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The bonds of faith that are meant to unite Muslims from all across the globe cannot be rivaled by any other affiliation. In Surah Al-Hujurat, Allah says that the believers are brothers. Whereas, ties of kinship can easily be cut off when one is consumed by greed. Marriages fall apart over jealousies or owing to material struggles. Brotherly relations crumble over inheritance and family business. Friendships break down for the most trivial of reasons. Rights of a Muslim How can it be claimed that it is only the bonds of faith that keep afloat, come what may?
The example of the two tribes of Medina is hereby presented. The Aus and Khazraj tribes were at odds with each other before they embraced Islam. Endless conflicts that were passed on from generation to generation were a norm for them. And yet, once Allah planted the seed of faith into their heart, and Islam entered it, all past enmity was soon forgotten. Together they came to be known as the Ansar (Helpers) and were at the forefront of every sacrifice made for the cause of Islam in its early stages. The bonds of faith that had united them endured until their very last breath.
Regarding the bonds of faith, Allah Almighty said in Surah Al-Anfal that He united the believers’ hearts, and only He is capable of doing so.
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The six rights one Muslim has over another Muslim
The bonds of faith between believers are meant to culminate into unshakeable bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood. Binding relationships that are not ruled via whims and desires, but by carefully outlined principles. Islam chalks out the six rights of civility and courtesy that one Muslim owes to another, which are mentioned in a Hadeeth in Sahih Muslim.
- The first right is to welcome his Muslim brother with the Islamic greeting: ‘Assalamu alaikum’
- The second right is to accept an invitation extended by a Muslim brother to any halal event or gathering
- The third is to give advice whenever it is sought
- The fourth is to reply with ‘Yarhamukallah’ when a Muslim brother sneezes and says ‘Alhamdulillah’
- The fifth is to visit an ailing Muslim
- The sixth and final right is to attend the funeral prayer and funeral upon his death
This summarizes the six rights of a Muslim over another Muslim, which are to be considered an obligation to fulfill.
Muslims are the awliya of one another –Rights of a Muslim
Allah states in Surah At-Tawbah that the believing men and women are awliya of each other. This term refers to helpers, protectors, and friends, who enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong.
This very telling verse clarifies that Allah wants an action-based concrete bonding between believers and not merely one that theoretical. Believers, both men, and women are to reach out to each other for help and support.
The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said in a Hadeeth found in Sahih Muslim that the believers are like a body. When one of them feels pain, all of them are affected, just like the entire human body is affected by the pain of any limb.
This profound hadith offers a most befitting analogy with respect to Muslims. Just like when one part of the human body experiences pain, the body as a whole is affected. The pain does not happen in isolation in a way that the rest of the body can be indifferent to it. That is why when someone has a headache, they find it hard to perform the simplest of tasks.
When a Muslim sees his Muslim brother in emotional, mental, physical, or financial hardship, he should not look the other way. He must instead feel his pain and distress as though it were his own. This brotherly compassion gives his brother the strength and patience he needs while waiting for relief.
Love for your Muslim brother what you love for yourself
In a Hadeeth from Sahih Bukhari, the Prophet (PBUH) highlighted the importance of being unselfish. He said that no one genuinely believes without desiring for his brother what he desires for himself.
This should unquestionably be a Muslim’s attitude with his brother. Before giving him a gift, think whether it is something that he would have liked to receive. Before saying or doing something to him, assess if he would like that to be said and done to him. So on and so forth. Such an attitude will surely ensure that no injustice is done.
Exchanging gifts strengthens the bonds of faith and brotherhood
Sharing is caring. Muslims should occasionally visit each other often and exchange halal gifts. Receiving a gift gladdens the heart and nurtures the brotherly relationship. A gift does not need to be expensive or extravagant as it is the thought behind it that counts. The brother should remember to say ‘Jazak’Allahu khayr’ in return for the gift.
Never harm your Muslim brother – Rights of a Muslim
In a Hadeeth from Tirmidhi, The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) stated that a believer is one who does not harm his fellow believers with his hand and tongue.
In addition to how one Muslim can benefit and support another, is the commitment to do him no harm. There is no question of a Muslim backbiting, slandering, or cursing his brother in faith. No verbal, physical or monetary harm is permissible. This self-restraint is from amongst the lofty attributes of a believer. This demonstrates how Islam prioritizes social cohesion.