Inshaa'Allah you are in the best of health and emaan. This letter has been written to help us gain an understanding of what sisterhood in Islam really means. We as sisters, care deeply about each other, because we share something that is more special than the whole world and all that it contains; we share the belief in the Oneness of Allah the Most High, and the religion that He has given to us. This is a gift that transcends any differences we may have in regard to race, colour, nationality, culture or language. Being a sister in Islam is one of the many blessings that comes from acceptance of the true path of Allah the Most High. It is also a responsibility that we each have as members of this Ummah. To fulfill our obligation, we first need to understand what is required of us.
This is what the bond of sisterhood should mean to all of us, based upon the wisdom of Allah and his Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him)...
Allah the Most High says, "The believers, men and women. are Auliya (helpers, supporters, friends, protectors) of one another, they enjoin (on people) Al-Ma'ruf, and forbids (people) from Al-Munkar; they offer their prayers perfectly; and give the Zakat and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah will have His mercy upon them. Surely, Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise." (At-Tauba 9:71)
"...And lower your wing for the believers (be courteous to the fellow-believers)." (Al-Hijr 15:88)
The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, "None of you has Iman (faith) until they desire for their brother or sister that which they desire for themself." (Bukhari and Muslim)
"The Muslims in their mutual love, kindness and compassion are like the human body where when one of its parts is in agony the entire body feels the pain, both in sleeplessness and fever." (Bukhari and Muslim)
"On the Day of Judgement, Allah, the Most High, will announce, 'Where are those who love each other for the sake of My pleasure? This day I am going to shelter them in the shade provided by Me. Today there is no shade except My shade." (Muslim)
"If a person loves his brother or sister, they should inform him or her of this fact." (Abu Dawud and Tirmidthi) "Do not be envious of other Muslims; do not overbid at auctions against another Muslim; do not have malice against a Muslim; do not go against a Muslim and forsake him; do not make an offering during a pending transaction. O' servants of Allah, be like brothers and sisters with each other. A Muslim is the brother or sister of another Muslim; do not hurt them, or look down upon them or bring shame on them. Piety is a matter of heart (The Prophet, Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, repeated this thrice). It is enough evil for a person to look down upon his Muslim brother or sister. The blood, property and honour of a Muslim is inviolable to a Muslim." (Muslim) "A person is likely to follow the faith of his friend, so look whom you befriend." (Abu Dawud and Tirmidi)
"One who helps a fellow Muslim in removing his or her difficulty in this world, Allah will remove the former's distress on the Day of Judgement. He who helps to remove the hardship of another, will have his difficulties removed by Allah in this world and in the Hereafter. One who covers the shortcomings of another Muslim, will have his faults covered up in this world and the next by Allah. Allah continues to help a servant so long as he goes on helping his own brother or sister." (Muslim)
"A Muslim owes six obligations towards another Muslim: when you meet them, salute them saying 'Assalaamu Alaykum; when they invite you, accept their invitation; when they solicit your advice, advise them sincerely; when they sneeze and praise Allah, respond with the supplication Yarhamuk Allah (Allah have mercy on you); when they fall sick, visit them; on their death, attend their funeral." (Muslim) "When a Muslim visits their Muslim brother or sister who is sick, they certainly gather the fruits of Paradise until they return from visiting." (Muslim)
"Help your brother or sister when they commit a wrong and when a wrong is committed against them, someone asked, "O Messenger of Allah, I understand how I can help them if a wrong is committed against them, but how can I help them if they are committing a wrong?" At that the Prophet (SAW) answered, "Stopping them from committing the wrong is helping them." (Bukhari)
So you see, as sisters we must strive to love one another for the sake of Allah... Be merciful and compassionate toward one another... Keep company with one another... Assist and support one another when necessary and cover each others shortcomings... Encourage each other to the right... And fulfill our minimum duties toward one another and beyond...
This will not only enhance our bonds of sisterhood, but will also strengthen the fibers of this Ummah, as we acquire and utilise the wisdom of Islam, Insha'Allah. Our ultimate goal is to gain the pleasure of Allah the Most High, as well as His Mercy and Blessings. May we all find the true peace that comes with being a Muslim and attaining the highest of rewards: Paradise. Ameen!