The manners of the Prophet and his family (pbut) offer us lessons on how to interact socially with those around us. While prayers, fasting, and other legal rituals play a prominent role in the Islamic ethos, there is also a great emphasis on how we should treat those around us. Some of the instructions we have received from the Prophet and his family (pbut) may seem basic, but they allow for our spiritual growth. Among these pieces of advice are instructions on how we should treat our guests. Numerous traditions emphasize the importance of hospitality and our role of caring for others when they enter our homes. Imam Ali (p) states, “A believer who loves [honoring] his guest will be resurrected from his grave with his face illuminated like the moon on the night of a full moon.”1

How to be Hospitable

One of the most beautiful aspects that our traditions emphasize is the importance of community and treatment of others especially when they visit our homes.

We must make sure to make guests feel welcome the second they walk in. Giving them a warm greeting with a smile will make them feel that we are happy to be in their company. After they have settled in, we should engage in enjoyable conversation to entertain them. If we are shy, we can make a list in advance of things we can talk about to avoid any awkwardness during their stay. We want to make sure we do not make anyone uncomfortable while at our home.

The next step is offering our guests a meal. Offering food and drink to guests is something that the Holy Prophet and his family (pbut) strongly encouraged.  Numerous traditions speak of the virtue of enjoying meals with others. Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (p) states, “Food that is eaten by my Muslim brother [in my house] is more beloved to me than freeing a slave.”2 In another tradition, the Holy Prophet (pbuh&hp) states, “Share your food and drink with those whom you love for the sake of God.”3  Sharing a meal brings us closer, creates a wonderful bond between us and our guests, and helps us make fun, wonderful memories. Meals can be whatever is within our means, and it is important that it be from our hearts. Remember to keep it simple, fun, and enjoyable!

Finally, when the guests are about to leave, it is a nice gesture to send them home with something small. It does not have to be anything fancy. For example, we can pack a few pieces of our favorite cheesecake for them to enjoy later. It can also be something not edible such as a gift for their home or a book we think they will benefit from. This will make our guests feel delighted and feel that we enjoyed their stay.

Bits of Advice

1. Honor your guests: Imam Ali (p) states that among the things he loves in this world is “honoring guests.”4 The words of the Imam stress the good treatment of those who enter our homes.

2. Thank them for coming: We should always thank our guests for coming, because God has blessed our home with their presence. Imam al- Sadiq (p) states, “Blessings come quicker to those who feed others [in their home].”5

3. Send guests home with something: As mentioned above, sending something with our guests on their way home is a heartwarming act. It is a pleasant feeling for us to know that our guests went home overjoyed.

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1. Bihar al-anwar, vol. 72, p. 461.
2. Bihar al-Anwar, vol, 72, p. 460.
3. Bihar al-Anwar, vol, 72, p. 461.
4. Bihar al-Anwar, vol, 72, p. 460.
5. Bihar al-Anwar, vol, 72, p. 461.

1. روي عن الإمام أمير المؤمنين (ع): “ما من مؤمن يحب الضيف إلا ويقوم من قبره ووجهه كالقمر ليلة البدر”
2. روي عن الإمام الصادق (ع): “اكلة يأكلها أخي المسلم عندي أحب إلي من عتق رقبة”
3. روي عن النبي (ص): “أضف بطعامك وشرابك من تحبه في الله تعالى”
4. روي عن الإمام أمير المؤمنين (ع): “ما من مؤمن يسمع بهمس الضيف وفرح بذلك إلا غفرت له خطاياه”
5. روي عن الإمام الصادق (ع): “البركة أسرع إلى من يطعم الطعام من السكين في السنام”

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