AS SALAM ALAIKUM WARAMATULLAH WABARAKATU.
The Prophet (SAW) said: ‘The most beloved people to Allah are those who are most beneficial to people. The most beloved deed to Allah is to make a Muslim happy, or to remove one of his troubles, or to forgive his debt, or to feed his hunger. That I walk with a brother regarding a need is more beloved to me than that I seclude myself in this mosque in Medina for a month. Whoever swallows his anger, then Allah will conceal his faults. Whoever suppresses his rage, even though he could fulfill his anger if he wished, then Allah will secure his heart on the Day of Resurrection. Whoever walks with his brother regarding a need until he secures it for him, then Allah Almighty will make his footing firm across the bridge on the day when the footings are shaken.’ [Al-Albani]
This Hadith exemplifies the importance of benefiting others. The previous posts have been focused on the individual and personal development. This is because we must develop and know ourselves before we can benefit others. Islam enjoins us to be good in both ways; in as much as our body has a right over us so do others have a right over us.
Mostly we focus on individual act of worship, but here the Prophet (SAW) is telling us it is beloved to Allah to benefit others as a form of worship. The Hadith talks about character in Islam that we mostly neglect. Individual acts of worship are essential and being beneficial to others is a further step. When we are able to benefit ourselves effectively such as fulfilling the right of Allah by doing the individual acts of worship, we will be able to move a step forward and benefit others and this will in elevating our level of Iman. In this way, we transform our good deeds to benefit others.
There are various ways to make a Muslim Happy such as: by smiling at one another, saying kind words, giving charity, spreading beneficial knowledge, etc. Taking a closer look at the Hadith the Prophet (SAW) gives us examples of deeds that we can engage in to benefit others and make another Muslim Happy, ( by removing one’s trouble, forgiving his debt and to feed his hunger). If we do this we will be beneficial to others whilst being beloved to Allah.
It is worth reiterating that all this must be accompanied by sincere intention, if a person performs good deeds for show off it is like nullifying them. Don’t be like people who help but remind, with insults, and arrogance. Don’t make people feel like they are begging you for something. Allah says: ‘Kind speech and forgiveness are better than charity followed by injury. And Allah is Free of need and Forbearing.’ Qur’an2:263 The focus is on the deed so it does not have to be done to any particular individual, although it is more rewarding to benefit your family in Islam. Engaging in these good deeds will help in boosting our Iman and improve our relationship with Allah. Allah (SWT) tells us in the Qur’an: “Verily, those who believe and do righteous good deeds, they are the best of creatures”. (Qur’an 98:7).
There are examples of people who gained the pleasure of Allah by benefiting others. An example is the Hadith on the individual who relieved a dog. Abu Huraira reported: The Prophet, (SAW), said, “A prostitute had once been forgiven. She passed by a dog panting near a well. Thirst had nearly killed him, so she took off her sock, tied it to her veil, and drew up some water. Allah forgave her for that.” [Sahih Bukhari and Muslim]. Such individual committed a good deed by benefitting an animal and got forgiven by Allah (SWT). Can we imagine the reward we would get if we benefitted an individual? On the other hand, not benefiting others when we have the capacity to do so will incur the wrath of Allah as seen in the Hadith about ‘A woman was punished due to a cat she had imprisoned until it died, so she entered the Hellfire. She did not give it food or water while it was imprisoned, neither did she set it free to eat from the vermin of the earth.’ [Sahih Bukhari and Muslim]This tells us that if doing a deed makes a person beloved to Allah, engaging in the opposite will also incur the wrath of Allah.
We should ask ourselves if we benefit others? Do we relieve people of hardship within our capacity? Do we make a Muslim happy? Do we forgive a needy for a debt. The reward for forgiving debt is forgiveness from Allah, as the Prophetic narration goes: “A man would give loans to the people and he would say to his servant: If the debtor is in hardship you should forgive the debt that perhaps Allah will relieve us. So when he met Allah, then Allah relieved him.” [Sahih Bukhari and Muslim]. Do we help others out? Do we feed others?- even sharing your food with a friend. Do we help others or we wait to be helped? The Prophet (SAW) says: ‘the Upper Hand is better than the lower hand. The upper hand is one that gives and the lower hand is one that takes.’ [Sahih Bukhari].
The Hadith continues with the Prophet (SAW) saying, to walk with a brother in need is more beloved than seclusion in the Masjid in Madinah for a month. The reward for praying in Masjid Nabawi as said by the Prophet (SAW) is ‘a thousand times greater than a prayer in other than it, except for the Masjid al-Haram. (Makkah)’ [Sahih Bukhari and Muslim].
If we are beneficial to others we will definitely make people happy and attain the pleasure of Allah (SWT). We should be happy if Allah (SWT) is making peoples need fulfilled through our actions, which makes us earn reward.
I hope the above article was beneficial. If you have any tip on what we can engage in to be beneficial to others share in the comment section below to make others find it beneficial. If you know anyone who will benefit from this article share as a reminder to motivate them.
I will catch up with you all in my next post In Sha Allah.