Narrated Abu Musa (R.A.):

The Prophet (SAW) said, “Set the captives free, accept the invitation (to a wedding banquet), and visit the patients.” –  : Sahih al-Bukhari 5174

Although I work in the hospital, I hate staying long when I visit patients (unless they would rather I stayed). I worry that I am burdening the patient with my stay and would rather pop in and out. I am also uncomfortable staying long at people’s houses for a visit. It feels like extending my handshake to the elbow. As a woman, I am aware of the hoops women jump through to make their guests comfortable at their own expense and it seems unfair to take full advantage of that.

We should not visit people unannounced unless we are extremely familiar with them. There is really no excuse why anyone will suddenly drop by in this era of cell-phones, free emails, text messages and instant messaging. This will give your host time to prepare and possibly purchase or cook/bake what to host you with. Not all homes are fully-stocked 24/7.

cookies and milk

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As much as is possible, a non-mahram male should not spend the night in the house of a couple. It inconveniences the woman who has to observe her hijab in your presence. Personally, I cannot do without my hijab outdoors but once I am indoors, I toss it fast! A woman’s home is her sanctuary, somewhere she can let her hair down and dress down. You ruin this tranquility for her particularly when you prolong your stay; her only reprieve in her bedroom. Between the tropical temperature and special times like breastfeeding, her hospitality can quickly become hostility.

Fellow women who travel for visits with their toddlers need to be mindful of them. We should not leave them to run amok, destroy appliances, break dishes, defecate or urinate indiscriminately, and leave food crumbs in their trail. ‘They are just kids!’ No. Pick up after your children and caution them when necessary.

We should also endeavour not to make a nuisance of ourselves by staying out late, disrupting the peace in the house by playing loud music or having noisy friends over. Destroying property in their houses is also a big no-no.

Narrated Abu Shuraih Al-Ka’bi quoted Allah’s Messenger (SAW) as saying: Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, should serve his guest generously. The guest’s reward is to provide him with a superior type of food for a night and a day and a guest is to be entertained with food for three days, and whatever is offered beyond that is regarded as charity. And it is not lawful for a guest to stay with the host for such a long period so as to put him in a critical position. – Sahih Bukhari 6135

Also try to involve yourself in helping around the house and following the house rules. Take your dish to the kitchen and wash it, preferably. Clean up after yourself and make your bed. Assist by taking the children off their parents’ hands by playing with them or helping with their homework.

Do not pry into their affairs particularly if they are a couple and unless your advice is sought, or it is absolutely necessary, keep most of your thoughts to yourself. Do not take sides without listening to both sides of the story.

When preparing to leave, inform your hosts ahead of time so they can accommodate dropping you off at the airport or car park, into their plans.

Also noteworthy is that we should not convert our observations to gossip and tales by moonlight for our family members and friends. ‘Do you know the couple sleep in separate rooms? They must have quarrelled more than 5 times in the few days we were there!’

As the hosts/hostesses, we are duty-bound to treat our guests kindly. Having snacks, some juice or cake handy can save us embarrassment when friends pop in unannounced. We should be patient and accommodating and try to involve our guests in our activities. Time should be set aside daily to converse with them no matter how tight our schedule is.

We should also discuss when would be convenient for a reciprocal visit. No responsible individual wants to be the perpetual visitor. Make an effort to return the visit to keep the ball rolling.

And when they leave, we should see them to the door (or gate / bus terminal/train station/ airport) and let’s try not to make our relief obvious! 😉


ARGUMENTS Q17.36, Q27.80-1, Q88.21-2

I have had my fair share of arguments especially as a student. Those days, one will argue and shout herself hoarse! Now, I’ve realised that we cannot all share the same views and that changing a person’s mind is only possible if his/her mind is open to change.
Oftentimes, arguments stem from arrogance; the belief that ‘my view is the only right one’. It’s normal to disagree with each other but it is more peaceful to agree to disagree than to enter into a disputation that leads nowhere.
When we argue, we should realise that:

• Your view is not the ONLY right one besides, your opponent also feels his/hers is correct.
• Most times, arguments are counter-productive and time-consuming eventually making both parties cling stubbornly to their opinions
• Very rarely is an argument borne out of a sincere and humble need to correct
• There must be etiquette involved in debate for it to be beneficial

