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Ask for permission before paying visits to people

Arabic Bayynat Editor

Many people take lightly the issue of taking appointments; thus, they knock on people’s doors without prior notice, and if they dare to say that they cannot receive them [for having something to do], they overreact and take prejudice and fiery stands from them, as they consider their excuse as a personal insult and a hostile stand against them.

Actually, this is what we are experiencing in our reality and in our daily relations, for many people appear suddenly at the doorsteps of other people’s houses and workplaces without prior notice; thus, causing them some hardships and embarrassments.

Allah says in His Glorious Book: “O you who believe! Do not enter houses other than your own houses until you have asked permission and saluted their inmates; this is better for you, that you may be mindful.But if you do not find any one therein, then do not enter them until permission is given to you; and if it is said to you: Go back, then go back; this is purer for you; and Allah is Cognizant of what you do.” (24: 27-28).

In this context, His Eminence, the late Religious Authority, Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah (ra), points that one of the rules of social discipline in Islam is respecting the other’s freedom in his house; thus, he should not enter it without taking the owner’s permission first, whether he was there or not, for he might consider his home inappropriate for receiving you or he might be keeping some private secrets he does not want anyone to know about or other justifications that make man preserve the inviolability of his house.

His Eminence also highlights the importance of this social dimension in Islam, which is “taking permission”, and that this issue is strongly related to the issue of man’s freedom and the necessity of not trespassing the limits he set under any circumstances. Islam wants us to train ourselves on respecting the others’ private matters in a normal way without any complexes, and to infuse this attitude in our personalities, for we would actually be relieving any pressures imposed on the reality when we take each others’ private matters into consideration.

His Eminence (ra) continues to say: If someone refuses to receive you when you visit him without taking an appointment, you should not react impulsively or be negatively affected by that, for he might not be in a proper healthy, psychological or intellectual situation that allows him to receive you.

Commenting on the blessed Ayahs of An-Nour Surah, His Eminence (ra) considers that the Holy Quran wants us to be mindful of the realistic practical life that takes the nature of man’s general situations into consideration. Thus, it refuses to comprehend this stand as an insult or offense; rather, it regards it as a realistic natural behavior that has to do with organizing man’s life and arranging his meetings and appointments, which elevates the level of the society and brings about relief to all its individuals.

He adds: The civilized people have adopted this practical behavior that the Quran calls on us to follow until it became an integral part of their practical lives in which they act simply, spontaneously and realistically without any meaningless impulsive reactions; thus, outlining the main features of civilization that many of us try to imitate or even call for imitating being the European civilization, at a time we find, as we mentioned previously, that the Quranic Ayahs included what teaches people how to adopt this behavior hundreds of years ago.

[General Islamic concepts, p: 28]