet; if it becomes proper for him to sit, let him sit down. Then when he stands up, let him salute. The first comer has no greater right than one who comes after.   (Abu Daud, Tirmizi)

21.   Qatadah reported that the Holy Prophet said: When you enter (a house), greet its inmates and when you come out, leave its inmates with a greeting.   (Baihaqi)

22.   Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said: There is no good in sitting on the roads except for one who shows the path, returns greeting, casts down eyesight and helps in raising up loads.   (Sharhi Sunnat)

23.   Abdullah-b-Amr told that when a man asked God’s Messenger which aspect of Islam was best he replied, “That you should provide food and greet both those you know and those you do not know.”   (Bukhari and Muslim)

24.   Anas reported that a man asked: O Messenger of Allah! (when) a certain man from among us meets his brother or his friend, will he noad his head? ‘No’ replied he. He asked: Will he embrace and kiss him? ‘No’ said he. He asked: Will he catch his hand and handshake it? ‘Yes’ replied he.   (Tirmizi)

25.   Abu Omamah reported that the Messenger of Allah said: The perfect way of visiting the sick is that one of you should put his hand over his forehead or over his hand and then ask him how he is; and the perfect way of your greeting among you is handshaking.   (Tirmizi (Weak))

26.   Ata’a-Khursani reported that the Messenger of Allah said: Handshake with one another, fraud will then vanish; and send presents to one another, you will beget love for one another and malice will vanish away.   (Malek (Defective)).

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IX – Entering Houses

When you go to the house of a person for an interview or to see or meet him, you should first ask him for permission. If you are permitted you will enter the house after greeting the inmates of the house. If you are refused permission you would go back gently. Permission is to be sought thrice. If it is refused or no reply is given you are obliged to return. The proper way of seeking for permission is to say: “Peace be on you. May I come in?” Permission should not be given to a person who does not begin with a greeting. Asking for permission is, however, not necessary in case of a person who has been called for or sent for and he comes with the messenger. Seeking permission is essential even in case of close relatives. If you go to the house of your parents or mother with whom you live, you should ask permission. Even your servants and your children are required to ask for your permission when they want to enter your rooms at the time of privacy.

Following verses of the Qur’an and traditions of Muhammad (PBUH) set the manners of seeking permission while entering the houses or apartments of others:

Verses of the Holy Qur’an:

1.   O ye who believe! Enter not houses other than your own without first announcing your presence and invoking peace upon the folk thereof. That is better for you, that ye may be heedful. And if ye find no one therein, still enter not until permission hath been given. And if it be said unto you: Go away again, then go away, for it is purer for you. Allah knoweth what ye do. (It is) no sin for you to enter uninhabited houses wherein is comfort for you. Allah knoweth what ye proclaim and what ye hide.   ––24: An-Nur: 27-29

2.   O ye who belive! Let your slaves, and those of you who have not come to puberty, ask leave of you at three times (before they come into your presence): Before the prayer of dawn, and when ye lay aside your raiment for the heat of noon, and after the prayer of night. Three times of privacy for you. It is no sin for them or for you at other times, when some of you go round attendant upon others (if they come into your presence without leave). Thus Allah maketh clear the revelation for you. Allah is knower, Wise. And when the children among you come to puberty then let them ask leave even as those before them used to ask it. Thus Allah maketh clear His revelations for you. Allah is Knower Wise.   ––24: An-Nur: 58: 59

3.   O ye who believe! Enter not the dwellings of the Prophet for a meal without waiting for the proper time, unless permission be granted you. But if ye are invited, enter, and when your meal is ended, then disperse……   ––33: Al-Ahzab: 53

Ahadith of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH):

1.    Abu Musa-al-Ashari (Allah be pleased with him) has reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: Permission is to be sought thrice. If it is accorded you may enter, otherwise go back.  
   (Bukhari and Muslim)

2.   It is narrated on the authority of Sahl bin Sa’d (Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: Seeking permission to enter has been prescribed in order to restrain the eyes.  
   (Bukhari and Muslim)

3.   Rabi’y bin Harash (Allah be pleased with him) reported: A man of the Bani ‘Amir has narrated us that he asked the Messenger of Allah for permission to enter when he was at home. He said: May I enter? The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said to the servant: Go out and instruct him about the manner of seeking permission. Tell him to say: Peace be upon him. May I come in? The man heard this and said: Peace be upon you. May I come in? The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) then accorded permission to him and he entered in.  
   (Abu Daud)

4.   Kalada bin Hanbal (Allah be pleased with him) has reported that he visited the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and entered without giving a salutation. He said: Go back and say: Peace be on you. May I enter.  
   (Abu Daud and Tirmizi)

5.   Abu Hurairah reported that the Apostle of Allah said: When one of you is called and he comes with the messenger, that is permission for him. Abu Daud narrated it. And in his narration, he said: The Messenger of a man to a man is his permission.

