The Ninth Right
The Right of the Muslim
The rights of the Muslims are many , varied , diversified and vital in accordance with the teachings of Islam . Many of these rights are documented as sound , accurate and authentically reported from Allah’s Apostle , PBUH. The general rights are for the welfare and well being of Muslims at large. They are instituted for a better society, much improved social relations , stronger ties and better citizenship in all.
It is soundly and authentically reported of Allah’s Apostle, PBUH: “ There are six general rights of a Muslim individual upon his Muslim brethren. They are:
a)Greet him when you see him
b)Respond , accept and fulfill his invitation
c)Offer him the best advice you have, if sought.
d)Say” Yarhakmoka Allah” ( May Allah , the Almighty be merciful to you ) if one sneezes before you.
e)Pay him a visit if he gets ill, and
f)Follow his funeral to his final place of rest ( burial)
The aforementioned Hadith illustrated six (6) general and vital rights of a Muslim upon his general common Muslim brethren. Greetings , for instance , is one of the most important social issues for a better society. According to Islam, greeting is an emphasized practice of the prophet ,PBUH which every one is urged, encouraged and rewarded if fulfilled. This demonstrates how Islam , as a way of life , coincides with the natural human innate nature of man. It increases ties between people. It strengthens love , respect and appreciations of one another. It assures that people are not enemies and do not deserve to be treated as such. It creates a general atmosphere of peace , trust and tranquility amongst people. It removes hatred , mistrust and fears of one another from the hearts , minds and lives of people.. It makes people feel that they have a special , true sense of belonging to one another , unlike other selfish, individualized and narrow -minded people in society.
It is reported of Allah’s Apostle , PBUH: “ By Allah , the Almighty, you (all) will not enter Jannah until you become true believers . And you will not become true believers until you like each other. Should I tell about something , if you apply in your life, you will love one another?! Spread the proper, meaningful and truthful greetings amongst each other.” This hadith war reported by Muslim
Allah’s Apostle , PBUH himself used to offer the greetings first to whomever he met on the road , in the mosque or else where. He , PBUH even offered the greeting to the children playing in the streets whenever passing by.
It is also reported of Alla’s Apostle , PBUh however, that the younger should offer the greetings to the old , the few to the many , the riding person to the sitting one. However , if such a person did not fully abide by the practices of the prophet, PBUH, the other party should offer the greeting instead , so Sunah of the prophet ,PBUH is not neglected or not respected.
‘Ammar bin Yasser, RAA said: “ If should maintain three things that will assure complete faith in Allah, the Almighty , namely: (1) Justify others and give them what they are entitled , even though it may be against one’s soul. (2) Offer greetings to all people , those whom you know and those whom you don not know, and (3) Be generous to others even if you sre poor”. This statement reported by Bukhari.
We should also remember that offering the greetings to the others is an act of SunnahQuran : “
( voluntary act) whereby performing the act will be rewarded , but not performing the act will not be punished. However , to return a similar greetings to the person offering the greetings is an obligatory act to the person in accordance to Islam. It suffices , however, that one or a few in a large group returns the greetings to them . There is no harm if done this way Allah’ the Almighty stated in the glorious
“ When a ( courteous ) greetings offered you , meet it with a greeting still more courteous or (at least) of equal courtesy . God takes careful account of all things.” 4:86
There are , however some incorrect, inaccurate, and inappropriate practices in terms of returning the Muslims courteous greeting and responding to it. For instants , one must not use a common phrases such as “ Welcome” Ahlan Wasahlan ! Marabhaba “ in response to the Islamic greetings of “ As-Salamu ‘ Alaikum Wa Rahamatul-Lahi WaBarakatuh. The returned greeting should be similar, or better, than the one offered it in terms of prayer and supplication.
B ) Respond , accept and fulfill an invitation:
One would not, normally, invite another person to his home, meal , food and so on , unless he really cares for him and likes his company , unless otherwise there are some hidden unforeseen reasons for so doing, which exceptional.
