Understanding The Prophet's Life
From Issue: 478 [Read full issue]
Sitting Between Two People
If you enter a room, do not sit between two people. Instead, sit on their left or right. Abu Dawud reported that the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said: "No one is to sit between two people without their permission."
Sometimes people will be kind enough to favour you by making room for you to sit between them. Acknowledge this kind gesture by thankfully accepting their offer. Be grateful and good mannered, do not sit cross-legged to crowd them out.
If you are seated next to two people, do not eavesdrop and listen to what they say, lest their conversation be a confidential or a private matter. Eavesdropping is a bad habit and a sin. Al-Bukhari reported that the Messenger of Allah said: "Whoever listens to people's conversation against their wishes will be punished by liquid lead being poured down their ears on the Day of Judgment."
“Islamic Manners” – Abdul Fattah Abu Ghudda, pp. 45, 46