Khutbah Reflections: Treating Our Neighbours With Good Manners
While the previous khutbahs in the month of March touched on treating our family members (parents and spouses) well, this time the khutbah on 15th March 2013 was a reminder for us to have good ties with people outside of our families; more specifically, our neighbours.
We could have bumped into them in the lift when we’re leaving for work or school in the morning or when we come home in the evening. Do we greet them pleasantly and ask how they’re doing when we meet? Let’s say we do but is it just to break the awkward silence? Having said that, I feel we can make the effort to genuinely care about our neighbours without coming of as being nosey or kaypoh. The older generations did that quite well and it’s something that we can learn from.
Nothing beats having a face-to-face conversation. With our increasing dependence on social networking, we seem to be less appreciative of simply talking to the person right next to us. Some of our neighbours might be working in the same industry, go to the same school or even buy groceries from the same places as we do. We could use that to start a conversation when we meet and gradually as we become more comfortable with each other, we can begin to develop good relations with them.
Relationships with our neighbours, like all relationships take time to build. The more positive interactions we have with them, the better it becomes. Even doing something as trivial as helping our neighbours carry their groceries when it seems like they’re having difficulty with it or holding the lift open for them can help to improve it.
Get to know our neighbours
We don’t live alone in our neighbourhood. There are other families besides ours living around us. Let’s not confine ourselves to our own little world within the walls of our own homes. Have activities with them once in a while. In the month of Ramadhan especially, we could go for tarawih together and exchange dishes for breaking fast.
This also applies to our non-Muslim neighbours. Invite them to our homes and accept their invitations so that we can learn more about each other’s cultures and understand them better. In doing so, we become more accepting of what might seem strange or foreign to us and to them.
Be genuinely concerned about them
It’s a shame really when our neighbours are in need of help and us being the people who live right next to them have no idea about it let alone being able to lend a hand. We often complain about how the poor and needy are overlooked but what have we done to improve the situation? Has the mentality of “minding our own business” made us blind to the plight of some of our neighbours?
Physically, we’re the nearest to our neighbours. We could have seen things that might not be right or signs showing that they are in trouble. Ask them if they need help and be sincere about it. Although there is a possibility of being told off or them not being willing to open up, I believe that they would be more receptive of us when our intentions are good and we have good relations with them. If we can’t aid them financially then we could give our time, effort and just be there for them.
Our neighbours & us make up part of the community and what we might not realize is that some issues affecting the community can be alleviated if we nip it at the bud. This can only be done if we ourselves are more involved in the community rather than wait for someone else to come and fix it.
May Allah make us better people and neighbours as well as remove any ill-will we have towards each other.[divider]
Fadhuli is an aspiring writer and believes in putting in the time and effort into meaningful causes. He strives to improve himself as a person and as a Muslim.