Assalaamu ‘alaikum. Please advise the best deeni solution after reading the following circumstances : We have ladies’ ta’leem in our house. The elderly and/or others with physical difficulties/disabilities find it very difficult to sit on the floor and even more difficult to get up. In our living room, currently we do NOT have any Sofa/Settee. Myself, my brother, my mother and sister opined that we should get a two-seater Sofa/Settee for those with the difficulties. However, my father and my other (older) sister are of the opinion that we should Not get the settees. Their reasons (a) it is shaytwaan’s trick to get dunya in the house, (b) simplicity will leave the house in this aspect (c) inshaa Allaah my father intends to get floor settee/cushions for these people. My (older) sister states that the sunnah is to sit on the floor and our reasons (viz (a) to draw people towards the deen and make it easy for them to attend ta?leem – you have to look at their needs/difficulties too, (b) they will not know/accept the rulings of sitting on the floor as they are still new to deen) provides no valid deeni justification to introduce sofa/settees in the house. She also mentioned that to do ikraam by going against sunnah is najaa-iz. Upon advising my sister that we should get the matter resolved through a mufti on the best course of action, she stated if we know the sunnah, to approach a mufti for a fatwa is not necessary and should NOT be done!!
Rasulullah [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] said, ?Whosoever brings faith in Allah and on the last day (Qiyaamah), he should honour his guests.?
The purpose of honouring one’s guests is to make them as comfortable as possible within one’s means. If there are elderly guests and people with physical difficulties, then it will be appropriate to provide chairs or sofas for them as sitting will be difficult for them.
The household members do not have to use the chairs and sofas if they fear Shaytaan’s tricks and simplicity leaving the house. If the floor cushions will not alleviate the difficulties of the elderly and disabled, then the purpose of obtaining the cushions will be defeated. The young and physically abled guests sitting on the floor is sufficient to convey the Sunnah. It will be in fact against the Sunnah to adopt an attitude and conduct that will inconvenience the elderly and disabled guests. What will they do if they are not comfortable? Listen to the knowledge imparted in the programme or to persevere? Are they invited to persevere? The attitude of your sister not to consult a Mufti as the Sunnah is known is regrettable.
and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ebrahim Desai