Uhuvvet – Brotherhood in Islam

As-salámu ‘alaikum wa rahmatul láhi wa barakátuh!”  
“A-úthu billáhi minash shaytánir rajeem.  Bismilláhir rahmánir raheem.
Al hamdu lillahi nahmaduhu wanasta’eenahu, wanastagh-firuhu, wanatoobu ilayhi, wana’oothu Billaahi min shuroori an-fusinaa, wamin sayyi aati a’maalinaa. May- Yahdillahu fa huwal muhtad, wa may- yudlill falan tajidaa lahu waliyan murshida. Wa ash-hadu an Laa ilaaha ill-Alláh, wahdahoo laa shareeka lah, wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhoo warasooluh”

In the name Of God, Most merciful, Most compassionate.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This week’s khutba will be on the brotherhood in Islam.

Islam has taken every necessary measure to preserve humanity from division and discord. One of these measures is the principle of brotherhood. This principle wipes away all the differences that exist between people, like lineage, wealth, and all other qualities that people use to distinguish themselves above one another.

This is brotherhood of the closest kind.

The meaning of brotherhood as we intend it is a brotherhood based on faith and respect. It is a brotherhood that exists between a large number of people who share the same beliefs and religious identity. Allah says: “And He has brought their hearts together. If you had spent all that was in the Earth, you would not have brought their hearts together.”

Allah describes the believers as being brothers. He says: “The believers are but brothers.”

The reason for their being described in this way is that they:
all share the same beliefs
work towards the same goals

and share the same code of behavior

Brotherhood can be based on belief and religious identity. This is the meaning intended when speaking about faith and other related topics. Allah says: “The Believers are but a single Brotherhood.” (Al-Hujurat 49:10) and “…so you, by His grace, became brothers.”

This verse means that they became brothers by virtue of their Islam and loved one another and were united through the greatness of Allah, so they cooperated in acts of righteousness and piety.

Allah’s Messenger (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “A Muslim is the brother of another Muslim, so he should not oppress him, forsake him or despise him.”

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Let’s think for a moment:

Why did Islam establish brotherhood on the basis of faith and not on the basis of relationship or race?

The reason why Islam did not build its concept of brotherhood on blood relationship or race is because these two things have their basis in material considerations. Consequently, they cannot bring about a strong and united community that can resist the disagreements and conflicts that might tear it apart. This is especially true if the differences are ideological in nature or are based on beliefs and methodology. It has repeatedly been seen that blood brothers can be brought to kill one another when their beliefs or interests differ (eg: Cain and Abel). In contrast, people who share the same faith or belief system can work together even though they come from different countries, speak different languages, or have different racial backgrounds.

The concept of the Ummah, that all Muslims are linked in one community of faith and belief, is an integral part of Islam. The Islamic Brotherhood is not based on economic interests, race, or colour. It is based on something infinitely superior: rejection of falsehood and acceptance of the Truth as revealed by the One True God. Not only is this Brotherhood based on faith, it is also a part of that faith. The Prophet (s) said: “You cannot enter paradise unless you become a total believer and you won’t become a total believer unless you love each other. Shall I tell you what would increase your love? Spread the salam.”

In one of his hadiths, our Prophet (pbuh) says:

“They do not do injustice to others nor do they tolerate any injustice to themselves. In their love and concern for each other, all members of this Brotherhood are one body: when any part of the body suffers, the whole body feels the pain. When one of its organs fails, the rest of the body responds and watches over it by contracting fever.” (Sahih Muslim)

It is related by Abu Musa Ash’ari (ra) that The Messenger of Allah said “The connection between Muslims is like that of a strong building – one part strengthens another.” The Prophet then showed this by interlocking the fingers of one hand with those of the other (that Muslims should remain united – thereby strengthening one another).

“It is sufficient evil for a Muslim that he should look down upon his brother. The life, wealth, and honour of a Muslim are inviolable by another Muslim.” (Sahih Muslim)

“Two brothers are likened to a pair of hands, one of which washes the other.”

