All Praise is due to Allah, The Most Beneficiant The Most Merciful, may the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon Al'Sayyidi Muhammad Mustafaa Sal'Allahualayhiwasalam, his family, and companions.

"And the believers, men and women, are protecting friends one of another; they enjoin the right and forbid the wrong, and they establish worship and they pay the poor-due, and they obey Allah and His messenger. As for these, Allah will have mercy on them. Lo! Allah is Mighty, Wise."
~Surah Tawbah, Ayah Seventy-Two


"Meet people in such a manner that if you die they weep over you and if you are alive they yearn for your company."
~Ali ibn Abi Talib RadhiAllahuanhu

Duaas are always requested...

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Best of Neighbours...

Bismillahir'rahman'nir-rahim.

Allahumma sali'ala sayyiddina Muhammadin wa 'ala alay sayyiddina Muhammadin wa barik wa salim.

Asalamualaykum wa Rahmatullah,

Insha'Allah all is well.

As mentioned in a previous post-there would be a 'part 2' in regards to the following Hadith:

It is reported by Bukhari and Muslim [rahima'ullah ta'ala] that Rasulullah Sal'Allahu'alayhiwasalam said:

"The best of companions in Allah's view is the best among them to his companion, and the best of neighbours in Allah's view is the best among them towards his neighbour."

The earlier post dealt with the first part of the hadith "The best of companions in Allah's view is the best among them to his companion." Insha'Allah, today's post is in regards to the later part: "and the best of neighbours in Allah’s view is the best among them towards his neighbour." Alhamdulillah.

Interestingly enough, many of us extend the hand of friendship to our fellow Muslim, whether they be two doors down from us or an ocean apart, simply because they are a Muslim. It's from the Beautiful Sunnah of our Nabi Sal'Allahu' alayhiwasalam to build strong bonds with our fellow brethren so that we may 'Keep our matter alive' [excerpt from hadith]. Many call this extending a hand Fi'Sabilillah. Masha'Allah that is all well and great, may Allah reward each of those individuals who strengthen the ties of this Ummah far and wide. But as we go about making friendships Fi'Sabilillah with Muslims here and there, do we often forget that we should make ties Fi'Sabilillah even with those who do not share the same faith as us?

"and the best of neighbours in Allah’s view is the best among them towards his neighbour."

If you live in the west, it is quite probable that your neighbors may be non-Muslims and/or of a different 'cultural background'(unless you live in Leicester,UK...then its a whole 'nother ballpark, a cricket one perhaps :D) Alhamdulillah for communities which have managed to build and strengthen ties purely based Fi'sabilillah, insha'Allah. Anyway the point is if you live in the western countries, it is likely that your neighbor will be a non-Muslim and/or have a different 'cultural background' which is more than fine Alhamdulillah.

I believe that this is where many of us fall short. There are two scenarios which are often seen, and a few more "sub scenarios" which go under them, yet as Muslims we do not fulfill our duty in these circumstances.

Scenario One:

A non-Muslim family/person is living next door to a Muslim family. Both families/neighbours have lived in the same place (in their respective houses) for well over a few weeks (months, years, decades, take your pick) yet the Muslim family has never really extended a hand of friendship to these neighbors simply b/c "they are kuffar and we don't need 'riff-raff' like that" or "they are different, we don't share the same views, they could corrupt our kids." Oh the list is endless, Subhan'Allah.

It feels like we are so caught up in making ties Fi'Sabilillah with those who are Muslim, whether they be abroad or across the street, but we are hesitant to extend a hand of friendship to our very own neighbors, knowing well that Rasulullah Sal'Allahu'alayhiwasalam constantly reminded us to be good with our brothers as well as to our neighbors.

"They are kuffar:" If my memory serves me right, a kaafir is one who is shown the religion of Islam, is shown The Truth in the correct manner, and then still denies it, then they are labeled 'kaafir' otherwise they are simply uninformed OR they really are [because they chose to be] blatantly iggnorant... So isn't it up to us to give dawah?

"They are different:" Yea and so what? Boggling really...I'm sure they find us different too, but do many of the non-Muslims actually 'show' it? Many are taken aback by beards, hijaabs, abayas, thobes, etc but at the same time many of tehm do not shun Muslims, the way we shun them...So someone gave you a dirty look because you're wearing hijaab or have a beard.. We should smile at them and make duaa for them insha'Allah, and if they ask questions, be nice! We should try to answer them, explain to them the Wisdom and Beauty behind these facets of Islam.

"They will corrupt our kids:" So let us give our kids the 'tarkeeb' to be strong enough to leave an impression on their children, opposed to the other way around.

