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Mending Relationships: Where is the Brotherhood?

When the ostracized Muslims fled Makkah in hopes of a new life in Madinah, they were welcomed with open arms.

It was by God’s decree that they were told to migrate, and it saved them their lives after years of oppression by the Quraysh, their brethren of whom they had shared a community with.

The Companions in Madinah

Madinah grew to be the first civilization known to mankind, and marked the glorious years of Islam. The Makkans must have made such a transition with great faith that God blessed them return with faith in them.

It wasn’t before long that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) arrived, with his companion Abu Bakr, only to find their kinsmen in great festivity with their new comrades.

They sang a celebration song upon seeing Prophet Muhammad approaching. He could see how they (the Makkans) and their new brothers from Madinah – had already bonded in a united nation, one that was going to develop and grow stronger.

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The story of the Ansar (the Madinan helpers) and Muhajireen (Makkan followers) is one to be reckoned with; complete strangers being brought together for the sake of God. On one hand, the Ansar were accepting strangers into their houses, feeding their families and giving them jobs.

On the other hand, the Muhajireen were depending on this community for homes and security after being disposed off by their own people, those who felt they were nothing more than scum roaming their land.

Yet the followers surrendered in full submission and trust in God that these new family ties would provide with a new home, while they prayed and planned for their return to Makkah, one sweet day.

Today’s Communities

There has never been a brotherhood that strong. In today’s world, one can argue that the Muslim community is really quite weak. How many times have we lent a hand to a person in need? And how many times have we stayed silent, waiting until asked to do something charitable? How much can we trust another person to enter our lives? When we look down the road, right outside our front porch, how many neighbors do we know by name?

How many of them are merely strangers passing by our house every day? How many times can we count on them when we need a baby-sitter on short notice?

When we are reading the news, how heart wrenching are the headlines when we notice war and destruction in other countries? What do we do about it? How conscientious are we of others feelings, plight, and freedom?

We live in a self-absorbed world, where the freedom of rights is being paraded daily. We forget that, as Muslims we have to pay allegiances to God first, before ourselves, and God has said this about our brotherhood:

And hold fast, all of you together to the rope of Allah, and do not separate (3: 103)

This is a true blow to consciousness. How united are we really? In some communities, some of us can’t even enter a Mosque without feeling the air of discrimination, maybe because we bring our children along. A few blocks down, a couple may be on verge of separation, with no one knowing or no one there to provide non-prejudice support.

In the next community, an orphanage may be falling apart due to lack of adequate funding. It is these little things that cause divide. This sort of divide was the norm prior to the advent of Islam.

The treatment of women and orphans was another concern. There were also various tribes that were deceitful and corrupt in their business undertakings, causing problems amongst the masses.

Prophet Muhammad was sent to diffuse these problems through believing in God and God alone. God speaks directly to His Apostle on why such problems arise:

And say to My slaves (i.e. the true believers of Islamic Monotheism) that they should (only) say those words that are the best. (Because) Shaytaan verily, sows disagreements among them. Surely, Shaytaan is to man a plain enemy. Your Lord knows you best, if He will, He will have mercy on you, or if He will, He will punish you. And We have not sent you (O Muhammad) as a guardian over them. (17: 53)

Banding Together

Problems arise in society because of Satan’s whispers, and without a strong sense of belief, men often fall directly into the enemy’s hands of anger, hatred and apathy. God reminds in this verse of the Quran for believers to again, come together to enjoin good and to ward off evil. We shouldn’t fight with each other, yet we do, and we do it constantly:

And the believers, men and women, are protecting friends of one another, they enjoin the right and forbid the wrong. (9: 71)

Banding together to ward off Satan is one of the fundamentals of building the Muslim nation. As vicegerents of the Earth, we are also here to keep the peace and serenity, as well as the sanctity of the environment, which is very much intertwined with our attitudes towards each other. The easiest way to do this would be to spread the message of Islam.

Our da’wah work for the sake of Islam is very important. It doesn’t necessarily have to be through dialogues and discussion, as many of us may not have the means to be this participative in community. And it doesn’t have to be through preaching or speaking to everyone in our neighborhood.

It can just be through our humble actions and our zeal to continuously please our Lord. We may not have to say a word about Islam and God, but through the way we greet another person, through the way we help with charity, through honesty we peruse when carrying out our work in the office, and it can be through the way we raise our children. Prophet Muhammad said:

You shall not enter Paradise until you believe; and you will not believe until you love one another. Shall I not guide you to a thing which when done will make you love one another? Spread the greeting of peace (salam) among you. (Muslim)

“World peace” is often paraded by politicians as their agenda, but in many cases they have perused war in order to achieve “world peace.” Yet in the Quran it says:

Ye believers are naught else than brothers. Therefore make peace between your brethren and observe your duty to Allah that haply ye may obtain mercy (49: 10)

All this worldly disruption can be avoided if we returned back to the Quran, understanding our rights upon our brothers and our duties as well. But what are our rights and responsibilities towards the Muslim next to us? The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:

A Muslim is a brother to a Muslim: Neither he wrongs him, nor hands him over (to another). And whoso comes in need of his brother, Allah comes in his need ; and whoso removes a calamity of a Muslim, Allah will remove a calamity from the calamities of the Resurrection Day, and whoso conceals the faults of a Muslim, Allah will conceal his sins on the Resurrection Day. (Al Bukhari and Muslim)

May we all cease to listen to the whispering of Satan and continue to strive to please God.

(From Discovering Islam’s archive.)