Thursday, February 08, 2007

Message for Friday - Caring for neighbors is a sign of faith

والذي نفسي بيده لا يؤمن أحدكم حتى يأمن جاره بوائقه

Prophet Muhammad (SAAS) stated, "I swear by HIM, who has my soul in his hand. None of you has faith until his neighbor feels safe from his actions."

والذي نفس محمد بيده لا يؤمن أحدكم حتى يحب لأخيه ما يحب لنفسه من الخير

He (SAAS) also said, "I swear by HIM, who has my soul in his hand. None of you has faith until he loves for his brother [in humanity] what he loves for his own soul from what is good."

Part of being a person of faith is showing concern for one's neighbors. For example, the Islamic teachings state that a Muslim is not a faithful Muslim if he/she goes to bed with a full stomach, but his/her neighbor is hungry. That summons the question, how would a Muslim know whether his/her neighbor is hungry if he/she doesn't even know his/her neighbor?

Thus, one of the lessons of these sayings is that a faithful Muslim has to have concern with his/her neighbors to even know their condition, meaning he/she must interact with their neighbors. This opens up the opportunity to be benevolent towards neighbors as well as takes away the neighbors' fears of the unknown.

Thus, it is un-Islamic for Muslims to stay in the cocoons of their own homes and mosques and not have enough concern about their neighbors to become acquianted with them. In fact, the cocoon mentality does an extreme disservice to the image of Islam in the communities, which "cocoon Muslims" dwell.

And surely G'd knows best.

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