Ever since I was a child I used to think how god decided to give me certain things that others were deprived of or certain things I could never have whilst others took it for granted? And if He is All-Giving, why doesn’t He give each one of us what we desire? I hear stories of people who give up everything, friends, family, and loved ones to solely focus on their goals. Madly driven by wealth and greed, they work day and night only to find that they have lost everything during that time to gain NOTHING.Eventually I realized I have been looking at the problem in a completely different scenario when I came across this peculiar ayah:
(You are the best people raised for the good of mankind; you enjoin what is good and forbid evil and believe in Allah) (3:111)
Here it is explicitly explained that we become the best of people as long as we remain service minded, promote good and welfare of society. For this Ummah good lies in the practice of selflessness. For Muslims helping others is not an extra-curricular activity but has been made obligatory as can be understood by the hadith:
The prophet (pbuh) said:
(One who is not grateful to mankind is not grateful to Allah)
We need to get rid of our egocentric mindsets and the passion to earn more and more money to lead luxurious lives. This disease can only be cured by helping others and trust me when I say our hearts then will be content with what Allah has given us, we can all see but only a few can observe.
(Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity. It will have [the consequence of] what [good] it has gained, and it will bear [the consequence of] what [evil] it has earned. “Our Lord, do not impose blame upon us if we have forgotten or erred.)
Allah doesn’t burden anyone of us with what we can’t do. He doesn’t want that we give up ourselves for humanitarianism but rather He judges us equally based on our intentions and efforts. This reminds me and I feel privileged to mention that my cousin has started educating poor kids who live across our home in the community garden. Their father being a local guard at the park has been provided with a small cottage within the premises. These kids come over every evening for an hour. My cousin teaches them to read and write, she is neither a philanthropists nor a millionaire but an ordinary student who has devoted herself to do well with sincerity for the community.
What we need is people like these who participate in social welfare, instead of being shallow or materialistic they choose to give expecting nothing in return. If each one of us takes this initiative of educating an underprivileged child our communities can improve tremendously resulting in an overall stabilized structure.
Altruism is the essence of Islam. Allah has provided some of us with loads and some of us with barely enough to keep the wolf out of the door. These very differences are what leads to a caring and responsible society. They bond us together such that helping others enables us to fulfill our goals from where the mind cannot perceive. We keep asking for the mercy of Allah, for miracles to happen, why can’t we try to become miracles for others? Because in this way we provide ourselves with a better possibility of receiving those blessings.
Sometimes I feel that life is simply more than a test, that we are all connected to each other somehow and after spending sometimes with those kids my cousin teaches I brought myself to believe that it is in these little acts of kindness that we find the wealthiest of smiles and the promises that future brings.