:: Islamic Manners ::
Visiting and Receiving Guests
If you are traveling to visit someone, or if you are about to receive guests, make sure that your hands, feet, and socks are clean and that your appearance and clothing are neat. Even if those in question are your parents, relatives, peers, or friends of a different age. Never neglect or underestimate the importance of your looks, for that could certainly dull the pleasure of the meeting, marring the enjoyment of those you meet. To look neat while visiting or being visited is an instinctive trait in addition to being an Islamic manner! Do not ignore this aspect just because you think the person visiting you is too close to you to be offended or repelled by your dirty attire or unpleasant smell.
In this regard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) directed his companions upon returning from a journey: “You are on your way to meet your brothers, so put on a nice dress and fix your saddles, so that you appear distinct among people as a mole (on a face). Allah likes neither roughness nor rough manners”. [Muslim]
Imam al-Bukhari reports a Muslim from the best generations, Abul Alia al-Basri, saying, “Muslims wore their best when visiting each other”.
Similarly Thabit al-Banani, the student of Imam Anas bin Malik, once said, “When I used to visit Anas, he would call for a perfume and run it along his cheeks”. [Majma’ al-Zawaid] Accordingly, if you are visited at home while in casual clothing, as it sometimes happens, you should change for your visitors. This will enhance their respect for you and they will appreciate your hospitality. It is, after all, the Adab (manner) of the early Muslims!
Moreover, do your best to bring gifts to those receiving you, and likewise present your guest with gifts. A gift, however symbolic, will greatly enhance the pleasure of such a meeting. The joy of seeing your beloved ones will be vividly remembered for many years every time your gift is seen or used! That is why the Prophet (peace be upon him) strongly recommended us to “Exchange gifts, exchange love”. [Bukhari] [compiled from “Islamic Manners” by Shaykh Abdul Fattah Abu Ghudda (rahimahullah)]