Choosing a Seat

Do not argue with your host regarding the place where he wants you to sit, rather sit where he asks you to. If you sit where you want to, you may (accidentally) look into a private area of the house, or you may cause inconvenience to the house inmates. Therefore, it is important to adhere to the suggestion of your host and accept his cordial treatment towards you.

Hafidh Ibn Kathír [Rahimahullah]  narrated in Al-Bidáyah Wan Niháyah that when the honoured companion Sayyiduná ‘Adi Ibn Hátim At-Táí [Radiallahu anhu] reverted to Islam and came to see Rasulullah [Sallallahu álayhi wa sallam] in Madinah, Rasulullah [Sallallahu álayhi wa sallam] honoured him by seating him on a cushion, while he himself sat on the floor.

Sayyiduná ‘Adi [Radiallahu anhu] says, “… then Rasulullah [Sallallahu álayhi wa sallam] took me along and upon reaching his house, he took a leather cushion filled with palm fibre and threw it on the floor, “Sit on this,” he said, “No, you sit on it,” I answered. Rasulullah [Sallallahu álayhi wa sallam] insisted, “No, you.” So I sat on it while the Prophet [Sallallahu álayhi wa sallam] sat on the floor.”

On one occasion Sayyiduná Khárijah Ibn Zaid [Radiallahu anhu] visited Sayyiduná Ibn Sírín [Rahimahullah]. He found Sayyiduná Ibn Sírín [Rahimahullah] sitting on a cushion on the floor and he (Khárijah  [Radiallahu anhu]) also wanted to sit together with him on the floor, saying, “I am content as you are.” Sayyiduná Ibn Sírín [Rahimahullah] replied, “In my home, I do not prefer for you what I prefer for myself (since you deserve to be honoured). Sit where you are asked to sit.”

Don’t sit on the host’s seat unleass he asks you to, for our Master [Sallallahu álayhi wa sallam] said, “No guest should lead the host in salah while in the home of the host, neither should he sit without consent, at the designated seat of the host.” [Sahih Muslim]

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