Hadith 35. Brotherhood Part A



On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (RadhiyaAllahu ‘anhu) who said: The Messenger of Allah (SallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said,

“Do not envy one another, and do not inflate prices for one another, and do not hate one another, and do not turn away from one another, and do not undercut one another in trade, but [rather] be slaves of Allah and brothers [amongst yourselves]. A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim: he does not oppress him, nor does he fail him, nor does he lie to him, nor does he hold him in contempt. Taqwa (piety) is right here [and he pointed to his chest three times]. It is evil enough for a man to despise his Muslim brother. The whole of a Muslim is inviolable for another Muslim: his blood, his property, and his honour.”

[Reported by Muslim]

Brief Commentary

  • This hadith focuses on the concept of brotherhood in Islam, and what destroys brotherhood
  • Brotherhood in Islam is not a theoretical concept and is not just feelings we hold for one another
  • It comprises of actions, many things we should do, and many things we should stay away from.
  • You cannot attain true brotherhood without knowledge as knowledge is needed to fulfil certain actions as we are told to e.g. correct way of demanding your rights from a brother
  • The Arabic word used in this hadith for envy means mutual envy where both sides envy each other. Similarly for the Arabic words used in this hadith for inflating prices on one another, hate, and turning away from each other, where they all imply the action being done in a mutual manner
  • Ibn Rajab said, “Envy is for a person to hate for others from his kind to surpass him in anything that is praiseworthy, and this is set in the nature of mankind”
  • The believer should realise they have a certain level of envy in their hearts, as this helps in attaining piety
  • Envy is the first sin committed in the higher world by Iblis, and the first sin committed in this dunya by Qabeel who was envious of his brother and thus killed him
  • Ibn Rajab said there are different types of envy:
    • Those who seek to remove the blessings from others by transgressing against them in speech and actions and try to take the blessing for themselves
    • Those who seek to remove the blessings from others by transgressing against them in speech and actions but do not try to take the blessing for themselves. This is the worst type of envy and is the envy that shaytan had of Adam (‘alayhi assalam)
    • Those who strive to gain the same virtue of the person they are jealous of and wanting to be like that person. The ruling on this depends on what the person is jealous of. If it is something of the dunya then there is nothing good in it, though it isn’t haram. If it is something related to the religion, then it is a praiseworthy action and not considered as envy
    • Those who if they find envy in their hearts, they try to remove it. They do this by striving to be good to the person they are envious of and making du’aa for them, especially in the thing they are envious of
  • Wanting good for the person you are envious of does not negate praiseworthy competition as when competing with someone in good, you also want that person to accomplish the task too. Praiseworthy competition is used to encourage others to do good
  • Ibn Taymiyyah said one of the signs of envy is that you hide the good qualities of someone, or if his good qualities are mentioned, you smirk, or stay quiet to show disapproval
  • Causes behind envy:
    • Love for the dunya, or even love for knowledge (between students of knowledge)
    • Fear of rivalry
    • Fearing the loss of the dunya
    • Hatred to others
  • Harms of envy:
    • You are removing the quality of the believers being merciful to each other as mentioned in Surah Al- Fath [48:29]
    • Causes punishment in the hereafter
    • It means you are unhappy with the decree of Allah
    • It is a quality of the disbelievers
    • Your good deeds are passed on to the one you envied
    • Leads to worry and anxiety as that is all you think of


Benefits and Action points:

  • Envy is hidden so we need to assume we have it, to ensure we don’t have it and get rid of it
  • Realise the ill-effects and dangers of envy and try to steer away from it
  • Try and compete with others who are better than you in matters of the religion, whilst wishing the best for them
  • Ways to remove envy from our hearts:
    • Do not compare yourself with others who have more than you in matters of the dunya
    • Mention the good qualities of the person you are envious of
    • Be good to the person you are envious of
    • Make du’aa for the person you are envious of
    • Wish that the person surpasses you in that which you are envious of
    • Do not witness or approve of gatherings where others are being mocked or their faults are being mentioned
    • Ponder over the harms of envy mentioned above
    • Avoid the causes of envy mentioned above

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: