‘Sunan that Strengthens Unity’
Among the basic principles of Islam are Unity and coming together, we can see in the rulings and aspects of Islam that unity and coming together is either enjoined as an obligation or is recommend from the Sunnah, there are aspects such as One Lord, one Book, one Prophet, one religion, one direction (Qiblah) and one ummah.
Salah & Hajj are prime examples of the unity and the call of coming together in Islam, everyone rich-poor, young-old, all ethnicities are enjoined to come to Salah and pray in congregation. Similarly for Hajj who ever can afford it are all obliged to do Hajj and are supposed to wear the same type of garment. Imagine millions wearing the same type of garment at the same place, at the same time, what better example can we get of coming together and of unity, no other religion calls for that.
And on the other hand Division, differences and disputes are the cause of the down fall of the ummah, as Allaah said (interpretation of the meaning):
“And obey Allaah and His Messenger, and do not dispute (with one another) lest you lose courage and your strength departs, and be patient. Surely, Allaah is with those who are As-Saabiroon (the patient)” [al-Anfaal 8:46]
Islam doesn’t just urge us to be united it has shown ways to achieve unity.
THE 3 INFALLIBLES
The first and most important of these guidelines is: Clinging to the three infallibles;
It is these infallible that determine the correct method of understanding the Religion. It is these infallibles which make up the great usool (fundamentals) that this precious Ummah should be called to gather and unite upon.
Apart from these three core conditions laid for us to achieve unity there are other advices from the Sunnah that helps achieve unity. Like helping each other, wanting the good for others as you want for yourself, to not spy, to not be jealous, to not harm others, to take everything related to a Muslim brother as sacred all of which makes us mindful of the rights of the people of the society and also guides us to remain untied.
Here we will list some important Sunan that will help us stand united.
Be the Strength of one another
Allah says (interpretation of the meaning) :“Help one another in acts of piety and righteousness. And do not assist each other in acts of sinfulness and transgression. And be aware of Allah. Verily, Allah is severe in punishment” (al-Maaidah:2)
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “The relationship of the believer with another believer is like (the bricks of) a building, each strengthens the other.” He ﷺ illustrated this by interlacing the fingers of both his hands. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
The Hadeeth calls upon unity in the Muslim Community and gives an example of bricks how when they are put together they strengthen each other. Unlike what we are doing now i.e. pulling each other down and being the weakness of each other, it should actually be the other way around, we should be the reason to strengthen the Muslims and the entire ummah.
BEING A GOOD NEIGHBOR
This can be listed amongst the foundations that we should be working on to build unity amongst the Ummah. Once we have a strong bond within our neighbourhood we can expand to close by neighbourhoods and Masjids. It is sad to see how we have abandoned this important aspect of Islamic teachings. How are we going to achieve unity worldwide if we cannot unite with the brother and sister next door?
The importance of this can be seen in the Ayahs & number of ahadeeth reminding about this.
Allah S.W.T. says: “Worship Allah and join none with Him in worship, and do good to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, Al-Masakin (the poor), the neighbour who is near of kin, the neighbour who is a stranger, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (you meet), and those (slaves) whom your right hands possess. Verily, Allah does not like such as are proud and boastful”[an-Nisa’ 4:36].
The Prophet ﷺ said,
Along with the orders to do good we Muslims are also warned against causing our neighbours any sort of harm, be it by annoying them or by treating them badly (this also helps build the relation and unity). He ﷺ said,
The Rights of the Neighbour on us as stated by Scholars are
– Initiation of greetings
– Being helpful
– Sharing food
– Visiting if sick
– Offering condolences if calamity befalls on them
– Congratulating at times of joy
– Overlooking & Concealing their mistakes
– Lowering one’s gaze from looking at their womenfolk
– Guiding them to that which will benefit them in their religious and worldly affairs.
May Allah make us take heed of this responsibility bestowed upon us, forgive us the mistakes we have done and give us the Hidayah to be good to our neighbors to be able to unite as an Ummah.
LOVING FOR THE SAKE OF ALLAH
Another beautiful concept of Islam and the great rewards that come with it, one of it being Unity in this world. For those who do Love one another for the Sake of Allah they have been promised great rewards. The rewards mentioned in the Ahadeeth are: –
A) IT’S A SIGN OF COMPLETION OF EEMAAN AND MAKES US TASTE THE SWEETNESS OF FAITH
This is like the ultimate position, in a worldly sense it is like becoming the CEO of the top few companies of the world. It is like one has this great position and he enjoys it. These people enjoy the blessings Allah bestowed upon them in this life and also get the rewards in the hereafter. The Messenger of Allaah ﷺ said:
B) ALLAH LOVES THEM
What all do we do to gain the Love of the people we want, or for worldly desires and we get the Love of the Lord of the Worlds on Loving one another for His Sake. The Prophet ﷺ said,
C) WILL BE UNDER THE SHADE OF ALLAH ON THE DAY OF JUDGEMENT
On the Day of Judgement the sun will be some meters away and there will be no Shade except that of Allah’s, the people will be drowning in their sweat. On that day, the people who loved one another for the Sake of Allah will be under the Shade of Allah. The Prophet ﷺ said,
“Allah will ask on the Day of Judgment: “Where are those who loved each other for the sake of My glory? Today, on a day when there is no shade but Mine, I shall shade them with My shade.” (Muslim).
