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Fiqh of having guests

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Qibla.com

Answered by Shaykh Ilyas Patel

I’ve heard it said that a person staying at a Muslim’s house has the rights of being treated like a guest for upto three days. After this, they no longer need to be treated as a guest.

a) Is this true? and b) Are there any Fiqh rulings regarding the boundaries of the rights of a guest?

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Walaikum assalam,

Hatim al-Asamm said,

Haste is from the devil except in five cases of the Emissary’s Sunna: feeding one’s guest, preparing the dead of the burial, marrying a virgin, paying back a debt and repenting a sin. (Ghazali, On the Manners Relating to Eating pg 38)

Mufti E. M. H. Salejee mentions:

Sunnats Regarding the Unexpected Guest

S.1 One should not go to another’s house at meal times. It is narrated in one hadith that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said that it is forbidden to partake of the meals of another without being invited to do so. However, it is permissible and a sunnat to go to the house of one’s true friend without an invitation and to partake of the meals there.

S.2 One may place before an expected visitor whatever one has available (by way of food). However, one should not take a loan to obtain provisions for such visitor.

S3.If one does not have excess provisions then it is not necessary to feed the visitor.

S4.The Prophet (Allah bless him and give peace) said, that it is a major sin to regard that which the host presents as little and mean or for the host himself to feel it low to offer it to the guest.

B. Sunnats Regarding The Invited Guest

S.1 The host should invite only pious people and not sinners as the latter shall spread wrong and sin.

S.2.Special meals should be prepared for the first day. (Bukhari)

S.3A guest may be entertained and shown hospitality for a period of three days. Beyond the three day period would be charity. (Bukhari)

S.4 A guest should not inconvenience his host by overstaying. (Bukhari)

S.5.A person who does not accept an invitation has disobeyed Allah and His messenger, unless non-acceptance is within the ambit of Shariah. (Abu Dawud)

C. Sunnats Regarding Both the unexpected and the Invited Guest

S.1. Even though one’s host has not treated him with honour and respect when he was a guest at the host’s house, he must always treat the host with due respect and honour should he be a guest at his house. (Tirmidhi)

S.2 One should not, as a guest, request anything that may cause inconvenience to the host.

S.3.If a host were to ask his guest to make a choice then the easier of the opinions should be chosen.

S.4 A guest must be seen off at one’s door. (Ibn Majah)

(SUNNATS, Mufti E. M. H. Salejee pg 57,58)


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