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Hadith is presented in a story form whereby a scholarly father (Abdul Hamid) responds to his inquisitive son (MuhammadAli) by quoting Quran and Hadith about various subjects

  1. Hadith In regard to Women

  2. Hadith In regard to Neighbors

  3. Hadith In regard to Widows and Orphans

  1. Hadith In regard to The sick

  2. Hadith In regard to Indebtedness

  3. Hadith In regard to Honest Work






      MuhammadAli was occupied with what his father, Abdul-Rahman, said about parents, families, and spouses.  He wondered about what noble things Islam says in regard to women.  So he asked, "Dad, what does Islam recommend about women?"

      "I am glad you asked, since this is a subject greatly misunderstood in the West," his father answered.  He then continued, "Islam enjoins upon Muslims to be careful about women in a society.  It advises to treat women on equal terms, be it their rights or obligations.  This was at a time in history when women were treated harshly, more or less like a piece of property and often held in contempt.  Islamic recommendations were very revolutionary then and most constructive.  It jarred the society in the way it regarded women.  Let us refer to the Holy Quran and see what it says:  

وَلَهُنَّ مِثْلُ الَّذِي عَلَيْهِنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ

...And Women Shall Have Rights Over Men Similar To Those For Men Over Women. 

(Surah  2:  Ayah  228)

      This declared that there are no differences between men and women in the sight of God.  Both are responsible for their deeds, and both will be held accountable for them.

      Let us also consider what Allah's Messenger (pbuh) said about women: 

أكمَـلُ المُؤمنينَ إيمـناً أحسَنَهُم خُلُقاً،  وخِيَارُكُم خِيَارُكُم لِنِسائهم

          The Finest Among The Faithful Is The One Whose Moral Character Is Best,

And The Best Among You Are The Ones Who Are Finest To Their Women.   Tirmidhi


ألنسـاءُ شَقَــائِق الرجال

Women Are The Other Half Of Men.

Other Hadiths of the Prophet (pbuh) and/or sayings of the Imams are given here:

The World And All Things In It Are Valuable;  But The Most Valuable Thing In The World Is A Virtuous Woman. 

Allah Enjoins You To Treat Women Well, For They Are Your Mothers, Daughters, And Aunts. 

The Rights Of Women Are Sacred.  See That Women Are Maintained In The Rights Assigned To Them.


      "MuhammadAli," said Abdul-Rahman with emphasis, "See how tender and delicate these recommendations are on behalf of women!  These Hadiths were said at a time when women were often mistreated, disrespected, and had virtually no rights, in other words, she was like a property or a possession.  Islam changed all that.

      Islam enjoined on Muslims to give women their rights and to treat them kindly and tenderly.  Islam elevated the status of women to where it should be.

      If a woman happens to be your mother or your sister, aunt or niece, she must be held in respect and love.  She should be well cared for and appreciated.

      A good woman, of decency and virtue, is a great thing in itself.  She is most valuable and most prized.

      A woman is a delicate person, with sensitivity that should be well guarded.  Yet, at the same time, she must be considerate of her husband and children, and be good to them as they are good to her.  It therefore becomes a mutual endeavor, each side helping and appreciating the other."


      "It is wonderful of Islam to give such high directives about women," MuhammadAli said reflectively.

      Abdul-Rahman answered briefly:


WE ARE URGED BY ISLAM:   go to top of page

  1. That the rights of women are sacred in Islam

  2. That virtuous, good, and modest women are highly valued

  3. That women are sensitive, be it emotionally or otherwise

  4. That the responsibility is mutual, women should do their share in the welfare of the family, as do men.



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ABOUT Neighbors

      MuhammadAli just returned home after helping the neighbors with many chores.  He was wondering what Islam recommended about neighbors.  "Dad, I am wondering what Islam says about being neighborly.  I have just finished helping them."

      "That is very commendable," Abdul-Rahman said, "It is very nice to have good neighborly feeling?  Isn't it nice to help and be kind to our neighbors and they, in return, do likewise?

