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Can One Drill Into His Neighbours Wall?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by DarulIftaBirmingham

Answered by: Maulana Yūsuf Badāt


I was thinking of buying a big bookshelf for my room which is 80cm wide. When looking, I saw that the shelf has 2 parts on the top for screwing to the wall and a relative exclaimed that it will need to be screwed into the wall. My room is in the attic and the house we live in is attached right next to the house of neighbours and so my fear is that by screwing the bookshelf into the wall, whether the screws go into the neighbour’s side of the wall, even if it doesn’t pierce through the wall.

I was didn’t want to do this and wanted to keep the shelf without screwing but then that relative who is used to fixing items up mentioned that

I haven’t bought the bookcase and wanted to ask what to do, and if that relative gets involved with the set up then I’m wondering how he may react if I explain why I don’t want it screwed

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful


Neighbours do have rights and amongst those rights, is to abstain from harming them and or damaging their property. In the modern-day, most houses even though they may be attached, have separate walls which are quite thick. Therefore, there would be no impermissibility in placing the screw into your side of the wall. Shelves and their related screws, in the modern era, are also designed in accordance with the structures of the homes we live in. To be on the safe side, you can discuss the matter with the neighbour. I am confident they would approve of you screwing the shelf on your side of the wall. Alternatively, you may select a stand-alone type of shelf that does not require screws to be placed in walls. One should also note that priority should be to the injunctions of Islam and not necessarily the reaction you fear from a relative. – (See: Al-Qawāid Al-Fiqhiyyah, Page 31, Dār Al-Tirmidhī)1

The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) said, “Harming others or reciprocating harm of others is not permissible [in Islam].” – (Muwaṭṭa Mālik 1435)2

The Messenger of Allāh (peace and blessing be upon him) declared, “He will not enter Paradise whose neighbour is not secure from their wrongful conduct.” – (Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 46)3

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “There is no obedience to any created being if it involves disobedience to Almighty Allāh.” – (Musnad Aḥmad 1095)4

Only Allāh knows best

Written by Maulana Yūsuf Badāt

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

1 الضرر يدفع بقدر الإمكان – القواعد الفقهية ص٣١ دار الترمذي

لا ضرر ولا ضرار – رواه مالك في المؤط١٤٣٥

3 عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ‏ لاَ يَدْخُلُ الْجَنَّةَ مَنْ لاَ يَأْمَنُ جَارُهُ بَوَائِقَهُ – رواه مسلم ٤٦‏

4 عَنْ عَلِيٍّ عَنْ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ لَا طَاعَةَ لِمَخْلُوقٍ فِي مَعْصِيَةِ اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ‏ – رواه احمد في مسنده ١٠٩٥‏

This answer was collected from DarulIftaBirmingham.co.uk, which is run under the supervision of Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah from the United Kingdom.

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