Asking permission to enter

Al-Adab al-Mufrad Al-Bukhari

by Imam Bukhari
Translated by: Ustadha Aisha Bewley

XDII. Asking permission to enter

481. How was the Ayat of Veiling revealed?

1051. Anas said that he was ten years old when the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, came to Madina. He said, "My mothers decided that I would serve him and I served him for ten years. He died when I was twenty. I am the person who knows best about the business of the veil. The first instance that was revealed occurred when the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, built a room for Zaynab bint Jahsh. He celebrated the wedding there, invited the people who came, ate and then left. A group remained with the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. They stayed for a long time and then the Prophet went out and I went out hoping that they would leave. He walked and I walked with him until he came to the threshold of 'A'isha's room. Then, thinking that they would have left, he returned and I returned with him. He went to Zaynab but they were still sitting there. He left again and I left with him until he once more reached the threshold of 'A'isha's room. When he thought that they would have gone, he went back again and I went back with him. This time they had indeed left. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, then put up a curtain between me and him, and the veil was revealed."

482. Three times of nakedness

1052. Tha'laba ibn Abi Malik al-Qurazi reported that he rode to 'Abdullah ibn Suwayd, one of the Banu Haritha ibn al-Harith, to ask him about the three times of nakedness. 'Abdullah used to observe these times. Tha'laba said, "'Abdullah asked, 'What do you want?' I replied, 'I want to observe them.' He said, 'When I take off my garment at midday, none of my family who have reached puberty comes to me without my permission unless I call them. Nor do they do that when it is Fajr until people know that I have prayed, nor when I have prayed 'Isha' and removed my clothes so that I can sleep.'"

483. A man eating with his wife

1053. 'A'isha said, "I used to eat date and butter mixture with the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. 'Umar visited and the Prophet invited him and he ate. 'Umar's hand touched my fingers and he said, 'Oh! If I were to be obeyed about you, no eye would ever see you!' Then the veil was revealed."

1054. Umm Habiba bint Qays (Khawla) was heard to say, "My hand and that of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, mixed together in the same vessel."

484. When someone enters a house which is uninhabited

1055. 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar said, "When someone enters a house which is not lived in, he should say, 'Peace be upon the righteous slaves of Allah.'"

1056. Ibn 'Abbas said, "The verse, 'Do not enter houses other than your own until you have asked permission and greeted their inhabitants' (24:27) has an exception made to it when Allah says, 'There is nothing wrong in your entering houses where no one lives where there is some service for you. Allah knows what you divulge and what you conceal.'"

485. "Those you own as slaves should ask your permission to enter" (24:56)

1057. Regarding the ayat, "Those you own as slaves should ask your permission to enter" (24:56), Ibn 'Umar said, "That applies to men rather than women."

486. The words of Allah, "Once your children have reached puberty" (24:57)

1058. Ibn 'Umar reported that when his children had reached puberty and he had withdrawn to his room, none of them entered where he was except with his permission.

487. Someone asking permission to come in to visit his mother

1059. 'Alqama said, "A man came to 'Abdullah and said, 'Should I ask permission to go in where my mother is?' He said, 'At all times. Do you want to see her (exposed)?'"

1060. Muslim ibn Nadhir said, "A man asked Hudhayfa, 'Should I ask permission to enter where my mother is?' He replied, 'If you were not to ask her permission, you would see what you dislike.'"

488. Asking permission to enter where one's father is

1061. Musa ibn Talha said, "I entered where my mother was with my father. He went in and I followed him. He turned and pushed me in the chest so that I fell on my bottom. Then he said, 'Will you enter without permission!'"

489. Asking permission to go in to one's father and one's child

1062. Jabir said, "A man should ask permission from his son and his mother, even if she is old, his brother, his sister and his father."

490. Asking a sister's permission to enter

1063. 'Ata' said, "I asked Ibn 'Abbas, 'Does one ask permission of one's sister?' He replied, 'Yes.' I repeated it and said, 'My two sisters live in my room and I provide for them and spend on them, so do I ask them for permission?' He said, 'Yes. Do you want to see them naked?' Then he recited, 'O you who believe! Those you own as slaves and those of you who have not as yet reached puberty should ask your permission to enter at three times: before the Dawn Prayer and when you have undressed at noon and after the Night Prayer - three times of nakedness for you.' (24:56) Ibn 'Abbas said, 'He did not command these individuals to ask permission other than at these three times of nakedness.' Then he went on to say, 'The verse in Surat an-Nur:57 is: 'Once your children have reached puberty, they should ask your permission to enter as those before them also asked permission.'"

Ibn 'Abbas said, "Asking permission is obligatory." Ibn Jurayj added, "For all people."

491. Asking your brother for permission to enter

1064. 'Abdullah said, "A man asks permission of his father, his mother, his brother and his sister."

492. Asking permission three times

1065. 'Ubayd ibn 'Umayr reported that Abu Musa al-Ash'ari asked permission of 'Umar ibn al-Khattab, but he did not grant him permission. It seemed that he was busy. Abu Musa came back and 'Umar had finished. He said, "Didn't I hear the voice of 'Abdullah ibn Qays? Give him permission to enter." He was told, "He has gone away," so he sent after him. Abu Musa said, "We were commanded to behave like that (i.e. to go away after having asked permission to enter three times)." 'Umar said, "Bring me a clear proof of it." He then went to the gathering of the Ansar and questioned them. They said, "Only the youngest of us will attest to that ­ Abu Sa'id al-Khudri." He went with Abu Sa'id. 'Umar said, "Is something of what the may Allah bless him and grant him peace,, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, commanded hidden from me? Doing business in the markets distracted me," i.e. going out to trade.

493. Asking permission to enter is not a greeting

1066. Regarding the person who asks for permission to enter before he gives the greeting, Abu Hurayra said, "He is not given permission until he has first given the greeting."

1067. Abu Hurayra said, "When someone comes in and does not say, 'Peace be upon you,' then say, 'No,' until he brings the key which is the greeting (salam)."

494. When someone looks without permission, his eye is gouged out

1068. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "If a man looks into your house and you take some pebbles and gouge out his eye, there is no fault in you."

1069. Anas said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was standing in prayer and a man looked into his room. He took an arrow from his quiver and aimed it at his eyes."

495. Asking permission without looking

1070. Sahl ibn Sa'd told him that a man looked from a room through the door of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, while the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, had a comb with which he was scratching his hair. When the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, saw him, he said, "If I had known that you were looking at me, I would have stabbed you in the eye with this!"

1071. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The ear is put in the place of the eye."

1072. Anas said, "A man looked through a gap into the room of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and the Messenger of Allah aimed an arrow-head at him, and the man withdrew his head."

496. When a man greets another man in his room

1073. 'Ubayd ibn Hunayn related to him that Abu Musa said, "I asked permission three times to come in to 'Umar, but he did not give me permission and so I went away. He said, ''Abdullah, is it hard on you to be kept waiting at your door.' I said, 'I asked permission from you three times and you did not give me permission, so I went away (and we were commanded to do that).' 'Umar said, 'From whom did you hear this?' I replied, 'I heard it from the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.' 'Umar said, 'Did you hear something from the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, which I did not hear? If you do not bring me a clear proof, I will make an example of you!' Therefore I went to a group of Ansar who were sitting in the mosque. I asked them and they said, 'Does anyone doubt this?' I told them what 'Umar had said. They said, 'Only the youngest of us will go with you.' So Abu Sa'id al-Khudri ­ or Abu Mas'ud ­ went with me to 'Umar. He said, 'We went out with the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, when he was going to Sa'd ibn 'Ubada. He gave the greeting, but Sa'd did not give permission. Then he greeted him a second time and then a third time, but Sa'd did not give him permission. So the Prophet said, 'We have done what we must.' Then he went back and Sa'd caught up to him and said, 'Messenger of Allah! By the One who sent you with the Truth, every time you greeted me, I heard and answered you, but I wanted to have a lot of greeting (peace) from you for me and the people of my house.'" Abu Musa said, "By Allah, I am a guardian of the hadith of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace." 'Umar said, "Yes, but I wanted to make sure."

