BEING A GOOD MUSLIM NEIGHBOUR
One of the qualities of a good Muslim is to be kind to their neighbour irrespective of their race, tribe or religion. Your neighbour is the one whose house is next to yours by 40 units across all axis north, south, east, west. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) urged his companions and all Muslims to look after their neighbours and be ready to help whenever it is needed, even to a neighbor whose behavior is far from being good. The Prophet encourages us to assist our neigbours no matter their circumstances as well as assist a neighbour who is not good to you. This is the teachings of Islam and the quality of a good Muslim.
The Prophet (PBUH) said:The best of companions with Allah is the one who is best to his companions, and the best of neighbours to Allah is the one who is the best of them to his neighbour. (At-Tirmidhi).
The Prophet urged us to be good to our neighbours as it was his practice when he arrived in the city of Medinah. One of the beauties of kindness to neighborsis that it allows for a stronger community and the development of interpersonal relationship.
In today’s world, it’s every man for himself. People often find it difficult to even interact with their neighbours. However, as Muslims, we must strive to practice the teachings of the prophet to make us better humans. We can devise easier means of relating with our neighbours by upholding their rights, greeting them and assist them when they are in need of help.
In a beautiful hadith narrated by Abu Hurayrah, he reported that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him not annoy his neighbour.”Collected by Al-Bukhaari (5185) and Muslim (47)
We must not displease our neighbours with our actions nor inconvenience them with our worship. It’s our duty to be kind to them as this would enhance love and build a saner society.
Here are a few tips on being good to our neighbours:
- We should give in their time of need. We must help if they ask. Anas ibn Malik reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said,
“He does not have faith in me who spends the night satiated while he knows that the neighbor to his side is hungry.”(Source: al-Mu’jamal-Kabīr 751)
- We must be friendly with our neighbours. We should check up on them, honour their invitation and we should also visit them when they are ill. Al-Sa’ib ibn Abdullah reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said to him,
“O Sa’ib, look at the character of your deeds in the time of ignorance and continue them in Islam: honor the guest, be generous to the orphan, and be good to your neighbor. (Source: Musnad Aḥmad 15074)”
- A good Muslim should make their environment conducive for his neighbour. We should keep it tidy; ensure they are out of harm’s way as well as taking good care of their belongings. Anas ibn Malik reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said,
“He is not a believer whose neighbor is not safe from his harm.” Source: Muṣannaf Ibn AbīShaybah 24836)
- We should speak well of them and not expose their sins. Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace ‘and blessings be upon him, said,
“Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him speak goodness or remain silent. Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him honor his neighbor. Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him honor his guest.”(Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 6018, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 47)
Being good to our neighbours gives us peace of mind, allows us to earn blissful rewards that benefit us here and in the hereafter. It creates a healthy environment and enables us to live in harmony.
May Almighty Allah help us all.