In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Mankind, despite their different their races, environments, social ranks and circumstances, are of one and the same human nature. To this effect, Allah, Glory be to Him, says,
“ It is He who created you out of one living soul.”
They even have the same natural dispositions. Allah, says,
“ Allah’s origin upon which He originated mankind.”
They are also of one composition. Allah, the Almighty, says in the Divine Hadith,
“O David! Remind My servants of My Beneficence to them, as human beings have been made so as to love whosoever does good to them and to hate whosoever does evil to them.”
Such common human qualities shared by all human beings necessitate the spread of human fraternity amongst them. However, this natural fraternity and cooperation is prone to vanish and give way to enmity, hatred and aggression when people forget that they have a Creator, Who knows their secrecy and publicity, Who knows whatever things they do, Who will sooner or later recompense them for all their deeds, when their behavior is governed by their whims, when their ardent desires drive them to devour property of sh3er and to transgress their dignity and honor, and when powers of evil, on top of which is Satan, inauthor enmity and hatred amongst them.
Divine legislation in the Noble Quran as well as Prophetic tradition (Sunna) inauthors Muslims to maintain and develop this humanitarian fraternity on the basis of unity of human composition as well as the fact that all human beings have their major as well as minor needs reciprocally integrated. To this effect, the Noble Scripture goes,
“O mankind, We have created you male and female, and appointed you races and tribes, so that you may know one another. Surely the noblest among you in the sight of Allah is the most pious of you.”
Fraternity of faith, however, is one of the basic fundamentals principles, essential requirements and manifest features of Divine Legislation. The Noble Scripture confirms such fundamental basis of the relationship amongst believers. Allah, says,
“Believers indeed are brother.”
Interpreters confirm that the above verse is a nominal statement which emphasizes stability and continuity of fraternity amongst believers. It also stresses the fact that unless a believer feels that he is he really belongs to the community of believers, and unless he feels deep inside truthful and sincere fraternity towards them, he is either an unbeliever or suffers from impurity of faith. The verse also asserts that the relationship between believers is often far stronger and deeper than that of kinship. Enmity, hatred, rivalry, and envy are considered to be unhealthy and alien features that have to be treated and eliminated. Allah, Praise be to Hi, says,
“So set things right between your two brother, and fear Allah; haply so you will find mercy.”
The Messenger of Allah, (PBUH), made humanitarian fraternity one of the basic pillars of true Faith. He (PBH) said,
“The one of you will never be a true believer until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.”
[and until he hates for his brother what he hates for himself.]
Some Hadith interpreters said that the words
embrace every kind of humanitarian brotherhood, which is confirmed in another Prophetic Hadith,
“All mankind are Allah’s dependents, most beloved of them to Allah are the most beneficial to His dependents.”
The Noble Scripture strongly forbids any kind of attitude or behavior that demolishes the feeling of fraternity amongst believers. It prohibits scoffing, reviling one another by nicknames, evil suspicion, spying, and backbiting. To this effect, Allah, Glory be to Him, says,
“O believers, let not any people scoff at another people who may be better than they; neither let women scoff at women who may be better than themselves. And find not fault with one another, neither revile one another by nicknames. An evil name is ungodliness after belief. And whoso repents not, those-they are the evildoers. O believers, eschew much suspicion; some suspicion is a sin. And do not spy, neither back bite one another; would any of you like to eat the flesh of his brother dead? You would abominate it. And fear you Allah; assuredly Allah turns, and He is All-compassionate.”
Prophetic tradition also forbids everything that leads to enmity and hatred which weakens or demolishes fraternity amongst believers. The Messenger of Allah, (PBUH), says,
“A Muslim is the brother of another Muslim. He never betrays him, never lies to him, never fails him (in time of need) never does injustice to him, never insults him, and never lets him down.”
He (PBUH)also says,
“All the Muslim is sacrosanct for another Muslim: his honor, his wealth and his blood. It is sinful enough for a man to degrade his Muslim brother.”
He, also forbids any behavior or attitude that might lead to enmity and hatred, saying,
“Do not envy one an other; do not do injustice to one another in purchase; do not hate one another: do not turn your backs to one another; Do not sell at lower prices than one another, but be, o servants of Allah, brother.”
Furthermore, when Satan despairs of inciting people to worship other deities than Allah, he resorts to sowing seeds of dissension and discord amongst the believers and provoking enmity and hatred amongst them. Jabber, the venerable Companion, may Allah be pleased with him, said,
“I have heard the Messenger of Allah, (PBUH), say, ‘Satan has despaired of being worshipped in Arabia, but he is contented sowing seeds of dissension amongst them’.”
We might be surprised when we find out that the Messenger of Allah, (PBUH), shows out that destruction of fraternity amongst believers is so dangerous that it demolishes their religion and cuts off their connection with their Lord. To this effect, he says,
“Beware of dissension because it shaves off; I don’t say it shaves off hair but I say it shaves off religion.”
Islamic legislation does not only forbid everything that might weaken or demolish fraternity of faith, but also bids to everything that deeply roots, strengthens, consolidates, enhances and develops it.
