Islam is the perfect religion which gives us instruction about every field in life. From individual life to combined life, economic, social, civic, every field is significantly covered by Islam. When we come to combined life. There are different matter discusses in combined life. One of the essential issues is how a neighbor should be treated in Islam. What are their rights and how these are provided as per the teachings of Islam?
Definition of Neighbor
Different Muslims scholars define the neighbor who resides within 40 homes on each side of a house.
A common definition of neighbor is the one who resides next to your house.
According to great Muslim scholar Imam Abu Hanifa, the neighbor can be defined as the quarter of a city or town.
One of the essential Ahadith was described in the book of Muslim, and Prophet Muhammad SAW said three times By God (Allah), he is not a believer. The companions asked who is not a believer. Prophet Muhammad SAW said that one whose neighbor is not safe from his action.”
It cannot be denied that before the arrival of Islam, the society of Makkah is regarded as an ignorant society. They had no rule and regulation regarding whole life. Rich and poor had a lot of differences. Poor people were like slaves. There were no rights of poor people. People had forgotten the teaching of previous profit. Selfishness and ego were the characteristics of this society.
Then the Prophet Muhammad SAW came. He was awarded Nabowah. Prophet Muhammad SAW advised the people of Arabic society in all matters. Even after strong resistance, people acknowledged him as the reformer. He started reforms in society and gave different rights to different segments of society. One of these segments is neighbors.
Ahadith and Quranic verses on the matter of neighbor’s right
Different Ahdith and several places in the holy book Quran qualify the right to the neighbor. For example, a hadith was narrated by Abu-Hurayrah in which Prophet said,” whoever believes in Allah and the Day of Judgment must not annoy his neighbor.”
The right of neighbors must be given to them instead of depriving them. Islam saves the right of neighbor.
In another Hadith was narrated by Abu Dharr( May God happy with him), Prophet Muhammad SAW said,” Jabreel Kept me urging the right of neighbor should be ensured, I felt that he would declare them heirs.” The Hadith guarantees the right of neighbors in clear words.
Similarly, in another Hadith, narrated by Abu Dhar, Prophet Muhammad SAW said,” whenever you prepare a broth, include more water in it, then present it with a feeling of courtesy.”
Multiple guidelines regarding neighbor’s rights have been provided in the different books, including the holy book of Quaran and the other six editions of Ahadith. Having a good relationship with the neighbor, having care for them, and possible help in meeting their needs is some form of their rights.
To share their burden in the time of distress and particularly the concealment of their faults are the rights that were qualified by Hadith. In which, Prophet Muhammad SAW said, “the person who hides the fault of a Muslim, Allah would hide his fault in the day of Judgment.”
Islam gives a guarantee to their rights. It advises the people to meet the needs of your neighbor more than the capacity. In another Hadith, Prophet Muhammad SAW said,’ if the person eats according to his needs, but his neighbor remains hungry due to absence of foods, the person is not a believer.”
Hazrat Ali RA said that your responsibility regarding your neighbor is to assist him in times of distress, to give a good piece of advice, and to guard him with the property even in his absence.
Universal rights of a neighbor
Islam helps us to establish and to maintain a functional society under the divine rules. Under its sacred laws, the rights of neighbors are guarded well. The fundamental rights of the neighbor are as follows.
- Help the neighbor in a time of distress
It is necessary to help the neighbor in a time of sorrow. Whenever he or she meets with the uncertain condition, it should be the first and foremost duty of the person to assists the neighbor by all means, including money and social supports.
- Congratulate him if he meets with success
In Islam, the neighbors are supposed to be the companion of every time. It is the right of the neighbor that he or she should be congratulated by the other people living in the society if he gets success in any matter.
- If he sins, prevent it from being known
It is the responsibility of the neighbor to hide the fault of another neighbor if he committed it. He should not disclose it. According to the Hadith, if the person hides another fault, Allah Almighty would hide his fault.
- Must attend the funeral ceremony
If your neighbor dies, it is the right of the neighbor to participate in his funeral ceremony. Islam does not only protect their right in life, but it also gives a guarantee of their right even after death. It is the beauty of Islam.
- If he is ill, must visit him
If your neighbor gets caught in disease and becomes sick, It is the responsibility of part of you to visit him and to meet all their needs. It may happen that due to disease or illness, he or she has nothing to eat.
- Sharing Edible
If you buy fruit from the market, make sure it will be delivered to your neighbor also. That is the right, which has been ensured by the religion of Islam not imposed by anyone.
- Harassing is not allowed in any way
Harassing of neighbors is not allowed in any way. Don’t terrorize them in any way. It is an ordinary happening in every society. We should avoid it as much as possible.
- Don’t’ raise your building to block the air
It is the responsibility guarded by the religion of Islam. We should not tease our neighbors in any way; for example, we should not build our building so high so that the fresh air and light of the neighbors stop. We should take permission if we want to construct something.
- Help him with money in terms of the loan
Islam protects the right of neighbors as it protects other segments of society. A lot of needs occur in the life of a person. Most of these needs can be fulfilled only by money. Islam guards the right of poor people by introducing the concept of Zakat, Usher, and Fitrana. Similarly, if your neighbor needs money to meet his needs. You should help him possibly with the money. It is their right imposed by Islam.
- Provide the relief if he needs
A lot of times, we need consolation rather than money. For example, on the death of a loved one, we just need to be encouraged. Similarly, it is the right of the neighbor to provide him the relief instead of terrorizing them.
- Provide help if he needs
Islam ensures every right of every segment of society. Similarly, it happens with the neighbor. The concept of help in Islam is bigger than in any religion. We should help needy people. We should help him with money and social support. For example, if the neighbor becomes sick due to disease, and he has no money to get it cured. The people living in the society are bound to help him with money.
In other words, Islam does not only save their right but also ensure the provision of this right according to Islamic teaching. Islam does not let people exploit the rights of others. It continuously issued direction to be soft in the matters of neighbors. It teaches the believer to struggle for the broken relationship to be mended not to be made more disturbed.
Once, the Prophet Muhammad SAW said to a person to collect the luggage from the middle of the road to show him that his neighbor was feeling agony. The bad neighbor soon turned to collect the luggage from the middle of the way and apologized from him due to suffering and distress. The provision of rights by Islam is second to none.
Islam ensures the provision of rights, particularly to the weak segment of society. It announced punishment if these rights do not provision perfectly. In a Hadith, Narrated by Abu Hurayra(may Allah be happy with him), the Prophet Muhammad SAW said,” A man politely interrogated, O messenger of Allah, if a woman who fasts, gives zakat and offers prayers. Still, she does not treat her neighbor well, tall me about her ending. The Prophet SAW said; she would go to hell. Again he asked if a woman fasts, prays, and gives charity, but she offers charity from the yogurt, but, she also keeps good relations with her neighbor. He SAW said that she would go to paradise.
It is necessary to fulfill the requirement made by Islam regarding neighbours. Husband rights in Islam are also ensured.