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Are we aware of the responsibility to our neighbours on a daily basis?

Shakirah Hunter

The UK is currently seeing soaring temperatures. With forty degree temperatures and most of the UK not equipped to deal with such highs , an air-conditioned room is not the norm in an otherwise well equipped country.

It is in times of need like this that Makki Masjid In Manchester have opened their doors to allow people of all faiths to find solace from the intense heat within their air-conditioned walls. They will provide free bottled water and leave their doors open until ten pm at night which is the hottest parts of the day .

In a statement made by the mosque ,they have said that being the hub of the community in Longsight they see it as their responsibility to the community and the responsibility of taking care of our neighbors is a massive one in the religion of Islam.
This inniaitive was mirrored here in South Africa during the challenges faced in Durban earlier this year as well as last year. Reading stories like these are incredibly heartwarming and serve to lift our hopes in the human race as well in our fellow Muslims.
Yet this act of kindness to the understanding of a Muslim is not an act that is one based of choice or personal kindness. Rather the treatment of a neighbor is an integral part of our Religion and forms a part of our daily acts of faith.

The massive responsibility that is the right of one’s neighbor is constantly highlighted in our religion to the extent that the Holy Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم feared that the neighbour would be regarded from amongst the inheritors.
وقال رسول الله -صلّى الله عليه وسلّم-: (ما زالَ جِبْرِيلُ يُوصِينِي بالجارِ، حتَّى ظَنَنْتُ أنَّه سَيُوَرِّثُهُ).[٤]
Rasulullah (s) has said : Jibraeel (as) would continuosly advise me regarding the rights of neighbours until I thought that he would make the neighbor from the inheritors.

Now in times of incredible test we find it easy to assist on a macro level , yet on a daily micro level we find that our lives are busy and due to our many commitments it becomes almost impossible to fulfill these daily rights that was so prevalent in the past.

This story is incredibly heartwarming , yet at the very same time we must ask ourselves just how connected are we to our neighbors. As Muslims these are not amazing feats but simply as that Musjid put it so eloquently a part of our religion – our responsibility”.
وعن أبي هريرة -رضي الله عنه- قال: (قال رجلٌ: يا رَسولَ اللهِ، إنَّ فُلانةَ يُذكَرُ مِن كَثرةِ صَلاتِها وصَدقَتِها وصيامِها، غيرَ أنَّها تُؤذي جيرانَها بِلِسانِها؟ قال: هيَ في النَّارِ، قال: يا رَسولَ اللهِ، فإنَّ فُلانةَ يُذكَرُ مِن قِلَّةِ صيامِها وصَدقَتِها وصَلاتِها، وإنَّها تَتَصدَّقُ بالأَثوارِ مِن الأَقِطِ، وَلا تُؤذي جيرانَها بِلسانِها؟ قال: هيَ في الجنَّةِ)
Abu Hurairah (Ra) has said A man said Oh Rasulullah (s) ” Most certainly such and such a woman is known for her extensive Salah and Charity and constant fasting but she harms her neighbour verbally ,and the Prophet (s) replied : ” She is in the fire of Jahannam”. The man then mentioned another woman who is known for little salah ,and little charity and Salah yet she gives charity to kittens and does not harm her neighbour with her tongue. And the Prophet (s) replied: “she is in Jannah.”

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