The All-wise Legislator bids Muslims to spread greetings amongst themselves He, All-High, says,
“And when you are greeted with a greeting, greet with a fairer than it, or return it; surely Allah keeps a watchful count over everything.”
The Messenger of Allah, (PBUH), was one day asked, “Which Islam is better?”He replied,
“To provide food, and to greet those whom you know and those whom you know not.”
Most helpless of all are those who fail to supplicate their Lord; meanest of all are those who refrain from greeting. In his book of Hadith, At-Tirmithy quotes the Messenger of Allah, (PBUH), as saying,
“O people! Spread greetings, provide food, pray while other people are asleep, surely you get into the Garden of Paradise in peace.”
Beyond a shadow of doubt, exchange of greetings spreads peace and drives away dissension and discord among people. To this effect, the Messenger f Allah, (PBUH), says,
“Spread greetings and you will be safe.”
In order to deeply root fraternity of faith and solidify its bonds, the All-Wise Legislator bids for visiting patients. The Messenger of Allah, (PBUH), says,
“Provide food for the hungry, and visit the ill, and ransom the captive.”
Visiting patients includes asking about their health, looking after them and being kind to them. The Messenger of Allah, (PBUH), narrates his Lord as saying,
“ ‘O son of Adam. I was ill but you did not visit me!’ He said, ‘O my Lord! How can I visit you and you are the Lord of All Beings!?’ He said, ‘Did you not know that My servant so-and-so was ill and you did not visit him.!? Did you not know that if you had visited him, you would have found Me with him!?’”
Attributing illness to Himself, Allah All-high, means to give honor to the patient and soothe his heart. Even more, the words
“You would have found Me with him”
denote that if the servant is deprived of health, he is granted peace of mind and tranquility as well as nearness to his Lord.
For the purpose of deeply rooting and consolidating fraternity of faith amongst Muslims, the All-Wise Legislator also bids Muslims to accept invitation when invited. Abdullah bin Omar, quoted the Messenger of Allah, (PBUH), as saying,
“Whosoever is invited but does not respond disobeys Allah and His Messenger”
“If I were invited to sheep feet at Al-Ghameem (a very far place in Medina) I would respond.”
In order to deeply root fraternity of faith and solidify its bonds, the All-Wise Legislator bids Muslims to be truthful to each and every believer. The Messenger of Allah, (PBUH), one day said,
“Religion is but Truthfulness.”
The Companions asked “O Messenger of Allah! To whom?” He (PBUH) replied,
“To Allah, to His Book, to His Messenger, and to Muslim leaders and common people.”
Muslims have also been ordered to have mercy on the young and respect for the old, to help the wronged and maltreated, to suppress anger, to pardon fellow humans and do good to them.
* * *
The Messenger of Allah, (PBUH), did not only forbid the things that may weaken or destroy brotherhood of faith and command the things that may strengthen and consolidate such brotherhood, but also he was a perfect exemplar of Muslim brotherhood to his Companions and people. In the battle of Badr, riding camels were not enough; so the Messenger of Allah, (PBUH), said,
“Let every three (of you) use one camel (in turns, one after another); Ali, Abu Lubanah and I shall use one camel.”
And when it was the Noble prophet’s turn to walk, his two companions beseeched him to keep mounting. He (PBUH) said,
“You are not stronger to walk than I am; and I am not in lesser need of good reward than you are.”
And when his Companions wanted to slaughter a sheep, one of them said,“I shall slay it.”Another one said, “I shall skin it.”A third said, “I shall cook it.” The Messenger of Allah, (PBUH) said,
“And I shall collect the firewood.”
They said, “O Messenger of Allah! We can spare you that!” He (PBUH) said,
“I know that; but Allah detests to see His slave distinguish himself from his fellow humans.”
* * *
Scientific explanation of Muslim Brotherhood among believers can be as follows. In the character of each believer, there are certain qualities, traits, conceptions, values, morals, principles, goals, tempers, moods, customs, traditions, emotions, feelings, tendencies, desires, motives, and attitudes, which may include hundreds of sub-qualities and attributes, and which comprise man’s general character. And since true Faith colors believers’ characters with a special distinct deeply rooted set of qualities and attributes which bring them together and make them different from sh3er. The more numerous the common qualities and traits between people are, the more compassion, affection, friendship and fraternity prevail among them.
Therefore, in the life of every human being, there is a character that he makes for himself, a character that he hates to make for himself, because it contradicts with his own character, a character that he likes, because it falls in well with his own character, and a character that he aspires to make for himself, because it is sublime and paramount. The Noble Koran draws attention to this fact and points out that people’s hearts can never be brought together into perfect harmony except by values, morals and feelings derived from heavenly Divine sources. To this effect, Allah, Praise be to Him, says,
“If you had spent all that in the earth, you could not have united their hearts, but Allah has united them.”
The Messenger of Allah, (PBUH), also says,
“Believers are truthful and friendly (to one another) even though they may be in distant places; and hypocrites are deceitful and envious (to one another) even though they may be in nearby places.”
* * *
The afore-mentioned are theoretical principles of Muslim Brotherhood, but what about practical applications of such theoretical principles?
