By Abdul-Rahman Al Sheha
The following are some selected supplications, words of remembrance, and Islamic etiquettes a Muslim should learn and use in daily life….
1- Mention the name of Allah (by saying ‘Bismillaah’) before you start eating or drinking, and thank Allah (by saying ‘Alhamdulillah (Allah praise and thanks be to Allah)’) upon finishing.
You should eat from what is in front of you (and not from in front of someone else), and eat with your right hand, for the left hand is mainly used to clean what is held detestable (like cleaning oneself after relieving himself).
`Umar ibn Abi Salamah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “When I was a young boy, I was in the room of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), and my hand (was taking food from) all sides of the plate (while eating). So the Messenger of Allah said to me:
“Young boy, mention the name of Allah (before you start to eat), eat with your right hand, and eat from in front of you.’ ” (Al-Bukhari)
2- Never find fault in food, however unpleasant it may be. Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) said:
“The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) never found any fault in food. If he liked it he ate it, and if he did not he left it.” (Al-Bukhari)
3- Do not enter houses except after seeking permission (by knocking or the like). Allah says:
O you who believe! Enter not houses other than your own, until you have asked permission and greeted those in them. (An-Nur 24:27)
4- Do not persist in seeking permission (more than thrice). The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“One should seek permission thrice. If you are granted permission, (then enter,) and if not, go back.” (Muslim)
5- Greet all Muslims, whether you know or do not (by saying ‘As-Salaamu ‘alaykum), due to the love and friendship which it brings about. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“You will never enter Jannah until you believe, and you will never believe fully until you love each other. Shall I not lead you to something that if you do it, you will love each other? Spread the greetings of ‘Salam’ amongst yourselves.” (Muslim)
6- If someone greets you with Salam, return him with the same greetings or one better. Allah says:
When you are greeted with a greeting, greet in return with what is better than it, or (at least) return it equally. (An-Nisaa´4:86)
7- When you feel like yawning, you should try to stop it as much as possible. When someone says “As-Salamu `alaykum,” one should respond with, “wa `alaykum As-Salam,” at the very least. It is better that one add, “wa Rahmatullaah,” and even further, “wa Barakaatuh.”
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“Yawning is from the Shaytan (Satan). When one of you feels like yawning, let him stop it as much as he can. And if one of you sighs, “Aahh!” (while doing so), the Satan laughs.” (Al-Bukhari)
If he is unable to stop it, he should cover his mouth with his hand. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“If one of you yawns, then let him hold his mouth with his hand, for indeed the Satan enters (it).” (Muslim)
8- When you sneeze, say, “Alhamdulillah.” If another Muslim sneezes and says, “Alhamdulillah,” you should reply by saying, “Yarhamuk-Allah (may Allah have mercy on you).” If someone replies to you by saying, “Yarhamuk-Allah,” reply to him by saying, “Yahdeekum Allah wa yuslih balakum (may Allah guide you and make improve your heart, your living, and your affairs).”
“When one of you sneezes, let him say, ‘Alhamdulillaah,’ and then let his brother or companion say to him, ‘Yarhamuk-Allah,’ and then let him (the one who sneezed) say, ‘Yahdeekum Allah wa yuslih balakum.’ ” (Al-Bukhari)
If a disbeliever says, “Alhamdulillah,” you should reply by saying, “Yahdeekumullaah wa yusli baalakum,” only. A person should refrain from saying, “God bless you,” or any other supplication other than what the Prophet (peace be upon him) made.
Abu Musa (may Allah be pleased with him) said:
“The Jews would try to make themselves sneeze while in the company of the Prophet (peace be upon him) hoping that he would say, ‘Yarhamukumullaah’. Instead, he would say, ‘Yahdeekum Allah wa yuslihu baalakum’.” (At-Tirmidhi)
From its manners is what Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) related, that when the Messenger of Allah sneezed, he would put his hand or his clothes in front of his mouth and lower his voice [in doing so).
9- Do not belch in public. Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with them) said:
“A man belched while in the company of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), and so he said to him: ‘Save us from your burping, for the most satiated in this life will be hungry for the longest time on the Day of Resurrection.’ ” (Tirmidhi)
10- If you joke, do not say anything to harm or maltreat others. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“Let not anyone take his brother’s things (to anger him) seriously or jokingly.” (Abu Dawud)
Do not let your joking be untrue, leading you to lie to make others laugh. The Prophet (peace be u) said:
“Woe to the one who lies in his speech to make people laugh, woe be to him! Woe be to him!” (Abu Dawud)
The article is an excerpt from the author’s “How to Become a Muslim”.