Neighbor Rights – Islam is a religion for the whole of humanity. Likewise Islam lays great stress on the rights of neighbors. The holy Prophet said:
“Jibrael always used to advise me to be generous with neighbors, till I thought that Allah was going to include neighbors among the heirs of a Muslim.”
“That man is not from me who sleeps contentedly while his neighbor sleeps hungry.”
Rights of neighbor in Islam are not limited to Muslim neighbors only. However, the rights extend equally to non-Muslim neighbors as well. The holy Prophet has advised us that there are three kinds of neighbors. The neighbor who is a Muslim and a relative is the one who has three rights upon you. The neighbor who is either a non-Muslim or a non-relative has two rights upon you. Thirdly, the neighbor who is neither a Muslim, nor a relative still has a single right upon you that are of being a neighbor.
So it is clear that Islam asks us not to just be friendly to the neighbors but also be careful of those in need in your neighborhood. Islam is a religion for the betterment of the whole community. So you should be vigilant about the needs of the poor people living in your neighborhood. As the Quran says:
“Serve Allah, and join not any partners with Him; and do good—to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, those in need, neighbors who are near, neighbors who are strangers, and the companion by your side, the wayfarer (ye meet), and what your right hands possess: for Allah love not the arrogant, the vainglorious.” (Quran 4:36)
So it is evident how important are the rights of neighbor in Islam. It is hence obligatory upon you that if your neighbor seeks your assistance or guidance in any matter make sure that you make yourself available for him and help him as much as you can. If he needs a loan and you are financially stable enough to grant him, do not hesitate in doing so. Share fruits with him that you buy for yourself. If you cannot share, then do not let your fellow citizen know what you are eating. When your neighbor falls sick, you must visit him. If he dies, you must attend his funeral and participate in his burial arrangements. When he receives good news, be happy for him and congratulate him. While in his bad times sympathize with him.
In this way the whole of Islamic society shall progress and the bond among the Muslims shall strengthen.