In the name of Allah ,the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful






Aspects of Islamic Etiquette

            The Islamic Law has introduced and propagated a cluster of public ethics. At the same time, it warned of failure to strictly abide by it, as this will entail punishment in the Hereafter. Imam Muslim narrated that the Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: �Do you know who is the bankrupt?�  They answered: A bankrupt among us is the person who has neither money nor property. The Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him,said which meaning of is translated as: �The bankrupt in my nation is the one who comes on the Day of Resurrection with prayer, zakat and fasting, yet he used to insult, slander, slay and beat others. Thus claimants are rewarded according to their good deeds. If one's good deeds are gone, he is punished for his ill-doings until he is thrown into Hell.�


Dining Ethics

            1. Start eating with the name of Allah (Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem) and conclude with praising and thanking Allah (Al-Hamdu Lillahi Rabbil-Aalameen). Eat from the nearest side of the dish to you and use your right hand, because the left hand is generally used for cleaning dirt. Bukhari and Muslim narrated on the authority of 'Umar Ibn Abi Salamah, may Allah be pleased with them, that the Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him said which meaning of is translated as: �Mention the name of Allah, eat with your right hand and eat from the nearest side of the dish.�

            2. Never complain or disapprove of food whatsoever. Bukhari and Muslim narrated on the authority of Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, that: �The Messenger of Allah, peace and pleassings of allah be upon him has never found fault with any food. If he likes it, he would eat it, if not he would just leave it.�

            3. Avoid eating or drinking in excess quantity in the light of the Qur'anic words which meaning of is translated as: �And eat and drink but do not spendthrift.�  And the Prophet's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, words which meaning of is translated as: �The son of Adam (man) has never filled a vessel worse than his stomach. If there is no way out, let there be a third for his meal, another for his drink and another for his breath.�  (Narrated by Ahmad).

            4. Never breath or blow into vessels. According to Ibn Abbas the Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: �Forbade breathing or blowing into the dish.�  (Al Tirmidhi).

            5. Eat with others, not alone, since Allah's Messenger peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: �Gather around your food so that it may be blessed.�  (Abu Dawood and Tirmidhi).

            6. If you are invited to a meal and you take somebody with you, you should seek permission for him. According to Abu Mas'ud Al-Badri, may Allah be pleased with him, a man invited Allah's Prophet peace be upon him, to a meal along with four other people. A man followed the Prophet. At the door, the Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said to the host which meaning of is translated as: �This man has come with us: If you'd permit, he will come in; if not he will go back." The host said: I give him my permission, O Allah's Messenger.�  (Bukhari & Muslim).


Ethics of Seeking Permission

            There are two kinds of ethics:

            1. Those relating to out-of-door formalities Allah said which meaning of is translated as: �O you who believe! Enter not houses other than your own without first announcing your presence and invoking peace upon the folk thereof...�  (The Qur'aan, Chapter An-Nur, 24:27).

            2. Those relating to indoor formalities, Allah said which meaning of is translated as: �And when the children among you come to puberty then let them ask permission even as those before them used to ask it...�  (The Qur'aan, Chapter An-Nur, 24:59). This is all intended to keep household secrets and protect the privacy of homes, as pointed out in the Prophet's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, saying which meaning of is translated as: �Asking permission is intended for sight protection.�  (Bukhari and Muslim). It is advisable not to persist in asking permission as pointed out in the Prophet's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, saying which meaning of is translated as: �You have to ask permission three times. If you are not allowed in, go back.�  (Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim).


Ethics of Greeting (Salam)

            Islam has encouraged the custom of greetings among the members of Society because it leads to love and friendship. This is supported by the Prophet's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, saying which meaning of is translated as: �You will never enter Paradise until you become believers, and you will not become believers until you love each other. Shall I guide you to something that makes you love each other? Spread greetings with peace among you.�  (Muslim).

            Answering a greeting is obligatory, Allah said which meaning of is translated as: �When you are greeted with greetings, reply with a better than it or return it...�  (The Qur'aan, Chapter An-Nisa'a, 4:86).

