Attending to people's needs: An Islamic and humanitarian value

His Eminence, Sayyed Ali Fadlullah, talked about the duty of helping others. He started by giving the example of Prophet (p.) Musa (a.s) who helped two ladies to reach a well of water and fill their jars without asking for anything in return, and explained how Allah rewarded him. This Quranic story is an example on the need to serve people and accommodate their needs.

Allah wants us to understand that no matter how powerful a man is, he can not fulfill all his needs on his own; thus, he might need the help of others at certain times. This joint effort is the basis of development, growth and the prevalence of good.

In addition to the Quran, which commanded us to cooperate in doing what is good, the Messenger (p.) considered, for example, that he who does not look after the affairs of Muslims is not a true Muslim. Moreover, Islam considers that whoever has a certain ability or resource, whether in wealth, position or rational thinking, should help anyone who asks for his help, even if by providing only a little, and even if the one who asks for charity was lying. It is safer to give the one who is not in need when he asks, since refusing might sometimes deny a person who is really in need his right to receive help.

Not only should a believer respond to the people's requests, he should also search for those who are in need and serve them. Such attitude is rewarded in Islam by the greatest blessings that Allah directly bestows upon the people, including the promise of bliss in heaven.

It must be noted that the opposite is also true, since Allah will punish he who does not help others, not only on Judgment Day, but also in this world, since he will be denied the graces of Allah.

The Sayyed ended by describing our prevalent behavior, nowadays, which is marked with selfishness and indifference. He considered that we are supposed to help not only the individuals around us, but also our community and the nation.

This calls for joining the efforts of all those who care for the good of the nation, which Allah held us responsible for.

We ought to establish committees and institutions that emerge from the mosques to help the poor and the needy, and give the children, especially the orphans, the chance to learn. By doing good, we could win both worlds. So, let us hasten to do good, before we find ourselves losers in both worlds.

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