Muslims are Brothers to Each Other
It is not enough for a Muslim not to cause distress or suffering to another Muslim, and to prevent him coming to harm. Rather it is the duty of every Muslim to help other Muslims, to try to fulfil their needs, and to try to relieve their suffering if they are going through difficult times.
Allah Ta’alah says in the Holy Quran, “…and do good deeds, so that you achieve success.” (22:77)
Doing good deeds is inclusive of being kind towards others, showing mercy towards them, trying to fulfil their needs and relieving their suffering.
Merits of Helping Another Muslim
Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Umar RAA has narrated that the Holy Prophet ﷺ said,
“A Muslim neither causes suffering to another Muslim, nor does he leave him at the mercy of his enemies. If a person is busy fulfilling the needs of his brother, then Allah Ta’alah will remain busy fulfilling his needs as long as he is busy helping his brother. If a person removes some hardship or distress from a Muslim, then Allah Ta’alah will remove one of the hardships from him that he was going to face on the Day of Qiyamah.”
“And if a person covers a Muslim’s weakness, Allah Ta’alah will cover his weakness on the Day of Qiyamah.”
For example, if a person finds out that a Muslim has a particular weakness or has committed a sin, but rather than publicize it to other people he keeps it a secret, then Allah Ta’alah will cover his weaknesses and his sins on the Day of Qiyamah.
A Muslim is Like a Brother to Another Muslim
In this Hadith, the Holy Prophet ﷺ has established a core principle in the very first sentence,
المسلم اخو المسلم
“A Muslim is like a brother to another Muslim.”
We should treat every Muslim the same way we would treat our own brother, even if that other Muslim is a total stranger. With this one sentence the Holy Prophet ﷺ has removed any justification for discrimination based on ethnicity, language, or place of birth. According to this Hadith every Muslim is the brother of every other Muslim regardless of which language they speak, which race they belong to, which place they were born in, or what colour their skin is.
No Human Being is Superior to Another
In Quran Karim Allah Ta’alah says,
“O mankind, We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into races and tribes, so that you may identify one another. Surely the noblest of you, in Allah‘s sight, is the one who is most pious of you. Surely Allah is All- Knowing, All-Aware.” (49:13)
It means that all human beings are descendants of one man and one woman, Hazrat Adam AS and Hazrat Hawwa (Eve) AS. Therefore, as they all have the same parents, no human being is superior to another human being.
Why So Many Ethnicities?
The question that then arises is if all human beings are children of the same parents then why did Allah Ta’alah create different ethnicities and nationalities? Why couldn’t everyone be of same ethnicity, spoke the same language, had the same colour?
Allah Ta’alah has answered this question with the word لتعارفو “so that you can recognize each other.”Meaning that if everyone looked the same, had the same ethnicity, and spoke the same language, then people would have had difficulty differentiating between people. If there are three people of the same name then we identify them through these characteristics like where they are from, which language do they speak, etc. Otherwise these characteristics are not a matter of pride or believing that one ethnicity or nationality is superior to another. The only person who is superior to others in Allah’s eyes is the one who has Taqwah (fear of Allah). The person who has more Taqwah is closer to Allah, regardless of how poor he is.
Ethnic Differences Have No Importance in Islam
Abu Lahab, who was the uncle of the Holy Prophet ﷺ, has been cursed in the Holy Quran in the verseتَبَّتْ يَدَا أَبِي لَهَبٍ وَتَبَّbecause of his enmity towards the Holy Prophet ﷺ, while Hazrat Salman Farsi RAA, who was from Persia, achieved such a status that the Holy Prophet ﷺ declared, سلمان منا اهل البیت
“Salman belongs to my household”. This way the Holy Prophet ﷺ crushed all the myths of ethnicity and language by his own practice and established the principle that all believers are brothers of each other.
Through his Hadith the Holy Prophet ﷺ established the principle that Muslims are like brothers to each other, regardless of which language they speak, which ethnicity they belong to, and which nationality they hold. It is not only people who were born in my country, or people who speak the same language as me, who I am supposed to be good to.
The whole history of Islam is witness to this that whenever Muslims divided themselves on the basis of ethnicity, language or nationality, they started fighting amongst themselves and got destroyed. May Allah make us truly believe in this principle. Ameen
Do We Treat Muslims as Brothers?
We all say verbally that all Muslims are our brothers, but when the time comes to show it by practice do we actually treat other unrelated Muslims as we would treat our brothers? All of us need to look into our own hearts and ask ourselves this question. And if we haven’t been doing it as yet, then we should promise ourselves that from today onwards we will treat all Muslims just like our brothers. May Allah Ta’alah help us fulfil this commitment. Ameen
A Brother Does Not Harm a Brother
In the next sentence of the Hadith the Holy Prophet ﷺ describes the first sign of treating other Muslims as brothers, لا یظلمه meaning that because a Muslims is another Muslim’s brother he will never harm him. It means he will never attack his life, his property or his honour, and will never violate his rights.
Helping Muslims in Need
In the next sentence in this Hadith the Holy Prophet ﷺ says, ولا سلمه. It means that not only a Muslim doesn’t harm another Muslim, he also doesn’t leave him helpless. It is the duty of every Muslim that if they see another Muslim in distress or in need of something, then they should step forward to help them, and shouldn’t think why should I waste my time helping this person, what will I get out of it.
The Sunnah of The Holy Prophet ﷺ About Helping Others
It was the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet ﷺ that, throughout his entire life, whenever he heard about a person needing something or being in some sort of distress, he became quite perturbed and did not rest until he had done everything he could to help that person. It was only at the time of Treaty of
Hudaybiyyah when the Holy Prophet ﷺ entered into an agreement with the non-believers, as per Allah’s command, under which he was bound not to help those Muslims who had fled from Makkah to Medinah, and to return them to Makkah, and said that he was helpless in doing so. At any other time,it probably never happened that the Holy Prophet ﷺ saw a Muslim in distress and did not help him. May Allah Ta’alah help us follow his Sunnah in this regard. Ameen
وآخر دعوا ان الحمد ﷲ رب العالمين