Monday, April 17, 2023

The Rights of Neighbours in Islam: Thirty Lessons of Ramadan – Part 26

By Mufti Abdul Malik Misbahi, New Age Islam Translated into English by Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam 17 April 2023 Lesson 26 on the Rights of Neighbours in Islam The last few days of the holy month of Ramadan are drawing nearer. We are thankful to Allah Almighty for enabling us to complete the fasts in good health and without incident. Islam is more than merely keeping fasts, establishing prayers, and performing the Hajj and Zakaat obligations; in addition to these obligations, there are various other important things that must be done in order to truly experience the sweetness of Islam and appreciate it. I, therefore, want to discuss an important aspect of social life in this grouping today during this great month of Ramadan. I'm hoping you'll take the time to read it thoroughly and make a clear decision to follow your heart. Islam holds that in order to avoid being branded a criminal for violating the rights of the people and suffering divine retribution, people must respect one another's rights. In social contexts, people who live next to one another are referred to as neighbours. Islam has outlined neighbourly responsibilities in great detail because it desires for people to live in harmony, joy, and energy. People are therefore required to watch out for one another, share in each other's delight and happiness as well as their grief and suffering, and offer solace to one another. In Surah Nisa, verse 36, Allah Almighty describes their responsibilities: “Worship Allah alone and associate none with Him. Be good to [your] parents and relatives, the orphans and the needy and the neighbours who are your relatives, and the neighbours who are strangers, and to travellers in need, and to those whom your right hands possess. Allah does not love the arrogant and the boastful” (4:36) Hazrat Ayesha Siddiqa (may Allah be pleased with her) narrates that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Jibreel (peace be upon him) kept reminding me about the neighbour till I began to believe that he would make him a sharer in the inheritance.” The Prophet (peace be upon him) made the following statement regarding respect for one's neighbours: “The person who believes in Allah and the Last Day should treat his neighbour well," according to the narration of Abu Shurayh al-Khuza'i. (Reported by Bukhari) A Faith-Building Rule Hazrat Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “By the One in Whose possession is my soul, a man cannot be a true believer until he likes for his brother what he likes for himself.” The spirit-loving teaching of Islam is what has transformed countless lives around the globe. As a result, many hearts embraced the pure principles of Islam, many concepts were reformed, and many lives were offered eternal happiness. In the same way that Muslim brothers are included in the grand address of Islam, so are their neighbours. Many disagreements and problems can be avoided if this attitude towards neighbours becomes the norm in social interactions. The Prophet (peace be upon him) stresses the need of upholding one's neighbour's rights and that doing so will keep society calm and forward-moving: It is narrated by Abu Shuraih that the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “By Allah, he does not believe! By Allah, he does not believe! By Allah, he does not believe!” It was said, “Who is that, O Allah's Apostle?” He said, "That person whose neighbour does not feel safe from his evil.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol: 8, hadith: 45) The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) has very gloriously forbade hurting one's neighbours in this holy hadith. A neighbour is typically enraged with a neighbour today, thus keep this holy hadith in front of your eyes and observe your society. Sometimes they start arguing because of a drain, other times because of water, other times because of a balcony, and still other times because of a door. Some individuals go so far as to terrorise their neighbours, commit murders and file lawsuits. However, it just leads to regret and the obliteration of both this world and the afterlife. Neighbours Serve As Mirrors for One Another Islam holds that a neighbour serves as a mirror to assess a person's virtues and flaws. Let's not forget that one neighbour does not interact with other people as frequently as it interacts with neighbours. Therefore, it is crucial to rely on the testimony of neighbours in order to assess a man's moral character and determine if he is good or bad. In this regard, the beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud says that a person came to the Prophet's house and asked, "O Messenger of Allah!" How can I know if what I have done has been good or bad? In response, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “If your neighbour compliments you for a good deed, see that as evidence that you did something admirable; if, on the other hand, your neighbour criticises you for a bad deed, interpret it as evidence that you committed a bad deed.” This suggests that a person's neighbours, not his own words, should be used to judge his morality and character. From this revered hadith, which assesses the magnificence of the neighbour, it is inferred that one should never use defamatory words against a neighbour who is the subject of an inquiry. A beloved activity of our ancestors and pious predecessors was providing for the neighbours. The following incident involving Hazrat Imam-e-Azam (may Allah be pleased with him) is well-known in this