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Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) as a neighbour


The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to often advise his followers to be good to their neighbours, encouraging them to take care of their needs and setting down their rights. Moreover, Gibrael often stressed the rights of the neighbour to the Prophet (peace be upon him), and this was for no reason but their great rights over the person.

Being good to neighbours is not limited to only Muslim neighbours, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) advised us to be good to all neighbours, Muslim and Non-Muslim. The Companions understood this point from the Prophet (peace be upon him), as it has been reported about Abdullah ibn Amr (may Allah be pleased with him):

«Abdullah ibn Amar slaughtered a sheep and then said, ‘Have you given some to my Jewish neighbour, as I heard the Prophet (peace be upon him) say, "Gibrael kept advising us to be good to our neighbour, so much that I thought he would inherit from us"’» [related by Abu Dawood].

One set of rights the Prophet (peace be upon him) laid down was the rights of the neighbour, and he encouraged his follwers to fulfill their neighbours’ rights.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

«Gibrael kept advising me to be good to my neighbour until I thought he would inherit from me» [related by Al-Bukhari].

The Prophet (peace be upon him) being generous to neighbours and treating them well

The Prophet (peace be upon him) told us to be generous to neighbours and treat them well. He even said there was a connection between good treatment of neighbours and one’s faith. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

«…Whoever believers in Allah and the Last Day should be good to his neighbour…»[related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

In fact, the Prophet (peace be upon him) explained that a person’s treatment of his neighbours was a measure of how good one is. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, «The best companion, in Allah’s sight, is the one who is best to his companion. And the best neighbour, in Allah’s sight, is the one who is best to his neighbor» [related by Ibn Habban].

The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said,

«Treat your neighbour well to be a [true] believer»

[related by At-Tirmidhi].

Describe the society that follows the Prophet’s example with neighbours in terms of the relationship between the different members of the society, how they help each other and how the society advances.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) warned his followers not to shun or cut relations with neighbours or to refuse to give them small kindnesses and help

Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said that he heard the Prophet (peace be upon him) say,

«How many neighbours will be attached to a person on the Resurrection Day and will ask Allah, ‘Oh Lord, ask him why he closed his door on me, denying me any help he could have given?!»

[related by Al-Bukhari in Al-Adab Al-Mufrad collection of hadith].

The Prophet (peace be upon him) ordered that a person should love good for his neighbour just as he loves good for himself

Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

«By Whom my soul is in His Hands, a person does not» [truly]« believe until he loves for his neighbour --or brother-- what he loves for himself»

[related by Muslim].

The Prophet (peace be upon him) encouraged his followers to be friendly to their neighbours by giving them food

Abu Dharr Al-Ghifary (may Allah be pleased with him) told us about this fact, saying that his close friend (the Prophet) advised him by saying,

«If you cook stock, increase the amount of water in it; remember your neighbours and give them from it»

[related by Muslim].

The Prophet (peace be upon him) prohibited people from hurting their neighbours

The Prophet (peace be upon him) warned his followers from hurting neighbours. In fact, he said a person who hurts his neighbour has no faith. The Prophet (peace be upon him) even took an oath by Allah to stress this point. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

«‘By Allah, he does not believe; by Allah, he does not believe; by Allah, he does not believe.’ He was asked, "Who, Oh Prophet?’ The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied, ‘One whose neighbour is not safe from his harm’» [related by Al-Bukhari].

In fact, good deeds will not benefit their owner, even if they are many, if he used to hurt his neighbour. Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) explained this fact, saying,

«A man told the Prophet that so-and-so was known for his great number of prayers, fasts and charity, but he used to hurt his neighbours with his [sharp] tongue. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, ‘He is in the hell-fire.’ Then the man said that so-and-so was known to fast and pray only a little and give only a little amount of charity, but he was truthful and did not hurt his neighbours with his [sharp] tongue. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, ‘He is in paradise’» [related by Ahmed].

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) also reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

«Oh Muslim women, do not consider any gift to small for your neighbour, even if it was bones and hooves of the sheep» [related by Al-Bukhari].

