Fraternization in the Muslim Community ...its Importance and Status

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the muslim community is the large family connected by ties of love, solidarity, cooperation and mercy. the muslim community is a balanced, divine, human community, coexisting with the good manners and dealing with justice and consultation. the older members have mercy upon the younger ones. the rich pity the poor and the strong help the weak. the muslim community is like one body. if the eye is in pain then the whole body is in pain and if the head is in pain then the whole body is in pain.

fraternization in islam
lee atwater[1], one of the keyset symbols in the reagan’s[2]administration, says in a feb. issue (1991) in life magazine: "my illness has taught me something about the nature of humanity, love, brotherhood and relationships that i never understood, and probably never would have. so, from that standpoint, there is some truth and good in everything."[3]

fraternization or brotherhood or fraternity is one of the most unique human values established by islam in order to preserve the entity of the community. fraternization achieves the community cohesiveness and it has never existed in any other community, either old or modern. fraternization means “that people live in love, connection and support; connected by the feeling that connects the one family members who love one another and support one another and where each member feels that his brother’s strength adds to his own strength and his brother’s weakness means his own weakness and where each one feels weak when alone and strong when beside his brothers.”[4]

status of fraternization in the muslim community
texts emphasized the status of fraternization in the islamic community and fraternization impact on building the muslim community. they also prompted everything that strengthens fraternization and forbad everything that may harm it. allah exalted he is confirmed the relation between fraternity and belief by saying: {the believers are but a single brotherhood} [the inner apartments: 10] irrespective of the race, color and lineage. on that basis, salman al farisi, bilal al habashi and suhayb ar-roumi fraternized with their arab brothers.

the quran described such fraternity as a blessing from allah. allah exalted he issays: {and remember with gratitude allah’s favour on you; for ye were enemies and he joined your hearts in love, so that by his grace, ye became brethren} [the family of ‘iman 103].

the prophet after his migration to medina – at the beginning of building the muslim community – started, just after he had built the mosque, establishing brotherly ties between the muhajirun and the ansar. the quran registered that fraternization which gave a superb example for love and altruism. allah exalted he is says: {but those who before them, had homes (in medina) and had adopted the faith,- show their affection to such as came to them for refuge, and entertain no desire in their hearts for things given to the (latter), but give them preference over themselves, even though poverty was their (own lot)} [exile:9].

in an image of such marvelous examples of love and altruism thanks to fraternization is that one ansari man offered his migrated brother half his money and one of his two wives to marry her after divorcing her! this was narrated by anas ibn malek, who says: abdul rahman ibn awf came to medina and the prophet established a brotherly tie between him and sa’ad ibn al rabi al ansari, who offered abdul rahman to take half his money and one of his two wives, but abdul rahman said to him: may allah bless your family and money, show me the way to the market…”[5]

for its great role in the cohesiveness of the community, allah’s warning was obvious to whatever act that may weaken the islamic brotherhood. allah exalted he is has forbidden transcendence andderision. allah exalted he is says: {o ye who believe! let not some men among you laugh at others: it may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): nor let some women laugh at others: it may be that the (latter are better than the (former)} [the inner apartments: 11].

allah has also forbidden defamation and lineage boastfulness. allah exalted he is says: {nor defame nor be sarcastic to each other, nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames: ill-seeming is a name connoting wickedness, (to be used of one) after he has believed: and those who do not desist are (indeed) doing wrong} [the inner apartments: 11].

allah has also forbidden backbiting, calumny and suspicion – all of them are devastating any community. allah exalted he is says: {o ye who believe! avoid suspicion as much (as possible): for suspicion in some cases is a sin: and spy not on each other behind their backs. would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? nay, ye would abhor it...but fear allah. for allah is oft-returning, most merciful} [the inner apartments: 12].