regard. Imam-e-Azam and the Neighbouring Cobbler In the vicinity of Imam-e-Azam Abu Hanifa (may Allah be pleased with him), there was a happy cobbler. He used to bring meat and wine home from work and spend the evening entertaining his friends. He would share his homemade wine and kababs with them all. He would occasionally sing a couplet while intoxicated that read: "People have let me go to waste me, who would have been useful to them in battle and siege." While Imam-e-Azam used to spend the later hours of the night in prayer, he would occasionally hear him singing. However, out of habitual kindness and care for his neighbours, he never objected. The cobbler was apprehended and imprisoned one night by a passing police prefect. The Imam told his buddies the following morning that he had missed his neighbour's singing the night before. They told him what had occurred. The Imam immediately summoned his mount, dressed in his darbaar robes, and rode straight to the governor's residence. The governor at the time was 'Isa b. Musa, a courageous and shrewd Abbasid who was a relative of the Caliph Mansur. He despatched many of his courtiers to see Imam Abu Hanifah after learning that he was visiting him and instructed them to ride with him all the way up to the governor's house's courtyard. As soon as the Imam's horse came up, he stood up and, once the Imam got down, sat him down with utmost respect. Then he said, "Why have you gone to the trouble of coming here? You could have sent for me." The Imam said, "What brings me here is the fact that the police perfect had detained a cobbler who happens to be my neighbour, and I want him released." Isa quickly issued instructions for the release of the cobbler. After being taken to the governor's residence and freed, the cobbler joined the Imam on his journey home. "Well, my friend," said the Imam to him, "have I allowed you to go to waste?" This was with reference to the couplet that the cobbler sang. "No, sir, you have proven to be a good neighbour," the cobbler answered. His manner of life altered after that day. Giving up drinking, he enrolled in the Imam's classes and eventually reached a level of scholarship that earned him the title of Faqih. (Sachchi Hikaayaat [The Real Stories], Vol.2, p.345) We may learn a lot from this episode involving Imam-e-Azam since it shows how a great Imam of the day cared so much for a troublesome neighbour. Regrettably, we often get into arguments with our neighbours over unimportant matters. The purest Islamic teachings serve as our model, and we should apply them to our morality and lifestyle. (Continued) ------- Mufti Abdul Malik Misbahi is the author of multiple books. He has also lectured and held positions such as Mufti, Shaykhul Hadith, president, founder, and director at a number of institutions, including Darul Uloom Ghousia in Hubli, Karnataka, and Darul Uoom Solemaniya Rahmaniya in Bikaner Darul Uloom Reza-e-Mustafa, Bihar, Madrasa Shah Khalid, Vanwa Libo Muslim League, Fiji (near Australia), Madina Educational Society, Rajasthan. He currently holds the positions of Mufti in the Sunni Darul Ifta in the Madina Masjid, General Secretary of the Raza Foundation, Director of the Darain Academy, Founder of the Afkar-e- Raza Institution, and Chief Editor of the Do-Maahi Raza-e-Madina (Urdu, Hindi) in Azadnagar, Jamshedpur, Jharkhand. Previous Articles: Thirty Lessons of Ramadan: Welcome to Ramadan and First Lesson on the Virtues of Ramadan Thirty Lessons of Ramadan: Second Lesson on the Respect of Ramadan – Part 2 Thirty Lessons Of Ramadan: Third Lesson On The Horrific Consequences Of Desecrating Ramadan – Part 3 Thirty Lessons of Ramadan: Fourth Lesson on the Fasting Of Ramadan and its Intention – Part 4 Thirty Lessons of Ramadan: Lessons Five and Six on the Rulings (Ahkaam) And Laws (Masaail) Of Taraweeh Part 5 and 6 Thirty Lessons Of Ramadan: Seventh Lesson On Sehri [Pre-Dawn Meal] Part 7 Thirty Lessons of Ramadan: Eighth Lesson on Iftar – Part 8 Thirty Lessons of Ramadan: Ninth Lesson on Rulings and Laws Related to Fasting – Part 9 Thirty Lessons Of Ramadan: Tenth Lesson On Rulings And Laws Related To Fasting – Part 10 Thirty Lessons of Ramadan: The Eleventh Lesson on Rulings Regarding Fasting and the Conditions That Permit Refraining From Fasting - Part 11 Thirty Lessons of Ramadan: Twelfth Lesson on Rulings Related to Qazaa, Kaffarah and Fidyah – Part 12 Thirty Lessons of Ramadan: 13th Lesson on Rulings of Kaffarah and Fidyah – Part 13 Thirty Lessons of Ramadan: The Fourteenth Lesson on the Updated Guidelines for the Treatment in the State of Fasting – Part 14 Thirty Lessons of Ramadan: The Fifteenth Lesson on the Updated Guidelines for the Treatment in the State of Fasting – Part 15 Thirty Lessons of Ramadan: The Sixteenth Lesson on the Updated Guidelines for the Treatment in the State of Fasting – Part 16 Thirty Lessons of Ramadan: Zakaat in the Light of the Quran and Hadith – Part 17 The Rulings and Laws of Zakaat: Thirty Lessons of Ramadan - Part 18 The Virtues and Laws of I’tikaaf: Thirty Lessons of Ramadan - Part 19 The Virtues of the Qadr Night or Lailatul Qadr: Thirty Lessons of Ramadan - Part 20 Fasting and Modern Science: Thirty Lessons of Ramadan - Part 21 Some Facts about The Holy Quran: Thirty Lessons of Ramadan - Part 22 Virtues and Rulings about the Recitation of the Holy Quran: Thirty Lessons of Ramadan – Part 23 Ramadan—the Month of Generosity and Charity: Thirty Lessons of Ramadan – Part 24 The Importance of Halal Sustenance: Thirty Lessons of Ramadan – Part 25 URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

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