14 February 2014 CE | 12 Rabbi al-Thanni 1435 AH

Hadith Explanation

A Muslim is a Ship

The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “If you shake hands with each other, dislike will disappear, and if you give each other gifts, malice will disappear.” [Muwatta of Imam Malik]

This is a practical tip to improve relations with each other. Our Nafs and Shaitaan together, make us feel justified in disliking believers. It is a normal part of life that we become unhappy with a believer regarding something they did or we dislike something that is indeed present in them. But is this sufficient grounds to hate them?

“Suppose you were on a ship or in a house with ten people. One is a criminal and the others are innocent. If someone were to try to make the ship sink or to set the house on fire because of that one criminal, you know how great an injustice he would be committing. You would cry out to the heavens against his injustice. Even if there were one innocent man and nine criminals aboard the ship, it would still be against all the rules of justice to sink it.

“In the same way, a believer may be compared to a ship or a house belonging to Allah (subhana wa ta’ala), and he has not nine, but as many as twenty innocent attributes such as faith, Islam and neighbourliness. If then you cherish rancour and enmity against him because of one criminal attribute that you are averse to and you desire the sinking of that ship or the burning of that house created by Allah (subhana wa ta’ala), then this would be a most atrocious crime.” [The Islamic Brotherhood]

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