IX
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-hamdullilāh: all gratitude is for Allah only) after sneezing and its response by saying يَرْحَمُكَ الله (yarhamukallāh: may Allah have mercy upon you) by those who hear it. 4. Clipping the moustache. 5. Shaving the pubes. 6. Removing hair from under the armpits. 7. Cutting nails. 8. Circumcising the male offspring. 9. Cleaning the nose, the mouth and the teeth. 10. Cleaning the body after urination and defecation. 11. Taking the ceremonial bath after the menstrual cycle and the puerperal discharge. 12. Ceremonial bath after janābah. 13. Bathing a dead body 14. Enshrouding a dead body in coffin cloth 15. Burial. 16. The festival of ‘Īd al-Fitr 17. The festival of ‘Īd al-Adhā.