Loving For Your Brother What You Love For Yourself

The Hadith

Abu Hamza Anas bin Malik رضي الله عنه who was the servant of the Messenger of Allah صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم reported that the Prophet صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم said:

“None of you truly believes (in Allah and in His religion) until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.”

[Bukhari & Muslim]

One of the obligatory characteristics of faith is that the Muslim should wish the same things for his fellow Muslims that he wishes for himself. Likewise, he should hate for them whatever he hates for himself. If he lacks this characteristic, his faith is incomplete. Abu Hurayrah رضي الله عنه  narrated that the Prophet (saw) said:

“In order to be a Muslim, wish for your fellow Muslims that which you wish for yourself.”

[Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and Ahmad]

Abdullah bin Amr bin Al-Aas رضي الله عنه narrated that the Prophet صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم said:

“Whoever wishes to be delivered from the Fire and to 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.” [Muslim]

Abu Dharr رضي الله عنه  said: “The Prophet صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم told me:

“Abu Dharr, I see that you are weak, and I love for you the same things that I love for myself. Therefore, never become an amir [a leader], not even over two persons, and never manage the property of an orphan.” [Muslim]

The Prophet صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم advised Abu Dhar رضي الله عنه  not to become an amir because he sensed his weakness and desired that those who were weak avoid positions of leadership. The Prophet, however, ruled over people because Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى

gave him the necessary strength. In addition, Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى ordered the Prophet صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم to call people to obey him and to direct their religious and worldly affairs.

In the same vein, Muhammad bin Wasi went to sell a donkey that he owned. A man asked him: “Would you like for me to own it?” He answered: “If I didn’t like it, I would not have decided to sell it.”

This is an allusion to the fact that he did not wish for his brother in Islam what he did not wish for himself. All the above incidents are but examples of advice to Muslims, which is part of religion.

Utmost Goodwill

This hadith indicates that a believer is pleased with what pleases his fellow believers and that he desires for them the good that he desires for himself. This is a result of being completely free from holding grudges, cheating, and envy. The envious person likes to be superior to others and hates that others are superior or equal to himself. This feeling contradicts the Islamic faith, which stipulates that one should wish others to enjoy the same blessings that he enjoys without losing any of them. In the Quran, Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى

has praised those who are not haughty towards others and hate corruption. Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى says:

“That home of the Hereafter (i.e. Paradise), We shall assign to those who rebel not against the truth with pride and oppression in the land nor do mischief (by committing crimes).” [Al-Qasas 28:83]