On the authority of Abi Hamza Anas bin Malik, the servant of the messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) from the prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) who said: “None of you [truly] believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.”
It’s an interesting concept, to love for one’s brother what one loves for themselves. It would be anathema to the fictional character of Gordon Gecko, to whom is attributed the phrase “greed is good.” But it is the very same type of greed that Wall Street vampires espoused that caused the global economy to spiral out of control and arguably uncountable lives to be lost in wars over resources.
In our competitive world, many are stuck in a state of mind that they should have better than others, for this will somehow give them an edge. The Facebook era has created a “me, me, me” society where people constantly feel the need to big themselves up, To give themselves kudos or show how full their life is. Sharing photos with friends and family is one thing – but too much can lead to being egotism and stiffness of the soul… and that’s a hard disease to fix.
I grew up loving basketball. In basketball it was exciting to watch players like Michael Jordan soar over everybody else and slam dunk, or to see Larry Bird shoot a circus shot from beyond the 3-point line or behind the backboard. It was always the most exhilarating for me, however, to watch Magic Johnson run a fast break and do a no-look pass to his teammate for the easy layup or dunk. Its a thing of beauty to watch a team work together, to see all the parts of a machine work effectively together. Its much more exciting than watching one guy take all the shots while his teammates stagnate and wait to dish it off to the ball hog again. To dish it off meant that one would take the assist over the shot… that they wanted their teammate to shine as much as they wanted it themselves, or even more so. It means, to that individual, the team is greater than the individual.
This is a reminder to everyone, and I’m placing myself at the forefront. Learn to not always make everything a competition. If someone else is doing well, encourage it. If someone else needs help, help if you can. You will get as good as you give. The blessings and rewards are spiritual… and Allah is Most Kareem (Generous and Benevolent). Peace.
To read more on the above hadith, please click here.