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Sunan of Sneezing and Yawning

26 2020/07/22
Sunan of Sneezing and Yawning

1) Saying “Al-Hamdu Lillāh” (Praise is due to Allāh) after sneezing, being replied “Yarhamuk Allāh”, then replying “Yahdeekum Ullah wa Yuslihu Bālakum”.

Abu Hurayrah (ABPWH) narrated that the Prophet (PBUH) said,

“If one of you sneezes, he should say ‘Al-Hamdu Lillāh’ (i.e. Praise is due to Allāh), and his brother or companion should say to him ‘Yarhamuk Allāh’ (i.e. May Allāh bestow His Mercy on you). When the latter says ‘Yarhamuk Allāh,’ the former should say ‘Yahdeekum Ullah wa Yuslihu Bālakum’ (i.e. May Allāh give you guidance and grant you well-being).”

(Al-Bukhāriy no. 6224)

It is also Sunnah to change the wording occasionally, saying “Al-Hamdu Lillāhi ‘Ala Kulli Hāl” (i.e. Praise be to Allāh in all circumstances).

This is indicated by the Hadeeth narrated by Abi Dāwood, in which the Prophet (PBUH) said,

“If one of you sneezes, he should say, ‘Al-Hamdu Lillāh ‘Ala Kulli Hāl’ (i.e. Praise be to Allāh in all cirumstances).” .

(Abū Dāwood no. 5031)

Any one who hears the one who sneezed saying “Al-Hamdu Lillāh” should reply, “Yarhamuka Allāh” (i.e. May Allāh bestow His Mercy on you), and it is Sunnah for the one who sneezed to reply to that saying, “Yahdeekum Ullah wa Yuslihu Bālakum” (i.e. May Allāh give you guidance and grant you well-being).

2) One who sneezes is not to be replied “Yarhamuk Allāh” except if he says “Al-Hamdu Lillāh”.

Anass (ABPWH) said, “Two men sneezed in the presence of the Prophet (PBUH) , and the Prophet (PBUH) answered one of them ‘Yarhamuk Allāh,’ and did not answer the other one. The latter said,

‘O Messenger of Allāh, you replied to him “Yarhamuka Allāh,” but you did not reply to me.’ The Prophet (PBUH) said, ‘He praised Allāh, and you did not praise Allāh.’.”

(Al-Bukhāriy no. 6225)

In another Hadeeth, Abu Moussa Al-Ash‘ariy (ABPWH) reported that he heard the Messenger of Allāh (PBUH) say,

“If one of you sneezes and then praises Allāh, respond to him with Tashmeet, and if he does not praise Allāh then do not respond to him with Tashmeet.”

(Muslim no. 2992)

Tashmeet is replying to one who sneezes by saying, “Yarhamuka Allāh” (i.e. May Allāh have mercy on you).
If however it is a matter of education, such as a father educating his son or a teacher educating his students, then the father or teacher can ask the child who sneezed to say “Al-Hamdu Lillāh”, in order to educate him, as it might be that the child does not know this Sunnah.
Moreover, if someone has a cold and sneezes more than three times, then he should be answered “Yarhamuk Allāh” only three times, and after the third time he should not be answered “Yarhamuk Allāh”.

This is indicated in the Hadeeth of Abi Hurayrah (ABPWH) who narrated the the Prophet (PBUH) said,

“Answer your brother who sneezes, ‘Yarhamuk Allāh’ (i.e. May Allāh have mercy on you), three times. If however he sneezes more than than three times, then he has a cold.”

(Abū Dāwood no. 5034)

In another narration reported by Muslim, Salamah Ubn Ul-Akwa‘ (ABPWH) narrated that when a man sneezed in the presence of the Prophet (PBUH) , Salamah heard the Prophet (PBUH) answering the man who sneezed, ‘Yarhamuk Allāh’ (i.e. May Allāh have mercy on you). Salamah continues that the man then sneezed again and the Messenger of Allāh (PBUH) said,

“The man has a cold.”

(Muslim no. 2993)

Thus, one who sneezes should not be answered in two situations:
1. If the one who sneezes does not praise Allāh the Almighty after sneezing.
2. If someone sneezes more than three times and is thus expected to have a cold.
Sunan of Yawning
1) Resisting yawning as much as possible, or holding the hand over the mouth while yawning.
This is proven by the following Hadeeth:

Abu Hurayrah (ABPWH) narrated that the Prophet (PBUH) said,

“Allāh likes sneezing and dislikes yawning, so if someone sneezes and then praises Allāh, it is his right on every Muslim who heard him to answer him, ‘Yarhamuk Allāh’ (i.e. May Allāh have mercy on you). As for yawning, it is from Satan, so one should try his best to stop it. If one says ‘Ha’ while yawning, Satan laughs at him.”

(Al-Bukhāriy no. 2663)

Imām Muslim reports through Abi Sa‘eed (ABPWH) that the Prophet (PBUH) said,

“When one of you yawns, he should hold his hand over his mouth, lest Satan enters therein.”

(Muslim no. 2995)

Thus, one should try to prevent yawning either by repressing it by closing his mouth or biting his lower lip or similar methods, or he should at least cover his mouth with his hand while yawning.

2) In addition, it is preferred for one who yawns to avoid raising his voice while yawning or making sounds like “Ha” or “Ah” or similar sounds, as this makes Satan laugh at him.
This is proven by the following Hadeeth:

Abu Hurayrah (ABPWH) reported that the Prophet (PBUH) said,

“Yawning is from Satan. Thus, one who yawns should try his best to stop it, and if one says ‘Ha’ while yawning, Satan laughs at him.’.”

(Al-Bukhāriy no. 3298, Muslim no. 2994)

3) Note: Some people are used to saying { أعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم } “I ask Allāh’s refuge against the cursed devil” after yawning. It should be noted that there is no valid evidence for this and it is not part of the Prophet’s Sunnah, as the Prophet (PBUH) did not say this when he yawned.

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