Etiquettes In Gatherings and During Conversations- [Reminder to Myself and Beloved Younger Brothers]

In The Name of Allah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.


Make Room For Others

Allaah [The Most High] said:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا قِيلَ لَكُمْ تَفَسَّحُوا فِي الْمَجَالِسِ فَافْسَحُوا يَفْسَحِ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ ۖ وَإِذَا قِيلَ انْشُزُوا فَانْشُزُوا يَرْفَعِ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنْكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْعِلْمَ دَرَجَاتٍ ۚ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرٌ

O you who believe! When you are told to make room in the assemblies, [spread out and] make room. Allah will give you [ample] room [from His Mercy]. And when you are told to rise up, rise up. Allah will exalt in degree those of you who believe, and those who have been granted knowledge. And Allah is Well-Acquainted with what you do. [58:11]

Imam As-Sadi [may Allah have mercy upon him] said: This is a practical code of behaviour commanded by Allah to His believing slaves that when they gather in one of their gatherings, some of them or some of those who have already arrived should make room (for others); for indeed, making room for (others) to reach their goal constitutes an aspect of good etiquettes. And this is not to harm the one who is (already) in the gathering in any way; rather, he enables his brother to reach their goal without harming him, and reward is given in accordance with a deed, because whoever makes room for their brother, Allah makes room for him, and whoever shows generosity to their brother, Allah will show him generosity.

[وَإِذَا قِيلَ انْشُزُوا – And when you are told to rise up]- Meaning: To rise and leave your gathering for an (obligatory or necessary) need (i.e. prayer etc), then [فَانْشُزُوا – rise up]: Meaning, proceed towards the fulfilment of that advantageous affair because the fulfilment of such affairs is linked to knowledge and Iman. And Allaah [The Exalted] will exalt in degree the people of knowledge and Iman in line with what He has allotted for them from knowledge and Iman.

[وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِير -And Allah is Well-Acquainted with what you do]- Meaning, Allah [The Exalted] rewards every doer in accordance with their deeds; if they are good, there will be good compensation; if they are evil, there will be evil retribution. And in this Ayah [i.e. 58:11] is (a mention) of the virtue of knowledge, whose beautification and advantage is to discipline oneself with its etiquettes and acts in accordance with what it necessitates. (1)


Be among those who have a good effect on people

Imam As-Sadi [may Allah have mercy on him] stated, “Make humility the sign by which you are recognised when you sit with the people, fear of Allah should be your protection, and providing guidance to Allah’s servants should be a habit. Be eager to (make) every meeting in which you sit one of goodness–either research into areas of knowledge or religious matters; either directing (others) to a general or specific beneficial affair, mentioning Allah’s blessings or mentioning the superior status of praiseworthy manners and good etiquettes, or warning against that which is detrimental to the well-being of one’s religious or worldly (affairs). Behave well with the young, the elderly, and your peers. Respect the person who deserves to be acknowledged and respected and treat each of them in the manner they deserve. Even if your speech is about worldly (affairs), use acceptable and good language to put your congregation at ease. Through the meetings of the people, the sensible and determined person accomplishes abundant goodness, and he becomes more beloved to them. This is because he approaches the people with what they approve and statements they desire (i.e. good), and the cornerstone for this is success in seizing control of all affairs presented before them. And these matters become more emphasised on a journey because sitting together is prolonged during a journey and the travellers need someone who revives their hearts with good statements, news of events, and jokes if all of that is true and not too much, and to assist them with the essential affairs of travel. And Allah is the One Who bestows success. (2)


Be cautious that your gatherings are not considered cliques

Al-Allaamah Saaleh Al-Fawzaan [may Allah preserve him] says: One of the etiquettes (to be observed in a) gathering is that two (people) should not have a private conversation in isolation of a third person since it will offend him. He may harbour an evil suspicion of them that they are scheming against him, reviling him, or backbiting him, or that they are looking down on him. The Messenger [peace and blessing of Allah be upon him] said, “When three people are together, then no two of them should hold secret counsel excluding the third person”. The Messenger said, “When you are three people sitting together, then no two of you should hold a secret counsel excluding the third person until you are with some other people too, for that would grieve him”. (3)