497. A man's invitation is his permission

1074. 'Abdullah said, "When a man is given an invitation, that is his permission to enter."

1075. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "When one of you gives someone an invitation and the person you invited comes with your messenger, that is his permission to enter."

1076. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "A man's messenger to another man is his permission to enter."

1077. Abu'l-'Alaniyya said, "I came to Abu Sa'id al-Khudri and greeted him, but he did not give me permission. Then I greeted him again and he did not give me permission. Then I greeted him a third time, raising my voice and said, 'Peace be upon you, people of the house,' and he did not give me permission. Then I went off to one side and sat down. A slave boy came out to me and said, 'Enter.' I entered and Abu Sa'id said to me, 'If you had said it any more times, I would not have given you permission.' I asked him about vessels (i.e. those used for wine) and other things. He said, 'Haram.' I asked him about an old milk-skin made into a bucket for fermentation purposes. 'Haram,' he said."

498. How does someone stand at a door

1078. 'Abdullah ibn Busr, the Companion of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said that when the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, came to a door when he wanted to ask permission to enter, he did not face it directly. He stood to the right or the left. If he was given permission, he went in. Otherwise he went away.

499. When someone asks permission to enter, he says, "When shall I leave? Where shall I sit?"

1079. Mu'awiya ibn Hudayj said, "I came to 'Umar ibn al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, and asked him for permission to enter. They told me, 'Stay where you are until he comes to you.' I sat down near his door." He continued, "'Umar came out to me, called for water and did wudu'. Then he wiped over his leather socks. I said, 'O Amir al'-Mu'minin, is this on account of urine?' He replied, 'On account of urine or other things.'"

500. Knocking on a door

1080. Anas ibn Malik reported that people knocked on the door of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, using their fingernails.

501. When someone enters without having asked permission

1081. Kalda ibn Hanbal reported that Safwan ibn Umayya sent him to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, during the Conquest of Makka with some milk, gazelle, and cucumber. (Abu 'Asim said that the meant vegetables.) The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was at the top of the valley and I did not give the greeting nor ask for permission. He said, "Go back and say, 'Peace be upon you. May I enter?' That was after Safwan had become Muslim."

1082. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "If someone looks inside, he should not be given permission to enter."

502. When someone says, "Can I come in?" and does not give a greeting

1083. 'Ata' reported that Abu Hurayra said, "When someone says, "Can I come in?" and does not give the key.'" 'Ata' said, "Peace?" and Abu Hurayra replied, "Yes."

1084. Rib'i ibn Hirash reported that a man of the Banu 'Amir came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said, "Can I come in?" The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, told his slavegirl, "Go out and say to him,, 'Say, "Peace be upon you. Can I come in?" He is not good at asking permission to enter." The man said, "I heard that before the slavegirl came out to me and I said, 'Peace be upon you. Can I come in?' Then the Prophet said, 'And on you. Enter!'"

The man continued, "I went in and asked, 'Why have you been sent?' The Prophet replied, 'I have only brought good. I have come to you in order that you worship Allah alone with no partner and stop worshipping al-Lat and al-'Uzza and pray five prayers in the night and day, fast a month in the year and go on hajj to this House. You are to take from the property of your rich men and give it toy our poor.' I said to him, 'Is there anything you do not know?' The Prophet replied, 'Allah knows the good. There is knowledge which no one except Allah knows. There are five things which only Allah knows: "Truly Allah has knowledge of the Hour and sends down abundant rain and knows what is in the wombs. And no self knows what it will earn tomorrow and no self knows in what land it will die." (31:34)'"

503. How to ask permission to enter

1085. Ibn 'Abbas said, "'Umar asked permission to visit the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said, 'Peace be upon the Messenger of Allah! Peace be upon you! Can I come in?'"

