Let’s we ask to ourselves two important questions, “Have we loved others like we love ourselves? Have we expected for others what we expect for ourselves?”
How important it is to make Allah’s messenger pbuh said, “None of you will have faith till he wishes for his (Muslim) brother what he likes for himself.”[i]
According to An Nawawi in ‘Sharah Hadith Arba’in’, ukhuwah that is mentioned in hadith above is brotherhood in general, so it’s including Muslim and Non-Muslim. So, besides loving our Muslim brothers, it’s also necessary for us to love Non-Muslims which don’t fight against us in the definition to hope goodness to them like guidance, ease, etc. We must not judge anyone will be thrown to hell because as long as he/she still alive, the gate of repentance will still be opened for him no matter how big his/her sins are. Only God knows the end of anyone’s life and the guidance that may come to him/her. Off course, our hope should be followed by real effort like reminding and helping each other in kindness and piety.
We need to realize that if we still unable to love others like we love ourselves, we are still among envy people. Al Ghazali divided envy in 3 groups. First group of envy is the willing that other’s fortune will be removed to him. Second is the willing that other’s fortune will be removed, no matter whether it will be removed to him or not, and this is the worst type of envy. Third, he doesn’t want other’s fortune to be removed, but he doesn’t like others to have more fortune and power than him.
All kinds of envy above are forbidden in Islam because they show the rejection of God’s apportionment while He is The Owner of all Who gives to whom He will. Envious will not able to change what has been prescribed but rather it will severe the relationship and cause heartache that will be suffered by the one who envy.
So, it’s clear for us that if we want to be among believers, we are not only demanded to love Allah and His Messenger more than all else, but we should also love others because of Allah. By loving each according to their appropriate level, we will be protected from the tendency to go against the rules of Allah and His Messenger in loving ourselves and others.
The more specific brotherhood discussed here is brotherhood between Muslims (Ukhuwah Islamiyah). With this brotherhood, the believers as regards their being merciful among themselves and showing love among themselves and being kind, resembling one body, so that, if any part of the body is not well then the whole body shares the sleeplessness (insomnia) and fever with it[ii]. Or, a believer is like a brick for another believer, the one supporting the other[iii]. This will be possible if we have empathy, enter our brother’s feeling so we began to feel what others feel. This feeling is show in our supports and helps to solve their problem.
Prophet said: “He who alleviates the suffering of a brother out of the sufferings of the world, Allah would alleviate his suffering from the sufferings of the Day of Resurrection, and he who finds relief for one who is hard pressed, Allah would make things easy for him in the Hereafter, and he who conceals (the faults) of a Muslim, Allah would conceal his faults in the world and in the Hereafter. Allah is at the back of a servant so long as the servant is at the back of his brother…” [iv]
This brotherhood is not limited by country borders, tribes, skin colors, languages, or any worldly limits. We are all God’s creations, united by strong bond that is Islam aqidah. Our state in God’s sight is determined by our piety and the best Muslim is the one with best manners and characters, and also the one who give the most benefits to his surroundings.
With those concepts, there will be no jealousy to others happiness or success. Happiness upon other’s misery will no longer exist in our heart.
The beauty of relationship between Muslims is show by people in the past i.e. Ansar and Muhajirin, and described in Surah Al Hashr verse 9: “Those who entered the city and the faith before them love these who flee unto them for refuge, and find in their breasts no need for that which hath been given them, but prefer (the fugitives) above themselves though poverty become their lot. And whoso is saved from his own avarice such are they who are successful.”
Relating to the verse above, there’s a story narrated by Abu Huraira: A man came to the Prophet. The Prophet sent a messenger to his wives (to bring something for that man to eat) but they said that they had nothing except water. Then Allah’s Apostle said, “Who will take this (person) or entertain him as a guest?” An Ansar man said, “I.” So he took him to his wife and said to her, “Entertain generously the guest of Allah’s Apostle ” She said, “We have got nothing except the meals of my children.” He said, “Prepare your meal, light your lamp and let your children sleep if they ask for supper.” So she prepared her meal, lighted her lamp and made her children sleep, and then stood up pretending to mend her lamp, but she put it off. Then both of them pretended to be eating, but they really went to bed hungry. In the morning the Ansari went to Allah’s Apostle who said, “Tonight Allah laughed or wondered at your action.” Then Allah revealed: “But give them (emigrants) preference over themselves even though they were in need of that And whosoever is saved from the covetousness Such are they who will be successful.” (59.9) [v]
The story above gives a teaching that love will not just able to erase envy but also it could make us preferring others above ourselves and make us willingly sacrifice for others.
One of prophet’s advice to make love grows between Muslims is by spreading salam. The one who receive salam is required to answer it with something equal or better. By that, each Muslim is accustomed to hope and pray goodness for his brother.
In other hand, Islam forbids suspicion, looking for the others’ faults, backbiting, insulting, nursing grudge, envy, hatred and other deeds that will endanger brotherhood. Moreover, it’s not permissible for any Muslim to desert his brother for more than three days or turns his face away from the other and the better of the two will be the one who greets the other first[vi]. Besides, if two parties of believers fall to fighting, we are ordered to make peace between them[vii]. So, every quarrel between human being is better to be solved as soon as possible to avoid grudge and enmity.
Allah has made oppression unlawful for Him and unlawful for Muslims so we are not allowed to commit oppression against one another.[viii] Relating to this, prophet ordered us to help our brother whether he is an oppressor or an oppressed one. If he is the oppressor, we should prevent him from doing it, for that is his help; and if he is the oppressed, he should be helped against oppression. So, we need to be fair so we can place ourselves in truth and we fight against falsehood not based on hatred but based on love because of Allah and with intention to help our brother to get out of that sin.
How lucky a person who can solve all his quarrels in the world is, so he can be free from the responsibility of it on judgment day. Allah’s Apostle said, “Whoever has oppressed another person concerning his reputation or anything else, he should beg him to forgive him before the Day of Resurrection when there will be no money (to compensate for wrong deeds), but if he has good deeds, those good deeds will be taken from him according to his oppression which he has done, and if he has no good deeds, the sins of the oppressed person will be loaded on him.”[ix] And how poor a person who comes with full loaded good reward that day, but in the end should loose all, even loaded by sin because of his sins to others. Nauthubillahi minthalik.
Finally, ukhuwah Islamiyah is the quintessential element for the strength of the Muslim Ummah and it will protect us from any kind of oppression. Only with that Islam will lead the world and spread justice to humankind. And, may we can be among His servants those are loved by Him, and people who will be sheltered by His shadow when there is no other shadow but His because we love each other for Allah[x]. Ameen.
[i] Bukhari Volume 1, Book 2, Number 12 & Muslim Book 1, Number 0072
[ii] Bukhari Volume 8, Book 73, Number 40
[iii] Muslim Bk 32, Number 6257
[iv] Muslim Bk 35, Number 6518
[v] Bukhari Volume 5, Book 58, Number 142
[vi] Bukhari Volume 8, Book 73, Number 100
[vii] Quran 49:9
[viii] Muslim Bk 32, Number 6246
[ix] Bukhari Volume 3, Book 43, Number 629
[x] Muslim Bk 32, Number 6225