      A neighborhood blessed with friendly families is a marvelous community.  They exchange visits, help each other, and what is offered one day will be offered back later.  The children and adults become trusted friends, and all will establish healthy, happy relationships.  The Holy Quran says about neighborliness:


وَاعْبُدُواْ اللّهَ وَلاَ تُشْرِكُواْ بِهِ شَيْئًا وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا وَبِذِي الْقُرْبَى وَالْيَتَامَى وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَالْجَارِ ذِي الْقُرْبَى وَالْجَارِ الْجُنُبِ وَالصَّاحِبِ بِالجَنبِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ وَمَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ إِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يُحِبُّ مَن كَانَ مُخْتَالاً فَخُورًا

          Serve Allah And Associate None With Him. Show Kindness To Your Parents And Kinsfolk, And To The Orphans, To The Needy, To Your Near And Distant Neighbors, To Your Fellow‑Travelers, To The Wayfarer, And To What Your Right Hands Possess: For Allah Loves Not The Arrogant And Haughty Men.

(Surah    4:  Ayah  36)

      The Almighty enjoins on us to be good to our parents first, then relatives, then orphans and those in need; then He directs us to do good to our neighbors.  Being good to neighbors is enjoined by Allah (swt).  There are many Hadiths and recommendations about neighborliness.  Allah's Messenger (pbuh) said:


مَن كانَ يُؤمنُ باللهِ والَيومِ الآخِر  فليَـقُل خَيراً أو ِليَصْمُت

ومَن كانَ يُؤمنُ باللهِ والَيومِ الآخِر  فلْيُكرمٍ جَـاره

ومَن كانَ يُؤمنُ باللهِ والَيومِ الآخِر  فلْيُكرمٍ ضَيْفَه

Let The Believer In Allah And Day Of Judgment Either Speak Good Or Keep Silent. Let The Believer In Allah And Day Of Judgment Honor His Neighbor. Let The Believer In Allah And Day Of Judgment Honor His Guest

Muslim And Bukhari


ما زآل جِبْـريلُ يُوصِيني بالجَّـار حتّى ظَننتُ أنه سَيُورثُه

A'isha Relates That The Holy Prophet Said `Gabriel Advised Me So Repeatedly To Care For My Neighbor That I Thought Allah Was To Make The Neighbor My Inheritor!

Muttafaq Alayh


خَيرُ الأصْحابِ عند اللهِ تعالى خَيْرُهم لِصاحِبهِ،  وخَيرُ الجِيرانِ عند اللهِ تعالى خَيْرُهم لِجارِهِ

The Finest In The Sight Of Allah Is The Person Who Is Best To His Friends.  And The Finest In The Sight Of Allah Is The Person Who Is Best To His Neighbor.    Tirmidhi


مَن كانَ يُؤمنُ باللهِ والَيومِ الآخِر  فَلْيُحسِن إلى جَارهِ...

Let Him Who Believes In Allah And The Day Of Judgment Not Harm His Neighbor..


      "As you read the above Hadiths, MuhammadAli," continued Abdul-Rahman, "You will notice how important it is to be neighborly.  It is wonderful to be neighborly, help those nearby, be good friends with them, and cooperate with them.  Not only will the children benefit, but so will the adults and the whole neighborhood as well.  This is more so if our neighbors are elderly or disabled, needing our help and understanding."


      "So from what you are telling me Islam urges us to be helping and very good neighbors," MuhammadAli commented.

      Abdul-Rahman answered briefly:



  1. That it is gracious to be neighborly

  2. That cooperation with our neighbors is certainly better than discord

  3. That being neighborly is the beginning of good relationship

  4. That we should be particularly helpful if our neighbors are old, disabled, or needy."



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ABOUT Widows and Orphans

      "How about widows and orphans?  What does Islam say, Dad?"  asked MuhammadAli curiously.

      Abdul-Rahman was in a talkative mood so he answered, "Of all people who need our understanding, sympathy, and help, widows and orphans need them most.  A widow with little or no support often suffers a lot or is at a disadvan­tage.  If she has children the problem becomes acute and the situation precarious.  See what the Almighty says in the Holy Quran:


وَيُطْعِمُونَ الطَّعَامَ عَلَى حُبِّهِ مِسْكِينًا وَيَتِيمًا وَأَسِيرًا

إِنَّمَا نُطْعِمُكُمْ لِوَجْهِ اللَّهِ لا نُرِيدُ مِنكُمْ جَزَاء وَلا شُكُورًا

          And They Feed, For The Love Of Allah, The Indigent, The Orphan, And The Captives, Saying: We Feed You For Allah's Sake: No Reward Do We Seek From You Nor Thanks.

