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5 Ways to Nurture the Bonds of Brotherhood Between Believers The Qur’ān says: ‘The believers are indeed but brothers.’ 49:10 Brotherhood (or sisterhood, as the case may be) is a core principle of Islam. It is a brotherhood obliged by God; it is a brotherhood, the bonds of which are to be rooted in love of God. Islām not only explains the ideals of brotherhood, it lays down practical teachings that help to make it a reality in our daily lives. Such teachings include: 1. Remembering that Allāh has made the life and honour of every believer sacred. It is forbidden to harm a Muslim’s honour or repute, as it is to harm their life or their property. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: ‘Do not envy one another, do not inflate prices one to another, do not turn your backs on one another, and do not undercut one another – but be, O God’s slaves, brothers. A Muslim is the brother of another Muslim: he doesn’t oppress him or forsake him, nor does he lie to him or hold him in contempt. Piety is right here (pointing to his breast, thrice). It is evil enough to hold a brother Muslim in contempt. The whole of a Muslim, for another Muslim, is sacred: his blood, his property and his honour.’ Muslim, no.2564 2. Making it a part of our daily spiritual habit of supplicating for the well-being of Muslims. One hadith says: ‘The du‘ā of a Muslim for his brother [Muslim] in his absence, is always responded to.’ Muslim, no.2733 In fact, so great an act it is, and so sacred is the life of a believer, that the Prophet, peace be upon him, once declared: ‘Whoever seeks forgiveness for the believing men and women, God records for him a good deed for every believing man and woman [he prays for].’ Al-Haythamī, Majma‘ al-Zawā’id, 10:210 3. Devoting some time of our day, each day, in their service (khidmāh) in whatever capacity we can. So dear is this dedication and service to God, that one celebrated hadīth says: ‘God helps His servant as long as the servant continues to help his brother.’ Al-Bukhārī, no.2442; Muslim, no.2580 4. Ensuring not to end the day with rancour in our hearts against any Muslim, but striving to rid ourselves of this toxic disease whenever it arises. The following du‘ā from the Qur’ān is a powerful medicine for such a thing: ‘Our Lord! Forgive us and our brothers who preceded us in faith, and leave not in our hearts any rancour towards those who believe. Our Lord! You are Kind, Compassionate.’ 59:10 5. Doing one’s utmost to follow the Golden Rule: ‘None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.’ Bukhārī, no.13; Muslim, no.45 If, however, one is weak in faith and fails to live up to this lofty ideal, then to never fall below the minimum level of behaviour with others – as taught to us by the early pietist, Yahya b. Mu‘ādh al-Rāzī: ‘Let your dealing with another believer be of three types: If you cannot benefit him, do not harm him. If you cannot gladden him, do not sadden him. If you cannot speak well of him, do not speak ill of him.’ Allāhumma allif baynā qulūbinā wa aslih dhāta bayninā waj‘alnā min al-rashidīn. Āmīn! ----------------------- 1. Cited in Ibn Rajab, Jami‘ al-‘Ulūm wa’l-Hikam (Beirut: Mu’assasah al-Risalah, 1998), 2:283. Naseehah channel on telegram