Islam encourages believers to respect and be kind to fellow human beings, regardless of religion, race or culture. We are encouraged to do that not for worldly gains but for the sake of Allah. This show of respect, kindness and love is grounded in loyalty and faithfulness, character traits which a Muslim must possess.

This loyalty and faithfulness must always be shown in sincerity. It also varies in degrees of strength and extent, depending on whom we deal with. Regularly, we do show our loyalty to those closest to us: our parents, spouses, children, friends, bosses, colleagues and so on. But Islam commands special loyalty among all believers, whether we know one another personally or not. These are our brothers and sisters in faith.

Our love and loyalty to one another is the strongest bond that exists between two individuals. This is a bond of love and faith in our Lord. Allah explains in the Noble Qur’an, “The Believers are but a single Brotherhood.” (Surah Al-Hujurat, 49:10). It was with this sincere love that the Prophet (pbuh), along with the loyalty of his first followers, was able to establish the first society of Muslims, paving the way for all others to follow. It was through loyalty and faith in the guidance of Allah’s Messenger (pbuh), that the first Muslims were able to persevere through the many severe tests and trials in support of their faith in Islam.

The Prophet (pbuh) explained the structure of the newly-established society by saying, “The believers, in their mutual friendship, mercy and affection, are like one body; if any part of it complains, the rest of the body will also stay awake in pain.” (Bukhari).

>To be continued…