suppose that you were on a ship, or in a house, with nine innocent people and one criminal. If someone were to try to make the ship sink, or to set the house on fire, because of that criminal, you know how great a sinner he would be. You would cry out to the heavens against his sinfulness. Even if there were one innocent man and nine criminals aboard the ship, it would be against all rules of justice to sink it.
So too, if there are in the person of a believer, who may be compared to a dominical dwelling, a divine ship, not nine, but as many as twenty innocent attributes such as belief, Islam, and neighbourliness; and if you then nurture rancour and enmity against him on account of one criminal attribute that harms and displeases you, attempting or desiring the sinking of his being, the burning of his house, then you too will be a criminal guilty of a great atrocity.
They are also sinful in the view of wisdom, for it is obvious that enmity and love are opposites, just like light and darkness; while maintaining their respective essences, they cannot be combined.
If love is truly found in a heart, by virtue of the predomination of the causes that produce it, then enmity in that heart can only be metaphorical, and takes on the form of compassion. The believer loves and should love his brother, and is pained by any evil he sees in him. He attempts to reform him not with harshness but gently. It is for this reason that the Hadith of the Prophet (UWBP) says, “No believer should be angered with another and cease speaking to him for more than three days.”1
If the causes that produce enmity predominate, and true enmity takes up its seat in a heart, then the love in that heart will become metaphorical, and take on the form of artifice and flattery.
O unjust man! See now what a great sin is rancour and enmity toward a brother believer! If you were to say that ordinary small stones are more valuable than the Ka‘ba and greater than Mount Uhud, it would be an ugly absurdity. So too, belief which has the value of the Ka‘ba, and Islam which has the splendour of Mount Uhud, as well as other Islamic attributes, demand love and concord; but if you prefer to belief and Islam certain shortcomings which arouse hostility, but in reality are like the small stones you too will be engaging in great injustice, foolishness, and sin!
Bukhari, Adab, 57, 62; Isti’dhan, 9; Muslim, Birr, 23, 25, 26; Abu Da’ud, Adab, 47; Tirmidhi, Birr, 21, 24; Ibn Maja, Muqaddima, 7; Musnad, i, 176, 183; iii, 110, 165, 199, 209, 225; iv, 20, 327, 328; v, 416, 421, 422.