By Imam Murtadha Gusau
In the name Of Allah, Most merciful, Most compassionate
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all creation—may He extol the Messenger in the highest company of Angels and send His peace and blessings upon him—likewise upon his family, Companions, and true followers.
Dear Brothers and Sisters! This week’s (Friday) piece will In Shaa Allah be on the brotherhood in Islam.
Respected servants of Allah! Wallahi, Islam has taken every necessary measure to preserve humanity from division and discord. One of these measures is the principle of brotherhood. This principle wipes away all the differences that exist between people, like lineage, wealth, and all other qualities that people use to distinguish themselves above one another.
This is brotherhood of the closest kind.
The meaning of brotherhood as I intend it is a brotherhood based on faith and respect. It is a brotherhood that exists between a large number of people who share the same beliefs and religious identity. Allah Almighty says:
“And He has brought their hearts together. If you had spent all that was in the Earth, you would not have brought their hearts together.”
And Allah Almighty describes the believers as being brothers. He says:
“The believers are but brothers.”
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 can be based on belief and religious identity. This is the meaning intended when speaking about faith and other related topics. Allah the Most High says:
“The Believers are but a single Brotherhood.” [Qur’an, 49:10]
And He says:
“…so you, by His grace, became brothers.”
This verse means that they became brothers by virtue of their Islam and loved one another and were united through the greatness of Allah, so they cooperated in acts of righteousness and piety. Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said:
“A Muslim is the brother of another Muslim, so he should not oppress him, forsake him or despise him.”
Dear Brothers and Sisters! Please let’s think for a moment: Why did Islam establish brotherhood on the basis of faith and not on the basis of relationship or race?
The reason why Islam did not build its concept of brotherhood on blood relationship or race is because these two things have their basis in material considerations. Consequently, they cannot bring about a strong and united community that can resist the disagreements and conflicts that might tear it apart. This is especially true if the differences are ideological in nature or are based on beliefs and methodology. It has repeatedly been seen that blood brothers can be brought to kill one another when their beliefs or interests differ (eg: Kabilah (Cain) and Habilah (Abel)). In contrast, people who share the same faith or belief system can work together even though they come from different countries, speak different languages, or have different racial backgrounds.
The concept of the Ummah (Nation), that all Muslims are linked in one community of faith and belief, is an integral part of Islam. The Islamic Brotherhood is not based on economic interests, race, or colour. It is based on something infinitely superior: rejection of falsehood and acceptance of the Truth as revealed by the One True Allah (God). Not only is this Brotherhood based on faith, it is also a part of that faith. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“You cannot enter paradise unless you become a total believer and you won’t become a total believer unless you love each other. Shall I tell you what would increase your love? Spread the salam (peace), between yourselves.”
In one of his Hadiths, our beloved Prophet (Peace be upon him) says:
“They do not do injustice to others nor do they tolerate any injustice to themselves. In their love and concern for each other, all members of this Brotherhood are one body: when any part of the body suffers, the whole body feels the pain. When one of its organs fails, the rest of the body responds and watches over it by contracting fever.” [Muslim]
It is related by Abu Musa Ash’ari (RA) that The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said:
“The connection between Muslims is like that of a strong building – one part strengthens another.” The Prophet then showed this by interlocking the fingers of one hand with those of the other (that Muslims should remain united – thereby strengthening one another). “It is sufficient evil for a Muslim that he should look down upon his brother. The life, wealth, and honour of a Muslim are inviolable by another Muslim.” [Muslim]
And in another Hadith:
“Two brothers are likened to a pair of hands, one of which washes the other.”
Hudhaifah (RA) relates that:
“The Battle of Yarmuk had just ended. I was walking over the battlefield among the martyred and injured with a pitcher of water. I was looking for the son of my uncle. I found him lying in blood on the burning sand. He was about to die. I asked him whether he wanted water. Unable to speak, he gestured that he did. I was just offering it to him when a groaning was heard: ‘Water! Water! Please, a drop of water!’ My uncle’s son, whose name was Harith, heard that and gestured that I should take the water to him. I hastened to the groaning one, who was Ikrimah. Ikrimah had not yet taken the pitcher when a similar groaning was heard. Refusing to take the water, Ikrimah wanted me to take it to the one groaning. When I got to that one, who was Iyash, he was supplicating: “O Allah! We have never refrained from sacrificing our lives for the sake of faith. Honour us with the rank of martyrdom (Shahadah), and forgive our sins!” Iyash saw the water but did not live long enough to drink it. I immediately returned to take the water to Ikrimah. However, I found Ikrimah also martyred (died). Then I hastened to Harith, my uncle’s son. Unfortunately, he too was lying dead on the burning sand. This is the most touching event I have witnessed in my life. It was their unshakable belief in Islam, which caused them to behave that way. It was Islam which created such degree of brotherhood among people.”
