Bismillahir rahman ir raheem
July 8, 2009
Jibreel Asks, and the Prophet Replies
The Adab of Seeking Permission—Sh. Muhammad Hassan
Asalamu alaikum wrt wb,
All praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, All praise be to the One Who did not take a child, and has no partner in dominion, the One Who has no helper, Whom there is no god except He, the Creator of all things, and there is no creator other than Him. He Whom Allah guides, none can lead astray, and he whom he leads astray, cannot be guided.
That is because Allah is the truth, and what they call on other than Him is falsehood.
I bear witness that there is no god other than Allah, unique in His Actions, Names, and Attributes; He has no equal, no partner, no opposite, no wife, no parents, nor children, unique in His Self, attributes, and actions. “Say: Allah is One, the Lord and Sustainer of the Universe, He has no children, no parents, and there is nothing like Him.”
May Allah send peace and blessings on Prophet Muhammad, the Shining Sun, and Allah opened through him blind eyes, and deaf ears, and sealed hearts, and left us on a clear manifest guidance, its night like its day, and none deviates from it except is in loss. He is the caller to the best of actions and speech and character, and may peace be on his companions, family, and all those who follow his guidance and Sunnah, and take from the fruits of his teachings until the Day of Judgment.
Welcome to you all, my honored brothers and sisters, and your effort has been well, and you have prepared a place for yourselves in the Jannah. I ask Allah who joined us at this hour to join us in the afterlife with the Prophet, the Imam of the Prophets in the Gardens of Paradise, for He is capable of that.
My beloved: Jibreel asks and the Prophet, peace be upon them both, answers. Lessons in Aqeedah and Imaan, and Tawheed, based on the Hadith of Jibreel, I present it to the beloved Ummah, may Allah increase it in honor, in a new unique means of presentation, the unique questions and concise guided answers that take place between the Prophet peace be upon him and Jibreel. And why not, when the questioner is the Trustworthy one of the heavens, Jibreel, and the teacher is the Trustworthy one of the earth, our noble Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.
And that is through a beautiful long conversation, questions and answers, in this beautiful hadith narrated by Bukhari in its abridged form, and Ahmed, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, Ibn Hibban, Ibn Khuzaima, and many others, including Imam Muslim, and it is the version I chose for us, so that you brother, and you honored sister, may memorize it: Yahya bin Amr said: The first one who spoke of denying Qadr in Basra was Ma’bad al Juhani. So we, I and Abdurahman al-Himrawi left for Hajj or Umrah, and we said, if only we find someone from the companions of the Prophet, peace be upon him, so that we may ask him about Destiny. We were blessed to found Ibn Umar in a Masjid, and we gathered around him, some of us on his left, and others on his right, and I said: Oh Abu Abdurahman, some people have begun to read the Quran seeking out its minute details, believing that there is no Qadr, and that all events happen spontaneously, and that Allah doesn’t know about them until they happen. Ibn Umar said: “If you meet them, tell them that I am free from them and they are free from me. By Allah, if they gave a mountain of gold in charity it would not be accepted by Allah from them until they believe in Destiny.”
Ibn Umar then said, ‘Hadathani Abi’ i.e. my father (Umar bin al-Khattab) taught me: “While we were sitting with the Prophet, peace be upon him, one day, a man suddenly came upon us, his clothes were extremely white, and his hair extremely black, and he had no signs of travel upon him, and none of us knew him. He sat next to the Prophet, placing his knees towards his knees, and placing his hands on his thighs and said, ‘Oh Muhammad, Teach me about Islam…’
The Prophet peace be upon him said, ‘Islam is to bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is His messenger, establish prayer, pay Zakat, fast Ramadan, and perform Hajj if you are able.’ The man said, ‘You have spoken the truth.’ We were amazed that he asked him a question, and then told him he was correct! He then said ‘Teach me about Iman.’
The Prophet replied, “To believe in Allah, His angels, His Books, His Messengers, and the Day of Judgment, and to believe in Destiny, its good and evil.” He said, ‘You have spoken the truth.’ He then said…’Teach me about Ihsaan…’ The Prophet said, “To worship Allah as if you see him, and if you aren’t able to see him, then He indeed Sees you.” He said, ‘Teach me about the Hour…’
The Prophet peace be upon him replied, “The one being asked does not know more than one questioning.” The man said, ‘Then tell me about its signs.’ The Prophet said, ‘A slave-woman will give birth to her master, and you will see barefoot, naked, herdsmen competing in constructing tall buildings.”
