Wa`alaykum as-salamuwa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
1-The host should thank the guest for his hospitality.
2- The host should guard the host’s privacy regarding whatever he has come to know during his visit.
3- The gust must not overstay at the host’s home making a burden of himself by staying longer than the length of time prescribed by Shari`ah for a guest to stay, which is three days.
Answering this question, Dr. Salah Al-Sawy, the Secretary General of the Assembly of Muslim Jurists in America (AMJA), said,
Stressing the communal feeling of brotherhood among its followers, Islam has encouraged sensitivity and thoughtfulness to abound in all forms of interaction in the Islamic society.
The guest/host relation requires a high sense of delicacy. The practical and verbal teachings of the Prophet (peace be upon him) have outlined the reciprocal rights of the host and the guest in such a manner that preserves the honor and respect for both and leaves no room for embarrassment or annoyance.
The rights of a host on his guest are that he should thank him for his hospitality, for Almighty Allah does not appreciate those who do not appreciate people.
It is also the host’s right that his guest should guard his privacy regarding whatever he has come to know during his visit. Whatever good he has seen he should make it known, and whatever bad he has seen he should keep it secret and hidden.
Likewise, it is the host’s right upon his guest that he protects the sanctity of his home. So he must not betray him in his house with his eyes. He must not extend his sight to any of his womenfolk or anything that is private. He must not overstay at his home making a burden of himself by staying longer than the length of time prescribed by Shari`ah for a guest to stay, which is three days. Then, after that, there remain the general rights of Muslims on their fellow Muslims.
Allah Almighty knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.