(Surah  76:  Ayah  8-9)


وَآتُواْ الْيَتَامَى أَمْوَالَهُمْ وَلاَ تَتَبَدَّلُواْ الْخَبِيثَ بِالطَّيِّبِ وَلاَ تَأْكُلُواْ أَمْوَالَهُمْ إِلَى أَمْوَالِكُمْ إِنَّهُ كَانَ حُوبًا كَبِيرًا

          And As To The Orphans, Restore Their Property (When They Reach Their Age), Don't Substitute Your Bad Things For Their Good Ones, And Devour Not Their Funds (By Mixing It Up) With Your Own;

For Of A Certainty This Is A Great Sin.

(Surah   4:  Ayah  2)


وَأَمَّا السَّائِلَ فَلا تَنْهَرْ    وَأَمَّا بِنِعْمَةِ رَبِّكَ فَحَدِّثْ  

          ...Therefore, Treat Not The Orphan With Oppression, Nor Be Harsh To The Seeker Of Information, But Speak Publicly Of The Bounty Of Your Lord.

 (Surah    93:  Ayah  9-11)


أَرَأَيْتَ الَّذِي يُكَذِّبُ بِالدِّينِ    فَذَلِكَ الَّذِي يَدُعُّ الْيَتِيمَ    وَلا يَحُضُّ عَلَى طَعَامِ الْمِسْكِينِ

          Have You Seen The One Who Denies Religion?  It Is He Who Turns Away The Orphan And Does

          Not Urge Others To Feed The Poor.... 

(Surah  107:  Ayah  1-3)

      "As we see," said Abdul-Rahman, "the Creator (swt) urges us to do everything in our power to help the orphans and widows.  That means not only material help but also help with their worldly affairs.  Allah rewards us (thawaab) very well for these deeds and He oversees and knows all about us.

      Let us take some Hadiths in this regard.  Muhammad (pbuh) says:


السَّاعي على ألأرْمَلةِ والمِسْكينِ كَالمُجَاهدُ في سَبيلِ اللهِ أو القائمِ الَّليْـل الصائمِ النهار

A Giver Of Maintenance To The Widows And The  Poor Is Like A Giver In The Way Of God, An Utterer Of Prayers All Night, And Fasting During The Day.    Bukhari


Other Hadiths of the Prophet (pbuh) and/or sayings of the Imams are given here:

The Person Who Strives For The Widows And The Poor Is Like One Who Strives In The Way Of God.


      "You see, a widow is in need," continued Abdul-Rahman, "And it is an honor to help and support her.  It is essential we strive hard to assist and support the widow and orphan.

      Orphans are even at a greater disadvantage.  They not only need support, but also guidance and care.  Both the Holy Quran and the Prophet (pbuh) request us to pay extra care to such situations.  Allah's Messenger (pbuh) has said: 

أنا وكافلُ اليَـتيمِ في الجَنَّةِ هكذا (وأشار بإصبعيه السبابة والوسطى)

I And The Person Who Brings Up An Orphan Will Be Like This In Heavens;  And He Put His Index And Middle Finger Together.  



The Finest Home Is The One In Which An Orphan Is Treated Well, And The Worst Home Is The One In Which An Orphan Is Ill‑Treated. 

Instruct The Orphan In The Manner You Educate Your Own Child; If You Punish Him, Punish Him Like You Would Your Own Child.  (Imam Ali.)


      Children who have lost a parent are at a great disadvantage; they feel deprived and different from others.  Some are so unfortunate as to lose both parents and consequently are all by themselves, almost helpless.

      Muslims are to be very sensitive to the needs of the orphans and their support; to give help and assistance whenever and wherever possible.  The orphans may need care until they become indepen­dent.  During those years, they need advice, direction, support, and love like other children.  Their possessions need protection and supervision as well.  Therefore, orphans and widows are to have extra care, protection, advice and supervision, all for the sake of the Almighty and humanity.  The effort in their support is what the Prophet describes as 'A struggle in the way of God,' which is a very noble end in itself."


      "Islam comes with strong support to widows and orphans," MuhammadAli said admiringly.        Abdul-Rahman answered briefly:



  1. That widows and orphans need our help which should be offered as a duty and voluntarily

  2. That we should support both emotionally

  3. That we should support them financially

  4. That we should assist them with everyday chores, if our help is needed

  5. That we should help, yet let them keep their dignity and self respect

  6. That an orphan is at a great disadvantage

  7. more than anyone else, an orphan needs our understanding, assistance, and protection

  8. That our assistance should be available to the orphan until he is grown and able to care for himself

  9. That an orphan and his possessions are like an important trust in our hands, a trust to be taken seriously.



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ABOUT The Sick

       "Dad," said MuhammadAli sadly, "My friend is in the hospital for an operation.  He has appendicitis.  I feel for him, and have just visited him."

