CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX

SUNNAH REGARDING ENTERING AND LEAVING THE HOME

O Allah (The Exalted) bless our Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) in the Heavenly Assembly until the Day of Reckoning.

Alhamdulillah, we are Muslims and should follow the appropriate etiquettes in entering and leaving the house. We should not rush in or enter the house in any other way but in accordance to the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). In order to gain blessings and reward let us learn and put into practise the Sunnah of entering and leaving the home.

Make Salaam Rib’i bin Hiraash (may Allah be pleased with him) states that, “A person from the tribe of Banu ‘Amir told me that he asked the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) for permission, the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was in the house. The person asked, ‘Can I come in?’ The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) told a servant to go to him and show him the manner of asking for permission to enter, tell him to say, ‘Assalamu ‘ayaykum’, may I come in?’ the person heard the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and said: ‘Assalamu’ayikum’, may I come in? The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) then gave him permission and he came in.” i The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that, “When you enter your homes say Salaam to those in the house and when leaving the home also make Salaam.” ii This is to let the household know that either you have entered or are leaving. Many youth feel independent and do not feel the need to let the family or at least their parents know if they are leaving or have come in the house. Even if you are the owner of the house, bring the Sunnah into practice and gain reward and blessings.

From Poverty To Wealth Sahal bin S’ad (may Allah be pleased with him) states that, “A person came in the court of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and complained about poverty. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that, “When you enter your home make Salaam and enter, whether it is empty or occupied, then send me salaam, and pray ‘Qulhuwallahu ‘Ahad’ once. This person did exactly as the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) had advised him and he became so wealthy that he helped his relatives and friends.” iii Subhanallah! When a person enters the house without the remembrance of Allah (The Exalted) then the devil enters with him. Let us make a habit of making Salaam and if no one is in the house, send Salaam on the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) as the soul of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) is present in the Muslims home. Iv

Rid Devil With Remembrance Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that, “When a person enters his house and when he eats making the remembrance of Allah (The Exalted) the devil says, ‘Today I cannot spend the night here neither can I partake in your food’. When a person does not make the remembrance of Allah (The Exalted) the devil says ‘I will spend the night here today’, and at the times of eating when one does not remember Allah (The Exalted) the devil has found his food (which he can partake in).” v Respected brother/sister! Make a habit of reciting ‘Bismillah…’ and reject Shaytan from influencing us or your family in anyway. One of the reasons why we have no blessings in our earnings or our homes is we don’t remember Allah (The Exalted). By watching films and listening to music does not help at all, as the mercy is Allah (The Exalted) does not descend where haraam is taking place.

Ask For Permission Before Entering Abu Musa Ash-Arim (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) states that, “Ask for permission three times, if you get permission then it is permissible, if not then return.” vi Unfortunately, this is a great Sunnah which is neglected, some people just walk in without asking permission or knocking, and those who live in the house do not need permission but say Salaam or cough to let those in the house know you have come in. Remember do not just walk into anybody’s house without permission, be it your best friend or relative. If family members are resting in their rooms and you want to join them, it is appropriate to ask for permission or to knock on the door. Otherwise, you may see them in a condition that neither you nor they may dislike. This applies to the entire household: immediate family or otherwise. ‘Ata ibn Yasar reported that, “A man asked the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), “Should I seek permission to enter my mother’s room?” The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) answered, “Yes.” The man said, “We live together in the same house.” The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “Ask permission to join her.” The man argued, “But I serve her!” The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “Ask for permission. Would you like to see her naked?” The man replied, “No!” The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “Then ask permission before entering.” Vii

Stand On The Side ‘Abd-Allah bin Busr (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that, “When the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) would go to someone’s house he would not stand in front of the door. He either stood on the left or right side, or said ‘Assalamu’alaykum, Assalamu’alaykum’ as in those days there was no curtain on the doorway.” viii Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) states that, “I went to the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and knocked. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) asked ‘Who is it?’ I replied, ‘Me’, the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) then said “Me, what’s me?” as the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) disliked this’.” ix Allahu Akbar!

