It is narrated on the authority of Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Holy Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be with him) observed: By Him in Whose Hand is my life, no bondsman (truly) believes till he likes for his neighbour, or he (the Holy Messenger) said: for his brother, whatever he likes for himself.
The hadith under study brings into light the importance of fellow-feeling. The fact remains that a true believer has a strong sense of fellow-feeling and love and compassion for his fellow believers. It is the bounden duty of every Muslim to refrain from saying or doing anything which may be a source of trouble to his neighbours and fellows.
This hadith means to say that the approach of Islam to life is highly social. True, Islam makes a man, in his individual capacity, stand in the presence of the Lord, but does not isolate him or her from the rest of society. The distress which vexes him is not his own only; it is that of his brethren as well. The redemption for which he longs for is also the redemption of his people, the fellow believers, nay the entire humanity.
Everyone wants peace of heart and mind, a life with dignity and honour, progress and salvation. Islam expects rather enjoins him not only to wish the same for his fellow human beings but also to strive his level best to ensure the same for them. Islam allows a person to earn the best possible livelihood but not at the cost of others.
It is the duty of a Muslim not only to lead a peaceful life himself but also to create a social atmosphere where every man feels secure from the tyranny of oppressors.
It should also be remembered that the words used in the hadith do not mean the very negation of Iman, but this implies the negation of the perfection and excellence of Iman. To put it differently it does not signify that such a man is deprived of Iman altogether, but it points out the fact that he has not become a believer in the true sense of the term.