      "That is very good of you," replied his father, "you have performed an act of goodness.  We are grateful that we are healthy, but sooner or later when a person becomes sick he needs empathy and care, and will appreciate a call or a visit from family and friends.

      Allah's Messenger, Muhammad (pbuh) said:


حقُّ المسلمِ على المسلمِ خَمْسٌ: رَدُّ السَّلام، وعِيادَةُ المريضِ، واتِّباعُ الجَّنائز، وإجابةُ الدعْوةِ، وتَشْميتُ العاطِسِ

The Rights Of A Muslim Over Another Are Five:

Answering The Greetings, Visiting The Sick, Attend The Funeral Procession, Accept The Invitation, And Bless Him When He Sneezes.

Muttafaq Alayh

Other Hadiths of the Prophet (pbuh) and/or sayings of the Imams are given here:

Feed The Hungry, Visit The Sick, And Free The Captive If He Is Unjustly Confined.  Assist Any Person Oppressed, Whether Muslim Or Non‑Muslim. 

When You Go To Visit The Sick Comfort Him In His Grief And Wish Him Well And To Live Long. Though Such Sympathy Will Not Prevent His Due Course, It Will Comfort Him And Solace His Soul.


      A sick person needs extra care and sympathy.  All of us, sooner or later, are likely to get sick.  On becoming ill we feel troubled and even develop a bad temper, or simply feel very bad or worry about our condition among other things.

      As Muslims we must comfort the sick and make him feel at ease.  Sometimes words of assurance act like medicine—not that they will cure him, but just to make him feel better.

      Won't it be good, then, to visit and comfort the sick, be they in a hospital or at home?  Won't it be nice to be good company to a sick person, the very one who appreci­ates such company?  Yes, it is a solace to his soul."

      "Then I have done a good Islamic job, Dad," MuhammadAli said in a reflective manner.

      "Yes," answered his father, "as I said, it was good, very good."


      "What you are telling me is that Islam entreats us toward good behavior and acts in regard to the sick?" MuhammadAli asked.

      Abdul-Rahman answered briefly:


 ISLAM TEACHES US THAT:   go to top of page

  1. when a person is sick, he is not feeling well and needs our patience and sympathy

  2. it is good to visit a sick person, whether he is in the hospital or at home

  3. friendly words of encouragement can be of help

  4. the sick person will appreciate our visit.



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ABOUT Indebtedness

       "Dad," asked MuhammadAli, "I am curious.  What does Islam say about debts?"

      "Islam encourages us to repay our debts as soon as we are able to," answered his father who then continued, "We are to return the favor to the debtor with our thanks and gratitude.  The indebted man who does not do so is committing an offensive act, and Islam strongly discourages such acts.  The person who returns his debt is like someone who returns his trust; he will be regarded as dependable, decent, and honest.  The person who does not return his debt is betraying his trust, he is not too different from a thief.  He will lose people's confidence and Allah will hold him accountable in due time.

      Referring to the Holy Quran, let us see what the Almighty says:


يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ إِذَا تَدَايَنتُم بِدَيْنٍ إِلَى أَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى فَاكْتُبُوهُ وَلْيَكْتُب بَّيْنَكُمْ كَاتِبٌ بِالْعَدْلِ

          When You Deal In Contracting A Debt For A Fixed Time, Write It Down.....And From Among You, Let Someone Write It Faithfully.  (Surah  2:  Ayah  282)

The Prophet (pbuh) has said:


مَن أخَذَ أموالَ النَّاسِ يُريدُ أدَائَهَا   أدَّى اللهُ عَنهُ

و مَن أخَذَ يُريْدُ إتْلافِها أتْلفَهُ الله

To Be In Debt Intending To Repay It, Allah Will Pay It On His Behalf, (By Providing The Means To Pay It), And To Be In Debt Intending To Squander It, Allah Will Bring The Person To Ruin.  


Other Hadiths of the Prophet (pbuh) and/or sayings of the Imams are given here:

Delaying The Payment Of A Debt By A Well‑To‑Do Person Is Injustice.

Deferring Payment Of Debts By One Who Has The Means To Repay, Legalizes His Punishment And Dishonor.


