Loving for others what you love for yourself

The religion of Islam views man as an individual and a part of the society. Hence, Islam does not look at only personal and individual success; rather, it wishes for the collective success of the entire society. Islam teaches to love for others what we love for our own selves. Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) says in a tradition:

اَحْبِبْ لِغَیْرِکَ مَا تُحِبُّ لِنَفْسِکَ وَ اکْرَہٗ لَہٗ مَا تَـکْرَہٗ لِنَفْسِکَ

“Love for others whatever you love for yourself and dislike for others what you dislike for yourself.”1

Hence, a society which only thinks about its own well-being and not of others, the center and focus of all its actions revolves around itself. It is not an Islamic society. Islam looks at the entire society as a part of a single body. Just as all parts of the body cooperate with each other to ensure the smooth functioning of the body, keep working for each other, are a part of each other’s joy and sorrow, if one part is injured, all other parts are discomforted due to it, only then the sorrow and pain is relieved and the body remains healthy.

Otherwise, if all other parts of the body are inattentive to the pain caused to any other part, then the entire body will be gradually affected and all the parts will be the cause of each other’s destruction. This is the nature of Islam. Islam is not an advocate of only apparent camaraderie. It wants to see love and the spirit of sacrifice in everyone’s heart for the others. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) once sent a person for some work. He returned late. He (s.a.w.a.) inquired about the delay in returning. He replied: I did not have proper clothes. The Prophet (s.a.w.a.) said:

“Did your neighbour not have two pairs of clothes so that he could have given you one?”

“Yes, he did have”, replied the man. On hearing this, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) was extremely upset and he (s.a.w.a.) said:

مَا ھٰذَا لَکَ بِاَخٍ

“He is not your brother.”2

Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) says,

“Muslims are brothers of each other. They are the eyes on one another. They are mirrors, guides and proofs (for each other). They do not cheat each other, do not oppress each other, do not betray, lie or backbite about each other.”3

Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) says,

“Believers are brothers of each other. They do not abuse each other, do not hurt each other and do not think negatively about each other.”4

Islam wants to see its followers in a state that the highest levels of moral teachings become common.

  • 1. Amaali of Shaikh Saduq (a.r.), p. 401
  • 2. Wasaael al-Shiah, v. 12, p. 27
  • 3. Al-Kaafi, v. 2, p. 166
  • 4. Behaar al-Anwaar, v. 75, p. 176