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Ruling on standing up for who comes in, and kissing him
With regard to standing up for who comes in (this applies to judges while in court), Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah gave a detailed answer to this question. He said:
It was not the custom of the salaf at the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and the Rightly-Guided Caliphs to stand up every time they saw him [the Prophet] (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), as many people do. Rather Anas ibn Maalik said: “No person was dearer to them than the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), but when they saw him they did not stand up for him because they knew that he disliked that.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2754; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi. But they may have stood up for one who was returning from away, in order to greet him, as it was narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) stood up for ‘Ikrimah, and he said to the Ansaar when Sa’d ibn Mu’aadh came: “Stand up for your chief.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3043; Muslim, 1768. That was when he [Sa’d] came to pass judgement on Banu Qurayzah, because they said that would accept his verdict.
What people should do is get accustomed to following the salaf in their customs at the time of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), for they are the best of generations and the best of speech is the Word of Allaah, and the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). No one should turn away from the guidance of the best of mankind and the guidance of the best of generations and follow something that is inferior to it. And the chief or leader should not approve of that among his companions, so that when they see him they should not stand up for him, rather they should simply greet him in the usual manner.
With regard to standing up for one who has come from a journey and the like, to greet him, that is fine. If it is the custom of the people to honour one who comes by standing up for him, and if that may make him feel insulted if they do not do it, and he does not know the custom that is in accordance with the Sunnah, then it is better to stand up for him, because that will create a good relationship between them and will remove rancour and hatred. But if a person is familiar with the custom of some people that is in accordance with the Sunnah, not doing that will not offend him.
Standing up for a newcomer is not the standing mentioned in the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “Whoever likes the people to stand up for him, let him take his place in Hell.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2755; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi. That refers to when they stand up for him when he is seated; it does not refer to when they stand up to welcome him when he comes. Hence the scholars differentiated between the two types of standing, because those who stand up to greet a newcomer are equal with him, unlike those who stand for one who remains seated.
It was proven in Saheeh Muslim that when the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) led them in prayer sitting down, because he was ill, and they prayed standing, he told them to sit down and said: “Do not venerate me as the Persians venerate one another.” And he forbade them to stand in prayer whilst he was sitting, lest they resemble the Persians who used to stand for their leaders whilst the leaders were seated. In conclusion, the best is to follow the customs and attitude and views of the salaf as much as possible.
If a person does not believe in that and is not familiar with this custom, and if not dealing with him in the manner in which people are accustomed to showing respect will lead to a greater evil, then we should ward off the greater of two evils by doing the lesser of them, and do that which serves a greater interest at the expense that which serves the lesser interest.
End quote from Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah.
What will make this clearer is the report narrated in al-Saheehayn concerning the story of Ka’b ibn Maalik, when Allaah accepted his repentance and that of his two companions (may Allaah be pleased with them all), in which it says that when Ka’b entered the mosque, Talhah ibn ‘Ubayd-Allaah stood up, ran to him and greeted him, and congratulated him on Allaah’s forgiveness, and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not denounce that. This indicates that it is permissible to stand up for someone who comes in, and to shake his hand and greet him. Similar to this is the report that when the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) entered upon his daughter Faatimah, she would stand up for him and take his hand, and make him sit in her place. And when she entered upon him, he would take her hand and make her sit in his place. Classed as saheeh by al-Tirmidhi.
Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 1/144-147.
And Allaah knows best.
Submitted by Dr. Antar Ibn-Stanford