Etiquettes of inviting people to our homes
Fatwa No: 92645

  • Fatwa Date:18-12-2006 - Thul-Qi'dah 28, 1427
  • Rating:

Question

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger. We ask Allaah to exalt his mention as well as that of his family and all his companions. When Ibrahim (AS) received 2 angels as guests he cooked them a roasted calf. And the singe of generosity is quality and quantity. When we invite some one what should we cook them: one type of food or many kinds of food. What does the shareya say about inviting someone or a group of people? Jaza Kum Allah Khair.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger. We ask Allaah to exalt his mention as well as that of his family and all his companions.

 

There is no doubt that Islam urges us to be generous to the guest, however, we are not aware of any evidence about any specification as to the quality of food or its kinds in order to achieve this generosity and hospitality. The matter in this regard is easy, and this depends on the custom of each society, as the custom takes the role of a (religious) ruling when there is no religious text about a specific matter; this is what the jurists  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them stated.

As regards the etiquettes of hospitality, then Ibn Hajar  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him stated some of it when interpreting the verses of the Quran about the story of Ibraaheem (Abraham)  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention in chapter 51. He  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said: "These verses included some etiquettes of hospitality as he quickly brought food for them and this surprised them. Ibraaheem  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention did not ask them if they wanted any food, rather he just brought the food for them very quickly without them expecting it. He brought them the best of what he had, which is a roasted calf and placed it before them saying: "Will you not eat?", he did not put the food far from them and then told them to come to eat, rather he placed the food right in front of them and did not order them or ask them to do anything that could be difficult for them, rather he placed it in front of them and told them: "Will you not eat?", as a way of presenting it to them and being kind to them [without causing them any embarrassment]."

Among other etiquettes which the scholars  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them mentioned is to be friendly and amiable with the guest and one should not remain silent and not talk to him. Also, one should see him out when he wants to leave, and accompany him until he gets on his means of transport, and so forth.

Finally, it should be noted that the angels who came to Ibraaheem  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention were three and not two; Jibreel (Gabriel), Meekaa'eel (Michael and Israafeel, as mentioned by some interpreters of the Quran  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them like Ibn Katheer. The evidence for this is that they were mentioned in the plural form (more than two, as there is a dual form in Arabic and had they been only two, the dual form would have been used instead of the plural form). Allaah Says (what means): {When they came in to him, and said, "Salaam, (peace be upon you)!" He answered; "Salaam, (peace be upon you)," and said: "You are a people unknown to me."}[Quran 51:25]; and the minimum plural form (in the Arabic language) is three [because of the existence of the dual form], according to the most preponderant opinion of the scholars  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them.

Allaah Knows best.

Related Fatwa