No matter whether it is a man or a woman, the pinnacle of their servitude to Almighty Allah is in fulfilling the rights of others. Human beings have not been sent into this ephemeral world without any purpose. Almighty Allah says in the Holy Quran:
So did you think that We had created you in vain (without any purpose) and that you would not return to Us? Surah Mu’minoon (23:115)
Various responsibilities have been assigned to us without fulfilling whom neither can we have any solace in this world nor any kind of success in the hereafter. When we talk of rights of human beings, various aspects come up and one of the most important ones is rights of neighbors.
The Hadith mention in detail the rights of the neighbors and both men and women have been instructed to fulfill these rights.
Are neighbors a part of our own family?
In our society, no one has as many complaints with anybody as we have of our own neighbors. Even though the neighbor might be a non-Muslim, we have been instructed not to trouble them. The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said while describing the rights of the neighbors: Jibreel (May peace be upon them) described so many rights of neighbors that I thought the neighbor might share in the inheritance as well. As mentioned in this Hadith:
Translation: It is narrated on the authority of Hadhrat Ibn ‘Umar (May Allah be well pleased with them) that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said: Jibreel (May peace be upon them) described the rights of the neighbors with such emphasis that I thought that he would grant the neighbor a share in the inheritance as well. (Sahih Bukhari, Hadith No. 6015)
This shows that the status of neighbor is of a member of the family. It has been ordered that if you cook a tasty curry in your house, you should send some of it to the neighbors’ house as well. The neighbor has a right on even the curry of our house. There is a Hadith in this regard in Jame’ Tirmidhi:
Translation: It is narrated on the authority of Hadhrat ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar (May Allah be well pleased with them), he says that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said: With Allah, the best friend is the one who is the best among his (or her) friends and the best neighbor is the one who is the best for his (or her) neighbors. (Jame’ Tirmidhi, Hadith No. 2070)
The neighbor is the witness of your character
Only those close to a person and that person’s neighbors are aware of the real character and deeds of a person. Everybody can put up a show of good manners in infrequent meetings. However, kind treatment of one’s near and dear ones and the neighbors is not something that can be faked. It has to be done as long as one is alive and breathing. Thus, someone who lives far away is not as familiar with the character of a person as is a neighbor. The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) has declared the testimony of a neighbor as the measure of a man’s character. As mentioned in this Hadith:
Translation: Hadhrat ‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud (May Allah be well pleased with him) said: A Companion asked the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam): How will I know whether what I have done is good or bad? The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said: When you hear your neighbors say that you have done a good thing, then what you have done is good and when you hear them say it is bad, then what you have done is bad. (Musannaf Abdur Razzaq, Hadith No. 19749)
There is a famous saying: Vox populi, vox Dei meaning that the voice of people is the voice of the Lord. When the good people praise the character and qualities of a person then it is a proof that that person really has those praiseworthy attributes and if people speak ill of somebody then this itself is proof enough of someone’s evil character.
Hurting the neighbor is a sign of the Day of Judgment
The details of the Day of Judgment (Qiyaamah) and its signs have been described in great detail in the Hadith. One among them is that neighbors will be troubled and their rights will be trampled upon. How sad is it that today Muslims are committing those deeds which are a precursor of the Day of Judgment. Thus Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (May Allah be well pleased with him) narrates:
Translation: Among the signs of the Day of Judgment is hurting the neighbors and breaking off relations. (Haqq Ul Jaar Lidh Dhahabi, Pg. No. 2)
Muslim women and the rights of neighbors
Women have been specially instructed to fulfill the rights of neighbors. Regardless of whether the neighbor is rich or poor, Muslim or non-Muslim, thinking of the neighbor as someone inferior is against the teachings of Islam. Islam orders us to treat every human being with respect. There is a Hadith in this regard:
Translation: It is narrated on the authority of Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (May Allah be well pleased with him), he says that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) would tell Muslim women: None among you should consider her neighbor to be lowly or undignified even though she might be like the hoof of a goat. (Musnad Imam Ahmed, Hadith No. 7803)
Hurting the neighbors flings one into hell
A Muslim can surely gain the pleasure and approval of Almighty Allah through Salaat, fasting, Zakaat and Hajj, but unless and until one fulfills the rights of the neighbors, one can neither free oneself from hell nor become worthy of entering paradise.
On one hand is the woman who spends a lot in charity, stands in prayer in the middle of the night, fasts as well but troubles and hurts the neighbors. She has been declared a dweller of hell only for this reason. As is mentioned in this Hadith:
Translation: It is narrated on the authority of Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (May Allah be well pleased with him), he said: A Companion asked: O Prophet of Allah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam)! It is said about a woman who is very punctual in Salaat, fasts a lot and is charitable as well but she hurts her neighbors with her speech. The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said: She will be thrown into hell. The Companion again asked: O Prophet of Allah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam)! It is said about a woman whose fasts, charity and Salaat are not much and it is also said that she distributes pieces of butter and doesn’t hurt her neighbors with her speech. The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said: She will enter paradise. (Musnad Imam Ahmed, Hadith No. 9926)
In the aforementioned Hadith, the outcome of hurting someone with one’s speech is mentioned. As words hurt a lot and tongue is the only part of the body which is used most frequently, speech/words have been mentioned here. The tongue is the object through which human beings hurt each other with their impatience. Here, there is an important lesson for those women who are impatient and end up saying something or the other. This Hadith also shows that along with worship of Allah, it is also necessary that one should refrain from hurting the neighbors in any way.
Ref : ziaislamic.com/english/interface/BtUrdudescr2.php?ids=246&&key=good