D) THEIR POSITIONS WILL BE RAISED & THEY WILL HAVE SEATS OF LIGHTS ENVIED BY MARTYRS & PROPHETS
The Messenger of Allaah ﷺ said: Allaah, The Mighty and Majestic, says: ‘Those who have mutual love for the sake of My Glory will have pillars (seats) of light and will be envied by the Prophets and martyrs.’ [at-Tirmidhee (2390), Ahmad (5/236-237); isnaad is ‘saheeh’]
SubhaanAllah, imagine yourself sitting on those and seeing the one you loved by you and seeing all the great people around you and having other greats, envy you. SubhaanAllah, something that might not be describable in words but truly Allah has made the Paradise in a way the mind cannot fully comprehend.
May Allah make us amongst those who love unite & each other for His sake.
Telling a Brother that you love him for the Sake of Allah
Abu Dawood recorded that Anas bin Malik (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: A man was with the Prophet ﷺ when another man passed by and the former said: “O Messenger of Allah! I love this man (for Allah’s sake)”. Messenger of Allah ﷺ asked, “Have you informed him?” He said, “No”. Messenger of Allah ﷺ then said, “Tell him (that you love him)”. So he went up to the man and said to him, “I love you for the sake of Allah;” And the other replied, “May Allah, for Whose sake you love me, love you.”
In some reports of the hadeeth it says: “Tell him for it will strengthen the love between you.” Narrated by Ibn Abi’l-Dunya in al-Ikhwaan (69).
Also the Prophet ﷺ said, “When a man loves his brother (for Allah sake) let him tell him that he loves him”. [At-Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud].
The wisdom behind informing someone that one loves him for the sake of Allah, is to make him aware of the regard shown to him so that this will turn into mutual affection and will, therefore, promote cooperation with each other.
We also learn from it the Sunnah way reply to one who proclaims his love to you.
AHABBAK ALLAH ULLAADHI AHBABTANI FEEH
May the One for whom you have loved me, love you, in return.
From another hadeeth we see that the Prophet ﷺ used to proclaim the love before advising the Sahaba to make their hearts softer and make them more susceptible to accept the advice.
Important Reminder: Think about it, how many times do you get that natural feeling of love & respect for a person that you see to be a good slave of Allah. So to be able to get these great rewards we first need to implement the rulings of Islam and love those who do it (even if you don’t, just lve those who do this will help you to eventually get better InShaAllah).
May Allah give us all the Hidayah to firstly Love one Another for His Sake and also give us the understanding of the Deen that we are not ashamed of things that are rewarding in Islam.
May Allah make us good enough to love and proclaim our love to our brothers in Islam.
ADVISES FROM THE SUNNAH THAT PROMOTES BROTHERHOOD AND STRENGTHENS UNITY
1. WISH FOR YOUR BROTHER WHAT YOU WISH FOR YOURSELF
The Prophet ﷺ said, “No one of you shall become a true believer until he desires for his brother what he desires for himself“. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
2. FULFIL THEIR RIGHTS OVER YOU
It was reported in Sahih Muslim (2162) that the Prophet ﷺ said:
“A Muslim has six rights over another Muslim.”
They asked: “What are they, O Messenger of Allah?”
i. “When you meet him, greet him with peace.
ii. When he invites you, accept his invitation.
iii. When he seeks your advice, advise him.
iv. When he sneezes and them praises Allah, invoke Allah’s blessings upon him.
v. When he falls ill, visit him.
vi. When he dies, follow his funeral.”
3. SPREADING SALAM
As mentioned in the hadeeth above, one of the rights of a Muslim over another is to greet him with peace when meet him i.e. to say the Salam. The spreading of Salam is a good deed and helps increase love amongst us.
The Messenger of Allâh ﷺ said:
4. GUIDES AND REMINDS EACH OTHER
This is from the Ayahs
5. ALWAYS HELP ONE ANOTHER
The Prophet ﷺ said:
SubhaanAllah! Allah is the Most Merciful, He has made available such beautiful ways to make our hereafter better, this Sunnah of helping your brother not only makes your hereafter better but also makes this world and its society better. Makes the person beloved amongst the human beings and is honored in this world and in the hereafter!
