Story No. 170 – Laying the Foundation for an Islamic Fraternity in Medinah
Madinah, Masjid-E-Nabawi The existence of sympathy, sincerity, and harmony among the people of a society makes that society a living one – one that is fit for human life and evolution, in which all can find salvation and progress and can enjoy each other’s sympathy and sincerity.
In the process of establishing such an ideal human society, Islam does not pay the least bit of attention to such considerations as race, language, skin colour, and geographical location. Rather, this holy religion regards all Muslims as equal. It looks only at the people’s faith in Allah (SWT), which is the root of all unity.
‘Islamic brotherhood’ is the phrase best revealing this all embracing unity. This meaningful, clear expression in Noble Qur’an describes this Islamic precept: ‘Truly the faithful are brothers.’ (49:10)
After having settled in Medinah and after building a mosque (Masjid-E-Nabawi) that was indeed the military and constitutional base of the Muslims, Mohammad, the Prophet of Islam (saw) took an excellent initiative. He laid the foundation of Islamic brotherhood, individually between the people of Medina (known as Ansar/Helpers) and the people of Makkah (known as Muhajir/Emigrants), so that great unity and sincerity would be engendered in Muslim society and so that the emigrant Muslims would know that, though they had lost a number of their friends and relatives and had been forced to leave their homes, in return, they had gained brothers who were much more loyal and sympathetic from every point of view.
Therefore, besides the general fraternity and brotherhood that exists among all Muslims, Mohammad, the Prophet of Islam (saw) concluded contracts of brotherhood among his followers. He proclaimed brotherhood to be a general law amongst the Muslims and taking into consideration their ranks and positions, established the bond between every two persons by making one the brother of the other; Abu Bakr with Umar ibn al-Khattab, Uthman with Abd ar-Rahman and so on. Amirul Mumineen, Imam Ali (as) had stretched himself on the ground, when Mohammad, the Prophet of Islam (saw) approached him and said: “Arise, O’ Abu Turab! By Allah (SWT)! I have not made you the brother of anyone for I have kept you for myself” and said, ‘Ali is my brother.’
Laying the Foundation for an Islamic Fraternity in MedinahOne of the requirements of Islamic brotherhood is that whatever a Muslim desires for himself, he should desire for his brother in Islam, and he should help his Muslim brothers by any means possible, whether by his wealth or by his speech or by any other means.
It was the principle of Islamic brotherhood that made the Ethiopian Bilal ibn Rabah and the Persian Salman Farsi brothers and two of the best companions of Mohammad, the Prophet of Islam (saw) of Islam. In the light of Islamic brotherhood, many deep-rooted enmities were reconciled and divided groups were united. This unity requires that all Muslims share each other’s sorrows and joys like members of a large family. Muslims should be sincere and affectionate toward each other, and their watchword should be unity and brotherhood.
Islamic brotherhood firmly holds all Muslims responsible toward each other and establishes an all-embracing responsibility so that Muslims cannot be heedless of each other’s troubles and problems but every Muslim must, within his own abilities; endeavour to solve the problems of Muslims and to create possibilities for the advancement and promotion of Islam. Thus Islam began to flourish with its enormous luminosity.
Mohammad, the Prophet of Islam (saw) said:
“Shall I not introduce ‘a believer’ to you? A believer is the one whom other believers trust with their souls and wealth. Shall I not introduce ‘a Muslim’ to you? A Muslim is the one from whose hand and tongue other Muslims are safe… It is unlawful (Haram) for a believer to do wrong against another believer, or leave him/her in a lurch, or backbite against him/her, or suddenly reject him/her.”
“Believers are brethren, their lives are equal to each other and they are as one hand against their enemy.”