if there is dispute or argument, islam exalts everything that help bring hearts together and strengthen unity by calling for peacemaking. the prophet says: “shall i not inform you of something more excellent in degree than fasting, prayer and almsgiving (sadaqah)? the people replied: yes, prophet of allah! he said: it is putting things right between people, spoiling them is the shaver (destructive)”[6]

moreover, islam permitted lying as a way to put things right between disputing people as this protects the entity of the muslim community from cracking. the prophet says: “he who makes peace between the people by inventing good information or saying good things, is not a liar."[7]

fraternization rights and duties
due to fraternization importance, islam set a number of rights and duties to be fulfilled by every muslim in light of such a relation, which islam classifies as a debt to be judged among a person’s deeds on the day of resurrection and a trust that must be fulfilled. the prophet illustrated that by saying: “don't nurse grudge and don't bid him out for raising the price and don't nurse aversion or enmity and don't enter into a transaction when the others have entered into that transaction and be as fellow-brothers and servants of allah. a muslim is the brother of a muslim. he neither oppresses him nor humiliates him nor looks down upon him. the piety is here, (and while saying so) he pointed towards his chest thrice. it is a serious evil for a muslim that he should look down upon his brother muslim. all things of a muslim are inviolable for his brother in faith: his blood, his wealth and his honor”[8]

about the prophet’s saying “do not bid him out” the scholars said: bidding one’s out means stopping support and helping him and the meaning is: if a muslim sought other muslim’s support to fend off atyrant or so, he must support him if possible and there is no legal excuse for the latter not to support the former.[9]

narrated by anas, the prophet says: “help your brother whether he is an oppressor or an oppressed," a man said, "o allah's apostle! i will help him if he is oppressed, but if he is an oppressor, how shall i help him?" the prophet said, "by preventing him from oppressing (others), for that is how to help him.”[10]

is there any human community able to oblige each single member to fulfill the needs of his brother, help his brother if he is oppressed and prevent him from oppressing others?!

only the islamic community is doing so thanks to such a high level of fraternity and unity of feeling. each member is eager to remove his brother’s troubles, solve his problems, support and assist him and not to hate or be enemy to him. each member ought to be positive. in light of this, fraternization is the foundation and title of a cohesive and integrated muslim community.


[1]lee atwater (1951-1991) was an american political consultantand strategist to the republicanparty. he was an advisor of u.s. presidentsronald reaganand george h. w. bush.

[2] ronald reagan (1911-2004) was the 40th president of the unites states in the period (1981-1989). he was an unsuccessful secondary actor before he starts his political career. he was a loved popular president. he was reelected for a second term in office with an absolute majority in 1984.

[3] quoting abdel hai zalloum: the new evil empire, pp. 397

[4] yusuf el qaradawi: characteristics of the muslim community we seek, pp. 138

[5] al-bukhari: the virtues of the companions book, how the prophet fraternize between him companions (3722), al tirmizi (1933), al nasai (3388) and ahmed (12999)

[6] abu dawood: kitab al-adab (general behavior) book, chapter peacemaking (4919), al tirmizi (2509), ahmed (27548). shu’iab al arna’out said: its narration is correct. ibn hibban (5092), corrected by al albani, look: sahih al jami’ (2595)

[7] al bukhari, narrated by um kulthum bint uqba: kitab asolh (peacemaking book), chapter is not a liar he who makes peace between the people (2546), muslim: kitab al bir wa silah wa al adab, chapter forbidding lying and permitted lying (2605)

[8] muslim narrated by abu huraira: kitab al-birr was-salat-i-wa'l-adab (the book of virtue, good manners and joining of the ties of relationship) chapter it is forbidden to perpetrateatrocity upon a muslim, to humiliate him, to insult him, and inviolable is his blood, honor and wealth(2564), (7713), al-bayhaqai: al-sunan al-kubra (11830)

[9]al nawawi: minhaj fi sharh sahih muslim bin hajjaj 120/16

[10] al bukhari: kitab al-ikraah (book of saying something under compulsion), chapter someone’s swearing to his brother that he is his brother when fearing getting killed or so (6552), al tirmizi (2255), ahmed (11967) and al darmi (2753)