Tell your family your whereabouts

If you leave home to go to a place other than you usual work, it is advisable to inform your family where you are going. This information is very useful to have their mind at ease knowing where you are. The great follower, Qatada bin Di’ama Al-Sadousi disapproved of someone going somewhere without telling their family their whereabouts.

Imam Ahmad [Rahimahullah] reported that Qatada [Rahimahullah] narrated that he went with Abo Ma’shar [Rahimahullah] to visit Al-Sha’bi [Rahimahullah]. His family said he was not home. Qatada [Rahimahullah] asked, “Where did he go?” His family said “We don’t know”. Qatada [Rahimahullah] then said, “You mean he does not tell you where he goes?” They said “Yes”. Telling your family where you are lessens their worried besides putting you and them at ease if you were late since they know where you are.

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Rights of the Guest and Duties of the Host

If you are having a guest overnight, be hospitable and generous. This does not mean you should exaggerate when providing food and drink to your guest. Moderation without excess is the sunnah. You should try your best to make your guests’ stay pleasant and comfortable during their state of being awake or asleep. Inform your guests of the direction of qiblah and show them the way to the bathroom and place for wudhu etc.

When you offer your guest a towel after a shower, wudhu or washing hands after meals, make sure that the towel is clean. Do not offer towels, you or your family members have used. It is also a good idea to offer guests some perfume and a mirror. Make sure the toiletries and bathroom accessories they will be using are clean and sanitized. Before leading your guest to the bathroom, inspect it and remove anything you dont want your guest to see.

Your guest may need some rest and a quiet sleep. Spare them the noise of the children and the noise of the house as much as possible. Remove female clothing and belongings from their view. This is a desirable practice that will leave you both feeling comfortable. When meeting your guests, serve them with tact and respect. Dress properly and look your best but do not overdo it. The close relationship between you and the guest is no excuse for negligence in your manners or looks.

Imam Bukhari [Rahimahullah] in Al-Adabul Mufrad reported that our forefathers used to dress appropriately when visiting one another.

If you visit a relative or friend, you should be considerate of your host’s circumstances and work commitments. Shorten, as much as possible, the duration of your stay by him, since every person has various duties, obligations and responsibilities, some of which may not be known to you. Be considerate of your hosts and help them with their duties, house chores and obligations. While at your host’s house, do not inspect and examine every corner, especially when you are invited beyond the guest room, lest you see something that you are not supposed to see. In addition, do not bother your guest by asking too many questions.

Arriving From A Journey

If you are travelling to visit someone or if you are about to receive guests, whether those in question are your parents, relatives, peers or friends of different age, make sure that your hands, feet and socks are clean and your appearance and clothing are neat. Also, ensure that your attire befits the occasion and the one you are meeting, because cleaniness and an apperance which is orderly and harmonious brings pleasure to the eye. Never undermine the importance of your appearance for that would certainly mar the pleasure of the meeting, while dulling the enjoyment of those you meet.

In this regard, the Prophet [Sallallahu álayhi wa sallam] directed his companions upon returning from a journey: “You are on your way to meet your brothers. Don a good dress and repair your conveyance so that you appear distinct among people as a beauty spot (on a body). Allah does not like indecency in manner and conduct.”

Try to offer a gift to your host and likewise present your guests with a present in exchange of theirs because the exchanging of gifts on joyous occasion adds to its delight. A gift, however symbolic, will leave behind happy memories of the occasion. Rasulullah [Sallallahu álayhi wa sallam] said, “Exchange gifts and therefore acquire the gifts of one another.” [Bukhari in Al-Adabul Mufrad]

Our pious predecessors used to leave their host with a gift, even if it was something as simple as a miswák.