These are the etiquettes or best practices taught by the Prophet (sws) which every Muslim should try to adhere. Manners and Etiquette are an important part of the social fabric of a society. Such practices engender respect and veneration for entities which are worthy of them. As such one should try to observe them as much as possible.
Thus greeting the arrival of an elder by standing up or keeping one’s voice low before one’s parents are manners and etiquette which one needs to observe and one generally does. Similar is the case with spitting in the direction of Qiblah. One should try one’s best to avoid doing so because it would be a sign of disrespect to one of the most holy places on earth. However, in circumstances when this is not possible one can of course do otherwise. A person himself or herself is the best judge of such circumstances.
It must also be kept in mind that manners and etiquettes can vary from place to place and from cutsom to custom as well, certain actions might be considered a voilation of etiquettes in one part of the Muslim world while Muslims living in another part of the world might not consider them to be a severe violation of etiquettes.
The language used in Hadith appears to be very harsh as it warns of a punishment on the day of judgement for a mere act of spitting in the direction of Qiblah. It must be kept in mind that Hadith narrations, at instances, do not provide complete context or background under which a particular statement was made by Prophet Muhammad (sws) and neither do they represent words of Prophet (sws) in verbatim form, rather they are words of a narrator attributed to Prophet (sws) as per his understanding which is why there is always a room that narrator might have misunderstood the exact words of the Prophet (sws) and isolated those words from their proper context. This also adds the condition of looking at these narrations in the light of Quran and Sunnah which are complete and are transmitted through ijma and tawatur. Therefore, if the narration has been rightly transmitted by the narrator, then in the light of Quranic guidance, such a warning makes sense when an act of spitting is done on purpose in a rebellious way to degrade Kaba or Qibla, since rebellion is something which is unforgivable in the sight of Allah, a smaller act like spitting when done under umbrella of rebeliion will also have its consequences on the day of judgement. It is also possible that this statement was made by Prophet Muhammad (sws) in a specific context keeping in mind the tactics of hypocrites who were constantly trying to degrade Muslims, Prophet Muhammad (Sws) and his family (which is mentioned in Quran), and this could also include their attempts to achieve this objective through degrading Kaba as well.
We find other Ahadith as well where Prophet (sws) is asking Muslims to not relieve themselves facing Qiblah and to not spit inside a mosque etc. All these Ahadith narrations can be understood in the light of the above explanation.
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