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Receiving guests

 Receiving guests
Very often, a man may receive male visitors and guests in his house. In such a situation the question may arise whether the wife of the host can come forward to serve food and drink to them. If a woman's husband is not present when his guests arrive, she should not serve them. However, if her husband is present and the guests are known friends, relatives and well-wishers, a woman may come forward to serve them with food and drink provided that she is properly dressed and her manners, movements and method of talking are such that they are not likely to encourage evil in them or arouse their passions and thereby become a source of fitnah (mischief).
We have a very good example in the following:
"When 'AbdurRashid al-Sa'adi got married, he invited the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his Companions. His wife, Umm Asyad, prepared the food alone and served it herself. She soaked some dates in a stone bowl overnight, When the Prophet finished eating, she offered him the water, after stirring it well, as a present." (At-Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud)
If a woman is not properly dressed, it is better that she does not come forward to serve guests. In this case she should pass out the food and drinks to her husband and he should entertain the guests and visitors on his own.
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