A community consists of several individuals, and amongst the most regularly interacted with, are the neighbours. The religion and way of life that is Islam acknowledges that for any community to be upright, the social relations between neighbours must be maintained.
In recent times, Western individualism has subtly seeped through Muslim households, thereby creating a considerable disconnect between people. As a result of this, the Prophetic notion of maintaining social relations with neighbours is slowly deteriorating.
The Prophet (ﷺ) said,
مَنْ كَانَ يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ فَلْيَقُلْ خَيْرًا أَوْ لِيَصْمُتْ وَمَنْ كَانَ يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ فَلْيُكْرِمْ جَارَهُ وَمَنْ كَانَ يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ فَلْيُكْرِمْ ضَيْفَهُ
“He who believes in Allah and the Last Day should either utter good words or better keep silence. And he who believes in Allah and the Last Day should treat his neighbour with kindness, and he who believes in Allah and the Last Day should show hospitality to his guest.” 
This report makes a noticeable link between having faith in Allah, and displaying care and concern towards the neighbour.
The Prophet (ﷺ) communicates a clear disliking towards those who subscribe to the Islamic faith whilst disregarding their neighbour’s struggles.
al-Nawawī, a classical ḥādīth specialist, expounds on the above report by stating,
“What we learn from this is that every believer should display good conduct towards the neighbour, and go out of his way to ensure his/ her safety and security.
“Through doing so, both the neighbour and the believer will live in a contented manner.” 
Keeping in mind that Ramadan, the month of giving, is now in full swing, shouldn’t we take serious steps to start initiating social ties with our neighbours? This would definitely be in line with the Prophetic commandment.
Here are some practical steps we can take during this month of Ramadan, in order to kindle or rekindle social ties with our neighbours:
- Put aside a portion of food for our neighbours when making preparations for Iftar;
- Make a concerted effort to help with day-to-day tasks;
- Provide our non-Muslim neighbours a Ramadan experience, by taking them with us to the mosque.
In the next part of this series, we’ll be discussing the importance of visiting the sick.
Whilst we await its release, can you think of someone you know, who is unwell this Ramadan? Are you intending to visit them? And if not, what is stopping you?
 Muslim, Book 1, Ḥādīth 80
 al-Nawawī, Riyāḍ al-Ṣāliḥīn, Rights of the Neighbour, p.5