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Pure Motivation » Groups » Family Time/عائلة » Islamic etiquette related to gatherings – II

Islamic etiquette related to gatherings – II

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1 Islamic etiquette related to gatherings – II on Sat Sep 18, 2010 11:16 pm


Verily, every get-together must include mentioning and thinking of Allaah; do you hear a verse from the Quran, a Prophetic Hadeeth, a religious advice, discussion revolving around an Islamic ruling or an Islamic reminder in today’s gatherings except for those upon whom Allaah has mercy?
We must pay attention to this dangerous, negative trend – Muslims, these days, actually fool themselves by hanging some Quranic verses or Prophetic sayings on the walls. Some of these frames of verses are nicely written and well-decorated and contain a command from Allaah to His slaves to be pious or reminding that Allaah is All-Knowing of all that they do and of all things, but they contradict what it says. Likewise, some might hang a frame which displays the recommended supplication to conclude gatherings with, yet they never utter it.
To what a low condition have we fallen nowadays to put up a verse or a Hadeeth, then oppose it in our actions and words? What, then, is the benefit behind hanging it? This is the reason why some scholars have prohibited the hanging of verses and Prophetic Hadeeth on the wall, as it is a way of mocking what is quoted in these frames.
Due to all this, some wise Muslims avoid gatherings of people or conversing with them, saying: “Why should we sit with people when this is their situation?” These people are doing the proper thing provided that they are not capable of changing what goes on during these meetings, because one must shun the places of sin. Alternatively, our gatherings should become places to think of Allaah and bring up His Name, in order to attain the promised reward that the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam spoke about when he said: “Whenever a group of people gather and remember Allaah and mention Him, then they separate, it will be said to them: ‘You have been forgiven’”. He sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam also said: “Whenever a group of people congregate and think of Allaah and talk about Him, then they disperse, it will be said to them: ‘Allaah has forgiven your sins and replaced your bad deeds with good ones’.” These narrations are not limited to study circles in the mosque; rather they are applicable in the case of any meeting.
One is delighted and proud to see some people, when they sit in a gathering, they start asking a person of knowledge amongst them, things like: “Talk to us about such-and-such a verse. What does it mean?”, “What is the story of so-and-so Prophet?”, and: “What is the ruling regarding this issue?” These are the people whom the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam has described as keys for good (i.e., initiators), who prevent evil. Many of them might not have knowledge, but they are keen to learn and increase their knowledge; they are dedicated to making their gatherings righteous, by mentioning during them that which pleases Allaah. We ask Allaah to increase the number of such people.
Assemblies have diseases that need to be rectified, so we must know the etiquettes of gatherings and the manner in which to rectify them, in order to attain the sought type of gathering.
The Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam has mentioned many etiquettes, such as the following:
· He sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam said: “It is not permissible for a man to separate between two men when sitting, except after their permission.” Thus, one may not enter into a meeting and sit in the middle of two people who are next to each other unless he seeks their consent, or else, he should sit in any other spot he can find.
· It is the Sunnah that one sits in the furthest place he can reach and find an open spot in, and he may not make someone leave his place or seat, so as to sit there. The Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam said: “It is not allowed for a man to get another man up from his spot to sit in his place.”
· Sometimes one might be invited to a private get-together, in which the conversations may consist of secrets of the host; it is not permissible for him to reveal their secrets or those of their family, because the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam said: “Secrets (or personal issues) discussed during gatherings must be kept concealed.”
· He sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam is reported to have said: “The best assemblies are those which are spacious.” Hence, it is recommended to make the assembly area sizeable for the guests as a way of expressing generosity, if a person can afford to do so.
· Making room for each other during gatherings is a desirable thing, especially when the place becomes full. Allaah Says what means: “O you who have believed, when you are told, “Space yourselves” in assemblies, then make space; Allaah will make space for you (i.e., in His mercy, in Paradise, or in everything good).” [Quran 58: 11] When one’s heart has place for his brother, then his gatherings will automatically become spacious and people will make room for one another; otherwise, if one does not harbor such feelings towards his brother, he will not make room for him, and even if he does make room, one will not be doing it willingly.
· Saying the designated supplication before leaving an assembly. He sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam said: “Whoever sits in a gathering and indulges in useless talk, but before getting up, he supplicates: ‘Subhaanaka Allaahumma wa bi hamdika, ash-hadu allaa ilaaha illaa Anta, astaghfiruka wa atoobu ilayka (O Allaah! You are free from every imperfection; praise be to You. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except You; I ask Your Pardon and turn to You in repentance),’ he will be forgiven (for the sins he may have intentionally or unintentionally committed) in that assembly.”
What can people want more than this? Islam gives one the chance to make amends and grants him the opportunity to be forgiven for the sins which he may have committed, by uttering these few words. Truly, the forgiveness of Allaah is great, as He Says what means: “…Allaah is the possessor of great bounty.” [Quran: 62:4]

· It is narrated that whenever the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam met one of his Companions, may Allaah be pleased with them, he would not leave the meeting until the other man would be the one who got up and left; and, when he sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam met a man who greeted him by taking his hand, he sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam would give him his hand and not take it away until the man himself let go of it.
· The Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam was very polite and courteous. Whenever his guest would get up to leave, he sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam would get up with him to see him off and shake his hand. When, in a gathering, if a man wanted to whisper into his ear, he sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam would listen until he finished what he desired to say. Undoubtedly, he sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam was exceptionally well-mannered.
This is how our Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam was, the example whom we must follow and emulate.


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