Accepting an honest invitation is an emphasized act of Sunnah. It satisfies the person who invites, it strengthen social ties between Muslim individuals, families , friends and groups and, all in all, improves ties amongst people at large. The exception to this rule is the marriage or wedding party dinner which is confirmed only in certain conditions were fulfilled , for example , the invitation must be given properly and in due time to enable the invitee to plan his agenda to attend the ample time should be given to fit that invitation in the invitee’s schedule . The invitor must be committed to Islamic faith, rules and regulations and customs . The invitor must not be a type whose company should be neglected in the first place due to indecent acts, illegal practices or unlawful acts he maintains. For example , if one if known to be a drinking person, fornicator , adultery, gambler , not a straight person, or in general , condones any immoral and unethical practices in his life, he must be avoided Also, the invitor
must be known to earn a lawful income and finally the party must not condone, promote or offer any illegal or unlawful items or acts. For instance, if one is invited to a party where he knows music will be played , a mixed gathering of men and women will be condoned , drinks will be offered openly must be avoided. In an Islamic setting , and if things of that sort are practiced openly or even condoned, then the invitation in such a case is not compulsory.
The fulfillment of a Muslim pure, honest and sincere invitation is based on the statement of Allah’s apostle , PBUH : “ He , whosever does not fulfill such invitation will be committing an act of disobedience to the commands of Allah, the Almighty , and Allah’s Apostle, PBUH”. This Hadith is reported by both Bukhari and Muslim.
The fulfillment of the invitation also be extended if a Muslim asked for help , assistance or aid in any form, shape or fashion, and the invitee is capable of extending the helping hand m they must not hesitate to do so. Believers must exhibit loving , caring , courteous, sharing and strong ties amongst themselves. Islam requires such attitude from all committed believing individuals who attempt practice true and sound Islamic practices in an attempt to emulate the beloved prophet, Mohammed, PBUH who said: “ A believer to another is like the bricks of a building. One strengthen and strongly holds the other tightly and firmly in place.” This Hadith is reported by both Bukhari and Muslim.
C) Offer the best advice you have, if sought:
It is crucial to offer a person who asks , your honest opinion and advice, to offer the best advice you know or you can think of in his favor. This is an act of pure faith. A Muslim is obliged to offer the best advice to all those who seek advice . Allah’s Apostle, PBUH said: The religion ( in great part) is but a true sincere , ethical , pure and honest advice to Allah’s Apostle , PBUH, the Book of Allah , the Prophet of Allah , the Almighty , and to the general Muslim leaders , rulers and governors.” This Hadith is reported by Muslim.
As for the Muslim person who does not seek your advice, but you notice that he might be harming himself in whatever he is doing , then it becomes your essential and obligatory duty to offer him suitable advice even if he did not ask for it. This act of a true committed Muslim is a reflection of his care for the welfare of Muslim in general , as well as. Reflects , exhibits and demonstrated his social awareness , commitment and concern for a better society and social ties.
D) Say :” Yarhamoka Allah” if one sneezes before you:
If a Muslim sneezes before an other Muslim , and praised Allah, the Almighty , to keep him alive , remove his harm and cure him from all his ailments , then such a Muslim is entitled for a supplication . The Muslim who hears such the praise to Allah , the Almighty , must repeat the statement : “ Yarhamukum Allah” ( May Allah , the Almighty be merciful to you )” such statement of supplication must be offered to the person if he sneezed one , twice or three times in arrow. If such a person sneezes a fourth time , then it is an indication that they might be contracting a bad cold , allergy or something of that nature. Thus , the person who hears this and the praising of Allah , the Almighty must tell him : ‘ Afakum Allah ( May Allah , the Almighty , cure you)”.
But, if the person sneezing does not audibly praise Allah, the Almighty , then they may not be entitled for such application , as he is not deserving of the mercy of Allah , the Almighty, because he did not praise Him in the first place.
Offering this supplication phrase to a sneezing Muslim is , in fact an obligatory act upon Muslim individuals who hears the praise. On the other hand , the person sneezing must respond with an even nicer supplication as follows : “ Yahdeekum Allah, waYuslihu Balakum ( May Allah , the Almighty, guide you to the best deeds and acts , and give you the peace of mind and heart”)
In realty, such an act will increase concern amongst Muslim Individuals , and consequently, increase love and affection. It is interesting to see that some westerners, as well , agree with Muslims on this item. We often hear them saying to a person who has sneezed: “ Bless you,” seeking the blessing or may be cure for such an individual . This is one coincidence showing human nature is the same regardless of religious adherence and commitments. This is however, must be supported with real practice for the entire religion , as Islam is a wholesome religion that is practices in totality , not in a separate matters in life only.
Muslim concern for the welfare and well-being of each other is ideal , for those who really commit themselves to true , sound and authentic Islamic practices.
