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The Quran is divided into various chapters and each of these chapters teaches us different aspects of our lives. Surah Nisaa is the Fourth chapter of the Quran. Beside many other topics, the subject of rights of neighbors is stressed upon in this chapter. Rights of neighbors have a lot of importance in Islam.

Allah Almighty says (meaning):

Serve Allah, and join not any partners with Him; and do good – to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, those in need, neighbors who are near, neighbors who are strangers, the Companion by your side, the wayfarer [you meet], and what your right hands possess: For Allah loveth not the arrogant, the vainglorious (Qur’an 4:36) ”

Commentators on the Quran have given different interpretations to the meaning of the clause “neighbors who are near, neighbors who are strangers”. Among them are those who say that neighbors who are near refer to neighbors with whom one has family relationship while neighbors who are strangers refers to others other than them. Some other commentators say neighbors who are near refer to Muslims while neighbors who are strangers refer to non-Muslims. Majority of the scholars are of the opinion that the verse encompasses all and the shows the inimitability of the Quran such that it used a simple and short clause to convey a very wide meaning.

The wisdom in being good to our neighbors is very clear; neighbors are very close to us, sometimes closer than our relatives. Life is full of uncertainty and risky situations can arise any time. If a problem arises in our house then the most reachable person in need is the neighbor. And he will help us only if we are good to him.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “Jibril kept recommending treating neighbors with kindness until I thought he would assign a share of inheritance for to them” (reported by Bukhari and Muslim).



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