[Close friends on that Day will be foes to one another—except for the righteous.] (Az-Zukhruf 43:67)
Loving one another for the sake of Allah, and brotherhood in faith, are among the most excellent acts of worship. This sublime love entails some conditions and duties that must be fulfilled so that the relationship remains pure and free of base undercurrents. Upholding these duties brings a servant nearer to Allah and to His pleasure and, over time, it can bring about a greater nobility of person.
These duties include the following:
- Both parties must truly love to extend support and assistance to each other and must love good for one another. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “None of you will attain (perfect) faith until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim).
- They must enjoin each another to truth and patience, and give each other sincere advice. They must enjoin what is right, forbid what is wrong, and guide each other. They must help one another in carrying out works of righteousness. Allah Almighty says,[Surely, the human being is at loss. Except for those who have faith and do righteous deeds and exhort one another to truth and exhort one another to patience.] (Al-`Asr 103:2-3)
[The believing men and women are protecting friends of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong.] (At-Tawbah 9:71)
- They must engage in the things that cultivate this love, strengthen interpersonal relationships, and facilitate the fulfilling of their duties to one another.The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “A Muslim has six rights over another Muslim.” They asked, “What are they, Messenger of Allah?” He said, “When you meet him, greet him with salam (Muslim’s salutation meaning ‘peace’);when he invites you, accept his invitation; when he seeks your advice, advise him; when he sneezes and then praises Allah, invoke Allah’s mercy upon him; when he falls ill, visit him; when he dies, follow his funeral” (Muslim).
- A Muslim has the right to kind treatment from his fellow Muslim. He should be greeted with a smile and given a pleasant reception. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Do not view any good act as insignificant, even the act of meeting your brother with a cheerful face” (Muslim).
- They must guide each other to what is good, and help each other in acts of obedience. Likewise, they must prevent and discourage one another from falling into sin and iniquity.The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “One should help his brother, whether he is an oppressor or the one being oppressed. If he is an oppressor, forbid him from his oppression. If he is being oppressed, then come to his aid” (Muslim).
- The love between them shines in a most wonderful and genuine manner when the two are away from each other and each of them is in secret prayers to Allah for the other. This continues for the living one even after the other has departed from the earth.The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) 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, ‘Ameen, and likewise for you’” (Muslim).
- They must excuse each other’s mistakes and defend each other’s honour, never speaking ill of, or deriding each other. They should keep each other’s secrets, advise each other sincerely, and never abuse each other. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “It is not permissible for one Muslim to distress another” (Abu Dawud).
*By Sheikh Yusuf Al-Badri
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