"But we are good to them; we don't bother them or anything:" Alhamdulillah, that is being good to your neighbor in away, but at the same time, we live next door to someone for three years and still don't know their first name? I'm not asking or saying that we have to call our neighbors over for dinner (although feeding them Zabiha meat doesn’t sound like a bad idea) or that we have to go out with our neighbors, but it should be so that if our neighbors ever needed anything they could simply come over and ask for it, or if they needed some help with something they could come over and ask for it. It is one thing to be hospitable and kind and it is another to be quiet and rude.

Subhan'Allah the excuses seem endless, but do we realize the solutions are endless as well? Alhamdulillah.

It's no lie; living in the west can be cumbersome when it comes to society, but at the same time, Subhan'Allah we can look at it as a Test and a Mercy from Allah. Many of us have it SO much easier in the west opposed to many other places in the world, and Subhan'Allah, non-Muslim neighbors? What a great Dawah oppurtunity, Alhamdulillah.

True many of these people do not really care about religion, but some do... what if that small percentage of people who are looking for some Saqoon in their lives, what if from them one of those individuals happens to be our next door neighbor, and we did not present Islam to them the best way possible?

Many do not accept before their death, so will they be asked of it on That Day? Perhaps they will, Allah gave them a brain, He gave them intellect to go out and research, look up, find, and question...but Allah Knows Best. But will we be questioned? Yes. Allah will ask us 'Why did you not propagate My Deen? Why did you not extend your hand to these neighbors? Why didn't you show them the kindness Islam teaches us, perhaps through that they may have accepted Islam.' Perhaps those will not be the exact words, indeed Allah Knows Best.


Extending a hand Fi'Sabilillah doesn't always mean to secure ties within the Ummah, at times it also means making doorway for Dawah insha'Allah.

Scenario Two:

The neighbours are Muslim, but of a different "cultural background."

In Surah Al'Hujraat, Ayah thirteen it says:
"O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things)."

If Rasulullah Sal'Allahu'alayhiwasalam and the Sahabah Akram Radhi'Allahu'anhu wa anhuma could live with Christian monks, Jewish rabbis, heedless leaders, zionists, many of who were anti-Islam and would try to diminish Islam, then we can suck it up and live with our own Muslim Brethren, no matter what culture they be.

"I can't 'connect' with my neighbors because they are Pakistani/Arab/Indian/Afghani/Caucasian/Oriental/Latino/African/purple/green/orange

/red/teal/pink/etc... "

Is the stupidest and most un-excusable 'excuse' ever. Khallas.

"But they don’t understand!:" Understand what? Why you do one thing one way and they do the same thing another? So what? All our job is, is to be their neighbor. It's not hard, race shouldn’t be an issue. This is like saying "Oh I can't associate with you b/c your Maliki and I'm Shafii."

"They aren't practicing Muslims:" Yea..and? Insha'Allah maybe if our characters were so good, people would become practicing by our company...

"They don't like me/us:" So that doesn't mean we disassociate with our Muslim brother, does it? What did we do that they don’t like us? It's possible we could have done something which turned them away from us. Regardless, many from the own family of Rasulullah Sal'Allahu'alayhiwasalam didn't 'like' him, did he shun them? No. Alhamdulillah.

So what do we have to do?


We don't neccesarily have to throw dinner parties, get togethers, set up picnics, etc etc etc.* We simply make sure our neighbor knows wedo care for them. Take over food every now and then, share with them the rich culture of Islaam, and find opportune moments to give dawah to them. In their grief, comfort them with words from the Quran and Sunnah, in their happiness smile with them and wish them the best, in their anger, help them to be reasonable. Many say this leads to unnecessary talking, intermingling etc. No, there is no compromise in religion. Do not send your wife/daughter/sister with food over when you know the next door neighbor is a male, take it yourself. Do not send your husband/son/brother over with some food if your next door neighbor is a female. Do it yourself. If their kids need a ride and your headed out, maybe you can give them a lift? If your going out to the grocery store maybe your neighbor needs a few things? These are ' Al'maun- small kindnesses. Be a good neighbor, but also make the lines of Shari’ah very clear, insha'Allah soon enough [if they aren’t Muslim or practicing] they will come to respect and understand us but all we have to do is extend our hand Fi'Sabilillah.


*However if they are Muslim, we might want to spend time with them, maybe set up a halal dinner [separated etc]

Remember: "the best of neighbours in Allah's view is the best among them towards his neighbour."

No one is asking for an organ, being a good neighbor just means being kind, this too is a Friendship Fi'Sabilillah.

Allahumma sali'ala sayyiddina Muhammadin wa 'ala alay sayyiddina Muhammadin wa barik wa salim. Rawdhina billahi Rabba wa bil'islaami deena wa bi'Muhammadin nabiyaa, wa akhirud'duana anil'hamdulillahi rabbil'alameen. Walaykumasalam wa rahmatullah


5 Comments:

Blogger mujahidah an nafs said...

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

Mashallah...always a pleasure 2 read ur posts :)

Duas

Wassalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah

22/6/06 2:40 PM  
Blogger Veiled Knight said...

