Lecture for 3rd year medical students on 6th January 2001 by Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr



Purpose Of Speech

The Good Word, Kalimat Tayyibat, And The Bad Word, Kalimat Khabiithat

Etiquette Of Speaking

Rulings About Speaking



Day And Night

Purpose Of Sleep

Etiquette Of Sleeping, Adab Al Nawm

Rulings About Sleep



Types Of Walking

Purposes Of Walking

Etiquette Of Walking

Etiquette Of The Road, Adab Al Tariiq

Foot Racing, Musabaqat



Sitting Companion

Physiological Purposes

Sitting And Ibadat, Majlis An ‘Ibadat

Sitting And Learning, Majlis Al ‘Ilm

Etiquette Of The Assembly, Adab Al Majlis



Physiological Purposes

The Unique Human Upright Posture

Standing And Ibadat

Etiquette Of Standing, Adab Al Qiyaam




Human speech serves several purposes: communication, education, social interaction, and worship. Humans also speak when making supplication, dua, to Allah the almighty. Human speech has a big impact being likened to sorcery, inna min al bayaan lasihrun (KS 462)


THE GOOD WORD, kalimat tayyibat, and the BAD WORD, kalimat khabiithat

The prophet taught that human speech should consist only of positive and good messages. The good word is charity, al kalimat al tayyibat sadaqat (KS 462). Allah does not like obscene talk, fahsh and tafahhush (KS 462). The prophet taught avoiding bad and immoral talk. He described in detail the type of talk to be avoided (KS 462).


In order to make social interaction positive and pleasant, the prophet taught the etiquette of speaking. The older ones speak before the younger ones (KS 462). It is preferable to speak little or to keep silent (KS 461). There is great merit in speaking little (KS 461). Being humble and speaking less is a sign of iman (KS 462). It is recommended to mention Allah during conversation, dhikr al llaah athnaa al kalaam (KS 462).



Fear of people should not deter from saying the truth, rahbat al naas la yamuna'u qawl al haqq (KS 461). Muslims are ordained to tell the truth, al amr bi al sidq (KS 453). Telling a lie is one of the major sins, al kadhib min al kabair (KS 453). Lying has serious consequences, ‘aaqibat al kadhib (KS452). There are however three instances when permission is given to tell a lie, rukhsat bi al kadhib fi thalaath (KS 453). Lying is allowed for purposes of reconciling quarrelling persons. It is also allowed when an enemy is looking for a Muslim to kill him. It is also allowed in domestic life to avoid hurting feelings for example a husband may say he enjoyed a meal when he did not in order to protect the feelings of the wife who cooked. If a person is forced to lie, Allah can forgive. Exaggeration in conversation is forbidden and is a form of lying. Mujamalat is speaking with people in a pleasant way to make them comfortable even if they are people one detests. Mujamalat should however not degenerate to the level of deceptive acting. Keeping silent to avoid self-incrimination is preferable to public declaration of sins. If Allah covers a sinner from people’s eyes, he should recourse to repentance. Open broadcasting of sins only serves to encourage others to commit the same sins. Secrets are a trust and should never be revealed in conversations. In some legal situations like the marriage of a virgin, silence is construed to mean consent.




The day is light, nahar mubsirat (p 542 10:67, 17:12; p 542 27:86) and was made for humans to seek their sustenance, nahar ma'aashan (p 543 78:11). The night is a period of rest, al layl sakanan (p 538 6:96, 10:67, 37:86; p 542 40:61). It is a garment, al layl libaasan (p. 538 25:47, p. 539 78:10). The night is a period Allah set aside for rest, sleeping, and ibadat. Night prayer is not obligatory, salat al layl laisat waajibat (KS 471) but is highly recommended. There is great merit in prayer at night, fadhl salat al llayl (KS 469). There is great merit in recitation of the Qur'an at night, fadhl tilawat al Qur'an fi al llayl (KS 469).



Sleep is a sign of Allah (p. 1273 30:23). Sleep is rest (p. 1273 25:47, 78:9). During sleep there are several metabolic and intellectual activities that benefit humans.



It is recommended to make wudhu before going to bed. It is sunnat to say a supplication, dua, before sleeping. It is sunna to sleep facing the qibla and to sleep on the right hand side, al naum ala al janb al ayman (KS 552).  Sleeping on the face is prohibited, la yarqudu ala al wajih (KS 552). A special supplication is said when alarmed in sleep. Yawning and sneezing may occur during sleep or on waking up from sleep. The prophet taught the proper etiquette for yawning and sneezing, adab al ‘atas wa al tashmiit. The prophet also taught the etiquette of waking up. A special supplication is said on waking up for tahajjud (KS 469) and on waking up in the morning (   ). The hands should be washed first before putting them into any vessel. The face should also be washed to take away ocular, nasal, and oral secretions.



