"brotherhood-in-faith" to quote muhammad al-ghazali again, "was holding subordinate every distinction of race and kindred and supporting the islamic precept: none is superior to the other except on the basis of piety and god-fearing. [fiqh as-seerah p140,141]"
the prophet [pbuh] attached to that brotherhood a valid contract; it was not just meaningless words but rather a valid practice relating to blood and wealth rather than a passing whim taking the form of accidental greeting.
the atmosphere of brotherhood and fellow-feeling created a spirit of selflessness infused deeply in the hearts of his followers, and produced very healthy results. for example, sa‘d bin ar-rabi‘, a helper, said to his fellow brother ‘abdur rahman bin ‘awf, "i am the richest man amongst the helpers. i am glad to share my property half and half with you. i have two wives, i am ready to divorce one and after the expiry of her ‘iddah, (the prescribed period for a woman divorcee to stay within her house unmarried) you may marry her." but ‘abdur rahman bin ‘awf was not prepared to accept anything: neither property nor home. so he blessed his brother and said: "kindly direct me to the market so that i may make my fortune with my own hands." and he did prosper and got married very shortly by his own labour. [bukhari 1/553]
the helpers were extremely generous to their brethren-in-faith. abu hurairah reported that they once approached the prophet [pbuh] with the request that their orchards of palm trees should be distributed equally between the muslims of madinah and their brethren from makkah. but the prophet [pbuh] was reluctant to put this heavy burden upon them. it was, however, decided that the emigrants would work in the orchards alongwith the helpers and the yield would be divided equally amongst them. [bukhari 1/312]
such examples point directly to the spirit of sacrifice, altruism and cordiality on the part of the helpers, and also to the feeling of appreciation, gratitude and self-respect that the emigrants held dear to their hearts. they took only what helped them eke a reasonable living. in short, this policy of mutual brotherhood was so wise and timely that many obstinate problems were resolved wonderfully and reasonably.