Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Stopping the 'old habit' of checking 'bilik pengantin'...

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.


The Declining Day (Al-'Asr)
1. By the declining day,
2. Lo! Man is in a state of loss,
3. Save those who believe and do good works, and exhort 
one another to truth and exhort one another to endurance.

WHEN visiting one's house, guests have to abide the etiquette of visiting and one important aspect is that the rule of lowering the gaze should be given proper regard; one should avoid looking around so much.

But it was common during Malay weddings, some women especially among the 'veterans' were eager to see for themselves the conditions and decorations of the 'bilik pengantin' (room of the newlyweds). Some even dare to put their hands on the bed; they pressed the mattress, pillows, felt the bed sheets and then gave their 'okay or negative comments'.

An 'ustaz' (religious teacher) during his 'tazkirah' (lessons) at a masjid near my house recently, said 'this old habit' must be put to stop; for in Islam there are rules and regulations when we pay a visit to other people's house.

"When we are in a person's house, it is not proper for us 'to let our eyes went wild' - some of us had the urged to look at every sections and corners of the house to the extend to the host's bedroom," he said. 

There were even guests that acted too much such as staring at the host's wife and some even had their eyes 'following the steps and movement' of the woman for example to the kitchen to fetch drinks...well 'this bad habit' must be stopped.

In Islam, guests were taught not only 'to behave' once inside a house, but there are rules and regulations before we paid a person a visit. Seeking permission and the etiquette of entering houses must be observed by Muslims.

Scholars said Allah taught these manners (of seeking permission) to His believing servants and commanded them not to enter houses other than their own until they had asked permission, i.e., to ask for permission before entering and to give the greeting of 'Salam' after asking.

One should seek permission three times, and if permission is given, (he may enter), otherwise he should go away.It was reported in a Sahih that when Abu Musa asked `Umar three times for permission to enter and he did not give him permission, he went away. Then `Umar said, "Did I not hear the voice of `Abdullah bin Qays asking for permission to enter. Let him come in.'' So they looked for him, but found that he had gone. When he came later on, `Umar said, "Why did you go away?'' 

He said, "I asked for permission to enter three times, but permission was not given to me, and I heard the Prophet s.a.w. say, "If any one of you asks for permission three times and it is not given, then let him go away...'' 

The 'ustaz' in his 'tazkirah' said it should also be known that the one who is seeking permission to enter should not stand directly in front of the door; he should have the door on his right or left, because of the hadith recorded by Abu Dawud from `Abdullah bin Busr, who said, "When the Messenger of Allah came to someone's door, he would never stand directly in front of it, but to the right or left, and he s.a.w. would say,"that was because at that time the houses had no covers or curtains over their doorways.'' 

Once inside the host's house, one must behaved himself for Allah The Greatest said: "Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts). - Qur'an, Al-Noor 24:30

All of us, whats more guests should look only at what is permissible for them to look at, and lower their gaze from forbidden things. If it so happens that a person's gaze unintentionally falls upon something forbidden, he should quickly look was said that whoever protects his gaze, Allah will illuminate his understanding, or his heart. Also remember there is 'zina mata' (adultery of the eyes) that is looking at 'haram' (forbidden) things.

In in discussing the etiquette of visiting and hosting people, Sheikh Hamed Al-`Ali, instructor of Islamic Heritage at the Faculty of Education, Kuwait and Imam of Masjid Dahiat As-Sabahiyya, was quoted saying of the following manners that should be observed by a visitor when paying someone a visit: 

1. One should visit people at an appointed and convenient time. 

2. One should avoid visiting people who love seclusion and who are in spiritual retreat unless the visit is made in a time of receiving guests. 

3. The code of seeking permission thrice before entry should be given due regard. 

4. One should not stay long in a person’s house. 

5. It’s not proper to talk about something that might embarrass the host. 

6. One should keep away from prohibited discourse such as backbiting and slander. Instead, the talk should be full of the 'dhikr' (remembrance) of Allah. 

7. The visit should not be drawn to the point of boredom and weariness. 

8. The rule of lowering the gaze should be given proper regard; one should avoid looking around so much. 

9. It’s not wise to find fault with or speak negatively of any food or drink, rather one should show gratitude for hospitality offered and pray to Allah to bless the host. 

As for the host, he or she should abide the following manners: 

1. Welcoming guests nicely. 

2. Entertaining guests with fruitful talk, for this is a form of hospitality. 

3. Serving the food according to one’s means, without going to extreme in showing hospitality. 

4. Giving advice in a polite way, especially if the guest gets into saying something 'haram'. 

5. Wrapping up the visit with the same courtesy shown when welcoming the guest. 

In Islam, one's bedroom is his/her 'secret' and for a husband and wife it is their 'secret' especially regarding 'their intimacy affairs' .. Even children were taught that they should ask their parents' permission before entering their bedroom. Allah says, "O you who believe! Let your slaves and the children among you who have not come to the age of puberty ask your permission (before they come to your presence), on three occasions: before morning prayer (salatul Fajr), and when you put off your clothes for the noon rest, and after the late-night prayer (salatul Isha). These three times are of privacy for you, outside these times, there is no sin on you or on them to move about, attending to each other. Thus Allah makes clear the Signs to you. And Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise." - Qur'an 24:58

So why must we keep the 'old habit' of checking 'bilik pengantin'? Please stop it! 

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