Islam and the Brotherhood of Mankind

Islam and the Brotherhood of Mankind

The following article, “Islam and the Brotherhood of Mankind“, is written by Shabnam Usman, a student of Sir Syed Kazim Ali. Moreover, the article is written on the same pattern, taught by Sir to his students, scoring the highest marks in compulsory subjects for years. Sir Kazim has uploaded his students’ solved past paper questions so other thousands of aspirants can understand how to crack a topic or question, how to write relevantly, what coherence is, and how to include and connect ideas, opinions, and suggestions to score the maximum.

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Outline

1- Introduction

  • ✓Islam is the complete code of life that especially focuses on the social life of humankind.
  • ✓Islam promotes the sense of brotherhood in the global community through the teachings of the Quran and Sunnah of the Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (P.B.U.H.)

2- Decoding the term, the brotherhood of mankind

  • ✓The term underscores the idea of having generosity, compassion, and ethical characteristics in human beings for one another. 

3- How does Islam promote universal kinship?

  • ✓Reinforces tolerance and respect for diversity
    • Case in Point:The Messenger of Allah (P.B.U.H.) said, “Be tolerant, and you will receive tolerance” (Musnad Aḥmad:2233).
  • ✓Emphasizes equality and justice
    • Cases in Point:Hazrat Umar (R.A.) punished his son when he was proven guilty.
  • ✓Strengthens social bonds and boosts cooperation
    • Cases in Point: Meesaq-e-Madina (The Treaty of Madina) between Muslims and Jews
  • ✓Fosters forgiveness and reconciliation
    • Case in Point: The Holy Prophet’s act of forgiveness at the conquest of Makkah
  • ✓Promotes a sense of love and care among individuals
    • Case in Point: None of you will have faith until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself. (Sahih Muslim: 45)
  • ✓Revokes racial and social differences
    • Case in Point: The Islamic obligations of daily prayer and annual pilgrimage promote unity and discourage racism. 
  • ✓Upholds ethical values
    • Case in Point: The best amongst you are those with the best manners and character. (Sahih Al-Bukhari: 3559)

4- Critical analysis
5- Conclusion

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Islam, the complete code of life, is a beacon of enlightenment for everyone living on earth. Since its inception, the religion has been guiding equally the Muslims and the non-Muslims to shatter the darkness of ignorance and bring humanity into the light of faith. However, besides religious beliefs, Islam notably focuses on social traits, for humans are social beings and need community for survival. Therefore, it emphasizes unity and universal brotherhood, which are the foundations of social life. By universal brotherhood, religion means the association of mankind, i.e., the idea of having generosity, compassion, and ethical characteristics in human beings for one another. To teach such commendable qualities in people, Islam and its preachers illustrated numerous examples; several verses of the Holy Quran and sayings of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) have reinforced global unity. Likewise, the historical accord of Meesaq-e-Madina (The Treaty of Madina) is a glaring example of social cooperation. Similarly, Hazrat Mohammad (P.B.U.H.) promoted forgiveness during Makkah’s conquest. Besides sunnah, multiple teachings of Islam – like the obligation of prayers and pilgrimage – revoke racial and social differences to nurture unity. In addition, the justice system of the religion discourages all sorts of discrimination against humans based on colour, caste, or creed. Undoubtedly, the comprehensive concept of universal brotherhood presented by Islam is a panacea for all contemporary social, political, and economic issues humanity faces. This essay elaborates on the concept of the brotherhood of mankind in Islam.

“Do you know what is better than charity, fasting and prayer? It is keeping peace and good relations between people as quarrels and bad feelings destroy mankind.”

Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.)

Beginning by defining the term, the Brotherhood of Mankind emphasizes the idea of unity, cooperation, and collaboration among people regardless of their disparities in nationality, religion, caste, colour, and financial status. Simultaneously, the concept discourages hatred, violence, and other activities that threaten global peace. Furthermore, it underscores love and understanding between people and nations for the world’s peace, prosperity, and stability. In the contemporary era of evolving global dynamics, the global community must ensure brotherhood to defeat all social, political, and economic perils endangering the future of humankind on the planet.

After debunking the concept of universal brotherhood, discussing how Islam promotes the idea is pertinent. The religion fosters universal solidarity by promoting tolerance and respect for diversity. It stresses the concept of consent and grants freedom of thought and speech. In addition, Islam does not compel people to be Muslim. Rather, it allows everyone to follow his beliefs. For instance, the Quran says, “Let there be no compulsion in religion.” (2:256) Likewise, The Messenger of Allah (P.B.U.H.) said, “Be tolerant, and you will receive tolerance.” (Musnad Aḥmad:2233) Concluding, Islam underscores that there exists variety among peoples, so they ought to respect each other to promote unity.

Other aspects of Islam highlighting global unity are equality and justice. Certainly, these notions enable a society to discourage discrimination and bias, thus laying strong foundations for positive social ties. Therefore, Islamic teachings always underline fairness and equality as fundamental to brotherhood. Therefore, Hazrat Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) said that all people are equal, like the teeth of a comb. Similarly, Caliph Omar (R.A.) punished his son when he was proven guilty of adultery. Hence, the examples prove that Islam ensures justice and that no one, even the noblest, is allowed to utilize any concession, and all are equal when it comes to the law. Summing up, Islam teaches that only equality and justice in society ensure strong human bonding.