6.   Abdullah-b-Busr reported that when the Apostle of Allah came to the door of a people, he used not to come to the door from its front direction but from the right or left side and say: Peace be on you, peace be on you. And that is because the doors had no screen over them at that time.   (Abu Daud)

7.   Ata’a-b-Yasar reported that a man asked the Messenger of Allah and said: Shall I seek permission to see my mother? ‘Yes’ said he. The man said: I live with her in the house. The messenger of Allah said: seek permission to go to her. The man said: I serve her. The Messenger of Allah said: Seek permission to go to her. Do you like to see her naked? ‘No’ said he. He said: so take permission to go to her.  
   (Malek, (Defective))

8.   Jaber reported that the Messenger of Allah said: Don’t give permission to one who does not begin with a greeting.    
   (Baihaqi)

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X – Sitting in Assemblies

For sitting in assemblies, you are supposed to observe certain manners. Following verses of the Qur’an and tranditions of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) set out these manners which should be observed by a followers of Islam:

Verse of the Holy Qur’an:

O ye who believe! When it is said, Make room! in assemblies, then make room; Allah will make way for you (hereafter). And when it is said, Come up higher! Go up higher; Allah will exalt those who believe among you, and those who have knowledge, to high ranks, Allah is informed of what ye do.   ––58: Al-Mujadilah: 11

Ahadith of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH):

1.    Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said: When one of you is in shade and then the shade goes away from him exposing some portion of him in the sun and some portion of him in shade, let him get up.   (Abu Daud)

2.   Jaber-b-Samorah reported: Whenever we came to the Holy Prophet, one of us used to sit at the end (of the assembly),  
   (Abu Daud)

3.   Amr-b-Sharid reported from his father who said: The messenger of Allah passed by me while I was seated like this, and while I put my left hand behind my back and leaned against the palms of my hands. He said: Do you sit a sitting of those upon whom wrath (of Allah) has fallen?   (Abu Daud)

4.   Abu Sayeed-al-Khodri reported that when the Messenger of Allah sat within the mosque, he used to draw his clothes closer with his hands.   (Razin)

5.   Abu Hurairah reported: The Messenger of Allah used to sit along with us within the mosque holding conversations with us. When he stood, we also used to keep standing till we saw him leaving for one of the houses of his wives.   (Baihaqi)

6.   Hudhaifa said that the one who sat in the middle of a circle was cursed by Muhammad’s tongue.   (Tirmizi and Abu Daud)

7.   Abu Sa’id al-Khudri reported God’s messenger as saying, “The best places to sit are those which provide most room.”  
   (Abu Daud)

8.   Ibn Omar reported from the Holy Prophet who said: No man shall make a man stand up from his seat and then sit therein. But make accommodation wide and sufficient.  
   (Bukhari and Muslim)

9.   Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said: Whoever ‘gets up from his seat and comes to it again, is more entitled to it.   (Muslim)

10.   Amr-b-Shuaib reported from his father who from his grand father that the Messenger of Allah said: Don’t sit between two men except with their permission.   (Abu Daud)

11.   Wathila b. al-Khattab told that a man came into God’s messenger when he was sitting in the mosque and God’s messenger moved aside to make room for him. The man said, “Messenger of God, There is plenty room,” to which the Prophet replied, “It is a Muslim’s due that when his brother sees him he should move aside to make room for him.”   (Baihaqi)

12.   Jaber-b-Samorah reported: I saw the Holy Prophet leaning against a pillow at his left side.   (Tirmizi)

13.   Anas said that no one was dearer to them than God’s messenger, but when they saw him they did not stand up because they knew his dislike of that.   (Tirmizi)

14.   Mu’awiya reported God’s messenger as saying, “Let him who likes people to stand up before him come to his place in Hell.”  
   (Tirmidhi and Abu Daud)

15.   Abu Umama told that God’s messenger came out leaning on a stick and that when they stood up to show respect to him he said, “Do not stand up as foreigners do showing respect to one another.”   (Abu Daud)

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XI – Lying and Sleeping

Lying and sleeping is necessary for human beings as they provide rest. Allah has created the night for lying and sleep while the day is for sight and earning livelihood. The Qur’an says: “He it is who hath appointed for you the night that ye should rest therein and the day giving sight. Lo! herein verily are portents for a folk that heed.” (10:67) In another verse the Holy Qur’an makes this concept more clear: “…… of His mercy hath He appointed for you night and day, that therein ye may rest, and that ye may seek His bounty, and that haply ye may be thankful”. (28:73). About the phenomenon of sleep the Qur’an explains it likening it to death: “Allah receiveth (men’s) souls at the time of their death and that (soul) which dieth not (yet) in its sleep. He keepeth that (soul) for which he hath ordained death and dismisseth the rest till an appointed term. Lo! herein verily are portents for people who take thought”. (39:42)

The night is thus the best time for sleep, although a little sleep during daytime after meal at noon is also recommended. The prophet of Islam has prescribed in detail the manners of lying and sleeping in his following traditions:

