Six rights of a Muslim upon a Muslim

Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “No one of you shall become a true believer until he desires for his brother what he desires for himself.” (Bukhari) Surely the best way for us to please our brother is to place him high in our estimation and do for him what we would like for ourselves. The Prophet gave us comprehensive direction on how to sustain brotherhood. He said: “There are six rights of a Muslim upon a Muslim…”

“…When you meet him, greet him…” With a warm smile, a friendly face and As-Salaam Alaykum is the best way to meet a brother. We must avoid picking and choosing whom we confer this basic right upon. All Muslims regardless of their social status and position in society should be afforded this “gateway” into our personal space. The Salaam is the best of icebreakers as it immediately brings down the barriers that we unconsciously erect around ourselves to shield us from alien invasion”

“…when he invites you, respond to him…”  When a Muslim brother invites you, you are obliged to go.“

…when he seeks counsel, give him advice…”  When a brother comes to you with a problem, seeking advice, give him what he requires even if it means that you are undermining yourself in the process. Remember, you desire the best for him, don’t you? Be sincere in your advice. Never take what has been told to you in confidence to another person except to demonstrate a point; even then, his identity must not be disclosed or alluded to.

“…when he sneezes and praises Allah, say to him: `May Allah have mercy on you (Yarhamuk-Allah)’…” When a Muslim sneezes, yawns, lets one go, or even when he trips and he remembers to praise Allah, we must respond to him with a prayer for Allah to have mercy on him. If we find a brother either negligent or ignorant of the need to praise Allah in all things, then we must set him right as far as his responsibility to himself and to others. The lesson is: praise Allah in all condition and appreciate the one who does this!“

…when he is sick, visit him… When you go and visit a sick brother, take a small gift along with you that will help lift his spirits. If you are unable to afford a gift, then ensure that you go armed with words of encouragement and hope from the Qur’an and Sunnah. Don’t be put off by the fact that the brother is much more learned than you – you are there to lift his spirits, not to compete against him. Pray for him and let him pray for you too.

and when he dies, follow his funeral…”  Attending the last rites of a brother is of utmost importance. Speaking well of him and seeking forgiveness for him will ease his condition in the grave with regards to questioning, bliss and punishment. Upon following him to the grave, one should now not turn his back on (abandon) him. Not abandoning him after his death is to take care of his families, remembering him in du’aa regularly, and doing sadaqah (charity) on his behalf.

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