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GOOD NEIGHBOURLINESS IN ACHIEVING UNITY OF THE UMMAH   

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

BEING THE THIRD FOURTH SERMON FOR THE MONTH OF SOFAR, DATED SOFAR 26TH, 1444 AH (23RD SEPTEMBER, 2022 CE).

TITLED: GOOD NEIGHBOURLINESS IN ACHIEVING UNITY OF THE UMMAH   

THE FIRST SERMON

All Praises belong to Allah, who commanded us to be righteous and preserve relationships, and has forbidden us from disobedience. He made the right of a Muslim over another muslim one of the most emphatic rights, and gave the neighbor a right over his neighbor, even if the neighbour is an unbeliever and a perpetual sinner. I praise Him, the Most High, that He has put us on the paths of the righteous, and invited us to a good relationship with our family and neighbors, and He promised those who are honest and obedient salvation in this world and attainment of bliss in the everlasting home of the hereafter. We thank Him, Blessed is He. We testify that there is no god worthy of worship except Allah alone. He has no partner, He is the Creator, whereas everything else is created (by Him). This is a testimony that brings us closer to Allah. And we testify that our leader Muhammad is His true and faithful servant and Messenger, a prophet who called to his Lord, day and night, and delivered His message in private and in public. Oh Allah let your endless and infinite salutation, peace and blessings be on our leader Muhammad,  and on his family and companions who fulfilled all obligations, and on those who follow them on good in the past , present and the future.

Thereafter:

O people! Fear Allah and know that the right of a neighbor over his neighbor is emphasized by the verses of the Qur’aan and hadiths, and Jibreel (AS) did not stop exhorting Muhammad – may the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him – concerning the neighbor until he (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) thought that he would have to give the neighbour a share of his inheritance, and he would not do anything bad to the neighbor or harm him except a really mean despicable one.

Therefore, Islam was a religion that called to a settled communal life, preferring it to the non-settler life. It is a religion of stability and order, not a religion of exclusion and disorderliness, and that life in the desert or the city make it easy for people to do things together, and helps with mutual-support, cohesion, rapprochement and a consensus of ideas and actions, and paves the way for them to exchange benefits and share active roles in daily life activities.

Islam commands good neighborliness, even with the unbelievers, and the worst of people is he whom people leaves alone so as to avoid his evil, and those who know him stay away from him in order to avoid his harm, and the most evil neighbors are those who look for faults in their secret and public, and are not reliable in debt, life, family, or money. The Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should honor his neighbor, and whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should honor his guest, and whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should speak good or remain silent.” And he, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said: “The believer is the one from whom people are safe, the Muslim is the one from whose tongue and hand the Muslims are safe, the Muhaajir is the one who abandons evil, and by the One in whose hand is my soul, whoever whose neighbor is not safe from his evil will not enter Paradise.”

Since the Islamic society considers the neighbor as a part of the family, no matter is concealed from him and the inner affairs of his neighbor’s house is not shielded from him. And just like the neighbour at home is the neighbour in the shop and market. He is your neighbor, his purchases and sales are clear to you and you know his customers. He has his rights, and so does your neighbor in your work place because of the strong connection between you, as a result of the space you share. He is your neighbor, and he has his rights.

Islam has indeed instructed the believers on an essential matter: it is to refrain from harming your neighbour by not using your knowledge of your his conditions as a way to stab him from behind, and to attack him, and from using his faults as an opening from which you can carry out your agenda. Bukhaari narrated on the authority of Abu Shuraih that the Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “By Allah, he does not believe, by Allah, he does not believe, by Allah, he does not believe.” It was said: Who, O Messenger of Allah?! He said: The one whose neighbor is not safe from his harms.

Annoying the neighbor is of various types: including talking about what is going on in his house, revealing his secrets to people, stealing from him, or saying what he does not like.

