got brotherhood?

February 21, 2009

Amongst one of my fondest memories in Egypt was one time when I was at a juice-stand on a street corner and I was drinking some juice (yes, I gave into this fad) with another brother from the USA.  Sitting right beside us were these two other brothers from Belgium.  Now one thing about being a foreigner in the Middle East is that you immediately recognize the other foreigners while you are there.  Anyways, the brothers from Belgium didn’t speak English (what language do they speak in Belgium anyways?) and they, like us, were relatively new to the Arabic language. We conversed for several minutes in broken Arabic before it was finally time to depart.  As we were leaving, one of the Belgium brothers said to us, “Convey our salaams to the Ahlus-Sunnah (People of the Sunnah) in America as the Ahlus-Sunnah in Europe give theirs salaams to the Ahlus-Sunnah in America.”

Subhan’Allah, the brother’s statement really got me thinking.  I started to think about the concept of brotherhood that exists in Islam and how fortunate we are to have such a unique blessing.  Indeed, this Muslim from Belgium with whom I share probably nothing in common with (not culture, language, race, ethnicity, etc) except Islam is my brother in faith.  Think about that for a moment.  He’s not my cousin or uncle or anything else, but my brother in Islam.  And this brother was able to group together millions of Muslims in Europe and tie them so closely with the millions of Muslims in the United States.  Instant love exists within our hearts for our fellow Muslim brothers and this phenomenal love cannot be explained, but only truly experienced.

Indeed, the Quran states, “the Believers are but a single Brotherhood” (translation of the meaning of the Holy Quran, 49:10).  The Messenger of God (SAW) stated, “None of you will have faith till he wishes for his brother what he likes for himself” (Bukhari).

Therefore, O Muslim, meet new brothers, spread the salaams, smile in the face of your brother and prefer your brother over yourself for indeed, we will see the fruits of such beauty in this life and the Hereafter, insh’Allah.

Related readings: Rights of Brotherhood in Islam and Islamic Brotherhood

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4 Responses to “got brotherhood?”

  1. Mech Says:

    What is more important is to look upon all humans as our brothers and sisters. There are far too many institutions that falsely separate us from eachother (political, religious, race, gender bias, etc). We are all humans, capable of sorrow, pain, hatred, happiness, laughter, and love. We need to embrace empathy, to look on all humans in ways they are like us, not just the petty distinctions. We are in this together, not separately. The sooner we realize this, the more consideration we can give to eachother, the better off we will be.

  2. i'm hungry Says:

    An older sister from somalia with a white hijab passes by me in the hallway, smiles and says “asalamu aleikum”. The only similarity people can see between us is our hijab. A non-hijabi arab sister I do not know says salam to me in an elevator with several of my peers nearby. A few minutes later, we pass by another sister and we share salaams. My peers wonder if I know all these people, but I don’t. In fact, I’ve never met them before in my life. Sometimes it makes me feel sad / isolated because I share little with my peers and it’s hard for me to relate with their lifestyle…….. and then a stranger passes by and says “may peace be upon you”. It’s like Allah has formulated this deen in a way that provides constant comfort and hope.

    spread salam!


  3. What a wonderful lesson!

    How precious the salaam is to Muslims. How much we should treasure it. How thankful we should be.

    Thanks for sharing this incident, and convey our salaam to the Ahlus-Sunnah of America from the Ahlus-Sunnah of Pakistan 🙂

    May Allah guide all men and women to this most beautiful way of life, Islaam. Ameen.

  4. marryhalal Says:

    Wow.

    I often think it might be intrusive to say salaam to someone I don’t know but I like this angle.

    Will have to give it a try!


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