Understanding The Prophet's Life
From Issue: 998 [Read full issue]
The Prophet was keen to foster good relations in every neighbourhood of Muslim society. He, therefore, highlighted the rights of neighbours, to ensure that all Muslims were aware of them. Neighbours are entitled to receive kind and friendly treatment and to have their interests respected. Moreover, everything God has forbidden to do to other people is even more strictly forbidden in the case of neighbours. The Prophet stressed neighbours' rights at every occasion. He also used various types of emphasis to drive his point home. He once repeated an oath three times, saying: "By God, he is not a believer! By God, he is not a believer! By God, he is not a believer ..." His audience asked: "Whom do you mean, Messenger of God?" He said: "A person whose neighbour fears his bad turns." (Related by al-Bukhari and Ahmad.)
The Prophet's Companions rightly understood the Prophet's teachings to include all neighbours, regardless of whether they were Muslims. Abdullah ibn Amr was one of the learned Companions of the Prophet and reported a large number of his statements. Once his family had a sheep slaughtered for food. When he came home, he repeatedly asked his family: "Have you sent some meat to our Jewish neighbour?" He then explained: "I heard God's Messenger when he said: 'Gabriel [the angel] kept urging me to do well by neighbours, making me feel that neighbours would become among one's heirs.'" (Related by Abu Dawud and al-Tirmidhi.) This last statement by the Prophet is also related by al-Bukhari and Muslim, through a different chain of transmitters ending with Aishah, the Prophet's wife.
"Muhammad: His Character and Conduct " - Adil Salahi