Those who live around us are our neighbours. They first come forward in our happiness and sorrows, dangers and difficulties. If there is any trouble or disease, they quickly nurse and take care one another. They help one another if a marriage ceremony or any other function takes place.
Who are the neighbours? When asked, the prophet (Sm) says: “Those who live within forty houses in your front and back or your right and left are your neihgbours.”
From the point of view of rights, the neighbours are divided into three categories:
1.The Muslim relative neighbours who has three rights:
(a) as a Muslim.
(b) as a relative and
(c)as a neighbour.
2. The Muslim neighbour who has two rights: as a Muslim and as a neighbour.
3. The Neighbour who has only one tight: that is, if a neighbour belongs to another religion even he/she deserves, well tretnent from you.
It is a moral duty of every Muslim to live in harmony with the neighbours and behave well with them. We should behave well with the neibours for the sake of maintaining social peace and order in the society. Almighty Allah has ordered all to behave well with the neighbours whatever category they may belong to.
About those who do not fulfil the rights of the neighbours, Prophert (Sm) says: “the person whose neighbours are not safe from his/her oppression and ill-treatment, will not be able to enter heaven.”
It is a heinous crime to inflict pain on neighbours. If a neighbour does not forgive one for this offence, he/she will lose the right to enter heaven. So it is a Kabira gunah (serious crime). If a neighbour asks for help for honest purpose, he/she should be helped. If he/she is in want, his/her neighbours should try to remove it as nuch as possible. Rasulullah (Sm) says: “That man does not have Iman in its true sense who eats to his heart’s content and his neibour is hungry.”
Aneighbour deserves well behaviour whether he/she is a Muslim or a non-Muslim neighbours. The Muslim saints were very conscious about the rights of their non-Muslim neibghours. A neighbour of Abu Hanifa (R) was an worshipper of fire. The man was a durkard. Drinking wine through the night, he would beat drums and disturb the Islam in carring on his iba’dat and study.
One day the law and order enforcement authority arrested that neighbour of Iman Sahib and took him away. On that night hearing no sound in his house, the Iman Sahib enquired about it and heard that the man had been arrested. At this news he was hurt and went to release him. The Qazi (justice) told the Iman: “sir, he has been arrested because he disturbs you.” At last the Iman stood bail for him and he was released. He vbecome a good man being moved by the behavior of the Iman Sahib.
Even of a neighbour is a non-Muslim, his/her rights should be properly observed.
We will behave well with our neighbours. We will be sharers in their sorrows and suffering. Then our life will be beautiful and peaceful.