10th J/Uula 1442 A H (25th December 2020)
IN THE NAME OF ALLAH THE MOST BENEFICENT THE MOST MERCIFUL
BEING THE SECOND SERMON FOR THE MONTH OF JUMAADAL-UULA DATED 10TH JUMAADAL-UULA 1442 AH (25TH DECEMBER, 2020 CE)
THE RIGHTS OF NEIGHBOURS IN ISLAAM
All praises belong to Allah Who has commanded goodness to neighbours, and has made it go hand-in-hand with worshipping Him, as a way of showing high regard for his rights and a reminder of his duties. And he urged on upholding the rights in a good way, with His Words: “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…”. (An-Nisaai:36). I testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah alone. He has no partner or associate.I testify also that Muhammad (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) is His slave and Messenger. May the Peace and Blessings of Allah be on him.
Thereafter, fear Allah oh you believers, and make provision from your life for your hereafter, and do a lot of good deeds that you are going to find in the record of your good deeds, “And fear Allah and know that Allah is Seeing of what you do.” (Al-Baqarah: 233).
Servants of Allah! The topic of our sermon today is about the rights of neighbours in Islaam. You should know that Islaam intends to establish a cohesive society that is strongly built. So it instructs us with goodness to neighbours, paying attention to his rights and withholding any harm from him. It suffices to say that a good neighbour is a cause of good fortune, as was said by the Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him): “Part of a person’s good fortune is a good neighbour, a reliable ride and a spacious accomodation”.
Servants of Allah! The neighbour is a lifelong companion, a close companion at home, a centre o allound attentionand a source of concern. He is the one who comforts or gives solace in the time of calamity and keeps one company in the time of loneliness. He is a special support and a reliable adviser. He is a who covers ones shortcoming and guides against backbiting. He enjoins goodness and prohibits evil. He is an exemplar of goodness. If he sees something good with his neighbour, he proclaims it, but when he sees anything otherwise, he conceals it and calls his neighbours attention to it. How scarce are such today! Especially given the distractions and the preoccupations of life. Ibn Hajar said: the term ‘neighbour’ includes muslim, unbelievers, the devout, the wayward, the friend and the enemy, the stranger and the native, the one that benefits and the one that harms, the local and the foreignr, the nearby neighbour and the distant one.
Oh you Believers! There a many Quranic and prophetic texts that urges us to uphold the rights of neighbours and to pay attention to his status, enjoining us with being good towards him and withholding any harm from him. One of such is the saying of the Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him): “The best companion in the sight of Allah is the one who is best to his companion; and the best neighbour in the sight of Allah is the one who is best to his neighbours.” (Tirmidhiy).
And he (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Jibril continued to advise me to treat neighbors well until I thought he would make them my heirs.” (Agreed upon). And he (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him be good to his neighbour.” (Muslim). And he (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “be good to your neighbours and you’ll be a believer” (Ahmad and Tirmidhiy). And he (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “when you cook a stew, put more water in the broth and take care your neighbors and pour some of it for them courteously.” (Muslim).
The rights of neighbours are huge and it includes amny big issues. Some of the most important and foremost of it is goodness to him by relating to him with what he likes of good speech and deeds and offering to help him when he is in need. Part of his rights is to be trustworthy to him, keeping his confidencial matters and protecting his honour. It includes also to be loving towards him and to be mindful of his interests and wellbeing and his family’s the same way you are mindful of your own wellbeing and your family’s. You meet and welcome him with a cheerful face. You ask after him, checking on his condition. You share his joy and you are sympathetic when he gets his share of life’s travails. One of his greatest rights is to advise him and wish good for him. It includes guiding him to good deeds and warning him against evil with the best manner and with the most appropriate method.
You should know, oh you believers, that causing harm to the neighbour id haraam in Islaam. The Messenger of Allah (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 is that, O Allah’s Apostle?" He said, "That person whose neighbor does not feel safe from his evil” (Bukhaari). And he (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “a servant will not enter Paradise if his neighbor is not secure from his harm.” (Muslim).
It was said to the Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) “So and so woman used to pray a lot, used to fast a lot, used to give a lot in charity, only that he used to harm her neighbour with her tongue”. He (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “She will be in the Fire”. (Ahmad).
Servants of Allah! A lot of people have neglected the rights of the neighbour as a result of opening up (of society) and too much of preoccupation and activities to the extent that some people do not know anythinhg about their neighbour. Nay, if you ask him his neighbour’s name, he doesn’t know it! Where are these people in following the example of our predecessors who attaine the peak of discharging the rights of neighbours. Here for you are two interesting stories that we will end this sermon with.
It was narrated that Immam Abi Haneefah has a neighbour in Kufah who used to sing for a prolonged period at night. Abu Haneefah used to be disturbed by his singing while he is teaching hisstudents and reading to them. So one night, the police came to arrest the man for inconivienting peopele and disturbing the peace. So he was taken to prison. When Abu Haneefah did not hear his voice the second night, he asked after him and he was informed about the man. He dressed up and went the Amir of Kufah. He told the Amir: ‘I have a neighbour whom the police arrested last night and I only know him as a good person’. So the Amir ordered that evrybody that the police arrested last night should be released as a honour for Abu Haneefah. Afterwards, this neighbour said to Abu Haneefah, ‘You made effort to secure my release while I always disturb you for a long time with my singing’. Abu Hafeefah responded by saying, ‘I wish to fulfill the right of the neighbor with you’. And this man repented as a result of this.
