Sunnah and Etiquettes of Welcoming a New Home

What can we do once we have received the keys to a new house? Whether new or old, this article shares some of the Sunnah and Etiquettes we can do for our home to ensure that the place we live in is able to invite blessings and protection from Allah s.w.t.
by Muslim.Sg 2022-01-27 • 23 min read
Muslim.Sg is a one-stop online media platform that aims to inspire and empower millennial Muslims with powerful and engaging Islamic religious content.
2022-01-27 • 23 min read

For many who are given the chance and opportunity, welcoming a new home is definitely a new milestone in our life’s journey that excites us. With many emotions to meet, we wonder how we can enter this phase in life the best possible way. Since it's a new beginning, it's also an opportunity to try to build something new and make it right this time. 

This new video episode from the DIY Series offers the Prophetic etiquettes in welcoming a new home as well as other Sunnahs that we can do at home. Questions such as, what can we do as Muslims when we move into a new home? What can we recite (Dua) when entering a house? Is there any specific thing that we can do before officially moving in? How do we keep our home safe and protected?

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Sunnah and Etiquettes of Entering a New Home

1. At the start of anything good, we should start by invoking the name of Allah s.w.t. - Bismillah (In the name of Allah s.w.t) and Alhamdulillah (All praises are for Allah s.w.t)

This is based upon a hadith of the Prophet s.a.w.

كُلُّ كَلَامٍ أَوْ أَمْرٍ ذِي بَالٍ لَا يُفْتَحُ بِذِكْرِ اللهِ فَهُوَ أَبْتَرُ أَوْ أَقْطَعُ

All speech or any matter of importance that did not begin with the remembrance of Allah will be deficient in blessings.

(Musnad Ahmad)

In another hadith, it was narrated that the Prophet s.a.w. said:

كلُّ أمرٍ ذي بالٍ لا يُبدَأُ فيه بحمدِ اللهِ فهو أقطَعُ

Any matter of importance that did not begin with the praises of Allah (Alhamdulillah) will be deficient in blessings.

(Sahih Ibn Hibban)

2. Secondly, we should welcome our new home with a lot of good intentions. The importance of intentions cannot be understated. It is the very foundation and objective of all that we do, including in welcoming new homes. This is what it means to be mindful.

Read The Power of Intention in Islam: 3 Things You Need to Know

Amongst the many good intentions that we can develop is to:

a. Build a healthy family

b. Enjoy the time at home with the company of our family

c. Develop good habits and support each other in doing good

d. Build a house of worship where we can observe acts of obedience in comfort and convenience. and etc.

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3. Finally, when we enter our homes, we may choose to enter it with our right leg as an expression of our positive and hopeful mindset. The Prophet s.a.w. loved to put his right side first in all matters, particularly when it is good and wherever the circumstances meet.

كانَ النبيُّ صَلَّى اللهُ عليه وسلَّمَ يُعْجِبُهُ التَّيَمُّنُ، في تَنَعُّلِهِ، وتَرَجُّلِهِ، وطُهُورِهِ، وفي شَأْنِهِ كُلِّهِ

The Prophet s.a.w. loved to start from his right side in wearing shoes, combing his hair, performing ablution, and in all matters.

(Sahih Al-Bukhari)

And in another hadith:

كانَ النبيُّ صَلَّى اللهُ عليه وسلَّمَ يُعْجِبُهُ التَّيَمُّنُ ما استطاعَ

The Prophet s.a.w. loved to start from his right side wherever possible

(Sahih Al-Bukhari)

Imam An-Nawawi then, in his commentary to Sahih Muslim, formulated a principle from these Hadiths that were narrated by Imam Muslim;

أن كل ما كان من باب التكريم والتزيين استُحبَّ فيه التيمُّن، وما كان بضده استُحبَّ فيه التياسر

Whatever falls under the category of being honourable or embellishments are favoured to begin by the right side, and whatever falls in the opposite category is favoured to begin by the left side

(Al-Minhaj Fi Syarhi Sahih Muslim) 

Dua to Recite When Entering a New Home

In short, we can recite any sincere Dua we want and in any language that we know. Allah’s knowledge is not confined by the human language. What’s important is to ask Allah for what we need.

