“Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should be courteous and generous to his neighbour.”

Here we can illustrated the relationship between belief in Allah, the Last Day and how one treats one’s neighbour. Subhan Allah, how complete the religion of Islam is. There is nothing that is not taken into account. If we believe in Allah and the coming of the Last Day, then we must treat our neighbour well.

Being courteous and generous to our neighbours includes helping them when they need assistance, visiting them when they are ill, checking on their welfare, being kind to them in speech etc. This would also include guiding them to what is best even if they are non-Muslims. In this case, the obligation of dawah would fall upon us.

Both the Qur’an and the Sunnah place a great emphasis on treating one’s neighbour well. Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) says in the Qur’an:

“Worship Allah and join none with Him in worship, and do good to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, the poor who beg, the neighbour who is near of kin, the neighbour who is a non-relative, the companion by your side, the wayfarer and what your right hands possess. Verily Allah does not like such as are proud and boastful.”
(Surah al-Nisaa:36)

We can see in this ayat that Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) has combined His rights with the rights people over one another. Each holds its own importance and the obligations must be met to perfect our practice of Islam and to earn the highest reward on the Day of Judgement.

Let’s ask ourselves if we are treating our neighbours with their due respect, and if not, if there is anything we could do to remedy the situation? Can you think of an act of kindness that you could do to earn then pleasure of your neighbour? If we do it seeking the pleasure of Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) then, by His (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) grace, we should find our reward on the Day that matters most .

“Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should be courteous and generous to his [travelling] visitor.”

The Messenger of Allah (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) stated that whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should also be generous and courteous to their visitor. This kind of courtesy and generosity includes taking care of their needs, preparing food for them and making them feel comfortable without extravagance or waste.

The implication of this is that wherever the Muslim travels, if they call on their fellow Muslims, they should be made to feel at home. This, in turn, increases the feelings of brotherhood, sisterhood and love amongst the Ummah. The reference here is particularly to the guest who is arriving from outside of a town or a further away place, there are different obligations for one who is a local guest.

In respect to the duration of stay and therefore the obligation to serve the guest, another hadith states:

”Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should be generous to his guest. His jaaizah [special gift] is one day and night. He is to be entertained for three days. Whatever is beyond that is charity. It is not lawful for a guest to stay with his host to the point that he makes things difficult for him.”
[Sahih al-Bukhari]

As human beings we are generally sociable creatures, and out of necessity, we have certain relationships with other members of society. Islam provides us with guidelines and sound principles for what our obligations are in respect to the treatment of one another. We should show kindness, generosity and courtesy to our kinsfolk, neighbours and guests, and our fellow Muslims should not fear any harmful speech from us. These principles go a long way in making sure that society as a whole operates in a united and co-operative way.

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