Islam teaches compassion and love for everyone, the circle of love and kindness doesn’t confine children, parents, relatives, or just the close friends it includes neighbors and the religion of peace and compassion puts great emphasize on rights and our duties towards our neighbors and whole community. The Prophet Mohammad (Peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Angel Jibril advised me continuously to take care of the neighbor till I thought that Allah is to make him an inheritor.”
This ayah of holy Quran shows the importance of mutual rights and obligations, “And be good to the neighbor who is your relative and to the neighbor who is not a relative . . .” (Quran, 4:36)
Holy Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) said:
Neighbors are of 3 kinds with degree of right:
- one who has 1 right on you;
- one who has 2 rights on you;
- One who has 3 rights on you.
The neighbor that have one right on you is the one not a relative or Muslim, the neighbor who have 2 rights on you is the one who is either a non-Muslim or a not a relative. The neighbors with three rights are the neighbors who are a Muslims plus you’re relatives. This shows Islam doesn’t exclude Non-Muslims from neighborhood rights.
Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) once told Imam Ali (R.A), Salman Al-Farsi, Abu Zar Ghaffari and Miqdad ibn Aswad to go to the Masjid and announce:
“He is not a believer whose neighbor is unsafe from his mischief.”
In Islam neighborhood is not only the next door but Islam include 40 house to the right side of your house and 40 to the house to the right side, all those houses are a Muslim’s neighborhood and he is obliged to serve them in each possible way.
Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
“It is to help him if he asks your help, to lend him if he asks to borrow from you, to satisfy his needs if he becomes poor, to console him if he is visited by an affliction, to congratulate him if is met with good fortune, to visit him if he becomes ill, to attend his funeral if he dies, not to make your house higher than his without his consent lest you deny him the breeze, to offer him fruit when you buy some or to take it to your home secretly if you do not do that, nor to send out your children with it so as not to upset his children, nor to bother him by the tempting smell of your food unless you send him some.”
About poor neighbors
Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessing be upon him) was the example of kindness and compassion, he helped less fortunate with food and money, He conveys the message of Allah saying,
“That man is not from us (Muslim) who sleeps contentedly while his neighbor sleeps hungry.”
Al-Imam Ali ibn al-Husayn (R.A) said:
Every Muslim has duties respect to your neighbors,
- Protect this interest in his absence,
- Show him that you respect him in his presence,
- Helping him when he is facing any kind of injustice
- Don’t look for his faults
- If by chance you know anything unappealing thing about him, hide it from other people.
- And try to restrain him from the bad habits if they are willing to listen to you.
- Never leave him at bad times.
- Forgive him if he does any harm to you.