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Rights of the Host

Question and answer details
Ahmad
Rights of the Host
2009-06-21
Respected scholars, as-salamu`alaykum. Based on clear hadiths, we know the rights of the guest, but will you please tell us the rights of a host/hostess? Jazakum Allahu Khayran.
Salah As-Sawi
Answer
Wa`alaykum as-salamuwa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.


In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.


Dear brother in Islam, thank you for your question and your trust. May Allah help us meet your expectations.

Stressing the communal feeling of brotherhood among its followers, Islam has encouraged sensitivity and thoughtfulness to abound in all forms of interaction in the Islamic society. The guest/host relation requires a high sense of delicacy. The practical and verbal teachings of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) have outlined the reciprocal rights of the host and the guest in such a manner that preserves the honor and respect for both and leaves no room for embarrassment or annoyance.    

Answering this question, Dr. Salah Al-Sawy, the Secretary General for the Assembly of Muslim Jurists in America (AMJA), said,

The rights of a host on his guest are that he thanks him for his hospitality, for Almighty Allah does not appreciate those who do not appreciate people. It is also the host's right that his guest guards his privacy in whatever he has come to learn through their interaction. Whatever he has seen that is good, he should make it known, and whatever he has seen that is bad, he should keep it secret and hidden.

Likewise, it is the host's right upon his guest that he protects the sanctity of his home, so he must not betray him in his house with his eyes. He must not extend his sight to any of his womenfolk or anything that is private. He must not overstay at his home, making a burden of himself by staying longer than the length of time prescribed by Shari`ah for a guest to stay, which is three days. Then, after that, there remain the general rights of Muslims on their fellow Muslims.

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