Allaah be pleased with him, reported that the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa
sallam, said: "No
one of you becomes a true believer until he likes for his brother what he likes
Islam, through its instructions
and legislations, was keen to organize people’s relation with their Lord the
Almighty, in order for them to attain happiness in both this life and the
Hereafter. At the same time, Islam legislates what governs people’s relations
amongst each other, in order for love and harmony to prevail in the Muslim
community. This can be achieved only when each individual is keen to protect
and guard the welfare of others just as he would his own, and only then will
the Muslim community become strongly bonded and well-established.
For this great objective to be
fulfilled, the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, guided his nation to
accomplish the principle of solidarity saying: "No one of you becomes a
true believer until he likes for his brother what he likes for himself",
clarifying that for faith to become deeply rooted in the heart one must love
good for others just as he likes to attain it himself, whether it is to be
blessed with bounty or relieved from an agony; this is the path towards a
perfect level of belief in ones heart.
If we ponder the above
narration, we find that accomplishing such a state of belief requires the soul
to possess a high degree of excellence and good manners when dealing with
others. In this state a person overlooks mistakes, perseveres regardless of the
harm others may afflict on him and forgives ill treatment. Additionally, he
shares the joy and sadness of his fellow Muslims; he visits the sick, comforts
the needy, sponsors the orphan, provides for the widow and offers help to
others and cheers them with a smile.
Just as he likes people to be
happy, he also wishes that they prosper in the Hereafter, and thus he always
strives to guide them to the right path, whilst remembering the saying of
Allaah (what means): “And who is better in speech than one who invites to Allah and does
righteousness and says, `Indeed, I am of the Muslims`” [Quran 41: 33]
The narration also goes beyond
the boundaries of the Muslims to cover wanting good to reach disbelievers. He
likes that Allaah blesses them with the bounty of belief and that Allaah
rescues them from the darkness of associating with Allaah and disobedience.
This meaning is substantiated with the narration in which the Prophet,
sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, said: "Being a true Muslim is achieved by loving for people what
you love for yourself".
Indeed, in the Prophet,
sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, we have the best example; he, sallallaahu alayhi
wa sallam, once said, advising Abu Tharr, may Allaah be pleased with him: "O Abu Tharr! I see
that you are a weak person, and I love for you what I love for myself, so never
be in charge of (even as little as) two people, or be responsible for an
Our Salaf (i.e. righteous
predecessors), may Allaah have mercy upon them, took upon themselves the
implication of this Prophetic advice, and were very sincere in its implementation
in the best manner. Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allaah be pleased with him, said: “I pass
by a verse in the Book of Allaah, and wish that all people would have the
knowledge I have about it.”
Another such example is when
Waasi’ Ibn Muhammad, may Allaah have mercy upon him, wanted to sell a donkey of
his once. The man who was buying it from him said to him: “Do you think it is
good for me”. He, may Allaah have mercy upon him, replied saying: “Had I not
thought so, I would not have attempted to sell to you in the first place.”
These two examples and many
more reflect the loftiness in faith these people reached which yielded such
One of the implications of the narration we are addressing is that a Muslim should not want for others what he hates to happen to himself. This forces the person to shun many bad qualities, like envy, spite, selfishness, stinginess and other dispraised qualities which he would hate people to use when dealing with him.
Finally, one of the fruits of practically applying this great narration is that a virtuous community would be established for the Muslims when its members enjoy common love and a strong bond between them, so that they resemble one strong body that can not easily be defeated. Thus, the Muslim nation would achieve the sought after prosperity.
The Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, said: "Islam began as something strange, and it will return to being something strange, so give glad tidings to the strangers." [Muslim]
The meaning of ‘strange’ in the Hadeeth:
Many times in many situations the people that follow the religion of Allaah feel a sense of not belonging, of being out of place, of not fitting in, or, in other words, of being strange. This feeling is normal when being among non-Muslims, but, unfortunately, this feeling sometimes also occurs when one is among his fellow Muslims. A person sees his brothers and sisters doing acts that are contrary to Islam, or taking part in innovations that sometimes even border on Kufr (disbelief), yet he feels that he does not have enough power or courage to stop them.
