Feb 2, 2009

Posted by in Etiquette in Islam | 0 Comments

Etiquette towards Neighbours

A Muslim recognises the rights of a person over his neighbours, as well as the etiquette that the neighbours must share with respect to one another. They must fulfill those aspects completely. Allah has said in the Qur’an:

“… And do good to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, Al-Masakin (the poor), the neighbour who is near of kin, the neighbour who is a stranger…” (4:36)

Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) once said: “Gabriel (Jibreel) kept advising me concerning the neighbour to the point that I thought he would inherit (from his neighbour)” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

He (SAWS) also said: “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should be generous to his neighbour.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

  1. He should never harm his neighbor, neither by action nor by speech.

    Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) said: “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should not harm his neighbour.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

    There is also the following Hadith: “By Allah, he is not a believer, by Allah, he is not a believer.” It was said to him, “Who is that, O Allah’s Messenger (SAWS)?” He said, “The one from whose affairs his neighbour is not safe.”(16:90)

  2. One should demonstrate goodness towards one’s neighbor : By helping them when they seek help, assisting them if they seek assistance, visiting them when they fall ill, congratulating them if something pleasing occurs to them, giving them condolences upon afflictions, helping them if they are in need, being the first to greet them, being kind in speech to them, being gentle in one’s speech tot the neighbour’s children, guiding them to what is best for their religion and worldly life, overlook their mistakes, not attempt to look into their private matters, not constrain them due to one’s building or renovations or along the walkway, and not to harm them by letting one’s trash onto their property or in front of their household. All of those actions form part of the goodness that one is ordered to perform.

    And in Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) words: “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should do well to his neighbour.” (Muslim)

  3. He should be generous to his neighbours by extending any type of kindness and goodness to them.

  4. As the Prophet (SAWS) said: “O Muslim women, none of you should look down upon a gift she receives from a female neighbour, even if it be a meatless foot of a sheep.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

    Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) also said to Abu Dharr (R.A.) “O Abu Dharr, when you prepare stew, increase its water and deliver it to some of your neighbours.” (Muslim)

    When Aa’isha (R.A.) told Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) that she had two neighbours and wanted to know which of them to give a present, he (SAWS) said: “The one whose door is closest to yours.” (Al-Bukhari)

  5. He should also show his neighbour respect and courtesy. He should not prevent him from putting wood on his wall. He should not sell or rent what is connected or close to his land unless he offers it to him first.

    Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) has alluded to this when he said: “None of you should prevent his neighbour from putting wood on his wall.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

    He (SAWS) also said: “Whoever has a neighbour sharing a garden or a partner should not sell it until he offers it to him first.” (Al-Bukhari)

Two important points

First: A Muslim knows whether he has treated his neighbour well or if he wronged them.

When Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) was asked about that, he said: “If you hear them saying, ‘You have done well’, then you have done well. If you hear them saying, ‘You have done evil’, then you have done evil.” (Ahmad)

Second: If a Muslim is harmed by his neighbour, he should be patient as this will be a cause for the problem to end.

A man came to Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) to complain about his neighbor and he (SAWS) told him: “To be patient. The third or fourth time he complained, Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) told him to put his belongings in the path. He did so and when the people tried to pass by it, they would ask why he did that and he would say that his neighbour had harmed him. They would then curse that neighbour until the neighbour said to him, ‘Take back your belongings to your place, as, by Allah, I will not repeat what I have done’.” (Abu Dawud)

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