I did a quick Google search on neighbors before I began to write this, and the title was the saddest yet truest quote I found.
It’s a tragedy that we are connected to the entire world on Facebook and have hundreds of followers on Instagram, yet have no clue who lives just a few footsteps away from us.
That’s not how our Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم wanted it to be.
Abu Shuraih Al-Khuza`i (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said,
“He who believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him be kind to his neighbour.”
A neighbor is one who lives near or next to another. Al Hasan was asked about the neighbor and said, “The term ‘neighbor’ includes the forty houses in front a person, the forty houses behind him, the forty houses on his right and the forty houses on his left.”
Sounds like a lot of people, huh? But in reality, it’s not very difficult to be a good neighbor at all.
Here are a few ways you can help the people who live next door.
- Send them something yummy
Growing up, the best thing I remember about my neighbours is the delicious food they’d send! And of course it would be so rude to return an empty dish so we’d fill with something and send it back, then they’d send another … and so the sweet story would continue.
Abu Dharr reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying:
“Abu Dharr, when you prepare the broth, add water to that and give that (as a present) to your neighbour.”
- Respect their privacy
Keep your eyes and ears to yourself. It’s impolite to peek into the neighbours’ windows, over their walls, ask nosy questions… Nobody likes it, and besides:
Abu Hurairah reported the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) as saying:
“Avoid suspicion for suspicion is the most lying form of talk. Do not be inquisitive about one another, or spy on one another.”
[Sunan Abi Dawud – graded Sahih by Al-Albani]
- Be a helping hand
Admit it; the first people we turn to in times of trouble are our neighbours. Whether your car needs a jumpstart cable or you’ve broken your whisk, the nice people next door are just a doorbell away. Be one of those kind people who make life easier for others.
Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Whoever relieves the hardship of a believer in this world, Allah will relieve his hardship on the Day of Resurrection. Whoever helps ease someone in difficulty, Allah will make it easy for him in this world and in the Hereafter…”
- The Muslim relative
If your neighbor also happens to be your relative, they have even more rights upon you. Invite them over and keep them updated as to what’s happening in the extended family.
“Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him, and to parents do good, and to relatives, orphans, the needy, the near neighbor, the neighbor farther away, the companion at your side, the traveler, and those whom your right hands possess. Indeed, Allah does not like those who are self-deluding and boastful.”
- Involve the community
Good neighbours can learn together, eat together, do good deeds together, celebrate together, babysit for each other … the options are endless.
I’ll leave you with this parting thought:
Abdullah bin Amr narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said :
“The companion who is the best to Allah is the one who is best to his companion. And the neighbor that is the best to Allah is the one that is best to his neighbor.”
[Jami at Tirmidhi – Sahih]
Before you leave!
Here’s a helpful blog post about being a good neighbor,
Plus many of you may have non-muslim neighbours, and this might help you.
If you like what you’ve read pass it on!
“’Whoever leads to good, he is like the one who does it.’”
[Jami at Tirmidhi – Sahih]
- Raweeha Abdul Rab