Islam is a complete code of conduct. It has defined right and obligations of each relationship. Not only blood relations, it has also emphasized over rights of each person associated with a person. Holy Prophet PBUH again and again explained rights of a neighbor and emphasized the importance of a good neighbor. He made it compulsory for every Muslim to be fair in regard of his neighborhood and fear Allah regarding rights of his neighbors. Not only Holly Prophet, the Holy Quran has several times mentioned the importance of neighbor.
In Surah Al Nissa Allah has stated “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, the traveler, and those whom your right hands possess. Indeed, Allah does not like those who are self-deluding and boastful.”
In today’s scenario, the people who are away from us even thousands of miles are near to us through modern technology and latest means of communication. But unfortunately, people have no access to the person next door. To treat neighbors with honor, care and kindness is the true spirit of Islam and is a basic source of inspirations for non-Muslims. Elder people tell us the stories of old golden times when people used to visit acquaints for hours. It sounds like some fairy or a folk tale which gets famous in a specific community without an actual existence.
Holy Prophet has strictly prohibited a person from becoming a reason for his neighbor’s pain or harm. Islam is the view to encourage its followers to contribute in small acts of kindness which make people’s life easy and smooth. It also serves as a base to establish a peaceful and united Islamic community. Islam has made no distinction between rights of a Muslim or non-Muslim neighbor.
The messenger of Allah PBUH always instructed his men to enquire from their neighbors about their problems and try to solve them according to their power and will. He PBUH said ‘A man is not a believer who fills his stomach while his neighbor is hungry.’ Source: Al-Adab Al-Mufrad 112
It is right of the neighborhood that if we are cooking something special, we should share our food with them. Small favors like helping at events, to take out the trash or any little chore, one should not hesitate to offer such minor things to their neighbors. In case the neighbor becomes violent, one should try to calm them down and enquire reason behind their antagonistic behavior. Courtesy, kindness and small favors are rights of the neighborhood and being Muslim religious obligation as well.