THINK TALK: Helping is an Obligation Profoundly Enshrined in Islam                                                                                                                          

MATALAM, North Cotabato (MindaNews / 15 Nov) – Almighty Allah created us in a way that we are related and connected to one another as we are born from the reproductive association between our male and female parents. This relation and connection become more intimate as we are reared through by both parents and our well-being as a person becomes their obligation. They strive to fulfill our needs and requirements and prepare us in return to assume responsible roles in the family and in the society.

There are times, however, despite the best efforts to fulfill our needs and requirements, we run short of money, food, medical assistance, and shelter, or in some cases, beset by calamities. God, in His infinite wisdom, made us naturally different in tribes, language, color and status in life so that we get interested in those differences and appreciate the fact that there are those who are better situated than others. Such differences, therefore, are both a test and challenge to our being responsible humans.

It is lamentable, however, that despite those differences and the dire need for assistance, some people, though possessing the ability and the means, hesitate to offer help. It is said that for people in such cases God gets them entangled with their enemies (in this world) while on the Day of Judgment, they shall be made to suffer punishment and chastisement.

The rewards related with responding to and fulfilling other people’s needs have been emphasized in such great measure that one is left wondering why, despite this great opportunity available, very few are those who take advantage of this.

Imam Sadiq (peace be on him) stated: “Responding to and fulfilling the need of a brother is better than liberating a thousand slaves and giving a thousand horses (for jihad) in the path of Allah.

Despite all the emphasis, it is the whisperings of the shaitaan (devil) and so much attachment to this world that are preventing some people from helping out the needy.

Most humans are conditioned to believe that all they need is God and nothing else. This is why despite the fact that almost eight billion people now populate the earth, most individuals feel incredibly alone and distant from other human beings.

Allah gave us families, relatives, friends and colleagues. There is a deeper wisdom within these relationships. Each one is teaching us something about ourselves and our place in the world and their purpose within our lives.

It is one of the principles of the Islam Faith to help one another. In the Quran, Allah says: “Help one another in acts of piety and righteousness. And do not assist each other in acts of sinfulness and transgression. And be aware of Allah. Verily, Allah is severe in punishment (Quran 5:2).

There are many sayings (hadith) of the Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) that assure the importance of cooperation, helping others and offering them a hand. The generous Prophet of Allah emphasized in one of his hadith: “None of you is true Muslim until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself” (Sahih Al-Bani 7384). He considers one’s faith (iman) incomplete when he sleeps knowing his neighbor is starving or who is visited by a guest and fails to honor him. 

In another hadith, the Prophet of Allah said: “A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim who does not oppress him or hand him over, and who is after the need of his brother, Allah will be after his need, and who relieves a Muslim from the plight of distress, Allah relieves him from the plights of distress on the Day of Resurrection, and who enshrouds a Muslim, Allah will cover him on the Day of Judgment” (Sahih Al-Bani 7988).

From these wonderful sayings, we realize the magnitude of the Prophet’s (pbuh) concern of helping others and love of goodness to his fellowmen.

We should emulate the ways of the Prophet (pbuh) in every way we can.

(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. Maugan P. Mosaid holds a doctorate degree in rural development. He is a planning consultant and teaches Statistics and Methods of Research in the graduate school. He can be contacted at mauganmosaid6@gmail.com)