Sisters in Islam…Glorify your Guests and Build Silaturrohim
Almost every year during Hajj or Umrah season we spend time to meeting our (my husband and I) colleagues, brothers, sisters, or even friends of my late parents. Perhaps this is one of merits live near the holy Makkah. Usually when Hajj or Umrah is completed, we will be busy “on duty”. If there are a lot of guests come, my husband and I have to adjust our schedules. What date should meet with who, will invite them to our home or meet at a hotel, who is going to pick up, what vehicle, and so on….
A few years ago, when I had just completed my maghrib prayer, my phone rang. I did not recognize the number appeared on my mobile. I pressed the button to answer, and I heard a male voice greeted me and mentioned his name politely. He asked me, if I still remember him or not, because he claimed as my past school friend. At that time he was still in Makkah and came to Jeddah in a week, before returned to his homeland. I did not remember him 100% but I offered him to call me when he had reached Jeddah. After ended the conversation, I tried to remember the caller’s face. Just imagine we probably have not met about twenty-three years!…. Even if I recalled, his face certainly was more mature lol.
One week later, my friend called my husband. My husband invited him to come home without telling me, perhaps because of his busy work. On that Friday afternoon suddenly my husband just said to me, that he had “already” invited my friend to come home. Apparently my friend would also come with five other guests included my late mother’s chaplain, who were in the same group. Oh no…I did not prepare anything! Moreover, every Friday usually is my ‘no cook’ day…. we always buy Bukhari rice to eat with family after Friday prayer. Thus, on that day I had not had time to cook any food! And now, they were scheduled come after maghrib.
Finally, we decided to buy murtabak, cakes, bread, and side dishes, in case they had not had any dinner. After maghrib, our guests came, as well as my past school friend. Their faces were tired but happy to have completed all of the hajj pilgrimage. We sat cross-legged on the carpet to be more relaxed and warmer. We then served murtabak (a kind of a stuffed pancake or pan-fried bread), breads, pastries along with juices and water. An hour passed, our appetizers especially murtabak that we served was only two pieces left! My husband immediately asked me to serve white rice and side dishes of grilled chicken, grilled fish, fresh vegetable, and spicy sauce that we bought from an Indonesian restaurant. They enjoyed the food we provided. Yes surely my guests had missed Indonesian cuisine. Especially after the completion of Hajj which certainly was very tiring. Even if the food served during pilgrimage was Indonesian cuisine, mostly it did not match to their tastes.
We Really feel satisfied to see that our guests enjoyed the meal that we offered. Though, we did not initially intend to entertain them dinner. I always remember what my late mother once told me when guests come to our house and it is time to eat, offer him/her to eat, although we only can serve simple meals. When we regale guests with sincerity, any food that is available at home can definitely be a blessing and a delicious treat. A little or a lot of food that we have is usually still adequate to serve our guests, and obviously, feeling satisfy and please to have guests can establish friendship (silaturrohim) that could not be replaced by anything!
Anas bin Malik RA said, Muhammad Rasulullah SAW said, “Who wants his/her rizq to be expanded by Allah, or wants his/her age to be lengthened , then let him/her builds silaturrohim (Hadith narrated by Muslim).