1. Dua before entering: However, the Prophet s.a.w. have also taught us what to recite for when we enter a place and in this case, a new home:

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ خَيْرَ الْمَوْلِجِ وَخَيْرَ الْمَخْرَجِ بِسْمِ اللَّهِ وَلَجْنَا وَبِسْمِ اللَّهِ خَرَجْنَا وَعَلَى اللَّهِ رَبِّنَا تَوَكَّلْنَا

Allahumma inni as-aluka khairal-mauliji wa khairal-makhraji bismillahi walajna wa bismillahi kharajna wa 'ala Rabbina tawakkalna

O Allah, I ask You the good of entering this home and leaving it. In the name of Allah - we enter, and in the name of Allah - do we leave. And in Allah, our Lord, do we rely upon.

(Sunan Abi Daud)

2. Make the Azan: We can also look forward to announcing the Azan (call to prayer). Even when we may not have the same voice range of a Mu’azzin (the caller to prayer) like in the radios or at mosques, it's ok to announce it as long as the correct words are met. It is stated in a hadith that:

 الشَّيْطَانَ إِذَا سَمِعَ النِّدَاءَ بِالصَّلَاةِ ذَهَبَ حَتَّى يَكُونَ مَكَانَ الرَّوْحَاءِ

Verily, when Syaitan hears the call to prayer, he flees to a very distant place.

(Sahih Muslim)

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3. Dua upon entering a place: Another Dua that we can recite is as mentioned in a hadith:

مَنْ نَزَلَ مَنْزِلاً ثُمَّ قَالَ
"أَعُوذُ بِكَلِمَاتِ اللَّهِ التَّامَّاتِ مِنْ شَرِّ مَا خَلَقَ‏"
لَمْ يَضُرُّهُ شَىْءٌ حَتَّى يَرْتَحِلَ مِنْ مَنْزِلِهِ ذَلِكَ

A'uzu bikalimatillahit-tammati min syarri ma khalaq

Whoever enters at a place, and then prays:
"I seek refuge in the Perfect Words of Allah from the evil of what is created,"
nothing would harm him until he makes his leave from that place.

(Sahih Muslim)

Even when we may not enter a new place, this Dua can be recited with the intention to seek protection in Allah s.w.t. from kind of harm, amongst which is the evil eye. In another hadith, it is mentioned specifically:

أَعُوذُ بِكَلِمَاتِ اللَّهِ التَّامَّةِ مِنْ كُلِّ شَيْطَانٍ وَهَامَّةٍ، وَمِنْ كُلِّ عَيْنٍ لاَمَّةٍ

A'uzu bikalimatillahit-tammati min kulli syaitanin wa hammah wa min kulli 'ainin lammah

I seek refuge in the Perfect Words of Allah from every devil and harmful thing and from every evil eye.

(Sahih Al-Bukhari)

The Nature of The Evil Eye

Just like other things in life, the evil eye is part of Allah’s creation. Contrary to what some people may think, it exists and is mentioned in a hadith of the Prophet s.a.w.

الْعَيْنُ حَقٌّ

The influence of the evil eye is real

(Sahih Muslim)

It can come from just about anyone, even ourselves. Sometimes it may happen not necessarily out of hate or envy. On this note, when we see something beautiful or catches our eye, we should praise it and say:

1. Masya Allah (This is what Allah has willed)

From the story of ‘The man with two gardens’ in (Surah Al-Kahfi, 18:32-44), Allah s.w.t. tells us about a man who was blessed with two gardens which was a sign of his wealth. He praised the wealth given to him and implied it was the result of only his own merits. He boasts this fact to his companion without attributing it to Allah s.w.t. As a result, his gardens became ruined thereafter which led him to regret his arrogance.

