A Believer is Devoted to His Brothers

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“A believer is devoted to his brothers”1

When Ja’far ibn Abi Talib was martyred in the Battle of Mu’tah, our Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was deeply saddened and may have even shed tears, but he accepted the martyrdom of his cousin with patience, and these words came from his lips.2

In truth, our Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was an exceptional person who cared deeply for everyone and empathized with their troubles. When the news of Ja’far ibn Abi Talib’s martyrdom arrived, he likely explained the reason for his sorrow to the companions who witnessed his grief, simultaneously highlighting a sensitivity that should be present in an ideal believer to those around him, and therefore, to us, his ummah. In this, we should remember not only to follow the Prophet and accompany him but also the devotion that this distinguished group of Companions had for one another.

Islam witnessed the best example of living Islamic truths on earth through the community of the Sahabah (companions). The dynamics that made them Sahabah were evident from the very name given to them. These people, who bonded with and befriended each other, exemplified the best of companionship, abandoned rebellion, and believed in the magical power of obedience, were extremely devoted to one another. They wrote a remarkable history. In the history of humanity, there is no other community that loved each other so much and whose love became legendary. Their heroism is so vast that it cannot be contained in volumes; these people were so devoted to each other that even while dying, they would offer a sip of water to their friend, or give half of their possessions to their fellow Muhajir who migrated for the sake of religion. Works like Al-Istiab, Usd al-Ghaba, Al-Isaba, and Hayat al-Sahaba narrate this epic to us.

There are many hadiths that emphasize brotherhood. Let’s mention two of them here:

“A Muslim is a brother to another Muslim; when a Muslim meets another Muslim, he responds to his brother’s greeting with the same words or in a better manner, advises him when asked for advice, helps him against his enemies when asked for help, shows and guides him on the right path when he seeks it, lends him support (financial assistance) when asked for it, but does not lend support if it would be against his brother’s interest, and is so eager to help his Muslim brother that if his brother asked him for his place in Paradise, he would even give that.”3

In another hadith, our Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) describes the necessary bond between believers: “The connection between one believer and another is like that of the bricks in a building, each strengthening the other.”4

Footnotes:

1.Ibn Hamza, Asbab Wurud al-Hadith, 3/252.

2.Ibn Hamza, Asbab Wurud al-Hadith, 3/252.

3.Ali al-Muttaqi, Kanz al-Ummal, 1/151-152. On this matter, M. Fethullah Gülen says: “A mature person and a true friend is one who knows how to say ‘Please, go ahead’ even when leaving Hell and entering Paradise.” (M. Fethullah Gülen, Ölçü veya Yoldaki Işıklar, p. 121.)

4.Bukhari, Salat, 88, Mazalim, 5; Muslim, Birr, 65; Tirmidhi, Birr, 18; Nasa’i, Zakat, 67.

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