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Fifth Rule: (Isti'zaan) Seeking Permission before entering the Home

 

A home is a place where one finds peace. Allah Ta’ala Himself declares in the Holy Qur’aan that He has created homes for us to acquire peace and comfort. One can only enjoy this peace and comfort if one is safe from unnecessary interferences and disturbances. Islaam has taught us a very important etiquette in this regard which is called Isti’zaan (to seek permission before entering a home). Allah Ta’ala says in the Holy Qur’aan:

O! You who Believe Let your slaves and your children first ask your permission (before they come to you in your privacy) on three occasions: before the Fajar Salaah; while you remove your extra clothing for the mid day heat; and after the Esha Salaah.

 

Wisdom of seeking permission

Seeking permission eliminates the possibility of obscenity and immorality. If one enters someone’s home without seeking permission, it is possible that one may see the women of the house which may lead to haraam or forbidden situations. Furthermore, one may be engaged in intimate or personal activities which require privacy. If someone enters unannounced, one will be deprived of privacy.

 

The following are some important rules regarding Isti’zaan (seeking permission)

 

Rule No. 1

It is Fardh (obligatory) on every person to practice Isti’zaan i.e. to seek permission to enter someone’s house). This applicable even when a male visits a male or a female visits a female and they are mahram. Therefore, even if a person visits his own mother, sister, or any other mahram woman, he should first seek permission before entering her house or room. Imaam Maalik (RA) has narrated in his Mu’atta, that someone asked Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) whether he should seek permission before going to meet his mother. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, “Yes, do seek her permission.” That person asked, “But I am living in the same house with my mother.” Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, “Even then, you should not enter the house without taking her permission.” Again this person asked, “O messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam), I am always at her service.” He (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) replied, “You should still ask her permission. Would you like to see your mother naked?” He replied, “No, No”. Thereafter Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, “Therefore you should first seek permission because there is a possibility that she may have uncovered some part of herself due to some need. (Mazhari Vol. 6 Pg.488).

 

Rule No. 2

If someone is living alone in his home with his wife, even then it is preferable and a Sunnah to make some sort of sound before entering to make it known that he is arriving. However this is not obligatory. The wife of Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood (Radi Allahu Anhu) has reported that whenever he came into the house he would always make a humming sound to announce his arrival so that he would not see the house people in a condition that he would not like.

 

Rule No. 3

The procedure of Isti’zaan as mentioned in the Qur’aan Surah 24 V:27 is that one should not enter until he or she carries out two things. First is Isti’naas, which means to create familiarity (by mentioning one’s name or saying something whereby the people of the house will know who it is). In this way the inmates of the house will become aware of your arrival.

The second requirement is to greet the inmates of the house with Salaam. The masnoon method is that firstly one should make Salaam, thereafter announce his name and seek permission to enter. It should be made a habit that before entering any home, even if it is your own home, one should make salaam in an audible voice. This should also be taught to children from a very young age.

 

Rule No. 4

After seeking permission to enter, a person should clearly mention his name in such a manner that the inmates would understand who he is without any difficulty. If need be, he should also mention his surname and the place where he comes from. Once Hadhrat Abu Musa Al-Ash’ari (Radi Allahu Anhu) went to visit Hadhrat Umar (Radi Allahu Anhu) and sought permission to enter in the following words: “Assalaamu alykum, This is Abu Musa, Al-Ashari.” First he gave his name as Abu Musa and thereafter, for further clarification, he said Al-Ash’ari. This is to help the host recognise who the visitor is and respond immediately.

Hadhrat Mugheerah ibn Shu’bah (Radi Allahu Anhu) narrates that once Jaabir Ibn Abdillah (Radi Allahu Anhu) came to meet Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) enquired as to who was there. Jaabir (Radi Allahu Anhu) said ‘ana’ which means ‘it is me’. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) repeated the words ana, ana, to indicate that there was no point in saying, ‘its me, its me’ as one cannot be identified by this word.

 

Rule No. 5

When knocking at the door, one should not knock so hard that the inmates of the house get upset. It should be done mildly with the sole purpose of letting the inmates know that there is someone at the door. In today’s times, ringing the door bell would be sufficient to announce one’s arrival. If after knocking at the door or ringing the door bell there is no answer then he should knock a second and a third time. If after the third time he does not get any answer then he should go away from there.

 

Rule No. 6

When you go to someone’s house and you are waiting for permission to enter do not peep into the house. The Hadith very strongly prohibits one from peeping into the houses of others. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) has said that as long as you are not permitted to enter, do not peep into someone’s house. If you do this, it is as if you have entered the house without permission.

It was the practice of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) that he if he had to ask permission to enter a certain house, he would stand on the side of the door and not in the front.

 

Rule No. 7

Some issues relating to the telephone:

  • Phoning someone at a time when he is resting or at the time of salaah is incorrect. It is similar to encroaching on someone’s privacy. (Ma’riful Qur’aan).

  • If a person needs to speak for a lengthy period, he should first make this known and request a convenient time when he could be contacted without any disturbances and without imposing himself on the other person.

 

Rule No. 8

In verse 27, the Qur’aan speaks about taking permission to enter the house of someone else. In verse 58 of the same surah, Allah Ta’ala instructs those living in the same house with Isti’zaan (to seek permission) before entering their rooms. This refers to those men and women who are mahram of one another. The Qur’aan specifically addresses the young Naa Baaligh children to take permission before entering the rooms of their seniors specifically three times of the day. These three times are before the Fajar Salaah, the resting time in the afternoon and after the Esha Salaah.

 

Conclusion

Islaam has taught us the details of social etiquette. Ibn Abbaas (Radi Allahu Anhu) used to say that there are three verses which people have stopped practising upon and one of them is the verse of Isti’zaan (seeking permission to enter someone’s house). He has also mentioned that shaytaan has overpowered people in respect to these three verses. He has stated that he did not even allow his slave girl to come to him without taking permission at these three times.

May Allah Ta’ala grant us all taufeeq. Aameen.



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