Ukhuwwah means love, friendship, bond, and brotherhood. It is the brotherhood established for the sake of Allah without expecting anything in return. The bond of brotherhood among fellow Muslims is far more precious than the brotherhood in a family. Those who form this sort of a brotherhood, love and care for each other without expecting anything in return. They consult each other about their affairs and seek solutions for their difficulties and problems together. If they do not see each other for a few days, they contact each other and if anyone of them is in need, they help and support one another. If any one of them dies, they pray for the deceased by gifting the rewards of some righteous deeds onto their souls. They console the hearts of the orphans survived by them, by giving them gifts and treating them kindly.
Rasûlullâh (Sallallâhu Alayhi Wa Sallam) declared brotherhood between each of the noble Muhajirin (immigrant Muslim from Makkah) and the noble Ansar (Helpers).
The esteemed inhabitants of Madinah al-Munawwarah who embraced Islam and earned the title of Ansar-Kiram benefited profusely from the noble life which Islam provided for them. These esteemed personalities lovingly embraced the Muhajirin who migrated from Makkah. They helped them tremendously in many ways. They were content when the Muhajirin were given shares from the war booties. They even preferred the Muhajirin over themselves even though they would need it for themselves.
The ninth verse of Surah Hashr describes some of the refined akhlaq (characters) of the Ansar al-Kiram, “…. And they entertain no desire in their hearts for what they are given, but rather prefer them (the Muhajirin) above themselves, though poverty becomes their lot. And whoever is saved from his own avarice will surely prosper.” They were saved from avarice and stinginess and blessed with the protection of Allâh Ta‘âlâ, and thus attained salvation in this world and the hereafter.
Imam Ghazali (Rahmatullâhi Alayhi), in his book, “Ihya Ulumud-Din” classifies the level of brotherhood in three groups:
- The lowest level is when a person treats his fellow Muslim brother as he treats anybody in any matter.
- The middle level is when he regards his fellow Muslim brother equal to himself in every matter.
- The highest level is when he prefers his fellow Muslim brother above himself.