Furthermore, Islam focuses on the virtue of brotherhood by strengthening social bonds and promoting cooperation in every walk of life. To exemplify, the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) stated that believers are like a single body; if any part of the body is not well, the whole body shares restlessness. (Sahih Al-Bukhari:6011) Such commendable concepts encourage people to collaborate on minimizing human woes and helping the needy. The religion does not restrict the idea of cooperation and collaboration to the Muslims only. Rather, it extends it to all of humankind. For example, Hazrat Mohammad (P.B.U.H.) signed Meesaq-e-Madina (the treaty of Medina) with Jews to protect the city from invaders. Therefore, social integrity guarantees an environment of peace and prosperity in society that fosters solidarity and universal brotherhood.

Additionally, Islam underscores forgiveness and reconciliation for the long-lasting brotherhood of mankind. The characteristics do not let hatred and dither endanger unity as both traits have unique effects on human psychology, i.e., forgiveness is a mood booster, anxiety pacifier, optimization enhancer, and a guard against anger; equally, reconciliation alongside restoring connections allows one to rebuild trust and heals emotional wounds. Consequently, Islam stresses inducing these qualities in people to integrate all ingredients of global unity. To illustrate, the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H.) forgave all his enemies at the conquest of Makkah. As a result, many people embraced Islam. The Quran verifies the fact as, “When the victory of Allah has come, and the conquest (of Makkah), and you see the people entering into the religion of Allah in multitudes.” (110: 1-2) Therefore, forgiveness and reconciliation foster global unity.

Besides, Islam promotes love, kindness, and care in the community as the foundations of brotherhood. Love and care bond people by stimulating empathy and compassion among individuals. Such maxima of morality owe society to serve the needy without compromising their self-esteem; hence, the cultures that adopt these golden principles of Islam know the key to stability and sustainability as they model their civic structure based on social welfare. Thus, the essence of care ensures solidarity in civilians by discouraging prejudices and biasedness. For this purpose, Hazrat Mohammad (P.B.U.H.) said, “None of you will have faith until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.” (Sahih Muslim: 45). Subsequently, love and care nurture the sense of brotherhood in mankind.

Similarly, Islam discourages all culprits of social disintegration, like racism, personal affiliations, and financial influences. Religion revokes the element of superiority in society as it nurtures hatred, vindictiveness, and deprivation in the community. Simultaneously, Islam emphasizes that wealth and social status are temporary and fake means for worldly boast and should not make one arrogant. The last sermon of Prophet Mohammad (P.B.U.H.) clearly states that only piousness can make one dear to Allah. Similarly, the obligations of prayers and annual pilgrimages invalidate all sorts of social supremacies. Islam eliminates racial differences in all spheres of human life and cultivates universal unity.

Finally, to consolidate social cohesion, Islam concentrates on character building to engrave conscience in individuals because it is the fundamental concept that guarantees universal peace and prosperity. According to the Islamic ideology, only a deep sense of consciousness can lead humans to serve altruistically, and such service enforces compassion and cohesion among people. For illustration, the most influential personality, Hazrat Mohammad (P.B.U.H.), is described as the apex of morality by the Quran, “And truly you (Muhammad) possess great morals.” (68:4). To further emphasize character building, the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H.) said, “The best, amongst you, are those who have the best manners and character.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari:3559) So, good traits develop positive conscience that inculcates brotherhood in mankind.

Reviewing further, apparently, Islam stresses the brotherhood of mankind in all its teachings. The ideology of the religion revolves around the social life of humankind. Therefore, it comprehensively guides people to strengthen each other through positive social affiliations. Islam teaches that no one is born perfect, and this fact has created social discrimination. However, humans should compassionately assist each other in overcoming their imperfections regardless of their social differences to create a universal community. The Quran validates it as, “We have created you from a man and woman and made you into nations and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the noblest of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous one.” (49:13) Undoubtedly, Islam encourages social cohesion and stimulates global unity.  

To conclude, according to Islam, the brotherhood of mankind is a commendable character for humanity because, being a social creature, humans need community to survive, and only unity is the concept that creates community in the true sense. Understanding the scenario, Islam introduces ‘universal brotherhood’ as a drastic strength phenomenon and expresses it as a supreme virtue. Therefore, the Quran and Sunnah of the Messenger (P.B.H.U.) have numerously accentuated cooperation, collaboration, generosity, kindness, and modesty. Meanwhile, religion discourages the ideas of superiority based on colour, caste, or creed, social disintegration, and selfishness. Instead, Islam induces tolerance, equality, justice, forgiveness, reconciliation, compassion, and care to develop sound moral character in people so they remain stirred to achieve unity. Certainly, such optimistic traits of Islamic philosophy, for the brotherhood of mankind, can end all human sufferings, transforming the world into a paradise.  

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