Islamic law regarding social relations

Islam gives great importance on social relations. The peace and stability of society depends on good social relations amongst the members of society. As such Islam has laid down detail instructions so that, social relations are properly maintained and not disrupted by wrong practices. The importance of social relations will be clear from the following saying of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

"Do not be envious of each other, nor backbite nor hate one another, but become brothers in the service of Allah." (reported in Bukhari, the book of tradition of the Prophet)

Islam has, therefore, made it unlawful for a Muslim to cut relations with fellow Muslims. The Prophet of Islam has said, "One who cuts relations will not enter paradise." (reported by Bukhari)

The Prophet of Islam has also said,

"It is not permissible for a Muslim to keep apart from his brother for more than three days. If three days pass, he should meet him and greet him, and if replies to it, they will both have shared in the reward, while if he does not reply, he will bear his sin while the Muslim (who offered him the greeting) will have been freed from the sin of keeping apart." (reported by Abu Daud, a book of tradition of the Prophet)

Islam has also emphasised the need for immediate settlement of social disputes so that, peace in general prevails in the society.

Allah says in His book, the Quran,

"Verily, the believers are brothers. Then set matters right between your brothers and be conscious of Allah in order that you may obtain mercy." (49 : 10)

The Prophet of Islam has said, "Shall I not inform you of something more excellent in degree than fasting, charity and prayer?" On receiving the reply, 'Certainly', he said, "It is putting things right between people, for to incite people to dispute is lake a razor." (reported by Al-Tirmidhi and others)

Social peace is disrupted because of greed and consequent effort to grab property of others. Islam has prohibited all illegal methods of acquiring property. Allah says in His book,

"O you who believe! do not consume your property among yourselves wrongfully, but let there be trade by mutual consent." (4 : 29)

For the same reason, Islam has declared life as sacred and has prohibited killing of any person except in accordance with the provisions of law. Allah says in His book,

"If anyone kills a person for any reason other than for (the killing of ) a person of for sowing corruption in the land, it will be as if he had killed the whole of mankind." (5:35)

The Prophet of Islam has said in this connection, "A believer remains within the scope of his religions as long as he does not kill anyone unlawfully." (reported by Al-Bukhari)

It is for this purpose that Islam has declared the honour of people as sacred. None is allowed in Islamic law to spoil the sanctity of any person's honour. The Prophet of Islam has said, "Your lives, your honour, and your property are as sacred to each other as the sacredness of this day (of Arafat) this month (of Zilhajj) this city (of Makka, where there is Kaba)".

For healthy social relations, Islam has prohibited spreading of rumor. This means passing on to others what one person hears from another person in such a manner that will cause dissension among people or increase bitterness among them The Quran said in this regard,

"And do not obey any despicable man, ready with oaths, a slanderer, going among the people with calumnies." (68 : 10-11)

The Prophet of Islam has said, "The one who spreads rumour which he has overhead will not enter the Heaven." (reported by Al-Bukhari, and Muslim)

Islam has also prohibited unnecessary suspicion. The Qur'an said in this regard,

"O you who believed! Avoid (indulging) much suspicion: truly some suspicion are sin." (49 : 12)

The Prophet of Islam has said in this regard, "Avoid suspicion, for airing suspicion is the most lying from of speech." (reported by Al-Bukhari and others)

For good social relations Islam has also prohibited mocking at other people, slandering others, violation of privacy of other people, backbiting, calling people by bad nick names.

If the above principles are followed properly in any society, the social relations will surely attain high standards of decency and ensure better social peace.

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