Rights of Neighbors

Honorable Muslims!

In the verse I have recited, our Lord Almighty (swt) states, "Worship Allah alone and associate none with Him. And be kind to parents, relatives, orphans, the poor, near and distant neighbors, close friends, needy travelers, and those bondspeople in your possession. Surely Allah does not like whoever is arrogant, boastful."[1]

In the hadith I have read, our beloved Prophet (saw) says, "He will not enter Paradise whose neighbor is not secure from his evil."[2]

Dear Believers!

Allah (swt) has created us to live among people from birth to death. In this life, we sometimes fall into troubles and are overcome with sadness; at other times, we are blessed with goodness and are filled with joy. At such times, we look for people around us to share our feelings with. We want our neighbors to be with us as much as our parents, spouse and children, relatives and kin.

Neighborhood is not just about having shared spaces. Neighborhood means the joining of hearts rather than the walls standing together. It means being a good neighbor before looking for a good neighbor. It means being respectful and sharing, altruistic and sensitive. It entails not oppressing our neighbors and not speaking ill of their honor, dignity, and chastity. In one of his hadiths, our Prophet (saw) says,  مَنْ كَانَ يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ فَلاَ يُؤْذِ جَارَهُ "Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him not harm or annoy his neighbor!"[3] This and similar hadiths indicate that the way to become a perfect believer is to maintain good relations with our neighbors.

Dear Muslims!

Unfortunately, increased focus on worldliness, individualism, and selfishness are weakening our neighborly relations day by day. The Messenger of Allah's (saw)warning, however, is very clear: أَحْسِنْ إِلَى جَارِكَ تَكُنْ مُؤْمِنًا  "Be kind to your neighbor and you shall be a believer."[4] So, as believers, do we make our hearts neighbors to each other? Do we want for our neighbor what we want for ourselves? Do we fulfill our religious, moral and humanitarian responsibilities to contribute to the material and spiritual needs of our neighbors?

Dear Believers!

When asked about the rights of neighbors, the Prophet (saw) replied, "If he gets sick, he should go and visit him. If he passes away, he should attend his funeral procession. If he asks him for a loan, he should grant it to him. If he asks for help, he should help him. If he receives some blessings, he should be happy and not envious of him. If a tragedy befalls him, he should grieve for his grief."[5] So, let us be aware of how great our responsibility is towards our neighbors. Let us observe and uphold the rights of neighbors. Let us open our hearts to each other, and share affection and sincerity. Let us not pass by each other without saying "salam alaikum". Let us avoid all kinds of improper words and behaviors that may harm neighborly relations. Let us remain patient and tolerant. Let us not forget that "The best of neighbors in the sight of Allah is the best of them towards his neighbor."[6]

Dear Muslims!

Last week we experienced a great pain as a nation. Forty one of our brothers lost their lives in an explosion at a mine in Amasra, Bartın. I pray for our Lord Almighty's (swt) mercy on our brothers who passed away, and wish patience to their grieving families and to our great nation. May Allah the Almighty (swt) grant a rapid recovery to our injured brothers. May Allah (swt) never let us experience such pain again.


[1] Nisa, 4/36.

[2] Muslim, Iman, 73.

[3] Bukhari, Riqaq, 23.

[4] Tirmidhi, Zuhd, 2.

[5] Tabarani, Mu'jam al-Kabir, XIX, 419.

[6] Tirmidhi, Birr, 28.

General Directorate of Religious Services

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