By Arman Neyazi, New Age Islam
24 July 2021
The Prophets, the Sufis and the Saints Spend Their Lifetime in Service to the People in Need
1. Human being even after being divided into nations and communities are closely knitted families.
2. No one of us is alike in social status and ethical standing but we are at service to one another to fulfil our financial and economical requirements.
3. Selfless service opens the gate to spiritual development.
4. The selfless service of the scientists spread the light of development throughout the world and made them immortal.
Allah, the Forgiving, the Merciful has created human beings in a way that even after being divided into nations and communities are a closely knitted family. Allah, the Most Gracious says in the Holy Quran, ‘O mankind, We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into races and tribes, so that you may identify one another. (Surah Al-Hujurat - 13) — Mufti Taqi Usmani. We are asked to identify each other because every one of us is related to someone of us for the fulfilment of his needs in life.
No one of us is alike in social status and ethical standing but we are at service to one another to fulfil our financial and economic requirements. That is the norm. But there are people who serve others without any wish of return for their service. They are the closest to Allah who serve His creation and fulfil their requirements, morally, economically or physically, to the best of their ability without any wish of getting anything in return.
Being a service to others without a shadow of self is spiritually called a selfless service. All the prophets, Sufis and saints spend their lifetime in service to the people in need. It was their selfless service that introduced them to the divine world of close proximity to the Creator of this universe and spiritual ethos that helped them understand the problems of the people.
The way to close proximity with Allah through ‘selfless service' has not closed and will not close till the end of this world. Allah, the Forgiving, the Merciful says in the Holy Quran that we will be tested through our deeds of righteousness and the righteous of us will be forgiven. Consider the verse, ‘Who has created death and life, that He may test which of you is best in deed. And He is the All-Mighty, the Oft-Forgiving. (Al-Mulk: 1-2). Allah the Most Gracious loves them who love His creation, the human being, the birds and animals and everything that the environment has.
There was a time when the world was struggling to get a stronghold on the luxuries created by God. God blessed those who struggled for the betterment of society, not their 'self', with intellect and wisdom and they succeeded. The intellectuals who succeeded in the field of science, technology and medicine were those who had ‘service of humanity as their goal. They never invented things for their name and fame. Had they had their ‘self’ before the service to humanity, they would not have achieved what they did. The selfless service of the scientists spread the light of development throughout the world and made them immortal. Allah, the Creator of Life and Death says in the Holy Quran:
....They love those who emigrated to them and find no hesitation in their hearts in helping them. They give them priority over themselves, even if they themselves are needy. Whoever is protected from his natural greed-it is they who are the successful.” (Qur’an: 59:9)
Slowly but steadily the materialistic approach towards everything crept into society and now it has taken the highest priority in the life of all and sundry.
This materialistic approach to life first of all devoid human life of all the divine and spiritual ethos. It created a hollowness in the mind that resultantly has ‘self’ before everything else. This phenomenon of selfishness in everything one does is devoid of all holistic rewards that had helped man achieve the unachievable. In the absence of all divine wisdom and intellect, all that man is achieving is creating havoc more than easiness and comfort for the human being. The weapons of mass destruction and human approach towards all the scientific inventions are not humane but inhuman. Specifying this mindset of the human being, the Apostle of Allah, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) says:
“None of you will have complete Iman (faith) until he desires for his brother what he desires for himself.” [Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim]
Quranic Verses Depicting How Service to His Creation is the Secret to A Rewarding Life
And they give food, in spite of their love for it (or for the love of Him), to poor, the orphan, and the captive, (Saying) “We feed you seeking Allah’s Countenance only. We wish for no reward, nor thanks from you. (Al-Insan: 9)
Who has created death and life, that He may test which of you is best in deed. And He is the All-Mighty, the Oft-Forgiving. (Al-Mulk: 1-2)
No person knows what is kept hidden for them of joy as a reward for what they used to do (As-Sajdah: 17)
“Help one another in acts of piety and righteousness. And do not assist each other in acts of sinfulness and transgression. And be aware of Allah. Verily, Allah is severe in punishment” (Quran 5:2)
Ahadees Depicting the Virtues of Selfless Service
Prophet (SAW) said, “None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother, what he loves for himself” (Bukhari and Muslim)
“Allah has said ‘I have prepared for My pious servants what no eye has ever seen, no ear has ever heard, and no human heart could ever imagine!” (Al-Bukhari)
“Every day the sun rises, charity is due on every joint on a person: administering justice between two people is a charity; assisting a man to mount his beast, or helping him load his luggage on it is a charity; a good word is a charity; every step that you take for prayer is a charity, and removing harmful things from the road is a charity.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Prophet said, “Anyone who believes in Allah and the Last Day should not harm his neighbour, and anyone who believes in Allah and the Last Day should entertain his guest generously and anyone who believes in Allah and the Last Day should talk what is good or keep quiet.” (Bukhari & Muslim)
Imam Sadiq (peace be upon him) has stated: Fulfilling a need of a Mu’min brother is better than liberating a thousand slaves and giving a thousand horses (for jihad) in the path of God.
“At times, a person may ask me for a favour to which I do not respond so that one of you could intercede and thus earn a reward.”
(Narrated by Al-Nasā’i, on the authority of Mu’āwiya Ibn Abi Sufyān)
Selfless Service and Spiritual Development
For a truly successful life with a sense of achievement, one needs to have self-satisfaction. We have a subconscious mind that presents the true status of our happiness and sorrow. We call it our spiritual sense. Our spiritual self does not ever get affected by the outer world. It is satisfied if it is satisfied. It is happy if it is happy. Selfless service opens the door to spiritual development and we are thus able to know what exactly we are. Let us be among those whom Allah, the Most Gracious chooses to be at the service of others and be rewarded on the Day of Judgement. Consider the following Hadees:
There are certain people whom Allāh has created to be at the service of others – people whom others flee to for their needs. Such people will be safe on the Day of Judgement. (Narrated by Al-Haythami, on the authority of Ibn ‘Umar)
And Allah Knows the Best.
Arman Neyazi is a columnist with NewAgeIslam.com.
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