Islam has always protected and encouraged the sacred act of brotherhood and solidarity – meaning that we must strive for unity and kinship not only amongst those in the ummah but also to encourage love and respect for all those around us.
Amidst the brutal reality of apartheid, fascism, racism, sectarianism, and intolerance, we must constantly strive towards being better Muslims not only for ourselves and others, but for Allah Himself. We must remember that in trying to make our world a better place for all those living in it, the sole purpose of this all is to serve and worship Allah on a higher level.
So in the spirit of solidarity and kinship, here are 5 Quranic verses and hadith to help remind ourselves of the importance of comradeship:
1. Believers are brothers in faith
“The believers are but brethren, therefore make peace between your brethren and be careful of (your duty to) Allah that mercy may be had on you” [Quran, 49:10]
The Quran reminds us here that all who believe in the Oneness of God are brothers and sisters in faith, and that it remains our duty to ensure we keep the ties of kinship alive to better serve Allah as a whole.
2. Allah Himself united us as brethren
“And hold fast by the covenant of Allah all together and be not disunited, and remember the favor of Allah on you when you were enemies, then He united your hearts so by His favor you became brethren; and you were on the brink of a pit of fire…” [Quran, 3:103]
Here, the Quran explains that by staying true to our religion and faith, we can stay united as a community. It was Allah that united our hearts, and to break these ties of kinship would be to break one’s faith in Allah Himself.
3. Our religion is one religion
“Indeed this, your religion (ummah), is one religion (ummah), and I am your Lord, so worship Me” [Quran, 21:92]
In this verse, Allah reminds us that tawheed, the understanding of the Oneness of Allah, is itself the sole religion of us all. This means that we must stay united as a community in striving towards worship and faith that truly encompasses this understanding.
4. Unity is to serve Allah
The Prophet Muhammad is reported to have said: “Three things are the best acts; first, to treat people with equity and justice; second to assist your co-religionist brethren as fellows and aid them financially; and third, to remember God under all conditions” [Bihar-al-Anwar, vol.74, p.392]
The Prophet here explains three important traits in being a faithful Muslim – and expresses the underlying connection between forging the ties of brotherhood and serving Allah. We cannot serve Allah without ensuring we are helping keep a faithful ummah.
5. Being Muslim and helping fellow Muslims
The Holy Prophet is reported to have said: “He who begins his day without endeavoring for the improvement of Muslims’ affairs, is no Muslim” [Kafi, vol.2, p.146]
Here, the Prophet reminds us that we cannot be selfish in our pursuit of becoming better Muslims – in fact, to help better the lives of our brothers and sisters in Islam is itself a holy act of worship, and should not be forgotten in our journey of serving Allah.