Today, the tragedy of the Muslim Ummah; is that Muslims are at war with themselves, there is more wrangling between Muslims today, than ever before, Muslims are fighting and killing their fellow Muslim brothers. The so-called Muslim Clerics and scholars have made matters worse, as they continue to issue Fatwas and edicts condemning one another, likewise different Muslim groups and sects are at loggerheads.

Iraq and Iran fought for almost a decade, Syria and Yemen are still at war, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan and Somalia still remains unsettled. The happenings in the Middle East or the Muslim countries, all points to the fact that the Muslim Ummah is in complete disarray.

Nonetheless, neither religion nor organization has established bond and ties of brotherhood, like it has been established in Islam; it’s just unfortunate that the Muslims of this era are acting contrary to the true teachings of Islam. The kind of love and bond of brotherhood taught and established by the holy prophet of Islam, Muhammad (SAW) was unprecedented and remains matchless till today. Islam teaches kindness, compassion, sympathy, mutual respect and understanding, toward fellow Muslims, these are the guiding principles of the Islamic brotherhood.

Muhammad (SAW) was able to unite the unruly people of the Arabs, and reformed one of the most corrupt and degenerated society. Within 23 years, he was able to reposition and transform the Arabian Peninsula, from a ruthless, barbaric and blood-thirsty set of people, to a loving, caring and compassionate set of people. He succeeded in bringing together people from all walks of life. At a time when there was no peace, no unity no organization, he was able to re-unite and re-organize the Arabs, he brought both the Arabs and non-Arabs together as one, all under one common banner, the banner of Islam.

Now how did the holy Prophet (SAW) achieve all these? He was able to achieve all these by first establishing true belief and faith in their hearts, and by also establishing a true Jama’at. He made them understand that the whole essence of Islam is basically to discharge the duties and obligations we owe to Almighty Allah, our creator; as well as to fulfill the rights and obligations we owe to our fellow beings. Again he gradually abolished all class distinction, tribal boast, clan pride, caste and all other differences, he taught them to love and see each other as one, by instilling love and mutual respect. He led by example, as he treated everyone equally, regardless of their age, wealth, race, class or societal status.

The holy prophet of Islam, Muhammad (SAW) taught; “None of you is a true believer, until you love for your brother, what you love for yourself” [Bukhari].

However, the noble Prophetic traditions are replete with so many admonitions and exhortations of love, kindness and compassion towards fellow Muslim brothers, as well as non-Muslims. Likewise there are countless examples of these basic teachings in the history of Islam, that clearly demonstrated the reverence and affection, the Muslims then had for one another. For instance, when the Muslims persecuted Mecca, migrated from Mecca to settle in Madina. The ‘Ansar’ Muslims resident in Madina, gave food, shelter, lands, clothes and other properties, in an unprecedented magnitude to their fellow Muslims, the ‘Muhajurun’ emigrant brothers.  Again, the Holy Prophet (SAW) established true ties of brotherhood, between the Makkah emigrants and their fellow Muslim brothers in Madina. It was actually in Madina, that the true Islamic commonwealth and Muslim solidarity begun. He established a true Jama’at, he taught them to love and cherish one another, to help each other and to always stand by each other.

Furthermore, the Muslim brotherhood was built and established on the basis of mutual love and respect. Islam stipulates that the honour, person and property of a Muslim must be cherished, honoured and safeguarded by other Muslim brothers. The holy Qur’an and Sunnah enjoins Muslims to live together and see themselves as one, hence the life and honour of a fellow Muslim brother is inviolable. It is also wrong and forbidden to disclose the secrets or expose the weaknesses of a fellow Muslim and tarnish his image, the Prophet (SAW) had warned against such. Likewise, the holy Qur’an in Suratul Hujurat, describes backbiting and slandering of a fellow Muslim, as eating the flesh of a dead Muslim brother.

It is important to note, that Islam did not just preach love and brotherhood, but had also put certain measures in place, to help ensure and enhance this. In Islam, Zakat is an obligatory charity to be paid every year, it’s taken from the wealth of the rich and given to the poor. There is also Zakat-ul-fitr, i.e the charity paid per head at the end of every Ramadhan fast, which is to be distributed amongst the poor and needy Muslims, so that they can also have something to celebrate the Eid or Sallah festival. All these is to further strengthen the ties of brotherhood, give the poor a sense of belonging and to also make the rich understand that it is part of their duty to extend a helping hand, to support and take care of their poor fellow Muslim brothers.

Again he said; “You will see the believers in their mutual kindness, love, and sympathy just like one body, when a limb complains the whole body responds to it with wakefulness and fever” [Bukhari]

Class distinction and other differences, are those things that often times impedes unity and egalitarian society. For example, all through the ages, slavery is one of the most dehumanizing issues, which have had devastating impacts on man and society. Thus, to enhance a peaceful and harmonious relationship between Muslim brothers, Islam gradually and completely abolished slavery, so Islam unequivocally declares that everyone is equal and every man is a free man, no one has the right to enslave another. The Prophet(SAW), Hadhrat Abubakar Sadeeq(ra), Hadhrat Uthman bin Affan (ra), Hadhrat AbdulRahman bin A’uf and other wealthy Muslims, paid the ransom of many Muslim slaves, to help them secure their freedom. This system of gradual, but total liberation and manumission of slaves stands unique and unparalleled in human history.

The slogan of the holy Prophet of Islam, was ‘a Muslim is brother to another Muslim,’ hence Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and his noble Companions (may Allah be pleased with them), worked tirelessly to build the Muslim solidarity and an Islamic commonwealth. He and his companions laid the foundation of the Muslim brotherhood and solidarity, where sincere love, unity and true brotherhood reign supreme. But its most regrettably, in place of all these, today discord, enmity, rivalry, hatred and malice amongst Muslims, is the order of the day. It is a shame how Muslims are behaving today, Muslims rejoice over the misfortune of their Muslim brothers, Muslims are happy over the death of their fellow Muslim, Muslims fight and killed each other, they defame, mock and call each other Kafir, this is the pitiable state of the Muslims today.

In the same vain the Prophet (saw) made it clear when said; “Do not hate one another and do not be jealous of one another and do not boycott one another and be servants of Allah as brethren; and it is not permissible (lawful) for a Muslim to sever his relation (forsake) with his brother, for more than 3 days”.  [Bukhari & Muslim].

Lastly, it is very important for us Muslims today, to understand that, our diversities are not divisions, but a grand and divine design by the Almighty. In fact Islam teaches unity in diversity, it teaches brotherly love and support for all and sundry. So as Muslims, we must rise above every form of hypocrisy, dissension, complexity, class pedigree and blind sentiments, lets shun pride, arrogance and stop been narrow-minded, let’s all learn to truly love each other and see ourselves as one. Remember in Islam, everyone is equal, blacks and whites, servants and masters, the young and the old, males and females, we are all equal. The only badge of honour and distinction recognized in Islam, is the badge of piety and righteousness, as the Holy Qur’an declares; “… the best among you in the sight of Allah, is he who is most righteous…”