#Article (Archive)

Love thy neighbour

Jul 15, 2010, 1:57 PM

It has been narrated that the Prophet of Islam laid great emphasis on being good to one's neighbour. Indeed, to the extent that some of his companions became worried that the next thing he would do would be to decree that a neighbour be designated among those who will benefit from your bequest. It is said, this shows how important it is to be on good terms with one’s neighbour.

Peaceful co-existence is what is best for neighbours, is also a well-known Wollof saying. The idea being that, whenever something happens to you, especially something adverse, the first to appear on the scene or come to the rescue are your neighbours!

Also, in King James' version of the Bible, it is said that "Thou shall love thy neighbours as thyself" while Chesterton has also stated that "we make our friends, we make our enemies; but God makes our next- door neighbour."

To be on bad terms with one's neighbour can be frustrating. But taking one's time to establish good terms with your neighbours has numerous benefits to the individual, and society at large: the community will be friendlier, the neighbourhood safer, and the area nicer, and a more comfortable place to live in.

Consider your neighbours' lifestyle. Get to know your neighbours... what they do for a living, their schedules, and so on. Sometimes you can remedy problems before they even start.

Communicate with your neighbour. Remember the golden rule, and if anything you are planning to do may affect them, minimise it and let them know in advance. Keep the channels of communication open by reminding them that if you're doing anything, which disturbs them, they should feel comfortable to approach you about it.

Be aware of your surroundings, as well as theirs. Even if you're not in a neighbourhood, watch out. Keep your eye on anyone you don't know acting suspiciously around your neighbour's property.

When a neighbour comes to you to find food give it to him and, if you can, keep it secret. Begging is not anybody's choice, but because the person finds himself or herself in an unfortunate situation that's why he/she begs.

However, begging is not for those able men and women who can get themselves work and earn a living than asking for handouts. But many people are in the habit of exposing Pateh or Demba, who has come to you for assistance, either for fish money or cups of rice. Such an attitude is bad, and one should not expect any reward in the hereafter