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All praises and thanks are due to Allah, the Most Gracious, Most Merciful, and Master of the Day of Resurrection. All praises and thanks are due to Allah, Who created creation so that they worship Him. He made His Signs clear and plain to them, so that they know Him, and He made the path to Him easy, so that they reach Him.

I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped except Allah Alone without partners. His is the kingdom and He is Worthy of all praise, and He is Able to do all things. I testify that our Prophet, Imam and example, Muhammad, is Allah’s slave and Messenger. Allah has sent Muhammad with the guidance and the religion of truth to be a Warner for mankind and the jinn. May Allah’s peace and blessings be on the Prophet and on his Progeny, Companions and those who followed him in righteousness till the Last Day.

Islam has encouraged sensitivity and thoughtfulness to abound in all forms of interaction in the Islamic society. The guest/host relation requires a high sense of delicacy. The practical and verbal teachings of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) have outlined the reciprocal rights in such a manner that preserves the honor and respect for him and leaves no room for embarrassment or annoyance.

Welcoming guests is a part of our way of life as Muslims. But being a good guest is the other side of this coin. Below are some rights of the host over his quest to keep him happy.

It is the host's right on his guest that he should thank him for his hospitality, for Almighty Allah does not appreciate those who do not appreciate people. It is also the host’s right that his guest should guard his privacy regarding whatever he has come to know during his visit. Whatever good he has seen he should make it known and whatever bad he has seen he should keep it secret and hidden.

Likewise, it is the host’s right upon his guest that he protects the sanctity of his home. So he must not betray him in his house with his eyes. He must not extend his sight to any of his womenfolk or anything that is private. He must not overstay in his home making a burden of himself by staying longer than the length of time prescribed by Shari`ah for a guest to stay, which is three days. Then, after that, there remain the general rights of Muslims on their fellow Muslims. It is also recommended for the quest to hasten to taste the refreshments and to pray for and ask blessings upon the host. 

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, "Whoever believes in God and the Last Day, let him honor his neighbor; whoever believes in God and the Last Day, let him honor his guest as he is entitled." It was said, "What is his entitlement, O Messenger of God?" He said, "[The best treatment] for one day and one night; and hospitality is for three days, and anything after that is charity bestowed upon him.  And whoever believes in God and the Last Day, let him, speak good words or else remain silent."

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) also said, "...And it is not lawful for a guest to stay with his host for such a long period as to put him in a critical position." Again the responsibility of the guest is to bear in mind the conditions of his host and not burden him with what he cannot afford.  Everybody has various duties and obligations that must be attended to, many of which may not be obvious or visible to the guest.  By prolonging one’s stay one might inadvertently put his or her host under unbearable pressure.

A host enjoys a special place in Islam.  Being a host is tied to the faith of a true believer.  Our righteous predecessors understood that and toiled hard to implement it.

 

 

 

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