sábado, 30 de agosto de 2008



The whole Community of Believers is conceived of as a great brotherhood.

' Surely the believers are but brothers. So set things right between your two brother, and aware of God - perhaps you will obtain mercy' (Qur'an 49:10).

Know that the contract of brotherhood is a bond between two persons, like the contract of marriage between two spouses. In all, this comprises of eight duties:

The first duty is the material one.

The lowest degree is where you place your brother on the same footing as your slave or your servant, attending to his need from your surplus. To oblige him to ask is the ultimate shortcoming in brotherly duty. At the second degree you place your brother on the same footing as yourself. At the third degree, the highest of all, you prefer your brother to yourself and set his need before your own. This is the degree of the siddiq, and the final stage for those united in spiritual love.

The second duty is to render personal aid in the satisfaction of needs, attending to them without waiting to be asked, and giving them priority over private needs. Here too there are different stages, as in the case of material support.

The lowest degree consists in attending to the need when asked and when in plenty, though with joy cheerfulness, showing pleasure and gratitude. In short, your brother's need ought to be like your own, or even more important than your own.

The third duty concerns the tongue, which should sometimes be silent and at other times speak out. In short, you should keep silent about any speech unpleasant to your brother in general and in particular - unless obliged to speak out to promote good and prevent evil, and even then only if you can find no valid excuse for saying nothing.

The lowest degree in brotherhood is where you treat your brother as you would wish to be treated yourself, and there is no doubt that he would expect you to veil his shame and keep quiet about his misdeeds and faults. Know that the mainstay of brotherhood is concord in word and deed, and compassion.

The fourth duty is to use the tongue for speaking out. Just as brotherhood calls for silence about unpleasant things, so it requires the utterance of favourable things. You should use the tongue to express affection to your brother, and to enquire agreeably about his circumstances. For brotherhood means participating in joy and sadness.

The fifth duty is forgiveness of mistake and failings. The failing of a friend must be one of two kinds; either in his religion, through the commission of an offence; or in his duty to you, through an omission in brotherhood. In the case of religion, where he commits an offence and persists in it, you must advise him kindly so as to supply his deficiency, put his affairs in order, and restore him to a correct and virtuous state. As for his error in brotherly duty, by which he causes alienation, there is no disagreement on the proper course being forgiveness and patience. Indeed, whenever a good interpretation is possible, or an excuse - whether obvious or far-fetched - can be advanced, this obligatory in the duty of brotherhood.

The sixth duty is to pray for your brother, during his life and after his death, that he may have all he might wish for himself, his family and his dependants.

The seventh duty is loyalty and sincerity. The meaning of loyalty is steadfastness in love and maintaining it to the death with your brother, and after his death with his children and his fellows. For love is for the sake of the Other Life. If it is severed before death the work is in vain and the effort wasted.

The eighth duty is relief from discomfort and inconvenience. You should not discomfort your brother with things that are awkward for him. Rather you should ease his heart of its cares and needs, and spare him having to assume any of your burdens. Such then are the duties of fellowship. Therefore you must bind all your faculties to their service.

These manners of the Outer are only the title page of the Inner and Purity of Heart. When hearts are purified there is no need of formality to display their content. He who looks to the fellowship of creatures will sometimes be crooked and sometimes straight.

But he who looks to the Creator is bound to the Straight Path both inwardly and outwardly. His inner is adorned by love of God and his creatures. His outer is beautified by worship of God and service to His servants, for these are the highest kinds of service to God, since there is no way to them except by good character.

The slave can attain by the goodness of his character to the

degree of the upright keeper of fasts - and beyond.

Imam Al Ghazali..(May Allah be pleased with him)

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