Explanation of the Hadith of the Six Rights of every Muslim
Imam Muslim narrated from the route of Abu Hurayrah may Allah reward him greatly that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam) said: <<The rights of the Muslim upon the Muslim are six.” It was said, “And what are they O Messenger of Allah?” He replied, “When you meet him, give him the greeting of peace, when he invites you, respond to his invitation, when he seeks your advice, advise him, when he sneezes and praises Allah, supplicate for mercy upon him, when he becomes ill, visit him, and when he dies follow his funeral.>>
Dear brothers in Islam, whoever establishes these six rights when dealing with the Muslims, will have abundance of goodness and tremendous reward from Allah.
The First Right: “When you meet him, give him the greeting of peace by saying “as-salamu ^alaykum” or “as-salamu ^alaykum wa rahmatul-lahi wa barakatuh”. This is a recommended matter and not an obligation. Verily the greeting of peace is a cause of love and supporting one another. The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: <<By the One in Whose control is my soul, you will not enter Paradise until you believe, and you will not have all the qualities of the righteous believers until you love each other. Shall I not direct you to something that if you do it, you will love each other? Spread the greeting of peace amongst yourselves.>> Narrated by Muslim.
The Second Right: “When he invites you, respond to his invitation.” This means that when he invites you with an invitation to some food and drink fulfil the request of your brother who has drawn near to you and honoured you with the invitation. Respond to his invitation unless you have a religious excuse.
The Third Right: His statement, “And when he seeks your advice, advise him.” This means that if he seeks consultation with you regarding some action, as to whether he should do it or not, then advise him with that which you would like for yourself.
The Fourth Right: “And when he sneezes and praises Allah, then pray for mercy upon him.” This is due to the fact that sneezing is a favour from Allah, in the expelling of this congested air that is blocked in certain parts of the body of the human being. Thus, the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) legislated that the person praises Allah for this favour, and he legislated for his Muslim brother to say to him, “May Allah have mercy upon you.” He also urged the person who sneezed to answer his Muslim brother by saying to him, “May Allah guide you and set right your affairs.”
The Fifth Right: His statement, “And when he becomes ill, visit him.” Visiting the sick is from the rights of the Muslim, and especially for the person who has a highly stressed and emphasized right upon you, like the relative. It is from the best of the righteous deeds. And whoever visits his Muslim brother, he remains engulfed in the mercy of Allah until he returns, and the angels ask for forgiveness for him as narrated in the sahih hadith.
The Sixth Right: His statement, “And if he dies, follow his funeral.” For verily whoever follows the funeral until the deceased’s body is prayed over, then he will receive a Qirat of reward. A Qirat is an amount equivalent to the size of the Mountain of Uhud in Madinah. And if he follows the funeral procession until the body is buried, then he will receive two Qirats of reward.
In the end, let us all reflect upon these rights which the Prophet taught to his nation so we may re-feel that we are like one body when one part feels pain, then all of it will be affected by sickness and fever.
And Allah knows best