            Islam has also explained obligations in matters of greeting priorities. According to the Prophet's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, saying which meaning of is translated as: �A rider should greet a pedestrian, a pedestrian should greet him who is seated, and a small number of people should greet a bigger number.�  (Narrated by both Bukhari and Muslim) In one narration by Bukhari, it is added: A little or young person should greet an older one.


Ethics of Sitting

            Greet attendants of the meeting or gathering, as pointed out in the Prophet's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, saying which meaning of is translated as: �If one comes to a meeting he should say: Assalamu Alaykum! (i.e. Peace be upon you!) and on leaving he should do the same, for the first greeting is not more important than the latter.�  (Abu Dawood and Tirmidhi).

            It is not appropriate to ask someone to leave his sitting place for someone else as pointed out in the Prophet's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, saying which meaning of is translated as: �Never should anyone of you make someone rise from his place and sit in his place rather, make more room for others to sit.�  (Bukhari and Muslim). �If someone leave his sitting place then returns to it, he will have more right to it�  as stated by the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him, (Muslim).

            Never separate two persons sitting as pointed out in the Prophet's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, saying which meaning of is translated as: �It is not permissible for a man to separate two men (by inserting himself sitting between them) unless they give permission.�  (Abu Dawood and Tirmidhi).

            Never talk to a friend privately in the presence of a third person as pointed out in the Prophet's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, saying which meaning of is translated as: �If there are three of you, never should two of them talk without the third until you mix with other people, for this would grieve the third.�  (Bukhari).

            Never sit in the middle of a circle or group of people, as pointed out in the Prophet's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, saying which meaning of is translated as: �Damned is he who sits in the middle of a sitting group.�  (Abu Dawood).

            Leave space for others to sit, Allah said which meaning of is translated as: �O you 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 have knowledge, to high ranks. Allah is Well-Aware of what you do.�  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Az-Zukhruf, 43:11).

            It is desirable to suppress yawning as far as possible as it is a sign of laziness, as pointed out in the Prophet's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, saying which meaning of is translated as: �Yawning is from Satan, so when one of you yawns let him try to repel it as far as possible, for if one utters 'Ha!' (when yawning) the devil will laugh at him.�  (Bukhari and Muslim).

            About sneezing, the Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: �If one of you sneezes, let him say: Praise be to Allah! And his Muslim brother should say to him: May Allah have mercy on you! Upon which he answers: May Allah guide you and make you well.�  (Bukhari). It is also advisable for a person, as stated by Allah's Messenger peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: �on sneezing; to cover his mouth with his hand or garment and suppress his voice.�  (Abu Dawood and Tirmidhi).

            Avoid belching while sitting in the presence of others. According to Ibn Umar, may Allah be pleased with him and his father, one man belched in the presence of Allah's Messenger peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said to him which meaning of is translated as: �stop belching, The biggest eaters in this worldly life will be the hungriest in the Hereafter.�  (Tirmidhi and Ibin Majah).

            The assembly should not be busy with nonsense or void of the remembrance of Allah and useful discussions of worldly and religious affairs. Allah's Messenger peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: �Any people who rise from an assembly in which the name of Allah is not mentioned are like those who rise from around a donkey's carcass, and the assembly will be a source of sorrow for them.�  (Abu Dawood).

            A person should not face those sitting with him with what they dislike.


Ethics of Gathering

            Islam respects the feeling of people who gather at a place to make gathering desirable and repel all that cause people to hate gathering. Therefore, Islam instructs its followers to be clean-bodied, with no bad smell, and clean-dressed, with no disgusting sights. It also instructs them to listen to the speaker without interrupting him and to sit where they find room without stepping over people's neck or causing them any inconvenience by pressing against them. This is supported by the Prophet's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, saying while addressing Muslims during Friday sermon which meaning of is translated as: �Whoever has a bath on Friday, puts on the best of his clothes, puts some scent on if any, then attends Friday prayer without crossing over people's necks and performs whatever rak'as he could. Then keep quiet when the Imam mounts the pulpit until he concludes prayer. His prayer will be an atonement for the whole week preceding that prayer.�  (Abu Dawood).


