Assalamu alaikum wr wb
Sunnahs regarding hospitality to guests
This section is split into three categories:
A) Sunnahs regarding the unexpected guest:
1. One should avoid going to another’s house at meal times. Rasulallah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam)has mentioned in hadith that it is forbidden to take part in a meal of another without being invited to do so. However it is permissible and a sunnah to go to the house of ones true friend without an invitation and to partake of meals there.
2. One may place before an unexpected visitor whatever one has available by way of food. However one should not take a loan to obtain provisions for such visitor.
3. Rasulallah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam)has said that it is a major sin to regard that which the host offers as little and for the host to feel it low to offer it to one’s guest.
B) Sunnahs regarding the invited guest:
1. The host should invite ONLY pious people and not sinners as they may spread wrong and sin.
2. Special meals should be prepared for the first day. (Bukhari)
3. A guest may be entertained and shown hospitality for a period of three days. Beyond the three days would be charity. (Bukhari)
4. A guest should not inconvenience the guest by overstaying. (Bukhari)
5. A guest who does not accept an invitation has disobeyed Allah and his Rasul (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) unless non acceptance is within the boundaries of Shari’at. (Abu Dawud)
C) Sunnahs regarding both the unexpected and invited guests:
1. Even though ones host does not treat him with honor and respect, when he is a guest at the host’s house then he must always treat the host with due respect and honor, should he be a guest at his house. (Tirmidhi)
2. If a host were to ask his guest to make a choice then the easier of the options should be chosen.
3. A guest must not request anything that will cause inconvenience to the host
4. A guest must not inconvenience his host by overstaying. (Bukhari)
5. The host must respect and honor his guest. (Bukhari)
6. A guest should be seen off at ones door. (Ibn Majah)
7. A dinner guests invocation for his host:
“Allaahumma baarik lahum feemaa razaqtahum, waghfir lahum warhamhum.”
“O Allah, bless them in what You have provided for them, and forgive them and have mercy on them. ”(Muslim 3/1615)