Is Flattery Permissible?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad


Is flattery permissible?


Flattery is defined as expressing gratifying respect or admiration or as excessive and insincere praise given primarily to further one’s interests. This is not permissible.


Hammam ibn al-Harith reported that a person began to praise ‘Uthman and Miqdad sat upon his knee, and he was bulky and began to throw pebbles upon his (the flatterer’s) face. Thereupon `Uthman said, “What is the matter with you? And he said: ‘Verily, Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, ‘When you see those who shower (undue) praise (upon others), throw dust upon their faces.’” [Muslim]

Ibn Muflih said, “It is said that the Prophet meant by (throw sand in their faces) to express rebuttal and disapproval, as is said to a student who is repudiated.” [Al-adab al-Shar’iyya, 3/453]


The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) taught us this supplication. Please learn it and recite it.

اللَّهُمَّ لاَ تُؤَاخِذْنِي بِمَا يَقُولُونَ وَاغْفِرْ لِي مَا لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ [وَاجْعَلْنِي خَيْرًا مِمَّا يَظُّنُّونَ]

O Allah, do not call me to account for what they say and forgive me for what they have no knowledge of [and make me better than they imagine]. [Bukhari [Bayhaqi in brackets]]

Please see this link to learn more about excessive flattery:
Excessive Praise Of People
Is It Wrong to Ask Others Not to Praise Me?
Is Giving Encouraging Comments Like “Good Job” to Someone Haram?

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqida, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.