إِنَّمٌا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ إِخْوَةٌ فَأَصْلِحُوا بَيْنَ أَخَوَيْكُمْ وَاتَّقُوا اللٌّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ
Without doubt the believers are brothers of one another so then make peace and harmony between your brothers and have consciousness of Allah so that maybe He will show you mercy.
The closest relationship and bond that can take place between two people during the course of their lifetime is that of brotherhood. Although the relationship between a father and his children is much stronger and powerful than the ties of brotherhood, however this relationship (between a father and his child) is one in which the two people are not on an equal level – from the point of view of time, situation, character and the level of respect (that they must show one another), they are different.
The only relationship that is a complete manifestation of strong unity, love and affection is the one that exists between two people who are living on an equal plane in life and this is the relationship of brotherhood and sisterhood.
This unbreakable relationship that has been brought about by creation is constantly found in all environments and societies and is the secret behind love, affection and closeness that exists between individuals. It is because of this fact that the Qur’an invites humanity to unite and come together under the principles of love and affection and thus, has referred to the faithful believers of a society as being brothers (and sisters) of one another.
For the first time in history, a community of people that numbered hundreds of millions was brought together as brothers of one another and the following sentence was made their slogan and motto:
إِنَّمٌا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ إِخْوَةٌ
“Without doubt the believers are brothers of one another…”
You may ask yourself this question that why has this circle of relationship not been made wider and taken all of humanity into it as brothers of one another, whereas (in this verse) the sphere of brotherhood is limited to only those who have true faith? The answer to this question is obvious and a cursory glance is sufficient for us to understand the reason why this was not done.
This religious brotherhood is not a simple formality and that too of a political nature such that all of humanity – whether or not they have the qualities of brotherhood – should be classified and grouped together as brothers of one another. Rather, the purpose of making the believers brothers of one another points to a series of noble societal and ethical goals and responsibilities that take shape within the greatness of the Islamic brotherhood that the believers must manifest to one another.
All of these responsibilities and goals have been mentioned in the books of Ahadith and Jurisprudence in detail. Therefore, until unity of thought and spirit towards one goal and belief is not established, there can never be firm unity and association of individuals.
If one day, a group of people who are wavering (in belief) in their hearts are seen uniting together under a series of political issues and trying to unite as brothers for a specific cause (other than that of religion), then even the smallest thing would be able to break the unity that was brought about through the mere agreement of thoughts, spirits, difference of (personal benefits) and difference of foundations, and would thus cause them to separate from one another.
A society whose axis or pivot is not based on (unity of) ideas and beliefs and in which everyone acts as individuals will always rotate upon various thoughts and ideologies opposed to one another and no sort of unity or harmony will ever exist amongst those people. Only to that level that unity and harmony protects their material interests will they be able to lead a peaceful life. If one day a person who is united with others sees that he is not in need of this form of unity and feels that he has become successful in the arena of his own life and has reached his goals, then all of the relations that united him with others – which were all based on political motives – will be turned into differences and disputes.
Never would a Muslim – one who has true faith in One Allah and the Day of Judgement and who believes in the governance of justice and equality and who deems it necessary to follow the noble moral traits and the humanistic virtues - be able to become the brother of an atheist who does not believe in Allah (Glorified and Exalted is He) or the Last Day and who feels that ethical teachings and traits are just play-things and considers such teachings as fables.