Rights of Neighbors in Islam | Neighborhood According to Quran and Sunnah

All human beings are descended from Adam and Eve so all are brothers and sisters. No one is superior to others except “Taqwa “piety.  All of us depend on each other in this world to make a society. Being a Muslim we should maintain good relations with our relatives, but should not unjustly favor them over others. Moreover, a Muslim must be good to his neighbors, no matter what their religion is. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) taught us that neighbor is not just the one next door to us but includes all those up to forty houses in all directions. Allah Almighty says in the Noble Quran: “Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him, and to parents do good, and to relatives, orphans, the needy, the near neighbor, the neighbor farther away, the companion at your side, the traveler, and those whom your right hands possess. Indeed, Allah does not like those who are self-deluding and boastful.” (Quran, 4: 36)

A Muslim must be good to his neighbor should not eat if his neighbor is hungry. Muslims should wish for their neighbors what they wish for themselves, share their happiness and sorrow. Further, not to spy on them and respect their privacy. Do not gossip about them, not harm them in any way. Regarding the high status of rights of neighbors Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said: “One who believes in Allah (the Glorified and the Exalted) and the Day of Judgment must not cause hardship and inconvenience to his neighbor; and he who believes in Allah (the Glorified and the Exalted) and the Day of Judgment must respect his guest; and he who believes in Allah (the Glorified and the Exalted) and the Day of Judgment must speak well or keep quiet”. (Bukhari)

Islam laid great importance on good behavior with neighbors and desires all neighbors to be loving and cooperative with one another. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said: “Whoever believes in Allah and the last day should do well to his neighbor” (Muslim).

Rights of Neighbors

Some of the primary rights of neighbors are mentioned below that we all should know about and try to fulfill them for the sake of Allah Almighty.

  • We should share a meal with our neighbors. Abu Dharr (RA) narrated that Allah’s Apostle (SAW) said to him: “O Abu Dharr! Whenever you prepare a broth, put plenty of water in it, and give some of it to your neighbors”. (Muslim)
  •  One must help them if they ask for help.
  • Must ensure the safety of neighbors. Islam stresses keeping a friendly atmosphere in one`s living area so that it would not lead to infringement of someone else`s human rights. Abu Hurairah (RA) reported: The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “By Allah, he is not a believer! By Allah, he is not a believer! By Allah, he is not a believer.” It was asked, “Who is that, O Messenger of Allah?” He said, “One whose neighbor does not feel safe from his evil”. (Bukhari)
  • Do not harass the neighbors.
  • It is highly advisable to give away some presents to the neighbors in order to promote a culture of harmony and tranquility. Abu Hurairah (RA) reported that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “O Muslim women! No one of you should consider insignificant (a gift) to give to her neighbor even if it is (a gift of) the trotters of a sheep”. (Muslim)
  • Must visit and take care of your neighbor when he is ill and also attends the funeral of your neighbor when he dies.
  • Congratulate your neighbor if he met with good fortune and also grieve in sympathy if a calamity befalls him.
  • Lend your neighbor a loan if he needs it.
  • Behave politely in attitude and in speech with your neighbors.

In short, do your best to your neighbors, help them and be kind to them in all matters. May Allah Almighty facilitate us to realize the rights of neighbors in the light of the Quran and Sunnah! Ameen