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Narrative regarding an Etiquette relating to Visiting the Mosque


روي أنه وجد النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ريح ثوم في المسجد فقال: من أكل من هذه الشجرة فلا يغشانا في مسجدنا - يؤذينا بريح الثوم - حتى يذهب ريحها، فإن الملائكة تأذى مما يتأذى منه الإنس.

It is reported that [once, when] the Prophet (pbuh) sensed the odor of garlic1 in the mosque, he said: Whoever eats of this tree, he should not come near us in our mosques2 - distressing us with the odor of garlic - till its odor subsides; for the angels too are distressed3 by things that distress humans4.

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General Notes:

  1. It is clear from other narratives of this group that the following directive relates to all such things that leave a pungent odor in one's breath, such as raw garlic or onions or leeks etc.

  2. It seems that the Prophet (pbuh) directed people to avoid getting too close to others, thereby saving them from any distress because of the pungent odor in their breaths.

  3. Anything that causes distress and discomfort to people who have specially gathered to worship God in a place that is specially made for the purpose, causes distress to God's angels as well. This part of the narrative does not necessarily imply that the tastes and senses of angels are always the same as those of humans.

  4. The narrative, in fact, teaches us the etiquette of being extremely mindful of others' comfort, whenever we intend to participate in a gathering or a congregation. People should not be put through any form of discomfort by the odor of our bodies or that of our breaths. If one keeps in mind the fact that the pre-Islamic Arabs were an uncouth and a rugged tribal people, who generally gave no importance to social etiquette and decency, one would then be in a position to understand that the Prophet (pbuh) did not only deliver God's message to his nation but also taught them how to live as better human beings in the society and to improve the quality of their social interactions with others.

Notes on the Text of the Narrative

This narrative or a part of it with some variations has been reported in Bukhariy (narrative no. 815, 816) Muslim (narrative no. 563, 564) Mu'atta Imam Malik (narrative no. 30), Tirmidhi (narrative no. 1806) Ibn Maajah (narrative no. 1015, 1016) Abu Dawood (narrative no. 3824), Nissaiy (narrative no. 707), Ahmad ibn Hanbal (narrative no. 4619, 4715, 7573, 7599, 9540, 12960, 15056, 15111, 15198, 15334), Nissaiy's Sunan Al-Kubraa (narrative no. 786, 6679), Al-Daarmiy (narrative no. 2053) Ibn Khuzaymah (narrative no. 1661, 1662, 1663, 1664, 1665, 1668), Bayhaqiy (narrative no. 4828, 4829, 4830, 4831, 4832, 4833, 4834) Musnad Abu Ya`laa (narrative no. 1889, 2321, 2322, 4291, 4960, 5916, 6118), Abd al-Razzaq (narrative no. 1736) Ibn Abi Shaybah (narrative no. 1669), Ibn Hibban (narrative no. 1634, 1644, 1645, 1646, 2086, 2088, 2089, 2090), Musnad Al-Humaidiy (narrative no. 1229). The preferred text has been reported in Bukhariy's narrative no. 816.

The words "وجد النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ريح ثوم في المسجد" (i.e., " the Prophet (pbuh) sensed the odor of garlic in the mosque") has been reported in Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal's narrative no. 9540.

In some narratives, as in Ahmad ibn Hanbal's narrative no. 9540, the words "من أكل من هذه الشجرة" (i.e., "whoever eats of this tree") have been reported as "من أكل من هذه الشجرة الخبيثة" (i.e., "whoever eats of this vicious tree"); in some other narratives, as in Abu Dawood's narrative no. 3824, these words have been reported as: "من أكل من هذه البقلة الخبيثة" (i.e., "whoever eats of this vicious plant") by "من أكل ثوما أو بصلا" (i.e. "whoever eats a garlic or an onion") in Ahmad ibn Hanbal's narrative no. 15334; by "من أكل من هذه الشجرة المنتنة" (i.e., "whoever eats of this stenchy tree") in Ibn Hibban's narrative no. 2090; by "إذا أكلتم هذه الخضرة فلا تجالسونا في المجلس" (i.e., "when you eat of this plant, do not participate in our sittings") in Al-Humaidiy's narrative no. 1299.

In some narratives, as in Ibn Maajah's narrative no. 1016, there is an addition of the word "شيئا" (i.e., "anything") after the clause "من أكل من هذه الشجرة" (i.e., "whoever eats of this tree").

