The great virtues and rewards of benefiting others

The weeks, months and years of our lives, for the majority of us at least, pass by whilst our main concerns are over our futures, our career prospects, our holidays, our health and well-being. In short, the majority of our concerns are self-centered. As one poet selfishly said,
“ If I die thirsty, then may the rain never come down again. ”
For such a category of people, both their presence and absence is the same. That is, whether they are alive or dead has little effect on those around them. In fact, it is a sad reality that some individuals bring more benefit to others six feet under than above the soil.

But then, let us consider others:
The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said,
“ The most beloved of people to Allāh are those who are most beneficial to others, and the most beloved of deeds to Allāh is happiness that you bring to a fellow Muslim, or relieve him of distress, or pay off his debt or expel from him hunger. For me to walk with my Muslim brother in his time of need is dearer to me than secluding myself in worship within the mosque for a month. Whoever holds back his anger, Allāh will cover his faults and whoever suppresses his fury while being able to execute it, Allāh will fill his heart with satisfaction on the Day of Standing. Whoever walks with his Muslim brother in need until he fulfills his need for him, Allāh will establish his feet firmly on the day when all feet shall slip. Indeed, bad character ruins deeds just as vinegar ruins honey .”[ At-Tabarāni]

The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) taught his companions to be at the service of others, nurturing within them a burning desire to be at their fellow Muslim’s aid, and to consider it a mighty form of ʿibādah, just as Salāh, Zakāh and Siyām. In fact, people would approach him requesting assistance with a certain matter and he would, at times, withhold from assisting in the hopes that another companion would come forward so that he may earn the reward of doing so. The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said,
“ At times, a person may ask me for a favour to which I do not respond, so that one of you could intercede and thus earn reward. ”[ An-Nasā’i]

His vision in life was never about building buildings; instead his focus was on the building of Godly men and women who would establish their Dunya and Ākhira, and that of others as well. After our Prophet’s (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) first ever experience with revelation, he rushed back to his home gripped by horror and fearing for his life. The words his wife, Khadīja (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanha), chose to comfort him with are very telling. She said,
“ Never! By Allāh, Allāh will never disgrace you! For you keep good relations with your family, help the poor and the destitute, serve your guests generously and assist the deserving people who have been afflicted with calamity. ”[ Al-Bukhāri]

Pay special attention to the qualities which she identified as being reasons why Allāh Ta’ala would not let him down or harm him. Each and every trait she listed was directly related to his conduct with people, thus reminding him that a person of such qualities will be aided, assisted, supported, protected and provided for in both the Dunya and Ākhira. Even before Prophethood, then, the Prophet Muḥammad (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) was a man for the people and their needs.

What follows is even more remarkable. When Abū Bakr was leaving Makkah due to the persecution against Muslims there, a man by the name of Zaid b. Ad-Daghinna said to him, ‘Where are you going?’ Abū Bakr responded that his desire was to find another place on earth where he could worship Allāh freely. Zaid replied,
A man like you, O Abū Bakr, must not leave nor should he ever be made to leave, for you keep good relations with your family, help the poor and the destitute, serve your guests generously and assist the deserving people who have been afflicted with calamity. ” [ Al-Bukhāri]

SubḥanAllāh! The exact same words. This is who Abū Bakr was; an imitator of the Sunnah, and this is who the companions of the Messenger(sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) were nurtured to be; helpers of Allāh’s creation.

Below are a few milestones:

1️⃣ Bear in mind the tremendous favours of Allāh Ta’ala to those who offer their assistance to others such as the assistance of Allāh Himself.
The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said,
“ Allāh will be at the assistance of His slave so long as such a person is at the assistance of his brother. ”[ Muslim]

If only we would start remedying our personal problems using this Ḥadīth as a model. Attend to the needs of others. Do so with certainty in Allāh’s promise. At the peak of your ordeal, be it a financial crisis, a marital breakdown, trouble with health, an unjust smear campaign by the media or fear that is keeping you up at night, seek to deal with your concerns by actively searching for others who need assistance and being at their aid. Realise that in doing so you are no longer left alone with your worries but Allāh, The Almighty, will now involve His Divine Self.
Ibnu Abbās would say:
The one who does good to others will not fall, but should he fall, he will always find something to lean on .’[‘Uyūnul Akhbār]

Having said this, the opposite is just as true. Should you hide the good which Allāh Ta’ala has given you from the needs of people, Allāh will hide His assistance from your needs.

The Messenger (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said,
“ Whoever is given authority by Allāh over any of the affairs of the Muslims but then hides away from their needs and poverty, Allāh will hide away His assistance towards his needs and poverty. ”[ Abū Dāwūd]

Whether this pertains to our position within the household or workplace, or within the Masjid, community we must remember that we are there for the people.

2️⃣ Bear in mind that assisting other people with what you have been given is an active means of its preservation.

The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said,
“ There are certain people whom Allāh chooses from amongst the masses to give them blessings so that they can be at the assistance of others. Allāh will keep such blessings with them so long as they continue using them to assist others. If they stop doing so, however, it is taken away from them and given to somebody else .”[ At-Tabārani]

What has Allāh given you that people require?
Is it money?
Respect in the community?
Good judgement? Knowledge?
Free time?
Each and every one of these matters are prone to disappearance should they be denied to the needs of people. Preserve them by spending them in the avenues of goodness.

3️⃣Bear in mind that those people who are for the people have been selected by Allāh from amongst the masses to be keys to goodness.

The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) would say, “ With Allāh are the stores of good and evil, and the keys to such stores are people. Thus, Paradise is for he whom Allāh makes him a key to goodness and a lock to evil, and woe to he who Allāh makes a key to evil and a lock to goodness .”[ Abu Nu’aim]

Source: islam21c


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