His companion informed him that he should have attributed his wealth to Allah. In this verse, Allah s.w.t. recorded their conversation as a lesson for us, especially in praising something or someone beautiful. 

وَلَوْلَآ إِذْ دَخَلْتَ جَنَّتَكَ قُلْتَ مَا شَآءَ ٱللَّهُ لَا قُوَّةَ إِلَّا بِٱللَّهِ

If only you had said, upon entering your garden, ‘This is what Allah has willed! There is no power except with Allah!’

(Surah Al-Kahfi, 18:39)

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2. May Allah bless you/him/her/it

In praising something or witnessing something that catches the eye, we should complement it by making prayers for it. This is mentioned in a hadith of the Prophet s.a.w:

 إِذَا رَأَى أَحَدُكُمْ مِنْ أَخِيهِ أَوْ مِنْ نَفْسِهِ أَوْ مِنْ مَالِهِ مَا يُعْجِبُهُ فَلْيُبَرِّكْهُ فَإِنَّ الْعَيْنَ حَقٌّ

When any of you sees from your fellow brother, or in himself, or in his wealth that which impresses one, then supplicate for him to be blessed with it. Verily, the evil eye is real.

(Musnad Ahmad)

To conclude about the evil eye, we should not be too obsessed with it. To think the evil eye is everywhere as if it influences the world and every unfortunate event that happens is by its doing is not something that the Prophet teaches. Everything should be taken into reasonable consideration and we should seek balance in all our affairs.

Ultimately, we must know that there is no power nor strength except by Allah s.w.t. Seek Allah’s protection and guidance in every part of our lives. (end with something)

Guarding Our Homes

1. Surah Al-Baqarah: Other than the mentioned Dua above, it is recommended that we should recite surahs or verses from the Quran. The Quran can also protect us as mentioned in a hadith:

لاَ تَجْعَلُوا بُيُوتَكُمْ مَقَابِرَ إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ يَنْفِرُ مِنَ الْبَيْتِ الَّذِي تُقْرَأُ فِيهِ سُورَةُ الْبَقَرَةِ

Do not turn your houses into graves, for the devil flees from a house in which Surah Al-Baqarah is recited

(Sahih Muslim)

Reciting Surah Al-Baqarah, a very long Quranic chapter, can be challenging for some of us. As an alternative, we can recite it gradually for a period of time and better yet, start over when we finally finish it. We can also recite this Surah with our spouse or family members together by assigning different pages or verses to one another. Perhaps if we have yet to be able to recite the Quran independently, we can also consider opening a video or audio recording of the recitation online.

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Another important note is that we are able to recite the Quran regularly at home. The Quran is the final book of revelation and it is also the only surviving miracle (mu’jizah) that will continue to be protected by Allah until the end of time. Each Quranic chapter has its own significance.

2. Surah Al-Fatihah: Short surahs can be easier to recite on a regular basis, such as Surah Al-Fatihah, known to be the greatest Surah in the Quran as mentioned in a hadith narrated by the companion Abi Saeed Ibn Mu’alla r.a:

أَلَمْ تَقُلْ لَأُعَلِّمَنَّكَ سُورَةً هِيَ أَعْظَمُ سُورَةٍ فِي الْقُرْآنِ.‏ قَالَ ‏(‏الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ‏)

Did you not tell me (earlier) that “I will teach you the greatest Surah in the Quran”? (The Prophet s.a.w) replied “(It is) ‘All praise be to Allah Lord of all the worlds’ (Surah Al-Fatihah)”

(Surah Al-Bukhari)

3. The Three Qul: We can also recite Surah Al-Ikhlas, Surah Al-Falaq and Surah An-Nas for protection. The Prophet s.a.w. is narrated to have recited all three together before sleeping, before dawn and during dusk hours.

