Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Rights of the Neighbor in Islamic Shari`ah Part 6


 Asalam Wa Alikum

 Fifth Topic

Degrees of the neighbor's right
The neighbor's right has three degrees: the first degree, and which is the lowest of them, is to abstain from harming him. The second degree, and which is the middle degree, is to endure his harm. The third degree, and which is the highest and most complete degree, is to treat him kindly and generously.

  As to the first degree which is the abstention from harming the neighbor, it is the lowest right that the neighbor must fulfill toward his neighbor brother. If he does not treat him kindly, he must, at least, abstain from harming him.

Allah, the Almighty, says: {"And those who harm believing men and believing women for [something] other than what they have earned [i.e. deserved], they are guilty indeed of a false accusation and a manifest sin."} [Al-Ahzab: 58]. How it will be, then, when the harmed one is your believer neighbor, so, the sin will be greater.

Thus, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: "Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, should not harm his neighbor." [16]

In Saheeh Al-Bukhaari [17], the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: "By Allah, he does not believe! By Allah, he does not believe! By Allah, he does not believe!" It was asked" Who is that, O Allah's Messenger?" He said: "That person whose neighbor does not feel safe from his evil." In another narration by Muslim [18], the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: "He will not enter Paradise whose neighbor is not secure from his wrongful conduct." [19]

The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, swore thrice regarding the negation of faith of the one whose neighbor does not feel safe from his evil. He, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, also denied his admittance to Paradise. This severe threat reveals the maximization of the neighbor's right, and also reveals that harming him is from among the major sins.

It is noteworthy that what is firmly established in the sight of Ahlus-Sunnah Wal Jamaa`ah is that the perpetrator of the major sin is a faithful having incomplete faith. The faith will never be negated from him, and the absolute faith never will be given. (i.e., the complete faith). This ruling applies to him in this world. As to his ruling in the Hereafter, he is under Allah's Will; if He wills, he will forgive him, and if He wills, he will punish him according to his sin, and then he will be admitted to Paradise. If he enters the Hellfire, he will not eternally abide in it as the disbelievers.

In reply to the Hadiths which include the negation of Faith and the denial of entering Paradise because of committing some major sins, they gave two answers:

First: This applies to the one who deems that major sin lawful; since when he believed in its lawfulness although Allah has prohibited it by obvious, decisive texts, he, consequently, has accused Allah, the Almighty, and His Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, of lying. That way, he becomes a major disbeliever and this causes apostasy and forbids him from entering Paradise.

Second: The negation of the completeness of Faith means that he is a believer of incomplete faith. The denial of entering Paradise means that he will not enter it with the forerunners who enter Paradise at first stage. Rather, he may be punished until he becomes pure and fitted for entering it, and then he will enter it. [20]

Some of them mentioned a third viewpoint: They said that this threat is placed in the placement of reprimand, coarseness, severe warning, and its reality is not meant. [21]

However, this viewpoint is as Abu `Ubay Al-Qasim Ibn Salam, [22] says: "It is among the most horrible interpretations that oppose the sayings of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and his Companions. They have made what is reported from Allah and His religion a threat of no reality. This, in turn, will lead to the nullification of punishment; since if it is possible in one of these punishments, it will be possible in all punishments."

The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: "The first two litigants on the Day of Judgment are two neighbors." [23]

This Hadith has made it clear that Allah, the Almighty, will take revenge from the oppressor neighbor in favor of the oppressed neighbor. It also indicated that this dispute is given precedence over other disputes. Hence, this is an indicative of the seriousness of doing wrong to the neighbor or neglecting his right.

Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that a man came to the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, complaining his neighbor. He, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said to him: "Go back and be patient." The man came to him twice or thrice. Then, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said to him: "Go back and cast off your personal goods on the road." The man casted off his personal goods on the road. So, people started asking him about the reason, and he told them about his story. Consequently, they started to curse his neighbor saying: "May Allah do so and so with him." As a result, his neighbor came to him and said: "Go back to your home and you will not see anything you dislike from me." In another narration, "The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, ordered me to cast off my personal goods on the road. Then, people started to say: 'O Allah! Curse him! Disgrace him!' His neighbor was informed about what people said concerning him, therefore, he came to him and said: 'Go back to your home and, by Allah, I will never harm you.'" [24]

Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, also narrated that it was said to the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, "O Messenger of Allah! So and so (a woman) fasts the day and performs the supererogatory night prayer but she hurts her neighbors with her tongue?" He, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: "There is no goodness in her. She is in Hellfire." It was also said to him: "O Messenger of Allah! So and so (a woman) performs the prescribed prayer, fasts Ramadan and gives pieces of cheese as charity [25], but she does not harm her neighbors?" He, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: "She is in Paradise." [26]

This indicates that harming the neighbor is among the reasons that leads to Hellfire, while abstaining from harming him is a way that leads to Paradise.

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