Relations with one’s brother

It is now more important than ever to keep ties with one another. Doctors are advising us that it is damaging for our mental health to be isolated from the world and so we should make an effort, within the permitted boundaries, to keep relations with one another.

However, even in these times relations can get a bit strained. Undue pressure and stress of the world today takes its toll on even our relationships with one another and sometimes we can fall out with our friends.

Islam has prescribed advice for this exact point and that is the reminder for today. The imam reminded us that the Prophet SAWS advised us by saying:

“Beware of suspicion, for suspicion is the worst of false tales. Do not look for other’s faults. Do not spy one another, and do not practise Najsh (means to offer a high price for something in order to allure another customer who is interested in the thing). Do not be jealous of one another and do not nurse enmity against one another. Do not sever ties with one another. Become the slaves of Allah, and be brothers to one another as He commanded. A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim. He should neither oppress him nor humiliate him. The piety is here! The piety is here!” While saying so he pointed towards his chest. “It is enough evil for a Muslim to look down upon his Muslim brother. All things of a Muslim are inviolable for his brother in Faith: his blood, his wealth and his honour. Verily, Allah does not look to your bodies nor to your faces but He looks to your hearts and your deeds.”

Dear brothers, this is a key piece of advice from the best of teachers. We need to take stock of this advice now more than ever. However, as mentioned earlier, we are only human and can fall out with one another. But even this situation has advice and the imam relayed another hadith in relation to it. That’s translated to say:

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “It is not lawful for a Muslim to desert (stop talking to) his brother beyond three nights, the one turning one way and the other turning to the other way when they meet, the better of the two is one who is the first to greet the other.”

Dear brothers we can see that even when we fall out with each other, we are to reconcile within 3 days. Anything beyond that is going beyond our boundaries as Muslims.

This point is made even more critical through the hadith relaying the gates of Jannah. It’s translated to say:

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “The gates of Jannah are opened on Mondays and Thursdays, and then every slave (of Allah) is granted forgiveness if he does not associate anything with Allah in worship. But the person in whose heart there is hatred against his (Muslim) brother, they will not be pardoned and with regard to them it will be said twice: ‘Hold both of them until they are reconciled with each other.”‘

Dear brothers we should aim to avoid confrontation with each other. In fact, we should aim for the opposite and be a source of positivity for one another. Today’s reminder ends with the following advice from the Prophet SAWS who said:

“Do not belittle any good deed, even meeting your brother (Muslim) with a cheerful face”.

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Dear brothers, the need of a united ummah has always been a necessity, from the advent of Islam to the present day.

Allah SWT advises us of this in the Quran and the imam referenced this in today’s reminder through the 103rd ayat of Sura Al-Imran which is translated to say:

And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided. And remember the favour of Allah upon you – when you were enemies and He brought your hearts together and you became, by His favour, brothers. And you were on the edge of a pit of the Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus does Allah make clear to you His verses that you may be guided.

Alongside this we have the Prophet SAWS having taught us this important point which is captured in many ahadith. One of which was mentioned today which is translated to say:

“None amongst you believes (truly) until he loves for his brother” – or he said “for his neighbour” – “that which he loves for himself.”

Dear brothers, we are in a time and a place where the focus is the opposite of what we were put here for. Whereas once the focus of man was on his Creator, his Afterlife and his Soul, the focus these days is on the Creation, this world and the Physical self.

This skewed focus has resulted in a competitive nature in which man competes with one another and the essence of brotherhood is lost. The Prophet SAWS warned us of this and the hadith on this is translated to say:

Beware of envy because envy consumes (destroys) the virtues just as the fire consumes the firewood.

Dear brothers, we should be supporting one another more than ever before. We should stand in the face of the norm of competing and trying to outdo one another. As the Prophet SAWS told us:

A faithful believer to a faithful believer is like the bricks of a wall, enforcing each other.” While (saying that) the Prophet (ﷺ) clasped his hands, by interlacing his fingers.

And so, we conclude today’s reminder with another priceless lesson taught to us by the Prophet SAWS. These 6 pieces of advice in themselves is both something that is pleasing to Allah SWT but alongside that, done with sincerity, it promotes brotherhood in one another.

  1. If you greet one another, do so with salaam.
  2. If you are invited, accept the invitation.
  3. If you are asked for advice, give sincere advice.
  4. If you hear a sneeze from your brother, say Yarharmuk Allah after he praises Allah
  5. If you hear of a brother who is sick, pay him a visit
  6. If you hear of a death, attend the funeral
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