Knocking When someone asks who it is? You should mention your name. Whilst talking on the phone, it is good manners to mention your name before conversing as on many occasions you may not be able to recognise the voice of even your own family members. Knock at the door, or ring the door bell in a pleasant way and not louder than is necessary to make you presence known. Do not knock loudly and violently or ring the bell continuously. Remember that you are a visitor and or a thug or an oppressor raiding the house and frightening its occupants. A woman came to Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (may Allah’s mercy be upon him) seeking his opinion on a religious matter. She banged at his door loudly. He came out saying, “This is the banging of the police.” Likewise, Imam Bukhari reported in al-Adab al-Mufrad that the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) used to knock on the door of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) with the tip of their fingers. Leave an adequate time between two knocks or rings. This will enable those performing ablution, praying, or eating to finish without making them rush. Some scholars estimate this interval to be that of the praying time of four cycles. Keep in mind that a person may have just started the prayers just before you rang the doorbell. After three spaced knocks, or intermittent rings, you may feel that the person you came to see is busy, otherwise he or she would have answered you. If this is the case, then leave. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that, “If you sought permission three times, and were not granted, then you must leave.” X

Making your presence known When entering a house, make your presence known to those inside before you approach them. Avoid startling or frightening them and do not descend upon them suddenly. Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “When a person enters his house, it is recommended that he makes noise by clearing his throat or tapping his shoes.” His son ‘Abdullah said, “When returning home from the mosque, my father used to announce his arrival before entering, by tapping with his shoes or clearing hid throat.”

Comb In Your Eye Sahal bin Saidi (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that, “The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) saw a person peeping from a hole into his room. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was scratching his blessed hair with a pitchfork. When the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) saw the intruder, he told him, “Had I known you were looking I would have poked your eye! Asking permission was prescribed to prevent intrusion.” xi Abu Dahr (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that, “The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that, “Whosoever before gaining permission moves the veil and looks into the house, he has done such a thing which was not permissible and if someone hurts his eye, it doesn’t matter, and if someone went to such a house where there was no veil and the person’s sight (unintentionally) fell on the woman in the house it is not his fault, but the fault of the resident.” xii Let this be a warning to those who look through peoples’ windows to see what they are doing or merely walk in as if they live there. If you needed some privacy and someone walked into our house, how would we feel? Islam has given people privacy as a right so beware and take care of the rights of people.

No More Difficulty Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that, “When a person leaves the house, he is accompanied by two angels. When the person says ‘Bismillah’ the angels say you have chosen the right path. When a person says ‘La Howla Wala Quwata Illa Billah’ the angels say you are now free from difficulty, when a person says ‘Tawak Kaltu ‘Alallah’ the angels say now you are not in need of someone or anything. After this the two devils that are allocated to him meet him, the angels question these Shayateen, ‘What do you intend to do with him as he has chose the right path, he will be saved from difficulties and he is no longer in need of anyone.’” xiii Subhanallah! The Shaytan is always trying to misguide, provoke us and places difficulties in our way, however, by following the Sunnah we can cut Shaytan from the roots and be in the protection of Allah (The Exalted).

Supplication For Leaving The House Read the following supplication after leaving the house: ‘Bismillahi Tawak-Kaltu ‘Alallahi Wala Hawla Wala Quwata Illa billah’ Allah’s name I begin with (exiting the house), I trust Allah, (The Exalted) there is no power (to abstain from sin) and might (In performing good actions) except from Allah (The Exalted).’ xiv House means a place where you stay. Be that a house in which you live with the family or a room in the Masjid etc. when you exit this place recite the above supplication.

