Brotherhood- characteristics of a Muslim

The believers are commanded to preserve the spirit of brotherhood and friendship and to avoid anything that may induce enmity and hatred. As Allah said:

“The believers are nothing else than brothers” [Qur`an, 49:10] and

“Shaytan wants only to excite enmity and hatred between you with intoxicants and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allah and from Salat. So will you not abstain?” [Qur`an 5:91]

Allah has also granted the believers a favour by joining their hearts. He said:

“And remember Allah’s favour upon you, for you were enemies one to another but He joined your hearts together so that by His Grace you became brethren.” [Qur`an 3:103]

Further, He said:

“He it is Who has supported you with His help and with the believers and He has united their hearts. If you had spent all that is in earth, you could not have united their hearts, but Allah has united them.” [Qur`an 8:62-63]

Every Mukallaf (competent person in control of all faculties) should safeguard his tongue against all kinds of loose talk, except when it is evident that talking will be a means of beneficence. When talking and being quiet are both equal as a prudent measure, then the Sunnah is to abstain from speech.

Abu Hurairah (Radhiallahu `anhu) reported that the Prophet (Sallallahu `Alayhi Wa Sallam) said: “Whosoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should speak what is good or be silent.” (Agreed upon)

Imam Shafi`ee said: “If a person wishes to say something then he should think before he starts talking. If there is good, then he should speak, otherwise he should not.”

Sayings Of The Salaf

· Bakr Bin `Abdullah is reported to have said: “Always do something where if you do it and you’re right then you will be rewarded and if you are wrong, you will not be punished. And avoid doing something where if you are right, you will not be rewarded and if you are wrong, you will be punished.” They asked: “What is that thing?” He said: “Ill suspicions of people; if you are right, you will not be rewarded; but if you are wrong, you are sinners.”

· Muhammad Bin Ka`b was asked what qualities are low and not fitting for a believer. He said: “Talking too much, uncovering the secret and accepting the sayings of everyone.”

· A man said to `Amr Bin `Ubaid, “A man has been saying bad things about you.” `Amr said to him: “Listen! You have not honoured the sitting in this man’s company because you conveyed to me his speech. Further, you did not consider brotherly rights when you informed me what I dislike about my brother. But inform him that we all are dying. The grave will surround us all and the Day of Resurrection will collect all of us and Allah will judge amongst us; He is the best of judges.”

· Luqman said to his son: “My son, I admonish you with qualities that if you hold to, you will always be honoured as the head of your people: Be good (have good manners) with the near and far; do not lose your temper with the respected people; protect your brothers and their honour; and join your kin. Have your brothers and relatives trust about you that you would not accept any tales from any person who intends to deceive you and corrupt the relationships. Take friends in a way that if you leave them, you will not say bad about them, neither will they say bad about you.”

Form the Muwatta of Imam Malik

Yahya related to me from Malik that Muadh ibn Jabal said, “The last advice the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, gave me when I put my foot in the stirrup was that he said, ‘Make your character good for the people, Muadh ibn Jabal!’ Book 47, Number 47.1.1

Yahya related to me from Malik from Ibn Shihab from Ali ibn Husayn ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Part of the excellence of a man’s Islam is that he leaves what does not concern him.” Book 47, Number 47.1.3

Yahya related to me from Malik that Yahya ibn Said said that he heard Said ibn al-Musayyab say, “Shall I tell you what is better than much prayer and sadaqa?” They said, “Yes.” He said, “Mending discord. And beware of hatred – it strips you (of your deen).” Book 47, Number 47.1.7

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