The Importance Of Loyalty
Loyalty is one of the highest virtues found among those who sincerely believe in Allah. The sincere faithfulness they demonstrate in the Way of Allah proves they are truly sincere. It requires a great deal of patience, and heart-felt devotion, for one to profess faith in Allah, to live without expecting some profit, to seek throughout his life to earn Allah's favor, to make use of everything he owns and loves to gain His pleasure, and to be patient in times of difficulty. The strength of will to proceed in the Way of Allah can only come to one through the love he feels towards Allah, and the strong sense of devotion and loyalty that this love incurs. Depending on how strong and sincere one's devotion and submission to Allah is, the greater he will be able to draw closer to Him, as the pleasure he derives in seeking to gain His favor increases. The source of this spiritual strength that believers possess is the trust and loyalty they feel towards Allah. For this reason, faithfulness and loyalty are among the essential characteristics that separate believers from others. When a believer spends his life conforming to the commands and prohibitions of Allah, he will, by His grace, receive the reward of His mercy and Paradise.
In times of difficulty and distress, the believers' faithfulness towards Allah and His messengers will be revealed, while the insincerity and faithlessness of disbelievers will be uncovered. In times of difficulty, believers will say, "This is what Allah and His Messenger promised us; Allah and His Messenger told us the truth." (Surat al-Ahzab, 22) and express their submission and devotion to Allah. In the Qur'an, with the verse, "[Believers are] those who are steadfast and put their trust in their Lord" (Surat an-Nahl, 42) Allah praises this high morality that believers exhibit.
So, the bond of loyalty the believers feel makes itself known in the pleasure they derive and determination they exhibit when complying with the moral teachings of the Qur'an.
By his trust and submission to Allah in times of difficulty, our Prophet (saas) was an example to all Muslims; he told believers that they must be steadfast in their faithfulness to Allah at all times for He tests people with both good and evil as a trial:
" When you ask for anything ask it from Allah, and if you seek help in Allah. Know that if the people were to unite to do you some benefit they could benefit you only with what Allah had recorded for you, and that if they were to unite to do you some injury they could injure you only with what Allah had recorded for you.."(Tirmidhi)
Another important benefit of faithfulness is the fact that it unites the believers together. This renders it difficult for the evil-intentioned, who want to stir up strife among the believers, to prevent them from performing good deeds, destroy their solidarity to one another, and other destructive ploys, from insinuating themselves into the community of believers. The sincere faithfulness and devotion that believers feel towards Allah and the prophets cannot be imitated; this is a sentiment that is shared only by believers. No matter how much they try to conceal that which is themselves, those who mingle with the believers, only to impugn their religion, cannot imitate a believer's submission to Allah; and, for this reason, they will never be able to achieve their aims. It is the strong sense of loyalty and submission to Allah that distinguishes devout believers from those with sickness in their hearts. This sense of loyalty also fosters a strong bond that will meld the believers together throughout their lives. By their profound loyalty to Allah, believers will be able to both recognize and protect themselves from the evil-intentioned who seek to cause them harm. As well, their love and trust in other believers will increase as they recognize each other's sincerity and determination in their cause. In this way, Allah will rid the believers of these evil-intentioned souls and confer upon them a profound faith with which to face any occasion.
Allah tells us in the Qur'an about the behavior of those who appear outwardly to be believers, but who reveal their lack of faith in Allah by abstaining from helping one another as they were required to:
Because they have a strong feeling of submission to Allah, believers, even in very difficult situations, persistently formulate and act upon decisions in such a way as to earn His favor. As Allah says in the Qur'an, they know that under all circumstances it is best for them to remain faithful to Allah:
In the above-quoted verses, Allah also informs us that a strong sense of loyalty arouses in an individual a conscientiousness that prevents him from procrastinating in conforming to what is right. If a person is strong in faith and submission to Allah, his inner sense of loyalty will keep him from being indecisive, and help him to resist giving in to the inclinations of his lower-self. So, armed with this loyalty and sense of submission, whatever the circumstances, he will easily overcome such urges.
Another important characteristic that faithfulness gives rise to in a believer is the love and trust they share between one another. These sentiments are formed through the sincere effort they put forth in the Way of Allah. A believer, who makes use of everything he has as a means to earn Allah's favor, and remains on the straight path, will receive the love of his fellow Muslim brothers, while being a good example for them. So, the faithfulness that believers exhibit at all times on the Way of Allah will increase the love, devotion and trust they feel towards one another.
Loyalty also endows a believer with a sense of determination in engaging in good deeds in the Way of Allah, and the fine moral qualities he exhibits to win His favor. Hypocrites, however, who harbor sickness in their hearts, cannot possess this determination in their worship and moral excellence because Satan has deceived them. They are likely to abandon a good deed as soon as the slightest difficulty arises, or if they have lost the energy to persist. Because their determination is weak, they cannot attain their goals. This is because they do not have the sense of loyalty or devotion in their hearts that ought to accompany what they are endeavoring. Therefore, they remain without the determination these qualities would have given rise to. But, because of the loyalty devoted believers feel towards Allah, they are able to exhibit this integrity throughout their lives, practicing the moral teachings of the Qur'an, ultimately winning His favor. In the Qur'an, Allah explains that what is best for believers is to seek to continually perform good deeds:
The loyalty of believers is reflected in their actions, and is the means by which their determination and submission to Allah gains fervor and strength. On the other hand, Allah brings to light the sickness in the hearts of hypocrites. In the Qur'an, Allah tells us that these individuals of weak faith, who are inclined to disbelief, will place obstacles in the way of believers and Allah's messengers, in the hope of harming them and making their task difficult for them. Therefore, Allah advises believers that, unless hypocrites walk in His Way, and openly show their sincere loyalty to Him and His messengers, they must not make friends with them.