Unity, togetherness and companionship was a cornerstone for the developing Ummah to success and thrive. Muslims from Makkah were arriving after performing the Hijrah and were now in unfamiliar territory.
The Muslims of Makkah had become rather close with each other after overcoming years of hardship together and spending time in the direct company of Rasulullah (saws). However, the Ansaar who were already residing in Madinah represented a different demographic – and this posed a risk to the overall unity that was already established over the years in Makkah. The Muhaajiroon and the Ansaar differed in their lineages but also had a very different journey to Islam.
Getting caught up on their differences would have been detrimental to the ability of the Muslims to remain united and for Islam to flourish the way that it did. Rasulullah (saws) recognized the significance of this and deliberately ensuring that brotherhood and sisterhood were at the core of each Muslim. He knew Madinah would introduce Muslims from all walks of life – different tribes, classes, statuses. He also was aware how people are susceptible to dividing themselves over notions like these, so he deliberately worked to mitigate division, preemptively. It was clear that Islam would serve as the primary link between anyone who proclaimed the Shahadah.
Rasulullah (saws) paired a Muhaajir with an Ansaari. They would become brothers from another mother – supporting one another and overcoming barriers that would otherwise keep them apart. This began as early as the construction of the Masjid an-Nabawee, further highlighting the significance of brotherhood for the development of a new community.
As a result, the Ansaar bolstered tremendous love and respect for their Muhaajiroon counterparts and went above and beyond for them.
Allah (swt) describes the nature of the Ansaar and their selflessness for the Muhajiroon in the Quran:
وَالَّذِينَ تَبَوَّءُوا الدَّارَ وَالْإِيمَانَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ يُحِبُّونَ مَنْ هَاجَرَ إِلَيْهِمْ وَلَا يَجِدُونَ فِي صُدُورِهِمْ حَاجَةً مِّمَّا أُوتُوا وَيُؤْثِرُونَ عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِهِمْ وَلَوْ كَانَ بِهِمْ خَصَاصَةٌ ۚ وَمَن يُوقَ شُحَّ نَفْسِهِ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ
As for those who had settled in the city and ˹embraced˺ the faith before ˹the arrival of˺ the emigrants, they love whoever immigrates to them, never having a desire in their hearts for whatever ˹of the gains˺ is given to the emigrants. They give ˹the emigrants˺ preference over themselves even though they may be in need. And whoever is saved from the selfishness of their own souls, it is they who are ˹truly˺ successful.
They requested Rasulullah (saws) to permit them to give the Muhajiroon half of their wealth including their gardens of date palm trees. The Prophet (saws) denied the request, not wanting the Ansar to make such a sacrifice and give up ownership of their lands.
The Ansaar weren’t fully satisfied as they originally intended to share their ownership of the trees and gardens but they also didn’t want to disobey Rasulullah (saws). They proposed a counteroffer that would still help the Muhajiroon. They proposed that the Muhajirron would help maintain the garden and would receive a share of the harvest as compensation. The Messenger of Allah (saws) accepted this offer.
However, the Ansaar rushed to work the fields and didn’t leave any work for the Muhajiroon, taking on majority of the work themselves. The Muhajiroon were shocked by Ansaar’s generosity. They went to the Prophet (saws), out of awe and appreciation saying, “O Messenger of Allah (saws), we have not met anyone like the Ansaar. We’ve never met anyone more comforting when in times of scarcity, and anyone more generous when they have a lot. They do the work and they share the fruits. It’s as if they will receive all the reward from Allah (swt).” The Prophet saws replied “No, as long as you give them credit and supplicate to Allah for them.”
The greatest motivator and the greatest source of worry for the Muslim is their status before Allah. The Muhajiroon were so overwhelmed by the Ansaar’s generosity and selflessness that they were convinced that they have maximized Allah’s reward.
The Prophet (saws) desired to reward the Ansaar for their generosity and selflessness by writing a promise that would grant them land in Bahrain. Anas ibn Malik (ra) said that the Ansaar declined saying “No, unless you give a similar amount of land to our brothers from the Muhajiroon.” The Prophet (saws) said, “if you will not accept the land, then be patient until you meet me (i.e. in the Hereafter).”
The relationship outlined by the earliest generation of Muslims demonstrated the unwavering love and affection for their fellow Muslim, with pleasing Allah (swt) as their intention. By remaining committed to fulfilling the rights they had upon each other and maintaining the utmost degree of brotherhood, the Muslims became an impenetrable community that worked relentlessly for propagating the message of Islam, together.