Enter or leave your house or office with your right foot first, for this was the tradition of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). Imam Abu al-‘Ala Hasan ibn Ahmad al-Hamazani, a great scholar of hadith of his time, was so keen on applying this Sunnah to the extent that if someone entered his house with their left foot first, he would ask them to go out and re-enter with their right foot first. He was so much respected that the sultan of the day would visit him at school and sit in front of him as his student. At one occasion he told the sultan to exit with his right foot first and walk on the left side of the road. When entering or leaving a house, do not push open the door violently or slam it shut, nor leave it to close by itself wildly. Such actions stand in contrast to the gracefulness of Islam to which you arehonoured to belong. Close the door quietly with your hand. You may have heard a hadith wherein ‘Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) reported that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that, “Gentleness adorns every act. Its absence will tarnish it.” xv Be quiet and gentle if you enter a place where people are sleeping, whether during day or night. Be considerate. Do not cause any undue noise when entering or exiting.

Telling your family If you leave home to a place other than your usual work, it is advisable to inform your family of your whereabouts. Knowing where you are keeps their mind at ease. The great Tabi’i Qatada ibn Di’ama alSadusi (may Allah be pleased with him) disapproved of one going out without telling his family of his whereabouts. In this regard, Imam Ahmad reported that Qatada (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that he went to Abu Ma’shar to visit al-Sha’bi. His family said he was not home. Qatada (may Allah be pleased with him) asked, “Where did he go?” his family answered, “We do not know.” Qatada (may Allah be pleased with him) disapprovingly said, “Are you saying he does not tell you where he goes?” They said, “Yes.” Telling your family where you are decreases their worries if you are late and will keep both of you at ease, as they will be able to reach you if they need to.

Manners Of Entering And Leaving The Home

  1. To make any remembrance of Allah (The Exalted) whilst entering the house. xvi
  2. To say Salaam when entering the house, if there is no one in the house then say ‘Assalamu ‘Alayka Ayyuhan Nabbiyyu’ as in a Muslim’s house the soul of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) is present. xvii
  3. Whether the door is open or closed stand on one side. xviii
  4. If you do not get permission to enter then gladly leave. xix
  5. To announce one’s arrival at home by knocking at the door or coughing, etc. xx
  6. To greet those present in the house, with the Islamic greeting, whether it is one’s wife, children, or any other Muslim.
  7. Ask for permission when entering the house of others. xxi
  8. Do not peep into someone’s house. xxii
  9. It is Sunnah for the person in the house to ask whom it is that has just come in. xxiii
  10. If you go to someone’s house then keep your gaze down and do not look here and there. xxiv
  11. Do not say things to the house owner that would break their heart or hurt their feelings. If there is a nonpermissible thing i.e. Pictures of living things then explain to them in a nice way. xxv
  12. Make salaam both on entering and leaving one’s house. xxvi It is mentioned in the hadith that the following supplication be read whilst one enter’s the house:

Supplication For Entering The House ‘Allahum-ma In-nee As-aluka Khayral Mawlaji Wa Khayral Makhraj.Bismillahi Walajna Wa Bismillahi Kharajna. Wa ‘Alallahi Rabbina Tawakkalna’ ‘O Allah (The Exalted) I ask You the blessings of entering the home and the blessings of leaving. Allah’s (The Exalted) name I begin with, we leave and enter the house and upon Allah (The Exalted), Our Sustainer, we rely and depend.’ Xxvii

 

i Abu Dawood ii Hissan Haseen iii Tafseer-e-Qurtubi & Al Qoulul Bad’i iv Sharah Shifa v Ibn Majah. Also reported in Muslim. vi Bukhari & Muslim vii Al-Muwatta, chapter Isti’dhan viii Abu Dawood ix Bukhari in Isti’dhan & Muslim x Bukhari, in Isti’dhan & Muslim in Adab. xi ibid xii Tirmidhi xiii Abu Dawud in Adab, Ibn Majah & Maraat-ul-Mana Jeeh in Names of Allah (The Exalted). xiv Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud in Adab, & Ibn Majah xv Muslim, chapter of Birr (kindness). xvi Muslim & Abu Dawud xvii Sharah As -Shifa xviii Faizane Sunnat, p. 670 xix ibid xx Nisa’i xxi Faizane Sunnat, p. 670 xxii ibid xxiii ibid xxiv ibid xxv ibid xxvi Hisnul Hasin xxvii Abu Dawood

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