خَيرُ الإخْوانِ مَنْ لَمْ تَكُنْ على الدُّنيا اُخُوَّتُهُ۔
The best brother is one whose brotherhood is not based on worldly gain.
— 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. Peace and blessings be upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), his pure progeny, and his noble companions.
In this profound Hadith, Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) highlights the importance of sincere brotherhood among Muslims. He states that the best type of brotherhood is the one that is not built upon worldly interests or material gains. This Hadith emphasizes the purity and selflessness that should be the foundation of our relationships as Muslims.
To understand the depth of this Hadith, let us reflect upon the key words and their meanings. The word (brother) "إخْوانِ" refers to the bond of brotherhood that exists among Muslims. It signifies a deep connection based on faith, love, and mutual support. The word (worldly) "دُّنيا" refers to the materialistic aspects of life, such as wealth, power, and status. It represents the temporary and fleeting nature of worldly possessions.
To further comprehend the significance of this Hadith, we can turn to the Quran for guidance. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) repeatedly emphasizes the importance of sincere brotherhood and warns against the allure of worldly gains. In Surah Al-Hujurat, Allah says:
The believers are but brothers, so make settlement between your brothers. And fear Allah that you may receive mercy.
This verse clearly establishes the concept of brotherhood among believers and emphasizes the need for reconciliation and unity. It highlights the importance of resolving conflicts and disputes among brothers in faith. This verse also reminds us to fear Allah and seek His mercy, which can only be achieved through sincere brotherhood.
Another verse that supports the exegesis of this Hadith is found in Surah Al-Hashr. Allah says:
And those who, before them, had homes [in Medina] and had adopted the faith, love those who emigrate to them, and find not any want in their breasts of what the emigrants were given but give [them] preference over themselves, even though they are in privation. And whoever is protected from the stinginess of his soul - it is those who will be the successful.
This verse beautifully illustrates the selflessness and generosity that should be inherent in the relationships among Muslims. It describes the love and support that the Ansar (the residents of Medina) showed towards the Muhajirun (the emigrants from Mecca). Despite their own hardships and limited resources, the Ansar prioritized the needs of their brothers in faith. This exemplifies the ideal form of brotherhood that Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) refers to in the Hadith.
Reflecting upon this Hadith, we realize that true brotherhood should be based on the principles of faith, love, and selflessness. It should transcend worldly desires and material gains. When our relationships are founded on these noble qualities, we create a strong and united Muslim community. We support and uplift one another, striving for the pleasure of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) rather than seeking personal gain.
Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ), known for his profound knowledge and wisdom, reminds us through this Hadith that true brotherhood is a reflection of our faith and a means to attain closeness to Allah. It is a reminder to prioritize the well-being and success of our fellow Muslims over our own worldly interests. May Allah guide us to embody the spirit of sincere brotherhood and grant us success in this life and the Hereafter.
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