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Al-Ukhuwwa Verse

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Al-Ukhuwwa Verse (Arabic: آیة الأخوة, brotherhood verse) is the tenth verse of Sura al-Hujurat concerning the fraternity or brotherhood between all Muslims and their duties with respect to one another. According to this verse, all believers are brothers, and if there is a quarrel or dispute among them, other Muslims should reconcile them. After this verse was revealed, the Prophet (s) made brotherhood agreements among his sahaba (companions), making 'Ali b. Abi Talib (a) his own brother.



The verse refers to one of the most significant social responsibilities of Muslims, taking them to be one another's brothers, their quarrels and disputes being those between brothers. Thus it asks other Muslims to reconcile the two disputing brothers. Just as people try to reconcile two biological brothers, they should also try to reconcile two religious brothers. The fraternity among Muslims is not meant to be a mere slogan; it requires certain commitments on their behalf.[1]

Imam al-Sadiq (a) is quoted as saying: "every believer is the brother, the eye, and the guide of other believers; they never betray or oppress or deceive each other, and if they promise, they never break it".[2]

Al-Alusi, the author of Ruh al-ma'ani, takes the attribution of brotherhood to believers to be a sort of metaphor, since two persons sharing their belief is like them sharing their origin of birth—just as birth brings a person into this world, belief (in Islam) takes people to the Heaven.[3]

'Allama Tabataba'i, however, takes the attribution of brotherhood to be literal, rather than metaphorical. He takes it to be a sort of conventional relation that only has social effects, rather than effects in marriage and heritage.[4] Since in many cases, such relations may lead to injustice by unfairly preferring one's brother to others, the verse also warns the believers that they should fear God.[5]

Pact of Brotherhood

'Abd Allah b. 'Abbas said: "when this verse was revealed, the Prophet (s) made fraternity agreements between Muslims: for example, an agreement between Abu Bakr and 'Umar, another between 'Uthman and 'Abd al-Rahman b. 'Awf, and likewise for the rest of sahaba. And he finally made a fraternity agreement with Ali b. Abi Talib (a) and told him: "you are my brother and I am your brother."[6]


  1. Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūnah, vol. 22, p. 172.
  2. Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, vol. 4, p. 491.
  3. Ālūsī, Rūḥ al-maʿānī, vol. 13, p. 303.
  4. Ṭabāṭabāʾī, al-Mīzān , vol. 18, p. 472.
  5. Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūnah, vol. 22, p. 169.
  6. Baḥrānī, al-Burhān, vol. 5, p. 108.


  • Ālūsī, Maḥmūd b. ʿAbd Allāh al-. Rūḥ al-maʿānī fī tafsīr al-Qurʾān al-ʿaẓīm. Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmīyya, 1415 AH.
  • Baḥrānī, Hāshim b. Sulaymān al-. Al-Burhān fī tafsīr al-Qurʾān. Tehran: Bunyād-i Biʿthat, 1416 AH.
  • Kulaynī, Muḥammad b. Yaʿqūb al-. Al-Kāfī. Third edition. Qom: Nashr-i Uswah, 1375 Sh.
  • Makārim Shīrāzī, Nāṣir. Tafsīr-i nimūnah. Tehran: Dār al-Kutub al-Islāmīyya, 1374 Sh.
  • Ṭabāṭabāʾī, Sayyid Muḥammad Ḥusayn al-. Al-Mīzān fī tafsīr al-Qurʾān. Fifth edition. Qom: Intishārāt-i Islāmī, 1374 Sh.