Duties and responsibilities of the Guest

Extracted, added some facts and made gist from_ ADAB IN ISLAM by Umm Saaliha,  Lancashire, United Kingdom

 We look at the Duties of the Host first

  1. Food & drink: Responsibility_
    • to be hospitable
    • and generous
    • yet not excessively according to the Sunnah.
  2. The guests stay: Try to make the guests stay_
    • pleasant
    • and comfortable during the day and night,
    • e.g. Informing the direction of the Qibla and showing the way to bathroom.
  3. Bathroom:
    • Provide towels for the guests.
    • Make sure the toiletries and bathroom accessories are
    • clean and sanitised.
  4. Sleep: A guest require_
    • rest
    • and quiet sleep.
    • The guest should be spared the noise of children and the house as much as possible.
  5. Meeting guests: Receive them with_
    • tact and respect.
    • Dress properly and look your best. Imam Bukhari (رحمة الله عليه) reported in Al Adab Al Mufrad that our forefathers used to look their best when visiting one another.
  6. Kindness:
    • Be kind
    • and considerate to guests.
    • As a general rule do not ask them to help you with house chores.
    • Don’t expect or demand for help.
    • Imam Al-Shafi’i (رحمة الله عليه) said, “Gentlemen do not employ their guests”.

 Duties of the Guest

  1. Timing of the visit: Whether a close friend or relative 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,
    • or inquisitive about the family affairs
    • or interfere in the relationship of the host family
    • 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 too many questions
      • or try to teach lessons
      • or talking the past histories
      • or bad mouthings 
      • about the host themselves, their families, or the house itself.

4. Do not insult the host immediately or later after when you left.

5. Do not boast repeatedly about yourself, your family etc.

A Visitor is not an Inspector

 

When you enter the home of your host, whether as a visitor or an overnight guest,

  1. one should not closely examine its contents as an inspector would.
  2. It is important to limit ones observation to what you need to see.
  3. Do not open closed closets, suitcases, files or boxes.
  4. Do not inspect a wallet, a package or a covered object.
  5. This is against Islamic manners and is an impolite betrayal of the trust your host has accorded to you.
  6. In order to cultivate the hosts love and respect, one should uphold these manners during the visit.
  7. 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,
  8. “I was told we would be accountable for our minor gazes, as we are accountable for our minor deeds”.
  9. The Arab poet, Miskin al-Darimi said,
  10. “My neighbour need not worry if his door is not closed”.

 SUMMARY

  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).

Burdening the Host with Requests

Whether one is visiting friends or relatives,

  1. one must avoid unnecessary requests that may inconvenience the host.
  2. For example, using the phone, going to the toilet or performing ablution.
  3. 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.
  4. One should prepare for things before leaving home,
  5. in order to minimise the potential inconvience or burden on the host.
  6. A host can only be pleased at a burden-free, non-embarrassing visit; and will enjoy your visit more as a result.
  7. One should always consider the convenience and appropriateness of ones actions when visiting.

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