To do on Sneezing and Yawning!

Imam Al-Nawawi's Riyad-us-Saliheen

Chapter 142

Saying 'Al-Hamdulillah' on Sneezing, its reply and Manners relating to Sneezing and Yawning

878. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "Allah likes sneezing and dislikes yawning. When any one of you sneezes and says `Al-hamdu lillah (praise be to Allah)', it becomes obligatory upon every Muslim who hears him to respond with `Yarhamuk-Allah (may Allah have mercy on you)'. Yawning is from the devil. When one of you feels like yawning, he should restrain it as much as possible, for the devil laughs when one of you yawns.''
[Al-Bukhari].

Commentary: Sneezing lightens the mind of man, and bodily he feels comfort. It is, therefore, something good and one should glorify Allah for it. Whereas, yawning is indicative of gluttony, sloth and heaviness and is considered disagreeable. The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) commanded us to stop it either by closing our mouth or by putting our hand across it in order to avoid an act which pleases Satan.

879. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "When one of you sneezes he should say: `Al-hamdu lillah (praise be to Allah),' and his brother or his companion should say to him: `Yarhamuk-Allah (may Allah have mercy on you).' When he says this he should reply: `Yahdikum-ullah wa yuslihu balakum (may Allah guide you and render sound your state of affairs).'''
[Al-Bukhari].

Commentary:  This Hadith teaches Muslims to have good wishes for one another and to return good for good. This reciprocity increases mutual love and results in the unity, peace and dynamism of the Muslim society. May we act upon the golden principles of our religion!

880. Abu Musa (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "When one of you sneezes and praises Allah (i.e., says Al-hamdu lillah), you should invoke Allah's Mercy upon him (i.e., say Yarhamuk-Allah); but if he does not praise Allah, you should not make a response.'' [Muslim].

Commentary: Two senses have been attributed to this prayer of Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam). It means to pray for the good and growth of somebody. Yet, it may also be interpreted in this way, "May Allah save you from such things as will please your opponents.''

881. Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: When two men sneezed in the presence of the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam), he responded to one with "Yarhamuk-Allah (may Allah have mercy on you)'' and did not respond to the other. The latter said to him: "You invoked a blessing on this man but did not do so in my case.'' The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) replied, "He praised Allah (i.e., he said `Al-hamdu lillah') but you did not.''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary: This Hadith tells us that we should seek Blessings of Allah only to that sneezer who says Al-hamdu lillah.

882. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Whenever the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) sneezed, he would cover his mouth with his hand or a piece of cloth, suppressing the sound this way.
[Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi].

Commentary: This Hadith stresses a very important point. In the presence of others, a sneezer is supposed to put his hand or handkerchief over his mouth so that the explosive sound may be suppressed. The other benefit of this precaution is that it avoids causing an uneasy feeling to persons sitting beside him.

883. Abu Musa (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Jews used to intentionally sneeze in the presence of the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) hoping that he would say to them: `Yarhamukum-ullah (may Allah have mercy on you),' but he would respond with: "Yahdikum-ullahu wa yuslihu balakum (may Allah guide you and render sound your state of affairs).''
[Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi].

Commentary: Here, we are told that in response to sneezing on the part of non-Muslims, we should only utter these benedictory words: "Yahdikum-ullahu wa yuslihu balakum (may Allah guide you and render sound your state of affairs)!''

884. Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "When one yawns, he should put his hand over his mouth, otherwise the devil will enter.''
[Muslim].

Commentary:  At the time of yawning, one should put his hand across his mouth. It is a disliked act or Makruh to yawn noisily, because this act pleases Satan. In other words, we must not miss any chance to degrade and frustrate Satan