Shame on you – O Muslim – that you sleep full and suffer from overeating, and your neighbor is starved and hungry, and shame on you that you wear new cloths and you are stingy with the cloths you no longer wear and could not give them to your needy neighbors, and shame on you that you enjoy the good things of that smell good and tastes good (food) and your neighbors wishes for even bones and crumbs of food, and you know the words of the Messenger of Allah related fromAbu Hurraira, that the Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “O Muslim women, never belittle any gift you give your neighbour even if it is a hoof of a sheep” (Ahmad). You know tyat he also said to Abi Dhaar, may God be pleased with him: “O Abu Dharr: If you cook broth, make its water more, so you can take care of your neighbors.” (Muslim). And in another narration from Muslim son the authority of Abu Dharr, he said: My friend, peace be upon him, commanded me: If you cook broth, put more water, then look at the family of your neighbour and share with them well.” (Muslim)

How is it appropriate for you – O believer – to be celebrating with joy in your house, and in the house near you are the funerals of death and mourning?! Have you been stripped of emotions and feeling, and have you forgotten the commands of religion and the habits of your honorable fathers, you arrogant one?! It is your neighbor’s right over you to greet him when you meet him, to visit him when he is sick, to follow his janaazah when he dies, and to be for his children after his death as he was for them in his life, and to stand by him in prosperity and adversity, hardship and ease. Whoever lacks the benefit of his brothers, let him not lack the benefit of his neighbors.” And he (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The best companions with Allah Almighty are those who are best to his companion, and the best neighbors with Allah Ta’alah Almighty are those who are best to his neighbour.” (Tirmidhi and Ahmad).

It is forbidden for you – O Muslim – to look into your neighbor’s house while he is unaware, or you betray him in his family, and whoever looks into his neighbor’s house without his permission, Allah will fill his eyes with the fire of Hell; The two sheikhs (Bukhaari and Muslim) narrated on the authority of Ibn Mas’uud, who said: “ I said: O Messenger of Allah: Which sin is the greatest?! He said: “To set up a partner for Allah, and He created you.” I said: Then what?! He said: “To kill your son in order that he may not share food with you.” I said then what?! He said: “To fornicate with your neighbor’s wife.” These are three levels mentioned by Ibn Mas’uud. He was asking and the Messenger of Allah was answering with revelation from his Lord.

And it is derived in that hadith: To not commit fornication with your neighbour’s wife. And fornication with the neighbor’s wife involves two sins: The first: is adultery. The second is betrayal of trust. This is evidence of meanness of self and lack of honour and dignity. Here we do not ague against the blame of the neighbor’s wife, for the woman herself should know that her neighbor is a stranger to her, and she should not degrade herself in front of him, but rather she must conduct herself with modesty, cover and chivalry in front of the neighbor, for flies do not fall upon purity, but rather on spilt honey, open sugar, and exposed filth. Every woman has to help herself to preserve her dignity, nobility, and honor her husband and maintain his position in the society in which he lives. And we do not see a better prevention to that than to avoid mere speech and verbal abuse, not to allow anyone to enter the house anyhow, the sacred marital home, in the absence of the head of the house, especially if he is a cousin or the like, with the exception of the mahram.

We do not think that these rights are for the neighbor with whom we are related by kinship or love (marriage). Rather, they are rights that impose themselves for the mere sake of neighborhood and being neighbours alone, and this is what the great companion Amr ibn al-Aas understood. Al-Tirmidhi narrated on his authority that a sheep was slaughtered for him in his his family, and when he came, he said: Have you given some as gift to our Jewish neighbor?! Did you give some gift to our Jewish neighbor?! Did you give to our Jewish neighbor?! I heard the Messenger of Allah – may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him – say: “Jibreel kept admonishing me on the neighbour, until I thought that he would bequeath him out of my possession.” (Abu Dawood, Al-Tirmidhi and Ahmad).

Servants of the Most Merciful! What can we conclude from our sermon today?! What can every believer reflect on the sermons and lessons that we have given today?! And whoever is not admonished and does not reflect, it is as if he did not attend the Jumu’ah prayer, so the summary of our sermon centers on the concept of the two honorable hadiths, or the two wills that our leader, the Messenger of Allah – may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him – singled out for the men and women of his ummah:

The first instruction was made by the companion Abu Dharr Al-Ghafari when he said to him: “O Abu Dharr: If you cook broth, add more water to it and (from it), take care your neighbors.”

In the second is, the Messenger of Allah – may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him – warned the women of the believers: “O Muslim women, never belittle any gift you give your neighbour even if it is a hoof of a sheep.” That is, even if they cooked a sheep hoof, you have beeen singled out for admonition, and in that is an honor for every woman who heard the words of the Messenger of Allah – may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him – and she complied and learned his guidance, so she followed what was mentioned in it. He commanded you not to belittle the neighbor in anything from her neighbor, as if he – may Allah prayers and peace be upon him – intended to advise any one of you not to delay or hesitate in helping and assisting her neighbor, not to despise her if she asks for simple help, and to not despise her neighbor if she gives her something despicable, so the generous person will be generous with what he has, and how many a small, simple gift that is sincere is deeper and better than a precious gift that is intended for praise and to be exalted and show off.

