All praise be to Allah the Ever-Kindly, the All-Aware. He is the First (nothing is before Him) and the Last (nothing is after Him), the Most High (nothing is above Him) and the Most Near (nothing is nearer than Him), and He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing. To Him belong all sovereignty and praise and He is over all things omnipotent. I praise and thank Him for His Favors and Blessings, for He undertakes the righteous people. I send peace and blessings upon our Prophet Muhammad, the master of the formers and the later, upon his family, Companions, the Followers, and those who follow them righteously until the Day of Recompense.
In previous lessons we discussed some of the Muslims' rights on their Muslim brothers and we mentioned in details the Hadith of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) who narrated 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."
In this lesson, we shall talk about some of the rights that were mentioned in other texts:
Of the most important is that a Muslim loves for his Muslim brother what he loves for Himself. Al Bukhari and Muslim (may He be Exalted) reported 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." Al Bukhari and Muslim also reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "The similitude of believers in regard to mutual love, affection, fellow-feeling is that of one body; when any limb of it aches, the whole body aches because of sleeplessness and fever."
This love entails that a person wishes good for his Muslim brother, treat him kindly, not to hate, envy, or show joy when an evil thing hits him. In general, to love goodness for him and hate that an evil hits him.
The love for the sake of Allah is the motto of the true faithful believers, and the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) made it one of the most important priorities when he migrated to Medina, then started to build the Masjid and established a bond of brotherhood between the emigrants and the Helpers.
For the importance and greatness of this love, the Law-Giver rewards a believer for it and promises him abundant goodness in this world and in the Hereafter. 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: they meet and depart for His Sake."
It was also reported in the Hadith that the Prophet (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). People 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."
The texts talking about the excellence of this affection and the importance of deepening it are abundant and support one another, so every Muslim has to practice this love and brotherhood by purifying his heart of filth, hatred, rancor, grudge, envy, and jealousy, and as a result he shall find the fruit and reward of that purification multiplied at the Lord of the earth and Heaven by His Leave.
Of the rights of a Muslim on his Muslim brother is to provide him with help and do not fail him in any situation where he needs help and support whether by defending him or defending his honor. It was reported in Sahih Al Bukhari and Sahih Muslim that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or he is an oppressed." They said: O Messenger Allah, "It is all right to help him if he is oppressed, but how should we help him if he is an oppressor? The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:"Take over his hand." In another narration: "By preventing him from oppressing others." The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "A Muslim is a brother of another Muslim. He should not oppress, fail, or despise him." Imam Ahmad reported with a weak chain of narration, but its meaning is correct according to other texts: "No person will fail a Muslim in a situation in which his honor is defamed, and has his sanctity profaned, but Allah will fail in a situation he likes Him to render him victorious. And no Muslim succors a Muslim in a situation in which his honor is defamed, and has his sanctity profaned, but Allah will succor in a situation he likes Him to render him victorious."
Of the great rights of Muslims is: A Muslim should not harm, despise, backbite, insult, mock at, speak badly, or call another Muslim names. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "O you who believe! Avoid much suspicion; indeed some suspicions are sins. And spy not, neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting). And fear Allâh. Verily, Allâh is the One Who forgives and accepts repentance, Most Merciful."
Allah (Glory be to Him) says: "O you who believe! Let not a group scoff at another group, it may be that the latter are better than the former. Nor let (some) women scoff at other women, it may be that the latter are better than the former. Nor defame one another, nor insult one another by nicknames. How bad is it to insult one's brother after having Faith [i.e. to call your Muslim brother (a faithful believer) as: "O sinner", or "O wicked"]. And whosoever does not repent, then such are indeed Zâlimûn (wrong-doers, etc.)."
Imam Muslim (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "A Muslim is inviolable for his Muslim brother in regard to: his blood, honor, and property." Al Bukhari and Muslim reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "A Muslim is the one who avoids harming Muslims with his tongue and hands." Imam Ahmad and Al Hakim who graded the following Hadith authentic reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "The one who secures people in regard of their selves and properties is the true believer."
Imam Muslim (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said in the Farewell Hajj: "Verily, your blood and money are inviolable for one another." It was also reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "It is enough evil for a Muslim to look down upon his Muslim brother." A group of Hadith scholars reported the following Hadith: "No talebearer shall enter Paradise."
Al Bukhari and Muslim reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "Abusing a Muslim is Fusuq (i.e., an evil-doing), and killing him is Kufr (disbelief)."
After all these texts and the threats they contain, is it good for a Muslim to harm another Muslim by words or actions?
Of the Muslims' rights also is: to humble oneself to his Muslim brother, lower wings for Muslims (a metaphor for showing mercy), do not show haughtiness to him, and treat him in the manner which you would like him to treat you.
