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Loving Good For Your Brothers.


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Loving Good For Your Brothers.

 

The following was taken from a lecture given by Habib Ali al-Jifri

 

A sign that you have begun to love good for others is that you will want the greatest good in your relationship with your brothers who are near to you. If you see that Allah (SW) singles out one of your brothers with a particular blessing, either worldly or religious, it is incumbent that you search deep into your heart and find feelings of sincere happiness for him. It is stated in a hadith, "None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother that which he loves for himself." A sign of this love is that you do not become quickly angered if your brother makes a mistake while trying to do something good. Rather than opposing or criticizing him, you should assist him in the rectification of his mistake in a gentle way. It is not easy to have this attribute become firmly planted in the heart, because envy (hasad) is subtle, even among your companions. However, by being sincere and turning to Allah Most High continuously, this affair becomes easy. So, if you see that Allah (SWT) has blessed one of your brothers with uprightness, enlightenment, or righteousness, and it weighs heavy on your heart, the cure for this is to pray that Allah increase him in what He has given him. Say:

 

O Allah, increase him! O Allah, give him openings!

O Allah, give him Divine success!

O Allah, guide others by means of him!

 

The existence of the darkness of envy in the soul is a sign of not loving good for others. If Allah bestows a blessing up someone, you might say to yourself, "Masha-Allah, Allah has blessed him with that." However, if he happens to make the slightest mistake, you become angered and say things like, "He doesn't know what he is doing! He doesn't understand! He’s not benefiting people!" Pay attention to what you are saying here. Which is greater, the good he was doing, or the mistake that he made?

 

Another sign that the heart does not desire good for others is hastening to mention people's errors. This does not mean that you remain silent about the mistakes. Rather, it is upon you to advise your brother and strive to rectify the fault, without diminishing their honor. Your duty when rectifying is to correct the mistake, not to diminish the stature of the one who made the blunder. There is a big difference between the two. From the subtle, evil aspects of the soul regarding this, is the claim that your self is perfect and the other is deficient. Take for instance, when one says, "I am more knowledgeable than him. How could he be the one who does that? How could he have more students? Why are people praising him?" This is claiming that the self is perfect. Or when one says, "I have been studying longer than him. I have more sincerity than him,"

 

Do you know who said "I?" Pay attention! The one who said, "I," was Iblis. "I am better than him. You created me of fire, while You created him of mud." (7:12) He (Iblis), laughs at you and makes you his student when you say, "I" like he did. You are students of the inheritors of the Prophet (Sallahu alayhi wassllam), not of Iblis.

 

As for the other aspect of seeking deficiencies in your brother, when you say things like, "He does not know. He doesn't understand. He made a mistake in that. He didn't organize this, etc." What is your intention in saying these things? If your intention is to try to rectify his mistake, may Allah bless you because loving good for people necessitates this. However, if your intention when he makes a mistake is that you don't want him to do something good, sacrifice, or work hard… look into your hearts. Do you want to stop a good action from being done? Pay attention to what is going on.

 

Don't say anything that your brother would dislike if he were to become aware of what you said. You may only speak to the extent that is needed to rectify a wrong and give advice. You must address him first, if you are unable to, a third person that you know could benefit the situation by influencing him, or speaking to him. But to let your tongue loose and talk negatively about him saying things like, "So and so did this. So and so doesn't know. So and so made a mistake. So and so just wants this for himself. So and so just wants to be known." What does saying these things really mean? This is backbiting (ghibah), and completely impermissible.

 

You can speak to the extent that is necessary to rectify the mistake, but it is not permissible to criticize or dishonor your brother. If you are able to gently allude to your brother's imperfection (‘Aib) to rectify the situation, it is better than speaking to him directly. If you are able to simply move your lips to inform the person, it is better than raising your voice so that others can hear. If you can speak directly to him, it is not permissible to speak to another about it. If there is one person that can help rectify the mistake, then it is not permissible to speak to two. If two people can rectify the mistake, then you can't speak to three. You must speak to the minimal amount of people needed to rectify the mistake. This mistake is considered to be from the nakedness (‘awrah) of your brother so you should strive to veil the mistake and not expose it. If someone was sitting, and, unintentionally, part of his nakedness became uncovered, and you happen to see this, then you should inform him. If he is far and you are unable to speak to him, don't tell a person to your right or left, or who is in front or back of you, only tell the person who is closest to him so that he can tell him. When the person tells him, he will cover his nakedness and say, "May Allah reward you." But if you were to see the nakedness of someone exposed, and then say to the one next to you, "Look! His nakedness is exposed." And then he says to the person next to him, "Look! his nakedness is exposed." And then he says to the one next to him, "Look! his nakedness is exposed." Did you rectify the situation or humiliate your brother? Is this an affair of our Din? The spiritual nakedness is more severe than the physical nakedness regarding your brother's honor.

 

Firstly, we need to realise that we are completely poor and in need to serve the Din and the Din does not need us. We should fear to meet Allah without having served His Din. Second, by realizing that we don't deserve to serve the Din, rather, we should hope that by the grace of Allah, He will honor us to be from among those who serve the Din. If this becomes firmly implanted in your heart, Allah will use you for the service of His Din. But, if you believe that the service of the Din is in need of you, and say things like, "Leave them! They will eventually know who I am. They don't know how to do anything. They will try, but fail, and then come running to me. I am the one who knows how to do it." Does Allah need you? Are you crazy?! You believe that Allah needs you?! The Din needs you?! Or to say, "They didn't give me a good position. I deserve a higher position than that which they gave me." What do you deserve?! Or if you say, "I have this and this." What do you really have?! Were Allah to expose your smallest sin, no one would even greet you. So, we must be humble and broken before Allah and annihilate ourselves in the love of service.

 

May Allah give all of us openings and prepare us to implement these meanings and place these principles firmly in our hearts and make us from the elect that adopt them and unto the presence of the Prophet (sallalahu alayhi wassallam).

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