Sneezing Dua and How to Reply (According to Hadith)

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Sneezing is a natural and involuntary physiological response that serves to clear the nasal passages of irritants and foreign particles. When something irritates the lining of your nose, whether it's dust, pollen, smoke, or other particles, your body initiates a sneeze reflex to expel those irritants and keep your airways clear.

Why People Sneezing?

Here are some of the key reasons why sneezing is important:

1. Clearing Irritants

Sneezing helps to expel irritants, allergens, and foreign particles from the nasal passages and respiratory system. This prevents these substances from traveling deeper into the lungs, where they could potentially cause more significant health issues.

2. Preventing Infections

Sneezing can help to remove bacteria and viruses from the nasal passages. When you have an infection or a cold, the body's immune response can lead to increased mucus production, and sneezing helps to flush out the excess mucus along with the infectious agents.

3. Maintaining Airway Health

Sneezing keeps the airways clear, allowing for proper breathing. This is essential for maintaining oxygen supply to the body's cells and tissues.

4. Preventing Eye Irritation

Sneezing with your eyes open is difficult, if not impossible, due to the reflex action of closing your eyelids. This reflex helps protect your eyes from potential irritants that might be released during a forceful sneeze.

5. Nervous System Regulation

The sneeze reflex is a function of the autonomic nervous system, which helps regulate involuntary processes in the body. It's an example of how the body responds to external stimuli without conscious control.

6. Alerting to Health Issues

Chronic or excessive sneezing can sometimes be a sign of underlying health conditions, such as allergies, infections, or nasal congestion. Recognizing changes in your sneezing patterns can prompt you to seek medical attention if needed.

7. Social and Hygienic Norms

Sneezing etiquette, such as covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow, helps prevent the spread of germs to others. This contributes to public health and hygiene.

8. Relief from Nasal Congestion

Sneezing can provide temporary relief from nasal congestion by forcefully expelling mucus and other obstructive materials from the nasal passages.


In essence, sneezing is a protective mechanism that helps to maintain the health of the respiratory system, prevent the spread of infections, and promote overall well-being. 

While sneezing might sometimes be seen as a minor inconvenience, its benefits in terms of clearing irritants and maintaining a healthy respiratory tract are significant.

sneezing-dua

Dua after Sneezing & How to Reply

Here’s is a breakdown of what a typical situation would look like for someone who sneezed:

Person #1 (sneezes) and says:
  • Alhamdu lillah (Arabic: الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ)
Translation: All praises and thanks are to Allah.


Person #2:
  • Yarhamukallah (Arabic: يَرْحَمُكَ اللَّهُ)
Translation: May Allah have mercy upon you .


Person #1 replied:
  • Yahdeekumul-lahu wa yuslihu balakum (Arabic: يَهْدِيكُمُ اللَّهُ وَيُصْلِحُ بَالَكُمْ)
Translation: May Allah guide you and set your affairs in order.


Islam is a religion which emphasizes the importance of everything in our lives from the smallest to the greatest of matters. Sneezing is a form of blessing that happens naturally to every human being.

Furthermore, Allah SWT loves those who sneezes, for sneezing would remove an illness or disease from his body. This is as stated in a hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah RA, he said the Prophet PBUH said:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْعُطَاسَ وَيَكْرَهُ التَّثَاؤُبَ
“Allah loves sneezing but dislikes yawning,” Sahih al-Bukhari (6226)


Imam Ibnu Hajar cited the opinion of Khattabi which state that the meaning that Allah SWT loves those who sneezes because sneezing would lighten the body and open the pores. (See Fath al-Bari li Ibnu Hajar, 10/607)

Furthermore, the encouragement of the Prophet PBUH to a person who sneezes to recite the tasymit and tahmid as a sign of gratefulness to Allah SWT. The same for the opposite, for those who hear this recitation, he is encouraged to recite tasymit and pray for goodness for the person who sneezes.

