Hospitality in Islam

Hospitality in Islam

“Let the believer in Allah and Day of Judgment either speak good or keep silent. Let the believer in Allah and Day of Judgment honor his neighbor. Let the believer in Allah and the Day of Judgment honor his guest.” (Prophet Muhammad)

Hospitality is a lot wider concept than just entertaining guests. In Islam hospitality has a significant purpose and it is an act of great virtue. Allah commands Muslims to be hospitable to guests, neighbors, and the whole community. Hospitality is multifaceted and covers a lot more than entertaining guests at home.

Hospitality at Home

According to Islam guest who visits us at home must be treated with respect and kindness. The same applies to every guest whether it is relative, stranger, Muslim or non-Muslim.  The host should provide food and drinks to their guest to the best of their abilities.

Our beloved Prophet Mohammed, peace be upon him, himself was a very hospitable and generous person and told his companions to do the same. Once Abu Talha and his wife served a stranger guest at their home though they had very little to eat, they placed it in front of their guest.   They blew off the candle so that the guest can eat his full and they just pretended to eat. The next day Allah mentioned them in the holy verse of the Quran.

{…but give them preference over themselves, even though poverty was their (own lot). And those saved from the covetousness of their own souls- they are the ones that achieve prosperity.} (59: 9)

Guests should also be welcomed open heartily, greeted well, respected, and honored. The host should have a very pleasing attitude towards guests and should take an interest in his conversation and stay engaged with him.

Hospitality with neighbors and community

In Islam hospitality is extended beyond the walls of the house. Neighbors are one to important for your hospitality and there are countless rights of neighbors as mentioned in the opening hadith. There are many hadiths about rights of neighbors as Prophet Muhammad said:

“Jibril kept recommending treating neighbors with kindness until I thought he would assign a share of the inheritance.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim, 303)

The hospitality of neighbors includes giving food, gifts, and is beneficial to him. Muslims should take care and help his neighbor in times of need and give him open-heartedly. Prophet Mohammed Peace be upon him said:

“He is not a believer who lets himself be satiated while his neighbor goes hungry.” (Authenticated by al-Albani, 112)

This is a simple formula of humanity that is applicable and can change the world. If every person takes care of his neighbor as mentioned in hadith above no one on this planet will sleep hungry. Living with peace and tranquility also comes in a circle of hospitality towards neighbors. A Muslim should take care of the property of his neighbors and should not harm his neighbors in any way.

Treating your neighbors and community fellows also come into hospitality and this circle is widened in the time of need for example at the time of natural disaster Muslims should strive to help the affected people to overcome aftermaths.

In today’s world when Muslims have a very bad image in the world it is over responsibility to correct this image by applying the true concept of hospitality. Where ever we are living we should be very hospitable towards our guests, neighbors, and community fellows. There are countless opportunities for Muslims to avail in this regard and we can get blessings of Allah.


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