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PROPHET MUHAMMAD'S ﷺ HOSPITALITY


Hospitality is a key Islamic value that was taught by the noble Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). Entertaining a guest hospitably is a way of showing love, kindness, and respect toward him or her. Prophet Muhammadwas also a very hospitable person. Even before he was raised to the status of Prophethood, he was known as a hospitable and generous man. Nobody ever went away from him empty handed. He used to feed the poor, the needy, the widows and orphans and was very popular among the people of Makkah. In Medinah, his hospitality knew no bounds and his house was open to all; rich and poor, friend and foe, all came to him and were treated very generously by him. People used to come in large numbers from all directions, and he entertained them all and served them personally. Nobody ever went back without having received something from him. [1] [2]

 

Table of Contents

 

Qur’an

Allah is motivating we Muslims in Qur'an to give and be hospitable. Almighty Allah says: So fear Allah as much as you are able and listen and obey and spend [in the way of Allah ]; it is better for your selves. And whoever is protected from the stinginess of his soul - it is those who will be the successful.  Quran Surah At-Taghabun 64:16

 

And He also says: O you who believe! Give of the good things which you have [honorably] earned, and of the fruits of the earth which we have produced for you…And whatever you spend in charity or devotion, be sure Allah knows it all. Quran Surah Al-Baqarah 2:267–270

 

Hadith

Prophet Muhammad is reported to have said,"Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should serve his guest generously by giving him his reward." Sahih al-Bukhari 6136, 6475(Vol. 8, Book 73, Hadith 158) It was asked. "What is his reward, O Messenger of Allah?" He said, "The guest's reward is to be provided with a superior type of food for a night and a day, and a guest is to be entertained with food for three days; whatever is offered beyond that is regarded as a charitable gift. And it is not lawful for a guest to stay with his host for such a long period so as to put him in a critical position." Sahih al-Bukhari 6135 (Vol. 8, Book 73, Hadith 156) [2]

 

Teaching on Hospitality

Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) reportedly said, Allah's Messenger () said to us, "If you stay with some people and they entertain you as they should for a guest, accept is; but if they do not do then you should take from them the right of the guest, which they ought to give."  Sahih al-Bukhari 6137 andSahih Muslim 1727(Book 18, Hadith 4289) It is also reported by At-Tirmidhi that a Companion asked the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), "O Messenger of Allah! If I visit a man, and he does not entertain me or show hospitality, and later this man visits me, should I entertain him or treat him in the way he treated me?" The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) replied, "Entertain him." [2]

 

Difference should not be there while Inviting guest

Narrated Abu Huraira(R):The worst food is that of a wedding banquet to which only the rich are invited while the poor are not invited. And he who refuses an invitation (to a banquet) disobeys Allah and His Apostle. Sahih al-Bukhari 5177 (Vol. 7, Book 62, Hadith 106) and Sunan Ibn Majah  Vol. 3, Book 9, Hadith 1913

 

Hospitable and Considerate

A man prepared some food, especially for the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), and he also invited four other persons with him. However, an extra person who had not been invited also joined them. On arriving at the door of the host's house, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said to the host, "This man has accompanied us. If you like, he will join us; otherwise, he will go back."The host replied, "O Messenger of Allah, I invite him" Sahih al-Bukhari 2081 (Vol. 3, Book 34, Hadith 295)

 

This situation clearly shows how the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) respected each and everybody. He loved everyone regardless of his or her origin, class, or gender. If he were to behave like today's leaders, he would have simply told the uninvited man to return, because they were going for "a special invitation." He, however, decided to take him along with him.

 

Again, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) did not behave like a king or monarch, imposing on the host to look for something additional for this man. Rather, he knew how embarrassing it could be to invite three people and four of them show up. So, in a most polite way, he told the host that if this situation would embarrass him, this man would have no other choice but to return. It was then that the host said he was willing to accommodate the man. Here again we see Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) behaving like a real human being who feels and cares for others. [2]

 

Incident of Abu Hurairah(R)

Abu Hurairah told a very distressing story of his hunger and starvation. He was one of the As'hab Suffah. He said, "One day I sat by the way from where they (the Prophet () and h is companions) used to come out. When Abu Bakr passed by, I asked him about a Verse from Allah's Book and I asked him only that he might satisfy my hunger, but he passed by and did not do so. Then `Umar passed by me and I asked him about a Verse from Allah's Book, and I asked him only that he might satisfy my hunger, but he passed by without doing so. Finally Abu-l-Qasim (the Prophet () ) passed by me and he smiled when he saw me, for he knew what was in my heart and on my face. He said, "O Aba Hirr (Abu Huraira)!" I replied, "Labbaik, O Allah's Messenger ()!" He said to me, "Follow me." He left and I followed him. Then he entered the house and I asked permission to enter and was admitted. He found milk in a bowl and said, "From where is this milk?" They said, "It has been presented to you by such-and-such man (or by such and such woman)." He said, "O Aba Hirr!" I said, "Labbaik, O Allah's Messenger ()!" He said, "Go and call the people of Suffa to me." These people of Suffa were the guests of Islam who had no families, nor money, nor anybody to depend upon, and whenever an object of charity was brought to the Prophet () , he would send it to them and would not take anything from it, and whenever any present was given to him, he used to send some for them and take some of it for himself…. There remain you and I." I said, "You have said the truth, O Allah's Messenger ()!" He said, "Sit down and drink." I sat down and drank. He said, "Drink," and I drank. He kept on telling me repeatedly to drink, till I said, "No. by Allah Who sent you with the Truth, I have no space for it (in my stomach)." He said, "Hand it over to me." When I gave him the bowl, he praised Allah and pronounced Allah's Name on it and drank the remaining milk." Sahih al-Bukhari 6452 (Vol. 8, Book 76, Hadith 459)

 

Conclusion

We should assume an attitude of generosity and hospitality. And we should follow in the footsteps of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), who was indeed an embodiment of love, hospitality, and mercy toward all those around him.Muhammadwas extremely hospitable and entertained all who came to his house. He also taught his companions verbally as well as by his practical example to be hospitable to all. [1]

 

References

[1] http://www.pbuh.us/prophetMuhammad.php?f=Ch_Hospitality

[2]http://www.onislam.net/english/shariah/Muhammad/manners/435409-prophet-Muhammad-the-hospitable-.html

 

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