Feb 5, 2009

Posted by in Etiquette in Islam | 1 Comment

Etiquette and Rights of Muslims

A Muslim believes that his brother Muslim has certain rights and etiquette that one must fulfill. He must adhere to these matters and fulfill them for his brother Muslim. He believes that this is a form of worship of Allah and a means of getting closer to Allah. This is because it is Allah who has laid down these rights and manners and obligated them upon Muslims in their behaviour toward other Muslims. Therefore, the one who does them, no doubt, is obeying Allah and is getting closer to Him.

These etiquette and rights include the following:

  1. One should greet a Muslim when he meets him and before he speaks to him.
    This is done by saying:

    “Peace and Mercy of Allah be upon you.”

    He shakes his hand and the other Muslim replies to this greeting:

    “And upon you be peace mercy and blessings of Allah.”

    This is in accord with Allah’s statement:

    “And when you are greeted with a greeting, greet in return with what is better than it or at least return it equally.” (4:86)

    Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) said:“The one riding should greet the one walking. The one walking should greet the one sitting. And the smaller group should greet the larger group.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) He (SAWS) also said: “One should greet those people that he knows as well as those people that he does not know.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

  2. If the Muslim sneezes and then praises Allah, one must respond by saying:

    “May Allah have mercy on you.”

    The one who sneezed then responds: “May Allah guide you and set your affairs aright.”

    Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) said: “If one of you sneezes then his brother should say to him, ‘May Allah have mercy on you’. If his brother says, ‘May Allah have mercy on you’, he should say to him, ‘May Allah guide you and set your affairs aright’.” (Al-Bukhari)

    Abu Hurairah (R.A) said, when the Propehet (SAWS) would sneeze, he would put his hand or his clothing over his mouth and muffle the sound with it. (Bukhari and Muslim)

  3. He should visit his brother when he falls ill and should ask Allah to cure him.

    This is based on the Prophet (SAWS)’s Hadith: “The rights of a Muslim upon another Muslim are five: replying to his greeting, visiting the one who is ill, following the funeral procession, responding to his invitation and responding to him when he sneezes.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

    Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) also said: “Visit the ill, feed the hungry and free the captive.” (Al-Bukhari)

    ‘Aisha (R.A) stated that the Prophet (SAWS) visited one of his families and wiped them with the right hand and said: “O Allah, the Lord of the mankind, remove the harm. Cure them, for You a re the Curer and there is no cure except for Your cure, a cure that leaves no disease.” (Al-Bukhari)

  4. A Muslim should attend the funeral of his brother Muslim.

    This is based on the Prophet (SAWS)’s Hadith: “The rights of a Muslim upon another Muslim are five: replying to his greeting, visiting the one who is ill, following the funeral procession, responding to his invitation and responding to him when he sneezes.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

  5. He should fulfill his oath if he makes an oath upon him concerning something and there is nothing illegal in that oath.

    Therefore, the person should do whatever he has made an oath for his sake, so that he does not violate his oath.

    This is based on the statement of Al Bara bin Azib (R.A): “Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) ordered us to visit the ill, follow the funeral procession, respond to the one who sneezed, fulfill the oath for the one who made an oath, help the oppressed, respond to the one who is inviting and spread the salutations.” (Al-Bukhari)

  6. He must give him sincere advice whenever he asks for advice concerning any matter or affair. That is, he should make it clear to him what he sees is the good or correct approach.

    This is based on the Prophet (SAWS)’s words: “If your brother seeks your sincere advice, give him sincere advice.” (Muslim)

  7. He must love for his brother what he loves for himself and dislike for his brother what he dislikes for himself.

    The Prophet (SAWS) said: “None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself and he dislikes for him what he dislikes for himself.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

    Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) also said: “The similitude of the believers in their love, mercy and compassion towards one another is like that of a body, if one limb is in pain, the rest of the body suffers sleeplessness and fever.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

    He (SAWS) also said:“A believer with respect to another believer is like a building; one part strengthens and reinforces the other.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

  8. He must support his Muslim brother and may not leave him to fend for himself in any situation in which he needs his support and help.

    Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) said: “Help your brother (whether he be) the oppressor or the oppressed.”Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) was asked, “How can we help him when he is the oppressor?” “Keep him (away) from his oppression. That is how one helps him.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

    Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) also said: “A Muslim is a brother to another Muslim, he does not wrong him, forsake him or scorn him.” (Muslim)

    Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) also said: “No Muslim defends another Muslim in a place where his honour is being disregarded and what is not allowed to be done towards him is being done except that Allah will then defend that Muslim in a place in which he loves to be defended. And no Muslim forsakes another Muslim when his honour is being violated except that Allah will also forsake him at a time in which he would love to be helped.” (Ahmad)

  9. He should not afflict him with anything harmful or disliked by him.

    This is because Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) said: “Every Muslim is inviolable to any other Muslim, (this is true for) his life, his wealth and his honour.” (Muslim)

