Chapter 43: Rulings Concerning Speech:

Greetings, Asking Permission to Enter, Conversation, Recitation, Supplication, Dhikru'llah, and Travel

43.1 Greeting

43.1a. The Form of the Greeting

Returning a greeting is mandatory. Initiating it is sunna and desirable. The form of the greeting is that a man says, "Peace be upon you," (as-salamu 'alaykum) and the reply is, "And upon you peace," (wa 'alaykumu's-salam) or "Peace be upon you," (salamun 'alaykum) as was said to him.

A fuller greeting which ends with blessing is that you say in reply, "On upon you peace and the mercy of Allah and its blessings." (wa 'alaykumu's-salamu wa rahmatu'llahi wa barakatuh) Do not say in you answer, 'The peace of Allah be upon you." (salamu'llah 'alayk)

[ Returning the greeting is a fard kifaya in the well-known position. Initiating it is a sunna kifaya and is stressed. The plural form is used whether it is one or more people greeted, thereby including the guardian angels. Ibn Rushd said that the best is to greet with as-salamu 'alaykum and to reply with wa 'alaykumu's-salam.

The optimum reply is wa 'alaykumu's-salamu wa rahmatu'llahi wa barakatuh, and it is innovation and excess to add more than that.

The last form (salamu'llah 'alayk) is not used because it is not reported that Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used it and it is not transmitted from the Salaf.]

43.1b. One of a group is enough

If one of a group makes the greeting, that suffices for all of them. The same applies when one of them returns the greeting.

[ Because it is part of the sunna al-kifaya.]

43.1c. Who greets whom

Someone riding greets someone walking, and someone walking greets someone sitting.

[ This is based on the command of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.]

43.1d. Shaking hands

Shaking hands is good. Malik disliked embracing, but Ibn 'Uyayna allowed it.

[ It is recommended according to the well-known position. There is a counter transmission of Malik from Ashhab that it is disliked.

[Hash: Shaking hands is recommended based on what the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, is reported as saying in the Muwatta': "Shake hands and rancour will disappear. Give presents to each other and you will love each other and enmity will disappear."]

Sufyan ibn ÔUyayna was one of the great people of knowledge and excellence.]

43.1e. Embracing and kissing the hand

Malik disliked kissing another's hand and did not accept what is related about it.

[ This is kissing the hand of another person, whether it is a scholar, master or father. It is the apparent meaning of the text of the people of the School because it is the action of the non-Arabs which can lead to pride and self-importance. Malik did not accept the hadiths related about it. One is that when the delegation of 'Abdu'l-Qays came to the Prophet, they went to his hands and feet. It is sahih. Another is Sa'd ibn Malik kissing the hand of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.

[Hash: If Malik's criticism of the hadiths was based on transmission, he was the Imam in hadith. If it is fiqh, it is based on ijtihad. Ibn Battal, a Maliki imam, says that it is disliked to kiss the hands of tyrants, but it is permitted to kiss the hand of a parent or righteous man whose baraka is hoped for.]

43.1f. Greeting People of the Book

You should not initiate the greeting to a Jew or Christian. If a Muslim inadvertently greets a dhimmi, he does take it back. If a Jew or Christian greets a Muslim, he should answer, "On you ('alayk)." It is also said that one may answer with "And on you silam." "Silam" means a stone. That used to be said.

[ It is confirmed that the Prophet. may Allah bless him and grant him peace, forbade initiating it. This prohibition is one of dislike. If someone greets one of them, thinking he is a Muslim, he does not seek the reply by saying something like, "I greeted you thinking that you were a Muslim. If I had known that you were an unbeliever, I would not have greeted you. Return to me the greeting I gave you." When he replies to their greeting, he says, "On you" without the waw so that it is against him.]

43.2 Asking permission to enter and visiting the sick

43.2a. Asking permission to enter

Asking permission to enter people's houses is mandatory. Do not enter a house where someone is present without asking his permission three times. If you are given permission, enter. Otherwise, go away,

[ It is a mandatory obligation because the Almighty says, "When your children reach puberty, they should ask permission to enter." Whoever abandons that disobeys Allah and His Messenger. It makes no difference whether the house is locked or unlocked, Asking three times is the limit, whether a mahram or someone whose private parts it is not lawful to look at him, as opposed to a wife or slavegirl.

[Hash: This does not include public places like mosques, bathhouses, hotels, and the much-frequented houses of scholars, qadis and doctors (not their private dwellings, but areas which are more public.]