Then the questioner left. We sat for a while, and then the Prophet peace be upon him said: ‘Do you know who the questioner was oh Umar?’ I said, ‘Allah and His Messenger know best.’ He replied, ‘He is Gabriel (Jibreel), he came to teach you your religion.’ ”
My honored friends, tonight we begin our 32nd lesson in Tarbiyya, with these two blessed honored words from the hadith, Hadathani Abi, or my father taught me.
We spoke last time during this critical series, about Tarbiyya by example, Tarbiyyah by love, Tarbiyya by Aqeedah, and Tarbiyya by Ibaadah, and Tarbiyya by Akhlaq, and we continue speaking, by Allah’s help, about Tarbiyya by Akhlaq (good character), and the first foundation of Tarbiyya by Akhlaq is by Adab (manners).
And we spoke about Adab with Allah Most High, and with the Prophet of Allah peace be upon him, with the Rulers and Scholars, and Adab with parents. Then we spoke about general Adab of Muslims with their brothers and sisters, such as returning their Salaams, and visiting the sick, and following the funeral.
Tonight we will also speak about Adab, a type of Adab that many of us may not know about, and many of our young may not know, or even heard of before. It is: The Adab of Seeking Permission to enter.
Yes, Islam teaches such fine details of our daily lives, and this is a noble chapter in this religion, and every male and female Muslim, and all of our youth, must learn this chapter of guidance.
Yes, Islam is what gives life…life, and the Prophet pbuh did not leave any aspect of life except that he left us guidance to follow in it, and if we followed it as an Ummah, by Allah, we would all find happiness in this world and the next.
In the Days of Ignorance before Islam, they did not know about this Adab. Someone might enter another’s house, and then say, “Hey, here I am.” Just walk in without permission.
Or a person might come to the door, and start yelling, until the person lets him in.
Or a person might have come to a person’s house at a time he is not ready for guests, and insist stubbornly on coming.
But Islam came, and laid down this beautiful Adab, that our youth must learn. Our Ummah must learn to follow it, and return to the Quran and the Sunnah, and rediscover these Adaab, that are requirements in the religion, and not just niceties.
This is not to mean that we belittle these acts since they are called “Adab” or manners. No, every command that comes in the Quran or the authentic Sunnah is a requirement, i.e. Wajib, and not just recommended, unless there is evidence otherwise.
Allah says, “Oh you who believe, do not enter houses other than yours until you ask permission, that is better for you, and if you do not find anyone, then do not enter until you get permission, and if it is said to you, “Go back,” then go back, that is more pure for you. And Allah is all knowing of what you do.”
‘Oh you who believe’, this is Allah calling you by the most beautiful quality you have, belief, Imaan.
O Allah, imagine if a guest came to your house, and you told your child to tell them, “Come back later.”
It would become a big deal! And maybe he would accuse you of arrogance, or turning away from people, and complain about you to his friends. But this is the command of Allah! This is purer for you.
This is the Adab Allah is teaching us, before bursting into another’s home, for a home is a place of tranquility and peace, and you cannot invade another’s privacy except by permission.
No, today, privacy is violated from outside visitors, and from those dwelling in the house as well, as I will explain later.
This is how Islam protects the privacy and sacredness in the home, it protects family, body, and soul.
Islam forbade entering without permission, not just so someone does not see something private from the inhabitants of the house, but more than this, the house may not be ready, the furniture may not be ready, even if it is a humble house, there must be physical and psychological preparation. It is not permissible to just show up, and say, ‘Hey, let me in!’ No, homes have sanctity.
Even children, they cannot enter their parents’ rooms, except with permission, even in their own homes. In this age of doubtful matters and wanton desires, we don’t see this Adab except in a very few homes.
Yes a glance inside someone’s house might lead to the exciting of hidden desires, and for this reason, the Prophet pbuh taught us the following Adab for seeking permission to enter the home of another:
1.) The Prophet pbuh taught, in a sound hadith narrated by Daraqutni: A man from Bani Amir came to the Prophet pbuh, and sought permission to enter. He said, “Can I come in?” The Prophet pbuh said to his servant, “Go out to him, and tell him to say, “Asalamualaikum, may I enter.” (Look at how he is teaching him this beautiful manner of asking. He didn’t say: “Ring the bell, lean on it so it rings a hundred times, so that even the dead are awakened!” The Prophet pbuh said, “Say, Asalamualaikum 3 times, and if no one replies, leave. If someone says, walaikum salam, then say, “May I enter?” Not just Salam, then enter.
