Loving for Allah
There is something to be said about the value of a true friend. Human beings, by nature, are social creatures, and it seems to be that the more loyal and trustworthy a person, the more likely that person is to be taken into the folds of our hearts. We all strive to attain the beautiful and unparalleled relationship shared only between best friends, and rightly so, for when a genuine friend is found, he/she is an invaluable addition to one’s life. Now, it is commonly heard that Islam is not merely a religion, but rather, a way of life. In addition, there is no denying that friends are important aspects of a person’s life. Therefore, when it comes to our religion, just how important is the concept of a friend?
If there is one thing we should understand about Islam, it is that it is a religion that strives to make Muslims understand the value and benefits of unity and love within the ummah. Many Islamic teachings speak of the great value and the high status in the sight of Allah of Muslims who love one another, maintain ties to relatives and forge the bonds of brotherhood between one another. To strive to be one ummah with mutual care and respect is the best of goals because it creates a community of people who are willing to care for one another and address each others’ needs. There is immense power of love and care to be found in a strongly-bonded ummah.[box_dark]Abu Musa (RA) reported that the Prophet (SAW) said, “The relationship of the believer with another believer is like (the bricks of) of a building, each strengthens the other.” He (SAW) illustrated this by interlacing the fingers of both his hands. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim][/box_dark]
This hadith gives a glimpse into the situation of true Muslims. The believers are those who strengthen, lean on, care for, give a helping hand to and support one another as the bricks in a house give support to create a strong home. The believers, through fortifying the relationships between one another are essentially creating a network of love and care that is capable of standing firm in the face of any and all threats from the outside. Many times, we as Muslims describe one another as brothers and sisters, but what exactly does this mean? Take into consideration this next hadith:[box_dark]The Messenger of Allah (SAW) 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][/box_dark]
What are brothers and sisters? A family is a group of people who would literally do anything for each other. Families love, care for, support and respect one another. A mother would sacrifice anything for her child, and siblings would always stand up in fierce protection of one another. A son would feel the pain of his sick father and would try to alleviate his father’s suffering even though he is not the one with the disease; a woman would feel the pain of loss if anyone from her family were to die, even though she is still alive. This is the essence of the Muslim community. People who are not related to each other by blood, but rather their situation is even better than that of kinship because they protect one another for the sake of Allah.
This hadith tells us that if we were to establish the proper ties of brotherhood among the ummah, then each of us would feel the pain and suffering of our fellow Muslims, and each of us would strive to alleviate that pain. Imagine a group of people who all proudly proclaim “La ilaha illa Allah” and on the basis of those words alone vow to protect, care for, and love one another. Such a group of people would benefit greatly from the love, care and strength they give one another. In addition, such a group of people are promised respite by Allah on the Day of Judgment.
“Friends on that Day will be foes, one to another, -except the Righteous.” [43:67]
“Behold! Verily on the friends of Allah there is no fear, nor shall they grieve.” [10:62][box_dark]Abu Hurairah (RA) relates that the Prophet of Allah (SAW) 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)[/box_dark] [pullquote_left]When two people love each other for the sake of Allah, they always want the best for one another. They advise one another with the best advice that adheres to the laws of Allah.[/pullquote_left]
Friendship in the name of Islam is the highest degree of love and brings the most rewards in the hereafter. When two people love each other for the sake of Allah, they always want the best for one another. They advise one another with the best advice that adheres to the laws of Allah. They care for each other when either of them is sick or ill. They support each other when they are doing something good, and they inform one another gently when they are doing something wrong. They nurture their friendship by visiting one another and bringing each other gifts, kind words and sweet smiles. They are compassionate to one another, and fierce when protecting each other. They only want the best for their brother or sister. They are the epitome of true friends, because they love each other for the sake of Allah SWT, and Allah bestows His blessings upon them.[box_dark]“The believers, men and women, are protectors, one of another; they enjoin what is just, and forbid what is evil: they observe regular prayers, pay Zakat and obey Allah and His Messenger. On them will Allah pour His mercy: for Allah is exalted in power, Wise.” [9:71][/box_dark]
The most amazing thing about loving a fellow brother or sister in Islam is that this friendship, while bringing immense benefits to the Muslims in this dunya –such as satisfaction and contentment to the heart and a friend and protector in one’s life- also brings immense benefits in the spiritual sense. This type of friendship –one that is purely for the sake of Allah- is one that brings the individual closer to Allah and brings upon him/her the pleasure and love of Allah SWT. This type of friendship gives the individual a true and dear friend, while also providing a closer and stronger relationship with Allah SWT. This type of friendship is powerful and all-encompassing in its wake.[box_dark]Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said, “Do not envy one another; do not inflate prices by over-bidding against one another; do not hate one another; do not harbour malice against one another; and do not enter into commercial transaction when others have entered into that (transaction); but be you, O servants of Allah, as brothers.
A Muslim is the brother of another Muslim: he neither oppresses him nor does he look down upon him, nor does he humiliate him. Piety is here”-and he pointed to his breast three times. “It is enough evil for a man to hold his brother Muslim in contempt. All things of a Muslim are inviolable for his brother-in-faith: his blood, his property and his honor.” [Muslim][/box_dark]
Friendship in Islam is absolutely unique; it is the type of friendship that rings genuine and true. In Islam, friendships are not created for business interests or ulterior motives, but rather for Allah’s sake alone. This friendship is the only type that can give individuals direct benefits in this worldly life, as well as in the hereafter with Allah. This type of friendship is defined by the best of traits and characteristics such as mutual love, care and respect.
Friendship in Islam is looking out for your fellow brother or sister in Islam, helping them when they are weak or sick and protecting them in the best way possible. Friendship in Islam fosters trust and strength between the Muslim community that leads to an atmosphere of love and contentment in this dunya, and good deeds and a high rank in the sight of Allah SWT in the akhirah. Friendship in the name of Islam is the highest and most noble of goals and it is one that, insha’Allah, we will all find to be the most worthy of causes.
[quote]“None of you will truly believe until you love for your brother what you love for yourself.” (Al-Bukhari)[/quote]
Halla is an avid reader with a passion for justice, writing and Islam who believes that all the bad in the world is countered by great people with great minds and stupendously great actions. She lives in Toronto, Canada where she hopes to change the world around her by starting with herself.