Community of Fraternity / Hadith (3)
On the authority of Anas Ibn Malek, the servant of the Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, from the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, who said, “None of you [truly] believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.” Reported by al-Bukhari and Muslim.
Meanings and Lessons:
- In this hadith, the Muslim’s fundamental belief is not denied; what is denied is the higher rank of Iman (faith) if the Muslim holds in his/her heart vices such as envy, hate, bigotry, cunning, malice towards his/her Muslim brother or sister.
- Fraternity remains a false claim if the Muslim believer does not translate it into acts. Does fraternity mean anything if you lead a spendthrift life while your neighbor is in dire straits? How could you claim fraternity when you hear of an urgent need to feed the hungry and save lives and you do not give a hand? If you are confined to your own well-being and that of your close family, it is plain individualism and egotism no matter how much worship you perform. It is weird to see a Muslim devout save money to perform his optional ‘Umra (the lesser Hajj) every year while he can, with that money, provide for the needy.
- One of the misconceptions that is recurrent in the mainstream Islamic discourse is the borrowed notion of “commitment”. When a member joins an Islamic group, he is given a list of organizational rules and regulations to comply with to confirm his/her “commitment” or affiliation to the group or party. But the ties between believers go beyond organizational terms to encompass bonds of faith and loyalty to accomplish lofty goals of justice and morality and seek the pleasure of God, Exalted is He.
- Muslim fraternity crosses borders to resonate with the major causes of Muslim community. Your fraternity claims are ungrounded unless you share the sufferings of Muslims across the world and contribute in campaigns to relieve the pain and ensure protection and safety, namely those who undergo persecution, dispossession, torture, siege, among other plights in Palestine, and minorities in Myanmar, China, India, and other areas not covered by the media.
- Fraternity is a crucial element in building a strong community which can brave obstacles and cement inter-communal relations. For this reason, the first thing the Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, did on his arrival in Madinah was building a mosque and fraternizing the two major Muslim factions at the time: Muhajirun (emigrants) and Ansar (host supporters). The Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, was aware of the potential disagreement that might transpire between the two factions given the residues of tribalism, so the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, engaged in the decisive process of fraternization to sever any attempt of fracture or disintegration.
- The model of fraternity in Islam should extend to include all humanity. Due to human kinship, Muslims should build bridges with non-Muslims, mainly those chivalrous people who care for human rights and dignity. These are values and goals we can share with them and it would be advantageous for all of us to narrow the gaps, understand one another and work for the well-being and peace of the world.
“And Praise be to God, the Lord of the worlds”