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Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Who is an Ideal Guest?

Tip 1. Don't overstay Khalid ibn Amr relates that he heard the Messenger of Allah, Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) saying: He who believes in Allah and the Last Day should honour his guest as he deserves. He was asked, 'And what does he deserve, O Messenger of Allah?' and he answered: 'A day and a night of what he deserves, and hospitality for three days. More than this is charity.' (Bukhari, Muslim).As the above-mentioned Hadith indicates, guests are to be welcomed. But this openness and generosity should not be abused so as to be a burden on the hosts.

Tip 2: Give gifts It is narrated by Aisha that the Messenger of Allah said: 'Exchange presents with one another, for they remove ill feelings from the hearts.' (Tirmidhi).What better way to bridge the gap between relatives hundreds or thousands of miles away than to give a gift? In particular, encourage kids to give gifts to relatives of the same age and gender. This may be the springboard to developing a deep, meaningful friendship, not just a blood relationship. But these gifts should not become an excuse for extravagance or showing off, both of which are condemned by Islam.

Tip 3: Receive gifts graciously Giving gifts is only one part of the equation. Receiving gifts is the other.Accept all gifts graciously. Even if it's the 100th leather wallet you've received, don't make a fuss about it.

Tip 4: Respect your elders Abu Musa Ashari related that the Messenger of Allah said: 'It is part of glorifying Allah to show respect to a grey-haired Muslim, and to a person who can teach the Quran.' (Abu Dawud).Respecting your elders is a requirement of Islam, whether you're in any country.

Tip 5: Know the local customs For example: No does not always mean no amongst some relatives and friends in Muslim countries. In other words, if you're no longer hungry after a fantastic meal at your aunt's and she asks you to take more dessert, your answer may be no, but that may translate as yes. For every one of your no's, she may spoon more dessert into your bowl.Find appropriate ways to respond to this, whether it's by using a truthful excuse (i.e. I really will get very, very sick if I eat any more).



Tip 6: Know the customs of the house This means for example, sleeping and waking up earlier than normal if your host family is used to getting up and going to bed early. Maintaining the same schedule as you normally do at home in this case, may disrupt your host's home life and cause problems.


Courtesy: Islamicvoice.com

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