The rights of Muslims on each other are many. It is what makes us a blessed nation. However, there are varying levels to these rights.
Some of them are obligatory on each person, and if was not acted upon then that person would be sinful.
Some of these rights are obligatory on the community, so that if some Muslims in the community fulfil this obligation the rest are not sinful. But if not one takes on this responsibility then everyone is sinful.
And of course we have some of these rights which are recommended or desirable and get reward for doing it, but not sinful if not acted upon.
There are hadiths in relation to these rights that help us understand what is expected of us as Muslims.
First one is where the Prophet Muhammed SAWS is reported to have said:
“The rights of a Muslim on the Muslims are five: to respond to the salaam, visiting the sick, to follow the funeral processions, to accept an invitation, and to reply to those who sneeze.
Further rights of the Muslims upon one another are mentioned in the following hadith in which the Prophet SAWS said:
Six are the rights of a Muslim over another Muslim. It was said to him: Allah’s Messenger, what are these? Thereupon he said: When you meet him, offer him greetings; when he invites you to a feast accept it. when he seeks your council give him, and when he sneezes and says:” All praise is due to Allah,” you say Yarhamuk Allah (which means may Allah show mercy to you) ; and when he fails ill visit him; and when he dies follow his grave.
Dear brothers and sisters, it is said that the meaning of the (rights of Muslim) is that this cannot be ignored, to the point that ignoring it is either sinful or that performing these actions is highly recommended to the point of it being obligatory.
We ought to remind ourselves of the practical steps we can all take from this so that we are of the people who do right by one another.
We conclude the reminder with 6 practical steps we can all take today onwards.
- Replying to a person that gives Salaam is obligatory if it was said to one person, however, if it was said to more than one person, this would mean its obligatory for one person to reply out of the group.
- Visiting the ill is obligatory on some from the community. Scholars have stated though that visiting the ill is obligatory on some of the community, as long as some members of the community do it, then rest are not sinful.
And this is not just for family and friends, we have a Muslim charity that is set up and is actively visiting the sick in hospitals and hospices so if you wish to volunteer for this then get in touch for more information.
- Burial ceremony is also obligatory. The action here is one that needs to be fulfilled by some members of the community but it is recommended that if you can attend then you should not avoid doing so. Likewise if there is an announcement for the Janaza or Funeral prayer then we should aim to stay for that if possible.
- Regarding turning up to an invitation, this depends on the event. If this was a Walima for wedding for example, most of the scholars believe this is obligatory unless there is a valid excuse. However, if this was for other reasons, most scholars say its recommended that you attend and not obligatory.
- Saying a Dua to person who sneezes (May Allah have mercy on you) – there is a difference of opinion with this, However, for our purposes we ought to know what is said so that we have that knowledge at our disposal. It is to say Yarhamuk Allah (which means may Allah show mercy to you).
- Lastly, Regarding advice if a Muslim was asked. Dear brothers and sisters, this is obligatory as long as this is fulfilled by someone in the community.
This makes sense as we can’t offer council on something we may not have knowledge of ourselves. The responsibility however does apply to the community and therefore if one cannot help directly they ought to offer someone else in the community as a source of knowledge.
Dear brothers and sisters, our community is ours to nourish, to take care of, to be responsible for. Alongside our Muslim brothers and sisters we have a responsibility as ambassadors of our faith to set the standard in care, consideration and affection to one another. With these practical examples today, we can begin to do so and alongside that demonstrate practically to the wider community what it is to be a Muslim even in difficult times as the ones we face today.