Download PDF: [S] How to Treat your Guests
It is reported that once night Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Talha – may Allah be pleased with him – took a guest of the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – to his house to feed him. He then asked his blessed wife Sayyidah Umme Sulaim -may Allah be pleased with her – whether she had anything in the house. She replied that there just enough food for one single person. He then informed her to dim the lights and somehow make the children sleep and they placed this food in front of the guest. As a matter of fact, his wife actually put the light off by acting as if she had accidentally put it off. They also made a plan that they would act as if they were also eating so that the guest would not feel embarrassed.
Sayyidah Umme Sulaim -may Allah be pleased with her – then did exactly as her husband told her until the guest had eaten his fill. Because it was so dark, the guest had no idea that these blessed people were actually not eating themselves. In this way, although they remained hungry for the night, but they made sure that the guest of the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him –had satisfied his hunger.
In the morning, when Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Talha – may Allah be pleased with him – presented himself in front of the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – declared, “The manner in which you treated your guest last night has been something which has been well liked by the Allah Almighty”. (Bukhari Shareef)
Such was the blessed behaviour of these companions that their every action was something which immediately gained the Divine Pleasure of Allah Almighty. Today, Muslims are continuously trying to perform deeds and action with the hope that it is accepted in the Divine Court of Allah Almighty, but no one has any idea whether it is accepted or not.
However, such was the status of these blessed companions that they were immediately informed of the Divine Pleasure of Allah Almighty after every self-sacrifice of theirs. This also proves that they were not like ordinary Muslims of today. There are heretics in the present age who actually believe that all these people are just like them and even the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – is, Ma’azzalah, just like them.
When they cannot be like the companions in one simple action which has been described above, how can they even be like the Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him. There is no doubt that these people have not only become heretics through their beliefs but have also lost their minds.
This act of self-sacrifice so amply displayed by the blessed companions is something which cannot be emulated by ordinary Muslims of today. This is such a blessed attribute which is even praised by Allah Almighty in the Holy Qur’an. In Surah Al Hashr (59) verses 9 and 10, the Holy Qur’an declares:
وَ الَّذِیۡنَ تَبَوَّؤُا الدَّارَ وَ الْاِیۡمٰنَ مِنۡ قَبْلِہِمْ یُحِبُّوۡنَ مَنْ ہَاجَرَ اِلَیۡہِمْ وَ لَا یَجِدُوۡنَ فِیۡ صُدُوۡرِہِمْ حَاجَۃً مِّمَّاۤ اُوۡتُوۡا وَ یُؤْثِرُوۡنَ عَلٰۤی اَنۡفُسِہِمْ وَلَوْ کَانَ بِہِمْ خَصَاصَۃٌ ؕ۟ وَ مَنۡ یُّوۡقَ شُحَّ نَفْسِہٖ فَاُولٰٓئِکَ ہُمُ الْمُفْلِحُوۡنَ ﴿ۚ۹﴾
وَ الَّذِیۡنَ جَآءُوۡ مِنۡۢ بَعْدِہِمْ یَقُوۡلُوۡنَ رَبَّنَا اغْفِرْ لَنَا وَ لِاِخْوٰنِنَا الَّذِیۡنَ سَبَقُوۡنَا بِالْاِیۡمٰنِ وَ لَا تَجْعَلْ فِیۡ قُلُوۡبِنَا غِلًّا لِّلَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا رَبَّنَاۤ اِنَّکَ رَءُوۡفٌ رَّحِیۡمٌ ﴿٪۱۰﴾
“And those who accepted this city as their home and accepted faith before them, befriend those who migrated towards them, and in their breasts do not find any need for what they have been given, and prefer the migrants above themselves even if they themselves are in dire need; and whoever is saved from the greed of his soul – it is they who are the successful. And those who came after them say, “O our Lord! Forgive us, and our brothers who accepted faith before us, and do not keep any malice in our hearts towards the believers – O our Lord! Indeed You only are the Most Compassionate, Most Merciful.”
Some commentators of the Holy Qur’an even mention that this Qur’anic verse was revealed specifically for Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Talha – may Allah be pleased with him – and his blessed wife. The immense support given by Sayyidah Umme Sulaim -may Allah be pleased with her – is also something which should emulated be our sisters of today.
Some of the behaviour displayed by her were that she did not display any anger at her husband bringing a guest even though there was hardly any food at home. She allowed her children to sleep hungry merely so that a guest of the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him –could be fed. She also joined her husband in this blessed act so that the guest would feel at ease. In fact, whenever Muslims read this verse of the Holy Qur’an, they will always remember the great sacrifices which the early Muslims presented for Islam without the slightest hesitation.
In today’s time, it is sad to see that when such an incident occurs, instead of supporting the husband some Muslim sisters would turn their faces away and give the husband a nasty look.
Remember that this act of self-sacrifice should not only be displayed for outsiders, but one should always look at the state of one’s immediate family as well. One never knows what the state of these people is until and unless you do not make an effort to find out. Something as simple as presenting a cup of tea which you have in your hand or a plate of food which you have in your hand are also acts of self-sacrifice. If one practises on these simple traits, there would be indeed immense reward for both Muslim sisters and brothers.