Regarding the ruling of standing in greeting, the eminent Muslim scholar, Sheikh Muhammad Al-Hanooti said:
“Standing up to greet a person is lawful unless the person that is being greeted is desires or requests for it. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) says, “The one who likes that people stand up for him should expect his position in hell.” (Al-Mu’jam al-Kabir). When we stand up for a person who comes to us is normal. There is nothing sinful in doing this.”
Elaborating on this issue, we’d like to cite the Fatwa issued by Sheikh `Atiyyah Saqr, former head of Al-Azhar Fatwa Committee, who said:
“Standing up to greet a person or as a form of respect is lawful provided that the person deserves this form of respect such as a just ruler, parents, scholars, elderly people, teachers, and a person who comes from a journey or travel and other people who deserve our respect.
The Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) stood up, on the Prophet’s command, for Sa`d bin Mu`adh when he came to pass judgment on Bani Qurayzah. Al-Bukhari reported on the authority of Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri that “When the tribe of Bani Qurayzah was ready to accept Sa`d’s judgment, Allah’s Messenger sent for Sa`d who was near to him. Sa`d came, riding a donkey and when he came near, Allah’s Messenger said (to the Ansar), ‘Stand up to your leader.’” (Abu Daud)
Talhah ibn `Ubaydillah (may Allah be pleased with him) stood up in front of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) when Ka`b bin Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) came after Allah had accepted his repentance; he shook his hand and congratulated him, then sat down. (Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
At-Tirmidhi reported with an authentic chain of transmitters that the Prophet said: “He is not of us, the one who does not have mercy on our young ones, and the one who does not know the respect of our old ones.” (Musnad Ahmad)
However, it is disliked to stand up for a person who does not deserve respect particularly if he is looking for it. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) says, “The one who likes that people stand up for him should expect his position in hell.” (Reported by Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi)
It is stated in as-Safarini’s Ghiza’ al-Arwah that Abu al-Walid bin Rushd has distinguished four types standing up as follows:
1. Forbidden: that is standing up for a person who looks for it out of arrogance and feeling superiority over others.
2. Disliked: that is standing up for a person who does not seek pride or arrogance but it is feared that his heart may be affected by it and also because in this act there is imitation to tyrants.
3. Permissible: that is which is done as a form of honoring a person who does not seek it and there is no fear of imitating tyrants on his part.
4. Recommendable: that is standing up for greeting a person who has returned from a travel to show happiness for his coming back or for congratulating a person who has been blessed with a favor or console a person who is afflicted with a calamity.”