Walaykumasalam wa rahmatullah

Alhamdulillahi Rabbil'alamin.

Remember us in your duaas as well insha'Allah.

Walaykumasalam wa rahmatullah

22/6/06 3:47 PM  
Blogger HijabiApprentice said...

Asalaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu,

This was a fabulous post. Alhamdulillah I discovered it today!

ma'a salaamah,

ha

7/12/06 11:23 AM  
Blogger Veiled Knight said...

Walaykumasalam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu

Alhamdulillah.

Jazaki'Allahkhayra, please remember us in our duaas.

Wa'alaykumasalam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu

7/12/06 4:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As-salamu 'alaykum,

I received this article in an email message. There is a couple of important points to note though:

The author said:

"They are kuffar:" If my memory serves me right, a kaafir is one who is shown the religion of Islam, is shown The Truth in the correct manner, and then still denies it, then they are labeled 'kaafir' otherwise they are simply uninformed OR they really are [because they chose to be] blatantly iggnorant... So isn't it up to us to give dawah?"

This is incorrect and far from the truth, the kaafir is anyone who isn't a Muslim whether he was ignorant or otherwise. Allaah said:

“And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:85]

It also says in IslamQA.com:

"Islam does not regard them (followers of other religions) only as sinners, but as kaafirs (disbelievers) who will abide forever in the Fire of Hell, as stated in the verse quoted above.

He (the kaafir) will be a loser in Hell, and will not come of out it. It is not possible for a kaafir to enter Paradise unless he becomes Muslim. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Verily, those who belie Our Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) and treat them with arrogance, for them the gates of heaven will not be opened, and they will not enter Paradise until the camel goes through the eye of the needle (which is impossible). Thus do We recompense the Mujrimoon (criminals, polytheists, sinners)” [al-A’raaf 7:40]

It was proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “By the One is Whose hand is my soul, no one of this nation, Jew or Christian, will hear of me and not believe in that with which I have been sent, but he will be one of the people of Hell.” (Narrated by Muslim)." - End of quote.

Because there is so many ayat that talk about the kufr (disbelief) of those who are not Muslim, the scholars said that one of the nullifiers of Islam (i.e. makes you leave Islam) is:

"Whoever does not regard the mushrikeen (polytheists) as kaafirs (disbelievers), or doubts that they are kaafirs (disbelievers), or regards their way as correct, is a kaafir (i.e. he himself becomes a disbeliever, due to denying and/or rejecting the texts which speak of their kufr)."

So it is not correct to invent another label and call them "uninformed" or "ignorant". Yes, they may be ignorant, but it doesnt stop us from giving them the label that Allaah gave them as "disbelievers" and "polytheists (those who make shirk with Allaah).

To give you a couple of examples, take a look at these ayat (translation of the meaning):

“Surely, in disbelief are they who say that Allaah is the Messiah, son of Maryam (Mary)” [al-Maa'idah 5:17]

“Surely, disbelievers are those who said: ‘Allaah is the third of the three (in a Trinity).’ But there is no Ilaah (god) (none who has the right to be worshipped) but One Ilaah (God —Allaah). And if they cease not from what they say, verily, a painful torment will befall on the disbelievers among them” [al-Maa'idah 5:73]

The author also said:

"A non-Muslim family/person is living next door to a Muslim family. Both families/neighbours have lived in the same place (in their respective houses) for well over a few weeks (months, years, decades, take your pick) yet the Muslim family has never really extended a hand of friendship to these neighbors simply b/c "they are kuffar and we don't need 'riff-raff' like that" or "they are different, we don't share the same views, they could corrupt our kids." Oh the list is endless, Subhan'Allah."

We need to define what is meant by "friendship" and is it allowed in Islam? There is a fatwa in IslamQA, titled: Being friends with non-Muslims. You can read it here: http://islamqa.com/en/ref/11793/

This doesn't mean we don't treat our neighbours kindly. We should treat our neighbours in a nice manner, but at the same time we should hate them for their kufr (disbelief). In IslamQA, it says:

"With regard to non-Muslims, the Muslim should disavow himself of them, and he should not feel any love in his heart towards them."

There is an important concept known as al-wala wal bara, where you love and hate for the sake of Allaah. If Allaah hates kufr (disbelief) and its people, so should we. In IslamQA, Sheikh Muhammad Salih Al-Munajjid said:

"We should differentiate between good treatment of non-Muslims and befriending them. We should differentiate between establishing a relationship with a non-Muslim for the purpose of da’wah (i.e. teaching him and inviting him to Islam) and befriending him for no valid Islamic purpose. We should differentiate between establishing a relationship with a non-Muslim for trading and/or education reasons and befriending him, as friendship would mean deeper feeling of affection and fondness, comradeship, and being influenced by him." - End of quote.

Wallaahu a'llam.

Please forgive me for any harsh feelings.

4/8/08 4:09 PM  

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