Etiquette of Conversation

            Listen to the speaker without interrupting him until he finishes talking. In his speech during the Farewell Pilgrimage, Allah's Messenger peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: �Ask people to keep quiet.�  (Bukhari & Muslim).

            Talk clearly so that the listener may understand you. Ayshah, the Prophet's wife, said: �The Prophet's words were so clear-cut that everyone could understand them.�  (Abu Dawood).

            Cheer up and speak pleasantly. This is in accordance with the Holy Prophet's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, saying which meaning of is translated as: �Do not underestimate any kind of acts, even to receive your brother cheerfully.�  (Muslim), and his other Hadith: �A good word is an act of kindness.�  (Bukhari & Muslim). Al-Hussain, may Allah be pleased with him, said: �I asked my Father about the Prophet's behavior among his companions�   to which he answered: �He was always cheerful, easy mannered and lenient. He was not rough, noisy, vulgar, insulting, or miserly. He used to overlook what he dislikes without depriving others of hope or answering them negatively. He refrained from disputation, prattling and curiosity. He spared others from three things: He never censured, found fault with or spied on them. He spoke only what he hoped would be rewarded. When he spoke, his listeners lowered their head quietly and when he was silent they spoke. They never spoke haphazardly in front of him. If one talked in his presence they listened to him until he has finished. He used to laugh and wonder at what they laughed or wondered at. He was patient with stranger who were rude in both their talk and requests.�


Etiquette of Joking

            Allah's Messenger, peace be upon him, said to his companion Hanzala, who thought that life should be free from fun and entertainment and that he committed hypocrisy when he played and jested with his wife and children: �But, Hanzala, refresh your heart from time to time.�  (Muslim). Here the Holy Prophet explained to the man that permissible fun and self-refreshment is desirable for the human soul to regain its activity and liveliness. He peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, also taught them the rules of conduct as regards to joking, when asked about his joking with them, by saying which meaning of is translated as: �Yes, but I speak truthfully.�  (Tirmidhi).

            Once an old woman came to him and said: O Messenger of Allah, pray to Allah for me to be admitted into Paradise. He peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: �No old woman will be admitted into Paradise.�. On hearing this she went away crying. He said: �Tell her that she won't be an old woman when she goes into Paradise.�. Allah, the Exalted, says which meaning of is translated as: �Lo! We have created them a (new) creation and made them virgins, lovers, friends.�  (The Qur'aan, Chapter Al-Qamar, 54:35-37).

            Allah's Messenger's jokes were not limited to words, they included acts as well. Anas Ibn Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, said, A bedouin called Zaher used to bring presents from the desert to the Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, and the Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, used also to supply him with provisions on leaving. He peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said about him which meaning of is translated as: �Zaher is our 'desert' and we are his 'city'�. The Holy Prophet loved him, though he was ugly-faced. One day, the Prophet, peace be upon him, came to him from the back unawares. Zaher said: Release me. Then he looked behind him and recognized the Prophet, so he pressed his back against the Prophet's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him chest. The Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, called out: �Who purchases this slave?�. Zaher said:"O Messenger of Allah, You will find me not sellable". The Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, answered which meaning of is translated as: �But to Allah, you are not sellable, or he said: To Allah, you are so dear.�  (Tirmidhi).

            A joke should not involve any hurt or insult to any Muslim. Allah's Messenger peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: �No Muslim is allowed to scare another Muslim.�  (Abu Dawood). He also said: �Nobody should take (Muslim) brother's belongings.�  (Abu Dawood and Tirmidhi).

            Joking should not drive a Muslim to lie in order to make others laugh, as understood from the Prophet's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, words which meaning of is translated as: �Woe to him who lies when speaking to make people laugh. Woe to him! Woe to him!�.


Etiquette of Condolence

            Condolence has been prescribed to console the dead person's family, relieve their sorrows and alleviate their distress. Allah's Messenger peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: �A believer who condoles with his brother on a bereavement will be dressed by Allah in the robes of honor and glory on the Day of Resurrection.�.

