Putting the elders first

Shaykh Muhammad ‘Awwamah (hafizahullah) while explaining the importance of etiquette with seniors, writes:

‘I was once with my friend at our Madrasah Sha’baniyyah in Aleppo (may Allah Ta’ala alleviate the sufferings of its people soon) when we saw two of our senior teachers.

  1. Shaykh Abdul Fattah Abu Ghuddah (rahimahullah)
  2. Shaykh Mufti Muhammad As’ad ‘Ibajy (rahimahullah)

My friend proceeded to greet and shake the hand of Shaykh ‘Abdul Fattah first. He refused and said: ‘First greet the Shaykh (Mufti). First greet the Shaykh (Mufti)’

 

Shaykh ‘Awwamah says:

I thought to myself: while my friend greets the Mufti, I will greet Shaykh ‘Abdul Fattah.

Again Shaykh ‘Abdul Fattah (rahimahullah)  refused, saying in a more stern voice:

‘Greet the Shaykh (Mufti) first!

‘Greet the Shaykh (Mufti) first!’

 

– end of quote.

(Ma’alim Irshadiyyah, pg.226-227)

 

Moral:

Many of us are unmindful of this important etiquette; to greet the elder/senior first; before others.

Just as we are thought to first serve the elders before others, the same applies to the manners of greeting, meeting, offering a seat, allowing them to speak first etc.

 

Rasulullah (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) frequently encouraged putting the elders first. (Sahih Bukhari)

Imam Nawawi (rahimahullah) has a dedicated chapter on this etiquette in Riyadus Sawlihin.

 

For more, refer to the book: Islamic Manners, by Shaykh Abdul Fattah, pgs.44-51

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