The Rights of a Muslim over another Muslim
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
عَنْ أَبِى هُرَيْرَةَ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ -صلى الله عليه وسلم- قَالَ : حَقُّ الْمُسْلِمِ عَلَى الْمُسْلِمِ سِتٌّ .قِيلَ مَا هُنَّ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ قَالَ « إِذَا لَقِيتَهُ فَسَلِّمْ عَلَيْهِ وَإِذَا دَعَاكَ فَأَجِبْهُ وَإِذَا اسْتَنْصَحَكَ فَانْصَحْ لَهُ وَإِذَا عَطَسَ فَحَمِدَ اللَّهَ فَشَمِّتْهُ وَإِذَا مَرِضَ فَعُدْهُ وَإِذَا مَاتَ فَاتَّبِعْهُ
Abu Hurayra reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying:
There are six rights of a Muslim over another Muslim. It was said to him: Allah’s Messenger, what are they? Then 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 (may Allah show mercy to you) ;
- and when he falls ill visit him;
- and when he dies follow his bier.
Benefits for this topic;
This Hadith has been reported on two companions of the Prophet [ﷺ]
Abu Hurayrah and Ali ibn Abee Talib [رضي الله عنهما ]. The narrations from Abu Hurayrah vary. In some cases the hadith mentioned the rights of the Muslim over another are 5, and others it’s mentioned they are 6. In both cases the scholars of hadith graded both narrations as being authentic.
The narrations that mention 6 rights were collected by Muslim ((5778)), Ahmed ((2/372, 412)),Ibn Hibban ((242)), Al-Bukhari in Adab ((925)),Al-Baghawi ((1405)), Al-Bayhaqi in Al-Kubara ((5/347)) on Abee Hurayrah
Another Sahih narration that mentioned 6 rights was narrated by Ali ibn Abi Talib and is found in Imam Ad-Darami’s Sunnan, ((2633)). The wording from Ali ibn Abi Talib’s narration has the extra words, “Love for you brother what you love for yourself”
Imam Al-Bukhari avoided the narrations that mentioned 6 rights in his Sahih,but narrated it in Adabul Mufrad . In his Jami’ As-Sahih he mentioned the narration from Abee Hurairah that stated there are 5 rights on every Muslim.
There are other narrations that carry the same meaning which mention there are 7 things that every Muslim have towards each other.
Al-Bara bin ‘Azib said:
“The Messenger of Allah commanded us to do seven things, and forbade us form seven things. He commanded us to visit the sick, to reply (say: Yarhamuk Allah, may Allah have mercy on you) to one who sneezes, to fulfill our oaths, to support the oppressed, to spread the greeting of Salam, to accept invitation, and to attend funerals. And he forbade us from using gold rings, silver vessels, Mayathir, the Qasiyyah, Al-Istabraq, silk and Ad-Dibaj.”
This hadith is collected by Al-Bukhari and Muslim. In this hadith there are two extra commands not mentioned in the previous hadith.
- Fulfill the oaths
- Support the oppressed
The narration that mentioned there are 8 rights, then Imam Az-Zayla’ee [762H] said its origin of narration was unknown to him ,so he didn’t make a ruling on the hadith.
Lastly the narration that mentioned there are 30 rights of Muslims over another Muslim was collected by Abul Qassim Al-Asbahani[ 525H] in Targheeb wa At-Tarheeb # 1170 . In the Isnad there are some unknown people. Although the Isnad is weak the meaning found in this hadith is correct. Some of the extra wording is;
- Forgive him if he wrongs you
- Ask forgiveness for him after his death
- Cover his faults
- Don’t search and follow up his errors
- Accept his excuses
- Silence those who backbite him
- Maintain his friendship
- Safeguard him
- Accept his gifts
- Help him when he needs you
- Interceded on his behalf if you have the abilty to do so
- Thank him when he shows you kindness
- Help him when he’s lost
- The things you dislike for yourself, equally hate them for him as well.
- Help him regain his right that was wrongfully taken from him.
- Be charitable towards him
- Aid and support him when he needs you
- Show him love and not your hatred
These words are beautiful and no one would doubt that implementing these things will bring about a strong Muslim unity, but only after the Tawheed and Aqeedah are corrected.
Al-Ameer As-San’anee[1182H] said the numbers mentioned in these hadith aren’t restricted those amounts.i.e There are other rights that Muslims have over each other that weren’t mentioned in the hadith.