In fact, Muslim Brotherhood was clearly manifested by the Muhajirin (the Immigrants) and the Ansar (the Helpers) upon the Prophet’s and his Companions’ immigration to Medina. The Noble Prophet (PBUH) made brother among the Immigrants and Helpers in couples. For example, he (PBUH) made brother between Sa’ad bin Ar-Rabee’(1), the helper, and Abdul-Rahman bin ‘Aouf(2), the immigrant. Sa’ad addressed Abul-Rahman, “O dear brother! I am the wealthiest man in Medina; and I have a couple of orchards. So, take the one you like!”The latter replied, “May Allah bless your wealth! Just tell me where the market-place is,” and went to the market-place, where he traded and earned enough money for a decent living and got married.
Another example of Muslim Brotherhood between believers, which eliminated all social differences that were prevalent before Islam, was what Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq(3), may Allah be pleased with him, did when he came past Umayah bin Khalaf(4) while the latter was torturing Bilal Al-Habashi, may Allah be pleased with him. Abu Bakr addressed Umayah, “Don’t you fear Allah, the Almighty, with this poor man (Bilal)?! How long will you keep torturing him?!” Umayah replied, “ Save him from what you see.” Abu Bakr said, “I do; take more money than his price, and set him free,” and paid Umayah the money, emancipated Bilal from slavery, took him by the arm in brotherhood and equality. Umayah said, “Take him. I swear by Al-Lat and Uzzah! Even if you had refused to buy him for one Dirham, I would have sold him to you!” Abu Bakr replied,“I swear by Allah! Had you charged a hundred thousand for him, I would have given you!” and took Bilal by the arm saying, “This is my real brother!” Whenever the Noble Prophet’s Companions spoke of Abu Bakr and Bilal, they would say, “He (Abu Bakr) is our master who emancipated our master (Bilal).”
Upon the Noble Prophet’s death, Bilal went to Abu Bakr, (PBUT), and said, “O Caliph of the Messenger of Allah! I desire to go and fight in the Way of Allah until I die.” Abu Bakr replied, “And who will perform the Azan (the Call to Prayer)?” With tears in his eyes, Bilal said, “I shall never perform the Azan after the death of the Messenger of Allah.” When Abu Bakr insisted that Bilal should stay and call to prayer, Bilal said,“If you have emancipated me to make me your own, I shall do what you ask; but if you have emancipated me for the sake of Allah, leave me alone with Him for Whose sake you have emancipated me.” Abu Bakr replied, “Nay, indeed I have emancipated you for the sake of Allah; so, go wherever you want to go!”
Muslim Brotherhood among believers, which eliminates all social differences between fellow humans, was also substantiated by Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq (PBUH), whose neighbors were old women he used to visit to milk their sheep for them. When he became Caliph, the old women expected that he would no longer come to milk their sheep for them. But they were greatly astonished when he, although he had become Caliph, knocked their doors to milk their sheep for them as usual.
Allah, Glory and Praise be to Him, describes true believers as,
“They give preference (to sh3er) over themselves, even though they are in bad need of that.”
Such a description of true believers is substantiated in the incident narrated by Huthaifah Al-‘Adawi, who said, “In Yarmouk Battle, I went to look for a cousin of mine among those who were killed; and I had some water for the wounded. I said to myself, “If he is still alive, I shall give him some water.”But he was dying. I offered him the water, but while he was about to drink, he heard another wounded person moaning. He pointed to him and asked me to take the water to him. He was Hisham bin Al-‘Ass(5). I hurried to offer him the water. But while he was about to drink he heard a third man groaning with pain. Therefore, he pointed to him and asked me to take the water t him. I hurried to the third man, but I found him dead. I hurried back to Hisham, but e was also dead. And I hurried back to my cousin, but he was also dead.”
(1)Sa’ad bin Ar-Rabee’, may Allah be pleased with him, was a venerable Companion. The Messenger of Allah, (PBU), made brother between him and Abdul-Rahman bn ‘Aouf, and he insisted to give his brother half of his wealth and on of his two orchards. He was one of the chiefs who attended the ‘Aqabah Pledge of Allegiance. He was martyred in the battle of Uhud.
(2)Abdul-Rahman bin ‘Aouf, may Allah be pleased with him, was a venerable wealthy, generous and thankful Companion. He was one of the six men of the Shourah (Counsel). Before he embraced Islam, he was called Abd ‘Amr; but the Messenger of Allah, (PBUH), called him Abdul-Rahman. He passed away in the year 32 H. and was buried in Al-Baqee’.
(3)Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq, Abdul-Lah bin Abi Quhafah, may Allah be pleased with him, was the first Companion of the Messenger of Allah, (PBUH), and the first rightly guided Caliph.
(4)Umayah bin Khalaf was the head of the infidels of Bani Lou’ai. He was the one who tortured Bilal, may Allah be pleased with him, in the early days of Islam. He was killed in Badr Expedition.
(5)Hisham bin Al-‘Ass, may Allah be pleased with him, was a brave righteous venerable Companion, who embraced Islam in Mecca and immigrated to Abyssinia. He was martyred in the battle of Yarmouk in the year 13 H.