Some Muslims, especially if they do not have enough Taqwa (piety) or Islamic knowledge, buckle under the pressure of their peers and join in these acts, knowing that this is not what Allaah wants them to do.
However, feeling helpless, since it seems that they are alone in their ideas and without any support to help them do what is right, they succumb to such pressures.
They should take consolation in the verses of the Quran and in the statements of the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, describing this estrangement.
Why have they been called ‘strangers?'
Allaah Says (what means): "So why were there not among the generations before you those of enduring discrimination forbidding corruption on earth – except a few of those We saved from among them…?" [Quran 11: 116] This verse speaks of the few people on earth, the "strangers", who prohibit mankind from evil. These are the same people the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, spoke about when he, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, said: "Islam began as something strange, and it will return to being something strange, so give glad tidings to the ‘strangers’.” [Muslim]
The Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, was asked: "O Messenger of Allaah, who are those strangers?" He, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, replied: "Those who reform the people when they become corrupt." [Abu ‘Amr Ad-Daani]. In another narration, the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, said in response to the same question: "They are a small group of people among a large evil population. Those who oppose them are more than those who follow them." [Ibn ‘Asaakir]
These praiseworthy people are called ‘strangers’ since they are a small minority among mankind. Thus, Muslims are strangers among mankind; the true believers are strangers among Muslims; and the scholars are strangers among the true believers.
In reality, however, their estrangement is only because they are the minority and it is not because their actions and beliefs are strange. This is what Allaah Says what means: "And if you obey most of those upon the earth, they will mislead you from the way of Allaah. They follow not except assumption, and they are not but falsifying." [Quran 6: 116]
Allaah also Says what means: "And most of the people, although you strive [for it], are not believers." [Quran 12: 103] and (what means): "…And indeed, many among the people are defiantly disobedient." [Quran 5: 49]
Therefore, Allaah, The All-Knowing Creator, knows that most of mankind will not follow the truth. Only a few will be set apart that truly and correctly believe in Him; they are the ‘strangers’ from among mankind.
The strangers in belief, however, and the strangers in character and actions are in reality the majority of mankind, for they are strange to Islam and to the laws of Allaah.
There are various types of estrangement, of which some are praiseworthy, some are blameworthy, and some are neither praiseworthy nor blameworthy. We will discuss these categories below.
The various types of estrangement:
The first type is that of the "People of Allaah and His Messenger, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam", who were mentioned previously. This estrangement is praiseworthy because it has been praised by Allaah and His Messenger, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam. Therefore, this kind should be sought after and its people must be supported.
These ‘strangers’, then, are the true believers, because they only worship Allaah, and they do not follow any path except the path of the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam.
Thus, it is apparent that this estrangement does not cause its bearer any discontent. Rather, it is a comforting estrangement, a solace to the believers. The believer knows that Allaah and those who believe are with him.
Allaah, Almighty, sent His Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, to people because they had strayed. There were those who worshipped rivers, trees, idols, and there were Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians. Islam, when it first appeared among people, was strange to them. If a person from among them accepted Islam, he would be shunned and even tortured by his family and his tribe. He would live as a stranger among his own people. Eventually, however, Islam spread far and wide. Then the Muslims became stronger and more numerous, so much so, that the strangers were those who did not accept Islam.
But later, Satan deceived people again. Many people abandoned Islam, thus those who remained true believers became strangers again, just as when Islam began.
The Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, said that this nation would be divided into seventy-three groups, all of which would go to Hell except the one Saved Group (i.e. those who follow Allaah and His Messenger, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam).
The true believer should be prepared to resign himself to the life of a stranger among his people, just like his predecessors who accepted Islam were treated by their people.
The second type of estrangement, is the blameworthy one, for its people are the evil sinners, the ignorant and the arrogant from among mankind. Their estrangement is due to their refusal to follow the right path of Allaah and His Messenger, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam. This type is the estrangement of not conforming to the religion of Islam and, as such, it will remain strange even if its followers are numerous, its power is strong, and its existence is widespread. These are the strangers to Allaah.