How many people are their dealing with other people a cause of guidance of his neighbour and guiding him to good? This type of dealing with people is what has been narrated that one of the Tabi’een was a neighbour to Sa’eed ibn Al-Aas. This neighbour was befallen with some misfortune of the their time and he lost everything that he had. So he was compelled to sell his house at the cheapest price. The buyer said it was not worth more than fifty dirham. So the owner of the house said, ‘and how much do you pay for the neighbouliness of Sa’eed ibn Al-Aas?’ The buyer said, ‘I have never seen a neighbour being sold. Who is Sa’eed ibn Al-Aas?’ So the neighbour said, ‘He is the one who is if he sees you, welcomes you cheerfully, if you visit him, he treats you lavishly, if you talk to him, he accepts, if you call him, he comes to you, if you are sick, he keeps coming back until you are healed, if you are not around, he asks after you until he knows where you are and if you are needy or poor, he gives you until you are free of any need.’ This issue got to the hearing of Sa’eed ibn Al-Aas and he sends one hundred dinaar to the man, and said to him, ‘Keep you house, oh you good neighbour.’
May Allah bestow his blessings on me and you in the Glorious Qur’aan and benefit you and me with its verses and its admonitions and Wise Reminders. I have said all of these you have heard, and may Allah forgive me and you, for indeed, He is the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful.
All praises belong to Allah Who said in His Perfect Revelation: “They have certainly disbelieved who say, “Allah is the Messiah, the son of Maryam” while the Messiah has said, “O Children of Israel, worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.” Indeed, he who associates others with Allah – Allah has forbidden him Paradise, and his refuge is the Fire. And there are not for the
wrongdoers any helpers. They have certainly disbelieved who say, “Allah is the third of three.” And there is no god except one Allah. And if they do not desist from what they are saying, there will surely afflict the disbelievers among them a painful punishment. So will they not repent to Allah and seek His forgiveness? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” (Maaidah: 72-74).
We praise Him, the Most Exalted and give thanks to Him. We testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah alone. He has no partner or associate.I testify also that Muhammad (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) is His slave and Messenger. May the Peace and Blessings of Allah be on him, his household, his companions and all those that follow his guidance till the Day of Judgment.
Thereafter, Servants of Allah! One of the things that is recommended in the period is to shine the light on the story of prophet of Allah ‘Eesa ibn Maryam [may the Peace of Allah be upon him] in the shade of the Glorious Qur’aan for the current issue in the Christian world, so that our Muslim brothers would upon the clear detail from their Lord, the Almighty.
There is no contention among people about the issue of any prophet as there is about the matter of Al-Maseeh [‘Eesah] [may the most excellent Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him], and there wss no arguments about the prophethood of any of the Messengers as there was about the prophethood of Al-Maseeh [Peace be upon him].
The surprising thing bout the matter is that the People of the Book disputed concerning him and they were so agitated, and they went to the two extremes of excessiveness and negligence. The jews claims that he was a child of zinah, because they claim that a child must have a father, and AlMaseeh does not have a father, so he must be a child of zinah. The christians on the other hand claim that he is a child of God, because he was created from the spirit of God, and the spirit of God is a part of God, therefore they claim he is a child of God. Both of them are on error and misguidance. Both sides have transgressed about the issue of AlMaseeh. The truth is what the Glorious Qur’aan establishes and confirms, and that is that he is a Messenger of Allah from among the noble Messengers whom Allah sent to the Children of Israaeel with Guidance and Clarity, and his mother is the pure chaste and heroic Sideeqah who guided her private part, and was among the pious. Listen to this wonderful explanation from the verses of Glorious Qur’aan: “The Messiah, son of Mary, was not but a messenger; [other] messengers have passed on before him. And his mother was a supporter of truth. They both used to eat food. Look how We make clear to them the signs; then look how they are deluded.” (Al-Maaidah: 75).
The Glorious Qur’aan rejected the claim of the Christians on the falsehood and misguidance, and expressed their disbelief and stubbornness and mentions what misguidance and falsehood that they are upon concerning Al-Maseeh. Allah Ta’alah said: “O People of the Scripture, do not commit excess in your religion or say about Allah except the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, the son of Maryam, was but a messenger of Allah and His word which He directed to Maryam and a soul [created at a command] from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers. And do not say, “Three”; desist – it is better for you. Indeed, Allah is but One. Exalted is He above having a son. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. And sufficient is Allah as Disposer of affairs.” (An-Nisaai: 171).
This is your creed/belief concerning ‘Eesah (Peace be upon him). Stick to it and distance yourself from what the Christians say about him. You are more entitled to him than them, and he will free himself of them on the Day of Ressurection as it established in the Glorious Qur’aan. And pray for you noble prophet as you have been commaded by your Lord. Oh Allah! Bestow Your Blessings on Your Beloved and Your Messenger, Muhammad, and on his household members, and all his companions. Aameen.