This is encouraged in a hadith from Abu Hurairah RA, where the Prophet PBUH said:

إِذَا عَطَسَ أَحَدُكُمْ فَلْيَقُلِ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ‏.‏ وَلْيَقُلْ لَهُ أَخُوهُ أَوْ صَاحِبُهُ يَرْحَمُكَ اللَّهُ‏.‏ فَإِذَا قَالَ لَهُ يَرْحَمُكَ اللَّهُ‏.‏ فَلْيَقُلْ يَهْدِيكُمُ اللَّهُ وَيُصْلِحُ بَالَكُمْ

"If anyone of you sneezes, he should say 'Al-Hamduli l-lah' (Praise be to Allah), and his (Muslim) brother or companion should say to him, 'Yar-hamuka-l-lah' (May Allah bestow his Mercy on you). When the latter says 'Yar-hamuka-llah", the former should say, 'Yahdikumul-lah wa Yuslih balakum' (May Allah give you guidance and improve your condition). Sahih al-Bukhari (6224)


Furthermore, in another narration by Abu Ayyub, the Prophet PBUH said:


إِذَا عَطَسَ أَحَدُكُمْ فَلْيَقُلِ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ عَلَى كُلِّ حَالٍ وَلْيَقُلِ الَّذِي يَرُدُّ عَلَيْهِ يَرْحَمُكَ اللَّهُ وَلْيَقُلْ هُوَ يَهْدِيكُمُ اللَّهُ وَيُصْلِحُ بَالَكُم

"When one of you sneezes let him say: 'Al-Hamdulillahi 'Ala Kulli Hal (All praise is due to Allah in every circumstance).' And let the one replying to him say: "Yarhamukallah (May Allah have mercy upon you).' And let him say to him: 'Yahdikumullah Wa Yuslihu Balakum (May Allah guide you and rectify your affairs).'" Sunan al-Tirmizi (2960)


It is clear that the prophet PBUH encourages his ummah to be mindful of the manners when sneezing by reciting tahmid and for those who hears this to recite tasymit which is to supplicate for goodness on him.

Imam Ibnu Hajar cited the opinion of Imam al-Nawawi saying that scholars have agreed that it is sunnah to recite tahmid as stated by Ibnu Battal and others without the addition of the word Alhamdulillah as stated in the hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah RA. (See Fath al-Bari li Ibnu Hajar, 10/600)

In another hadith, the Prophet PBUH taught a person who sneezes to recite tashmit if he sneezes for more than three times. And if it exceeds three times the Prophet PBUH encourages us to supplicate for the person being cured from illness. The hadith narrated by Ilyas bin Salamah from his father, the Prophet PBUH said:

يُشَمَّتُ الْعَاطِسُ ثَلاَثًا فَمَا زَادَ فَهُوَ مَزْكُومٌ

“The one who sneezes may be responded to three times; if he sneezes more than that, he has a cold.” Sunan Ibnu Majah (3714)


In al-Mausu’ah al-Fiqhiyyah reciting tasymit literally means supplicating for goodness and barakah. And every supplication of a person for good is considered as tasymit.

Ibnu Daqiq al-A’id said, for some Syafi’iyyah scholars, the recitation of al-Tasymit is repeated if a person sneezes multiple times, unless it is known that he has a cold, then a person should supplicate for him to be cured from the disease. And it is understood that the commandment of reciting tasymit is abrogated if a person sneezes because of a cold. (See al-Mausu’ah al-Fiqhiyyah al-Kuwaitiyyah, 12/25-32; Fath al-Bari, 10/606)

Likewise, the prophet PBUH also advises his ummah to cover their mouths with their hands or a cloth as well as turning away from people or food when sneezing. This is to prevent the infection of diseases to others. Furthermore, he should also lower his voice when sneezing as to not disturb others near him.

In a hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah RA:

أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ كَانَ إِذَا عَطَسَ غَطَّى وَجْهَهُ بِيَدِهِ أَوْ بِثَوْبِهِ وَغَضَّ بِهَا صَوْتَهُ
“When the Prophet (ﷺ) would sneeze, he would cover his face with his hand or with his garment, and muffle the sound with it.” Sunan al-Tirmizi (2745)

In Faid al-Qadir the author cited the opinion of al-Turibishti who said that this is one of the manners for a person who sneezes when there are others around him. When a person sneezes, this would cause discomfort to others who hear or see it. (See Faid al-Qadir, 5/149)


Conclusion

According to the above question and discussion, we would summarize that sneezing is a blessing of Allah SWT for His creations. 

Thus, Islam taught its ummah to be mindful of the etiquette and manners of sneezing as has been taught by the Prophet PBUH. Hence, in short, if a person sneezes, it is advised to do the following:
  • The person who sneezes should recite tahmid which is by reciting Alhamdulillah or Alhamdulillahi ala kulli hal.

  • The person who hears another person sneezing and reciting tahmid should answer with Afterwards, the person who sneezes should respond with Yahdikumullah wa yuslih baalkum.

  • If the person sneezes for more than three times, then the person who hears this should supplicate for health and cure for him.

  • A person who sneezes should cover his mouth and turn away from others and food when he is sneezing.

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