Etiquette of a Gathering(Majlis)
Etiquette of a Gathering(Majlis)
(1) When you have to wait for someone in a gathering, do not sit in such a place or in such a way as to convey that you are waiting. This action will create unnecessary anxiety for the one whom you are waiting for. Sit down quietly at a distance from the person in an inconspicuous way. (An emergency or urgency will obviously be excluded from this rule)
(2) When going to meet a person then on arrival notify him in some way of your presence. Such notification may be by Salaam, speech or by sitting down (in a gathering) where you may be observed. (This rule does not apply to a public gathering, e.g. a public lecture in a Musjid or other public venue). Without having informed the person concerned of your arrival do not sit down in such a place which conceals your presence. It is quite possible that he may engage in some conversation which is not meant for your ears. In this way the private affairs of another person may be unwittingly overheard. It is not permissible to overhear the secrets and private affairs of others without their consent. On such occasions if it transpires that someone is engaging in a private conversation without having knowledge of your presence, then immediately leave the place. If this happens while the speaker is under the impression that you are asleep, then immediately reveal that you are not asleep. If the matter being discussed pertains to the infliction of harm or loss to you or to any Muslim, then it will be permissible to overhear such schemes and plots to enable you to protect yourself.
(3) When sitting in the company of a person do not sit in such close proximity as to cause inconvenience to him nor sit so far away that it becomes difficult to conduct the conversation with ease.
(4) Don't sit staring at a person who is involved in some work. This distracts his attention and disturbs his peace.
(5) It is disrespectful to unnecessarily sit directly behind someone in close proximity. The person in front is disturbed thereby.
(6) When someone is sitting and engaged in some work do not stand in his presence waiting for him to attend to you. Sit down and address him as soon as he is relieved of the work.
(7) When going to meet a person do not sit with him so long as to inconvenience him or to cause an impediment in his work.
(8) Where people are gathered do not spit or clean your nose in their presence unnecessarily. For such acts leave their presence.
(9) When leaving a gathering which was organized to discuss certain issues, do not leave without the consent of the leader of the assembly.
(10) It is not permissible to remain in a gathering where any law of the Shariat is being violated. Participating in such a gathering is not lawful.
(11) Hadhrat Jaabir (radhiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said that gatherings are held in trust. It is therefore not permissible to publicize the discussion of the gathering, However, according to the Hadith if the gathering is a conspiracy to destroy the life, property or reputation of a Muslim, then it will not be permissible to conceal such a plot. If by publicizing the private discussion of the gathering some harm will be caused to a person then such an act will be sinful. If the harm concerns the general public then to a greater extent will it be sinful to advertise or reveal the talks of the private gathering.
(12) While the talk in a gathering is in progress, the newcomer who enters should not make Salaam or Musaafahah. So doing is an interference which disturbs the speaker and distracts the attention of the audience.
(13) When arriving at a gathering early, sit in front. Latecomers should sit at the back wherever they are able to find place. They should not attempt to force their way to the front. Some people arriving late on Fridays at the Musjid, penetrate the rows ahead of them in their atternpts to obtain sitting place infront. Such inconsiderate action has been severely criticized in the Hadith. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said that such a person will be transformed into a bridge of Jahannum to be trampled on by people. The practice of cutting through the musallis in order to reach the front rows in the Musjid contains four severe evils:
Causing hurt to a Muslim, pride, despising a Muslim and show. Each one of these is a grave crime from which one should abstain.
(14) Without a valid reason do not lean against the wall when in a gathering listening to a discourse. This is highly disrespectful.
(15) If there is ample sitting place available, do not sit with your back towards anyone.