Gestures of respect

Assalamu Alaikum WR WB
What is the correct ruling of Islam, with regards to observing silence?

In universities and many public places, when the administration / government asks us to observe the silence for few minutes as a tribute to the expired people, or any other past incidence such as natural disasters etc, as a Muslim, am I permitted to do undergo with this command? To stand up and keep quite for few minutes??

And, what is the correct ruling on standing up when the chief guest arrives for a meeting, or when we see elders, teachers, etc….

Some say that the companions of Prophet (PBUH) did never stand up, when they saw the Prophet, so we are not supposed to stand up for the chief guests to show the respect …

But on the other hand, I know of a Hadeeth, where Prophet (PBUH) stood up to show his respect to a Jewish funeral parade. Am I correct? (I am not sure about the authenticity of this Hadeeth)

I am quite confused with these two issues. Please do help me as usual Insha Allah

May Allah Azzawajal bless you always
Fee Amanillah

The related prohibition in the Quran is of participation in Zoor (falshood). The verse is (25:72), identifying “the worshipers of the Beneficent”: “And [they are] those who do not witness falsehood, and when they pass by frivolity, they pass dignified.”

Observing a moment of silence out of respect for a deceased person does not come under the criterion of Zoor. No words are uttered by definition, so there is no risk of being involved in blasphemy. It would be different if a clergyman was leading the audience and started to say words that are blasphemous.

As for standing up when some VIP enters the room, there is a hadeeth about it, narrated by Mu`aawiya ibn Abi-Sufyaan, and rated authentic by Al-Albaani, in which Mu`aawiya tells of when he came into a room where Abdullah ibn Az-Zubayr (RA) and Abdullah ibn `Aamir were sitting. Ibn Az-Zubayr stayed seated but Ibn Aamir stood up. Mu`aawiya told Ibn `Aamir to sit down because the Prophet (PBUH) said, ‘Whoever is pleased when people stand up for him, let him pick his seat in Hell!'”

You will notice that the prohibition in this hadeeth is against being pleased when people stand up to greet you. It does not prohibit people from doing it.

The hadeeth you mentioned is specific about funerals. It was reported by Abu-Daawood who did not rate it, and narrated by Jaabir ibn Abdillah, Abu-Hurayra and others and rated Hasan (Sound) by Al-Albaani. In it, the Prophet (PBUH) says, “When you see a funeral procession, stand up for it.”

Gestures of respect have been expressed by all communities throughout the ages. There is no harm in them unless they degrade the person or resemble acts reserved for worship. For instance, kneeling before the Queen to be knighted, or prostrating to people to apologize to them.

One Response to “Gestures of respect”

  1. Faaraa says:

    Jazakallah Khair 🙂

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