No, if a father enters his bedroom, it is not permissible for a child to enter his father’s room during the times which I shall mention, no, not even in a child’s own home.
The man then said, “Asalamualaikum, may I enter.” And the Prophet allowed him to enter.
2.) Ok, how many times can we say, Asalamualaikum? No, not a hundred times. This is not from the deen. This is against the Sunnah, and this is bad manners with the person of the house. Seeking permission is only allowed three times. If no one answers, go back. No, don’t stick around for 15 minutes, or half an hour, no, this is not good Adab. Listen to what the Prophet said, in the Saheehain:
Abu Musa al Ash'ari came to visit Umar bin Khattab, and said, “Asalamualaikum, this is Abdullah bin Qays (that was Abu Musa’s full name).” He didn’t say, ‘It's me.’ Umar was busy, and he didn’t reply. One could be busy with worship, he could be sleeping, eating, with his children, it is not from your right to force a person to come out and see you.
In fact, Allah blamed the Bedouins who came to visit the Prophet. A person must respect the person they are visiting. They said, “Oh Muhammad, oh Muhammad, come out to see us.” Then Allah revealed, “Those calling you from behind the apartments, most of them lack understanding. If only they had patience until you came out to them, it would be best for them, but Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.”
This is what our Ummah is missing, we don’t realize the awesomeness of this religion, and it’s all encompassing nature.
Abu Musa, he learned from the Prophet, and when he visited Umar, he said, the second time: “Asalamualaikum, this is Abu Musa.” Umar was still busy. The third time, he said, “This is Ash’ari”. Umar was still busy, so Abu Musa left.
Then Umar said, “As if I heard Abu Musa al Ash’ari?” They said, yes. Umar said, go get him, tell him to come back. When Abu Musa returned, Umar said to him, why did you leave? I was busy I didn’t know you were there. Abu Musa said, I heard the Prophet pbuh say, “Asking to enter should be three times, and if you are given permission, then enter, otherwise, return.”
Umar said, “Bring me proof of what you are saying.” Can you see that every hadith did not reach every Sahabah, not to speak of each Imam or scholar, for the Sahabah did not hear every hadith.
Umar said, I didn’t hear this from the Prophet. So Abu Musa went, and came with Ubay bin Ka’ab. Ubay witnessed to Umar that he heard it also from the Prophet pbuh.
Umar then said, “I was too busy to learn this hadith because of buying and selling.” Umar, in this humble manner, openly states that he was busy with business and he couldn’t hear all the hadith of the Prophet pbuh.
Thus, we see, some Sahabah didn’t hear all the hadith, but all of them together heard all of what the Prophet taught.
There is another hadith that shows that the number of times of for asking is 3. It is not permissible to knock more than three, but rarely is this practiced. I also believe, one should not call a person and let it ring more than 3 times, since I feel like it is similar to seeking permission to enter. He might be busy, and cannot answer. If it rings three times, then hang up.
We see, many have gone beyond that, and someone might call you at 3 AM, and say, “Please, I have a question for you.” If I am not sleeping, then perhaps it is private time between me and my family. Or perhaps, I might receive a text message at this time. That is beyond good manners.
The Prophet, pbuh, went in person to visit Sa’d ibn Ubadah, and this might be the first time you have heard this story. The hadith was narrated by Abu Dawud, and Ahmed, and Bazaar, and Ibn Kathir said it is strongly authentic:
Qays bin Sa’d bin Ubadah said, “The Prophet visited us.” What an honor! No one knows this honor. Qays was the son of Sa’d.
He says: The Prophet visited us in our house. He said, “Asalamualaikum wrt wb.” So Sa’d replied, in a very low voice, so that the Prophet could not hear it, he whisper “Walaikum salam wrt wb”. The Prophet again said, “Asalamualaikum wrt.” Sa’d again replied in a low voice. Then the Prophet pbuh said, for a third time, “Asalamualaikum wrt.” Said again replied in a low voice. So the Prophet left. He didn’t get angry, he just returned normally.
His son, Qays, said to his father, “Didn’t you hear the Prophet?” Sa’d said, “Leave him, so we can get more Salaams from him!”
Most people don’t know what blessings it is to have the Salaams and dua of the Prophet. This Sahaabi was very wise.
So Sa’d came running out of his house, and he said, “Oh Messenger of Allah, I heard you saying Salaam. And I would reply to you in a low voice, so that I would get more Salaams from you!”
