Praise be to Allah Who made the believers brothers to one another and legislated for them obligatory and desirable rights, and prohibited bad words, actions, and manners that may cut or affect this bond.
I send peace and blessings upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and his Companions, and upon those who follow him righteously until the Day of Recompense.
We are still discussing some rights which are incumbent on us as Muslims. In the previous lessons, we discussed the most important of these rights which are: The rights of Allah (may He be Exalted), the rights of His Messenger (peace be upon him), and the rights of the Glorious Qur'an. Then we discussed some obligatory rights due to some people such as the rights of rulers, scholars, parents, spouses, and children.
In this lesson and the following lessons, with the will of Allah, we shall live with the rights of Muslims in general because brotherhood is one of the major principles of Islam. Muslims are like one body when an organ complains, the entire body feels pain with fever and sleeplessness. These rights are based on the principle of brotherhood which Allah the Ever-Magnificent ordained in His Glorious Book and His Messenger (peace be upon him) exhorted to in his Sunnah. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allâh (i.e. this Qur'ân), and be not divided among yourselves, and remember Allâh's Favour on you, for you were enemies one to another but He joined your hearts together, so that, by His Grace, you became brethren (in Islâmic Faith)." Allah (Exalted be He) says: "The believers are nothing else than brothers (in Islâmic religion). So make reconciliation between your brothers, and fear Allâh, that you may receive mercy." Allah (Glory be to Him) says: "Friends on that Day will be foes one to another except Al-Muttaqûn (the pious)." Al Bukhari and Muslim reported in their Sahih [books of authentic Hadiths] that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "None of you will have faith till he wishes for his (Muslim) brother what he likes for himself."
They also reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "The believers in their mutual kindness, compassion and sympathy are just like one body. when any limb of it aches, the whole body aches because of sleeplessness and fever." Moreover, they reported that the Messenger (peace be upon him) said: "A believer to a believer is like a solid building which its different parts support one another." Imam Muslim (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "Do not envy one another, do not hate one another, do not spy on one another, do not follow the faults of one another, and do not deal in Najash (a dweller of the town sells the merchandise of a villager or outbidding in a sale (in order that another might fall into a snare), and be O servants of Allah, brothers."
Islam called to deepen this bond of brotherhood and promised those who maintain it a great reward. Al Bukhari and Muslim reported on the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "Allah will give shade to seven kinds of people on the Day when there will be no shade but His." and mentioned of them: "Two persons who love each other only for Allah's Sake and they meet and part in Allah's cause only..."
Imam Al Hakim reported with authentic chain of transmission that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "Indeed, around (Allah's) Throne are pulpits of light, on which a group of people wearing clothes of light, their faces are bright, however they are not prophets or martyrs, the Prophets and the martyrs envy them (for that great status). The Companions said: O Messenger Allah, describe those people to us. He said: Those who love each other for the sake of Allah, those who sit with one another for the sake of Allah, and those who visit one another for the sake of Allah."
Dear honorable Muslim brother, the rights of Muslims are many and are based on this religious bond of brotherhood which these dignified texts explained. Of Allah's favors on Muslims is that He made Islam a powerful bond for them. A Muslim looks at his Muslim brother on the basis of this powerful bond which its impacts are represented in their behavior. However, this religious brotherhood is not just a call of which its advocates boast, but it is a set of proprieties, manners, and behavior by which a Muslim deals while feeling that his religion dictates upon him to do so and that he shall be rewarded for this great brotherhood.
We shall review in details some rights which every Muslim should render to his Muslim brother and these rights were explained in details by Islam within several texts, of which we shall mention some to be a start in our speech about each right.
Al Bukhari and Muslim reported on the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "The rights of a Muslim on the Muslims are five: Answering the greeting, visiting the sick, following the funerals processions, accepting the invitation, and replying the sneezer."
In another narration reported by Muslim that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "There are six rights of a Muslim upon a Muslim: When you meet him, greet him; when he invites you, accept his invitation; when he seeks counsel, give him advice; when he sneezes and praises Allah, say to him: May Allah have mercy on you (Yarhamuk-Allah); when he is sick, visit him; and when he dies, follow his funeral procession."
Those are two Hadiths which contained some rights.
The meaning of rights here is: What should be done and cannot be overlooked. It is either obligatory or advisable as we shall detail later.
On the other hand, there are other rights that were detailed in separate texts and we shall review them, by the will of Allah (may He be Exalted), in their proper positions.