E) Pay a visit if he gets ill:
A Muslim must visit an ill Muslim. The stronger the ties with an ill person, such as to be a close friend , a relative , a neighbor, am associate, a work colleague or even an acquaintance , the more such a visit is emphasized. An ill person will see that he is not left alone during this time of difficulty , pain and affliction. Moreover, a visitor ‘s faith grows stronger and deeper in Allah, the Almighty , who is the Only One Who is capable of causing illness, and capable of granting a cure. A healthy Muslim who pays a visit to an ill person shall feel the bounty of Allah, the Almighty. He will share some of the pain , lonesomeness and discomfort of the ill person. On the other hand , the visitor may offer the ill person some prayers, supplications , encouragement , moral support and good wishes for speedy recovery , things that an ill person really needs. This shows how Islam deals with real life issues. Disease are not a curse upon man. They are only reminder with the power of the Almighty , they are times that make the individual closer to His Lord through the serve and painful tests undertaken in this stage of life.
Visiting an ill person must relative to the patient’s situation. It should not be a burden and bother to the patient. It should vary in length , conversation and gifts in accordance to situation of the patient himself. It might be better fro the patient to have fewer visitors at one point or an other of his state of illness. The patient nay be required not to talk and socialize , or might be restricted from certain food items. All these cases must be observed by the visitors and instructions of treating physician must not be disrespected or violated regardless of the closeness to the patient.
A Muslim who visit an other Muslim ill person should briefly ask about the feelings of the ill person, offer him a prayer, supplication and good wishes, offer him some encouraging statements increasing the hope of the patient in speedy , full and permanent recovery , reminding him with the wonderful abilities of the Lord, the Almighty to cure the worst cases of diseases. This , in fact , gives the ill person a strong moral and spiritual push for speedy recovery. Negative remarks , particularly about death , should be avoided while visiting an ill person. A Muslim visitor must remind the ill person to maintain contact with Allah , the Almighty , during his stage of illness, as one is closer to His Lord while confined to bed, room or hospital. Therefore , it much recommended that such a person maintain intense , continuous and constant supplication and prayers during the illness.
F) Follow his funeral to his final place ( burial):
Upon death of a Muslim , Muslims are urged , required and encouraged to follow the funeral of the deceased person. This act will rewarded by Allah, the Almighty. It is well-documented that Allah’s Apostle , PBUH said :” He whosoever follow a funeral of a deceased Muslim until funeral prayer is offered unto it will be entitled for one “QUERAT” (Fold) of reward. And if one follows the funeral parade until it reaches its final destiny , to the grave yard where a deceased will buried , then such a person is entitled for two “QUERATS” ( Two folds).” When the prophet ,PBUH was asked about the value of the querat , he said : “ It is like the size of a great mountain.” This Hadith is reported by both Bukhari and Muslim.
An additional or seventh right to be observed is the avoidance of causing harm to others:
It is an essential right of Muslims unto each other to stop any harm caused to him. Truly, harming other Muslims in any way , shape , form or fashion is a great sin that is punishable by Allah, the Almighty. Allah , the Almighty stated in the glorious Quran :
“ And those who annoy believing men and women undeservedly , bear (on themselves) a calamity and a glaring sin.” 33:58
It is generally noted that people who attack Muslim and annoy them for no real reason will be punished in this world before the hereafter. Allah’s Apostle , PBUH said: “ (O Muslims!) Don not hate each other . Do not split a part from each other. Let you all be like brethren. A Muslim individual is brother for his Muslim brethren . One must not oppress him , harass him, cause any harm to him, leave him alone in case of need or discern him. It suffices Muslim of evil acts to discern his fellow Muslim. Every thing a Muslim has, possesses or owns is unlawful for another Muslim to take away , strip or overtake by force or unlawful means from the owner, let this be blood, wealth or his clean reputation.” This Hadith is reported by Muslim.
In fact, there are many other rights of a Muslim upon his Muslim brethren. These rights are be easily summed up with the statement of Allah’s Apostle , PBUH : “ The Muslim is a brethren to an other Muslim.” One must seek all good and noble acts , deeds, attitude and behavior to be good, protective , considerate and kind to his Muslim brother. This is a thing that coincides with human nature , improves the of an individual , strengthen social , economical and humanitarians ties amongst people and makes a Muslim individual a better citizen all in all.