            There is no specific formula for condolence. However, Imam Shafi'i recommended the expression: �May Allah magnify your reward, give you solace and forgive your deceased one.�.

            It is desirable to prepare food for the family of the deceased as is clear by the following Hadith of the Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, which meaning of is translated as: �Make food for Ja'afar's family as they are distracted by the event.�.


Etiquette of Sleeping

            Mention the name of Allah "Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem" and lie on your right side in accordance with the Prophet's peace and pleassings of Allah be upon him, words to Al-Baraa bin Azeb which meaning of is translated as: �If you want to go to bed, perform ablution as that for prayer, then lie down on your right side, and say: O Allah! I submit myself to You, and turn my face towards You, and confide my cause unto You, and take refuge in You, out of love and fear of You. There is no refuge or escape from You except in You. I believe in Your Book, which You have revealed and Your Prophet, whom You have sent as Messenger.�  (Bukhari & Muslim).

            �Do not sit late at night and do your best to sleep early unless there is some need or necessity. It is narrated that the Prophet, peace be upon him, disliked sleeping before Isha' (evening) Prayer and (sitting and) talking after it.�  (Bukhari & Muslim).

            Do not sleep on your belly, as this was prohibited by the Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning is translated as: �Such manner of lying down is disliked by Allah.�  (Abu Dawood).

            Make sure there is nothing that hurts you at your bed, as recommended by the gracious Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, which meaning of is translated as: �When one of you goes to bed, he should clear his bed with part of his loincloth as he does not know what is lying inside after he has left it, and let him say. Allahumma bika wada'tu janbi, wabika arfauh. Allahumma in amsakta nafsi faghfir laha, wa in arsaltaha fahfazha bima tahfazu bihi ibadakas-Salihan. O Allah! With Your name I have laid on my side, and with Your name I raise it. O Allah! If You hold my soul (i.e. take my life), then have mercy on it, and if You return it, then protect it with what You protect Your pious servants).�  (Bukhari & Muslim).

            Take care and ward off the sources of danger. The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: �This fire is an enemy to you, so when you want to sleep put it off.�  (Bukhari).


Etiquette of Marital Sexual Relations

            It is desirable, before cohabitation with one's wife or husband to mention the name of Allah. �When one of you cohabits with his wife, if he says, In the name of , O Allah! Keep us away from Satan, and keep Satan away from (the offspring) that you may grant us, and then if a child is born out of this union, Satan will have no access to hurt his child.�  (Bukhari and Muslim).

            Private relations between husband and wife must be kept secret, as stated in the following Hadith of the Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, which meaning of is translated as: �The worst in position of all people in the estimation of Allah on the Day of Resurrection will be the man who cohabits with his wife or the woman who cohabits with her husband, then either of them divulges the secret of his mate.�  (Muslim).

            Allah's Messenger peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, recommended love-play, flirtation and kissing prior to sexual intercourse as evidenced by his words to one of his companions which meaning of is translated as: �Don't make love with her unless she has had the same degree of sexual appetite as you so that you do not discharge before her. He asked: Should I do this? The Prophet said: Yes, you kiss, caress and touch her until you find that she has the same degree of erotic urge and excitement as he, then make love with her.�  (Imam Ahmad).

            Husband should not pull out his penis from her vagina until she has finished her sexual desire.


Etiquette of Travelling

            Return trusts to their owners, settle grievances and debts, and leave for your family sufficient provisions. Never travel alone except in cases of emergency when you find no company. The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which the meaning of is translated as: �One passenger is one devil, two passengers are two devils, but three passengers make a caravan.�  (Abu Dawood, Nasa'i and Tirmidhi).

            On travelling, choose good company and select one of you as your leader. The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which the meaning of is translated as: �When three people set out on a journey they should appoint one of them as a leader.�  (Abu Dawood).

            You should inform your family of the time of your arrival back to them. Do not return home at night as this is undesirable so that he should not see anything that he dislikes. The Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: �If one of you is absent from home for a long time, he should not come back to his family by night.�  In another version of the Hadith, the Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, prohibited a man returning home by night (Bukhari and Muslim).

            He should say goodbye to his family, friends and companions, as the Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: �If one of you intends to set out on a journey, let him say goodbye to his brothers, for Allah Almighty will make in their prayers a blessing for him.�

            He should return home quickly after he achieve the objective of his journey. The Holy Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: �Travel is a piece of anguish as it deprives each traveler (of you) of the facilities of eating, drinking and sleeping. Therefore, when one of you has completed the purpose of your journey he should return home quickly.�  (Bukhari and Muslim).


Conduct in the Market

            Among the rules of behavior in the market are those included in the Prophet's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, words when he said which meaning of is translated as: �Refrain from sitting in the streets.�  The Companions said:"O Messenger of Allah, we have no alternative, there is no other place where we can sit and discuss matters." Allah's Messenger peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: �If it is so, then in that case, discharge your responsibilities due to the street.� The Companions asked as to what was due to the street. He said: �Keeping your eyes down, clearing the streets of obstacles, responding to Salam greetings, enjoining virtuous deeds and forbidding evil.�  (Bukhari & Muslim).

            In another narration he peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, added which meaning of is translated as: �Helping the aggrieved and guide the aberrant.�  (Abu Dawood). He peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, also said which meaning of is translated as: �Beware of two cursed practices.� His Companions asked:What are the two cursed practices? He peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, answered which meaning of is translated as: �A person answering the call of nature in a public thoroughfare or in shady place (where people rest).�  (Muslim).

            A passer-by should refrain from carrying harmful weapons or devices, as enjoined by the Gracious Prophet peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said which meaning of is translated as: �When any one of you happens to move in our mosque or bazaar with an arrow (in his hand) he must grasp its pointed head in his palm, so that none amongst the Muslims should receive any injury from it.�  (Bukhari & Muslim).


Etiquette of Buying and Selling

            Selling is originally lawful in Islam because it is based on exchange of benefits between the salesman and the purchaser. However, in case any harm occurs to either party, the dealing becomes unlawful based on the following verse which meaning of is translated as: �O you who believe! Squander not your wealth among yourselves in vanity.�  (The Qur'aan, Chapter An-Nisa'a, 4:29).

            And on the Holy Messenger's Hadith, when he happened to pass by a heap of eatables (corn). He thrust his hand in that heap and his fingers were moistened. He peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, said to the owner of the heap which meaning of is translated as: �What is this?�  He replied:"Messenger of Allah, these have been drenched by rainfall." He(the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him) remarked: �Why did you not place this (the drenched part of the heap) on top so that people could see it?�  He who deceives is not of me (i.e. not my follower)." (Muslim).

            Truthfulness and clear description (of defects, if any) is required in accordance with the Holy Messenger's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, saying which meaning of is translated as: �Both parties in a business transaction have the right to annul it as long as they have not separated. Thus, if they speak the truth and make everything clear they will be blessed in their transaction; but if they tell a lie and conceal anything, the blessing on their transaction will be blotted out.�  (Bukhari and Muslim).

            Benevolence and fair dealing is also recommended in business, since this is a means of strengthening seller-buyer relations as pointed out by Allah's messenger peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, which meaning of is translated as: �May Allah have mercy on a person who is easy and courteous when he sells, buys or asks for the payment of his dues.�  (Bukhari). That is because Islam wants this ease of dealing and tolerance in matters of selling and buying to save people from panting for material interests that undermine brotherly and human relations.

            Avoid swearing oaths when selling, in compliance with the Prophet's peace and pleassings of allah be upon him, instruction which meaning of is translated as: �Avoid too much swearing while selling (your goods) for, in the beginning it promotes business and then it brings all loss.�  (Muslim).


            The above are some of the Islamic Etiquette and ethics, and there are many others that would take a very long time to explain. Nevertheless, it would suffice here to remind that no human affair, private or public, goes without Qur'anic or Prophetic instruction or guidance that defines or regulates it.



Islam is perfect