Thursday 13 October 2022

Hadith Prophet Muhammad ﷺ: Rights of the Neighbour

The essence of human relation in Islam is based on love, affection and cooperation. It is expected of Muslims to be show compassion to their brethren and take care of them in times of need. Other than one's close relatives, the close neighbours too assume an added importance and Muslims are advised to look after their neighbours so as to establish a brotherly bondage with each other.

Allah has specially advised Muslims to be kind to their neighbours as it appears in the Qur'an (سورة النساء, An-Nisaa, Chapter #4, Verse #36):

وَاعۡبُدُوا اللّٰهَ وَلَا تُشۡرِكُوۡا بِهٖ شَيۡـئًـا​ ؕ وَّبِالۡوَالِدَيۡنِ اِحۡسَانًا وَّبِذِى الۡقُرۡبٰى وَالۡيَتٰمٰى وَ الۡمَسٰكِيۡنِ وَالۡجَـارِ ذِى الۡقُرۡبٰى وَالۡجَـارِ الۡجُـنُبِ وَالصَّاحِبِ بِالۡجَـنۡۢبِ وَابۡنِ السَّبِيۡلِ ۙ وَمَا مَلَـكَتۡ اَيۡمَانُكُمۡ​ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰهَ لَا يُحِبُّ مَنۡ كَانَ مُخۡتَالًا فَخُوۡرَا ۙ‏ 
(4:36) Serve Allah and ascribe no partner to Him. Do good to your parents, to near of kin, to orphans, and to the needy, and to the neighbour who is of kin and to the neighbour who is a stranger, and to the companion by your side, and to the wayfarer, and to those whom your right hands possess. Allah does not love the arrogant and the boastful,

The above quoted verse from Qur'an clearly spells out who is a neighbour: A neighbour who physically occupies a house next door, a companion during a journey or any wayfarer that one may come across.

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ has on many occasions advised his companions and others to look after their neighbours and after the close relatives, a share of charity must go to Neighbours if they are in need. \\

In Sahih al-Bukhari Book 78 (Good Manners and Form (Al-Adab) - كتاب الأدب /Chapter 28 (To recommend to be kind to one's neighbour) / Hadith 6014, beloved wife of Aisha has been quoted as saying:

حَدَّثَنَا إِسْمَاعِيلُ بْنُ أَبِي أُوَيْسٍ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي مَالِكٌ، عَنْ يَحْيَى بْنِ سَعِيدٍ، قَالَ أَخْبَرَنِي أَبُو بَكْرِ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ، عَنْ عَمْرَةَ، عَنْ عَائِشَةَ ـ رضى الله عنها ـ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ "‏ مَا زَالَ يُوصِينِي جِبْرِيلُ بِالْجَارِ حَتَّى ظَنَنْتُ أَنَّهُ سَيُوَرِّثُهُ ‏"‏‏.‏
The Prophet (ﷺ) said "Gabriel continued to recommend me about treating the neighbors Kindly and politely so much so that I thought he would order me to make them as my heirs."

The above quoted Hadith is very clearly lays down the importance of neighbours and our rights towards them. In case one neighbour is rich and other is poor, struggling for life, the former bears the responsibility to look after him.  In another Hadith, the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) said that a man whose neighbour is not safe from his misdeeds, is not a believer in Islam.
Again, he says that a person who enjoys a full meal while his neighbour is starving really has no faith in Islam. The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) was once informed of a woman who used to offer prayers regularly and would often keep fasts and give alms frequently, but her neighbours were sick of her abusive tongue. The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) said that such a woman deserved only the fire of Hell. He was then told of another woman who did not possess these virtues but did not trouble her neighbours and the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) said that she might be rewarded with a place in Heaven.

The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) has laid so much emphasis on rights of neighbours that he has advised that whenever a Muslim brings fruits for his children, he should either send some to his neighbours as a gift or at least not throw the peelings outside his house. This would prevent the neighbour from feeling deprived. On one occasion, the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) said that a man is really good if his neighbours regard him as such and he is bad if they consider him so.

However, this does not mean that it is an Islamic virtue to be partial or unduly lenient towards one’s relations. Such support or partiality towards one’s relations as may result in injustice, is repugnant to Islam, which condemns it as an act of Jahiliya (ignorance). 

On the authority of Abi Hurairah, may God be pleased with him, on the authority of the Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace, who said: Whoever believes in God and the Last Day will say, and whoever believes in Allah and Last Day, blessed be He. And those who believe in Allah and the Last Day will be rewarded.

A lot more can be added to the importance of looking for the welfare of one's neighbours, but the essence has been presented to apprise our brothers and sisters not to forget about the wellbeing of our neighbours.

May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, which is embodiment of commandments of Allah contained in the Qur'ān. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others' lives miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door.  
وَمَا عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ الۡمُبِيۡنُ‏ 
(36:17) and our duty is no more than to clearly convey the Message.”
That is Our duty is only to convey to you the message that Allah has entrusted us with. Then it is for you to accept it or reject it. We have not been made responsible to make you accept it forcibly, And if you do not accept it, we shall not be seized in consequence of your disbelief, You will yourselves be answerable for your actions on Day of Resurrection.

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully. It will also help the Muslims to have grasp over social issues and their answers discussed in the Qur'an and other matter related to inter faith so that they are able to discuss issues with non-Muslims with authority based on refences from Qur'an.

Note: When we mention God in our posts, we mean One True God, we call Allah in Islam, with no associates. Allah is the Sole Creator of all things, and that Allah is all-powerful and all-knowing. Allah has no offspring, no race, no gender, no body, and is unaffected by the characteristics of human life.

Please refer to our reference page: Sunnah and Hadith of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to know more about sunnah of Prophet of Allah. You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.

Disclaimer: The material for this post has been collected from the references as given below. If any one differs with the material contained in this post, one may consult the references and their authors.  If someone has more material about the subject, he/she is most welcome to share in the comments box to make the post all encompassing.
Photo | References: | Khaleej Times | Ghamdi |

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