      "MuhammadAli," said Abdul-Rahman with emphasis, "When in need, and a person has relatives or friends who can lend to him, he may borrow from them.  But he must have the full intention to repay the debt as soon as possible.  This is the least he can do to return the favor."  Abdul-Rahman paused in thought and then added, "If he is grateful for being trusted and given the money he needed, then paying it back should be with thanks and gratitude.

      The person who doesn't intend to pay back his debts deserves disgrace and a just punishment.  That is because it is one way of breaking a trust, damaging others and being ungrateful.  It is only a cheater who does such a thing, a Muslim should always be honest and reliable."


      "Islam then recommends that we observe definite rules in regard to indebtedness," MuhammadAli remarked.

      Abdul-Rahman answered briefly:



  1. That on borrowing money, a Muslim should pay it back as soon as possible

  2. That when a person pays back his debt quickly, he proves to be trustworthy, worthy of peoples' confidence in him

  3. That when a person returns his debt he also proves grateful to the ones who had lent him what he needed

  4. That it is good to lend money to friends and relatives if they are in need, but first make sure they can be trusted.



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ABOUT Honest Work

       "How about begging?  Is it an evil thing too?"  MuhammadAli asked, now that his store of Islamic knowledge has expanded so much.

      His father sneezed, excused himself and then answered, "Islam urges every able man to work and earn his living the decent way.  The dignity of work stands high in Islam, and Muslims are encouraged to be dependable and responsible workers.  This is the proper way Muslims earn their living and provide for their families.

      Fortunately most people are able to work and provide for their families.  Islam urges us to work hard for our living and to be independent, since being in need of others may make us lose our dignity and self‑respect.  However, there are those who are less fortunate, and may be in need to an extent.  For those who are not able to work, Allah provides for them by ordering us to extend a helping hand.  Allah says in the Quran:

وَفِي أَمْوَالِهِمْ حَقٌّ لِّلسَّائِلِ وَالْمَحْرُومِ

          .....In Their Wealth The Needy And The Destitute Have Their Due.  (Surah  51:  Ayah  19)

Let us also quote some Hadiths of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh):


لأَنْ يأخُذَ أحدُكُم حَبْلهُ فَيأتِي بحُزْمةِ حَطب على ظَهرِهِ فيَـبيعَها فَيَكُفَّ اللهُ بها وجْههُ

خَيْرٌُُ لهُ مِن أنْ يسألَ النّاسَ:  أعْطُوهُ أو مَنَعُوهُ

It Is Better For Any Of You To Take Your Rope And Bring A Bundle Of Wood And Sell It, (In Which Case Allah Will Guard Your Honor)  Than To Beg Of People, Who May Give Him Or Reject Him


Other Hadiths of the Prophet (pbuh) and/or sayings of the Imams are given here:

The One Who Is Able And Fit And Does Not Work For Himself Or For Others, Allah Is Not Gracious To Him. 

Allah Is Gracious To The One Who Earns His Living By His Own Labor And Not By Begging. 

The One Who Has Enough Food For A Day And Night‑It Is Prohibited For Him To Beg. 

Pursuit Of Lawful Livelihood Is The Obligation Of Every Muslim, Man Or Woman.  To Struggle For One's Family's Livelihood Is Like Fighting In The Way Of God.  When Muhammad (Pbuh) Was Asked, "Whose Earnings Are Better?," The Prophet (Pbuh) Answered, "Of Him Who Toils With His Own Hands. 

A Wise Man Relies On His Efforts And The Fool Relies On His Hopes.  (Imam Ali.)


      A righteous Muslim is a decent person.  To earn his living he has to work for it.  The kind of work depends on his capacity and the opportunities available to him.  As a matter of fact, women are also allowed to work in the field of their specialty so long as it does not interfere with family responsibilities.

      Therefore, Islam urges Muslims to depend on themselves, work hard and honorably and to earn their living as best as they can.

      The person who begs of people will lose his self‑respect, will be looked down upon, and his dignity will suffer."


      "Islam then teaches us to work hard and not to beg,"  MuhammadAli said.

      Abdul-Rahman answered briefly:


 ISLAM TEACHES US ABOUT HARD WORK:   go to top of page

  1. That we should earn a living by working hard for it in an honorable way

  2. That begging is an inferior short‑cut to sustain one's self

  3. That some people are not able to work for certain reasons, and they depend on us for help.  They are not to be scorned upon, and we should be glad to help so to allow them to preserve self-respect.