Second Matter: It explains the principle of “knowing one another and solidarity” in the verse.


In order to explain the principle of “knowing and assisting each other” which the verse indicates, we say this: an army is divided into divisions, the divisions into regiments, the regiments into battalions, companies, and then into squads, so that every soldier may know his many different connections and their related duties; then the members of the army may truly perform a general duty governed by the principle of mutual assistance, and their social life be guarded against the attacks of the enemy. This arrangement is not so that divided and split up, one company should compete with another, one battalion be hostile to another, and one division act in opposition to another.

In just the same way, Islamic society as a whole is a huge army which has been divided into tribes and groups. But it has a thousand and one aspects of unity. Its groups’ Creator is one and the same, their Provider is one and the same, their Prophet is one and the same, their qibla is one and the same, their Book is one and the same, their country is one and the same; all the same, a thousand things are one and the same.

This many things being one and the same requires brotherhood, love, and unity. That is to say, being divided into groups and tribes should lead to mutual acquaintance and mutual assistance, not to antipathy and mutual hostility.

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