Hudayfa relates: “The Battle of Yarmuk had just ended. I was walking over the battlefield among the martyred and injured with a pitcher of water. I was looking for the son of my uncle. I found him lying in blood on the burning sand. He was about to die. I asked him whether he wanted water. Unable to speak, he gestured that he did. I was just offering it to him when a groaning was heard: ‘Water! Water! Please, a drop of water!’

My uncle’s son, whose name was Harith, heard that and gestured that I should take the water to him. I hastened to the groaning one, who was Ikrima. Ikrima had not yet taken the pitcher when a similar groaning was heard. Refusing to take the water, Ikrima wanted me to take it to the one groaning. When I got to that one, who was ‘Iyash, he was supplicating: “O God! We have never refrained from sacrificing our lives for the sake of faith. Honor us with the rank of martyrdom, and forgive our sins!”

‘Iyash saw the water but did not live long enough to drink it. I immediately returned to take the water to Ikrima. However, I found Ikrima also martyred. Then I hastened to Harith, my uncle’s son. Unfortunately, he too was lying dead on the burning sand.

This is the most touching event I have witnessed in my life. It was their unshakable belief in Islam, which caused them to behave that way. It was Islam which created such degree of brotherhood among people.”

Anas (ra) reports that Rasulullah (s) once said: “I swear by the Holy Being in whose power my life is, any one of you cannot be a true believer unless he desires for his fellow-brother what he desires for himself.”

Allah, The Almighty, says:  “And hold fast, all of you together to the Rope of Allah and be not divided among yourselves and remember Allah’s favor on you, for you were enemies one to another, but He joined your hearts together so that by His Grace you became brethren.” (Qur’an 3:103)

On another occasion the Prophet (pbuh) said:  “The believer is friendly and easy to befriend. And there is no good in the person who does not befriend and does not get befriended.” (Musnad Imam Ahmad)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Another dimension of this brotherhood relies upon the idea of loving one another just for the sake of Allah. This idea can be exemplified by the words of our Prophet (pbuh).

For I have heard the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) saying: “On the Day of Judgment, seats will be placed around the Throne [of Allah] for a group of people whose faces resemble the full moon. These people shall not experience any fear or terror although all others will. They are the friends of Allah upon whom there shall be no fear and who shall not be sad. It was asked, ‘Who are those people, O Messenger of Allah?’ The Messenger (pbuh) replied, ‘They are the ones who love one another for the sake of Allah, The Exalted.'”

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) once said: “A man set out to visit one of his brothers for the sake of Allah and Allah (swt) appointed an angel to watch over him. The angel asked the man, ‘Where are you going?’ The man replied: ‘I wish to visit my brother.’ ‘Do you need anything from him?’ asked the angel. ‘No,’ replied the man. ‘Then why are you going to visit him?’ inquired the angel. The man answered, ‘I love him for Allah’s Sake.’ The angel said, ‘Then know that Allah has sent me to tell you that Allah loves you because of your love for your brother and that He has decreed Paradise for you.'” (Muslim)

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) also said in a Hadith Qudsi: “Allah, the Exalted, says ‘Indeed, My Love shall be bestowed upon the ones who visit each other for My Sake. Indeed, My Love shall be bestowed upon the ones who love one another for My Sake. Indeed, My Love shall be bestowed upon the ones who approach one another in humility for My Sake. And, indeed, My Love shall be bestowed upon the ones that rush to help one another for My Sake.” (Musnad Imam Ahmad)

Alhamdu lillahi Rabbil ‘Aalameen. Was-salaatu was-salaamu alaa Khayril mursaleen. Muhammadin-nabeey-yil Ummiy-yee, wa-‘alaa aalihee, wa sahbihee, aj-ma’een.
Ammaa ba’ad:
Innalláha wa malaaikata yusallúna alan nabi. Yá ay yuhal latheena ámanu sallú alayhi wasalli mú tas leema. Allahumma salli alá Muhammad, wa ala áli Muhammad, kama salayta ala Ibrahim, wa ala ali Ibrahim. Allahumma barik ala Muhammad, wa alaa áli Muhammad, kama barakta ala Ibrahim, wa ala ali ibrahim. Fil ála meen, innaka hameedun majeed.”

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