بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Sometimes we become immersed in the daily chores of family life, and an open and deliberate cognisance of the Hereafter takes a back seat. Brothers and friends in Deen on the other hand, push us towards Allah’s dhikr and obedience of Him ﷻ.
Al-Hasan al-Basri رحمه الله said in comparing family and brotherhood:
إخواننا أحب إلينا من أهلينا وأولادنا، لأن أهلنا يذكروننا بالدنيا وإخواننا يذكروننا بالله والدار الآخرة
❝ Our ikhwan are more beloved to us than our family members and our children. For our families remind us of the dunya, while our brothers remind us of Allah and the abode of the akhirah. ❞ [Ihya’ Uloom al-Deen]
The importance of brotherhood in Islam is something our Deen has expounded in great detail. Even in today’s world, the virtue of righteous friendship remains highly guarded. However, the intent and love behind such brotherhood needs to move beyond mere worldly reasons and into more loftier motivations.
Ibn Abbas رضي الله عنه said, while observing the state of bonds of brotherhood in his own time:
قد صارت عامة مؤاخاة الناس على أمر الدنيا وذلك لا يُجدي على أهله شيئاً
❝ It has generally become such that brotherhood of people is based on matters of the dunya, and it doesn’t notably (and positively) impact a person’s household of anything. ❞ [Kitab al-Zuhd, Ibn al-Mubarak, p.353]
This type of brotherhood that propels righteousness and obedience needs to develop into a mutual longing for the tangible benefits that inspires and influences one’s own personal development and that of those around him. And tawfeeq is from Allah alone.