Praise be to Allaah.
There is no
report in the saheeh Sunnah about decorating the house with plants and
lights for the pilgrim’s arrival, and there is no report that the Sahaabah
did that. Some contemporary scholars have issued fatwas stating that it is
not permissible to do that, and they mentioned several reasons for not
allowing it, such as:
this action was not narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him) or his companions, so it is bid’ah (an innovation).
is a kind of showing off.
is a waste of money.
further thought it seems to us that it is permissible, and that the details
mentioned by those scholars are not strong enough to forbid decorating the
house for the pilgrim’s arrival. We can respond to what they said by making
1 – This
action is a custom and tradition, not an act of worship, so it cannot be
disallowed on the grounds that the Prophet (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him) and his companions did not do it, because it is well
known that the basic principle with regard to customs and traditions is that
they are permissible, and the one who forbids them has to bring evidence.
2 – Most of
such decorations are simple things that do not involve any great expense.
What we have seen of people is that they put a few green plants and a wooden
structure that they already had in the first place. We have not seen shops
that specialize in selling these things. This indicates that it is not
something expensive that should be disallowed. Yes, that may be said
concerning some wealthy people, but even then it may be said that they have
enough money so that what they do cannot be counted as extravagance.
3 – These
actions do not necessarily imply showing off. Hajj is not a hidden act of
worship such that simply showing it is to be deemed showing off, rather
showing off could be a factor when one makes a show of humility, appearing
scruffy and not adorning oneself, as it may also be a factor in showing off
adornments and expressing joy when the pilgrim arrives. What counts in that
is the intention of the one who does it, and what he feels in his heart. It
seems that this adornment comes under the heading of customs and traditions,
and the basic principle is that they are permissible. Those who regard them
as haraam do not have any evidence that is strong enough to counter the view
that they are permissible.
With regard to
congratulating the pilgrim who has returned from Hajj, and making food for
him, it seems that this is also permissible, and even if the person who has
come from Hajj makes food himself and invites people to a meal, that is also
permissible. How can it be said that it is not permissible for people to
make food for him?
It is proven
in the saheeh Sunnah that the Sahaabah used to rejoice when travellers
arrived, whether they were coming from ‘Umrah, Hajj, journeys for trade or
any other kind of journey.
narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: When the
Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came to Makkah –
during the conquest – the children of Banu ‘Abd al-Muttalib met him and he
carried one of them in front of him (on his mount) and another behind him.
al-Bukhaari (1704) in Kitaab al-‘Umrah; he entitled the chapter:
“Chapter on welcoming arriving pilgrims, and three men on one mount.”
said to Ibn Ja’far (may Allaah be pleased with them both): Do you remember
when we met the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be
upon him), me and you and Ibn ‘Abbaas? He said: Yes, and he carried us (on
his mount) and left you. Narrated by al-Bukhaari (2916).
narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Ja’far said: When the Prophet (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) came from a journey we would be taken to
meet him. Al-Hasan or al-Husayn and I were taken to meet him, and he seated
one of us on his mount in front of him and the other behind him, until we
Allaah have mercy on him) said:
mustahabb to offer naqee’ah, which is a type of food that is made to welcome
a traveller, and the word may also refer to what is done by the arriving
traveller or what others do for him … among the evidence that is quoted for
that is the hadeeth of Jaabir (may Allaah be pleased with him) which says
that when the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be
upon him) came to Madeenah from a journey, he would slaughter a camel or a
cow. Narrated by al-Bukhaari.
Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked:
There is a
custom that is widespread, particularly in the villages, when the pilgrims
come back from Makkah.
It is almost
every year. They prepare feasts that they call “sacrifice for the pilgrims”
or “celebration for the pilgrims” or “greeting the pilgrims” and this meat
may be from the sacrificial meat (udhiyah) or meat that has been newly
slaughtered, and that is accompanied by a kind of squandering. What is your
opinion on that from a shar’i point of view, and from a social point of
nothing wrong with this. There is nothing wrong with honouring the pilgrims
on their arrival, because this is a kind of congratulating them and
encouraging them to do Hajj. But the squandering referred to and the
extravagance is what is forbidden, because extravagance is forbidden whether
on this occasion or at other times. Allaah, may He be blessed and exalted,
says (interpretation of the meaning):
waste not by extravagance. Verily, He likes not Al‑Musrifoon (those who
waste by extravagance)”
spendthrifts are brothers of the Shayaateen (devils)”
But if it is
an appropriate feast, with enough for those who are present or a little
more, then there is nothing wrong with it from a shar’i point of view, and
from a social point of view. This may be in the villages, but in the cities
it does not happen, and we see many people coming back from Hajj with no
meal made for them. But in the small villages this may happen, and there is
nothing wrong with it. The people of the villages are generous and none of
them would like to fall short in his treatment of another.
(154/question no. 12).
nothing wrong with those who come to congratulate the pilgrim on his safe
return using whatever expressions they want, so long as they are permissible
according to sharee’ah and indicate what is meant, such as saying “May
Allaah accept your worship” or “May Allaah accept your Hajj” or “Hajjaan
mabrooran wa sa’ee’an mashkooran”. There are da’eef (weak) ahaadeeth and
reports which describe what is to be said to the pilgrim on his return,
which cannot be proven as far as their isnaads are concerned, but there is
nothing wrong with using the du’aa’s mentioned in them. That includes saying
“May Allaah accept your Hajj, forgive your sin and compensate your
expenditure” and “May Allaah accept your rituals, increase your reward and
compensate your expenditure”. The matter is broad in scope, praise be to