Consideration for Neighbours

Consideration for NeighboursThe religion of Islam, as taught to us by Prophet Muhammad, urges kind and considerate treatment towards our neighbors. They deserve our respect and good treatment regardless of their religion, race, or colour. In a hadith narrated by `A’ishah, Prophet Muhammad said, “Gabriel continued to advise me to treat neighbors well until I thought he would make them my heirs” (Muslim). This clearly indicates that neighbors’s rights are indeed great.

Commanding the good treatment of neighbors in the Qur’an, Almighty Allah says: Worship Allah and join none with Him in worship, and do good to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, the poor, the neighbour who is near of kin, the neighbor who is a stranger, the companion by your side, the wayfarer, and those whom your right hands possess. Verily, Allah does not like those who are self-deluding and boastful. (An-Nisa’ 4:36)

The men and women around the Prophet were constantly reminded of their obligations to their Lord and to one another, including kindness to neighbors. In a hadith, he reportedly said, “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him not harm or annoy his neighbor.” He also reminded — not only his Companions, but all of us who follow him — that a true believer in Allah does not allow his brother or sister to go hungry or live in unfortunate conditions, while he or she is able to help. Today, in a time when old people die alone and forgotten, and when our neighbors both near and far go hungry whilst we have food, we would do well to remember the examples set by our righteous predecessors.

Good Character in Islam

Good Character in Islam1:Perfection of noble character was one of the most important objectives of the Prophet’s mission

Allah May He be glorified and exalted says, “It is He who raised up among the unlettered [Arabs] a Messenger from them to recite His verses to them and purify them and teach them the Book and Wisdom, even though before that they were clearly misguided.” (Soorat Al-Jumu‛ah, 62:2) This verse reveals one of the favours Allah May He be glorified and exalted has bestowed on the believers, stating that He has sent them His Messenger, Muhammad May Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, to teach them the Qur’an and to purify them. Purification can only be attained by purging one’s heart from such imperfections as associating others with Allah in worship, having bad moral character like hatred and jealousy and ridding one’s speech and deeds of all forms of evil practices. The Prophet May Allah's peace and blessings be upon him once declared, “I have been sent to perfect noble character.” (Sunan Al-Bayhaqee: 21301) This statement makes it clear that one of the reasons behind the Prophet’s mission was to elevate and perfect the moral character of the individual and society at large.

When Gossip Spreads

When Gossip SpreadsFour walls. Dark and dingy. A man sat down and exhaled, bowed his head down and said a prayer to His Lord. How did he get here?
In another time, another place, a woman wept. She couldn’t find meaningful support anywhere. She wept for so long that she felt her insides were going to explode. How did she get here?
They were both victims of a malicious rumor. A rumor that hit at their very morals and character. In his case, this misconception surrounding him lasted years. In her case, over a month, with even the closest people to her unsure what to make of what was being said.
Prophet Joseph, (Yusaf) alayhi as salaam (peace be upon him), was innocent. But he remained in prison for years. There were murmurs of juicy gossip: “The wife of the minister fell in love with him,” “Ah but I heard he tried to seduce her!” One might be justifiably frustrated—poor Prophet Joseph spent years in prison for a lie! This is so grossly unfair, so inherently unjust.
But Allah, subhanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is He), is the All-Hearing and the All-Seeing. He is the All-Knowing, the Most-Wise. He is the Protective Friend of those who believe. And He is the Most Just.

8 Things You Should Understand About Converts

8 Things You Should Understand About Converts1. A lot of things are running through our heads right now.

“And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient”  (Qur’an, 2:155).

New converts to Islam have just made the biggest decision of their lives, and changed their religion to one that they are unfamiliar with in many ways. There are a lot of stimuli around us that we are not used to, being in the mosque, hanging out with Muslims, hearing foreign languages other than Spanish, etc. Often, new Muslims might look uncomfortable because they are not used to their surroundings. A big change has just occurred in the convert’s life, and each person will respond differently to these situations.

While we are learning the basics of Islam, either before or after our shahada (testimony of faith), we are constantly coming across new things that we’ve never heard of before. It takes a long time to be able to have a consistent foundation that’s strong enough to feel any amount of comfort in the religion. This process is similar to moving to a foreign country, not knowing the language, customs, or environment that surrounds us. We often have no idea about the origin of certain customs and whether they are from Islam or a person’s culture, and it takes time to be able to discern between the two.

Treatment of Animals

Treatment of AnimalsDoes Islam teach us to view animals as friends or mere products for our use? Do animals have any rights to be treated in a particular way? What duty, if any, do human beings have towards animals?

Long before the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the world’s oldest animal welfare group, Islam prescribed kindness to animals and raised animal cruelty to the level of a sin - an action that displeases the Creator.
A human being is held responsible by Allah for how he treats an animal.  Treating an animal can be source of reward from Allah or a source of punishment.  People asked the Prophet of Allah, ‘Messenger of Allah, is there any reward for us in the treatment of animals?’ The Prophet said, ‘There is reward for serving every living being.’

The Prophet of Mercy said “While a man was walking he felt thirsty and went down a well and drank water from it.  On coming out of it, he saw a dog panting and eating mud because of excessive thirst.  The man said, ‘This (dog) is suffering from what I was suffering from!’ So he (went down the well), filled his shoe with water, caught hold of it with his teeth and climbed up and gave the water to the dog.  Allah rewarded him for his (good) deed and forgave him”.  The people asked, “O Messenger of Allah! Is there a reward for us in serving (the) animals?” He replied, “Yes, there is a reward for serving any living being”. (Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim)