Islam has always focused on the rights and duties of mankind. In the Quran, the rights of neighbors have been emphasized. Islam has a great deal of respect for neighbors; whether relatives or non-relatives. Of course, neighbors who are relatives have even more importance, due to the dual relationship. In a Muslim community, a Muslim neighbor is expected to cater to the needs of his other neighbors. Islam is not limited to only caring for the neighbors who are Muslims, but non-Muslims as well. Islam demands that we place no hurdles in the paths of our neighbors; Muslims and non-Muslims alike. We are expected to respect their privacy and take care of them when they are sick. To learn more about the teachings of Islam and how Islam has taught us to behave with other people we recommend studying the life of the Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w.w) in detail. You can also do so by reading the Holy Quran with understanding. Our website, Online Quran Lessons, offers online Quran classes to all students who want to learn Quran online. Our expert online Quran teachers also help you learn tajweed online and teach you about Islam in detail. For details of the courses we offer please visit our website and register now for our free trial classes!
REWARDS IN THE HEREAFTER:
The Holy Prophet (PBUH) even said that when a neighbor is generous to his other neighbors, he is highly rewarded on the day of Judgement. The Holy Prophet said that the person who treats his neighbors with love, care and respect is given a heavy reward after his death. Islam has great respect for the mutual rights and duties of neighbors. At some point, it was thought that maybe Allah was going to include neighbors for the distribution of legal inheritance. The Holy Prophet said:
Jibra’il always used to advise me to be generous with neighbors, until I thought that Allah was going to include the neighbors among the heirs of a Muslim.
Narrated Abu Shuraih Al Adawi:
My ears heard and my eyes saw the Prophet when he spoke, “Anybody who believes in Allah and the Last Day, should serve his neighbor generously, and anybody who believes in Allah and the Last Day should serve his guest generously by giving him his reward.”
It was asked.
“What is his reward, O Allah’s Apostle?”
He (s.a.w.w.) said
“(To be entertained generously) for a day and a night with high quality of food and the guest has the right to be entertained for three days (with ordinary food) and if he stays longer, what he will be provided with will be regarded as Sadaqa (a charitable gift). And anybody who believes in Allah and the Last Day should talk what is good or keep quiet (i.e. abstain from all kinds of dirty and evil talks).”
[SAHIH AL-BUKHARI, VOLUME 8, NUMBER 48]
MUSLIM VS. NON-MUSLIM NEIGHBOR:
The rights of the neighborhood are not meant for Muslim neighbors only. Of course, a Muslim neighbor has one more claim upon us – that of Islamic brotherhood; but so far as the rights of neighborhood are concerned, all are equal.
Yahya related to me from Malik from Said ibn Abi Said al-Maqburi from Abu Shurayh al-Kabi that the Messenger (s.a.w.w.) of Allah said,
“Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should speak good or be silent. Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should be generous to his neighbor. Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, should be generous to his guest. His welcome is for a day and a night, and his hospitality is for three days. Whatever is more than that is sadaqa. It is not halal for a guest to stay with a man until he becomes a burden.”
[MALIK AL-MUWATTA, VOLUME 49, NUMBER 22]
And be good to the neighbor who is your relative and to the neighbor who is not a relative . . .
DUTIES TOWARDS A NEIGHBOR
Besides rights, there is a certain set of duties which you have to perform for your neighbor. When your neighbor is not around, you have the duty to protect his property and dignity. If someone tries to say bad about your neighbors or tries to defame them, a neighbor should protect them.
Al-Imam Ali ibn al-Hussein (a.s.) in his Risalat al-Huquq, said:
These are your duties towards your neighbor: Protect his interests when he is absent; show him respect when he is present; help him when he is inflicted with any injustice. Do not remain on the look-out to detect his faults; and if, by any chance, you happen to know any undesirable thing about him, hide it from others; and, at the same time, try to desist him from improper habits, if there is any chance that he will listen to you. Never leave him alone at any calamity. Forgive him, if he has done any wrong. In short, live with him a noble life, based on the highest Islamic ethical code.
Allah’s Messenger (s.a.w.w.) said, “Who will accept those words from me and act upon them, or teach people who will act upon them?” When he replied that he would he took him by the hand and counting five characteristics, said, “If you guard against the things which are forbidden, you will be the most devout of men; if you are pleased with what Allah has allotted, you will be the richest of men; if you are kind to your neighbor, you will be a believer; if you like others to have what you like for yourself, you will be a Muslim; and do not laugh immoderately, for immoderate laughter causes the heart to die.” Ahmad and Tirmidhi transmitted it, Tirmidhi saying this is a gharib tradition.
[AL-TIRMIDHI, NUMBER 1334]
Islam focuses a great deal on the rights and duties of neighbors, as they are an integral part of our society. Islam does not categorize Muslim and non-Muslim neighbors. Islam demands that the defects of the neighbors should be overlooked and any sort of rumors made against the neighbors should be disregarded. A person who holds no respect for his neighbor is not a true Muslim and would be punished in the hereafter. To learn more about the rights of neighbors we recommend you to study the life of the Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w.w.) in detail. You can also do so by reading the Holy Quran with understanding. Our website, Online Quran Lessons, offers online Quran classes to all students who want to learn Quran online. Our expert online Quran teachers also help you learn tajweed online and teach you about Islam in detail. For details of the courses we offer please visit our website and register now for our free trial classes!