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Brotherhood in Islam
Author/Source: Sara Iqbal  (saraiqbal@gmail.com) Posted by: Sara Iqbal
Hits: 11169 Rating: 9 (3 votes) Comments: 1 Added On: Tuesday, March 14, 2006 Rate this article

BROTHERHOOD IN ISLAM

Introduction

Human beings today are lonely as we have never been before. We live in a crowded world, but many of us feel very, very alone. Unless human bonds are again infused with affection and warmth of love and brotherhood, we will never be able to taste the rich joys and pleasures of living together.

One of the greatest blessings of Islam is its admirable success in creating strong, warm, rich and durable bonds of love and brotherhood between human beings which no other religion has ever dreamed of. Love is the basic food for a wholesome life. Islam is the religion of love and affection. The entire world is a brotherhood of Allah’s people. Love and be loved is the wisdom which the Holy Prophet (PBUH) preached and practiced. Islam establishes human brotherhood on the basis of faith

Brotherhood in the light of Holy Quran

Islam also teaches brotherhood with regard to the original parentage. As far as their earthly origin is concerned, they are all descendants of the first pair of human being. So, the original common parentage is that of Adam and Eve and to this parentage, every human being belongs and of it he partakes.

“O, mankind! Surely we have created you of a male and female and make you tribes and families that you know each other, surely the noblest among you unto Allah is one who fears him .Lo! Allah is Knower Aware” Al-Hujurat [49.13]

This verse of the Glorious Qur’an indicates that the whole human race originated from a single pair of male and female are one brotherhood that has common great-grandparents and ancestors. Islam teaches that all mankind is but one family, as such all man and women are brothers and sisters. This verse also clarifies that the criteria for judgement in the sight of Allah does not depend on caste, colour, creed, gender or wealth, but on Taqwa_God consciousness, piety and righteousness. Any one who is righteous, pious and God-conscious, is honoured in the sight of Allah.

Further it is stated in the Glorious Qur’an in Surah Al-Rum.

“And among His signs is the creation of heavens and earth, and the variations in your languages, and your colours, verily in that are the signs for those who know” Al-Rum [30:22]

Allah describes the believers as being brother. He says

“The believers are but brothers” Al-Hujurat [49:10]

The reason for their being described in this way is that they all share the same beliefs, work towards the same goals, and share the same code of behaviour.

Brotherhood in the light of Hadith

The importance of brotherhood in Islam is not being overstressed here. The ahadith confirm and extend the Qur’anic teachings on the subject of the Islamic brotherhood. There are many hadiths relating to the fact that Muslim society is like a building, which bricks supports each other. For example

Abu Musa reported Allah’s Messenger (May peace be upon him) as saying: A believer is like a building for another, the one part supporting the other.

[Bukhari, Muhammad bin Ismaeel “Sahih Bokhari Sharif” Kitabul AdabBab Tawanul Momaneen Bazoohum Bazan 966 Vol.3, Pg 440]

The brotherhood of Muslims is a very deep and wide concept that guarantees the safety and the well being of the society at large. For example, a Muslim is not really a believer if he eats his full while ignoring the plight of hungry neighbour.

Ibn Abbas reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: the person who eats his full and the neighbour in his surroundings is hungry is not Muslim”

[Khateeb ul Tabreezi, Muhammad Bin Abdullah “Mishkat ul Masabih”Kitabul Adab Babul Shafqat o Rahmat Alal Khalaq 4772 Pg 452]

Thus, A Muslim’s faith is dependent upon his attitude towards other Muslims. If one who professes to be a Muslim does not wish for his brother-in-faith what he wishes for himself, he does not have true faith. It is clearly stated in the Hadith Narrated Anas: The Prophet said, “None of you is believer till he wishes for his brother what he likes for himself.”

[Nsai, Ahmad bin Shoaib “Al Sunnan” Kitabul Eman o Shraehi, Bab Alaamatul Momin Vol.8, Pg 125]
Moreover, it is sufficient evil for a Muslim that he looks down upon his brother. Prophet”s teachings in the regard is as follows:

“It is sufficient evil for a Muslims that he looks down upon his brother.”

