Islamic Hadiths, Nawawi’s 40 Hadiths: Hadith 13, Love for your brother
Why study the hadiths of Islam?
Hadiths are sayings attributed to Muhammad and descriptions of his deeds; there are thousands of them. Over the centuries Muslims have made compilations of “Forty Hadiths”. This practice goes back to traditions in which Muhammad allegedley said, “Whichever Muslim learns forty hadith by heart will be raised on the Day of Judgment with sholars and jurists”. Based on this tradition, some Muslims collected forty hadith narrated by forty different scholars; forty different places; forty hadith about a single topic; etc. Nawawi’s collection focused on the basic beliefs of Islam.
One of the goals of this website is to encourage dialogue between Christians and Muslims. Good dialogue involves listening, and so I have been listening and learning to Sheikh Ali Gomaa teach about Nawawi and the Forty Hadith. Dialogue breaks down when people talk more than then listen.
I have found it frustrating when Muslims tell me what I believe and get it wrong. I am sure Muslims feel the same way when Christians misrepresent their beliefs. The Golden Rule applies to dialogue (Matthew 7:12) and so does the 9th Commandment (Exodus 20:16). My study of the hadiths of Islam is an attempt to listen and better understand the beliefs of my Muslim neighbors.
It is important to study the Islamic hadiths because they are part of the sayings, actions, and approvals of Muhammad (sunnah). Muslims sometimes say, “Know that Islam is the Sunnah, and the Sunnah is Islam” meaning that one cannot be established without the other.
Another reason to study the hadiths is that they demonstrate the supremacy of Jesus to Muhammad. Jesus Christ’s supremacy to Muhammad is demonstrated in this hadith about love and one’s neighbor. This tradition is uninspiring compared to Jesus’ teaching about one’s neighbor in the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:29-37). Jesus’ example of love for humanity is also superior to Muhammad’s.
- Jesus was a greater and wiser teacher than Muhammad.
- Jesus understood the Hebrew Scriptures better than Muhammad.
- Jesus’ example of love is greater than Muhammad’s. (If you don’t agree, feel free to leave a comment below)
The thirteenth Islamic hadith compiled by al-Nawawi, first in Arabic and then the English translation of the Arabic,
عـن أبي حـمـزة أنـس بـن مـالـك رضي الله عـنـه ، خــادم رسـول الله صلى الله عـلـيـه وسـلم،عن النبي صلي الله عـلـيـه وسـلـم قــال : ( لا يـؤمـن احـدكـم حـتي يـحـب لأخـيـه مــا يـحـبـه لـنـفـسـه ) .
رواه البخاري [ رقم : 13 ] ، ومسلم [ رقم : 45 ]
On the authority of Abu Hamzah Anas bin Maalik (radiAllaahu anhu) 1English to Arabic translation , May Allah be pleased with him. – the servant of the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam 2Arabic to English translation, May Allah bless him and grant him peace. Often abbreviated SAWS. This Arabic phrase is used after references to Muhammad and his titles. The Quran commands Muslims to use this, or like expression, when referring to Muhammad and promises to reward them ten times.) – that the Prophet (sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam) said :
None of you [truly] believes until he loves for his brother that which he loves for himself.
It was related by Bukhari (البخاري) and Muslim (صحيح مسلم)
Listen to the Islamic Grand Mufti of Egypt, Ali Gomaa teach (على جمعة) about loving your brother. My notes follow.
Ali Gomaa discusses the question of “To whom does the word ‘brother’ refer?”He discusses biological family, other Muslims, and humanity. “Or, we may consider this ‘brother’ to be a brother in humanity. The sheikh says…Sheikh Shabrakhity Al-Malky, explaining the 40 ahadith of An-Nawawi says, that brotherhood extends to the whole world, to the entire human race. One must wish all people to be guided to the right path. One must want guidance for all humans as well as for himself and wishes that Allah (SWT) 3Abbreviation for the Arabic phrase, Subhanahu wa ta’ala. This expression is used after using the name Allah. The English translation means “highly praised and glorified is He.” guides everyone on earth. One also wishes to die as a believer.
“None of you will have faith till he wishes for his brother” in humanity “what he likes for himself.”
“Wish your brother health and knowledge. Wish him guidance and goodness. Wish for him the good that you wish for yourself.”
The Islamic hadiths, and the definition of brother in hadith 13
This hadith seems problematic because Muhammad did not define “brother” as Ali Gomaa defined brother. Ali Gomaa defined brother as “humanity,” but this definition is not explicitly given in hadith 13. In fact, in Nawawi’s hadith 35, Muhammad defines brothers as fellow Muslims, “be Slaves of Allah and Brothers [amongst yourselves]. A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim.” You can find something similar in hadith 36. Other Muslim sources also interpret hadith 13 as referring to Muslim brothers.
The teaching of Muhammad in this hadith is uninspiring when compared to Jesus’ definition of neighbor as found in the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:29-37). In fact, Jesus commanded His disciples to go further than loving their neighbor. He commanded them to love their enemies (Matthew 5:43-48).
The other striking difference between Muhammad and Jesus is the example of Jesus’ love for humanity. Jesus’ not only taught about love, He demonstrated love. Jesus willingly laid down His life for His enemies; Jews and non-Jews (John 3:16; Romans 5:8,10).
Next Post in this series:
You may also be interested to read:
Download a free copy:
Islam Hadiths: Hadith 2 from Nawawi’s 40 Hadiths: Gabriel Questions Muhammad about the Principles of Islam
Islam Hadiths: Hadith 6 from Nawawi’s 40 Hadiths: Halal, Haram, and the Heart (Things Permitted and Prohibited)
Islam Hadiths: Hadiths 11-12 from Nawawi’s 40 Hadiths: Leaving Doubt for Certainty & Mind Your Own Business
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|1.||↥||English to Arabic translation , May Allah be pleased with him.|
|2.||↥||Arabic to English translation, May Allah bless him and grant him peace. Often abbreviated SAWS. This Arabic phrase is used after references to Muhammad and his titles. The Quran commands Muslims to use this, or like expression, when referring to Muhammad and promises to reward them ten times.|
|3.||↥||Abbreviation for the Arabic phrase, Subhanahu wa ta’ala. This expression is used after using the name Allah. The English translation means “highly praised and glorified is He.”|