Friday, November 2, 2012

Rights of our Neighbours Part 2

Aslam wa Alikum

First Topic

The need of a neighbor to his fellow neighbor
Islam has set a unique system for social life based on kindness, sympathy, mutual support and solidarity with each other. It is founded on cooperation in goodness and piety, helping other in avoiding sin and aggression and assisting every Muslim to save the right of the one whom he deals with. Allah has given much importance to the right of a Muslim over his Muslim fellow, the right of a relative over his relative and the right of a neighbor over his fellow neighbor.

Maintaining these rights is one of the most important reasons of happiness for the individual and society. People in this world are on trial, and misfortunes surround them from every side.

Man as an individual is a very weak person to the extent that he cannot withstand these misfortunes for a long time. If he withstands, he will suffer from unavoidable hardship unless his well-wishers and brothers come forward to help him, sympathize with him, and extend their support to solve his problem. It is known that a person is insignificant by himself, but feels strengthened if he gets support of his brothers, neighbors and relatives.

The closest people to man, the most surrounded to him and the most acquainted with his conditions, after his family and relatives, are his neighbors. Rather, the neighbor may be, in many cases, closer and more helpful to his neighbor than his blood relatives and in-laws. When a problem surprises the household or a calamity afflicts them, and they need an urgent relief, they directly hurry to their neighbors because they are close to them and adjacent to their house.

From this, the greatness of the right of the neighbor toward his neighbor and the strength of his influence to him become clear. It also appears that maintaining neighbour’s right is among the most obligatory duties and among the greatest reasons of solidarity and cooperation in this life in order to surmount its obstacles and alleviate its difficulties. In addition, it is among the greatest reasons of helping one another in goodness and piety and protecting one another from sin and evil.

However, today, many people have neglected this great right. They are preoccupied with their particularities and selfishness. They abstained from maintaining it due to their egoism. They did not observe it with due observance because of their ignorance and weakness in religion. The love of this world is firmly established in their hearts, so they became interested in their life only, they did not concern with but their interests only and became unmindful to their obligatory duties toward their Muslim brothers and neighbors. Hence, the emotions of brotherhood and love inside themselves have died, the morals of tolerance and help inside themselves have faded away and their hearts have become devoid of the beautiful human sentiments. Perhaps, the love of this life and the competition for its vanities has encouraged them to harm and do wrong their neighbors, transgress their interests and deny their rights.

Would that they could abstain from doing wrong and transgressing them as long as they did not treat them kindly and maintain their rights.
The Arabs during the Pre-Islamic Period of Ignorance (Jahiliyyah) were proud of treating neighbor kindly and hospitably, maintaining his rights, protecting his sanctities and abstaining from harming him. Regarding this, their poet said:
My fire and that is of my neighbor is one, and the cooking pot is served to him before me.
It did not harm a neighbor that I neighbor him that his door has not a curtain.
Once my woman neighbor appears, I become blind from gazing at her until her boudoir hides her. [1]

Another poet said:
I lower my gaze from glancing at my woman neighbor if she appeared until her abode hides her.

So, when Islam came, it affirmed this noble moral. It maximized the right of the neighbor towards his neighbor until it was about to make him an heir like one of his relatives.

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