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Cooperation Is the Key to Success

Have you ever seen a spacious, elegantly built mosque with a very high minaret and beautiful domes and wondered: Who built this mosque? Is it possible for one person to shoulder the responsibility of building such a thing? Or is it the outcome of the effort of many people who cooperated in erecting this building?

Undoubtedly, such a mosque is the fruit of cooperation among engineers, builders, carpenters, blacksmiths … etc.

Cooperation is one of the most important characteristics of creatures in this universe. No creature could ever live alone without assistance from its fellow creatures. Birds live in flocks and they cooperate with one another. Animals also live in herds and they go hunting or grazing together.

Man also can not live except by cooperating with others. We need one another. You are in need of a doctor, an engineer, a teacher, a craftsman, a baker, a carpenter, a blacksmith, a pilot, a train driver … etc. No one in the entire world could ever master all these jobs. Every professional needs the assistance of others. By cooperating life continues smoothly; but if there is no cooperation, life will come to a standstill.

  • Believers Are Brothers and Sisters

Islam calls for cooperation and urges the Muslims to cooperate in order to retain their unity. Allaah Says (which means):

{Help you one another in Al-¬Birr and At- ¬Taqwa (virtue, righteousness and piety);but do not help one another in sin and transgression.}

 [Quran 5: 2]

The Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said: "The Muslim is the brother of the other Muslim. So he should not oppress him nor should he foresake him.He who fulfils the needs of his brother, Allaah will fulfill his needs, and he who brings his brother out of a hardship, Allaah will bring him out one of the hardships of the Day of Resurrection, and whoever conceals the sins of a Muslim, Allaah will conceal his sins on the Day of Resurrection.


Ever since the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, started his mission in Makkah, the Muslims understood the meaning of cooperation. They cooperated in spreading Islam and calling others whom they felt would respond to the Islamic call. Owing to cooperation, new converts embraced Islam. Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq, may Allaah be pleased with him, was one of the most prominent supporters of the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam. Thanks to him, `Uthmaan Ibn `Affaan, `Abdur-Rahmaan Ibn `Awf, and Abu `Ubaydah Ibn Al-Jarraah, may Allah be please with them, as well as other companions.

  • The Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, is the Prime Example of Cooperation

The Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, was the prime example of cooperation both at home and with his companions, may Allaah be pleased with them. He was cooperative in all circumstances. At home, he used to help his wives in the household affairs. Outside the house, he used to actively cooperate with his companions in performing some acts.

After the Prophet’s migration to Madeenah, the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, started to build amosque to prayer in and to discuss the affairs of the Muslims. The Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, participated in building the mosque as he used to carry bricks and mud along with his companions. Although he was fifty three years old at that time, neither his age nor his high rank prevented him from cooperating with his companions in building the mosque. He continued to build the mosque until it was finished. Its posts were made of palm trucks and its ceiling was made of palm leaves.

Another situation that testifies to the cooperation of the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, with his companions, may Allaah be pleased with them, is the Battle of the Trench. In this battle, the Quraysh tribe allied with some Arab tribes to fight the Muslims in Madeenah. They marched to Madeenah in ten thousand soldiers. The Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, helped in digging a trench around Madeenah in response to the opinion of the revered companion, Salmaan Al-Faarisi. While digging the trench, the Muslims worked under extremely hard conditions. The weather was very cold and the work had to be done as quickly as possible. The Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, divided the work between his companions, may Allaah be pleased with them, and he himself had a share of the job. Just like other companions, he used to dig with them and carry the sand. If he noticed that some companions were tired, he would urge them saying:

"O Allaah, there is no true good life except the life of the Hereafter; so forgive the Supporters (of Madeenah) and the Emigrants (of Makkah)."

The companions, may Allaah be pleased with them, would respond to his words by saying: "We are those who have given a pledge of allegiance to Muhammad that we will carry on performing Jihaad as long as we live."

Although the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) was fifty seven years old, he did a lot of hard work. He was a prime example and an excellent model to his companions, may Allaah be pleased with them. He worked like them and was exerting his best efforts like them.

Due to this cooperation, the Muslims dug the trench in six days although it was deep and wide and covered a long distance, and the area itself was rocky and was very difficult to dig. When the polytheists arrived, they were taken by surprise when they saw the trench. They were especially surprised when they realized that this small number of Muslims had managed to do all that hard work in such a short period.

