Fruits for the Week

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Allah (swt) said in the Qur’an: “So hasten towards all that is good.” (Qur’an 2: 148). And said: “O you who believe! Bow down, and prostrate yourselves, and worship Allah and do good, that you may be successful.” (Qur’an 22: 77)

In the same verse of the Qur’an ordering us to bow and prostrate and worship Allah, He directed us to perform good deeds for others. Acts of worship fill your heart with mercy and compassion, compelling you to serve your society and the whole of humanity. Benefaction to others is a sign of the acceptance of your acts of worship. The Prophet (saw) related this hadith Qudsi: “A man from among those who were before you was called to account. Nothing in the way of good was found for him except that he used to have dealings with people and, being well-to-do, he would order his servants to let off the man in straitened circumstances (from repaying his debt). He (the Prophet) said that Allah said: “We are worthier than you of that (being generous). Let him off.” (Bukhari, Muslim and Nasa’i)

The first beneficiary of your acting to help others is yourself; this pure act of unselfishness feeds your soul, boost your sense of self-worth and brings you closer to Allah. Psychological studies show that people’s happiness greatly improves with the level of their altruistic activity and a close, supportive social system significantly increases gratification. Do not wait for any human thanks or worldly benefits – your real reward will be from Allah Himself.

Allah (swt) said: “And they give food, in spite of their love for it (or for the love of Him), to the needy, the orphan, and the captive, saying,’ We feed you seeking Allah’s countenance only. We wish for no reward, nor thanks from you. Verily, we fear from Allah a Day, hard and distressful, that will make the faces look horrible (from their extreme dislike for it).’ So Allah saved them from the evil of that Day, and gave them a light of beauty and joy, and their recompense shall be Paradise, and silken garments, because they were patient.” (Qur’an 76: 8-12)

The positive effects of helping others and comforting them will show directly in your life on earth and will also benefit your afterlife. Allah (swt) said: “Whoever works righteousness, whether male or female, while he (or she) is a true believer, verily, to him We will give a good life (in this world with respect, contentment and lawful provision), and We shall pay them certainly a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do (Paradise in the Hereafter).” (Qur’an 16: 97)

You will find happiness in feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless; you will comfort in the smile of an orphan and felicity of the poor. Ghazali the Younger said: “Benefaction to others is a delight to the heart.

Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal once told a story about a woman who left her son to look a shady place to feed him a loaf of bread. While she was looking around, a kidnapper came and took the boy to sell him into slavery. When she returned and discovered that her little boy was gone, she burst into tear. Meanwhile, a beggar passed by asking for food; despite her pain and fears, she handed the man the loaf of bread she had been carrying for her son. In just a few minutes, the kidnapper came back with her little boy. He told her,” As I was trying to sell him, a strange voice from within said to me,’ Don’t you have a son? Aren’t you afraid that he might face the same fate one day?’ So, I came back to return your boy.”

The woman took her child in her arms and said:” Glory be to Allah, who has accepted my loaf of bread as charity.” Prophet Muhammad (saw) said: “Allah will help His servant as long as he helps his brother.” (Muslim)

One of Allah’s name is ‘The Multiplier of Rewards’ (Ash-Shakoor). He rewards even a small good deed with an abundant recompense both in this life and in the Hereafter.

Imam Ahmad ibn Miskeen told the story of Abu Nasr, a fisherman who was so poor that he could not even feed his family. One day when the fisherman passed by the Imam, the Imam asked him to follow him to the sea. There, the Imam pronounced the name of Allah the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful, and ordered Abu Nasr to cast his fishing net. Out came a big fish. Abu Nasr sold the fish and bought some food for his wife and child. While heading home, Abu Nasr passed by a woman and her little child crying from hunger; he could not help but hand them the food he had bought for his family. Once again, he was going home to his hungry boy, grieved and penniless. Before reaching house, Abu Nasr heard a man calling his name; that stranger handed him a small parcel and said, “Your father had lent me some money years ago before he passed away. I did not have the means to return it. As soon as I could afford it, I came looking all over for you until I finally found you. Here you are, this your money, my son.” The poor fisherman opened the parcel, and to his surprise, it contained 30,000 Dirham (pieces of silver).

This is no fairy tale, this is a true story; and there is certainly no coincidence, believe me! The grieving mother who lost her little boy and the poor fisherman had one thing in common: They were both very sincere in their altruistic act and were both really faithful to Allah.

In every community, there are innumerable different ways to help others. Anything you do will not only help the world, it will also help you. You will experience rewards that cannot be attained in any other way. It does not have to be money; you can give of your time or your skills. Remember, though: always be sincere in your actions and seek only Allah’s reward.

by Amira Ayad