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  • Writer's pictureDetroit's Muslim Youth Council

Building Blocks

 

A healthy, strong community is a unified one. A community in which every individual feels valued and works in synergy to build a flourishing community. This is a fundamental concept in Islam. This is a recurring theme which the Prophet ﷺ stressed in many prophetic narrations.


Abu Musa reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Verily, the believers are like bricks of a building, each part strengthening the other,” and the Prophet clasped his fingers together.


The prophet strongly valued this concept and did everything he could to make his ummah (nation) united. There are four lessons that can be taken from this hadith: believers maintain synergy between each other while working for one goal, believers understand that their value only comes when they are united, believers do not compete because each brick among them has a different value, and the contribution of each member is critical to the success of the community.


During the early steps of building the Muslim community, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ did everything in his power to keep the Muslims united. Before the call to Islam became public, the companions used to meet secretly at Dar Al Arqam to worship Allah in peace, due to the imminent threat if the established powers in Mecca were to be aware. One day, Hamza, the Prophet’s uncle, entered a gathering of the Quraysh and heard people speaking ill about the Prophet ﷺ, including Abu Lahab, the Prophet’s other uncle. Hamza speaks up in anger defending the prophet, so Abu Lahab sarcastically asks if Hamza joined Islam. Hamza angrily replied that he did. Hamza was not Muslim and did not think of becoming one. So he went to the Prophet ﷺ and told him what happened. The prophet asked Hamza if he wanted to enter Islam. Hamza was ready and took the shahada right then and there. All of a sudden Umar Ibn Alkhattab barges in and all of the companions hide behind the Prophet, terrified of Umar. Hamza, peace be upon him, was the only one that stood in front of the Prophet ready to protect him with his life. Umar Ibn Alkhattab then said that he wants to become muslim and took the shahada. Subhanallah, the Prophet always made dua for Umar and Hamza to become muslim and they both became muslim at the same time. The people that were in Dar Al Arqam were all guaranteed paradise but they all had different strengths, none of which was physical strength. Abu Bakr was a social architect. He was great at talking to people and knew all the tribes and their dynamics. Abdul-Rahman Ibn Awf was a great business man. He took care of the finances. Uthman Ibn Affan was a very giving and forgiving person. There are many more companions that had different qualities. The Prophet valued each person’s strength and did not require anybody to change. He used each companion’s strength for the good of Islam and to build a strong community. The Prophet ﷺ was just missing the physical support and he got it through Umar and Hamza.


Maintaining synergy between each other while working for the same goal was valued and worked towards by the companions. This was shown through the battle of the Khandaq (trench). If everybody wanted to dig their own trench nothing would have been achieved. Everybody worked together and built a wide and deep trench which led them to win a war that they were outnumbered in. Working in synergy will always lead to victory.


The companions did not compete because they knew each other's values and recognized that they cannot succeed without each other's help. If everybody wanted to be the leader and prove their own skill set, they would have never been able to win or succeed in anything.


Each one of the companion’s contributions was critical to the success of the community. Abu Bakr socially expanded the community through his skills to spread Islam and relationships. Abdul-Rahman Ibn Awf economically helped make the community. Uthman Ibn Affan with his mercy and generosity made the community forgiving and peaceful. Umar and Hamza with their stern personalities created rules and boundaries in the community. Due to all of these contributions, this community is still here today: the Muslim community. As Muslims, we must strive on building each other up by supporting one another’s strengths and using it to the betterment of our community.


As I look around in our community today, everybody is always fighting — Muslims are spreading apart. The forces against Islam are counting on this division and disunity to succeed in their plots. Only by sticking together, as one body—as the Prophet ﷺ described us— will we be able to rise to these challenges. If you ever think of backbiting, or spreading fitnah, or lying, remember the Prophet’s dedication to building the community.


May Allah reward you for reading,


Your sister,

Mariyah


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