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Islam and Social Service

Making a Difference Little by Little

Posted on January 11, 2012

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One of the central principles of Islam is helping others and reaching out to the community in which you live. While some perceive Islam as a faith that encourages violence rather than positive contributions to society, the Quran and hadith highlight how helping another human being is a fundamental aspect of Islam. Muslims’ primary goal is to worship Allah (Glorified and Exalted), but this is done not only through rituals like prayer and fasting but also through treatment of others regardless of their religion, ethnicity, caste or background.

Before the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) started to receive his revelations, he would spend an extended amount of time meditating in a cave outside of the holy city of Makkah. One of the main issues the Prophet (Peace be upon him) reflected upon was the treatment of some members of his society and how he could make a difference to their lives– this included women, orphans and those without tribal protection. There are many Hadiths which emphasize the importance of helping others whilst reflecting on the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) would do.

One hadith in particular that underscores this important message comes from a collection called An-Nawawi:
"Whosoever removes a worldly grief from a believer, Allah (Glorified and Exalted) will remove from him one of the grief’s of the Day of Judgment. Whosoever alleviates [the lot of] a needy person, Allah (Glorified and Exalted) will alleviate [his lot] in this world and the next. Whosoever shields a Muslim, Allah will shield him in this world and the next. Allah (Glorified and Exalted) will aid a slave [of His] so long as the slave aids his brother. Whosoever follows a path to seek knowledge therein, Allah (Glorified and Exalted) will make easy for him a path to Paradise. No people gather together in one of the houses of Allah (Glorified and Exalted), reciting the Book of Allah (Glorified and Exalted) and studying it among themselves, but tranquility and peace descends upon them, mercy envelopes them, the angels surround them, and Allah (Glorified and Exalted) makes mention of them amongst those who are with Him. And whosoever is slowed down by his actions will not be hastened forward by his lineage”

It is clear from this that helping others is connected to a believer’s worship of Allah (Glorified and Exalted). In other words, the given hadith connects responsibility to people to other acts of worship like reading the Quran with other Muslims and seeking knowledge. Moreover, there is a clear reward for a person who aids another, both in this world and in the next. This is important for Muslims, as on the on the Day of Judgment each and every one of us will be asked about our deeds and who we helped when others wouldn’t. It is clear from the above hadith that helping others is not just optional but a RELIIGOUS DUTY.

The Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) is considered to be the best example to humanity, so following in those beautiful footsteps let us help others, even if it means sacrificing something else.

Islam is a faith which makes helping society a core principle in understanding it.

Why not begin your social duty by assisting with Planet Mercy? – A worldwide charity working to to educate, promote cohesion, tolerance and understanding within communities and offering solutions, directions and friendly atmosphere for personal and community developments. For more information ‘Like’ them on Facebook and ‘Follow’ them on Twitter @PlanetMercyUK