Sample Essay

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The primary scriptures of Islam have several clear injunctions on the subject of the forbiddance of entering a person’s home without permission. It is said in the Quran:

“O ye who believe! Enter not houses other than your own without first announcing your presence and invoking peace upon the folk thereof. That is better for you, that ye may be heedful.

And if ye find no-one therein, still enter not until permission hath been given. And if it be said unto you: Go away again, then go away, for it is purer for you. Allah knoweth what ye do. ” (The Quran 24:28)

The command to ‘ask for permission before entering’ is not restricted to those living in separate houses, rather it is a general command encompassing all private places of a person. A succeeding verse in the same chapter enjoins the believers to forbid their slaves and even their children, who would generally go around all parts of the house unrestricted, from entering their private quarters without permission at three times during the day; before the pre-dawn prayer, in the afternoon and after the the night prayer (The Quran 24:58). The obvious reason for this command is to prevent intrusion upon the privacy of couple that wish to engage in conjugal relations in these three times.

There also exists a wealth of narrations in the corpus of Hadith literature from the Prophet and the members of the early Muslim community on the subject of the necessity of asking for permission before entering another person’s house.

Narrations in Sahih al-Bukhari enjoin a person wishing to enter into private area to ask for permission to enter at most three times. If they receive no reply from those inside the private area, it is incumbent upon them to turn back and not keep standing at the door (Saroha).

The narrations on this topic are numerous, as we can see from some of the sub-chapter titles in Adab al-Mufrad (Miscellaneous Manners) of al-Bukhari on the topic of asking permission before entering a private space, these include: Chapter on Asking Permission from One’s Mother, Chapter on Asking Permission from One’s Father, Chapter on Asking Permission from One’s Father and One’s Son, Chapter on Asking Permission from One’s Sister, Chapter on Asking Permission from One’s Brother (Azami).

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