The third type of estrangement is, in essence, neither praiseworthy nor blameworthy. It is the type that a traveler experiences when he travels to a different country, like a person who lives in a place for a short period of time, knowing that he has to move on. One aspect of this estrangement is that all of us, whether we realize it or not, are strangers in this life, for we will all go one day to our permanent abode in the Hereafter. This is the meaning of the Hadeeth of the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, when he sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam told ‘Abdullaah Ibn ‘Umar, may Allaah be pleased with him: "Live in this world as though you are a stranger or a wayfarer." Thus, this category of estrangement has the potential to become a praiseworthy one, if we realize the meaning of this statement of Allaah's Messenger, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam.
Shirk can be committed regarding each category of tawheed; In terms of Sharee'ha or Islamic terminology, Shirk means ascribing a partner or rival to Allaah in Lordship (Ruboobiyyah), worship (Uloohiyyah) or in His Names and Attributes. Thus, Shirk of Uloohiyyah is by praying to others, supplicating to them, prostrating before them, slaughtering in their name, seeking their help in things which only Allaah Almighty can do, calling on them or devoting any type of worship to other than Allaah.
A noteworthy point to highlight is that seeking people's help in matters that are not exclusive to Allaah is permissible, such as seeking someone's help to carry something.
The types of Shirk:
The texts of the Quran and Sunnah (narrations of the Prophets sallallaahu alahyi wa sallam) indicate that Shirk sometimes puts a person beyond the pale of Islam and sometimes does not. Hence, the scholars divided Shirk into two types: major Shirk and minor Shirk.
This means ascribing to someone other than Allaah something that belongs only to Allaah, such as Lordship (Ruboobiyyah), Worship (Uloohiyyah) and the Divine Names or Attributes (Al-Asmaa’ Was-Sifaat).
This kind of Shirk may sometimes be outwardly, such as the Shirk of those who worship idols and graves, or the dead or even living people. Other times, it may be hidden, such as those who put their trust in other than Allaah, or the Shirk of the hypocrites. For even though their (hypocrites’) Shirk puts them beyond the pale of Islam and means that they will abide forever in Hell, it is a hidden Shirk, because they make an outward display of Islam and conceal their disbelief and Shirk, so they are inwardly Polytheists but not outwardly.
Shirk in the form of beliefs, such as:
- The belief that there is someone else who creates, gives life and death, reigns or controls the affairs of the universe along with Allaah.
- The belief that there is someone else who must be obeyed absolutely besides Allaah.
- Associating others with Allaah in love and veneration, by loving a created being as loving Allaah. This is the kind of Shirk that Allaah does not forgive, and it is the Shirk about which
“And of mankind are some who take (for worship) others besides Allaah as rivals. They love them as they love Allaah.” [Quran 2:165]
- The belief that there are those who know the Unseen that only Allaah Knows. This is very common among some of the deviant sects.
- The belief that there is someone who bestows mercy in a manner that is befitting only for Allaah, so he shows mercy as Allaah does and forgives sins and overlooks the bad deeds of his 'worshippers'.
Shirk in the form of words:
Such as those who supplicate to someone other than Allaah, or seek his help or seek refuge with him with regard to matters over which no one has control except Allaah, whether the person called upon is a Prophet, a Wali (righteous person), an angel or a jinn, or some other created being. This is a kind of major Shirk which puts one beyond the pale of Islam.
Also, those who make fun of religion or who liken Allaah to His creation, or say that there is another creator, provider or controller besides Allaah are included in this type of Shirk. All of these fall under major Shirk and are grave sins that are not forgiven.
Shirk in the form of actions:
Such as one who sacrifices, prays or prostrates to something other than Allaah, or who promulgates laws to replace the rulings of Allaah and makes such laws the reference which people are obliged to refer to for judgement; or one who supports the disbelievers and helps them against the believers, and other acts that go against the basic meaning of faith and put the one who does them beyond the pale of Islam.
Feeling desperate my friend then casually got up and walked away from the woman and her many daughters to hide herself in another part of the masjid. Silently praying the woman would not see or think anything was amiss my friends heart trembled as she recalled her knowledge of sihr and the Ruqyah for it.
Finding no one in the prayer room she profusely thanked Allaah and hesitantly sat down feeling dizzy and with double vision. A cold sweat had slowly started affecting her and she felt it almost glistening on her skin. Gently placing her hand on her heart and and chest she prayed Surah Al Fatiha in Arabic (which I have translated into English):
Al-Fatihah, read meaning
"In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
All the praises and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of the 'Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists).
The Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
The Only Owner (and the Only Ruling Judge) of the Day of Recompense (i.e. the Day of Resurrection)
You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything).
Guide us to the Straight Way
The Way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, not (the way) of those who earned Your Anger (such as the Jews), nor of those who went astray (such as the Christians)."
Her heart trembling and hand shaking she continued invoking Allaah praying,
'Bismillaah, Bismillaah, Bismillaah. Ya Hayyul Qayyoom protect me from that which I find and I fear.' she silently whispered seven times.
The double vision slowly shifted to regular sight as she rapidly binked her eyes a few times. Shaking her head in relief she continued with the ruqyah reciting the last three Sura's of the Quran in Arabic known as Muadhytayn. Cupping her hands and drawing them close to her mouth she saught refuge in Allaah from shaytan and spat three times and then began to recite muadhytayn (I have translated them into English):
Sura Al-Ikhlas or At-Tauhid, read meaning
"He is Allah, (the) One.
Allah-us-Samad (The Self-Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need, He neither eats nor drinks).
He begets not, nor was He begotten;
And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him."
Surah Al-Falaq, read meaning
"I seek refuge with (Allah) the Lord of the daybreak,
From the evil of what He has created;
And from the evil of the darkening (night) as it comes with its darkness; (or the moon as it sets or goes away).
And from the evil of the witchcrafts when they blow in the knots,
And from the evil of the envier when he envies."
Surah An-Nas, read meaning
"I seek refuge with (Allah) the Lord of mankind,
The King of mankind,
The Ilah (God) of mankind,
From the evil of the whisperer (devil who whispers evil in the hearts of men) who withdraws (from his whispering in one's heart after one remembers Allah) ,
Who whispers in the breasts of mankind,
Of jinns and men."
"Allah! La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists. Neither slumber, nor sleep overtake Him. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on earth. Who is he that can intercede with Him except with His Permission? He knows what happens to them (His creatures) in this world, and what will happen to them in the Hereafter . And they will never compass anything of His Knowledge except that which He wills. His Kursi extends over the heavens and the earth, and He feels no fatigue in guarding and preserving them. And He is the Most High, the Most Great. [This Verse 2:255 is called Ayat-ul-Kursi. Kursi literally means a footstool or chair, and sometimes wrongly translated as Throne. The Kursi mentioned in this Verse should be distinguished from the 'Arsh (Throne) mentioned in Verses 7:58, 10:3, 85:15 and elsewhere. Prophet Muhammad said: "The Kursi compared to the 'Arsh is nothing but like a ring thrown out upon open space of the desert." If the Kursi extends over the entire universe, then how much greater is the 'Arsh. Indeed Allah, the Creator of both the Kursi and the 'Arsh, is the Most Great.]"
Quran in general - links to read/listen/save all Quran chapters
1) Bismillahi alladhi la yadurru ma`a ismihi shay'un fi al-ardi wa la fi as-sama'i wa huwa as-sami`u al-`alim
(In the name of Allah; with His name, nothing whatsoever on earth or heaven can inflict any harm; He is All-Hearing and All-Knowing).
2) Hasbiya Allahu la ilaha illa huwa `alayhi tawakkaltu wahuwa rabbu al-`arshi al-`azhim
(Allah suffices me; there is no god but He; in Him I place my sole trust; He is the Lord of the mighty Throne).
3) Allaahumma ini a`duhu bika min hamazati ash-shayatin wa a`udhu bika rabbi an yahdurun
(O Allah, I seek refuge in You from the whisperings of Satan; my Lord, I seek refuge in You from their presence around me).
4) A`udhu bi `izzati Allahi wa qudratihi mimma ajidu wa uhadhiru
(I seek refuge in Allah's glory and power from the affliction and pain I experience and suffer from).
[It is important to remember that supplication will only benefit when it comes from a heart that firmly believes in Allah with correct knowledge, and thus cherishes firm conviction in Allah's power and sovereignty.]
"Whoever sits and does not mention the name of Allah (before he rises) will find it a cause of sorrow from Allah. Whoever lies down to to sleep and does not mention the name of Allah before rising will find it a cause of sorrow from Allah." hadith Abu Dawud 4/264