The Prophet pbuh returned to Sa’ds house, then he told Sa’d to make water ready for him so he could wash. Sa’d brought the water, and put saffron in it, then the Prophet raised his hands in dua, and said, “Oh Allah, send peace and mercy on the family of Sa’d ibn Ubadah.” See, the Prophet understood the love of Sa’d for him.
So seeking permission, my sons, my daughters, my brother and sisters, knocking is three times, lightly, not thirty! It shouldn’t be so loud as to wake up a sleeper. If you are given permission, then enter, otherwise, go back, happily. For Allah says, “If it is said go back, then go back.”
3.) Also, where does the knocker stand? He should not stand in front of the door, so if the door is opened, you might accidently see what is inside the house and the private matters within.
Stand on the right side of the door, so if the door is opened, you will not see within, since the person may not be able to cover up what they have inside of private things.
The Prophet pbuh said, in the Sunan of Abi Dawud, “If you come to visit a person, stand to the right or left of the door, and say, Asalamualaikum, three times.”
In another narration, a person came to the Prophet, and stood in front of the door. The Prophet said, “Stand over to the side. For seeking permission is to prevent from seeing.”
Let the world hear these noble values in Islam. Seeking permission is to prevent from seeing, to protect privacy.
4.) And another Adab is if someone asks, “Who’s there?” You should not just say “Me.” Say, “Me, your friend so and so.”
In Bukhari and Muslim, Jaber says, “I came to visit the Prophet pbuh.” The Prophet pbuh said, “Who is there?” I said, “Me.” The Prophet came out saying, “Me..me, as if he disliked it.”
5.) Also, it is not from Adab to look inside the keyhole of the door, or through a crack in the door. This is bad Adab. You’re going to hear from me a beautiful teaching from the merciful Prophet, and you will be amazed at this teaching, and this protective jealously for the privacy of the homes of the believers. What did the Prophet pbuh say?
In the Saheehain: “A man looked in a hole into the room of the Prophet pbuh. The Prophet pbuh had a comb in his hand. And the Prophet said to the man, “If I knew you were looking, I would have poked your eye. Don’t you know that seeking permission was commanded to prevent forbidden looks?”
And in another narration, “Whoever looks in a peephole in a person’s house without his permission, it is permissible to poke his eye.” And in a narration, “If you throw a pebble at his eye, there is no sin on you.”
This is true Adab, this is the protection of the privacy of the homes, and protecting the women of this Ummah, so that privacy is not robbed from our homes. To this extent, yes it is protection of privacy and the personal space of our homes.
However, for restaurants and public shops, etc, this ruling does not apply, since privacy isn’t normally expected there.
These Adaab, my beloved brothers and sisters, is not only for outside of the house.
They are also for our children within our home. If a child is 7 or 8 years old, it is so beautiful to see him knocking, saying, “May I come in?” This is so a child does not see something private that he may never forget.
We must not be remiss in these matters.
Islam, the Quran, warn servants and children in a home about three private times when it is not permissible to enter into private rooms except after asking permission. For example, when entering the mother’s and father’s room. I wish our children would follow these Duroos. By Allah, our youth can understand these teachings. If a mother, through her cleverness, can get her child, who is 4 or 5, to benefit from these Duroos, even for just half an hour, there would be such a great reward for her. She could just explain the verse:
“Oh you who believe, let those ask your permission to enter, from your servants, and those who have not reached puberty from you, during three times: Before the time of Salat Fajr, and after Zuhr when you place aside your clothes (to take rest), and after Isha. Three private times for you, and other than that, there is no harm on them to pass around amongst you. And Allah is all-Knowing, Wise.”
Yes, Allah does not place these rulings for us except for great wisdom. My dear brother, my sister, don’t you agree with me, that we have been negligent in these beautiful Adaab? Isn’t time for this Ummah to go back to these Adaab, and teach our children to follow them.
We must first practice it ourselves. Can we teach our children these Adaab, if we don’t practice them first? Do you knock on your daughter’s door when you enter? It’s my daughter Shaikh. Yes, I know, but maybe she is not in a position to see you. No, you must practice it first, then your children will learn it from you.
What is more beautiful than learning these beautiful manners from the Prophet pbuh.
I will suffice with this, and it is not from Adab to make the lesson too long.
We will continue next time with an Adab that is no less important than this one, we’ll talk about the Adab of looking, inshallah.
Asalamualaikum wrt wb.