[Al Tirmizi, Muhammad Bin Eesa “Al Jamae Ul Sahih” Kitabul Bir o Silah Ann Rasullallah(S.A.W), Bab Ma Jaa’ fee Shafqatul Muslim Ala Muslim 1927 Vol .4, Pg 325 ]

Brotherhood in the Historical Perspective

This brotherhood was established in Madina between the emigrants from Makkah (Muhajirin) and the helpers of Madina (Ansars).The Muhajirin (emigrants) had come to Madina empty handed and had left all their possessions and property in Makkah. They had no source of income and were living a life of extreme poverty and hunger. The Prophet therefore instituted a pact of brotherhood between the Muhajirin and the Ansar (helpers) according to which they become brothers in Faith. He appealed to them, “Let each of you take a brother in God.”[Afzalur Rehman “Encyclopaedia of Seerah” Vol. 1, Pg 643]

The relationship between Muhajerin and Ansars still Amazed the Orientalists.This brotherhood was indeed unique in the history of the world. As Muhammad Ali states:

“Each of the Refugee was bound to one of the Helpers in a bond of brotherhood. Fellow-felling and love on which this new brotherhood was founded, found wonderful expression. Each one of the Helpers took a brother Refugee home with him, placed half his house at his disposal and equally divided all his goods and chattels with him”[4. Muhammad Ali, Maulana “Muhammad The Prophet” Pg 204, 205]

For example Sa’d bin Rabi, a Helper said to his fellow brother Abd al-Rehman

“I am the richest man amongst the Helpers. This is my property, I am glad to share my property half and half with you. I have two wives select the one you like, I shall divorce her and after the expiry of Iddah, you may marry her.”

But Abd al-Rahman bin Awf was not prepared to accept anything neither property nor home. He replied: “God bless you in your property and your family; kindly direct me to the market.”

The Holy Quran pays tribute to the Ansars of Madinah in these words:

“And they prefer (the Muhajirin) above themselves though poverty become there lot.” Al-Hasher [59:9]

This relationship proved to be greatest asset of Muslims in the coming years.
Conclusion

Thus, the Islamic concept of brotherhood is a blessing for us. It remained the greatest asset of Muslims in the past and it helped us a lot in order to overcome our difficulties. We get united against our enemies. The feeling of brotherhood is an essential prerequisite for unity. It shuns turmoil, turbulence, strife and dissension. But in the present era, the spirit of brotherhood is found absent among Muslims.

Today, the Muslims are not united. There was a time when we ruled the world, but now we are being ruled. It was the feeling of togetherness that made Islam extends its boundaries to the gates of Vienna in the West. But now, we have forgotten the golden principle, the principle of brotherhood, and consequently have fallen into slavery and humiliation.

Muslims must keep in mind that there are numberless hostile tribes which are ready to attack the ‘commodity of believers’. That’s why Allah warns us against their evil designs and forbade us to take them as our friends. It is clearly stated in Holy Qur’an.
“Let not the believers take disbelievers for their friends in preference to believers. Who so do that has no connection with Allah unless (it be) that ye but guard yourselves against them; taking (as it were) security. Allah biddeth you beware (only) of Himself unto Allah is the journeying.” Al-Imran [3:28]

Especially, after the event of 9/11, there hostility against Muslims has become clearly visible. They are the strong preachers of Nationalism but for their common interest, they forget their geographical boundaries and get united. They made a so-called coalition against terrorism which proved to be a coalition against the Muslims. At first, they attacked at Afghanistan and then the poor people of Iraq had to face humiliation in their hands.

Perhaps, never before in history has the Ummah been so aloof to the sufferings of their Muslim brethren as they are today. Innocent Muslims, weak women and children are being tortured, killed and persecuted, globally. The Ummah is oblivious to the pangs of their sorrow and discomfort. As brothers in Islam, we need to take immediate action, to stop the genocide of Muslims. We should take up defensive positions against the hostile tribes by supporting each other and it is a thing which fits for people of faith. In contrary, we facilitates the assault of the enemy and have opened the gates for them to penetrate the fold of Islam by insisting on biased partisanship and hostile rancour. These have reduced our strength to such a degree that we can be defeated by the slightest force. It is evident that if two champions are fighting with each other, even a child can beat them. If two mountains are balanced in the scales, even small stone can disturb their equilibrium, causing one to rise and the other to fall.

In short, if we want to regain our lost glory we should forget our self-made differences and be united as we are being directed by Allah in the Holy Quran:

“And hold fast, all together, by the rope which Allah (stretches out for you) and be not divided among yourselves; and remember with gratitude Allah’s favour on you for ye were enemies and he joined your hearts in love, so that by his grace, ye become brothers; and ye were on the brink of the pit of fire, and He saved you from it”. Al Imran [3:103]

May Allah help us to establish the true spirit of brotherhood by forgetting our so-called differences. And it is only possible if we act upon the teachings of the Holy Quran and Holy Prophet especially in this regard. Let us step forward to promote ‘Islamic concept of brotherhood’ throughout the world. The world will Inshallah be
changed into a heavenly place. Where the differences of colour, language, race and nationality will get vanished. May Allah guide us to the Straight path. Ameen!


Comments
shahidas very good article, muslims today need to become a true muslim by 1.not dividing themselves into different groups because of a difference in some beliefs 2.gain good education both religious and other to progress if we really want to get out of this slavery before its too late every one should as they say sweep before your own door first, take account of your own selves to adopt 'taqwa and piety to get better as individuals and become part of good united muslim ummah.
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