What not to expect?


Today, I was invited to a friend’s house for lunch. It was a pleasant time I must add. However, I never expected to notice that I needed to remove my shoes upon arrival. This rule was enforced at the door with a sign placed by the door saying you must remove your shoes NOW. I was a little uncomfortable but I needed to follow directions and comply with the house rules. I understand the advantage of keeping the carpet or floor clean.

Now, I don’t come from a “shoes off ” household but I like this custom. I believe it shows respect for the homeowner and the effort they put into keeping a nice home. We all have better things than keeping the rug clean or mop the floors.

So, any suggestions on how I could request in a pleasant fashion without offending anyone because most people want to be a good house guest as to how to have people remove their shoes.

I don’t think hanging a sign is my style of communicating.

Please if you have any suggestions I am open to reading what you have seen or maybe if this is a custom in your home what has worked for your guests?

In addition, I also found some inormation from the EPA

(Environmental Protection Agency)

Check out the following  “Door Mat” study:



11 responses to this post.

  1. Well, this is not a custom in my house but most people do it. Long ago, we had carpet in our house and well, people would always remove their shoes to come in. Now even though we’ve changed and use tiles, they still do so. They say they are already used to it. I think that you should create a sense of awareness among your guests.


  2. Posted by confusedaboutlife on August 10, 2007 at 2:00 pm

    wow whenever I enter people housis I natrualy take my shoes off infact I ask were do I put my shoes? perhaps its a culture thing ..just say please leave your shoes by the door ? a sign is not a bad idea so then know one gets offendid write in a please manner ? hope that helps ..oh and about the door mat study man these days they have studys for EVERYTHING they even have studys for bags ..aparently they carry around alot of filth especialy femal bags due to the fact they mix with alot of children ….


  3. You can provide house slippers… so when they arrive at your door you suggest they put those on instead of entering with their shoes, ’cause it’s more comfortable’. That way you don’t have to tell them to take off their shoes and walk around barefooted. It’s what the Japanese do, anyway. The tricky bit is to get various sizes of it.. just so the different feet sizes are covered.

    Confused has a point.. it’s a culture thing at least among Asians. And here in some parts of the country, especially the North… theirs has to do with praying inside the house.


  4. Posted by confusedaboutlife on August 10, 2007 at 3:54 pm

    Bubbles your so funny , ‘get various sizes ‘ LOl .. I have slippers in my bathroom for people to use I get so iritated when I dont find slippers in other peoples bathrooms because I’m like how am I supposed 2do wudu ?
    anyways thats like another post :p


  5. It is a custom in my house. I dont like they come with shoes to my house. For i am used to lay down on the floor to watch TV or read book. Anyway It is something unusual in Iran to go inside home by shoes. Guests usually bring seprated clean shoes or sandals. So do i when i go to my friends house. Good way to be fashionable and by now dont make others confused. 😛


  6. As Salaamu Alaikum Sisters:

    Jazak Allahu Khair for responding to this blog entry. I learned something from each one of you, Alhamdulillah.
    The idea of providing slippers for the guest is an idea.
    I will try your ideas.


  7. Posted by adikbongsu on August 11, 2007 at 4:19 pm

    Salam ‘alaik,

    Taking off shoes before entering a house is a must in Asian countries like Singapore and Malaysia. It is a culture and for us muslims, the culture is a must because a clean house will ensure that when we do our prayers to Allah s.w.t., we are assured of a clean place. For cleanliness is an important factor in Islam.

    Islam places great emphasis on cleanliness, in both its physical and spiritual aspects. On the physical side, Islam requires the Muslim to clean his body, his clothes, his house, and the whole community, and he is rewarded by God for doing so.

    To enter a house wearing your shoes on is definitely not allowed to us because when you walk outside the house your shoes will be walking about in dirt and may even accidentally step on poo which is very unhygienic. So besides trying to keep the carpet clean, entering a house without shoes will ensure that our whole house is clean and suitable for us to use the space for our daily prayer.


  8. As Salaamu Alaikum SIs:

    Mash’Allah, I am truly going to start implementing this at home. Taking off your shoes. I did know that it is a custom in Asian homes, which in fact that is where I was while visiting a Korean family. It was intersting that they provided slippers as well upon arrival. So, yes I definitely agree even beyond just being a custom but the benefit of ensuring that the area is suitable for our prayer space.

    Jazak Allahu Khair for your insisghts


  9. I was going to make the same suggestion as Bubbles – have slippers or slides/flip flops at the door to offer your guests when they enter. My parents and family friends of ours have all incorporated this practice, and if you have visitors that come by a lot, they may find it charming or look forward to having their own slippers to wear. I know when I go to my aunt’s house I have a special pair of slippers just for me and it’s a something little that makes you feel nice and warm inside.

    Growing up (here in the States), I recognized that many of my friends wore shoes in the house, carpet or no carpet. It was a habit of me to take off my shoes, and my friends would joke that when going to my house, they had to make sure they wore good socks, so as not to be embarrassed while trying to hide a big hole or something of the like.

    Now that I’m a bit older I find that more and more of my friends or associates have adopted the “no shoes” rule, regardless of religion or culture. I guess they realize that it’s uncleanly, constantly shampooing your carpet gets expensive, and that shoes can really damage nice hardwood floor.

    Sorry for the long comment!


  10. As Salaamu alaikum Sis:

    No, I enjoyed reading your comments. Yes, I too growing up in the states noticed that shoes were worn through out the entire house and it just became a habit. I remember my mother asking me to mop before guests arrived and after they left. I used to think there has to be a better way of keeping the space cleaner.
    So, years later I learned that it is OKAY to remove your shoes upon arrival and I think one is not being rude by doing so, but rather if you don’t then it is sending a message of disrespect. I know that young toddler refused very loudly to take off his shoes and I had to secretly whisper “this is not our house.” He is like whispering back “I know but I dont want anyone to see the little hole in my sock.” I was like OH BROTHER. It took us a while to compromise with each other but he forgot about it after he saw my friends children.


  11. Removing shoes in homes is an excellent custom. I dedicated a whole blog to this subject.


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