The form of asking permission is to say, "May I enter?"]

43.2b. Visiting the sick

It is recommended to visit the sick.

[ This was already mentioned earlier and is out of place.]

43.3. Whispering to the exclusion of a person

43.3a. Not whispering to the exclusion of another person

Two people should not converse together to the exclusion of a third. Nor may a larger group do that while excluding one of them. It is also said that that they must not do that except with his permission.

[ This is whether it is done while resident or on a journey.]

43.3b. Not shunning

Shunning people was already mentioned in an earlier chapter (Chapter 40).

43.4 Dhikr

Mu'adh ibn Jabal said, "No action of a human being is more likely to save him from the punishment of Allah than dhikru'llah." 'Umar (ibn al-Khattab) said, "Better than the remembrance of Allah on the tongue is the remembrance of Allah by obeying His commands and prohibitions."

[ Regarding Mu'adh ibn Jabal, the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The one with the mot knowledge of the halal and haram is Mu'adh ibn Jabal." Mu'adh's statement can refer to dhikr by the tongue or by the heart. The perfect dhikr is that which is with the heart and tongue both. 'Umar's statement does not contradict the fact that the most perfect dhikr, is all of them.

Dhikr of the heart has two types. The most majestic is reflection on the immensity of Allah and His majesty, might and His signs in the Heaven and the earth. Then there is remembering with the heart in the command and prohibition and obeying what He commanded and avoiding what He forbade.]

43.5 Supplications

43.5a. A supplication for the morning and evening

One of the supplications of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, morning and night was, "O Allah, by You we start the day and by You we end it, and by You we live and by You we die."

He also used to add in the morning, "To You is the gathering," and in the evening, "To You is the return."

[ This is transmitted in the four Sunan collections: at-Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, an-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah.]

43.5b. Another supplication

Also related in that is: "O Allah, grant me a portion in every blessing with Your slaves who have the greatest portion with You which You distribute on this day and in afterwards: in the light by which You guide, the mercy which You spread, the provision which you expand, harm which you remove, wrong actions which You forgive, hardship which you drive away, temptation which You avert and pardon which You bestow by Your mercy. You have power over all things."

[ It is related that it is a marfu' hadith. Al-Aqfahasi stated that. It is related that it was part of what Ibn 'Umar said. The author's style seems to indicate the later.]

43.6. A supplication before going to sleep

Part of his supplication when he went to sleep was that he put his right hand under his right cheek and his left hand on his left thigh and then said, 'O Allah, in Your Name I have lain down and in Your Name I will rise. O Allah, if You keep my self, then forgive it. If You release it, then guard it as You guard the righteous among Your slaves. O Allah, I have surrendered myself to You and I commend myself to You. I entrust my affair with You and have turned my face to You fearing You and desiring You. There is no where to flee or refuge from You except to You. I ask for your forgiveness and I turn to You. I have believed in Your Book which You sent down and in your Prophet whom You sent, so forgive me what I did in the past and will do in the future, what I conceal and what I make public. You are my Lord. There is no god but You. My Lord, protect me from Your punishment on the Day You resurrect Your slaves."

43.7. A supplication when going out

It is related that when he left the house, he said, "O Allah, I seek refuge with You from misguiding or being misguided, from slipping up or making others slip, or wronging or being wronged, from being ignorant or being treated ignorantly."

[ This is in the four Sunan Collections.]

43.8. A supplication after the prayer

It is related that he said after every prayer one should say, "Subhanallah" 33 times, "Allahu akbar" 33 times and "al-hamdu lillah" 33 times and end the hundred with "There is no god but Allah alone with no partner. His is the kingdom and praise is His and He has power over all things."

[ This is after every obligatory prayer.]

43.9 A supplication after going to the lavatory

After going to the lavatory, you say, "Praise be to Allah who provided me with its pleasure and removed from me its discomfort and let its nutrition remain in my body."

[ This is related from the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. This hadith is mursal. The version in the Sahih Collections, "Praise be to Allah who removed harm from me and protected me from affliction." In the Sahih collections, when the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, entered the lavatory, he said, "O Allah, I seek refuge with you from foulness and the foul ones (shaytans)."]

43.10 Supplications against danger

43.10a. Supplication against danger

You should seek protection from everything you fear and when you camp in a place or sit in a place or sleep somewhere, saying, "I seek refuge with the complete words of Allah from the evil of what He created."

