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Foundations of Brotherhood

M Sarwar Siddiqui

The writer is an editor and senior journalist.

What is the meaning of Brotherhood? It should be an emotion; a feeling of pain. That takes humanity to a journey of the heavens. The same state of euphoria when you express a few words of sympathy, create a conducive environment, and empathise with them. These are some of the core teachings of Islam regarding our service to humanity. Make your best efforts to spread education, eradicate ignorance, poverty, and give hope to the despair.
The Holy Prophet (PBUH) ordained us to help the weak, downtrodden, and disadvantaged segments of society, those who are being squeezed by this system, give them strength and empower them. Festivities, hosting flags and celebrations on occasions are important; they bring joy and a sense of comfort. Sometimes we can cut down on these formalities, and set aside some resources on the poor, the widows and on welfare. Help an unemployed man set up a small business. Give generously to charity. Arrange an orphan girl’s wedding. Send a hardworking child to school and pay his fees, uniforms, and books. Help the sick receive healthcare. Do small acts of kindness but always help others.
Don’t expect anything in return. Just do it for the sake of the teaching of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) who was a role model for all mankind. Spread this message of kindness. Gain trust, courage and confidence from the teaching of the Prophet (PBUH) and the way will pave forward. As you head on this journey to serve humanity, there will trials and tribulations and you will be tested on every step. The inner peace and satisfaction that servitude to humanity provides is unparalleled. This is a spiritual experience when you give hope to those who have lost faith and dedicate yourself to the welfare of others. You should be assured that only you have pleased Allah and His Messenger (PBUH).
Only a flame can light another flame. The service to humanity is an ordained duty; a man has an inherent relationship with another man. We tend to feel the pain, agony of another person. This is what humanity stands for; the moment when it reaches for the skies and beyond. Only when you can truly empathise with others, you will understand what I have been trying to tell you.
Let me narrate a small incident that may shake your conscience. There were five members of a family. The father was often sick and then passed away after an illness. The neighbours arranged his funeral and regularly sent meals to his home for a couple of weeks but the stopped doing so. The family had two young sons who were incapable of earning so they started selling their household items to make ends meet. A few months passed on and conditions deteriorated leading to starvation. The eldest son fell sick but was unable to get treatment and was bed-ridden. The widow’s four-old-child asked: “When will our brother die?” The woman looked in disbelief and reprimanded her. She innocently replied: “When father passed away, the neighbours sent us food, maybe they will also send some then.”
Charity, donations, and giving alms should not be only in the month of Ramazan. The poor have the right to your wealth. My purpose is to convince you to serve humanity. I often wonder whether we are truly blessed. Natural calamities, disasters worries, problems, and all type of troubles befall and have completely engulfed us. The blood of Muslims is being shed and they are being discriminated regularly. The Ummah lies fragmented, disoriented and completely disorganised. Some people don’t have two square meals a day, while others don’t even have the time to eat.
This puzzles me with no viable solution in mind. Then one day my inner voice of reasoning gave me the answer. These problems, tensions and worries have the same root cause; we have lost our humanity, our respect for others, and are been torn apart by petty issues. We have negated the true teachings ordained upon us. The greatest religion in the world is humanity. We have forgone that as well. Maybe we forgotten that we are obliged to help each other. We seem to have even forgone that brotherhood, fraternity, relations and sacrifice is also part of our religion, culture and traditions. We are the followers of an esteemed man, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), who came a blessing for all mankind. He taught us to be kind even to animals and you shall be rewarded.
Islam is a religion of peace and calls upon us to end hatred but we are embroiled in sectarianism, terrorism, and extremism. We are completely devoid of humanity, and I can assure you our worries, problems, and crisis will not be resolved until we dedicate ourselves to humanity. I can say with complete faith that you will be truly blessed when your embrace your fellow human beings.
What about your worries? You will have peace of mind and you will forget about your worries. All your problems, worries, and tensions will convert into your blessings. Let us profess that we will care about others to the best of our ability, love others and end hatred within our society, provide health to the sick, knowledge to the illiterate, feed the hungry, and help the despair. Prepare yourself to help others and resolve their issues. Just look around and you will finding those awaiting your generosity.
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