The ways in which the inner inclinations of human beings become evident in
various patterns of living and in various manifestations of culture and
civilization are called customs and etiquette. No period of human civilization
has remained devoid of them. We find them in currency and practice in the same
manner and as a general tradition in every clan, culture and nation.
Civilizations are mostly distinguished from one another because of them. The
religions revealed to the Prophets of Allah also direct their respective
believers to follow certain customs and etiquette. The objective of divine
religions is purification of the soul. Consequently, these customs and etiquette
have been chosen to fulfill this objective.
Following are these customs and etiquette.
1. Declaring Allah’s name before eating and drinking and using the right hand
for the purpose
The first of these is to express gratitude to Allah for His bounties and to
invoke His blessings and the second is to constantly remind us that those who
are bestowed with the favours of Paradise will receive their account in their
right hand on the Day of Judgement.
2. The ceremonial salutation السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكُمْ
(al-salāmu ‘alaykum) and its response when people meet one another
3. The ceremonial utterance الْحَمْدُ للّه
(al-hamdullilāh: all gratitude is for Allah only) after sneezing and its
response by saying يَرْحَمُكَ الله (yarhamukallāh: may
Allah have mercy upon you) by those who hear it.
4. Saying the آذَانَ (ādhān) in the right ear of a
new born and the اِقَامَة (iqāmah) in his left.
Sounding these words in the ear of a newborn is a symbolic expression of the
fact that just as his parents have transferred their physical being to him, they
have initiated the transfer of their spiritual being to him with words that
convey the basic message of Islam.
5. Clipping the moustache.
6. Shaving the pubes.
7. Removing hair from under the armpits.
8. Cutting nails.
9. Circumcising the mail offspring.
10. Cleaning the nose, the mouth and the teeth.
11. Cleaning the body after urination and defecation.
12. Taking the ceremonial bath after the menstrual cycle and the puerperal
13. Ceremonial bath after janābah.
14. Bathing a dead body, enshrouding it in coffin cloth and its burial.
15. The customs of ‘Id al-Fitr and ‘Id al-Adhā.