Apr 1, 2012

Muslim etiquette and the importance of time

Have you ever sat down with your family for lunch or supper and another family you know suddenly appears at the door? What do you do? You can’t leave them standing at the door and you cannot refuse someone a meal. You have to treat a visitor with respect and without causing embarrassment. You invite the family inside and offer them a seat at the table. The visiting family knows they have come at an awkward time; they will be modest with their helpings. The lesson here is to always make people comfortable when they visit your home.

Lessons in etiquette

• When you make an appointment with someone for a certain date and certain hour, be on time. Treating appointments and scheduled meetings recklessly shows disrespect. It means you can come and go as you want without regard for other people who have appointments also. People have things to do. They have made appointments also.

• If you have been delayed for some reason or other, send an SMS or email or call the other person to tell him that you are going to be late so they can make other plans.

• Never under-estimate the importance of others and be punctual yourself.

• As soon as you realize that you cannot make an appointment, let the other party know that you will be late. You don’t want to take up other people’s time

• Treat your low-priority workers with the same spirit, enthusiasm and respect as you would treat your top contractors.

• According to ‘Manners in Visiting’ published by Ahmed of Haq Islam, do not make a promise if you cannot keep it. It is disrespectful, forbidden and speaks to lying and hypocrisy. Al-Bukhari and Muslim narrated that the Holy Prophet Muhamad declared that three traits singled out hypocrites irrespective if he prayed, fasted or claimed to be Muslim: If he talks, he lies. If he promises, he does not keep it, and if he is entrusted, he betrays the trust’.

• If you yourself have made an appointment with someone and you arrive at the house and they cannot receive you because of an unforeseen and unexpected event, don’t show displeasure and don’t ask for information. You don’t know the reason why the appointment had to be cancelled. Leave the premises and don’t be sour.

All of these manners and etiquette can be employed in our daily lives – irrespective of color, culture, or creed. We do not have to be of a particular faith to recognize something that can benefit us.


Separating sex from intimacy

Amongst friends sometimes there is often the question as to whether someone can have an emotionally close relationship with a partner without him being emotionally close. The quick answer is yes, if you want a one-way relationship with yourself. The sensible answer depends on whether you want the relationship to be genuine and to last. Women want one thing, men want another thing. Most of the time one can experience both. Often a woman’s secret complaint is that yes, she gets regular sex, she gets looked after, but longs for a partner who wants to share his innermost thoughts just with her. She wants to be the sole recipient of his love and the keeper of his thoughts. Another woman sharing his secrets would be tantamount to emotional treason. A woman wants her partner to come to her when he needs help; she’s his number one. Simple sex is a three to five minute high. Intimacy with her man is lifelong and more satisfying.

Emotional intimacy

For some women casual relationships and dalliances are enough as it is physical contact and with consent, but it does not give them the sense and the feeling that they are the only one in his life. Money and gifts are easy to give. Women want to be appreciated for the way they take care of the home, the family, and also want to be admired for their beauty and their looks. Some women might even forgive a partner who’s been caught cheating once or twice, but will never forgive a man who has an emotional affair with another woman. Having or not having an emotional relationship is where you separate the chaff from the wheat; in other words, sex from intimacy.

Women want an intimate connection

A woman will feel deeply portrayed if she loses her partner to someone who goes to the ballet with him, or to a mountain retreat, or all the adventurous things he never wanted to do with her. For a woman, the man she wants is one who is proud of her, who will take her everywhere to be seen, who is with him and wants to be with her, sort of an Ice Loves Coco kind of intimate relationship; not just in the bed, but in his personal space; a relationship that tells the world that they are together. Of course she is just as hurt when he cheats with a lady of the night or a co-worker, but to break the rules with a woman of substance, will hurt her to the end. His failure will be her failure and that is not what she wants.