15 Nov Respecting Privacy at Home
Members of the family should respect the sanctity of each other’s privacy in the family. The adab of asking for permission before entering a room is especially important for privacy in home life, and this adab can be gained and developed with practice.
According to the Qur’an, mothers and fathers should train their children to ask for permission and they should follow a progressive pedagogical method to this end. Until adolescence, children should knock and wait for permission before entering the room of their parents, at three particular times of the day. These are times when the mother and father need privacy because they may be wearing nightclothes. The private times are before dawn, in the early afternoon, when they may be sleeping, and after the night prayers. In the Qur’an God says:
O you who believe! Let those whom your right hands possess (as slaves), as well as those of you (your children) who have not yet reached puberty, ask for your permission (before they come into your private room) at three times (of the day)—before the Morning Prayer, and when you lay aside your garnments in the middle of the day for rest, and after the Night Prayer. These are your three times of privacy. Beyond these occasions, there is no blame on you nor on them if they come in without permission—they are bound to move about you, some of you attending on others. Thus God makes clear for you (the instructions in) the Revelations. God is All-Knowing, All-Wise. (Nur 24:58)
When children reach maturity, they should knock and wait for permission before entering any room when the door is closed, be it in their own home or someone else’s. The following verse makes this clear:
And when your children reach puberty, let them ask you for permission (whenever they want to enter your private room), even as those (who have already reached the same age) before them ask for it. Thus God makes clear for you (the instructions in) His revelations. God is All-Knowing, All-Wise. (Nur 24:59)
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