Islam, in its legislations, aims to produce a well-balanced individual in every way: psychologically, spiritually, and materially. Many of Islam’s injunctions are specially intended for producing peace and spiritual contentment by providing verbal remembrances for a Muslim’s every activity.
When a person’s thoughts are occupied with worldly concerns and his mind is full of worry about the future and all the problems of life, he becomes plagued with stress and mental pressure that impairs his productivity and makes him less able to deal with his problems.
For this reason, Islam pays careful attention to the psychological state of the human being and sets down for him a number of verbal remembrances. These remembrances strengthen his bond with Allah and provide for him a strong psychological and spiritual inspiration if he habitually uses them. Allah says:
“Verily, in the remembrance of Allah, hearts find tranquility.”
Dale Carnegie came to realize this fact, and said: “The psychologists have realized that strong faith and adherence to religion are enough to overcome worry and nervous tension and to even cure these diseases.”
For all of these reasons, Allah’s Messenger (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) took care to make these remembrances an integral part of a Muslim’s behavior and good manners. When a Muslim adheres to all of the prophetic guidance, including the remembrances, he finds within himself the sweetness of obedience and spiritual contentment. He also attains great blessings from his Lord. Above all of this, he develops a strong bond with Allah Almighty.
1. The Etitquites of Entering and Leaving the Home
Islam views the home as a place where people seek rest, security, and peace of mind. Therefore, it sets down a number of etiquettes to help realize all of these things.
A. Greeting those inside with salâm (peace): Salâm is the salutation of the inhabitants of Paradise. Allah says:
“Their supplication therein will be: ‘Glory to You, O Allah’ and their salutation therein will be: ‘Peace’.”
Allah calls Paradise the abode of peace, because of the contentment and tranquility that it contains. Peace embraces within itself all goodness; otherwise it would not have been the reward of the inhabitants of Paradise.
“For them will be the abode of peace with their Lord. And He will be their protector because of what they used to do.”
For this reason, a person should give the greeting of peace upon entering the home, even if no one else is inside. Allah says:
“When you enter houses, greet one another with a greeting from Allah that is blessed and good.”
The manner of this greeting is to say: “Al-Salâm `alaykum wa rahmah Allah wa barakâtuh” meaning “Peace be upon you and the mercy of Allah and His blessings.”
The proper response is: “Wa `alaykum al-salâm wa rahmah Allah wa barakâtuh” meaning: “And upon you be peace and the mercy of Allah and His blessings.”
This has been related by `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her). She said: “Allah’s Messenger (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said to me: ‘Jibrîl (Gabriel) recites peace upon you.’ So I said: ‘And upon him be peace and the mercy of Allah and his blessings.”
Al-Bukhârî relates the following hadîth on the authority of Jâbir (may Allah be pleased with him) in his book al-Adab al-Mufrid. Allah’s Messenger (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “If you enter upon your family, greet them with peace, a greeting from Allah that is blessed and good.”
He then comments: “I see this as directing towards the statement of Allah: “When you are greeted with a greeting, greet in return with a better greeting or (at least) return the same.”
B. Mentioning Allah’s name: A person entering a house should mention the name of Allah, because Satan will not remain in a place where Allah’s name is mentioned. If the home is to be a place of contentment and tranquility, it has to be free from Satan whose goal is to lead the descendants of Adam astray. Allah says:
“Verily, Satan is an enemy of yours, so take him as an enemy.”
Allah the Exalted has informed us that the weapon to use to confront this enemy is to mention Allah Almighty. Allah says:
“And if an evil whisper from Satan tries to turn you away, then seek refuge with Allah. Verily, He is the All-Hearing, All-Knowing.”
It is related by Jâbir (may Allah be pleased with him) that he heard Allah’s Messenger (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say: “If a man enters his house and mentions the name of Allah upon entering and upon eating, Satan says: ‘You have no lodgings for me and no dinner.’ And when he enters without mentioning Allah’s name, Satan says: ‘You have lodgings for me.’ And when he fails to mention Allah’s name upon eating, Satan says: “You have lodgings for me and dinner’.”
Allah’s Messenger (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) has taught us what to say when entering our homes: “O Allah, verily I ask you for the best entry and the best departure. In Allah’s name we enter and with Allah’s name we leave. And upon Allah we put our trust.”
When a person wishes to leave his house, he should greet its inhabitants with peace and then depart well dressed and groomed.
He should then recite the prayer of leaving the house: “In the name of Allah; I believe in Allah, rely upon Allah, and put my trust in Allah. O Allah, verily I seek refuge with you from falling astray or leading others astray, from stumbling into error or causing others to fall into error, from being oppressed or oppressing others, and from being ignorant or facing the ignorance of others.”
It is related by Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) that Allah’s Messenger (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever says (when leaving from his house): ‘In the name of Allah, I put my trust in Allah. There is no might or power except with Allah.’, then it will be said to him: ‘You are sufficed, you are protected, you have been guided, and you are saved from Satan’.”