1.   Abu Zarr reported: The Holy Prophet passed by me while I was lying over my belly. He moved me with his foot and said: O Jundab! It is certainly a lying of the inmates of the fire.  
   (Ibn Majah)

2.   Abu Qatadah reported that when the Prophet rested at night, and when he had a snap a little before morning he used to fix elbow on the ground and place his head upon his palms.  
   (Sharhi Sunnat)

3.   Ali b. Shaiban reported God’s messenger as saying, “If anyone spends the night on the roof of a house with no protection (hijab), or a stone palisade (hijar), as a version says, God’s responsibility to guard him no longer applies,”   (Abu Daud)

4.   Jaber reported that the Messenger of Allah prohibited a man’s raising one of his leg upon another while he is lying on his back.   (Muslim)

5.   Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah saw a man lying upon his stomach and said: This is a lying which Allah does not like.   (Tirmizi)

6.   It is narrated on the authority of Hudhaifa (Allah be pleased with him) that when the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) lay down for sleep at night, he would place his hand under his cheek and supplicate Allah, with Your name I die and return to life, and when he woke up he supplicated: All praise is to Allah who has brought us back to life after He had caused us to die and to Him is the return.  
   (Bukhari)

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XII – Walking

The manners of walking have also been set in brief by some verses of the Qur’an and traditions of Prophet Muhammad. The Qur’an prohibits a believer to walk proudly or boastfully in the earth and advises him to be moderate in his pace.

The Prophet has prohibited a man to walk between two women. If man and woman both are walking on a road they should not mix, rather the woman should take to sides of the road allowing free passage to men in the middle of the road. Following are the verses of the Qur’an and traditions of Muhammad (PBUH) which highlight manners of walking prescribed by Islam:

Verses of the Holy Qur’an:

1.   And walk not in the earth exultant. Lo! thou canst not rend the earth, nor canst thou stretch to the height of the hills.  
   ––17: Bani Isar’il: 37

2.   Turn not thy cheek in scorn towards folk, nor walk with pertness in the land. Lo! Allah loveth not each braggart boaster.   ––31: Luqman: 18

3.   And be moderate in thy pace and lower thy voice; for the harshest of sounds without doubt is the braying of the ass.  
   ––31: Luqman: 19

Ahadith of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH):

1.       Abu Osaid Ansari reported that while the Messenger of Allah was coming out of the mosque and while males mixed with females on the way, he heard him advising them. He said to the women: Tarry a little, because it is not for you to assert the right of way. You should take to sides of the way. So the females kept so close to the side-walls that their clothes touched the walls.   (Abu Daud)

2.       Ibn Omar reported that the Prophet prohibited walking (of a man) between two women.   (Abu Daud)

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XIII – Sneezing and Yawning

Islam has not neglected even little matters like sneezing and yawning while prescribing manners of behaving in various situations. A person who yawns has been directed to cover his mouth with cloth or hand so that something injurious may not enter it or the people sitting near him may not dislike it. A person who sneezes is directed to praise Allah by unttering ‘Alhamdolillah’ (all praise is for Allah) and the people sitting near him must respond by saying ‘Yarhamk-Allah’ (May Allah be kind to thee). The sneezer is also advised to cover his face with cloth or hand to shut up his voice therewith. Sneezing is spoken of as a good thing as it makes brain clear while yawning is bad as it comes out as a result of sloth and sluggishness.

Following are the traditions of the Prophet which prescribe the manners regarding sneezing and yawning:

1.   Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said: Allah loves sneezing but hates yawnings. So when one of you sneezes and praises Allah, it becomes the duty of every Muslim who hears to say for him: May Allah be kind to thee. As for yawning, it is surely from the devil. So when one of you yawns, let him return it if he can: because when one of you yawns, the devil laughs at him.   (Bukhari)

2.   Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said: When one of you sneezes, let him say “All praise is for Allah,” and let his brother or his companion respond to him. ___ May Allah be kind to thee! When he says for him – ‘May Allah be kind to thee,” let him say ‘May Allah guide thee and make thy affairs good.’   (Bukhari)

3.   Anas reported that two men sneezed before the Prophet. To one of them he responded, but to another he did not respond. The man said: O Messenger of Allah! to this man you have responded but you have not responded to me. He said: This man praised Allah but you did not praise Allah.  
   (Bukhari and Muslim)

4.   Abu Sayeed al-Khodri reported that the Messenger of Allah said: When one of you yawns, let him hold his hand upon his mouth because the devil enters.   (Muslim)

5.   Abu Hurairah reported that when the Messenger of Allah sneezed, he used to cover his face with his hand or with his cloth, and thus he shut up his voice therewith.   (Abu Daud)

6.   Ubaid-b-Refa’a reported from the Holy Prophet who said: Respond to the sneezer thrice. If he increases, respond to him if you like, and do not respond if you like.   
   (Abu Daud, Tirmizi(Rare))

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