Everybody needs good neighbours 2/10/13
What does Islam say about neighbours?
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘Jibreel kept on enjoining the good treatment of neighbours to the extent that I thought that he would include neighbours as heirs.”
The best of companions with Allaah is the one who is best to his companion, and the best of neighbours with Him is the one who is best to his
“Worship Allaah and join none with Him (in worship); and do good to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, Al-Masaakeen (the poor), the neighbour who is near of kin, the neighbour who is a stranger, the companion by your side…”[al-Nisaa’ 4:36
“He will not enter Paradise from whose harm his neighbour is not safe.”
“Whoever believes in Allaah and the Last Day, let him honour his neighbour.”
: “O Messenger of Allah, such-and-such a woman spends her nights in prayer, fasts during the day, and so on, and she gives charity, but she offends her neighbours with her sharp tongue.” The Prophet (s) said: Her good deeds will be of no avail: she is among the people of Hell.’ They said, ´And so and so prays only the obligatory prayers, gives charity in the form of left over curds, but does not offend anyone.’ The Prophet (s) said: ´She is among the people of Paradise.’ 1
´There are three worst types of people: a ruler who, if you do well, does not appreciate it and if you do wrong, he does not forgive you for it; a bad neighbour who, if he sees something good, he conceals it, and if he sees something bad he broadcasts it; and a wife who, when you are present, she annoys you and if you go away, she betrays you.’ 1
“A man who commits adultery with ten women has committed a lesser sin than one who commits adultery with his neighbour’s wife.” “A man who steals from ten households has committed a lesser sin than the one who steals from his neighbour’s house.”.
´How many people will be hanging on to their neighbours on the Day of Resurrection, saying: ‘O my Rabb He shut his door in my face and denied me his kind treatment and help
Rights of neighbours include; initiation of greetings, visiting him if he is sick, offering condolences if calamity befalls him, congratulating him at times of joy, overlooking his mistakes, concealing his faults, bearing his annoyance with patience, giving him gifts, lending him money if he needs it, lowering one’s gaze from looking at his womenfolk, and guiding him to that which will benefit him in his religious and worldly affairs
What is a good neighbour?
As Muslims we define what is good and bad according to the rules of Allah SWT. A good neighbour is not one that is not seen and not heard as many may think.
The Muslim who is truly aware of the teachings of his religion is the best of people in his dealings with his neighbours, and the most respectful, kind and considerate towards them.
Tolerant – He does not stop him from using and enjoying his home, ´No one should prevent his neighbour from fastening a piece of wood to his wall.
(Bukhari and Muslim)
Treats him the way he would like to be treated –
´By the One in Whose hand is my soul, no servant truly believes until he likes for his neighbour (or he said: his brother) what he likes for himself.’
Social responsibility –
´If you cook some broth, add extra water to it, then think of the families in your neighbourhood and send some of it to them.’
The Muslim’s conscience will not let him ignore his neighbour’s poverty and difficulty while he is living a life of ease and plenty.
´He does not believe in me, who eats his fill while his neighbour beside him is hungry, and he knows about it’
Treats them in the best way he can –
O Muslim women, do not think that any gift is too insignificant to give to a neighbour, even if it is only a sheep’s foot.
(Bukhari and Muslim)
Gratitude – gratitude engenders friendship among neighbours and encourages mutual support and help. This is in addition to the fact that thanking people for favours is a basic Islamic trait which the Prophet (s) strongly encouraged:
´The one who does not give thanks to people does not give thanks to Allah.’ 1
Closest first – ´O Messenger of Allah, I have two neighbours, so to which one should I send a gift?’ He said, ´To the one whose door is closer to yours. (Bukhari)
What about non Muslim Neighbours?
‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr had a sheep slaughtered and asked his slave, “Did you give some meat to our Jewish neighbour? For I heard the Prophet (s) say, ‘Jibril kept on enjoining the good treatment of neighbours to the extent that I thought he would include neighbours as heirs.’ (Bukhari and Muslim)
Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for [your] Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and Mustly with them: for Allah loves those who are Must.} (Qur’an 60:8)
Neighbours are of three kinds:
(1) that one who has got one right upon you;
(2) that one who has got two rights upon you;
(3) that one who has got three rights upon you.
The neighbour having three rights upon you is the one who is also a Muslim and a relative. The neighbour having two rights is the one who is either a non-Muslim or a non-relative Muslim.
The neighbour having one right is the one who is neither a Muslim nor a relative. Still he has got all the claims of neighbourhood-rights upon you.
How can I be a better neighbour?
Be aware of the Islamic rulings and reccomendations
-Greeting and smiling.
-Offering to help
-We don’t know our neighbours, lack of community spirit, so be the catalyst that can cause the creation of community. Send food at Ramadan, Eid cards, be friendly and approachable, offer to drop neighbours kids to school etc if you can see they are struggling.
-Dawah through actions. Show that we care, that Islam makes us better, more caring people. We don’t backbite, we help where we can, we are conscientious. We care and want to make our communities a better place.
-empathy and understanding, one off parties, weddings,
-Don’t limit yourself to Muslim activities. Community issues effect Muslims, and we need to be represented on Governing bodies, health groups and so on.
-Parable of the ship. We need to work together.
What are the benefits of being a good neighbour?
Islam focuses on benefits to whole society over benefits to individual
´The believers are like a wall whose bricks are fitted tightly together; each one of them supports another. (Bukhari)
The rulings on rights of neighbours exist, to create an harmonious cohesive society.
Islam pays attention to the issue of neighbours, whether they are Muslim or not, because of the interests served by that in making the nation like one body.
If the ship sinks we will all drown. Therefore we have to support each other.
At the moment, in the societies we live in, the ship is sinking.
Implications of being a better neighbour?
-Our communities are more cohesive, those people who are alone and struggling would be supported and cared for.
-Also we create a better environment for our children to grow up in. Helping your neighbours and community is the same as creating opportunities for your own children and family.
– It is our duty to create a good environment for our children
-lack of family structure, need to create that network of support in different ways.
-Do you think your own children wont be effected just because they say they are Muslim?
So Islam counts a good neighbour, one whose presence is a source of comfort, security and safety, as one of the joys of a Muslim’s life. The Prophet (s) honoured the good neighbour by describing him as one of the pillars of happiness in a Muslim’s life:
´Among the things that bring happiness to a Muslim in this life are a righteous neighbour, a spacious house and a good steed.’ 3
The salaf appreciated the value of good neighbours so much that they considered having a good neighbour to be a priceless blessing. One story which reflects this tells that the neighbour of Sa’id ibn al- ‘As wanted to sell his home for 100,000 dirhams, and told the would-be purchaser, “This is the price of the house, but what would you give for having Sa’id as a neighbour?” When Sa’id heard about this, he sent his neighbour the price of the house and told him to stay there.