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FRATERNITY

Spiritual Fraternity

The pre-Islamic era was a stage of tragedies in the various mental and material fields. Moral dissolution and disorder were the most horrible tragedies that caused people to practice natures of beasts, law of jungle, disagreement, fighting, killing, usur pation, and declamation of revenge and retaliation.

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When the dawn of Islam rose to spread its lights over humankind, it could, through its immortal principles and unparalleled constitution, stop these tragedies and cut off these combats. Then, it changed these ignorant herds into “the best nation that eve r existed among humanity.” ( 1 ) Faith replaced atheism, order replaced disorder, knowledge replaced ignorance, peace replaced war, and mercy replaced retaliation.

Thus, these concepts faded away and were replaced by the new Islamic principles. The Prophet (s) began to establish that ideal nation whose individuals were unique in order, morals, and perfection. As they progressed under the pennon of the holy Quran an d the leadership of the Prophet (s), Muslims flew in the horizons of generosity until they could achieve the principle of fraternity in such a method that could not be achieved by any other code. Moreover, the ties of belief became stronger than those of kinship, and, likewise, the bonds of faith exalted over the tribal and national bonds. Muslims, hence, became a united nation of compact lineup, high edifice, and fluttering pennon:

“People, We have created you all male and female and have made you nations and tribes so that you would recognize each other. The most honorable among you in the sight of Allah is the most pious of you. Allah is All-knowing and All-aware (49:13).”

The holy Quran went on implanting the concepts of spiritual fraternity in the mentalities through numerous Verses compacted by a remarkable and wise style.

The Quran, once, legislates fraternity as a law that should be applied by Muslims:

“Believers are each other's brothers. Restore peace among your brothers. Have fear of Allah so that perhaps you will receive mercy (49:10).”

On another occasion, the Quran confirms the law of fraternity and warns against factors of disagreement, reminding of the grace of the Islamic fraternity and harmony after long periods of disagreement and fighting:

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“All of you united hold fast to the rope of Allah, and recall how He favored you when your hostility to each other had torn you apart. He united your hearts in one faith and through His grace you became brothers (3:103).”

In abstract, Islam has exerted all efforts for strengthening the spiritual fraternity among Muslims and protecting it against trends of disagreement and separation through the constitution of the social ties.

As a model, we provide the following:

* The Islamic constitution of the social ties took Muslims’ emotions and feelings far above the slavery of the tribal sectarianism to guide them to the noblest aim; namely, the obedience to God and the seeking of His satisfaction. Love, hate, givin g, deprivation, support, and disappointment—all these should be for the sake of God. Such being the case, the handles of fraternity will become firmer and Muslims will become the like of the well-established building each part of which strengthens the ot her.

The Prophet (s) said: “The mutual love of the believers that is intended sincerely for the sake of Allah is one of the greatest classes of faith. He who loves, hates, gives, deprives—all for the sake of Allah is surely one of the choices of Allah.” ( 2 )

Imam as-Sejjad (a) said: “When Allah will gather the

past and the late generations on the Day of

Resurrection, a caller that everybody will hear will

cry out on those who loved each other for the sake of

Allah. A few people will stand up. They will be sent

to Paradise without being rendered to judgment. In

their way to Paradise, the angels will meet and ask

them. ‘We are going to our abodes in Paradise

without being rendered to judgment,’ they will

answer. As the angels ask them about their class,

they will answer, ‘We loved each other for the sake of

Allah.’ As the angels ask them about their deeds due

to which they have gained such a rank, they will

answer, ‘We loved and hated for the sake of Allah.’

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The angels then will say: Very well is the reward of the doers of charity.” ( 3 )

Imam al-Baqir (a) said: “If you want to know whether you are to the good or not, you should test your heart: if it loves the people of obedience to Allah and hates the people of disobedient to Him, you are then to the good and Allah loves you. If your he art hates the people of the obedience to Allah and loves the people of the disobedience to Him, you are then not to the good and Allah hates you. Certainly, man will be attached to the one whom he loved.” ( 4 )

Imam as-Sadiq (a) said: “On the Day of Resurrection, those who love each other purely for the sake of Allah will be on luminous stages; the light of their faces, bodies, stages, and everything will be shining so that shining will be their distinctive fea ture and everybody will point to them and say those loved each other for the sake of Allah.” ( 5 )

“He who does not love or hate for the sake of the religion is not Muslim.” ( 6 )

* The Islamic constitution of the social ties enjoined Muslims to adhere to the factors of coalition, dignity, and luxury, such as exhorting each other to the right, helping each other in fields of piety, supporting each other for the achievement o f justice, and joining the forces in the economical fields of life. According to the Islamic Sharia, all Muslims are one family whose matters of happiness and unhappiness are the same. The constitution of such a family is:

“Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah and those with him are stern to the disbelievers yet kind among themselves. (48:29)”

And The slogan is –the saying of the Prophet (s):

“He who begins his day without caring for the affairs of the Muslims is not a Muslim.”

* The Islamic constitution of the social ties warned Muslims against all factors of separation, hostility,

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obscenity, backbiting, talebearing, breach, and cheating as well as all other matters that arouse seditions and rancor. The Muslims’ principa l in this point is the Prophet’s saying:

“The true believer is only he whom Muslims can trust in regard with their estates and souls. The true Muslim is only he whom Muslims are saved from his hand –physical harm- and tongue- verbal harm-. The true Muhajir ( 7 ) –emigrant- is that who deserts the      sins.” ( 8 )

* The Islamic constitution of the social ties granted the opportunities of improving friendly relations between Muslims, such as exchanging visits, frequenting religious circles, and witnessing Islamic gatherings such as collective prayers, hajj, ( 9 ) and the like.

( Notes )


1. Quoted from the holy Quran; 3:110.

2. Quoted from al-Wafi; part 3 page 89 (as quoted from al-Kafi).

3. Quoted from Bihar ul-Anwar; vol. 15 part 1 page 283 (as quoted from al-Kafi).

4. Quoted from al-Wafi; part 3 page 90 (as quoted from al-Kafi).

5. Quoted from al-Wafi; part 3 page 89 (as quoted from al-Kafi).

6. Quoted from al-Wafi; part 3 page 90 (as quoted from al-Kafi).

7. Muhajirs: The emigrants. The early Muslims of Mecca who had to flee their homeland to Medina.

8. Quoted from al-Wafi; part 3 page 99 (as quoted from al-Kafi).

9. Hajj is the pilgrimage to the Sacred Mosque at Mecca undertaken in the twelfth month of the Hijri year and constituting one of the religious duties of Islam.

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