Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Rights of the Neighbor in Islamic Shari`ah part 9

The second degree is to endure his harm, overlook him and ignore his mistake.

It is reported that `Uthmaan Ibn Zaa`idah said: "The well-being has ten parts. Nine of them belong to ignoring people's mistake." When Ahmad Ibn Hanbal was told about this saying, he said: "The well-being has ten parts. All of them belong to ignoring  people's mistake." [35]

The meaning is that the safety from people's harm will not be achieved except through ignoring their evils, overlooking their oppression and ill-treatment and forgiving all their ill conducts. He who succeeds in realizing these characteristics, he is surely the prosperous, the wise, and the rightly guided person. How good is the saying of the poet!

The foolish is not a master in his people, but the master of his people is the one who pretends to be a foolish.

Al-Hasan Al-Basri said: "Treating the neighbor kindly is not the abstention from harming him, but it is the endurance of his harm patiently." [36]

Allah has described the pious as they repress their anger, pardon people and treat them kindly through excusing and overlooking them. Allah, the Almighty, says: {"… who repress anger, and who pardon people; and verily, Allah loves the good-doers."} [Aal-Imraan: 134]

Allah, the Almighty, has also enjoined doing justice and doing good to others. He, Exalted be He, says: {"Verily, Allah enjoins the doing of justice and the doing of good (to others)…"} [An-Nahl: 90]. Justice means that the one fulfills his rights and duties. Doing good means that the one gives up his right or a part of it and accomplishes what is beyond his duty.

There are a number of teachings we find in Islamic Shariah which urge pardoning, overlooking, making reconciliation and tolerance. If the person is commanded to treat all people with all these good morals, he, with all the more reason, is commanded to treat his neighbor with all these good morals.

It is narrated that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: "Allah, Exalted be He, loves three persons: among them is a person who has an evil neighbor. This evil neighbor does harm with him, however, he endures his harm patiently. So, Allah will suffice him against this neighbor by moving him to another place or by death." In another narration: "… until they are separated from each other by death or moving away." [37]

Many people are able and keen to abstain from harming their neighbors. However, they do not tolerate or, even, do not try to endure any harm caused by their neighbours even if it is happened by mistake or negligence. You will find them ready to be provoked by a lesser thing, and to react with bigger retaliation on them, returning the insulting word with ten similar worlds, and making a mountain out of a molehill. As a result, great problems and disputes take place among them, which may be resulted from trivial things.

If they had adjusted themselves to endure harm, forgive mistakes, overlook faults, ignore the call for excuses, construe their neighbors' sayings and actions in the best sense and seek the reward of Allah regarding pardoning and tolerance, their state of affairs would not have been as we have mentioned.

How many great disputes took place between some neighbors because of a dispute occurred between their children. This matter is not strange with regard to children. If their fathers have had wisdom, tolerance and knowledge about the neighbor's right, these disputes would not have occurred between them, and they also would have been able to ignore them and nip them in the bud.

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