The Rights of Muslims in General

These rights are very numerous. Among them, we can cite what is reported from Saheeh al-Bukhari. The Prophet (ﷺ) said, ‘The rights of one Muslim over another are six. If you meet him, greet him with salaam; if he invites you, accept the invitation; if he asks for advice, give him sincere advice; if he sneezes and praises Allah, ask Allah’s mercy on you; if he falls sick, visit him; and if he dies, attend his funeral’.

This hadith thus exposes several rights among Muslims:

First Right of Muslims

The greeting (Salaam), which is a confirmed Sunnah (Mu’akkadah), is a cause of union and affection among Muslims, as can be seen, and as shown in the word of the Prophet (ﷺ), ‘By Allah! You will only enter Paradise when you believe and you will not truly believe until you love one another. Shall I advice you one thing that will make you love one another? Spread salaam among you’.

And the Prophet (ﷺ) always greeted first people he met, and he also greeted children when he met them.

The Sunnah is that young greet the one who is older, that the small group greets those who are more numerous, that the one who is on his mount greets the one who is walking.

But if the one who is supposed to put this Sunnah into practice does not do it, that the other does so in order not to lose the greeting. If the young do not greet, the one who is older must do it; if the small group does not greet, those who are more numerous must do so in order to get the reward.

Ammar ibn Yasir (R.A) said, ‘He who follows three things has completed his faith: to be fair even against oneself, to pass greeting to everyone, and to give even if one has little.’

And if starting to greet is a Sunnah, greeting is a collective obligation, which, if it is fulfilled by one, excuses others; if one greets a group and one responds, that is sufficient for others. Allah says:

The Rights of Muslims Quran

{When you are greeted with a greeting, greet you with a better than it or return it.} (Soorah an-Nisâ, 4 :86)

It is not sufficient to answer the greeting only by ‘Welcome’ (Ahlan wa Sahlan), because this is neither better nor equivalent to the ‘Salaam’.

If one says ‘As Salamu Alaykum’ (Peace upon you), the other must answer, ‘Wa Alaykum us Salam’; and if one says ‘Welcome’, the other answers ‘Welcome’, and if one adds a greeting salutation, it is even better.

Second right of Muslims

If he invites you, accept the invitation, that is to say: If he invites you for dinner or else, accept his invitation.

To accept the invitation is a confirmed Sunnah (Mu’akkadah) because of all that it brings as reassurance for the heart of the guest, such as affection and union.

On the other hand, to accept the invitation of the wedding dinner is mandatory according to known conditions, according to the word of the Prophet (ﷺ), ‘The one who does not accept the invitation has disobeyed Allah and His Messenger’.

His word, ‘If he invites you, accept the invitation’, can even include the invitation to come and help him and lend him a hand. Thus you must accept his invitation. If he calls you to help him to carry one thing, put it down or something else, you have to help him according to the word of the Prophet (ﷺ), ‘A believer to the believer is like a solid building, one part supporting the other’.

Third right of Muslims

If he asks for advice, give him sincere advice. That is to say: if he comes to ask you advice on something, give him advice, as it is part of the religion, as our Prophet (ﷺ) said, ‘Religion is sincere advice and sincerity to Allah and His book, and His Messenger, and to the Muslim leaders and to all Muslims’.

And if he does not come to ask advise and will encounter difficulties or commit a sin, you must advise him even if he does not come to see you, because this helps to remove the wrong or repel the evil from Muslims.

And if you see that he will get no harm in what he will do but you see there is more profitable for him, it is not required to tell him something. On the other hand, if he comes to seek you advice, then you must advise him.

Fourth right of Muslims

If he sneezes and praises Allah [i.e., if he says, ‘Al-Hamdulillah’], ask Allah’s mercy on you [then answer him, ‘Yarhamukullah’]as a reward for having praised his Lord when he sneezed.

But if he sneezes and does not praise Allah, one must not ask mercy for him, as he did not praise Allah; his reward is that one does not require mercy for him.

Asking mercy for the one who sneezes, if he praises Allah, is mandatory, and he should respond by saying, ‘Yahdikumullahu wa yuslihu balakum’ (May Allah guide you and improve your situation).

But if he sneezes several times and that is requested mercy for him three times, tell at the fourth, ‘AfakAllah’ (May Allah heal you) instead of ‘Yarhamukullah’.

Fifth right of Muslims

If he falls sick, visit him. It is a right that the patient has on his Muslim brothers, and they have to respect it. And the more the patient is close to you: family, friend or neighbour, the more his right of visit is strong.

This visit depends on the state of the patient and his illness: sometimes the situation calls for many to visit him, and sometimes it is the opposite. We must therefore take into account the situation.

The Sunnah for the one who visits a sick person is that he asks about his condition, that he invokes [Allah] for him, it opens the doors of relief and hope, as this is among the greatest causes of health and healing.

One must remind him about repentance without scaring him, for example, by telling him, ‘With your disease, you earn good. With diseases, Allah forgives sins and clears the misdeeds. Remain bedridden can get you a great reward because it is for you the opportunity to remind Allah, invoke Allah and implore His forgiveness.

Sixth right of Muslims

If he dies, attend his funeral. It is one of the right of the Muslim over his brother, and there is a great reward in this.

It is authentically reported that the Prophet (ﷺ) said, ‘Whoever follows the funeral procession and offers the funeral prayer for it, will get a reward equal to one Qirat, and whoever attends it till burial, will get a reward equal to two Qirat.’ He was asked, ‘What are two Qirat?’ He replied, ‘Equal to two huge mountains.’

Seventh right of Muslims

Among the rights of the Muslim over the Muslim, is the fact that he must preserve him from any harm, as harming Muslims is a great sin. Allah says,

The Rights of Muslims in General

{And those who malign believing men and believing women undeservedly, they bear the guilt of slander and manifest sin.} (Soorah Al-Ahzab, 33 :58)

And most often, the one who harms his brother, Allah takes revenge of him in this world, then in the hereafter.

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, ‘Do not hate each other, do not turn your back on each other, and be brothers, O servants of Allah! The Muslim is the brother of a Muslim: he is not unfair to him; he does not deceive him and does not cheat on him. In terms of evil, it is sufficient that a man hates his Muslim brother. The Muslim is sacred for the Muslim: his blood, his property and his honor’.

Rights of a Muslim – Final Words

The rights of a Muslim on another Muslim are very numerous, but they can be all summarized in his word, ‘The Muslim is the brother of a Muslim.’

The one who puts into practice what is meant by this fraternity will do his utmost to bring him all the good and repel from him anything that could harm him.

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