I was admonished greatly by the elders in my family while growing up on the etiquettes of two primary things: how to walk, and how to talk. Basic presentation skills.
Not that I was a loud mouth or anything, but my parents (may Allaah protect and preserve them) are very hospitable people and there was never a day when we didn’t have guests at our place. And as we know… desis and hospitality! It is the focus of life at some households. Things such as, climbing stairs (Baaji will remember this one), closing doors of anything, general noise made from eating were all carefully scrutinized and corrected… sometimes in public if need be.
Alhumdulillaah, I am grateful to my parents for teaching my siblings (although some are still learning) and me the proper aadaab of presenting ourselves as human, but there is always a lot to learn.
And after getting married, all of this took a completely new turn.
Forget making noise while you are walking, or not watching your volume while speaking… My in-laws are broughtup not making any noise whatsoever while moving around the house. It’s creepy, I tell you!
One example is my sister-in-law, who always surprised me in the beginning. You can’t tell when that woman comes out of her room, grabs food from the kitchen, and goes back to her room. How can a person not make any noise while taking food or dishes out???! Sometimes, I’d be sitting in the living room with my husband, and we’d have no idea when she walked from behind us towards the kitchen. We’d only see her coming out… in dark, lol. Oh the famous one is when she comes home. You don’t even hear her taking the keys out, forget her footsteps, when opening the door. It still scares me!
In the first few weeks of my marriage, I had some trouble adjusting to an apartment from a life in suburbs. In the suburbs, the only noise you hear is coming from your own home. Hardly, you’d get to hear your neighbour’s crankin’ and slammin’. It’s different in the apartments. I was so scared when I first heard one of my neighbours’ yelling at her kids. I turned to my husband with a questioning look, “Is this woman for real? She knows we can hear her, right?”, and he just gave me a smile as if a child has asked an innoncent question to an adult.
Hubby is a joke. The kids (my in-laws) used to get scared in the beginning when I’d slam the cabinet doors in the kitchen. My husband, understanding where I am coming from, brought those noise-free velcro (what do you call them anyway?) and stuck them on the cabinet doors, so it doesn’t make any noise when I use them, all over the kitchen!
“The most perfect Muslim in the matter of faith is someone who has excellent behavior;
and the best among you are those who behave best toward their wives.”
Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 106
Ofcourse, the best example is to learn from RasulAllaah, alayhim salaatu wa salaam (repeat that!)
Forget talking about dealing with your family over noise-nuisance, how do you treat guests or strangers disturbing your peace?
Ummul Mu’mineen, Aishah radhiyAllaahu anha tells us that RasulAllaah salAllaahu alayhi wasallam, used to be cautious of the worst type of people, and he would speak gently to them and treat them well. A man sought permission to enter upon him and he said, “Let him in, what a bad brother of his tribe he is!” When the man came in, he spoke gently to him. Aishah said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, salAllaahu alayhi wasallam, you said what you said, and then you spoke gently to him?’
He said, “O Aishah, the worst of people is the one whom people avoid because they fear his slander.”
(Bukhari and Muslim)
InshaAllaah, take it as a lesson to be gentle to everyone you meet (and not just in Ramadan!). We get to meet a lot of people from our community, sadly only during Ramadan, so give them the best taste of etiquettes by speaking gently to them. Who knows, because of your beautiful character, they’ll decide to come to the masjid more often?