Calling to Allah by Helping Others

Calling to Allah by Helping Others
By – Dr. ‘Abd al-Wahhab al-Turayri
Source :

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) returned from the Cave of Hira after his first-ever encounter with the angel Gabriel. His mission had just been proclaimed to him and he had received his first revelation from his Lord.

He was, to say the least, frightened and bewildered. It was Allah’s blessing to him that the person he turned to at this time was his very intelligent and sensible wife Khadijah. No sooner did he tell her what had happened and told her of his fear than she replied to him with resolve and assurance that he had nothing to worry about. She could make this claim with confidence, on the strength of her intellect, maturity, sense of history, and her deep personal knowledge she had acquired of Muhammad’s noble character over the course of fifteen years of marriage.

She answered him without hesitation: “Do not worry,” she said, “for by Him who has dominion over Khadijah’s soul, Allah would never humiliate you, for you uphold close ties with your relatives, you bear others’ burdens, you provide for the destitute, you show hospitality to the guest, and you help those with a just claim to secure their rights.”

Our mother Khadijah here testified to a pattern of life: which is that Allah protects His servants who are engaged in the service and benefit of their fellow human beings. He does not humiliate them or bring them to grief. Indeed, it is Allah who blessed them with their natures so that they would bring forth good in the world.

She also testified to the Prophet’s noble character, which tells us that he had always possessed the generosity and nobility of purpose that he would renowned for after becoming Allah’s Messenger. He had a beautiful nature long before he began receiving divine revelation.

If we consider the qualities that Khadijah mentioned, we notice that they all relate in some way to helping others. Relatives are cared for. Weak people are relieved of their burdens. The destitute are provided for. Guests are made comfortable. People who have been wronged are helped in securing their rights.

All of these qualities were part and parcel of Prophet Muhammad’s innate nature. Khadijah attested to the Prophet’s noble character long before the Quran came with such descriptions about him. This is because she knew him better than anyone else in the world.

We have in Moses (peace be upon him) another prophetic example of helping others. When he arrived at the wells of Midian, he found the menfolk busy providing water for their flocks. He also saw two young women waiting at a distance with their sheep, unable to approach the wells.

Moses (peace be upon him) was appalled by this situation. The Quran relates the following:

“And when he arrived at the watering (place) in Madyan, he found there a group of men watering (their flocks), and besides them he found two women who were keeping back (their flocks). He said: “What is the matter with you?” They said: “We cannot water (our flocks) until the shepherds take back (their flocks): And our father is a very old man.”” [Surah Al Qasas 28:23]

What was it than made Moses take such offence at this situation? It was his upright character that made him concerned for the rights of the weak. Those who are weak and vulnerable should be cared for and given priority. They should not be sidelined and neglected.

“So he watered (their flocks) for them;..” [Surah Al Qasas 28:24]

His immediate response was to help them. His courageous, noble, and generous nature would allow for nothing else.

We are right to be impressed when we consider Moses’s circumstances. He was a man on the run, far away from his home where he had the status of a wanted criminal. He was among strange people, none of whom he knew, and he had no provisions even for himself. He had enough problems of his own to worry about. Nevertheless, it went against his nature to stand by and see such helpless people being neglected.

These two prophetic examples show us something very important. Allah chose people with big hearts to entrust with His Message; people who were naturally inclined to help others. It takes such people to shoulder the burden of guiding others from the darkness into the light. Only those with compassion, mercy, and a gentle disposition can carry out such a task.

This truth is evident from the lives of the Prophets. Those who wish to be the inheritors of the Prophets should keep it in mind. The more we reflect the character of the Prophets in our own conduct, the more successful we will be in carrying out their mission. Scholars and Islamic workers need to have a strong social consciousness. They need to be people others can turn to in need. They need to be able to address the problems of society with understanding and compassion.

This is why Allah says, addressing the Prophet (peace be upon him):

“It is part of the Mercy of Allah that thou dost deal gently with them Wert thou severe or harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about thee:…” [Surah Ali ‘Imran 3:159]

If our social consciousness is not fully awakened, our success in calling others to Allah’s Message will be limited. Our efforts might even yield negative results.

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