On the authority of Abu Humzah Anas ibn Maalik, the servant of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) who said, “None of you [truly] believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.”(Recorded in Bukhari and Muslim).
1. Similar Hadith
In the Musnad of Imam Ahmad, the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, said:
“The servant does not reach the reality of faith until he loves for others what he loves for himself.”
In Sahih Muslim from Abdullah ibn Amr Al-Ass, the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, said:
“…..Whoever wishes to be delivered from the fire and enter the garden should die with faith in Allah and the Last Day and should treat the people as he wishes to be treated by them.
These hadiths (above) carry similar meanings that are to love for other Muslims what one loves for oneself. These are principle behaviour of how Muslims should be with each other.
Here the Prophet sallalalhu alaihi wasalam dealt with the subject of faith, which is in the heart and is also reflected in deeds and behavior. These are among the hadith that teach us the perfection of Islam.
i. On the authority of Abu Hurairah, radiyallahu ‘anhu, who said : The Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, said :
“Part of the perfection of someone’s Islam is his leaving alone that which does not concern him.”
ii. “Let him who believes in Allah and the Last Day either speak good or keep silent, ..” [Bukhari and Muslim. Refer to Hadeeth 15 of this collection]
- A man said to the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam: “Counsel me”. He said : ” Do not become angry”. The man repeated [his request] several times, and he said: “Do not become angry.” [Al-Bukhari. Refer to Hadith 16 of this collection]
- “None of you [truly] believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.” [Al-Bukhari. This hadith we are studying]
In this hadith, we look at a form of perfection of Iman that necessitates consideration of others and desiring all that is good for them. Good would mean guidance to Islam, virtuous conduct and things that are lawful.
2. Loving One Another
If you want others to be nice to you, you firstly are nice to others.
You would dislike any harm or difficulty to happen to your brother just as you do not want it to happen to you.
A believer with this perfection would be kind to people and also can be seen in his efforts to help his brothers out of hardship even if he would have difficulties doing so.
Also if you truly wish good for your brother, you don’t compete to gain something that he already possessed nor will you deprive your brother for something that you yourself cannot get.
He will share his wealth, knowledge and time for the benefits of his brothers in the world and the Hereafter.
While this is easy from the believer with sound eemaan in his heart, it is painfully difficult for the hypocrites especially when there is no worldly advantage.
3. How do we Attain it?
- Love good things for them as much as we love it for ourselves
- Treat them the way we want them to treat us
- Part of good treatment of others are excusing them and giving them fair chances. Hamdun al-Qassar, one of the great early Muslims, said, “If a friend among your friends errs, make seventy excuses for them. If your hearts are unable to do this, then know that the shortcoming is in your own selves.” [Imam Bayhaqi, Shu`ab al-Iman, 7.522] Seventy here just mean a big number. In this case would mean male a lot of excuses for your friend who erred. To overlook their small mistake. Try to recall the good things that they have done.
- Thinking well of others. This will help put your heart at peace. You do not fret over the little things your friend said and do. You will try to interpret his words and actions as he is doing the best he could or he doesn’t mean what he said. ‘Umar radialllahu anhu said, “Do not think ill of a word that your believing brother utters as long as it can be interpreted in a good way.”
3. Stop assuming bad of the intention of others. The intention belongs to Allah totally. We are not able to know the true intention of others. We can only observe from what we see.
4. Using good words and avoiding foul language even though in the modern trendsetting now, using foul language has become very much accepted and in fact its promoted as a cool image. Hold on to the correct principal. Always use good words or better be silence. Nothing of Allah’s command will make you lose honour.
Surah Al-Ahzab 33 : 70
“O you who believe! Keep your duty to Allah and fear Him, and speak always the right word”
Surah Al-Isra’ 17: 53
“And tell My servants that they should always say those words that are the best. Satan verily, sows a state of conflict and disagreements among them.”