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said that being good to neighbours is a sign of faith, and that hurting neighbours is a sign of lack of faith. Explain the relationship between faith and being good to neighbours.

One day,

«A man came to the Prophet complaining about his neighbour. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, ‘Be patient.’ But the man returned two or three times. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, ‘Go and put your belongs on the people’s path.’ Therefore he put his belongings on the people’s path. Consequently, the people asked him what had happened. He told them what had happened and as a result the people started to curse his neighbour, saying, ‘May Allah harm you (his neighbour).’ Eventually, his neighbour went to him and said, ‘Return to your home; you will not see anything you dislike from me» « [again]!’» [related by Abu Dawood].

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

«Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should not hurt his neighbour…»

[related by Al-Bukhari].

Although the Prophet (peace be upon him) told us to be good to neighbours, in many disintegrated communities where the relationship between individuals is weak, people do not even know there neighbours. How do you think such a situation arose? And what should be done to treat such a bad situation?

Putting the neighbour before others (with regards to helping them)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) encouraged his followers to be of benefit for their neighbours, helping them before any others. It has been reported that,

«The neighbour has more rights due to his closeness » [to you],« I would not give it to you for four thousand dirhams while I have been offered five hundred dinars for them.’ So he sold them to Saad» [related by Al-Bukhari].

One day Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) asked the Prophet (peace be upon him) which neighbour had more right to good treatment and close relations with her. She asked,

«‘Oh Prophet, I have two neighbours. Therefore, which one should I be better with.’ The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, ‘The one whose door is nearer to you’» [related by Al-Buhkari].

The Prophet (peace be upon him) told his followers to not trespass on a neighbour’s property and to not damage their possessions

One day, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said to his Companions,

«‘What do you say about zina (illegal sexual intercourse)»’ They replied, « ‘Allah and His Messenger has prohibited it, so it will remain prohibited until the Resurrection day.’ Then the Prophet (peace be upon him) said to those with him, ‘For a man to commit zina with ten women will not be as bad as if he commits zina with his neighbour.’ Then the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, ‘What do you say about theft?’ They said, ‘Allah and His Messenger have prohibited it so it is prohibited.’ The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, ‘For a man to rob ten houses will not be as bad as if he steals from his neighbour’» [related by Ahmed].

How can a person keep good relations with his neighbours and be good to them in today’s disintegrated communities where the relationship between individuals is weak?

The Prophet (peace be upon him) visiting neighbours when they were ill

One day, the Prophet’s Jewish neighbour became ill, so the Prophet (peace be upon him) visited him. Anas reported this incident, saying,

«A Jewish youth used to serve the Prophet (peace be upon him). The youth became ill, so the Prophet went to visit him. The Prophet (peace be upon him) sat at his head and said, ‘Enter Islam.’ The youth looked at his father who was near him. His father said, ‘Obey Abu Qasim.’ Consequently, the youth entered Islam. When the Prophet (peace be upon him) left, he said, ‘Praise be to Allah Who saved him from the hell-fire’» [related by Al-Bukhari].

What evidence illustrates how well the Prophet (peace be upon him) treated his Non-Muslim neighbours?

How can you take the Prophet (peace be upon him) as an example to follow?

1.Respect your neighbour, deal well with them and fulfill their rights as neighbours, making the Prophet (peace be upon him) your guide in this regard.

2.Be particular in visiting your neighbour and keeping good relations with him, especially if he is ill or has a special celebration, as this was the habit of the Prophet (peace be upon him).

3.Foster good relations with your neighbour by giving them a gift from some of your food you have made, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to do.

4.If you want to perform any good deed, it is better to direct it to your neighbour first, if he has a need for such help.

5.Beware of hurting your neighbour, annoying them or stopping some good from reaching them; the Prophet (peace be upon him) gave a severe warning not to do this.

6.Follow the example of the Prophet (peace be upon him) with regards to dealing with Non-Muslim neighbours; the Prophet (peace be upon him) gave a very good example for us with regard to this.