This hadeeth discusses the manners that should be observed when seated together. When there are three persons present, it is not permitted for two of them to converse in secret because the third person will be suspicious if they do so, suspecting that they are talking about him. Also, if they communicate in private without him, he would believe that they are looking down on him and do not value him, which is why they conceal their affair from him and chat in private without him because they do not trust him. This will enter his heart, which is why the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allah be upon him] stated, “For that would grieve him,” which means that it will cause pain in his heart, and he says, “They are either speaking about me or looking down on me.” Therefore, one should speak openly while seated with others and conversation should never take place between two individuals in isolation of a third. As for when there are many individuals in a sitting—more than three—there is no damage if two people speak in private since the other people are numerous and they will not harbour anything in their hearts. If there are more than three people, then there is no harm if two people speak in private due to the statement of the Prophet, “Until you are with some other people too”. Thus, if the reason behind the warning is absent [i.e., if there are several other individuals present at the same sitting], there is no harm (i.e. if two people speak in private). (4)

Imaam Abdul Azeez Bin Baaz [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: Also, if there are four persons, they (i..e three) should not chat in private in isolation from the fourth. The intent is that if the others are having a private chat, there should be more than one person left. There is no harm in doing so if a group speaks privately and apart from another group, as demonstrated by the hadeeth narrated by Aa’isha that the Prophet spoke to Fatimah in private in the house, but not to his wives. (5) Here is the Hadeeth: Imaam Bukhaari Said, “Chapter: Whoever has a confidential talk with somebody in front of the people and the latter does not disclose his companion’s secret, but when his companion dies, he discloses it”. (6)


Do Not Listen to The Conversations of The People If They Are Not Pleased With That

It is not allowed to come along and sit down next to someone who is talking to someone else because it could be that they are having a private conversation. The Prophet said, “Whoever listens to the talk of some people who do not like him [to listen] or they run away from him, then molten lead will be poured into his ears on the Day of Resurrection”. [Sahih Al-Bukhaari Number 7042].

Given the seriousness of the threat, one should not listen to the speech of people if they do not want others to know what they are talking about. (7)

It may be the case that two or more people get together to discuss a topic that they do not want anyone else to learn about, but a person or more becomes an obstruction by listening to their speech and (wants) to know what they are discussing, while they are not pleased with that. This is tantamount to transgression and stupidity that a person involves in something that does not concern him. And from the completion of a person’s Islam is to leave everything which does not concern him. However, there is an exception to this restriction, such as when a person listens to the speech of those who are focused on or seeking to breach the state of safety and security of Muslims. (8)

Let The Eldest One Speak – [A Hadith Brought to Our Attention By Ustaadh Abu Tasneem (Mushaf Al-Banghaalee)]

[Ref 1: An Excerpt from Tayseer Al-Kareem Ar-Rahmaan Fee Tafseer Kalaam Al-Mannaan’ by Imaam As-Sadi (rahimahullaah). slightly paraphrased]

[Ref 2: Noorul Basaa’ir Wal al-baab fee ahkaam al ‘Ibaadaat Wal Mu‘aamalaat Wal Huqooq Wal Aadaab’ pages 64-65]

[Ref 3: An Excerpt from ‘It’haaf At-tullaab Bi-Sharh Mandhoomah Al-Aadaab’ page 149. paraphrased]

[Ref 4: An Excerpt from ‘Tasheelul Ilhaami Bi-Fiqhil Ahaadeethi Min Bulooghil Maraam’ 6/172 paraphrased]

[Ref 5: An Excerpt from ‘Al-Hulalul Ibreeziyyah Min At-taleeqaat Al-Baaziyyah Alaa Saheeh Al-Bukhaari’ Vol 4′ page 192′ footnote number 2]

[Ref 6: Al-Hulalul Ibreeziyyah Min At-taleeqaat Al-Baaziyyah Alaa Saheeh al-Bukhaari Vol 4′ page 191]

[Ref 7: An Excerpt from ‘It’haaf At-Tullaab Bi-Sharhi Mandhoomah Al-Aadaab’ page 149′ paraphrased]

[Ref 8: An Excerpt from ‘Awnul Ahadis Samad Sharh Al-Adabil Mufrad’ Vol 3 page 281′. paraphrased]

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