Islamic brotherhood brings with it certain responsibilities and rights. It is important for every Muslim who acts for the sake of Allah to adhere to certain principles that will ensure a meaningful and sustained Islamic brotherhood that will fulfill its desired aims The following are some of the responsibilities and rights :
- Each of the brother’s must be willing to assist and help the other and give the other preference over himself. He must also check on his brother constantly as much as he would check on himself.
- A Muslim must also visit another brother when he is ill, help him when he is busy with something, remind him when he forgets, welcome him when he comes close, make room for him when he wants to be seated and listen to him when he speaks.
- Thirdly, one brother should not speak about another except when he has good and positive things to say. It is not correct to highlight any of his shortcomings, either in his presence or his absence. He must not expose any of his brother’s problems and he should not reveal his secret matters to the public.
- Everything a Muslim says about his brother must be as if he loves to speak the same about himself. He should call his brother by the names that he likes the most and when he hears praise about him¨ he should convey it immediately to him to reflect his pleasure.
- He should not reprimand his brother in public, but rather show him privately how to improve his state. A brother should also overlook his brother’s slips and lapses. If one commits a sin, either secretly or publicly, his brother should not cut off his love for him nor discontinue their brotherhood. He should rather wait for his brother to repent and return to Allah .
- It is a responsibility for one brother to give financial help and assistance to another It is recommended that each of the brothers financially assist the other if he finds him in need.
- Part of this brotherhood is that one brother does not request of his brother what would be difficult for him to fulfill He must not try to take advantage of his brother’s influence or wealth. The foundation of this complete brotherhood is being brothers for the sake and love of Allah . It is important for the friendship not to revolve around material gain, so that the unnecessary burden and strain of this world does not affect your love for Allah.
- A brother must pray for his brother and family in the same way and with the same commitment as he prays for himself. This is because there is absolutely no difference between the two of them as a united brotherhood. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“Whoever prays for his brother behind his back, has an angel saying to him, ‘And for you the same’.”
- Inviting towards the good and forbidding the evil is also the duty of every Muslim towards his Muslim brother. A Muslim should always guide his brother towards doing the right thing He should give him good advice and make it easy for him to engage in fulfilling the commands of Allah.
- When someone passes away, it is the nature of a Muslim brother to grieve for his brother. He will be concerned about that which his brother has to face and he will pray for him and ask forgiveness for him while he is buried.
- When The Prophet (peace be upon him) migrated form Makkah to Madeenah (hijrah), many Muslims emigrated as well. The Muhaajiroon (emigrants) were met by the Ansaar (helpers) on their arrival in Madeenah. The Muhaajiroon received a warm welcome from the Ansaar.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) established, under the circumstances, a special type of brotherhood. He paired a brother from the Muhaajiroon with a brother from the Ansaar and instructed them to be brothers unto one another. The Ansaar gave half of their wealth to the emigrants. The Ansaar were farmers and gave half of their yields to help the Muhaajiroon. They embodied the spirit of brotherhood and possessed the intrinsic characteristics of true Muslims. Allah says in the Qur’aan:
- A person must aspire to fulfill the ties of brotherhood until his death.
- It must be noted also that most of these rights are not limited to Muslims only.
- The rights of Islamic brotherhood once again reflect the complete wisdom of Allah and the consequences of this wisdom. It is the duty of every Muslim to make a concerted effort to achieve this relationship with another brother, whether he is a part of your family or just a friend, for the sake of Allah.
ICO’s Publications – Islamic Studies curriculum – Grade 8/ Part1