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Newsletter for October 2014
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ISLAMIC SOCIAL ETIQUETTES
Every society has its own culture and social norms. Islam wants to promote close brotherly relations among Muslims. Although the root of Islamic culture is the Noble Qur’an but the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) practically demonstrated what Allah (s.w.t.) desired for Muslim Ummah. Hence we shall draw heavily on the Traditions of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s). What ever is referred to any Aimma (a.s..) of Ahlul Bayt is ultimately traced to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.).
Salaam or Greetings:
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said: “(a) Say Salaam un Alaikum to every Muslim and make sure to say it loudly so as to avoid any misunderstanding. (b)If any one starts communicating without saying salaam, then do not respond to him unless he says salaam. (c)That person is the most miserly who lacks behind in saying salaam. (d)It is “my Sunnat” to say salaam but it is wajib or obligatory to reply. (e)Whoever says “As-Salaam Alaikum” then ten virtues are recorded for him. Whoever says “Salaam Alaikum Wa Rehmatullahe Wa Barakatuhoo” then thirty virtues are recorded for him. (f)When ever you meet a Muslim, then you should exchange salaam and also shake hands. (g)When departing, seek Allah’s forgiveness for each other. (h)When entering your house say salaam to your family members so that Allah will bless your house. (i)The person who enters a room or who is standing should say salaam to those who are sitting. (j)When visiting a house, if no one is there to greet you, then you should say loudly salaam three times and if still there is no reply then go back. (k)If a person meets ten Muslims and say salaam to them, then thawaab of getting release of a slave is recorded. (l)It is one of the Greater Sins to say salaam to a person playing the game of chess. (m)Similarly, it is prohibited to say salaam to an alcohol drinker. (n)If a person leaves a meeting and says salaam to the gathering and if after his departure, the participants of the meeting talk about virtuous matters, then the person departed shall also receive the virtues of the gatherings. (o)Shaking hands decreases the bitterness in the hearts of the Muslims.
The Commander of Faithful, Imam Ali (a.s.) said: “Instead of saying ‘Haiyya Kallah” it is better to say, “Haiyya Kallah Bissalaam”. (b)When you are entering your house and no body is there then you should say: “As-salaamo Alaina Min Rabbena”
Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) said: “If you enter a mosque and see that the Muslims are praying then do not say salaam but you may say salaam to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.). (b)When a momin visits another momin and recognizes his rights, then Allah (s.w.t.) directs the angels to record one virtue for every step towards his house, eliminates one sin and raises his status. When they shake hands and exchange greetings then Allah (s.w.t.) showers His Blessings on them and address the angels saying: “Look at My servants who are meeting each other just for My pleasure. Hence I shall restrain My Wrath on them.
Imam Jaffer al-Sadiq (a.s.) said: “A courteous person will always say salaam to a man he encounters. (b)Never say salaam to a person who is accompanying the dead body and one who is going for Jumma (Friday) prayers. (c)The young men should say salaam to the elders. (d)Do not say salaam to Jews and Christians but if they say salaam to you may reply as “Walaikum”.
(d)When you meet a person who has returned from travel, then you should say salaam, shake hands and also embrace him. (e)When my grandfather, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) would shake hands, he will not take away his hand until the other person withdraws his hand. (f)There is a light (noor) on the foreheads of a momin by which people recognize him, hence when two momins meet, they should kiss their foreheads.
Manners of sitting in congregations
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said: “O Ali, if the following eight persons receive disgrace, then they should curse themselves:
First one who attends a function without being invited. Second one who orders the host.
Third one who asks for goodness for himself. Fourth one who expects favors from a miser.
Fifth one who interferes between two talking persons without their permission. Sixth one who plays down the higher officials. Seventh one who sits at a place unworthy of him. Eighth one who tries to address a person who is not attentive to him. (b)A good-tempered and courteous momin sits at a place lower than his status, says salaam to everyone, avoids quarrel, and does not expect praise of his piety from others. (c)When people are sitting in a gathering and someone makes room for the new-comer then he should accept the place as it is an honor for him. (d)When the host of the house directs the visitor to sit at a specified place then he should comply with it. (e)During the summer season, when people sit in a gathering then they should leave about 6 inches space around them so as to avoid discomfort to others.
Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (a.s.) said: “If a person does not possess the following three characteristics but still sits at the top of the gathering then he is a fool; he should be able to answer any questions asked, when other people are unable to speak the truth then he should be able to state completely, should be able to give his views that other followers are benefited by his views. (b)You should never sit on a street.
Imam Jaffer al-Sadiq (a.s.) said: “When a group of people are sitting then the momin should sit at the back instead of steering through the sitting people to go in front. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) would sit at a place near the door of the gathering. He will mostly sit facing the Holy Ka’aba.
Imam Hasan al-Askari (a.s.) said: “When a person sits happily at a place lower than his status, Allah (s.w.t.) and His angels continue to send blessings on him till he leaves.
Host’s behavior with the visitors:
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said: “The host should accompany the guest both at the time of coming inside the house and when he departs. (b)Allah(s.w.t.) has a reward for each and every kindness a momin offers to his brother momin.
Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (a.s.): When two guests visited him (a.s.) and he offered two beds to them, one of them sat on it but the other refused to sit on the bed. The Imam (a.s.) said: “Sit! When a person is respected, except a donkey, he should accept it.”
Imam Jaffer al-Sadiq (a.s.) said: Except hypocrites, every one knows the rights of the following;
1. White-bearded elderly Muslim.
2. Scholar or Hafiz of Holy Qur’an.
3. A just Imam.
(b)Respect of the elderly is like respect of Allah (s.w.t)
Extracted from “Tahzeeb-ul-Islam” By Allama Muhammad Baqir Majlisi (r.a.)
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