The Qur’an has given certain injunctions that ensure harmonious social living. One injunction of this kind is set forth in the chapter Al-Nur (The Light). The following is a translation of the relevant verses: Believers, do not enter other people’s houses until you have asked their owners’ permission and greeted them. That will be the better for you, so that you may be heedful. If you find no one at home, do not go in until permission has been granted you. If you are told to go away, then go away. That is more proper for you. God knows well what you do. (24:27-28)
These verses give the Qur’anic etiquette for social living. The Qur’an emphasizes and encourages a good relationship between different members of society. But there are some principles that ensure a better social life and healthy and fruitful interaction.
The principles given in these verses can be summarized as follows.
- The first principle, in this regard is that, if you want to meet someone, you should fix an appointment in advance, so that the person can meet you without any reservation.
- If you fail to make a prior appointment before visiting someone’s home, you must on arrival knock at the door and wait to have permission from the occupants of the house before entering. Without permission from within, you must refrain from entering the house.
- If you visit someone’s home without a prior appointment and, after knocking at the door, you find that there is no response from within, you have to go away and return in due course.
- If you visit a house without a prior appointment and are told by the occupants that at that particular time a meeting is not possible, accept this in a positive way and go away without any kind of rancour.
These principles are very simple and very practical. This is good for every society. These principles do not apply only to strangers but must be adhered to even by relatives and friends. These principles are common and universal. There is no exception to them whatsoever. The spirit of these principles is that the members of society should be each other’s well-wishers. They should try to avoid creating problems for others. Everyone should, from others’ point of view, be predictable in character. All members of society must refrain from ill-feeling towards their fellow men.