Author: Ms. Seen Noon
Breathing the fresh air, we are blessed with, paying gratitude to the Almighty for it, but in the same moment, cursing your neighbor for throwing trash near your front yard will not earn you Allah’s pleasure and forgiveness. Prayers five times a day, paying charity, going for the religious pilgrimage ‘Hajj’, fasting for the purification of one’s soul, and believing in the oneness of Allah; the five pillars of Islam and the part of a believer’s faith. These things are for sure prescribed by Allah to be practiced by a muslim in order to fulfill the purpose of our creation, the rights Allah has on his creatures – Huqooq Allah. Along with that, one other very important thing Allah commands a true believer, a human being, to obey, is being good to your fellow beings, fulfilling their rights, spreading kindness around, not harming them in any way (neither physically nor verbally), looking after them when they are in trouble; called Huqooq ul Ibad.
Being humble in your prayers and supplications and trying to please Allah brings a feeling of contentment and peace in our hearts. When we know that we are doing everything in our power to please our Creator, then an environment of humility and serenity prevails. Of course, we are responsible for fulfilling our roles as a fellow being to ensure that no soul is hurt or harmed by us.
Allah says in the Quran, in Surah An-Nisa, verse 36
‘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.’ (4:36)
Muslim or not muslim, Allah doesn’t ask you to turn your backs on a person who is not from the same religion as yours, rather, Allah instructs us to exhibit behavior so loving and kind that benefits the society as a whole. Being good to your relatives is an attribute missing in our lives these days, taking every one for granted, filling our hearts with negative vibes against them, and frowning upon them whenever a relative pays you a visit. The lack of time in our busy lives forces us to not include our relatives and neighbors in our family gatherings. Indeed, keeping fellow soulies content with us by showing love and affection makes us close to Allah ultimately. There is a strong link between Huqooq-Allah and Huqooq-ul-Ibad, that is, keeping the mankind in our good books and in return Allah showers His uncountable blessings on us.
Lack of patience, brotherhood, and kindness has spoiled our relations with our near and dear ones, filling our hearts with bitterness and negativity, and forcing us to become a society that has no unity and brotherhood in it. Just imagine, you needing a babysitter so you can finish off your project and meet the deadline, but you never even exchanged a smile with your neighbor let alone a cooked meal, then how can you expect them to treat your kid as their own when money can’t be involved. This negativity will only lead to trouble and a life full of struggle and remorse, and most importantly not earning the pleasure and love of our Creator. What good is this life if we don’t share happiness and our achievements with our relatives and neighbors, haven’t we experienced that our blessings multiply once we spread them around? Automatically, the worries and troubles of mankind can minimize if we instill in our hearts an emotion of sharing and love.
Our dear Prophet (S.A.W.) mentioned about neighbors in his hadith:
‘He is not a believer whose neighbor is not safe from his annoyance.’ (Sahih Bukhari 6016)
Our neighbors and relatives deserve a helping hand and a loving environment enriched with affection, soft-heartedness, humility, forgiveness and sincerity. Everything in this universe is connected, an act of kindness and humility goes a long way, and might return back to you in your time of need. Whether you name it karma or something else, but being good, spreading love and kindness around, letting harmony prevail in your vicinity while cleansing our soul from grudges and remorse would benefit each and everyone around ultimately shaping up a heaven on earth for the generations to come.
Allah says in the Quran, in Surah Fussilat, Verse 34
‘And not equal are the good deed and the bad. Repel [evil] by that [deed] which is better; and thereupon the one whom between you and him is enmity [will become] as though he was a devoted friend.’ (41:34)
Let us take heed and seek guidance from the Holy Book, defeating hatred and animosity with love and a kind heart, and replacing distance among your relatives and neighbors with closeness and brotherhood. Allah appreciates your good deeds and acts of kindness towards mankind and will reward greatly in the Hereafter. For if somebody feels hurt by you in any way, then only that particular person will be able to get you forgiveness, and it doesn’t matter how much effort you put in to please the Lord. Gaining forgiveness and love from your brothers and sisters will help you in attaining higher status in your level of faith. Only after you fill your hearts with characters so humble that all the living creatures around you praise you in front of Allah, only then we can be blessed in this world and the next. Not a single soul can benefit either by fulfilling Allah’s rights or rights of mankind, but rather, progressing in both directions, fulfilling our duty towards mankind for the sake of earning the pleasure of Allah can build neighborhoods of equality and brotherhood where peace and harmony prevail.