Praise be to Allah who commanded us with high moral standards and good qualities, and forbade us from bad sayings and actions. I send peace and blessings upon the Prophet —who was sent as a mercy for the worlds and a proof against the entire creation—, upon his family, his Companions, the Followers, and those who follow them righteously until the Day of Recompense.
We still discussing in these lessons the rights due on us. In the previous lesson we have studied the rights of a group of people who are living among us and work in our homes, foundations, factories, and farms, who are the foreign workers.
In this lesson we shall speak about the rights of another category with whom many people deal without Knowledge and fall into intemperance and negligence. Our religion is comprehensive and brought a conspicuous and clear system by which a Muslim abide and deal, and did not leave small or big thing without explanation and clarification. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "This day, those who disbelieved have given up all hope of your religion, so fear them not, but fear Me. This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion."
Allah (Exalted be He) says: "We have neglected nothing in the Book, then to their Lord they (all) shall be gathered."
From this point, we find that the rulings of Islam are involved with all aspects of life no matter how small or big they are.
Dear Muslim brother, this category of people are non-Muslims who have rights on us whether at the individual level or at the level of the entire Muslim society. Part of understanding religion is that a Muslim should understand the rights of this category and the way of dealing with them, especially those who deal with them whether commercially or other dealings.
Perhaps it is well-known that non-Muslims are divided into two categories: A non-Muslim who fights Muslims and non-combatant infidels, and what is the most important in this lesson is the noncombatant infidel. The most important in their regard is that a Muslim knows they are infidels, therefore he does not agree to their disbelief, does not satisfy it, hate them for their disbelief, and does not take them as close friends. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "Let not the believers take the disbelievers as Auliyâ' (supporters, helpers) instead of the believers." Allah (Exalted be He) says: "You (O Muhammad peace be upon him) will not find any people who believe in Allâh and the Last Day, making friendship with those who oppose Allâh and His Messenger (Muhammad peace be upon him), even though they were their fathers, or their sons, or their brothers, or their kindred (people)." When a Muslim knows that, believe in it by heart, and his creed becomes free of defects, he should know thereafter that they have certain rights, as they have some common rights.
At the top of these rights is: Not to harm or oppress them and do not transgress the proper limits with them by verbal or physical harm such as insulting or cursing them or beating and having physical assault against them whether that happens individually or collectively. If the verbal harm is prohibited, how about the physical harm or threat! Therefore, the prohibition of that act was mentioned harshly and strictly from the Prophet (peace be upon him). Al Bukhari (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "Whoever kills a person having a treaty with the Muslims, shall not smell the smell of Paradise though its smell is perceived from a distance of forty years."
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said in the Hadith that was reported by Muslim (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul): "I shall be the opponent of the one who harms a Dhimmy (protected non-Muslim living under Islamic rule)."
Of what should be clear is: Islam prohibited oppression, treachery, and betrayal for every person whether a Muslim or Non-Muslim. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "And Allâh does not like the Zâlimûn (polytheists and wrong-doers)." The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Oppression will be a darkness on the Day of Resurrection."
Of their rights also is: Abiding by the high noble manners of Islam when dealing with them, such as truthfulness, honesty, justice, listening, good speech, and mercy in its proper positions...etc. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "And speak good to people (i.e. enjoin righteousness and forbid evil, and say the truth about Muhammad peace be upon him)." Allah (He may be Glorified) says when talking about the wise style of calling to Allah: "Invite (mankind, O Muhammad peace be upon him) to the Way of your Lord (i.e. Islâm) with wisdom (i.e. with the Divine Revelation and the Qur'ân) and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better."
It is well-known that treating people with good manner and kind treatment does not contradict the prohibition of taking them as friends and loving them because dealing in good manner is recommended and Islam commanded a Muslim to be of good manners and kind in treatment, but as for love it is connected with the heart and should not be done. Likewise, it is forbidden to treat them well if that happens at the expense of our religion, manners, or other Muslims.
