By Femi Abbas
Tel: 08122697498 (Text only)
Generally, neighbours are neighbours, Ramadan or no Ramadan. They are the people with whom one interacts closely, on a daily basis, in the same vicinity. Neighbours are co-inhabitants in the same residence, area, office, farm or market.
Some of them are permanent. Others are temporary. This is not a matter of Ramadan alone. It is a general Islamic norm that all Muslims are supposed to follow.
Importance of Neighbours
In Islam, neighbours are so important that they are perceived as next of kin. And, Islam attaches so much respect to them that they are like family members.
According to Bukhari and Muslim, Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) was reported to have once sworn by Allah three times saying: “He does not believe in Allah! He does not believe in Allah!He does not believe in Allah, whoever creates fear or restlessness in his neighbours!”
In another Hadith, also reported by Bukhari and Muslim, the Prophet was quoted as saying”, “Whoever believes in Allah and the last day should treat his neighbour nicely and respect his guests.”
In the month of Ramadan, a good Muslim is expected to wear a new toga of sobriety and repentance. He should double his good deeds to his neighbours by extending generosity to them and by cultivating a new atmosphere of friendliness and trust with them.
He should genuinely give them as much impression of love and brotherhood as he does with his consanguine relatives.
It does not matter whether the neighbours are Muslims or non-Muslims. Neither does it matter whether they are tribesmen or non-natives.
The Prophet did not discriminate in his Hadith when he was admonishing on relationship with neighbours. And that is the inalienable position of Islam on neighbourhood.
Whoever, had quarrelled with his neighbours, therefore, let him go and settle the quarrel.
Besides abstaining from foods, drinks and sexual intercourse within specified periods, during the sacred month of Ramadan, a good Muslim must also mind his relationship with people around him, especially neighbours.
Fasting in the month of Ramadan cannot be taken in half measure.
Not in Half Measure
Whoever wants to receive full rewards for his religious activities in Ramadan should treat his neighbours well. And, when Ramadan is over, the good deeds must continue.R