Who is Thy Neighbour?

Who is Thy Neighbour?

In the video “Who are our Neighbours?”, Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad introduces the idea of what a neighbour is.  In today’s global village, it can be hard to define who a neighbour is. Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad reminds us through the narration of Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessing be upon him) that the neighbour is the one who is both near and far.  Whether a neighbour is next-door or forty houses down, we should be trying to practice the “human virtue” that is being good to one’s neighbours. 

The Messenger of Allah said, “Whoever believes in Allah and the last day, let him honour his neighbour.”  This can encompass neighbours whom one has known for years, neighbours that are temporary/short-term and of any faith.  Neighbours have rights and should be treated with the proper respect, care and consideration.  Especially in this current environment where many people are suffering and may not have family or friends to rely on for help.

The Importance of Treating our Neighbours Well

It is said that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) heard so much about how one should treat their neighbour well from Jibreel (may peace be upon him) that Allah’s messenger thought that the neighbour may end up having a share in the inheritance. 

One of the prophetic commandments is “Whoever has a neighbour to his garden, encloser, or plot of land should not sell that plot of land without offering it first to his neighbour.”  These narrations truly highlight the concept of treating one’s neighbour well.  Whenever there is a decision to be made that would affect one’s neighbour – the rights of the neighbour should be addressed first.  Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad quotes Imam Hasan al-Basri stating, “Good neighbourliness is not just, not doing things that annoy your neighbour, but it’s putting up with the inconvenient things that they may do.”  

How Can One Become a Good Neighbour?

The Messenger of Allah was told, “O, Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing be upon him) there is this woman who fasts every day and who prays every night, but she upsets her neighbours.”  The Messenger of Allah said that “She is in the fire.”  The purpose of prayer, fasting and all other forms of worship is supposed to keep one from engaging in such “ugly behaviour.” 

As well as developing good manners, Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad mentions, “There are inward preconditions for the validity of the prayer” – simply doing the act of prayer does not suffice.  He adds – with every prayer we should become better versions of ourselves and how we interact with others is a reflection of whether we are implementing prayer correctly in our lives.  Developing one’s habits or breaking old ones is no easy feat, but if one takes the time and effort to do so with Allah’s guidance, we can become better people and honour the rights of those near to us.

Watch the full video here:

Article based on “Who are our Neighbours?” by Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad.

More Islamic Resources from Cambridge Muslim College: www.cambridgeislamiccollege.org


Learn how to treat your neighbours from the best of creation in this SeekersGuidance session – The Prophet as a Neighbour. 

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Abraham As The Patriarch Of Shari’a Diversity : Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad

In this talk delivered by esteemed scholar, Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad, he discusses how the sanctuary (haram) in Mecca is full of signs; manifest signs.  The first of these signs is the standing place of Ibrahim (Maqamu Ibrahim).

The Abrahamic qualities that the haram contains are quite evident, from them:

  • The sacrifice on the Day of Adha
  • The retracing of Abrahamic moments during the Hajj
  • Sa’i as well as Safa and Marwa

Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad says regarding the latter ritual:

“…And another of these great signs is …. the Sa’i, between Safwa and Marwa which are from Allah signs or tokens (min shaa’iril Allah), that this is her moment, and the moment of the female dimension of the Abrahimic possibility in religion, because Hajar is the only one really in the history of world religions to have been identified explicitly with the instituting of a religious obligation.  I’m not familiar with any other obligatory practice in any of the world’s religions that is specifically identified in it’s founding moment with a woman…”

Shaykh Abdal Hakim continues to discuss the black stone and what we can learn from it. Umar said, “I know, you are just a stone; you cannot do anyone harm nor can you do any good, but if it were not for the fact that I saw the holy Prophet kissing you, I would not kiss you.” But the story continues:

…then he cried until his sobbing was audible.

He turned and there he saw Ali – May God exalt his face – Umar says to him, “O Amir al-Mu’minin, in this place the tears fall and the prayers ascend”

Ali says to Umar, “It does harm and it does do good!”

And he said, “How?”

Ali answered, “Truly, Allah when he took the covenant from the descendants of Adam he wrote it and he, fed this writing to the stone, and it bares witness to the faithfulness of the believer and the rejection and negation of the unbeliever.”

Shaykh Abdal Hakim then explains the covenant that Ali was referring to.

Other things discussed in this wonderful talk:

  • What does it mean when we say we’re from the Abrahamic religions? What makes us different from the Christians and Jews?
  • How is Hajar an indication of Islam’s ethnic inclusiveness?
  • Ibrahim’s obedience to Allah (upon him be peace)
  • Ibrahim’s arguing and debate with Nimrod
  • and many other interesting discussions

The talk ends with some questions from the audience.