Prophet Muhammad(peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said,‘Jibril always recommended treating neighbors with kindness until I thought he would assign him a share of inheritance.’ [Al-Bukhari]

Islam gives great emphasis to the rights of neighbors and recommends that a Muslim treats his neighbors kindly. Islam encourages Muslims to treat their neighbors in a gentle way that reflects the true and genuine spirit of Islam as exemplified in its tolerant aspect especially with people of other faiths. It makes no difference whether the neighbors are Muslim or non-Muslim.

‘A’ishah, the Mother of the Believers, (may Allah be pleased with her) stated that she once asked the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), “O Messenger of Allah! I have two neighbors. To whom shall I send my gifts?” He said, “To the one whose gate is nearer to you.”

Some people think that the rights of neighbor in Islam is only for  Muslim neighbors but it includes Non- Muslim neighbors.

The above Prophetic Hadiths( Prophet’s words) encourage Muslims to not only treat neighbors kindly, but also to exchange gifts with them. The wording of the Hadith does not indicate whether the one with whom we exchange gifts is a Muslim or not

 It is clear that there is no doubt that the non-Muslim neighbor has many rights , the most important of which, are:

1 .  Refraining from harming him: in fact, this is one of the greatest rights of neighbors. Harming anyone, in general, is unlawful; however, this ruling is intensified if the harm befalls the neighbor. The Prophet(peace be upon him) strictly warned, in various ways, about harming the neighbor. The Prophet(peace be upon him)  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, O Messenger of Allah?” He said: “One whose neighbor does not feel safe from his evil ” When it was said to him: “O Messenger of Allah, a woman performs voluntary prayers at night and fasts during the day, but she offends her neighbors with her tongue.” He (peace be upon him) said: “There is no good in her; she is in Hell.” The Prophet(peace be upon him) also said: “He does not enter Paradise whose neighbor is not secure from his evil.”

2  .  Bearing the harm of the neighbor, which is a trait of noble, chivalrous people and those of high aspiration. This is because many people can refrain from harming others, but bearing their harm with patience while seeking the reward of Almighty is of a higher degree, as Allah The Almighty Says:

{And whoever is patient and forgives – indeed, that is of the matters [requiring] determination.} [Quran 42:43]

3  .  Care for him continually, especially at times of need and distress, as “the neighbor in need is a neighbor indeed.” If a neighbor is elderly or chronically ill, offer to run errands or shop for him or her.

Finally, we should be aware that happiness, unity and the spread of love among the members of a society cannot be accomplished without observing these rights .

We supplicate to Allah The Almighty to help us and all Muslims to observe the rights of our neighbors.

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