Hadith 35. Brotherhood Part C


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

  • The purpose of brotherhood is to help one another in worshipping Allah and attaining piety, otherwise it is artificial
  • Helping a brother is not necessarily when they ask for it, but it is also helping them when they need it
  • The prophet (SallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said “Help your brother whether he is oppressed or oppressive” (Reported by Bukhari). He (SallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said help, not rebuke
  • The prophet (SallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said, “Whoever a believer is humiliated before him and he does not help him when he is able to do so, Allah will humiliate him before the creation on the day of judgement” (Reported by Ahmad)
  • This hadith is encouraging us to have passion and concern for the believers everywhere
  • If lying was a solution to problems, then Allah would have made it halal
  • Holding a believer in contempt is a form of pride
  • The prophet (SallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said, “Pride/Arrogance is rejecting the truth and looking down on others” (Reported by Muslim)
  • Ibn Rajab said, “A pride person looks at himself with a look perfection, and looks at others with a look of shortcomings so he despises them and he does not see them worthy of him fulfilling their rights, or of accepting the truth from them”
  • Having piety helps us from falling into the things that have been mentioned
  • We should judge others based upon piety and as we don’t know the level of one’s piety, we should judge others equally
  • Imam Al-Nawawi said: “How can you despise someone, when they are either younger than you or older than you. The one who is younger, has probably sinned less than you, and the one who is older has probably done more good deeds than you”
  • Imam Al-Nawawi said we shouldn’t even despise a disbeliever as they may die a Muslim and you die a non-Muslim
  • The last part of this hadith is a very important principle which the prophet (SallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) used to mention in big gatherings
  • The prophet (SallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said, “If you were three, then two of you should not speak discreetly whilst neglecting the third person as this may make him sad” (Reported by Muslim)


Benefits and Action points:

  • Do not wait for your brother to ask you for help, rather offer them help without them having to ask
  • Do not allow for a believer to be humiliated before you and you do nothing to help them
  • There is no benefit in developing a good relationship with a person if you don’t help each other in attaining piety and in worship of Allah, and this friendship may be a cause of sorrow for you on the day of judgement
  • A Muslim should be someone who has an awareness about the reality of the Muslim ummah and knows it needs and tries to help wherever possible
  • Sometimes we may be tested by another person’s character, so we need to ensure we don’t oppress someone just because we don’t like their characteristics, when in fact they could be a pious person
  • A believer should always be conscious of not harming others
  • We need to have empathy and never harm anyone whether mentally or physically

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