    And he (SAWS) said: “It is not allowed for a Muslim to point to his Muslim brother with a look that harms him.” (Ahmad)

    In another Hadith, the Prophet (SAWS) stated: “Allah dislikes for believers to be harmed.” (Ahmad)

    Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) also said: “A Muslim is one from whose tongue and hands the Muslims are safe.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

  10. A Muslim should be humble towards his brother and never be arrogant towards him.

    Allah has said: “And turn not your face away from men with pride, nor walk in insolence through the earth. Verily, Allah likes not each arrogant boaster.” (31:18)

    Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) stated: “Allah revealed to me that people should be humble with one another to the point that none boasts over another.” (Muslim)

    Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) also said: “No one is humble for the sake of Allah except that Allah then raise him (in status and virtue).” (Muslim)

    It is well known that Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) was humble towards every Muslim although he was the leader of the Messengers. Furthermore, he would not be too proud to walk with and meet the needs of a widow or indigent.

    Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) also said: “None of you should make a man stand up from his place of sitting and then take his seat. Instead, he should spread out and make room (for everyone).” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

  11. A Muslim should not boycott another for more than three days.

    This is based on the Prophet (SAWS)’s statement: “It is not allowed for a Muslim to boycott his brother for more than three days, when they meet each other, each one turns away from the other. The best of them is the one who begins with the greeting (of Salaam).” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

    He (SAWS) also said: “Do not avoid one another; but be brethren servants of Allah.” (Muslim)

    Avoiding is a type of boycotting, where each Muslim gives his back to the other and avoids him.

  12. A Muslim should not backbite, scorn, insult or ridicule another. Nor should he call another by offensive nicknames or spread tales about him.

    This is based on Allah’s speech:
    “O you who believe! Avoid much suspicion; indeed some suspicions are sins. And spy not, neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting).”

    Allah also said:

    “O you who believe! Let not a group scoff another group, it may be that the latter are better than the former. Not let (some) women scoff at other women, it may be that the latter are better than the former. Nor defame one another; nor insult one another by nicknames. How bad is to insult one’s brother after having Faith? And whosoever does not repent, then such are indeed Zalimun (wrongdoers).” (49:11)

    Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) said: “Do you know what backbiting is?”They (the Companions) said, “Allah and His Messenger (SAWS) know best.”He (SAWS) said:“It is to mention something about your brother that he dislikes.”They (the Companions) said,“Even if what you said is truly found in your brother?”He (SAWS) said: “If what you said is truly found in him, you have backbitten him. If it is truly not found in him, then you have slandered him.” (Muslim)

    During the farewell pilgrimage, Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) stated: “Verily, it is forbidden for you to transgress against your (brothers) lives, wealth and honour.” (Muslim)

  13. A Muslim should not revile another, dead or alive, without right.

    This is based on the Prophet (SAWS)’s statement: “Abusing a Muslim is wickedness and fighting against him is Kufr (i.e. very grave and great sin).” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

    Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) said: “When two people revile each other, the blame is on the one who began the charges, as long as the one wronged does not go beyond what is proper.” (Muslim)

    Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) also said:“Do not abuse the dead, for they have reached the result of the (deeds) they put forth.” (Al-Bukhari)

    Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) also said: “Reviling one’s parents is one of the great sins.” It was said:“Does anyone revile his parents?”He (SAWS) said:“Yes, a person reviles a man’s father and then that man reviles his father and reviles his mother and then he reviles his mother.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

  14. A Muslim should not be envious towards another Muslim, nor should he have bad thoughts about him, have hatred for him or spy upon him.

    Allah has said in the Qur’an: “O you who believe! Avoid much suspicion, indeed some suspicion is sinful. And spy not on one another, nor backbite one another.” (49:12)

    “Why then, did not the believers, men and women, when you heard it (The slander), think good of their own people…” (24:12)

    Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) said: “Do not envy one another. Do not hate one another. Do not look for each other’s faults. Do not inflate prices against each other. And be brethren, servants of Allah.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

    Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) also said: “Avoid suspicion, for suspicion is the falsest of speech.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

  15. A Muslim should also not deceive or cheat his brother Muslim.

    Allah has said:

    “And those who annoy believing men and women undeservedly, they bear (on themselves) the crime of slander and plain sin.” (33:58)

    Allah also says:

    “And whoever earns a fault or a sin and then throws it on to someone innocent, he has indeed burdened himself with falsehood and manifest sin.” (4:112)

    Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) said: “Whoever carries weapons against us or cheats us is not one of us.” (Muslim)

    He (SAWS) also said: “Whoever makes an oath of allegiance should say, ‘Do not be deceiving (Towards this trust).” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

    He (SAWS) also said: “If Allah puts any servant (human) in charge of a people and at the time of his death he was deceiving or cheating those over whom he was in charge, Allah will forbid Paradise for him.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

  16. A Muslim should not double-cross his Muslim brother, nor should he belie him or delay in repaying a debt he owes him.

    Allah has said in the Qur’an:

    “O believers! Fulfill (your obligations).” (5:1)

    Allah also says in the description of the pious:

    “(Those) who fulfill their covenant when they make it” (2:177)

    Allah also said:

    “And fulfill (every) covenant. Verily, the covenant will be questioned about.” (17:34)

    Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) said: “There are four characteristics, if a person possesses all o them, he is a pure hypocrite. If a person possesses one of them, he possesses a characteristic of hypocrisy until he abandons that characteristic. They are: when he makes a pact, he acts treacherously; when he speaks, he lies; when he promises, he breaks his promise; and when he disputes, he goes beyond what is proper behaviour.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

  17. A Muslim must treat his brother in a good way, he should do good things for him and keep him away from harm.

    When he meets him, he should have a smiling face. He should accept the good things from his brother and forgive his evil deeds. He should not bear his brother with more than that which he is capable. He also should not seek knowledge from an ignorant person nor should he expect eloquence from who one is incapable in speech.

    Allah has said:

    “Show forgiveness, enjoin what is good, and turn away from the foolish.” (7:199)

  18. A Muslim must show his fellow Muslim the required respect if he is elderly and he must show compassion for him if he is young.

    Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) stated: “The one who does not show respect to our elderly or mercy for our your is not from among us.” (Abu Dawud)

    It is also known that the people would bring their young children to Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) in order to invoke blessings for them and to name them. They would put them on his lap. Indeed, sometimes a small child would urinate while sitting on the Prophet (SAWS)’s lap. It is also narrated that when Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) would return from a journey, the young children would greet him. He would stop to meet them and have them raised up to him. They would be in front of him and behind him. He even ordered his Companions to carry some of them out of his mercy for the young children.

  19. A Muslim must treat his Muslim brother in a just manner. Give his full rights, and deal with him in the right way that he would like to be dealt with.

    Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) said: “A slave does not have complete faith until he possesses three characteristics: giving while in a state of poverty, giving full rights to others and spreading the greetings.” (Al-Bukhari)

  20. A Muslim must pardon his brother’s slips and conceal his private matters. He also should not eavesdrop, intentionally or unintentionally, on others speech.

    Allah says:

    “So forgive them, and overlook (their misdeeds). Allah loves Al-Muhsinun.” (5:13)

    Allah has also said:

    “But if the killer is forgiven by the brother (or relatives) of the killed against blood money, then adhering to it with fairness and payment of the blood money to the heir should be made in fairness.” (2:178)

    Allah also says:

    “Whoever forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is with Allah”. (42:40)

    He, The Exalted has also said:

    “Let them pardon and forgive. Do you not love that Allah should forgive you?” (24:22)

    Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) stated: “Allah adds honour to the one who forgives.” (Muslim) Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) also said: “No slave conceals another slave in this world except that Allah conceals (his faults) on the Day of Resurrection.” (Muslim)

    Yet another Hadith states: “Whoever listens to the statement of a people and they dislike him shall have lead poured into his ear on the Day of Resurrection.” (Al-Bukhari)

  21. A Muslim should help his brother if he is in need of his help and he should intercede on his behalf to fulfill his needs, if he has the ability to do so.

    This is based on Allah’s statement:

    “Help you one another in Al-Birr and At-Tqwa (virtue, righteousness and piety)…” (5:2)

    Allah also says:

    “Whosoever intercedes for a good cause will have the reward thereof…” (4:85)

    Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) said: “Whoever rescues a Muslim from a distress of this world. Allah will rescue from a distress on the Day of Resurrection. For whoever makes things easy one in hardship, Allah will make this world and the Hereafter easy. Whoever conceals (the faults of a brother); Allah will conceal his faults in this world and the Hereafter. Allah assists a slave as long as the slave is assisting his brother.” (Muslim)

    Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) also said: “Intercede on each other’s behalf and you shall be rewarded. Allah decrees upon the tongue of His Prophet what He wills.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

  22. A Muslim should give his brother refuge if he asks him for the sake of Allah and he should give him if he asks him by Allah. He should respond to the good that the other does to him by similar good deeds or he should pray for him.

    Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) said: “Give protection to the one who seeks your protection for the sake of Allah. If a person asks you by Allah, you should give to him. If someone invites you, you should respond to him. If someone does some good to you, you should respond in a similar fashion. If you are not able to respond in a similar fashion, you should pray for the person until you feel that you have met what he has done.” (Ahmad)


  1. Etiquettes are the most visible parts of the muslim ummah. If we muslims follow these adequately, the non muslims will be strongly attracted towards us. Also, the life os a muslim will become very easy in this world.

    Seeing its importance, i think there should be one year courses and crash courses to teach islamic etiquettes but in a more modern,user-friendly way.

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