Various authentic Ahadeeth encourage a Muslim to be generous to his guest and establish without a doubt that it is compulsory for him as a host, to honour him. Uqbah bn Aamir [RA] said, "We said, Oh Messenger of Allaah, you did send us; then, when we reached the people, they did not receive us as their guests. What, then, do you see [that we should do]? The Messenger of Allaah [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said, "if you arrive at the place of a people and they order for you what a guest should receive, then accept [that from them]. But if they do not do so, then take from them what a guest rightfully deserves" [Bukhari]

This wording is from At-Tirmidhi narration: "if they refuse that you take other than forcibly, then take." And in another hadith, the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said, "A guest is entertained for three days, and his Jaaizah is for a day and night [In explaining this phrase, scholars have said that a host should be extra generous on the first night, and then should give his guest, on the second and third night, what he normally has for himself And it is not permissible for a Muslim to stay with his brother [for more than three days] to the degree that he makes him sin."

The Companions [RA] said, "Oh Messenger of Allaah [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him], how does he make him sin? He said, "He stays with him, and he [the host] has nothing to entertain him with [so the host might end up backbiting his guest or saying bad things about him]" [Bukhari] Concerning the significance and merits of entertaining guests, An-Nawawee [RAH] mentioned that scholars are in agreement; he then went on to say that scholars disagree about whether it is compulsory or sunnah to entertain guests [when they arrive from another area].

Maalik, Ash-Shaafiee, and Abu Haneefah these hold that it is Sunnaah and compulsory to entertain guest; they likened Ahadeeth, which apparently suggests the meaning of compulsory but really convey the meaning of less than compulsory, such as the Hadeeth, Taking a shower on Friday is binding upon everyone who is past the age of puberty. "Al-Laithi and Ahmad, on the other hand, are of the opinion that it is compulsory to entertain a guest for at least one day and one night. And Ahmad limited that ruling to the people of the desert and villages as opposed to the city dwellers. Related issues: We are forbidden, as the Hadeeth indicates, to remain a guest for more than three days, so that we don't provoke the host to sin a host can sin by having evil, prohibited suspicion about his guest or by backbiting him or by doing something similar.

AI-Khattaabee [RAH] said, "A guest may not stay with his host after the third day, unless the host invites him to remain; otherwise the host will feel constricted and lose his reward." Explaining the Prophets saying, To the degree that he makes him sin," Ibn Jawzee said, If the host does not have enough provision to entertain his guest, he will resent his presence, he may speak of him with obscene words; and he may even sin by seeking out unlawful provision in order to spend on his guest." The exception to this rule is when the guest knows that his host does not dislike his presence or when the host requested that he stay on for a little while longer. But if the guest doubts the situation of his host both his financial situation and how he feels about him remaining longer then it is better for him not to remain after the third day. I


This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited

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