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Sunnah regarding hospitality to guests

by | Dec 1, 2014

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Hospitality to guests is highly emphasized in Islam, and there are several Sunnahs (traditions and practices of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him) that highlight the importance of being kind and generous to visitors.

How to treat Guests according to the Sunnah Way?

Here are some Sunnahs regarding hospitality to guests:

  • Welcoming the guest: 

It is recommended to warmly welcome guests upon their arrival. The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said, “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should honor his guest” (Sahih Bukhari). Greeting guests with a smile and kind words is encouraged.

  • Offering food and refreshments: 

Providing food and drink to guests is a significant aspect of hospitality in Islam. The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said, “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him be generous to his guest” (Sahih Bukhari). Offering a meal or snacks to guests is considered a virtuous act.

  • Ensuring comfort: 

It is recommended to ensure that guests feel comfortable and well taken care of during their visit. Providing a clean and comfortable place to sit, offering them a cushion or pillow, and making them feel at home are all acts of hospitality.

  • Spending time with guests: 

Spending quality time with guests and engaging in meaningful conversations is encouraged. The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, would actively engage with his guests, listen to their concerns, and offer advice and support.

  • Respecting privacy: 

Respecting the privacy of guests is also important. It is essential to give guests their space when needed and not to pry into their personal affairs unless they willingly share them.

  • Assisting with luggage and needs: 

Assisting guests with their luggage and fulfilling their needs is considered a virtuous act. Offering help in carrying their belongings, providing necessary items, or guiding them to their desired destinations demonstrates hospitality and kindness.

  • Praying for guests:

Making supplications (du’a) for the well-being and blessings of guests is encouraged. Praying for their happiness, success, and protection is a beautiful gesture of hospitality.

  • Extending the stay: 

If guests wish to extend their stay, it is praiseworthy to accommodate their request if possible. The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, would allow his guests to stay for a longer duration if they desired.

These Sunnahs serve as guidelines for Muslims to exhibit genuine hospitality and kindness towards their guests. By following these practices, Muslims aim to emulate the exemplary behavior of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and seek the pleasure of Allah through acts of kindness and generosity.

Sunnah regarding Hospitality to Guests

  • Sunnah regarding the unexpected guest:

One should avoid going to another’s house at meal times. Rasulallah (SAW) has mentioned in the hadith that it is forbidden to take part in a meal of another without being invited to do so. However, it is permissible and a sunnah to go to the house of one’s true friend without an invitation and to partake of meals there.

One may place before an unexpected visitor whatever one has available by way of food. However one should not take a loan to obtain provisions for such visitor. He has said that it is a major sin to regard that which the host offers as little and for the host to feel it low to offer it to one’s guest.

  • Sunnah regarding the guest:

The host should invite only pious people and not sinners as they may spread wrong and sin. Special meals should be prepared for the first day. (Bukhari). A guest may be entertained and shown hospitality for three days. Beyond the three days would be charity.

A guest should not inconvenience the guest by overstaying. A guest who does not accept an invitation has disobeyed Allah and his Rasul (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) unless nonacceptance is within the boundaries of Shari’ah. (Abu Dawud)

  • Sunnah regarding both the unexpected and guests:

Even though one’s host does not treat him with honor and respect when he is a guest at the host’s house then he must always treat the host with due respect and honor, should he be a guest at his house. (Tirmidhi). If a host were to ask his guest to make a choice then the easier the options should be chosen.

A dinner guests invocation for his host:

“Allaahumma baarik lahum feemaa razaqtahum, waghfir lahum warhamhum.”

“O Allah, bless them in what You have provided for them, and forgive them and have mercy on them. ”(Muslim 3/1615)

 

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