5. Be humble. It is always good
4. Ponder This
Ibn Rajab said that we should wish other Muslims to be better than us in worshipping (ibadah) and manners (akhlaq), but at the same time we should wish for ourselves to be better than what we are now. It is not good enough to just wish for something good for other Muslims but at the same time we are deficient and not striving to be better Muslims ourselves. It is from the goodness that we have attained that we also love for other Muslims to have. It is not fair to them that we wish for them to attain the same deficiency that we have in ourselves. Therefore, it is a matter of continuous competition among us to attain the goodness.
And thus when we see a Muslim who is not practicing, we should not have hate for them. We must hate the sin, for we hate what Allah hates but we must try our best to show the best of example, and try to advise and call them to good.
We should care for them and love for them what we love for ourselves. For example, if they commit a sin then we love for them that they leave the sinful act. We should advise them out of our love for them.
Some feel relieve when they see others not doing. Or they feel good thinking that they are better than them. These are diseases in the heart. We want to be among those who are close to Allah and we want our brothers to also be those who are close to Allah.
Allah Musta’an. May Allah bestow on us wisdom and put arrogance out of our heart.
5. The Hindrance
What will make many of us unable to fulfill this hadith
You must make constant heart check that you have no arrogance in you. There are many form of arrogance. It can be by belittling others, looking down on others, feeling superior to others. Sometimes some people, in the effort of having high confidence of himself, trained themselves to be arrogant.
The Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, said:
“He who has in his heart the weight of a mustard seed of pride shall not enter Paradise.” A person (amongst his hearers) said: “Verily, a person loves that his dress should be fine, and his shoes should be fine.” He (the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) remarked: “Verily, Allah is Graceful and He loves Grace. Pride is disdaining the truth (out of self-conceit) and contempt for the people.” Sahih Muslim: Book 001, Number 0164
2. Hassad (Envy) & Ghibta (Jealousy)
Hasad and ghibta are terrible diseases in the heart.
Hassad is where you see something good in someone, and not only do you want it, but you want them to lose it.
Whereas ghibta is you see that good in someone else, and you want it too but not to the extent that they lose it.
Both of the heart disease will definitely be a block to how you can love for your brother as you love yourself. The key to this is to be content to what you have and learn to be happy of what other have for them. Make du’a for yourself to be more content and make du’a that Allah provides barakah in their rizq. Know that what Allah gives to each person has already been decreed and when you have hasad or unhappy with what others have, you are essentially being unhappy to Allah’s decree.
Having said that, the only type of jealousy that is allowed is the jealousy of the deen thus competing to please Allah.
Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wasalam said in a hadith
“There is no jealousy except with respect to two people: A man whom Allah had given wealth and he uses it up for the sake of the Truth and a man whom Allah has given wisdom and he decides by it and uses it accordingly.” (Recorded in al-Bukhari)
Indeed, a true Islamic community is when it is built upon love and compassion for its members. Every member should care for and help one another. They should treat others in ways they want to be treated.
The type of society built on love and compassion, in which the believers truly love for one another what they love for themselves, was the society built by the Prophet (s) and his Companions. They sacrificed for each other, gave of their wealth and sustenance, and in some cases, even gave their loved ones.
Imagine we are actually doing this among our sisters and brothers just as the ansar did for the muhajireen, what kind of community will we be able to build? May Allah help us to purify our intentions and actions and make us of those who realise this level of faith. Ameen.
This hadith deals with the subject of faith which is in the heart but is reflected in the deeds and behavior.
Among the lessons and benefits we can reap from this hadith are
- Liking for one’s brother what he likes for himself also implies disliking for him what he dislikes for himself of evil, harm and difficulty.
- Fulfilling this hadith should make one be kind in his treatment of people.
- How much efforts are we willing to exert to help people in their hardships?
- This kind of behaviour comes easily from sound heart of a believer. However for the hypocrites, they would find it impossible.
- A heart full of arrogance and envy would find it difficult to have love for his brother as he for himself.
- Wanting good for others include wanting deen for them.