In Islam everyone has rights towards us, so how could the neighbors be forgotten? Our family might live at a distance, but our neighbors, they live just next door. In the past, people had a good relationship with their neighbors and they in turn offered them help and love. These days we have taken up to ignore this important relation and thus, suffer a lot. In Islam, your neighborhood is defined as forty houses in all directions and the neighbor at your immediate right is given preference over others.
The importance of giving your neighbors their due rights can be seen from the following :
1. “And worship Allah and do not join any partners with Him and show kindness to your parents and near relatives, to the orphans and those in need and to the neighbor who is of your own people as well as the neighbor who is a stranger…”
(al- Quran 4:36)
2. The Prophet (SAW) said:” (The angel) Gabriel kept on advising me about the (importance) of being good to neighbors, until I thought he would order me to give them a share of my inheritance.”
3. The Prophet (SAW) said:” By Allah, he is not a believer! By Allah, he is not a believer! By Allah, he is not a believer!’ He was asked,’Who, O Messenger of Allah?’ he replied,’Anyone whose neighbor does not feel safe from his harm.”
Rights of your Neighbors:
A. Do Ihsaan with your neighbor. Ihsaan involves many things:
Help your neighbor when he needs it. Be happy for him for his success and congratulate him heartily. When he is sick, inquire after his health. Don’t gossip about them. Respect their privacy and keep the common use areas clean. Don’t harm them in any way and try to remove any cause of irritation on your behalf. Sharing food or anything like your yard.Make sure that he doesn’t need any money and is feeding his family properly. A Muslim cannot eat if his neighbor is going without food due to poverty. It has also been taught to send a part of any special food that you make in your home.
B. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “There are three categories of neighbors. First: One who has three rights upon you. This is the one who is a Muslim neighbor and is also a relative. Second: One who has two rights. A Muslim neighbor and third: The Kafir neighbor who has only the rights of a neighbor.”