Rights of Neighbours In Islam

And be good to the neighbour who is your relative and to the neighbour who is not a relative . . . (Qur’an, 4:36)

Islam orders every muslim to be kind and loving towards his neighbours. Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi explains it further in his book ‘Muslim Way Of Life” page number 12:
1. Deal with him with goodness and leniency.
2. Protect the honour of his family.
3. From time to time send him and his family gifts. You must help him with some food, if they are reduced to starvation.

In a Hadith, related by Jabir (Raziallah Anho), the Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wasallam) is reported to have said ” Neighbours are of three kinds. Firstly, the neighbor who enjoys only one right (and as far as rights are concerned). Secondly, the one who enjoys two rights and thirdly the neighbours who enjoys three rights. The neighbor with only one right is just the neighbour (i.e. a non-Muslim neighbours with whom there are no family ties). The neighbours with two rights is the neighbours who is also a Muslim (as such he has a claim as a neighbor as well as a fellow Muslim) and the one with three rights is the neighbor who is a Muslim and a relative – he has a claim as a neighbor, as a fellow Muslim and as a relative”.

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should not hurt (trouble) his neighbor. And I advise you to take care of the women, for they are created from a rib and the most crooked portion of the rib is its upper part; if you try to straighten it, it will break, and if you leave it, it will remain crooked, so I urge you to take care of the women.” - Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Number 114

Rights of neighbours are so emphasized in the Holy Quran and sunnah that it was thought that they will also going to inherit property of a muslim too.

As a muslim we are supposed to take special care about our neighbours. We are advised to keep the financial condition of our neighbour in cconsideration and help them if we can in any case.

Narrated AbuDharr: Allah’s Apostle (peace be upon him) said: AbuDharr, when you prepare the broth, add water to that and give that (as a present) to your neighbour. - Sahih Muslim, 1208

In yet another hadith, related by Anas (Raziallah Anho), the Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wasallam) said “He has not affirmed faith in me (i.e. he is not a true follower) who eats to his satisfaction and sleeps comfortably at night while his neighbour goes hungry – and he is aware of it.”

We, as muslims are instructed to be kind and good to our neighbours:

Serve Allah, and join not any partners with Him; and do good – to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, those in need, neighbours who are near, neighbours who are strangers, the Companion by your side, the wayfarer [you meet], and what your right hands possess: For Allah loveth not the arrogant, the vainglorious (Qur’an 4:36) ”

If one chooses not to care about his neighbours for such Allah’s Apostle Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:

Narrated Abu Shuraih: The Prophet said, “By Allah, he does not believe! By Allah, he does not believe! By Allah, he does not believe!” It was said, “Who is that, O Allah’s Apostle?” He said, “That person whose neighbor does not feel safe from his evil.” - Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Number 45

Mu’awiya Ibn Haidah relates that the Prophet of Allah (Sal Allaho Alehe Wasallam) said:

“The rights of the neighbour upon you are that; If he falls ill you visit (and take care of) him; if he dies you attend his funeral (and take part in the burial arrangements); if he commits an evil deed, you prevent it from being known (i.e. do not give publicity to it); if he is favoured by good-fortune, you congratulate him; if a calamity befalls him, you grieve in sympathy with him; and that you restrain from erecting your building higher than his in such a way that the passage of fresh air is blocked from his house (unless you obtained his consent) and further, (you take care that) the aroma of your cooking pot does not cause sorrow to him (and his children) except that you send some of it (the food) to him.”

Al-Imam `Ali ibn al-Husayn (a. s.) in his Risalat al-Huquq, said:

These are your duties towards your neighbour: 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.

 
 

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