In a world filled with selfishness and the unending pursuit of wealth and all commodities to fulfill our desires, it becomes important to remind ourselves of the rights every Muslim has upon another. Whether we know that particular Muslim or not, the fact that s/he is a Muslim, they automatically have certain rights upon us.
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/sister is to place him/her high in our estimation and do for him/her what we would like for ourselves. The Prophet gave us comprehensive direction on how to sustain brotherhood. He (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: "There are six rights of a Muslim upon a Muslim:?"
1) "When you meet him, greet him?" With a warm smile, a friendly face and As-Salaamu Alaykum we should try to greet every Muslim. 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".
2) "When he invites you, respond to him;?" When a Muslim brother invites you to a function, you are obliged to go. Accepting an invitation is about sharing in the joys of a brother as well as joining with other Muslims in a social gathering.
3) "When he seeks counsel, give him good advice;?" When a brother comes to you with a problem, seeking advice, give him true advice. Be sincere in your advice. Give such advice that would keep his best interest at heart.
4) "When he sneezes and praises Allah, say to him: `May Allah have mercy on you (Yarhamuk-Allah)'?" . When a Muslim sneezes 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.
5) "When he is sick, visit him?”. When you go and visit a sick brother, remember to pray for him and do not inconvenience him by staying too long.
6) "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. In turn, when you die, others will also feel for you and make du’a sincerely for your forgiveness.
If we can fulfil these basic rights of Muslims, it is hoped that much of the envy, malice and hatred in the society will vanish – Insha Allah.