So, before you embark on that trip to nowhere, here are some tips:
• There is no point arguing with someone who cannot reason
• Have a respectful conversation with no insults, sarcasm, arrogance or lousy attitude
• Do not raise your voice
• Air your views and listen to your opponent’s
• Do not lie or speak on what you have no knowledge. Use data and facts to drive your point across
• Gracefully but purposefully refute lies
• Avoid extremism or exaggeration
• Leave your mind open. It is an act of an educated mind
• Pray to Allah to guide both of you to the Right Path

We should recall that just because someone is taking another route to our destination does not mean they won’t get there. As the African saying goes, ‘The market has many entrances.’ Let us look outside the box and be tolerant enough to listen to others’ opinions even if we do not agree with them. You don’t have to act on views you do not believe in.

May Allah open our hearts to discern and accept the truth.


No matter how voluminous your hijab is, it cannot conceal a bad attitude. Likewise, a huge beard cannot hide an evil heart.
People see through these things. You may be able to fool some of the people most of the time but you draw the wool over everyone’s eyes forever.
In as much as our outward appearance is important, and shows that we are not ashamed to be identified as Muslims, we should not forget that the best form of invitation to Islam is a beautiful and exemplary character. Our influence as role models should not be used negatively.

As Muslims, we should not encourage others to ridicule the hijab, trousers or beard. No matter the length or size, we should preserve our brothers’ and sisters’ honour and not join in backbiting them. It makes no sense to look like a Muslim, talk like one but act in a non-Islamic way. however, this is not to say we shouldn’t correct the wrongs we see in other Muslims but we should do so with tact and propriety.
Our appearances should serve to remind us of our duties as full-time ambassadors of Islam and should help us act better and with humility. The fact that we look like Muslims should not make us look down on those who do not. The fact that we can be identified as Muslims should deter us from being discourteous, breaking rules, shoplifting, fighting and making a spectacle of ourselves in public. This taints other Muslims and reinforces the wrong stereotype people have in their minds about us.

Do not be a source of derision to the Ummah. Be an exemplar as a Muslim, whether or not you wear the hijab or possess a beard; but especially because you do.


The Prophet has been exemplified by Allah as our model to follow. He was the epitome of good manners and a myriad of ahadith encourage good manners and gentility. The advent of Islam alone brought some semblance of order to an otherwise chaotic and Jahiliyyah-steeped Arabia.

Narrated Masruq: Abdullah ibn ‘Amr mentioned Allah’s Prophet (SAW) saying he was neither a Fahish nor a Mutafahish. Abdullah ibn ‘Amr added, Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said, ‘The best among you are those who have the best manners and character.’ Sahih Bukhari 6029

It was narrated by Abu Hurairah said: the Prophet was asked, ‘What admits people the most into paradise?’ and he said, ‘Piety and good manners.’ And he was asked, ‘What lead people most to Hell?’ He said, ‘The two hollow ones: the mouth and the private part.’ Sunan Ibn Majah Vol.1,Book 37, Hadith 4246

Jabir(RA) reported: The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said, ‘The dearest and nearest among you to me on the Day of Resurrection will be the one who is the best of you in manners; and the farthest of you from me will be the pompous, the garrulous and the Al-Mutafaihiqun…-the arrogant people.’[Tirmidhi] Riyad-us-Saliheen Book 1 Hadith 631

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Some good manners include:
• Smiling;
• saying salaam first and responding to greeting;
• offering your seat to those in need;
• exchanging pleasantries;
• listening not interrupting;
• joining the queue;
• showing courtesy by saying ‘thank you’, ‘please’, ‘I am sorry’, ‘excuse me’;
• being considerate;
• being gentle in speech and walk;
• treating people with respect;
• being neat and kempt;
• giving up your seat (when you can);
• complimenting people (without being patronising);
• following the rules (like Traffic rules, table manners, switching off your phone at a lecture or sermon, refraining from taking photographs in no-image zones, flushing the toilet after use etc );
• acting with decorum;
• introducing people to each other;
• not speaking in a language foreign to, or whispering and excluding, the third person from a conversation and so on.

I know we know all these. This is just to serve as a reminder to both you and me.

Do you have any more to add? Please drop a comment.

May Allah help us to improve ourselves and grace us with beautiful manners.