The Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم has said, مَنْ کَانَ یُؤْمِنُ بِاﷲ وَالْیَوْمِ الْاٰخِرِ فَلْیُکْرِمْ ضَیْفَہٗ i.e. ‘The one who believes in Allah Almighty and the Judgement Day should respect guests.’ (Bukhari, vol. 4, pp. 105, Hadees 6019)
What does ‘respect for a guest’ mean?
Mufti Ahmad Yar Khan Na’eemi رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه has said, ‘The respect for a guest is that one should meet him smilingly, should arrange food and other things for him and should serve him as much as possible with his own hands.’ (Mirat-ul-Manajeeh, vol. 6, pp. 52)
Allamah Ibn-e-Battal رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه has said, ‘One way of treating a guest with respect is that you eat with him and do not let him feel lonely by having him eat the meal alone. Furthermore, entertain the guest with whatever best thing you have.’ (Sharh-ul-Bukhari, vol. 4, pp. 118)
Excellence of hospitality
Imam Nawawi رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه has said, ‘Extending hospitality is the manner of Islam and the Sunnah of blessed Prophets and righteous people.’ (Sharh-un-Nawawi, vol. 2, pp. 18)
Two sayings of Prophet صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم about the excellence of hospitality
1. The Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم has said: Goodness and blessing descend upon the home which has a guest as quickly as a knife reaches the hump of a camel. (Ibn-e-Majah, vol. 4, pp. 51, Hadees 3356) Mufti Ahmad Yar Khan Na’eemi رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه has said: There is no bone in the hump of a camel but there is fat only and a knife cuts it very quickly and reaches its bottom. Therefore, it has been compared with it i.e. goodness and blessing reach very quickly upon such a home. (Mirat-ul-Manajeeh, vol. 6, pp. 67)
2. The Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم has said: When a guest comes to someone’s home, he comes with his own sustenance and when he leaves his home, due to him the sins of the host are forgiven. (Kashf-ul-Khifa, vol. 2, pp. 33, Hadees 1641)
Sayyiduna Anas رَضِیَ اللہُ عَنْہُ has said: When a person extends hospitality to his brother for pleasing Allah Almighty and does not want any reward and thanks for it, Allah Almighty sends ten angels to his home who, for one year, do Tasbih and Tahleel and say Takbeer and keep making Du’a of forgiveness for him (i.e. for host) and when the year ends, the worship equal to the whole year of angels’ worship is written in his record of deeds and it is at the mercy of Allah Almighty that He feeds him the pure foods of Paradise in ‘ﺟﻨﺔ الخلد’ and in His immortal Kingdom. (Kanz-ul-‘Ummal, vol. 5, pp. 110, Hadees 25878)
Manners host should adopt
1 Food should be quickly brought.
2 If there are fruits in the food, they should be brought first because eating fruits before eating food is more suitable from medical point of view.
3 If there are different types of dishes, nice and delicious dishes should be brought first so that whoever amongst them wants to eat from them can do so.
4 Dining mat should not be removed unless the guest stops eating.
5 Place the amount of food before guests which should suffice for them because placing less food than the need is against the respect and placing food more than the need is ostentation. (Ihya-ul-‘Uloom, vol. 2, pp. 21 to 23; summarised)
Manners guest should adopt
1 He should sit where he is requested to sit.
2 Whatever is brought to him, he should be pleased with it.
3 He should not leave the place without the permission of his host.
4 When he (the guest) leaves, he should make Du’a for him (the host).
May Allah Almighty grant us Taufeeq to take great care of the manners of extending hospitality and becoming one’s guest.
اٰمِيۡن بِجَاهِ النَّبِيِّ الۡاَمِيۡن صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيۡهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم