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Story 30:The Complaint Of A Neighbour

A peasant came to the Holy Messenger (S) who harboured a grievance against his neighbour, saying that his neighbour kept pestering him and deprived him of rest. The Holy Prophet (S) said, “Be patient, and don't create trouble for your neighbour! He may change his behaviour.”

After some time, the man came again and repeated his complaint. The Holy Prophet (S) said to him, “Be patient!” It was not long before the man appeared for the third time and said, “O Messenger of Allah (S) my neighbour did not abandon his behaviour and has greatly disturbed me and my family.”

This time, the Holy Prophet (S) said, “Next Friday, take out all of your furniture and household belongings and leave them in front of your house where people pass. They will ask you why you have scattered your household belongings in the street. Tell them it is because of a bad neighbour, then lay your complaint before everyone.”

The plaintiff did as he was told. Imagining that the Prophet (S) would just tell the man to be patient forever, the harmful neighbour ignored him, until that point. When it is a question of opposing oppression and defending one’s rights, Islam does not have any respect for the transgressor. As a result, when he understood the seriousness of the matter, he apologized profusely, implored his neighbour, and requested him to return his possessions to his house. At the same time, he pledged not to cause any more trouble for his neighbours.1

  • 1. Usul al-Kafi, v. 2, p. 668 (The Neighbour's Rights).