Sit where asked to by your host. Do not argue with your hosts about the place where they wish you to sit. If you sit where you want, you may overlook a private area of the house, or you may cause inconvenience to the house residents. Ibn Kathir narrated in Al-Bidayah wa Al-Nihayah that the honoured companion ‘Adi bin Hatam Al-Tay converted to Islam and came to Madina to see the Prophet (PBUH). The Prophet honoured Hatam by seating him on a cushion, while he himself sat on the floor. ‘Adi said: '...then the Prophet took me along and upon reaching his house, he took a leather cushion filled with palm fiber and threw it on the floor. ‘Sit on this,' he said. ‘No, you sit on it,' I answered. The Prophet insisted, ‘No you.' So I sat on it while the Prophet sat on the floor.' '
Kharija bin Ziada visited Ibn Sireen. He found Ibn Sireen sitting on a cushion on the floor and wanted to also sit on a cushion, saying, 'I am content as you are.' Ibn Sireen replied: 'In my home, I will not be content until I provide you with what I am usually comfortable with. Sit where you are asked to sit.' Do not sit in the patron's seat unless he invites you to it.
In this regard, the Prophet (PBUH) said: 'No person shall lead another in prayer while the first is at the latter's house. No person shall sit, uninvited, at the favourite seat of the patron of the house.'
If it happened that you arrived early and your host, out of kindness, directed you to sit at the most prominent seat, be prepared to stand up and give this seat to the elder, the notable, or the scholar when they arrive after you since they are more deserving of this seat.
Do not be insensitive and tactless. If you refuse to give your seat to those who are considered more deserving of it by those around you, this will only indicate your lack of manners and common sense. You will become one of those referred to by the Prophet, when he said, 'Those who do not respect our elders do not belong to us.'
To remain entrenched in your seat will not elevate your status, and it will certainly surprise those present. You will be considered a snob since you are insisting upon an undeserved honour. This rule applies equally to men and women. Insensibility does not enhance social standing. On the contrary, it will be a terrible mistake that will only tarnish your reputation. To honour an honourable person can only improve your standing and stir admiration for your manners and humbleness.
If you happened to sit in the second best place and a notable person entered the room, you should give up your seat to that person. To be respectful of our elders is evidence of your good manners and social sense. Imam Muslim reported that the Prophet said, when organizing prayers, 'The wisest of you and the elders should stand next to me, then those below them, then those below them.'
In the gathering, a prominent person may call upon you to discuss a matter, or to answer a query, or to give you an advice. If you sat beside him or near him, it is desirable that you return to your previous seat once the matter is concluded unless that person or other notables insist that you remain at your new seat. This is provided that by doing so, the space does not become so tight as to cause discomfort to those already sitting there. Manners are based on common sense. They could be developed by socializing with prominent and tactful individuals. By observing how they act and behave, you will be able to enhance your common sense, good manners and graceful behaviour.
You could be called to a gathering where you are the youngest. In such cases, do not sit before you are invited to do so. Do not sit if you will be crowding out others, or forcing others to leave their seats for you. If you are invited to sit, do not proceed to the best place when there are others more deserving of it. Be prepared to give up your seat to such individual. Doing this on your own, before being requested to do so, will enhance admiration and respect for you.
Importance Of Appearance
Distinct Muslim Personality
Cleanliness And Washing
Arriving From A Journey
Dress Properly With Family And Friends
Entering Or Leaving A House
Entering While Others Are Asleep
Announcing Your Presence
Seeking Permission To Enter
Knocking And Ringing
Answering 'Who Is It?'
The Manners Of Visiting
Keeping Appointments, Delays And Cancellation
Declining A Visit
Control Your Eyes
Removing Your Shoes
Choosing A Seat
A Visitor Is Not An Inspector
Timing Your Visit
Sitting Between Two Persons
The Host's Duties And The Guests' Rights
Stay In Touch
A Brief Advice To My Sisters
The Manners Of Conversation
Selecting Suitable Topics
Talk In A Suitable Tone
The Art Of Listening
Discussions And Debates
Swearing By Allah
Answering A Question
Respect And Favour The Elderly
The Elderly Are To Lead Prayers
Walking With The Elderly
The Elderly Are To Be Served First
Manners With Parents
Tell Your Family Your Whereabouts
Respect The Poor
Dealing With Non-muslims
Manners Of Eating
The Importance Of Eating Manners
Manners Of Eating
Manners Of Drinking
Gold And Silver Cutlery
Weddings Are Part Of The Prophet's Tradition
The Manners Of Attending Weddings
Visiting The Sick
Visiting A Patient
Praying For The Sick
The Length Of The Visit
The Manners Of Visiting A Patient
How The Ill Express Their Complaints
Breaking Unpleasant News
Expressing Condolences Is A Courtesy And A Duty
Expressing Condolences And Sympathy
Sending Flowers And Reading Quran During Funerals
A Final Word