  • Cooperation was the key to the Success of the Migration of the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam.

The Prophet's migration from Makkah to Madeenah was the outcome of a cleverly-designed plan and fruitful cooperation. Although extremely powerful, the Quraysh tribe was unable to prevent the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, from migrating from Makkah to Madeenah. Quraysh prepared a satanic plan to kill the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam. They chose a strong young man from each tribe and gave him a sharp sword with which to kill the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, when he left his house. Allaah saved and protected him.

The success of migration was based on the cooperation of a number of men and women who performed their respective roles successfully. They were:

  • Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq: The Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, chose him to be his companion during the journey from Makkah to Madeenah. Abu Bakr prepared two camels to carry himself and the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, to Madeenah.

  • 'Ali Ibn Abu Taalib: His role was to sleep in the bed of the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, and to cover himself with the Prophet's blanket so that the conspirators at the door would think that the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, was still asleep, meanwhile the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, and his companion, Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq, would have already left Makkah and headed toward s Madeenah.

  • `Abdullaah Ibn 'Urayqit: The Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, sought his help to be his guide on his route to Madeenah. He guided the Prophet and his companion through unknown roads in which he was a real expert. At the same time, he was trustworthy and never divulged any secret.

  • Asmaa' and 'Aa'ishah the daughter of Abu Bakr: Their role was to prepare the food for the two migrants who were heading to Madeenah. Asmaa' tore her waistband into two halves, and she used one half in tying the bag of food. That is why she was called "the woman with two waistbands".

  • 'Abdullaah the son of Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq: His role was to come by might to the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, and his companion, Abu Bakr, and tell them the latest news of Quraysh when they were hiding in the Cave of Thawr.

  • 'Aamir Ibn Faheerah: He was the servant of Abu Bakr and a shepherd. His role was to walk with the flock of sheep behind 'Abdullaah Ibn Abu Bakr on his way to the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, and his companion so that the sheep would wipe out the foot prints of `Abdullaah. In this way the polytheists would not know where the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, and Abu Bakr were hiding.

The Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, and his companion remained in the cave for three days until the polytheists gave up all hope of finding them. After that, their guide, `Abdullaah Ibn 'Urayqit, took them through unknown roads until they reached Madeenah.

  • Examples of Cooperation

Children, just like the elderly, can cooperate and do some jobs according to their efforts and energy. Every effort, regardless of how small, is useful.

Here are some examples of cooperation on the part of children:

  • Assisting parents in household activities and fufilling the requirements of the family.

  • Organizing and cleaning their bedrooms.

  • Preserving the environment and public facilities.

  • Keeping the streets clean and tidy by not throwing rubbish on the road.

  • Participating in school organizations that help students.

  • Assisting old people in crossing the street.

  • Helping their needy classmates with every means possible.

  • Spreading virtue and good manners among classmates.

  • Advising classmates who do not adhere to Islamic manners.

  • Benefits of Cooperation

  • Increasing feelings of brotherhood between classmates

  • Accomplishing work in the fastest time possible and in the best way.

  • Saving time and coordinating efforts. Instead of assigning one person to shoulder the responsibility of a certain task, such task could be divided among other people. This leads to exerting less effort and spending less time.

  • Displaying strength and solidarity. It is difficult to defeat cooperative people. This is like a single stick which could be easy to break but when several sticks are put together, it is extremely difficult to break them.

  • Attaining the pleasure of Allaah, because Allaah supports a person as long as this person supports his fellow Muslim.

  • Allaah supports cooperative people and because they attain the support of Allaah, success will be theirs.

  • Getting rid of selfishness, as everyone will do whatever he can out of sincere faith and love.

  • Narrations on the Virtue of Cooperation

The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) said:

  • "A believer in regard to another believer is like a building whose different parts enforce each other." [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

  • "Allaah will help His slave so long as His slave is helping his brother." [Muslim]

  • "He who fulfils the needs of his brother, Allaah will fulfill his needs." [At-Tirmithi]

  • "The example of believers with regard to mutual love, affection, and fellow-feeling is that of one body; when any limb of it is in pain, the whole body will respond with wakefulness and fever". [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

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