Visiting fellow Muslims for the sake of Allah is of great virtue in Islam. This has been confirmed in so many Hadiths. Here are two of them:
1. Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, quotes the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, as saying that “a man went to visit a brother of his in another village. Allah the Almighty sent an angel to wait for him on the road. When the man came along, the angel asked him, ` Where are you going?’ He said, `I am going to visit a brother of mine who lives in this village.’ The angel asked, `Have you done him any favor (for which you are now seeking repayment)?’ He said, `No, I just love him for the sake of Allah, the Almighty.’ The angel told him, `I am a messenger to you from Allah, the Almighty, sent to tell you that He loves you as you love your brother for His sake.'” (Sahih Muslim, 16/124, the Book of Virtue, Good Manners and Joining of the Ties of Relationship, Chapter: The Merit of Love for the Sake of Allah)
2. Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, also quotes the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, as saying: “If someone visits his brother in Islam or pays him a call when he is sick, Allah will say to him: “You have done well and you have gone the right way, and you have been granted a place in Paradise.” (Sahih Al-Adab)
Actually, there are some etiquette guiding the noble act of visiting and hosting people. This has been elaborated on by Sheikh Hamed Al-`Ali, instructor of Islamic Heritage at the Faculty of Education, Kuwait and Imam of Dahiat As-Sabahiyya Mosque, as he says:
“The following are the manners a visitor should abide by when paying someone a visit:
1. One should visit people at an appointed and convenient time.
2. One should avoid visiting people who love seclusion and who are in spiritual retreat unless the visit is made in a time of receiving guests.
3. The code of seeking permission thrice before entry should be given due regard.
4. One should not stay long in a person’s house.
5. It’s not proper to talk about something that might embarrass the host.
6. One should keep away from prohibited discourse such as backbiting and slander. Instead, the talk should be full of the Dhikr of Allah.
7. The visit should not be drawn to the point of boredom and weariness.
8. The rule of lowering the gaze should be given proper regard; one should avoid looking around so much.
9. It’s not wise to find fault with or speak negatively of any food or drink, rather one should show gratitude for hospitality offered and pray to Allah to bless the host.
As for the host, he or she should abide the following manners:
1. Welcoming guests nicely.
2. Entertaining guests with fruitful talk, for this is a form of hospitality.
3. Serving the food according to one’s means, without going to extreme in showing hospitality.
4. Giving advice in a polite way, especially if the guest gets into saying something Haram..
5. Wrapping up the visit with the same courtesy shown when welcoming the guest.