أنَّ النَّبيَّ صلَّى اللهُ عليه وسلَّم كانَ إذا أوَى إلى فِراشِهِ كُلَّ لَيْلَةٍ جَمَع كَفَّيْهِ، ثُمَّ نَفَثَ فِيهِما، فَقَرَأَ فِيهِما: (قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَدٌ)، و(قُلْ أَعُوذُ بِرَبِّ الْفَلَقِ)، و(قُلْ أَعُوذُ بِرَبِّ النَّاسِ)، ثُمَّ يَمْسَحُ بهِما ما اسْتَطاعَ مِن جَسَدِهِ، يَبْدَأُ بهِما علَى رَأْسِهِ ووَجْهِهِ وما أقْبَلَ مِن جَسَدِهِ، يَفْعَلُ ذلكَ ثَلاثَ مَرَّاتٍ.

Whenever the Prophet s.a.w. went to bed every night, he used to cup his hands together and blow over it after reciting Surat Al-Ikhlas, Surat Al-Falaq and Surat An-Nas, and then rub his hands over whatever parts of his body he was able to rub, starting with his head, face and front of his body. He used to do that three times.

(Sahih Al-Bukhari)

And in another hadith, the Prophet s.a.w. said:

قُل هُوَ اللهُ أَحَد وَالمُعَوِّذَتين حينَ تُمسِي وحينَ تُصبِحُ ثلاثَ مَرَّاتٍ تُكفِيكَ مِن كُلِّ شَيءٍ

Qul Huw-Allahu Ahad (Surah Al-Ikhlas) and Al-Mu’awwizatain (Surah Al-Falaq and Surah An-Nas) when recited at dusk and dawn three times will suffice you for every purpose

(Sunan Abi Daud)

3. Ayatul-Kursi: In a rather famous story from a hadith narrated by the companion Abu Hurairah r.a, he informs the Prophet s.a.w. of his encounter with a man at night, trying to steal the reserves from the Zakat Fitri in Ramadan. Abu Hurairah r.a. caught him and then let him go out of sympathy for his plight and in-need condition.

Throughout the long hadith, there is no mention of the Prophet s.a.w. asking Abu Hurairah to capture the man. The Prophet s.a.w. only warned Abu Hurairah that the man had lied and he will return again to steal. This happened until the third time when Abu Hurairah r.a. no longer believes in his fake promises to never return and in his plight of being in need.

This decisive measure made by Abu Hurairah to bring him to the Prophet s.a.w. made him very desperate, to a point where he tried to negotiate and offer Abu Hurairah r.a. something that can benefit him. He says:

إِذَا أَوَيْتَ إِلَى فِرَاشِكَ فَاقْرَأْ آيَةَ الْكُرْسِيِّ لَنْ يَزَالَ عَلَيْكَ مِنْ اللَّهِ حَافِظٌ، وَلَا يَقْرَبُكَ شَيْطَانٌ حَتَّى تُصْبِحَ

Whenever you go to your bed, recite the ‘Ayatul-Kursi’ (2.255) for then Allah will appoint a guardian who will stay with you, and satan will not approach you till Subuh.

(Sahih Al-Bukhari)

Upon bringing this incident to the Prophet s.a.w, he said “He spoke the truth, though he is a liar, (and) that was satan” 

From this long hadith, Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. affirmed that the recitation of Ayatul-Kursi can offer us protection by Allah’s will. It can be recited at other times such as after the obligatory prayers as well.

Making our homes more comforting and inviting for us and family

Amongst the many good deeds that we can do to make our house lively with the spirit of love and comfort are:

1. Salam (peaceful greeting): Although we may become used to entering our own homes after a while, we should still avoid barging in. Instead, when entering a house, we can make the Salam - Assalamu’alaikum:

إِذَا دَخَلْتَ عَلَى أَهْلِكَ فَسَلِّمْ يَكُونُ بَرَكَةً عَلَيْكَ وَعَلَى أَهْلِ بَيْتِكَ

When you enter upon your family, give the Salam, it will be a blessing for you and for your household