Indeed, he singled out women for more particular admonition because women often show contempt for the neighbor if she is poor, so fear Allah – O women of Islam – and know that money is abundant and fragrant, and that there is no shame in being poor, but there is all shame in boasting about wealth, which is a blessing from Allah’s bounty and its use in transcendence over the poor and their contempt, and that you do not forget all of them, and that Allah is the rich and you are the poor. There is no god but Allah who enriches whom He wills and impoverishes whom He wills, and in that is wisdom that only He knows.

O you who believe: listen to the words of Allah, for His verses increase the believers in faith and He, Glorified He is, shades them with mercy, goodness and faith. “Worship Allah and join none with Him in worship, and do good to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, Al-Masakin (the poor), the neighbour who is near of kin, the neighbour who is a stranger, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (you meet), and those (slaves) whom your right hands possess. Verily, Allah does not like such as are proud and boastful”. (An-Nisaa: 36). True are the Words of Allah, the Most Magnificent.

I say what you have heard, if it is good, then it is from Allah, and if it is bad, then it is from myself and from Shaytaan, and I ask forgiveness from Allah Ta’alah for me and you, my parents and your parents and all Muslims men and women from every sin, so ask forgiveness, for He is the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful, and there is no power or strength except in Allah the Most High, the Most Magnificent.

THE SECOND SERMON:

All praises are due to Allah who made the trust a weighty burden, and directed neighbors to implement it, praised those that discharge their trusts, and blames those who violated it. May His blessings and peace be upon our master Muhammad, who fulfilled his promise, fulfilled his covenant, and upon his family and companions after him until the day of resurrection.

O people: know that neighborhood is a trust. The first thing to be lost from this Ummah is the trust, and the last thing that will remain among them is the solat (prayer). There is no benefit in someone who has no trust, even if he performs prayer and pays zakat. The treacherous person is detested by Allah, His angels, and all people, such is negligent in his religion and worldly affairs, ugly in social relations, bad in relation, deprived of blessing in his trade, worthless habitual swearer, belittling the oath, he says in everything: “No, by Allah,” or “Yes, by Allah”: Allah describes as such: (اتَّخَذُوا أَيْمَانَهُمْ جُنَّةً فَصَدُّوا عَنْ سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ إِنَّهُمْ سَاءَ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ) “They have made their ˹false˺ oaths as a shield, hindering ˹others˺ from the Way of Allah. Evil indeed is what they do!” (Munafiqun: 2)

The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “If you have these four qualities, you will not worry about what you missed in the world: fulfilling the trust, truthful speech, good character, and restraint with food.”” (Good chain, narrated by Ahmad).” So think deeply, O people of faith.

““Four things are part of happiness: a righteous spouse, a spacious dwelling, a righteous neighbor, and a comfortable mount. Four things are part of misery: a bad neighbor, a bad spouse, a restrictive dwelling, and a bad mount.” Allah, the Almighty loves a neighbor who is patient over the harm of his neighbor so that Allah be sufficient for him, either through his changing or death. Beware of engaging in court polemics as a result of women’s quarrels or boys’ quarrels. The Messenger of Allah – may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him – used to say: “Oh Allah, I seek refuge with you from an evil neighbour in the Eternal World. A neighbour in the desert can be changed.” He, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said: “Be on guard against the unlawful and you shall be the most worshiping among the people, be satisfied with what Allah has alloted for you and you shall be the richest of the people, be kind to your neighbor and you shall be a believer, love for the people what you love for yourself and you shall be a Muslim. And do not laugh too much, for indeed increased laughter kills the heart.”

May Allah make me and you among the best of his creation, and bless me and you with the good things of His provision, and save me and you from the evil act of harming the neighbor and neglecting his right, O Lord of the worlds. Oh God, honor Islam and Muslims, and make your word supreme till the Day of Judgment. Oh Allah, benefit us with Your Book, a benefit that refines our faith, renews our enthusiasm, and restores to the religion its authority.

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