Muslims also count among their family members their “brothers and sisters” in faith. The mutual bonds are very strong in the Muslim community, forming a nation that Muhammad describes as “one body.” If one part of the body falls ill, the rest pitches in to compensate. He also described the community as bricks in a building, supporting each other as they work together cooperatively toward a common goal.
The Qur'an declares that “the believers are but a single brotherhood, so make peace and reconciliation between your two opposing brothers” (Qur'an 49:10). Traditionally, two Muslims who are at odds with each other are to make peace within three days and not let disagreements fester.
In the Qur'an, this community that the believers form is called the ummah, a word that stems from the Arabic root word for “mother” and “nation.”
It is often difficult for people to understand the strong sense of brotherhood felt within the Muslim community. It is not intended to be exclusionary, pitting “us” against “them.” Rather, Muslims feel that they naturally have more in common with people who share their faith and outlook on the world. Most Muslims welcome friends and colleagues of all religions and viewpoints and extend help and support to people in need, regardless of religious affiliation. However, when push comes to shove, Muslims tend to turn to each other for support and advice, knowing that their Muslim brothers and sisters share their values and religious teachings. Muslims feel a sense of duty to render assistance to all people, but especially to their brothers and sisters in faith.