Another Hadeeth we should ponder upon on this topic is that of Jabir (May Allah be pleased with him) where he reported: Messenger of Allah ﷺnever said `no’ to anyone who asked him for anything. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
6. MAKE SURE WE DO NOT DISTRESS ANYONE
The Prophet ﷺ said, “It is not permissible for one Muslim to distress another” (Abu Dawud).
7. MAKE DUA FOR EACH OTHER
The Prophet ﷺ said: “A Muslim’s supplication for his brother in secret is answered. At his head an angel is appointed, and whenever he supplicates for his brother with something good, the angel appointed to him says: ‘Amîn, and likewise for you’.” [Sahîh Muslim (2733)]
Imam an-Nawawi (rahimahullah) said in the explanation of this Hadeeth, ‘The excellence of supplicating for the absent Muslims is mentioned in this Hadeeth. This merit will be achieved even if one were to supplicate for a group of Muslims. Also, if one supplicates for the whole Muslim Ummah, he will have achieved the same advantage, as is known from the apparent meaning of the Hadeeth.
8. NOT HOLDING GRUDGES PAST MONDAY OR THURSDAY
The Sunnah also teaches us to be forgiving and forbearing. Scientific studies also show that people who are forgiving and forbearing are happier, have more friends and hence benefit the society more than those who do not.
Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said,
Remember no body is perfect and we all make mistakes, so let go of the grudges burdening your heart and purify it by overlooking others mistakes and forgiving them. This helps in sleeping tight and gives you brighter ideas in your life as you are not caught in the clutches of Shaitaan thinking over and over about how the person wronged you and on a larger scheme of things being forgiving and forbearing greatly helps being united as an Ummah.
This is a trick of Shaitaan who takes your thoughts away from the worship of Allah and creates jealousy which leads to competition for worldly matters and disunity.
9. ASKING FORGIVENESS FROM THE ONE WE WRONGED BY SPEECH OR ACTION
On the same lines as above, on one side we should be forgiving and forbearing and also we should be prompt in asking forgiveness in this world so that there is no feeling of resentment amongst the brothers & sisters and also our scales are not heavy with sins on the day of Judgement.
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Whoever has wronged his brother with regard to his honour or anything else, let him seek his forgiveness today, before there will be no dinar and no dirham, and if he has any good deeds to his credit they will be taken from him in a manner commensurate with the wrong he did, and if he has no good deeds, then some of his counterpart’s bad deeds will be taken and added to his burden.” [al-Bukhaari].
10. FEEL THE PAIN & TAKE ACTION
The Prophet ﷺ said, “The believers in their mutual kindness, compassion and sympathy are just like one body. When one of the limbs suffers, the whole body responds to it with wakefulness and fever“. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
Sadly this one very well-known hadetth is abandoned, we see Muslims suffer but we are content as long as it is not us or one of our direct family and friends. And crying while watching a graphic or distressing video of the oppressed people doesn’t count as feeling the pain, as that’s natural and we would feel the same when a Non-Muslim is put through such conditions. That’s not how the Ummah has to be, we have to think and feel for the one in the neighborhood or in an area nearby or in the village outside our city, in a city nearby, in the next country or anywhere in the world everyone’s pain is ours!
Don’t be content my Brothers & Sisters in Islam, we not only have to feel the pain but also should take action to the best of our abilities. There are many things that we can do such as give charity in the form of money, food, even used clothes, or help them by physical work, and the likes, if no action is possible then the least we should do is to keep them in each and every one of our prayers. And that’s the minimum we should be doing for the Ummah, Remember our Prophet ﷺ cried for his Ummah, he cried for us in his prayers.
A believer should constantly exert himself in diverting evil from others and from his brothers just as would like it to be diverted from himself – and this is beneficial comprehensive principle.
Through unity, a lot can be achieved. Unity brings people together, creating love, harmony and generosity between them. As believers, we can use unity as a platform to spread kindness to others, as well as an opportunity for our spiritual growth to become closer to Allah (swt).
So, let’s reflect on the virtues of unity, allowing us to spread sincere kindness to our family, friends, humanity and the precarious world we inhabit.
If Muslims were to act upon the guidelines and admonitions from the Sunnah, the Ummah would be in a much better condition – and the non-Muslims would adopt this faith much more readily because they would see the fruits of these faith in its adherents.
May Allah (swt) allow us to unite in goodness, love and generosity. May He allow us to enlighten those in desperate need with hope and may He maintain love in the bonds we have within our kinship and brotherhood.
May Allah make us all be brothers and sisters in Islam and give us the Hidayah to stand united for His Sake.