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He starts with the neighbor whose home is closest to his own

Posted by: "The Ideal Muslim"   forthemuslim

Tue Jun 30, 2009 11:54 am


The Ideal Muslim: Characteristics of the Ideal Muslim According to the Qur'an and the Sunnah



The True Islamic Personality of the Muslim Man

as Defined in the Qur'an and Sunnah


By  Dr. Muhammad `Ali Al-Hashimi

Translated by Nasiruddin Al-Khattab and Revised by Ibrahim M. Kunna and Abu Aya Sulaiman Abdus-Sabur

Copyright and published by the International Islāmic Publishing House (IIPH), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in 1999.


The Ideal Muslim is a man of the highest moral character. In his relationship with his Rabb, himself, family, parents, relatives, friends and the community at large, he has a most excellent example in the prophet of Islam (pbuh). His idealism is further strengthened by the characters of the first generations of Muslims who excelled in all the various fields of human endeavor. He is reassured by the teachings of Islam that he also can reach these noble heights by working to improve his character daily.


Chapter 7: The Muslim and His Neighbors


He starts with the neighbor whose home is closest to his own


The true Muslim does not forget the precise system that Islam set out when it enjoined the good treatment of neighbors. Islam has told him to give priority to the one whose house is closest, then the one who is next closest, and so on. This takes into account the closeness of the neighbors whose homes are beside one another, the issues which may frequently arise between them and the importance of maintaining friendship and harmony.


`A'ishah (radi Allahu anhu)said: "O Messenger of Allah, I have two neighbors, so to which one should I send a gift?" He said, "To the one whose door is closer to yours." (Bukhari)


The Sahabah were well-aware of this Islamic teaching regarding the treatment of one's neighbors, so they would not attend to the good treatment of neighbors whose home was further away until they had taken care of the one whose home was nearer. Concerning this, Abu Hurayrah (radi Allahu anhu) said: "He does not start with the neighbor whose home is further away before he takes care of the one whose home is nearer. He pays attention to the one whose home is nearer before he turns his attention to the one whose home is further away."[6]


This system of priority in the good treatment of neighbors does not mean that a Muslim should ignore the neighbors who are further away from his home. Everyone around his home is considered to be a neighbor and thus enjoys the rights of a neighbor. This system is merely a matter of organization, by means of which the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) encouraged taking care of the closest neighbor because he is the one with whom there is usually ongoing contact and interaction.


[6] Reported by Bukhari in al-Adab al-Mufrad.


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