Significance of social service in Islam | By Mufti G Yasin Nizami

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Significance of social service in Islam 

ALL human beings, according to Islam, have been created by one and the same Creator; and for this reason, they belong to one great brotherhood.

All being descendants of the same progenitors, they should naturally be each other’s well-wishers and should willingly come to one another’s assistance, like members of the same large family.

It is thus a sacred duty of the affluent to give part of their wealth to fulfil the needs of deprived members of the community.

One of the noble feelings that a believer should possess is the urge or desire to come to the assistance of others.

He should fulfil their needs without expecting any return. Coming to the assistance of others is, in essence, an acknowledgement of the blessings, which The Almighty has showered upon him.

It is that person, who helps others who has something more than others. For example, one who has eyes comes to the assistance of one who has not been blessed with the precious gift of sight; an able bodied person will give physical help to the disabled; a wealthy person will give donations to the poor; the man with resources will come to the aid of one who lacks them, and so on.

On all such occasions when one man helps out another by virtue of those blessings, which the Almighty has given him, he is in fact showing his gratitude to the Almighty for these favours.

He is saying within himself, O my Creator, whatever I have is all given by you. Now I am spending it in your path, I pray you for more blessings and mercy for both of us.

By engaging oneself in social work, one is not only helping another but is actually raising his own moral status.

Man, superior to all other creatures, lives on a far higher plane. The proper attitude in accordance with his status is not to keep himself to himself but to embrace the whole of humanity.

He should lead his life as a well-wisher to all, ready to help everyone, accepting others’ rights over his own possessions.

Social work is in other words, service to humanity. And after the worship of the Almighty, no task is nobler.

All the teachings of Islam are based on two basic principles worship of the Creator and service of men.

Without putting both of these principles into practice, there can be no true fulfilment of one’s religious duties.

In its followers, Islam inculcates the spirit of love and respect for all human beings. By serving human beings on the one hand they please their Creator, and on the other they achieve spiritual progress for themselves.

The Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) said, you should be merciful to people on earth and the Almighty on high will be merciful to you.

In this way Islam links personal salvation to serving others. One can receive the Almighty’s reward in the Hereafter only if one has done something to alleviate the sufferings of mankind.

And said in the other place, you shall not enter Paradise until you have faith; and you cannot attain faith until you love one another.

Have compassion on those who are on earth and He in heavens will have compassion on you.

The Almighty will show no compassion to one who shows no compassion towards fellow human beings.

And He said: Whosoever removes a worldly grief from a believer, Allah will remove from him one of grieves on the Day of Judgment.

That is why when Islamic belief penetrates into people’s hearts they will of necessity become kind and compassionate to others.

They will see everyone with eyes of ‘love and compassion, they will have this urge within them to serve others, and fulfil others’ needs.

If even after adopting the beliefs of Islam, feelings of love and compassion do not well up in the heart of its adherent, he should rethink whether or not Islamic beliefs have truly found a place in his heart and mind, whether or not he is able to fully practice what he believe and whether or not he has succeeded in moulding himself entirely into the path of Islam.

As it is put in a Hadith, By the Creator, he is not a Muslim who eats his fill, while his neighbour goes hungry.

This shows that a Muslim is one who is as concerned with others’ hunger and thirst as he is with his own; who is concerned not only with his own person but with the whole of humanity.

According to another Hadith, you should extend greetings to people, feed them and earn your place in heaven.

This shows that according to Islam that person is worthy of heaven whose heart is impatient for others’ peace and good will, who is eager to share with everyone, whether it be food, clothes or medical help, etc.

In short, one should share in people’s pain and suffering. In fact it is incumbent on believers to fulfil this duty of service to those who need their help.

Each and every Muslim is to contribute to the welfare of society. Therefore by establishing social services within Muslim communities, every Muslim can indirectly participate through financial and moral support.

Undoubtedly, Islam is a religion of humanity. Islam considers serving others as a great act of worship.

According to the teachings of Islam, it is only in serving people that we shall have a share in the Almighty’s mercy.

It is also the time to reach out to those who have lost their belongings in the current flash floods which have played havoc in the country.

— The writer is contributing columnist, based in Islamabad.

 

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