504. The one who says, "Who is it?" and is answered, "Me"

1086. Jabir said, "I came to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, about a debt my father owed. I knocked at the door and he asked. 'Who is it?' 'Me,' I replied. He said, 'Me? Me?' as if he disliked that."

1087. Burayda said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, went out to the mosque while Musa was reciting. He said, 'Who is it?' I said 'I am Burayda, may I be your ransom!' The Prophet said, 'This man has been given one of the flutes of the family of Da'ud.'"

505. When someone asks permission, he is told, "Enter with peace"

1088. 'Abdu'r-Rahman ibn Ju'dan said, "I was with 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar and he asked permission from the people of the house to enter. He was told, 'Enter with peace,' and he refused to enter them.'"

506. Looking into houses

1089. Abu Hurayra said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "When the eye enters, permission to enter should not be given."

1090. Muslim ibn Nadhir said, "A man asked permission to enter from Hudhayfa. He looked in and said, 'May I come in?' Hudhayfa replied, 'As for you eye, it has already entered. As for your bottom, it has not entered.'"

1090 (sic). A man said, "Shall I ask permission from my mother?" He replied, "If you do not ask her permission, you will see something you might dislike."

1091. Anas ibn Malik reported that a bedouin came to the house of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and put his eye to the crack of the door. Therefore the Prophet took an arrow or a sharp stick and aimed it at the bedouin as to gouge out his eye. The man left and the Prophet said, "If you had stayed, I would have gouged out your eye."

1092. 'Umar ibn al-Khattab said, "Anyone who fills his eye with the contents of a house before he has been given permission has gone astray."

1093. Thawban, the mawla of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, related that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "It is not lawful for a Muslim man to look inside a house until he has been given permission. If he does so, he has entered. He should not act as the imam of a people and then single himself out for supplication to the exclusion of others. He should not pray while he needs to urinate until he has relieved himself."

507. The excellence of someone who enters his house saying "Peace"

1094. Abu Umama reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, Allah is responsible for three: if they live, they will have enough, and if they die, they will enter the Garden. Allah Almighty is responsible for whoever enters his house , saying 'Peace'. Allah is responsible for whoever goes out to the mosque. Allah is responsible for whoever goes out in the Way of Allah."

1095. Jabir said, "When you come in to your family, greet them with a greeting from Allah which is blessed and good." He added, "I only think that it is what is meant by His words, 'When you are greeted with a greeting, greet with one better than it or return it.' (4:86)"

508. When someone does not mention Allah when he enters his house, shaytan spends the night in it

1096. Jabir reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "When a man enters his house, he should Allah mention Allah Almighty, both when he enters and he eats. If he does so, Shaytan says (i.e. to the shayatin), 'You cannot spend the night or eat.' When he enters and does not mention Allah when he enters, Shaytan says, 'You have got your lodgings for the night and your supper.'"

509. What one is not given permission for

1097. A'yan al-Khwarizmi said, "We came to Anas ibn Malik while he was sitting his foyer with anyone else with him. My companion greeted him and said, 'May I come in?' Anas said, 'Come in. This is a place where no one asks for permission.' He had food brought to us and we ate. Then a cup of sweet nabidh was brought and we drank and were full."

510. Asking permission in shops in the market

1098. Mujahid said, "Ibn 'Umar did not ask permission to enter shops in the market."

1099. 'Ata' said, "Ibn 'Umar used to ask permission to enter market-stalls."

511. How to ask permission from Persians

1100. Abu Malik, the mawla of Umm Miskin, the daughter of ('Umar) ibn 'Asim ibn 'Umar ibn al-Khattab, said, "My mistress sent me to Abu Hurayra and he came with me. When he was at the door, he asked in Persian, 'Can we come in?' 'Come in!' she replied.' Then she said, 'Abu Hurayra, if visitors come to me after 'Isha', should I enter into conversation with them?' He replied, 'Converse as long as you have not done the witr prayer. If you have down the witr, there is no conversation after it.'"