It is the time of Shari`ah to detail these rights as follow:
The first right is the expression of the Messenger (peace be upon him): "When you meet him, greet him" and in the other text it reads: "Answering the greeting." Salam (Saying As-Salamu Alaykum) is the greeting of Muslims. Allah (may He be Exalted) says about Paradise dwellers: "Their greeting on the Day they shall meet Him will be "Salâm: Peace (i.e. the angels will say to them: Salâmun 'Alaikum)!"" Allah (may He be Exalted) said about Abraham (peace be upon him) when he met the angels: "And verily, there came Our Messengers to Ibrâhîm (Abraham) with glad tidings. They said: Salâm (greetings or peace!) He answered, Salâm (greetings or peace!) and he hastened to entertain them with a roasted calf."
The meaning of Salam is that a Muslim says: "As-Salamu `Alaykum warahmatullah wabarakatuh (May Allah's Peace, Mercy, and Blessings be upon you!)." This is the complete form of Salam and the short form is to say: (As-Salamu Alaykum i.e. Peace be upon you!)
This peace has some virtues and excellence, where it was reported that it is one of the fruits of Islam. Al Bukhari (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) reported on the authority of `Abdullah ibn `Amr ibn Al `Aas (may Allah be pleased with them) that a man asked the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him): "What sort of deeds or (what qualities of) Islam are good?" The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: To feed (the poor) and greet those whom you know and those whom you do not Know."
Moreover, peace is one of the causes of intimacy, harmony, and love among Muslims as it is one of the causes of entering Paradise. Imam Muslim (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "You shall not enter Paradise so long as you do not affirm belief (in all those things which are the articles of faith). And you will not believe as long as you do not love one another. Shall I direct you to a thing which, if you do, will foster love amongst you: Spread salutations among yourselves."
Salam contains a great reward and many benefits, so when it is said in full form, the sayer shall be rewarded by thirty good deeds. When a person says: As-Salamu Alaykum i.e., peace be upon you, he shall be rewarded by twenty good deeds and if it is said in short form, the sayer shall be rewarded by ten good deeds.
Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhy reported with an authentic chain of narration from `Imran ibn Husayn (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said: "A man came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said: Peace be upon you! The Messenger of Allah replied then the man sat and the Prophet (peace be upon him)said: Ten. Then another man came and said: As-Salamu Alaykum wa Rahmatu Allah (peace be upon you), The Messenger of Allah replied then the man sat The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Twenty. Then another came and said: As-Salamu `Alaykum warahmatullah wabarakatuh (May Allah's Peace, Mercy, and Blessings be upon you!). The Messenger of Allah replied then the man sat and the Messenger of Allah said: Thirty."
Salam is one of Allah's Names, so when a Muslim says Salam, he says: You are in the custody of Allah (may He be Exalted). It was said: Salam is an invocation of safety.
As for the ruling of Salam, the people of knowledge said: It is an emphasized Sunnah, but answering it is incumbent upon every Muslim if he is a lone and a collective duty if a Muslim is in a group, but if they all reply, it will be better.
The form of answer should be the same form of Salam or even better, so if a Muslim says the short form, the answerer may say the same form or add to it the mercy of Allah or the mercy and blessings of Allah. However, if a person uses the complete form, the one who answers should answer in full form not in short form. Allah (He may be Glorified) says: "When you are greeted with a greeting, greet in return with what is better than it, or (at least) return it equally. Certainly, Allâh is Ever a Careful Account Taker of all things."
Ibn Kathir (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) said: "When a Muslim greets you, you should respond back in a better way or at least respond back in the same manner because responding in a better way is desirable while responding in the same manner is obligatory.
At the end of this lesson, it is better to say: It has become a common error that some Muslims [as an imitation to others] replace Muslim greetings with other forms without mentioning the word "As-Salam or peace" such as: Good morning, good evening, hello, welcome, good day, good evening, and so on of the expressions that a Muslim should not use whether in greetings or responding to greetings. There is no harm if a Muslim uses some hearty expressions after Salam. It was authentically reported that Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Welcome Um Hani'"
So, it is taken from this Hadith that there is no harm to use these greetings but after Salam. Anyone uses these greetings only violates the permissible action, falls into a forbidden action, and deprived himself of abundant goodness.
Dear Muslim brother, indeed, our religion came with the most perfect codes and good manners by legislating these great rights and beautiful manners which return to individuals as well the society with the best fruits and impacts, spread intimacy, cast intimacy among people, and a Muslim shall be rewarded when he adorns himself with these good qualities and manners. I ask Allah (may He be Exalted) to purify our hearts of doubt and polytheism, our tongues of lying, our actions of hypocrisy, and our eyes of betrayal. We ask Allah to make Muslims love one another, for He is All-Hearing, All-Responding and He is the One whose aid is to be implored.
We shall continue our talks in the next lesson with Allah's Willing.