Allaahu Akbar, Allaahu Akbar, Allaahu Akbar, Laa ilaaha il-lAllaah, Allaahu Akbar Allaahu Akbar, Wa Lil-laahil-hamd

(Allaah is the Greatest, Allaah is the Greatest, Allaah is the Greatest,there is no god but Allaah; Allaah is the Greatest and to Allaah be all praise)

Helping the Needy


Life is full of joys and sorrows. At one time or another, everyone experiences their share of joyous times and difficult times. We know that it is our duty thank Allah (s.w.t) for our happiness and pray for His help and forgiveness in times of distress and sadness. However, it is also our Islamic duty to help others who may be experiencing difficult times. It is the duty of the strong to the help the weak. It is the duty of the healthy people to visit and comfort the sick. It is the duty of everyone to take care of the less fortunate particularly orphans and widows. By sharing good and bad times, we become more than a community, we become a brotherhood.
Many unforeseen circumstances occur in life which leaves people in need of help. Allah (s.w.t) tests the sincerity of our faith through such circumstances. For example, natural disasters, such as fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, and tornadoes, leave people homeless, without food or other belongings. Often, they have to build their lives from almost nothing.
Due to an unstable economy, people may lose their jobs, as companies close down. Sometimes, people become disabled due to illness or an accident and lose the capacity to work. Their families may suffer great losses as a result. One can never tell when a situation may change things for the worse. Therefore, we should always be generous to those who are going through hard times and thank Allah (s.w.t) for His Mercy. Especially in times of prosperity, we must have compassion and sympathy for those who are suffering. The Holy Quran states:
And why should ye not fight in the cause of Allah and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated (and oppressed) who are asking: Our Lord, rescue us from this town of oppressors and make for your presence protectors and provide us the defenders. (4:75).
Rasulullhah (saws) stated:
Allah (sw.t.) will not show mercy to him who does not show mercy to others. (Transmitted by Bukhari and Muslim).
The Quran and Hadith especially mention the rewards of helping widows and orphans. When a woman loses her husband, she is left without any support. Her welfare and honor should be protected by all members of the community. As Rasulullah (saws) said:
He who strives on behalf of a widow or poor person is like one who strives in Allah (s.w.t)'s path (transmitted by Bukhari).
When a child loses his or her parents, he or she is left with no one to care for them. Rasulullah (saws) himself, was an orphan, and he made it a point to always be loving towards orphans. Making sure that orphans receive a proper Islamic upbringing is an act of great reward. Allah (s.w.t) says in the Holy Quran:
And they feed, for the love of Allah, the indigent, the orphan, and the captive, (saying), We feed you for the sake of Allah alone: no reward do we desire from you nor thanks. We only fear a Day of frowning and distress from the side of our Lord (76:7-10).
Furthermore, Rasulullah (saws) is reported to have said:
I, and the one who takes responsibility for an orphan, whether of his own kind or others, will be in Paradise thus: (and he pointed his forefinger and middle finger with a slight space between them) (transmitted by Bukhari).
To a certain extent, every Muslim is responsible for the welfare of each member of his community. Through this kind of care and love, Muslims demonstrate that they are brothers and sisters in Islam. Rasulullah (saws) characterized this brotherhood best in the following hadith:
You will see the Believers, in their relationships to each other based upon mercy, love, and kindness—as a single body; if one part of it gets sick the entire body is restless and in pain (transmitted by Bukhari and Muslim).
It is important to mention that Muslims are also encouraged to be kind, helpful, and sympathetic to non-Muslims as well. For Muslims who live in the West, this is especially important because if we as Muslims actively participate in our communities this will help improve the image of the beautiful and peaceful religion of Islam.

Source: Islamic Tahdhib and Akhlaq by Aisha Lemu

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