[ According to Muslim, you repeat this three times. "The complete words of Allah" means the Qur'an.]

43.10b. Another supplication

Or you may say, "I seek refuge with the noble face of Allah and with the complete words of Allah which neither a pious or impious person can overlook, and with all the Most Beautiful Names of Allah, what I know of them and what I do not know, from the evil of what He created, originated, and produced, and from the evil of what descends from the sky and from the evil of what ascends in it, and from the evil of the trials of the night and day, and from the evil of from the evil of every visitant at night except that which knocks with good, O All-Merciful."

One may add, "And from every beast whose forelock my Lord has taken, My Lord is on a Straight Path."

[ There are more than 99 Names. Al-Qushayri said, "Allah has a thousand names: 300 in the Torah 300 in the Zabur and 300 in the Gospel and 99 in the Qur'an and one in the Pages of Ibrahim.]

43.11. Supplication on entering a house

When someone enters his house, it is recommended that he say, "As Allah wills. There is no strength except by Allah."

[ He also says this when he enters his garden or his shop after giving the greeting if someone is there. If there is no one there, he says, "Peace be upon us and upon the righteous slaves of Allah." That is because Allah says, "Why, when you entered your garden, did you not say, As Allah wills, there is no strength but in Allah'?" (18:38)]

43.12. Disliked activities in mosques

43.12a. Not doing work

In mosques it is disliked to do work like sewing and the like.

[ This is a prohibition or dislike.]

43.12b. Other disliked activities

One should not wash his hands in a mosque nor eat in it unless it is something light, like sawiq and the like. He should not trim his moustache or nails there. If he does do so, he collects the clippings in his garment. He should not kill lice or fleas there.

[ He should not eat things which might soil the mosque. Sawiq is roasted wheat or barley mixed with ghee or honey. Nail clippings and the like are considered dirt. Even if he puts it in his garment, it might fall out. The prohibition against killing lice is stronger than that about fleas because lice can release blood which is not the case with fleas.]

43.12c. An allowance to sleep in the mosque

There is an allowance for strangers to spend the night in mosques in the countryside.

[ This is out of necessity. It is understood that that is not an allowance in the mosques in towns since there are hotels there for which he can pay. If it is a case of necessity, then he can spend the night there.]

43.13 Reciting the Qur'an

43.13a. In bath houses

In bathhouses one should not recite more than a few verses and not alot.

[ That is because it is a place of uncleanness.]

43.13b. When one can recite

One can recite Qur'an riding, lying down, or walking from one town to another, but that is disliked to recite it while walking to the market, although it is said that a learner can do that.

[ One can recite in all these positions because Allah commanded remembrance in all states. He says, "Remember Allah standing, sitting and on your sides." (4:101) "Walking to the market" means the market in towns, not in the one in the countryside which is not disliked.]

43.13c. The length of time one takes to recite the entire Qur'an

It is good for someone to recite the entire Qur'an in seven nights, but to recite less with understanding is better. It is related that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, did not recite it in less than three nights.

[ It is good because that was the practice of most of the Salaf. It is better to reflect on the meanings because Allah says, "Will they not ponder the Qur'an?" (4:82)]

43.14. A supplication for beginning a journey

It is recommended for a traveller to say when he mounts, "In the Name of Allah. O Allah, You are the Companion in the journey and the substitute in the family. O Allah, I seek refuge with you from the hardship of the journey and from the trouble of reversal and finding family and possessions in a poor state."

[Hash: This is related in sound hadith. He says this when he puts his foot in the stirrup.]

43.15. A supplication after mounting an animal

When the traveller is upright on his mount, he should say, "Glory be to Him who subjected this to us. We could never have done it by ourselves. Indeed we are returning to our Lord!" (43:12-13)

43.16 Trading abroad

It is disliked to trade in the land of the enemy or the land of the blacks. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, "Travel is a portion of punishment."

[ That is because he exposes his permission and property to attack and abasement to their deen. The land of the blacks refers to the land of those who are unbelievers. The full hadith in the Muwatta' is: "Travelling is a portion of punishment. It denies you your sleep, food and drink. When you have accomplished your purpose, you should hurry back to your family."]

43.17 Women travelling

A woman should not make a journey of a day and a night or more except with a relative except in the case of the obligatory hajj according to the position of Malik. Then she may travel in a safe group, even if she has no relative with them.

[She can travel without a mahram provides that it is a safe group of Muslims. ]

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