Even the minutest details ranging from a visit to toilet have been discussed and made clear in Islam. The most revered Prophet (SAW) took pains to ensure that the Muslims learn the art of living a disciplined, decent and pious life. Other than prayers, fasting, zakaat, Hajj the etiquettes also become an act of worship if one follows the prescribed manner. If one goes to the latrine to ease himself in accordance with the directions of the most revered Prophet (SAW), it becomes a virtuous deed for a Muslim.
The etiquette of sitting down in an assembly merits a mention here. Usually, people stand up and make space for a VIP or an influential person. This causes disturbance in the assembly and makes the person feel important and ultimately makes him arrogant.
Abdul Aziz Addwesh in his Islamic etiquettes says, “It is not appropriate to ask someone to leave his sitting place for someone else”. Aziz supports this by quoting a hadith reported by Al Bukhari and Al Muslim, “Never should anyone of you make someone rise from his place and sit in his place; rather make room for others to sit.”
Another practice, which a Muslim should abandon, is separating two persons by inserting himself between them. This however, can be done if the persons give permission. (Al Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud).
If someone leaves his sitting place and returns to it, he has more right to it. (Al Muslim). Therefore, Muslims should refrain from occupying the space of others. They must wait and leave the space open for him.
The most revered Prophet (SAW) cautioned people against sitting in the middle of a sitting group. “Damned is he who sits in the middle of the group” (Abu Dawud). One should sit properly and leave space for others. “O ye who believe when it is said make room in assemblies then make room; Allah will make way for you (hereafter). And when it is said, come up higher, go up higher; Allah will exalt those who have knowledge to high ranks. Allah is well aware of what you do”…. (Al Quran, 43:11).
It is desirable to avoid yawning and belching in an assembly. Yawning is a sign of laziness and may hurt the sentiments of a person who is addressing the gathering. Similarly, people should avoid fiddling with the matting or clothes while a person is speaking. The listeners must be attentive. May be the person speaking wants to give the people sitting in front of him a gem and when one is not attentive he may miss it.
According to Ibn Umer (RA), a person produced a belch in presence of the most revered Prophet (SAW). The Holy Prophet (SAW) said, “ Stop it, for the biggest eaters in this worldly life will be hungriest in the hereafter”…. (Al Tirmidhi).
Muslims have been told to thank Allah the most Merciful on sneezing. However, when a person sneezes in a gathering, he must cover his mouth with hand or a garment to suppress the noise. (Al Tirmidhi).
While in an assembly one has to behave properly. Acts, which annoy others, should be avoided. For example if there are three persons, two of them should not talk to each other while avoiding the third one. (Al Bukhari). Similarly, a person should avoid topics, which annoy the listeners. However, when the speaker’s aim is reform, he has to talk but the talking should be done in a decent and mild manner. There is no need of offending the people. Mildness makes an impact.
And last but not the least; an assembly should not discuss nonsense. “People who rise from an assembly without mentioning the name of Allah are like those who rise around a donkey’s carcass and the assembly will be a source of sorrow for them”…. (Abu Dawud).