Islamic manners for children

While visiting the Mauritian capital of Port Louis we popped inside the Jumma Mosque, partly as respite from the midday sun, partly to admire the architecture.

While inside a gentleman approached me (he can be seen in the photo below, taken after we’d left. He’s the one on the left, seated and wearing a helmet for no discernible reason) and started chatting. I was concerned that once he’d started he’d never stop, and he’d end up trying to convince me to come to a prayer meeting or something (I seem to attract those types), but after a brief exchange he left us in peace.

He did, however, offer me a couple of small pamphlets. One was a transcript of a lecture about Islam and science. The other was “Islamic Manners for Children”.

I know little or nothing about Islam, and I don’t mean to mock or criticise in any way, but here are a few of the suggestions which caught my eye flicking through this slim volume:

Table Manners

  • We should eat only those food that is nearest to us so that we do not stretch ourselves to reach the food.

Sitting Manners

  • Try to keep company with persons of good character.
  • We are not allowed to whisper to another person in the presence of other people during a gathering or sitting.

Toilet Manners

  • Never enter the toilet with a companion.
  • We should not talk while relieving ourselves.

Talking Manners

  • Whenever we talk, talk softly and with a smile.
  • Speak only when it is necessary and ensure that what we say is something that is useful.
  • Try to listen more and talk less.

Sleeping Manners

  • We should lie on our right side and put our right hand on our right cheek.
  • We should wake at dawn.

Going-out Manners

  • We should step out with our left, and step in with our right foot.
  • When we are outside, we should keep our eyes downcast.
  • Remove harmful bits and pieces out of the way.