You should treat him kindly, meet him with a smiling face, accept benevolence from him, and overlook his offences. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "And turn not your face away from men with pride, nor walk in insolence through the earth. Verily, Allâh likes not any arrogant boaster." Allah (Exalted be He) says: "Show forgiveness, enjoin what is good, and turn away from the foolish (i.e. don't punish them)." Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah reported with authentic chain of transmission that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "Allah has revealed to me that you should humble yourselves to one another. One should neither hold himself above another nor transgress against another."
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "And behave decently with people."
Of these rights also: A Muslim should not envy his Muslim brother, or think badly about him, hate, or spy upon him. Likewise, he should not cheat, deceive, sell out, betray him, or delay his debts, or harm him in any way: By words or actions. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "And those who annoy believing men and women undeservedly, they bear (on themselves) the crime of slander and plain sin." Allah (Exalted be He) says: "And whoever earns a fault or a sin and then throws it on to someone innocent, he has indeed burdened himself with falsehood and a manifest sin." Allah (Exalted be He) says: "And come not near to the orphan's property except to improve it, until he attains the age of full strength. And fulfill (every) covenant. Verily, the covenant, will be questioned about."
Imam Muslim (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "Whoever carries arms against us, is not from us and whoever cheats us is not one of us." The Prophet (peace be upon him) said in the Hadith that was reported by Muslim (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul): "Do not envy one another, do not hate one another, do not spy on one another, do not follow the defects of others, 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 O servants of Allah, be brothers." Al Bukhari and Muslim (may Allah bestow mercy on their souls) reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "Procrastination (delay) in paying debts by a wealthy man is injustice. So, if your debt is transferred from your debtor to a rich debtor, you should agree."
Of these rights also is: Not oppressing him by words and actions because one of the ugliest qualities is that a Muslim would oppress his Muslim brother because of his plain error and great sin. So, a Muslim should beware of the consequences because they will be terrible, and the invocation of an oppressed person is answered even if the oppressed is a sinner. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said to Mu`adh (may Allah be pleased with him) when he sent him to Yemen: "Beware of the supplications of the oppressed, for there is no barrier between it and Allah." The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Beware of injustice, for oppression will be darkness on the Day of Resurrection."
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Allah (Exalted and Glorified be He) grants respite to the oppressor. But when He lays Hand upon him, He does not then let him off. He (the Holy Prophet) then recited this Ayah: "Such is the Seizure of your Lord when He seizes the (population of) the towns while they are doing wrong. Verily, His Seizure is painful, (and) severe.""
Of the Muslims' rights which we shall mention in general at the end of our talk about these rights are: Reverence of old people, showing mercy to the young, helping the weak and the needy, fulfilling the needs, forgiving the wrongdoer, concealing the defects, rewarding for good actions, showing fairness even against oneself, and invoking Allah for a Muslim.
These dignified rights are merits for the one who is characterized by them according to the Qur'an and the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him). We shall mention some of these Ayahs and Hadiths to ponder over and make them a guide for us because they contain an admonition for those who have vivid hearts or gives ear while he is heedful. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "Help you one another in Al-Birr and At-Taqwâ (virtue, righteousness and piety)." Allah (Glory be to Him) says: "Whosoever intercedes for a good cause will have the reward thereof." Allah (Glory be to Him) says: "Let them pardon and forgive. Do you not love that Allâh should forgive you?" "But forgive them and overlook (their misdeeds). Verily, Allâh loves Al-Muhsinûn (good-doers)." "but whoever forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is with Allâh." The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "He is not one of us who shows no mercy to younger ones and does not acknowledge the honor due to our elders." The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "He who alleviates the suffering of a brother out of the sufferings of the world, Allah would alleviate his suffering from the sufferings of the Day of Resurrection, and he who finds relief for one who is hard pressed, Allah would make things easy for him in this world and in the Hereafter, and he who conceals (the faults) of a Muslim, Allah would conceal his faults in the world and in this world and in the Hereafter. Allah is at the back of a servant so long as the servant is at the back of his brother."
Dear Muslim brother, the gates of rewards are wide open, calling the people of high determination and vigor, so let us be active and haste to this goodness, haste to maintain the ties of kinship and dutifulness, and treat people kindly. Let it be known that having good manners and fulfilling the rights of our Muslim brothers are provision for us on a day where there will be no money or children except those who come to Allah with pure hearts.
I ask Allah (may He be Exalted) to help us against our desires, do not leave us to ourselves even a blink of an eye, and to forgive us, our parents, sheikhs, our Muslim rulers, and all Muslims, for He is All-Hearing, All-Responding and He is the One whose aid is to be implored.