خَيرُ الإخْوانِ أعْوَنُهُمْ عَلى الخَيْرِ، وأعْمَلُهُمْ بِالبِرِّ، وأرْفَقُهُمْ بِالمُصاحِبِ۔
The best brother is the most helpful of them in [performing] good deeds, the most active in doing good deeds and the most affable in companionship.
— Imam Ali a.s.
(Ghurar al-Hikam: The Brother, The Friend, The Associate And The Companion)
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of all worlds. May peace and blessings be upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), his pure progeny, and his noble companions.
In this profound Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ), he highlights the qualities of a true brother in Islam. Let us delve into the exegesis of this Hadith, exploring the important words and their meanings in light of the Quran.
The first word to be examined is (awwanuhum) "أعْوَنُهُمْ", which means
the most helpful of them.
This word emphasizes the importance of being supportive and assisting others in their pursuit of goodness. The Quran beautifully emphasizes the significance of helping one another in numerous verses. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says in Surah Al-Ma'idah (5:2),
And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression.
This verse emphasizes the importance of working together in acts of righteousness, supporting one another in doing good deeds.
The second word to be examined is (bilbir) "بِالبِرِّ", which means
the most active in doing good deeds.
This word highlights the importance of actively engaging in acts of righteousness and piety. The Quran repeatedly emphasizes the significance of performing good deeds. In Surah Al-Baqarah (2:277), Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says,
Indeed, those who believe and do righteous deeds and establish prayer and give zakah will have their reward with their Lord, and there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve.
This verse emphasizes the importance of not only believing but also actively engaging in righteous actions.
The third word to be examined is (bil-musahib) "بِالمُصاحِبِ", which means
the most affable in companionship.
This word highlights the importance of being kind, gentle, and friendly in our interactions with others. The Quran teaches us the importance of good companionship in Surah Al-Kahf (18:28), where Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says,
And keep yourself patient [by being] with those who call upon their Lord in the morning and the evening, seeking His countenance.
This verse emphasizes the significance of surrounding ourselves with righteous companions who encourage and inspire us towards goodness.
Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) Hadith beautifully encapsulates the qualities of a true brother in Islam. The best brother is the one who is always ready to lend a helping hand, supporting others in their pursuit of goodness. This support can manifest in various ways, such as offering guidance, providing assistance, or simply being there for someone in times of need.
Furthermore, the best brother is the one who actively engages in performing good deeds. This entails not only having faith but also translating it into action. It involves striving to fulfill the obligations of Islam, such as prayer, charity, and acts of kindness towards others. By being proactive in doing good, one becomes a source of inspiration and motivation for others.
Lastly, the best brother is the one who possesses a kind and affable nature in their companionship. They are gentle, friendly, and compassionate towards others, creating an atmosphere of love and harmony. Such individuals are a source of comfort and support, fostering strong bonds of brotherhood within the Muslim community.
In conclusion, Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) Hadith serves as a comprehensive guide for Muslims in cultivating brotherhood and fostering a strong sense of community. By being helpful, active in doing good deeds, and affable in companionship, we can create an environment of love, support, and unity. May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) grant us the ability to embody these qualities and strengthen the bonds of brotherhood among Muslims.
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