(Sunan At-Tirmizi)

When there is no one at home, however, Imam An-Nawawi recommended in his book Al-Azkar, quoting from the Muwatta’ of Imam Malik, that we may read the following Salam:

 السَّلَامُ عَلَينَا وَعَلَى عِبَادِ اللهِ الصَّالِحِين

Assalamu 'alaina wa-'ala 'ibadillahis-solihin

Peace be upon us and upon the righteous servants of God

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2. Clean ourselves: It is narrated by Aisyah r.a. that the first thing the Prophet s.a.w. would do upon returning home is to clean his teeth with the siwak. This means that the Prophet s.a.w. did not only maintain his presentable look for others, but he also remained presentable to his own family members as well. It is a Sunnah act to clean ourselves upon returning home as we join the company of our family.

Sharih Ibn Hani’ asked Aisyah r.a:

سَأَلْتُ عائِشَةَ، قُلتُ: بأَيِّ شيءٍ كانَ يَبْدَأُ النبيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عليه وسلَّمَ إذا دَخَلَ بَيْتَهُ؟ قالَتْ: بالسِّواكِ

I asked Aisyah: “In what matters did the Prophet s.a.w. do first upon entering his home?” She (Aisyah) replied: “With the Siwak”

(Sahih Muslim)

3. Help one another in doing chores: Despite him being occupied with many things and carrying multiple responsibilities, the Prophet s.a.w. is known to have helped his household members with ‘house chores’. It is narrated that Aisyah r.a. was asked about what did the Prophet s.a.w. do at home. She replied:

كَانَ يَكُونُ فِي مِهْنَةِ أَهْلِهِ

He (the Prophet s.a.w) used to be in the service of his family

(Sahih Al-Bukhari)

In another hadith, Aisyah r.a. replied:

مَا يَصْنَعُ أَحَدُكُمْ فِي بَيْتِهِ، يَخْصِفُ النَّعْلَ، وَيَرْقَعُ الثَّوْبَ، وَيَخِيطُ

He did what one of you would do in his house. He mended sandals, patched garments and sewed.

(Al-Adab Wal-Mufrad)

4. Seek permission upon entering a room: Although this may not be applicable to spouses, this is especially so when we live with our parents or siblings in the same house. As mentioned in a hadith:

أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم سَأَلَهُ رَجُلٌ فَقَالَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَسْتَأْذِنُ عَلَى أُمِّي فَقَالَ ‏"‏ نَعَمْ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ الرَّجُلُ إِنِّي مَعَهَا فِي الْبَيْتِ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏"‏ اسْتَأْذِنْ عَلَيْهَا"‏

Rasulullah s.a.w. was questioned by a man who said, "O Rasulullah, shall I ask for permission from my mother to enter (her room)?" He said, "Yes," The man said, "(but) I live with her in the house". Rasulullah s.a.w. said "Ask her permission."

(Muwatta’ Malik)

5. Build your own house of worship: At the very least, we are able to perform the obligatory prayer comfortably. Perhaps we would also want to enliven the house with other acts of worship like the night prayers or the recitation of Quran. The Prophet s.a.w. said in a hadith:

مَثَلُ البَيْتِ الذي يُذْكَرُ اللَّهُ فِيهِ، والْبَيْتِ الذي لا يُذْكَرُ اللَّهُ فِيهِ، مَثَلُ الحَيِّ والْمَيِّتِ

The likeness of the house in which Allah is remembered and the house in which Allah is not remembered is that of the living and the dead.

(Sahih Muslim)

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Conclusion

In our efforts to build the ideal home, we should ensure that it becomes a place that is clean and safe for our loved ones. The same standards should also be the same for our neighbours as well. Even if they might not share with us the same faith, it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t treat them with kindness and fairness. Let us be responsible for all that we have been blessed with.

May Allah s.w.t. grant us blessing and facilitation to observe these deeds, as well as the protection of our wealth and family. 

And Allah knows best.
 

 

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