Sleeping on the side nullifies wudhu, al naum ala al janb yanqudhu al wudhu (KS 551). A person in ritual impurity makes wudhu before sleeping, yatawadhau al mujnib idha araada al naum (KS 551). Sleeping before salat nullifies wudhu, al naum qabla al salat yanqudhu al wudhu (KS 551). Sleep could occur in salat, al salat wa al nawm (KS 551 Bukhari K4 B53; Nisai K1 B116; Nisai K4 B29). Sleeping in salat is from shaitan, al naum fi al salat min al shaitan (KS 551: Ibn Majah K5 B42, Muwatta K1 H26). Night prayer should be abandoned if sleep is overwhelming (KS 471)




Bipedal walking of humans has enabled humans build a sophisticated civilization. The Qur’an has mentioned walking in various instances: walking on earth, mashyu ‘ala al ardh (p 1118 25:63), walking in the earth, mashyu fi al ardh (p 1118 17:37, 17:95, 31:18), walking in the markets, mashyu fi al aswaaq  (p 1118 25:7, 25:20), and walking in homes, mashyu fi al masaakin ( p. 1118 20:128, 32:26). Allah made the roads (p557 16:15; p 558 20:53, 21:31; P 558 43:10) to enable humans work in comfort. He also provided landmarks for them to know the way and to know the direction of the road, ihtidaau ila al sabiil (p 557 4:98). The road is not always easy and Allah in His mercy made hajj obligatory only for those who have the ability to travel, istitaa’at al sabiil (p. 557 3:97).



Walking must have a purpose, al qasd fi al mashy (p 1118 31:19). Humans unlike animals should not walk and wander aimlessly. Walking can be for any of the following worthy purposes: jihad (p 1118 28:25), work and employment, ibadat, seeking knowledge, physical exercise, and social visits. Walking for purposes of ibadat is the most worthy purpose. The reward is increased according to the number of steps taken to the masjid.



The prophet taught by example that the best manner is walking is taking quick and big steps, harwalat. The Qur’an has described several etiquettes of walking: firm steps, thubuut al aqdaam (p 280 2:250, 3:147, 8:11, 47:7), walking on feet (p 1112 7:195, 24:45), walking straight, mashyu sawiy (p 1118 67:22), and walking with etiquette, mashy wa al adab (p 1118 25:63, 31:19). The etiquette of walking is more emphasized for a woman: walking with shyness, mashyu bi hayaa (p. 1118 28:25) and not making audible attractive sound patterns with the feet (p 280 23:31). Allah in His mercy also recognized handicapping conditions that make walking difficult, mashyu bi haraj (p 1118 17:37, 31:18)


ETIQUETTE OF THE ROAD, adab al tariiq

When walking or sitting by a public highway, the following rights of the road, haqq al tariiq, must be observed: lowering the gaze, ghadh al basar; avoiding causing any annoyance, kaff al adha, and returning greetings, radd al salaam (KS 342: Bukhari K79 B2)


FOOT RACING, musabaqat

Foot racing is allowed when wearing leather socks, khuff, or bare footed (KS 281: Ahmad 2:256, 358, 385, 424, 505; Ahmad 3:190)




A Muslim must be very careful whom he chooses for a sitting companion. The compassion may be good, jaliis al khayr, or bad, jaliis al suu. The bad companion may be a source of bad peer influence. It is recommended to seek the company of the righteous, al qu’uud ma’a al saalihiin, and to avoid the company of the transgressors, al qu’ud ma’a al dhaalimiin (P 956 4:140, 6:68).

Sitting on graves, al juluus ala al qubuur, is forbidden. Visits to the cemetery should be brief.



Sitting down serves the purposes of resting and relaxation. While standing muscle tension maintains an upright posture. On sitting down, the muscles can relax. Sitting is also psychologically relaxing. The prophet recommended sitting down in a calamity, al juluus ‘inda al musiibat (KS 153: Abudaud K20 B21)


SITTING AND IBADAT, majlis al ibadat

Sitting is a form of ibadat. A believer remembers Allah sitting down, dhukr al laah qu’udan (p 956 3:191, 4:103, 10:12). Sitting in the mosque waiting for salat has the reward of being in salat


SITTING AND LEARNING, majlis al ‘ilm

Sitting in a study circle to study Qur’an and other religious sciences has been part of Muslim tradition for centuries. The study circles are usually held in the mosque.



The prophet taught the etiquette of sitting in an assembly. Priority of sitting is given to the first-comer. A person cannot be forced to stand up and give his or her seat to a newcomer however is considered good manners and charity to do so. If a person goes out of the assembly for a short interval he has the right to reclaim his or her seat. There are special rights of sitting for the elderly, the learned, and the handicapped. Children should sit behind the adults. Women have to sit separate from men and their manner of sitting should respect the shyness expected of a woman.




Standing is preparation for walking. Standing helps venous return due to the action of muscle pumping.



The human upright posture is a bounty from Allah. Humans are able to maintain stationary equilibrium and dynamic equilibrium against forces of gravity and other forces like the wind or the push of other humans.



Standing is involved in several acts of ibadat. Night prayer is called qiyaam al llayl (p 970 3:113, 25:64, 39:9, 52:48-49, 73:1-4, 73:20) because of the prolonged standing involved. Humans stand in remembrance of Allah, qiyaam li dhikr al laah (p 970 3:191, 4:103). There is standing in the 5 obligatory prayers, qiyaam al salat (p 969-970 4:102, 4:142, 5:6, 22:26, 26:21). During hajj there is standing at Arafat, wuquuf Arafat, and at Muzdalifat, wuquuf muzdalifat. Care must be taken to make sure that prolonged standing in salat does not cause postural hypotension due to venous pooling of blood in the lower extremity.



A Muslim can stand up to show respect to another person, qiyaam al ihtiraam. The respect to humans in extended even to the funeral bier. It is recommended to stand up when a funeral procession passes by, qiyaam li al janazat.

Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr. January 2001