Islam teaches a true living

Rights of Neighbors in Islam

Islam has great respect for the mutual rights and duties of neighbours. Islam is a humble and loving religion that has prescribed good treatment to everyone and everything. Neighbors are held in very high regard in Islam and they have many rights over us that we are religiously obliged to fulfill. Islam is a comprehensive religion and has specifically defined that neighbours are those who live up to forty houses from us in all directions. A Muslim lives with him a noble life, based on the highest Islamic ethical code. Allah says:

وَإِن كَذَّبُوكَ فَقُل لِّي عَمَلِي وَلَكُمْ عَمَلُكُمْ أَنتُم بَرِيئُونَ مِمَّا أَعْمَلُ وَأَنَا بَرِيءٌ مِّمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ

“And if they deny you then say, “For me (are) my deeds, and for you (are) your deeds. You (are) disassociated from what I do, and I am disassociated from what you do.” (Surah Yunus 10:41)

Islam emphasises keeping good relations with neighbours, as it warns against severing kinship ties. Being a good neighbour and realizing the duty to our neighbours doesn’t just mean being friendly to the homeowners next door. It means to help take care of the community as a whole. Many Muslims know the importance of respecting and caring for our parents and other family members, but too many fail to fulfil their duty to our neighbours and the deprived in the community. Allah says:

هُوَ الَّذِي أَرْسَلَ رَسُولَهُ بِالْهُدَىٰ وَدِينِ الْحَقِّ لِيُظْهِرَهُ عَلَى الدِّينِ كُلِّهِ وَكَفَىٰ بِاللَّهِ شَهِيدًا 

“He is Who has sent His Messenger (Muhammad) with guidance and the religion of truth (Islam) superior to all religion(s). And All-Sufficient is Allah as a Witness.” (Surah Al-Fath 48:28)

Islam puts a deep emphasis on our duty to our neighbours. All human beings are descended from Eve and Adam; therefore, Muslims believe in the brotherhood and consider Humanity a family. Islamic teachings and values reflect more on an individual’s actions than their words. Muslims should maintain good relations with neighbours, and favour in all fields. A Muslim must be good to his neighbours, regardless of their religion.

The importance and value of Neighbourhood in Islam:

  1. Neighbours expect you to behave politely in attitude and speech
  2. Neighbours have the right to visit them in  getting ill or die
  3. Neighbours have the right to be good, as a true Muslims
  4. Neighbours have great value in exchanging greetings
  5. Neighbours is an outstanding virtue of humanity
  6. Neighbours always feel safe from your presence
  7. Neighbours, they are like our brothers or sister
  8. Neighbours have good acts and give charity
  9. Neighbours should worry while he is happy
  10. Neighbours cause comfort for each other
  11. Neighbours have the right to share food
  12. Neighbours never hurt each other
  13. Neighbours always act with a purpose
  14. Neighbours become aware of self-talk
  15. Neighbours  never ridicule one another
  16. Neighbours live in the Light of the Quran
  17. Neighbours should live in trouble and worry
  18. Neighbours protect each other by any means
  19. Neighbours give advice and help one another
  20. Neighbours spend time with a positive attitude
  21. Neighbours never feel injured with your tongue
  22. Neighbours are bestowing favour, mercifulness
  23. Neighbours should have to do an obligation of zakat
  24. Neighbours need some advice to solve their problems
  25. Neighbours also find a variety of economic-social status

Islam stresses keeping a friendly atmosphere in one`s living area. All of us depend on each other in this world to make a society. The rights of a neighbour are that, if he falls sick you visit him, if he dies you follow his funeral procession, if he asks you for a loan you lend to him, if he is in need you assist him, if good befalls him you congratulate him if misfortune befalls him you console him. Muslims have a zeal and zest among us to care more for our neighbours.

The Quran-book of Allah is the complete code of life, every matter of life:

  • “Guidance for those conscious of Allah.” (Quran, 2:2)
  • “Then We will save the ones who had taqwa.“ (Quran, 19:72)
  • “It describes reconciliation as the best policy.” (Quran: 4:128)
  • “Truly, in remembering God do hearts find rest.” (Quran 13:28)
  • “Serve Allah, being sincere to Him in obedience.” (Quran 39:2)
  • “The Believers are but a single Brotherhood.” (Al-Hujurat 49:10)
  • “Have taqwa of Allah so that you might succeed.” (Quran, 3:200)

Allah tells us to always deal kindly with our neighbours so that their rights can be served well. Islam emphasizes keeping a favourable environment around one`s house where its adjoining residents should not feel any kind of trouble from it. Being a good neighbour and realizing the duty to our neighbours doesn’t just mean being friendly to the homeowners next door. Helping out a neighbour in need may end up helping you as well.

The rights of neighbours prescribed in Islam are as follows:

  • Doing good to neighbours who may even be strangers
  • Those who fulfil the rights of neighbours are blessed
  • The neighbourhood is one of the blessings of God
  • Respecting neighbours is a duty upon Muslims
  • A good neighbour is a source of happiness
  • Treating your neighbour like your mother
  • Loving a neighbor-like family
  • A believer helps physical as well as financial
  • The neighbour holds a special status in Islam
  • Treating one’s neighbour with respect and duty
  • A Muslim must provide relief to their neighbour
  • A believer must help his neighbour if they ask for help

Islam encourages Muslims to treat their neighbours in a gentle way that reflects the genuine spirit of Islam as exemplified in its tolerant aspect, especially with people of other faiths. Islam does not present stumbling blocks to the mind. A good neighbour will always try to be friendly, available, and approachable. This will help you approach them whenever you need any help. Anyone can understand Islam as it is a universal religion. Islam is not named after its founder or the community of its birth. Islam is an attributive title that signifies obedience to God, the Creator of the Universe.  Allah says:

مَّن يُطِعِ الرَّسُولَ فَقَدْ أَطَاعَ اللَّهَ وَمَن تَوَلَّىٰ فَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ عَلَيْهِمْ حَفِيظًا

“(He) who obeys the Messenger then surely he obeyed Allah, and whoever turns away – then not We (have) sent you over them (as) a guardian.” (Surah An-Nisa` 4:80)

Islam places great importance on good behaviour with neighbours and desires all neighbours to be loving and cooperative with one another. Being Muslim we believe that all humankind is descended from Adam and Eve so we all are brothers and sisters. No one is superior to others except “Taqwa “piety or God-fearing. Islam greatly emphasises our individual duty towards neighbours. May Allah facilitate us to realize neighbours’ rights in the light of the Quran and Sunnah! Ameen