(27) Oh you, who have believed, do not enter houses other than your own houses until you ascertain welcome and greet their inhabitants. That is best for you; perhaps you will be reminded.
(28) And if you find no one therein, still, enter not until permission has been given. And if you are asked to go back, go back, for it is purer for you, and Allah is All-Knower of what you do.
(29) There is no blame upon you for entering houses not inhabited in which there is convenience for you. And Allah knows what you reveal and what you conceal.
root: dakhala; to enter; penetrate
root: bayt; plural of home; house; private space; habitat; apartment
root: anisa; make yourself familiar (known)
root: salam; to salute
root: wajada; to come upon; to arrive to
root: adhina; to be given permission
root: raji`a; to go back; to turn away; retreat
burden; blame; sin
inhabited; lived in; occupied
not; other; than
* These ayahs have to do with respecting one’s privacy. They honor the sanctity of one’s privacy. It is a God-given right. Crossing or violating ones privacy could lead to many issues.
* It is interesting that these ayahs come immediately after talking about two things: sexual relations outside marriage and the incident of Aisha (ra).
* These instructions were given to the believers to protect them from themselves and from the boundaries of others.
* Story: A woman from al-Ansar came to the Prophet (saws) and said, “Oh Messenger of Allah, when I am at home in my own place, I am in a state where I don’t want any strangers to see me. People continue to come, especially male members of my household just barge in. What should I do?” Allah (swt) then revealed Verses 27-28, and later other verses were revealed as well.
* General rule: do not enter a place/house that does not belong to you
* The scholars differ on the word tasta’nis; Allah (swt) later used the word adhina (to seek permission) and could have easily used it here, but used a different word to indicate: to befriend; to ask permission/to feel that you are welcome and accepted by the host (it is more than just mere permission).
* In addition, one must offer greetings to those who inhabit the place being entered. Although tasta’nisu was mentioned before greeting; both are required.
* Upon salam, you are accomplishing two things:
o Declaring your identity as a Muslim
o Offer peace by making du`a’; helps put the host at ease
* If one come to a home, and is told to go back, then they should retreat without offense and in fact they should feel happy. One who is turned away most likely has a special relationship with the inhabitants because the host is comfortable enough to tell them to return later.
* Allah then says that you are not in violation if you enter houses uninhabited where there is some benefit/interest/need for you. Remember that Allah (swt) knows what you reveal and that which you conceal, as well.
What is permissible
* Respecting sanctity of other’s privacy.
* Seeking permission before entering in.
* Greeting when entering in.
* Not facing the door or looking through the door/windows while waiting to be responded.
* Not breaking in or entering into a property in their absence.
* Leave when asked to leave.
What is not permissible
* Invading privacy of others (house, car, computer, phone).
* Not seeking permission before entering in.
* Not greeting when entering in.
* Facing/looking through the door/windows while waiting to be responded.
* Entering/breaking into a property in their absence.
* Refusing to go away when asked
Du`a’ upon entering someone’s house:
“In the name of Allah we enter and in the name of Allah we leave, and upon our lord we place our trust.”
* Upon saying this du`a’, the shayatin that are at your door step to waiting to enter with you will be sent away. If one does not say this or mention the proper salam, the shayatin will enter with the person.
Upon entering one’s home
1. Permission: do not exceed three times unless necessary
2. Combine with the greeting of salam.
3. Do not face the entrance/door.
4. If needed, knock or ring the bell moderately.
5. Identify yourself by stating your name.
6. State the purpose of your visit if needed/asked.
7. Cultural expressions may be used.
8. If entering your own place, adhere to the following Adab
Entering Upon Other: “Peace be upon you. And Allah’s mercy and blessings.”
(30) Tell the believing men to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Indeed, Allah is acquainted with what they do.”
* Gaze: to look steadily or stare with interest, pleasure, or wonder.
* This was told to the believing men and believing women.