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

Islamic etiquette related to gatherings – I

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


We must pay attention to our gatherings and meetings, because they have a major effect on us. If one were to take a quick look at Muslim gatherings today, he would find that it is nothing but a means of people occupying themselves with life, each according to his interest or field of work; this is aside from indulging in some prohibitions and major sins, in some cases.
These get-togethers, which people have engrossed themselves in, have hardened their hearts, against which Allaah has warned us, when He Almighty Says what means: “Then woe to those whose hearts are hardened against the remembrance of Allaah. Those are in manifest error.” [Quran 39: 22] Indeed, this admonition necessitates that we determine the reasons behind hard hearts.
Was this the way the Companions, may Allaah be pleased with them, conducted themselves in their gatherings? Were these the topics and matters they engaged themselves with? Surely not. We are not talking about declaring these assemblies and the conversations that flow in them as prohibited, because people may meet and talk to each other about different topics – this is fine and permissible, because Islam did not forbid it. Rather, what we are talking about is making this one’s only concern and addressing nothing else but life and worldly issues in them, to the extent that not a single verse or narration from the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam or even the recommended supplication to conclude gatherings with, is heard being recited; in effect, there is no mention of Allaah at all.
Undeniably, this is a dangerous and dispraised situation, given that all said things are permissible. Yet, how will the case be if the meetings involve prohibitions? How will it be if people are indulged in major sins, such as backbiting and talebearing? Allaah Says what means: “And do not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead?” [Quran 49: 12] How will the case be if the gatherings incorporate lies and mockery of others, while the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam advised: “Do not falsely accuse each other,” which is done by lying and slandering, as the scholars commented.
Moreover, how will it be if the assemblies contain scorning the slaves of Allaah and abusing one another, when Allaah Says what means: “O you who have believed, let not a people ridicule [another] people … And do not insult one another and do not call each other by [offensive] nicknames. Wretched is the name [i.e. mention] of disobedience after [one’s] faith.” [Quran 49: 11] How will it be if the gatherings today are full of sinning and insulting, although the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam said: “Two persons insulting one another are like two devils who lie and fling false accusations at each other.”
Indeed, how will the case be if the gatherings today are those of hypocrisy, flattery and formality, while the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam informed us that praising someone in his face is like beheading him, and, Allaah Says what means: “…So do not claim yourselves to be pure….” [Quran 53: 32]
How will it be if some of the get-togethers today embrace ridicule of Islam and those who are devoted to it and belittlement of the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, scorning his way of dressing, character and manners?
Additionally, how will it be if these gatherings involve disparaging Islamic rulings and laws? A person present in them may say: “You want to take us back to dealing according to some law that declares: an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth?” Verily, Allaah is glorified and exalted above what they say.
Many of the Muslim assemblies today contain mockery of people, whether concerning the way they talk or a habit of theirs or the way they walk. The Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam said to ‘Aa’ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her: "I do not like that I should imitate someone even if I am paid in return such-and-such (an amount of money)'', meaning that he sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam would never mention a person or mimic him as a way of ridicule. The story behind this statement is that `Aa’ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, said to the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam: "Such-and-such a thing of Safiyyah, may Allaah be pleased with her, is sufficient for you'', implying that she was a short woman. Thereupon, he sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam remarked: "You have indeed uttered a word which would pollute the (whole) sea if it were mixed in it.'' In view of this, how is the case with today’s expressions and statements which people exchange during their gatherings?
Today, many of the Muslim assemblies involve prohibitions. For example, one would find that two people converse privately in the presence of a third, while the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam counseled: "When three of you are together, two of you must not whisper (to each other), ignoring the third”; then, he sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam rationalized that by adding: “…lest the third should be grieved.'' Despite this, secret conversations are a disease that has permeated today’s gatherings.
The way people sit in their gathering also includes prohibitions; for instance, some men do not cover their ‘Awrah (i.e., parts of the body which are illegal to be exposed to others Islamically, namely from the navel down to the knees) or do not wear sufficient clothing under their garment so that when one of them moves his thigh, it becomes exposed. Yet, when reasoned with one of them (regarding this), he would reply: “Are we women that we need to cover up and have certain parts as an ‘Awrah?” This is in spite of the fact that the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam said to one of the Companions, may Allaah be pleased with him: “O Jurhud! Cover your thigh, for it is a part of the ‘Awrah.”
Even in the way people eat and drink, one will come across prohibited acts, such as eating and drinking using the left hand or neglecting to mention the name of Allaah before starting. Furthermore, the way they talk and argue also contradicts Islamic teachings, for they may raise their voice, be harsh in their tone of speech, interrupt each other and youngsters may precede the elders in talking.
It is worthy to note that the meetings during which the name of Allaah is not mentioned or remembered, nor is the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam mentioned or exalted; such meetings are subject to the warning in which the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam said: "Whenever a group of people sit in a gathering in which they do not remember Allaah, the Exalted, nor supplicate for the elevation of the rank of their Prophet, such a gathering will be a cause of regret for them on the Day of Resurrection.” In another authentic narration, he sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam went on to say: “…even if they enter Paradise”, because they will perceive the reward they missed out on due to not bringing up the name of Allaah and remembering Him, or exalting the mention of the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, in their gatherings in this life.

The Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam also said: “Those people who get up from a gathering in which they have not remembered Allaah, will conclude it as if it has a foul odor similar to that of a rotten carcass of a donkey and it will be a cause of remorse for them (on the Day of Judgment).” Bring to mind your gatherings to see whether or not the name of Allaah was brought up and remembered and the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam was mentioned and exalted in them.


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