Adab (Etiquette) in the Home
[box_dark]The Prophet SAW said, “The believers who have the most perfect faith are those who have the best manners.” (Abu Dawood)[/box_dark]
I often notice people who are reserved outside their homes are very carefree and lively inside their homes because home is one place where you are free to do anything without worrying about what others might say and think. However, where you are free to do anything, there are also some protocols to follow and some boundaries to be maintained even at our own homes.
With all aspects of our life, Allah SWT and the Prophet (S) has given clear guidance on how to conduct ourselves. There is no exception when it comes to adab in the home. For parents and children this boundary has to be maintained to ensure there is always a level of respect and decency between them and to ensure that the light of Islam shines in our homes.
Here are some aspects of home etiquettes to follow:
Greeting with Salam[quote]Prophet SAW said, “If you enter upon your family, greet them with peace, a greeting from God that is blessed and good.” (Al-Bukhari)[/quote]
Make it a habit of saying ‘Salaam’ at home when entering or leaving the house and even after waking up and seeing each other. It is an excellent way of starting or finishing off a conversation between members. In another hadith, Prophet Muhammad (S) says that giving salaam to each other is a way to foster love.
The Messenger of Allah (S) said: “You shall not enter paradise so long as you do not affirm belief (in all those things which are the articles of faith) and you will not believe as long as you do not love one another. Should I not direct you to a thing which, if you do, will foster love amongst you: (i.e.) give currency to (the practice of paying salutation to one another by saying) as-salamu alaykum.”
Entering Rooms with Permission
What is common in many families is that children are allowed free access into all the rooms. This is not a negative practice but most of the times children tend to enter rooms at times when parents are relaxing or do not want children to intrude their privacy. This is a very important matter to maintain privacy not only amongst family members but also to observe when there are guests in the house.
At a very young age it might be difficult to control a child from entering but when they have reached puberty it is essential to teach them the manners of asking permission and knocking on doors before entering a room. There are three occasions mentioned in the Quran which requires seeking permission to enter.
[box_dark]“O ye who believe! let those whom your right hands possess, and the (children) among you who have not come of age ask your permission (before they come to your presence), on three occasions: before morning prayer; and whenever you lay aside your garments in the middle of the day; and after the late-night prayer: these are your three times of undress: outside those times it is not wrong for you or for them to move about attending to each other: Thus does Allah make clear the Signs to you: for Allah is full of knowledge and wisdom” (24:58)[/box_dark]
There are also various Ahadith where Prophet SAW has mentioned protecting privacy of home by asking permission. If family members are resting and you want to enter their room it is always appropriate to knock on doors first and wait for a response. If the member answers and allows entering then it is ok to enter but if there is no response it is better to come back at another time.
Dressing is all about being modest even while at home. While it is important to maintain the finest level of hijab when we are outside our homes it is also important to maintain our awrah while at home. For parents and children the level of modesty is the same. Parents are not to uncover their awrah (private parts) in front of children and same goes for the children.
A man is not allowed to look at another man’s awrah, i.e. the area between his navel and his knees (these two parts included), as the Prophet (S) said, “A man should not look at the awrah of another man nor a woman of a woman, nor should a man go under one cloth with another man, nor a woman with another woman.” (Muslim) He also said to a man he saw uncovering his thigh, “Cover your thigh, for the thigh is awrah.” (al-Hakim)
This rule applies equally to Muslim women looking at other women, whether they are Muslims or not. The awrah of the woman with respect to other women is the same as the awrah of the man, i. e., from the knees to the navel.
[box_dark]Prophet SAW said, “Eat with others, not alone, since Allah’s Messenger says: “Gather around your food so that it may be blessed.” (Abu Dawood)[/box_dark]
When it comes to dining it is a good practice to have meals together. Eating etiquettes were greatly endorsed by our Prophet (S). There are manners that should be followed during eating at home so that children practice it outside as well like starting off with the right hand and saying ‘Bismillah’, never complaining and disapproving of the food and not drinking excess water while eating.
Joking With the Family Members
Jokes are something that keeps the home environment light and also builds up affection towards the members of the family. It is a permissible fun if it is not insulting or hurting anybody. The Prophet (S) used to joke with his wives in a truthful manner and that is what he advised his Sahabis to pursue.
He also showed a lot of affection towards his grandchildren as well. By following the ways of Prophet (S), family members create a stronger bond with closeness & respect.[divider]
Sadaf Siddique holds a degree in Computers and a Masters in Business Administration. She is the mother of a 2-year-old boy, a part-time writer and a full-time homemaker.