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The Position of the Neighbour in Deen

Showing Regard to the Neighbour

valueعن أبي هريرة قال كان النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول يا نساء المسلمات لا تحقرن جارة لجارتها ولو فرسن شاة (بخاري 6017)

Hadhrat Abu Hurayrah (Radhiallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “O muslim women, a neighbour should never regard insignificant the small favours and kindness she can show to her, even if she sends trotters to her.



Concern for the Neighbour

Abdullah bin Ukht Muslim bin Sa’d (Rahmatullahi Alaihi) says: “I decided to proceed for Hajj, and my uncle handed me ten thousand dirhams with the instruction that they should be distributed to the poorest household in Madinah Munawwarah. When I arrived, I made enquiries, and was directed to a particular home. I knocked at the door and a woman opened. Upon enquiry of who I was, I replied: “I am from Baghdad and have ten thousand dirhams in my possession. I have been instructed to hand these over to the poorest household in Madinah Munawwarah, and I was directed to your home. Please take them.”

She replied: “The person who sent you with this money specified that it should be given to the poorest household. The family next door is more deserving than us.”

I thus proceeded to the family next door. I knocked and a woman answered. I explained the reason for my coming and she replied, “Our neighbour and us are equally poor. You should distribute the money equally between us.”

Caring for the Neighbour

gravyعن جابر  رضي الله عنه قال : قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم : إذا طبخ أحدكم قدرا فليكثر مرقها ثم ليناول جاره منها رواه الطبراني في الأوسط وفيه عبيد الله بن سعيد قائد الأعمش وثقه ابن حيان وضعفه غيره وبقية رجاله ثقات (مجمع الزوائد رقم 13545)

Hadhrat Jaabir (Radhiallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “When anyone of you prepares a pot of food, then increase the gravy (e.g. by adding some water), and thereafter send some of it for one’s neighbours.


Hasan Basri (Rahmatullahi Alaihi) and his Tolerance of his Neighbour’s Dirt

Hasan Basri (Rahmatullahi Alaihi) lived in the bottom storey of a building. The sewage of the neighbour living at the upper storey used to leak into his home. Hasan Basri (Rahmatullahi Alaihi) ordered that a container be placed beneath that area so that the drops fall therein. At night, when there was no one to observe what was happening, he would take the container and dispose of the dirt. In this way, twenty years passed without him informing his neighbour. One day while he was ill, his neighbour from the upper storey who was a Christian came to visit him. When he saw the container filled with dirt and realized that the dirt was falling from his house, in embarrassment and shame he asked: “How long have you been enduring all this?” Hasan Basri (Rahmatullahi Alaihi) replied:  “For the last twenty years.” Upon hearing this, he removed his traditional Christian garment and immediately accepted Islam. (Pearls from the Path)

Do not Cause the Neighbour any Inconvenience

last willعن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم من كان يؤمن بالله واليوم الآخر فلا يؤذ جاره (بخاري رقم 6018)

Hadhrat Abu Hurayrah (Radhiallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “The one who believes in Allah Ta’ala and the day of Qiyaamah, then he should not cause inconvenience to his neighbour.”

The Meeting with Hadhrat Jibraa'eel (Alayhis Salaam)

On one occasion an Ansaari Sahaabi set out to meet Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). As he came close to the place where Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was, he found Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) standing and a certain person had come to meet him. The Sahaabi thought that perhaps the person was discussing something private with Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), and thus sat down nearby waiting for their meeting to end. However, the person continued speaking to Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) for a long time while standing, until the Sahaabi began to feel pity for Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). Nevertheless, after a while the person left. The Sahaabi thereafter met Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and informed Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) that he felt pity due to Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) standing for such a long time talking to the person. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) then said to the Sahaabi: “Do you know who the person was?” The Sahaabi replied in the negative, whereupon Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “That was Hadhrat Jibraa’eel (Alayhis Salaam). He had come to me with commands from Allah Ta’ala in regard to the rights of the neighbour. Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said that Hadhrat Jibraa’eel continued bringing to me commands from Allah Ta’ala regarding the rights of the neighbour, to such an extent that I thought that on account of the esteemed position the neighbour holds in the sight of Allah Ta’ala, perhaps Allah Ta’ala will include him among the heirs of one’s estate.” Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) also said to the Sahaabi: “If you had greeted Hadhrat Jibraa’eel with salaam, he would have certainly replied to your greeting.” (Majma’uz Zawaaid)

Keeping the Neighbour Happy

Poiseعن أبي شريح رضي الله عنه أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال والله لا يؤمن والله لا يؤمن والله لا يؤمن قيل ومن يا رسول الله قال الذي لا يأمن جاره بوايقه (بخاري رقم 6016)

Hadhrat Abu Shuraih (Radhiallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “I take a qasm on the name of Allah Ta’ala, he can never be a perfect believer, I take a qasm on the name of Allah Ta’ala, he can never be a perfect believer, I take a qasm on the name of Allah Ta’ala, he can never be a perfect believer. A Sahaabi enquired: “O Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), who are you referring to?” Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “The one whose neighbour is not spared from his harm and evil.” (I.e. his neighbour is unhappy with him on account of the harm and inconvenience he causes to his neighbour).  

Kind Treatment of One's Neighbours

On one occasion a person came to Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and said: O Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), there is a certain woman who is well-known for performing abundant nafl salaah, giving alms and charity and observing abundant nafl fasts. However, despite that, she is abusive towards her neighbours. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: On account of her bad conduct and ill-treating her neighbours, she will be punished by Allah Ta’ala.  The man then said: “O Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), I know of another woman who does not engage in abundant nafl salaah, nor does she observe abundant nafl fasts, nor does she spend abundant nafl sadaqah, she only distributes among the poor few pieces of cheese in sadaqah; however she is renowned and well-known for treating her neighbours with kindness and compassion. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: On account of her good conduct towards her neighbours, she has received her Jannah.

The Rights of the Neighbour

good neighbour awardعن معاوية بن حيدة رضي الله عنه قال : قلت : يا رسول الله ما حق جاري ؟ قال : إن مرض عدته وإن مات شيعته وإن استقرضك أقرضته وإن أعوز سترته وإن أصابه خير هنأته وإن أصابته مصيبة عزيته ولا ترفع بناءك فوق بنائه فتسد عليه الريح ولا تؤذه بريح قدرك إلا أن تغرف له منها رواه الطبراني وفيه أبو بكر الهذلي وهو ضعيف (مجمع الزوائد رقم 13545)

Hadhrat Mu'aawiya bin Haydah (Radhiallahu Anhu) reports that he once asked Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam): “O Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), what are the rights of my neighbours?” Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) replied, “You should visit him (and show concern) when he falls ill, attend his funeral when he passes away, provide him a loan if he seeks it from you, and if he falls in difficulty through poverty, then you should conceal his poverty (i.e. through helping him in a way that no one else comes to know). You should also congratulate him if some good comes his way and sympathise with him when a calamity befalls him. Furthermore, you should not raise your building higher than his, thus becoming the means for obstructing the ventilation of his house. Do not cause inconvenience to him through the aroma (which emanates) from your utensil (deg etc. while cooking i.e. on account of him not being able to afford this type of meal, do not cause him pain over his poverty through smelling the aroma of the food which you prepare e.g. at a braai) unless you intend dishing out some of the food for him (and sharing it with him).” (Majma’uz Zawaaid; Hayaatus Sahaabah)