Six are the rights of a Muslim over another Muslim…Imam Ahmed Al-Qurtubi mentioned: These rights are equally shared between Muslims when they meet each other. The word “rights” in Islam is used to mean obligatory, Sunnah and used for a stressed act of worship. This is similar to the wording in the hadith, “Witr is a right”
This hadith mentions the rights that are shared between Muslims and some of them are obligatory and others are Sunnah. For instance beginning the greetings with another Muslim is Sunnah,but returning them is Wajib. Answering the invitation of your brother for a Waleemah is a must, and for everything else it’s Sunnah. Giving advice is obligatory if he asks for it,while in other instances it based on the situation. The scholars differ about the sneezing person. Visiting the sick is a duty on some of the Muslims to fulfill and not on every single Muslim.
“When you meet him, offer him greetings;…” To either begin with them or return them once they are given. Spreading the Salams removes animosity between Muslims.
“When he invites you to a feast accept it…”Ibn Al-Jawzi[597H] said: This applies to any meal offered, but when it’s a wedding feast then its obligatory to attend on the1st day, its sunnah to go on the 2nd of the feast and it’s not Sunnah or Wajib to answer the invitation on the 3rd day.
If he attends the Waleemah while he’s making up a day from a previous Ramadhan fast ,then he mustn’t break his fast, but just attend and make dua for the host then leave; however if it’s a voluntary fast then he should break his fast and eat some food.
If this wedding party has musical instruments then he evaluates the situation. If he’s able to get them to stop playing music then he can attend, and if cant then he doesn’t go.
“when he seeks your council give him,..” Al-Ameer As- Sana’aee said: This means it’s a must to give him advice only after he requests it from you. Do your best and be sincere with him. It’s not suitable to offer your brother advice if he doesn’t ask it from you. Don’t take it upon yourself to give him your opinion.
“and when he sneezes and says:” All praise is due to Allah,” you say Yarhamuk Allah (may Allah show mercy to you) ;..” There a several etiquettes for the sneezing;
- After the person sneezes once you say “Yarhamuk Allah (may Allah show mercy to you)”,only after he says Al-Hamdulilah.
- The person sneezing can say the following dua,
- [الحمدلله: Al-Hamdulilah]
- [الحمد لله رب العالمين: All-praises belong to Allah Lord of all the worlds] and when that’s said the person responding can say: [يرحمك الله: May Allah show you mercy]then following this the sneezer says[يغفر الله لنا و لكم: May Allah show us mercy ]
- The person sneezing should try and cover his mouth and nose when he feels he’s about to sneeze.
- The sneezing person can also say [الحمد لله على كل حال:All praises to Allah under all circumstances]
- The person responds to the sneezer three times afterwards he informs him that he has a cold.
Although there is a difference of opinion about responding to the sneezer the strongest opinion to me is that its wajib after discovering Ibn Al-Qayyim’s argument in his notes for Sunnan Abu Dawud.
“and when he fails ill visit him;…”Ibn Al-Jawzi said: when visiting sick there are two recommended acts. The 1st is make his heart feel at ease by taking care of his needs and the 2nd act is to give him a spiritual reminder.
“and when he dies follow his bier.” Ibn Al-Jawzi said: “There are 3 meanings found in following the funeral procession. 1st ,offer the prayer, carry him to the graveyard, then bury him. This is obligatory on some of the Muslims to do. The 2nd is to help the family with the arrangements and offer condolences. The 3rd is to take a lesson from that person’s death.
Lasting reminders from this topic.
- The word “ Rights” can be used to mean ; Wajib, Sunnah, or for a stressed act of worship.
- The rights between Muslims aren’t restricted to these numbers found in these narrations
- Among the 6 books of hadith Imam Muslim is the only one who narrated the hadith about 6 rights that Muslims have over each other.
- The rights in these hadith mean Fard Ayn and Fard Kifiya and the Sahabah understood it.
- These rights are the most commonly encountered between Muslims
- If these rights are done the unity and love between Muslims will strenghten.
Allah the Most High knows best
Prepared by the one in need of Allah’s Mercy
Abu Aaliyah Abdullah ibn Dwight Lamont Battle
Academic/ Khateeb in Qatar’s Ministry of Religious Endowment.
Upcoming reads on The Abu Aaliyah Gazette.
 Nasbur Rayah/ vol2/pg 257
 At-Tanweer /vol5/pg 365
 Ahmed (5/417)Abu Dawud (1422) and An-Nisa’I (3/238)
 Al-Mufhim lama Ashkala min talkhees kitabi Muslim/ vol 5/pg488, by Ibn Jawzi
 Refer to Al-Ameer As-San’an in Tanweer and Kashful Muskhil min As-Sahihayn by Ibn Al-Jawzi
 Refer to Jam’I As-Saghir wa ziydah from hadith # 685 until 690,with the checking from Imam Al-Albani
 Ibid by Ibn Al-Jawzi pg 226
 Ibid by Ibn Al-Jawzi/pg 226