On the authority of Abi Hamza Anas bin Malik, the servant of the messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) who said: “None of you [truly] believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.” Reported in Bukhari and Muslim
Significance of This Hadith
This hadith puts forth a general principle that can be applied in all walks of life. It underlines one of the most easiest and powerful ways to develop love, kindness, compassion and empathy towards our fellow Muslim brothers and sisters irrespective of which country, race, nationality, social-economical status or financial background they come from. A true Islamic community is built upon love and compassion towards others. Once this is achieved, the possibility of jealousy, hatred and envy are automatically negated.
“None of you [truly] believes…”
The negation mentioned here is not a negation of existence (of Iman), but a negation of completeness (of Iman). For a person to have true and complete faith, he must love for his brother what he loves for himself.
“…until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.”
If you have Iman, then you must love Iman for others, even those who are sinners. This love can only be attained if we remove any envy or hatred from our hearts.
Some of the rights of brotherhood include:
Seeing to their needs: This is of three levels, namely
- Lowest: Seeing to their needs when they ask, and doing so in a welcoming way and with a smile on your face
- Middle: Seeing to their needs without them needing to ask
- Highest: Putting forward their needs over yours
Fulfilling their rights pertaining to your tongue, which include:
- Calling them by their best names
- Calling them and addressing them with good in their presence and absence
- Informing them of your love for them
- Making dua for them
- Informing them of others’ praise of them and being happy about it
- Thanking them for what they do
- Not mentioning their faults in presence or absence (except to privately advice them in a polite manner)
- Not arguing with them or mocking them
- Not asking about what they dislike to speak about
- Not asking them questions which they might feel uncomfortable talking about
- Never telling their secrets to others
- Not informing them of others’ mockery of them
Being loyal and sincere to them:
- Loyalty means to be constant in your love for them when they are alive and to their loved and close ones when they pass away.
- Have good thoughts and never think ill of them
- Remain humble with everyone
- Be easy-going and don’t ask them for things that may cause even a small difficulty for them.
Putting This Hadith into Practice
Naming, blaming and damning others is by far one of the easiest things to do. Not taking personal responsibility for a mistake we do, accusing others, finger pointing, name calling and passing vile and rude comments is something all of us have indulged in at some point of time in our lives.
Giving excuses to our fellow brothers and sisters is becoming increasingly difficult. However, we are quick to judge, blame and decide about a person’s actions without realizing or stopping to think what may have caused them to behave in such a manner. This hadith should help us become better Muslims, in turn becoming slaves whom Allah is pleased with.
- If you feel jealousy or hatred towards your brother/sister, then make dua that Allah increases them in good as this will help in removing jealousy/hatred from your heart
- Ask Allah to remove ill feelings from your heart, for indeed, He is the controller of hearts
- Love for everyone to be a believer
- When you have knowledge of something good, make dua that Allah blesses others with that as well
- Apply this hadith to everyone, not just practicing Muslims
- Whenever you make a dua for your brother/sister in faith, the angels invoke the same for you as well, so you have nothing to lose. It’s a win -win situation! So what’s stopping you?