In some narratives, as in Bukhariy's narrative no. 815, the words "فلا يغشانا في مسجدنا" (i.e., "he should not come near us in our mosques") have been reported as "فلا يقربن مسجدنا" (i.e., "he should not come near our mosque"). However, in some other narratives, as in Ahmad ibn Hanbal's narrative no. 15111, these words have been replaced with "فلا يغشنا في مسجدنا" (i.e., "he should not come near us in our mosque"); in Ahmad ibn Hanbal's narrative no. 4619, these words have been replaced with "فلا يأتين المسجد" (i.e., "he should not come to our mosque") and by "فلا يأتين المساجد" (i.e., "he should not come to our mosques") in Ahmad ibn Hanbal's narrative no. 4715; by "فلا يغشنا في مساجدنا" (i.e., "he should not come near us in our mosques") in Ibn Hibban's narrative no. 2089; by "فلا يقربن المساجد" (i.e., "he should not come near our mosques") in Ibn Khuzaymah's narrative no. 1661; by "لا يصلين معنا" (i.e., "he should not offer prayers with us") in Ahmad ibn Hanbal's narrative no. 12960; by "فليعتزلنا" (i.e., "he should stand apart from us") and "فليعتزل مسجدنا وليقعد في بيته" (i.e., "he should stand apart from our mosque and should sit in his house") in Ahmad ibn Hanbal's narrative no. 15334; by "فليعتزلنا وليعتزل مسجدنا وليقعد في بيته" (i.e., "he should stand apart from us and should stand apart from our mosque and sit in his house") in Nissaiy's Sunan al-Kubraa, narrative no. 6679; by "فلا يقربنا في مسجدنا" (i.e., "he should not come near us in our mosque") in Tirmidhi's narrative no. 1806; by "فلا يغشى مسجدي هذا" (i.e., "he should not come near this mosque of mine") in Abd al-Razzaq's narrative no. 1736; by "فلا يأتي مسجدنا" (i.e., "he should not come to this mosque") in Bayhaqiy's narrative no. 4828; by "فلا يقربنا ولا يصلينا معنا" in Bayhaqiy's narrative no. 4830; by "فلا يقربن من مصلانا" (i.e., "he should not come near our place of prayers") in Abu Ya`laa's narrative no. 4291; by "فلا يدخل في مسجدنا" (i.e., "he should not enter in our mosque") in Abu Ya`laa's narrative no. 6118; by "فلا يقربن مسجدنا ولا يؤذينا بريح الثوم" (i.e., "he should not come near our mosque and should not distress us with the odor of garlic") in Muslim's narrative no. 563; by "فلا يؤذينا بها في مسجدنا" (i.e., "he should not distress us with it in our mosque") in Ahmad ibn Hanbal's narrative no. 7573; by "فلا يؤذينا بها في مسجدنا هذا" (i.e., "he should not distress us with it in this mosque of ours") in Ibn Khuzaymah's narrative no. 1662; by "فلا يؤذينا في مسجدنا" (i.e., "he should not distress us in our mosque") in Bayhaqiy's narrative no. 4831; by "فلا يؤذينا في مجالسنا" (i.e., "he should not distress us in our gatherings") in Ibn Hibban's narrative no. 1645.

The phrase "يؤذينا بريح الثوم" (i.e., "distressing us with the odor of garlic") have been reported in Mu'atta Imam Malik's narrative no. 30.

The words "حتى يذهب ريحها" (i.e., "till its odor subsides") have been reported in Bayhaqiy's narrative no. 4829.

The sentence "فإن الملائكة تأذى مما يتأذى منه الإنس" (i.e., "for the angels too are distressed by things that distress humans") have been reported in Muslim's narrative no. 564. However, in some narratives, as in Nissaiy's narrative no. 707, the sentence has alternatively been reported as "فإن الملائكة تتأذى..." (same meaning) and in some narratives, as for instance in Ibn Hibban's narrative no. 2086, the preposition "منه" (i.e., "from it") has been reported as "يه" (i.e., "with it").

In some narratives, as in Bayhaqiy's narrative no. 4832, the word "الإنس" (i.e., "human") has been replaced with its synonym "الإنسان" (i.e., "human"); in Al-Humaidiy's narrative no. 1299 by "الناس" (i.e., "people") and in Abu Ya`laa's narrative no. 2321 by "ابن آدم" (i.e., "children of Adam").

According to some narratives, as for instance Tirmidhi's narrative no. 1806, this directive of the Prophet (pbuh) relates to "الثوم والبصل والكراث" (i.e., "garlic, onion and leek").

The reported subject matter has also been alternatively reported in some narratives, as for instance in Muslim's narrative no. 564, as under:

روي أنه نهى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم عن أكل البصل والكراث فغلبتنا الحاجة فأكلنا منها فقال: من أكل من هذه الشجرة المتنة فلا يقربن مسجدنا فإن الملائكة تأذى مما يتأذى منه الإنس.

'It is reported that the Prophet (pbuh) stopped people from eating onions and leeks. However, being overcome by hunger, we ate it. The Prophet said: Whoever eats from this odorous tree should not come near our mosque, for angels too are distressed by things that distress humans.'

 (This write-up is prepared by the Hadith Cell of Javed Ahmad Ghamidi)

 

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Last Updated on Sunday, 12 December 2010 17:23