Anas (RA) reports that Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) once said:
“I swear by the Allah Almighty in whose power my life is, any one of you cannot be a true believer unless he desires for his fellow-brother what he desires for himself.”
Allah, The Almighty, says:
“And hold fast, all of you together to the Rope of Allah and be not divided among yourselves and remember Allah’s favour on you, for you were enemies one to another, but He joined your hearts together so that by His Grace you became brethren.” [Qur’an 3:103]
On another occasion the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“The believer is friendly and easy to befriend. And there is no good in the person who does not befriend and does not get befriended.” (Ahmad)
Dear brothers and sisters! Another dimension of this brotherhood relies upon the idea of loving one another just for the sake of Allah. This idea can be exemplified by the words of our beloved Prophet (Peace be upon him).
The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) says:
“On the Day of Judgment, seats will be placed around the Throne (Al’arsh) [of Allah] for a group of people whose faces resemble the full moon. These people shall not experience any fear or terror although all others will. They are the friends of Allah (Auliyah) upon whom there shall be no fear and who shall not be sad. It was asked, ‘Who are those people, O Messenger of Allah?’ The Messenger (Peace be upon him) replied, ‘They are the ones who love one another for the sake of Allah, The Exalted.’”
Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) once said:
“A man set out to visit one of his brothers for the sake of Allah and Allah Almighty appointed an angel to watch over him. The angel asked the man, ‘Where are you going?’ The man replied: ‘I wish to visit my brother.’ ‘Do you need anything from him?’ asked the angel. ‘No,’ replied the man. ‘Then why are you going to visit him?’ inquired the angel. The man answered, ‘I love him for Allah’s Sake.’ The angel said, ‘Then know that Allah has sent me to tell you that Allah loves you because of your love for your brother and that He has decreed Paradise for you.’” [Muslim]
Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) also said in a Hadith Qudsi:
“Allah, the Exalted, says ‘Indeed, My Love shall be bestowed upon the ones who visit each other for My Sake. Indeed, My Love shall be bestowed upon the ones who love one another for My Sake. Indeed, My Love shall be bestowed upon the ones who approach one another in humility for My Sake. And, indeed, My Love shall be bestowed upon the ones that rush to help one another for My Sake.” [Ahmad]
Please, I beg all my Muslim brothers and sisters to forgive me, as In Shaa Allah myself, I forgive everyone who offended me.
I conclude with this and send prayers of blessings and peace upon our Prophet as our Lord commanded:
“Indeed, Allah confers blessing upon the Prophet, and His angels [ask Him to do so]. O you who have believed, ask [Allah to confer] blessing upon him and ask [Allah to grant him] peace.” [Qur’an, 33:56]
O Allah, guide us with those whom You have guided, grant us well-being among those You have granted well-being, be an ally to us along with those whom You are an ally to, and bless what You have bestowed upon us, and save us from the evil of what You have decreed. For verily You decree and none can decree over You. He whom You support can never be humiliated. Glory is to You, our Lord, You are Blessed and Exalted.
O Allah, we ask You for all that is good, in this world and in the Hereafter, what we know and what we do not know.
O Allah, we seek refuge with You from all evil, in this world and in the Hereafter, what we know and what we do not know.
O Allah, we ask You for the good that Your servant and Prophet has asked You for, and we seek refuge with You from the evil from which Your servant and Prophet sought refuge.
O Allah, we ask You for Paradise and for that which brings one closer to it, in word and deed, and we seek refuge in You from Hell and from that which brings one closer to it, in word and deed. And we ask You to make every decree that You decree concerning us good.
Respected servants of Allah! Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded.
Remember Allah, the Great – He will remember you. Thank Him for His favours – He will increase you therein. And seek forgiveness from Him – He will forgive you. And be conscious of Him – He will provide you a way out of difficult matters.
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all creation; may Allah extol the mention of our noble Prophet Muhammad in the highest company of Angels, bless him and give him peace and security―and his family, his Companions and all those who follow him correctly and sincerely until the establishment of the Hour.
Murtadha Muhammad Gusau is the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and the late Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: firstname.lastname@example.org or +2348038289761.
This Friday piece was prepared and sent to you from here on my admission bed in National Hospital Abuja, Nigeria. Please your kind Du’a and prayers are needed, and if Allah Almighty take my life, ask Allah please, to forgive my sins, my shortcomings and my failings, and grant me Jannatul-Firdaus.
Thanks, Wa Jazakumullah Khairan.