It is a clear mistake to mix between the two things: Dealing in good manners which is commanded and love which is prohibited. It is permissible to treat them kindly whether for guiding them, helping them, or in term of charity and feeding their poor. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Yes, there is a reward for serving any animate (living being)." Particularly, if the one who does so expects that the non-Muslim would embrace Islam. Al Bukhari (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) reported that Asma' said to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) when her mother came to her while she was still an infidel: My mother has come to me and she desires to receive a reward from me, shall I keep good relation with her? He said: "Yes, keep good relation with her." However `Umar ibn Al Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) was harsh in the truth, he gifted his infidel brother in Makkah a new garment that was given to him by the Prophet (peace be upon him).
It is permissible to offer gifts to them and accept their gifts because the Prophet (peace be upon him) said to the infidel owner of the sheep when the Prophet (peace be upon him) wanted to take the ewe: "Are those sheep for sale or for gifts?" Or he said: "Or a donation?" He said: No, They are for sale. The Prophet (peace be upon him) bought one sheep from him. The king of Ayla gave the Prophet (peace be upon him) a white she-mule and a garment.
Kindness, benevolence, and good deeds in Islam are given to Muslims and non-Muslims, moreover giving it to non-Muslims contain great reward for those who have good intentions because it is a means for attracting them to Islam, so it will be guidance to goodness and the Straight Path. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "Allâh does not forbid you to deal justly and kindly with those who fought not against you on account of religion nor drove you out of your homes. Verily, Allâh loves those who deal with equity."
Of the best acts of worship and good deeds is: Calling them to Allah (may He be Exalted) and make them embrace Islam by legal means and suitable methods which are desirable. Let it be known that calling non-Muslims to Islam is one of the best acts of worship, the best speech, and deserves more reward. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "And who is better in speech than he who [says: My Lord is Allâh (believes in His Oneness), and then stands firm (acts upon His Order), and] invites (men) to Allâh's (Islâmic Monotheism), and does righteous deeds, and says: I am one of the Muslims." The Prophet (peace be upon him) said in the Hadith that was reported by Muslim and others: "He who calls others to follow the Right Guidance will have a reward equal to the reward of those who follow him, without their reward being diminished in any respect on that account."
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said in the Hadith that was reported by Al Bukhari and others to Ali ibn Abu Talib (may Allah be pleased with him): "If one man is guided on the right path (i.e. converted to Islam) through you, it would be better for you than (a great number of) red camels."
What should be noted here is: The call should be in good manner, soft speech, and nice preaching. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "Invite (mankind, O Muhammad peace be upon him) to the Way of your Lord (i.e. Islâm) with wisdom (i.e. with the Divine Revelation and the Qur'ân) and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better. Truly, your Lord knows best who has gone astray from His Path, and He is the Best Knower of those who are guided." Allah (He may be Glorified) said to Moses and Aaron (peace be upon them) when addressing the Pharaoh: "And speak to him mildly, perhaps he may accept admonition or fear (Allâh)." Thus, Islam is the religion of cleanliness and should be introduced in a proper manner so that the receptionist would accept it.
Dear Muslim brother, have you seen this divine legislation which raised its people and set for them a tolerant system whether in their dealings with one another or in their dealings with others?
Therefore, the one who disagrees this sound system is mistaken such as the one who thinks that harming non-Muslims is rewarded or commanded by the Shari`ah, or thinks that good dealing with the infidels in unlawful, or deals with people according to his personal situations and emotions not based on the texts and the rulings of the Shari`ah; all these people are mistaken, fall under the threat, commit sins, and scare people away from the religion and Muslims.
I ask Allah (may He be Exalted) to guide us to the best morals and actions, for none can guide to them except He. We ask Him to drive away bad things from us, for none can direct them away but He. I ask Him also to forgive us, our parents, our Sheikhs, and all Muslims, for He is All-Hearing, All-Responding and He is the One whose aid is to be implored.