Service to Humanity in Islam
By: Ayatullah Ibrahim Amini
According to Islamic doctrine, God's worship and nearness neither can be summarized simply performance of - prayer, fasting, Hajj, pilgrimages, invocations, and supplications, nor is limited to - presence in mosques, temples, and tombs; instead, discharging social responsibilities, compassion, goodness, and serving God's servants, if done with the intention of God's nearness, are considered as most superior worships and could become a means for self-building, self-purification, and God's Nearness.
In Islam, devotion and undertaking spiritual journey towards God- Almighty do not necessarily require living in seclusion, rather could be done together with acceptance of social responsibilities as well as living a perfectly normal social life. Cooperation in righteous deeds and benevolence; goodness, endeavors in fulfilling the needs of believers and making them happier; defense of oppressed and deprived; taking care of Muslim affairs; solving their problems and extending a helping hand towards God's servants, from the Islamic point of view are considered a great worship whose reward is ten times higher than performance of a Hajj pilgrimage. Their exist hundreds of traditions narrated by the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) and Sinless Imams (a.s) which emphasize the importance of this matter. e.g.: the following has been narrated from Imam al-Sadiq (a.s) that God-Almighty said:
My servants are my children, therefore, the most beloved persons before me are those who are kindest towards them and do their best in taking care of their needs." - al-Kafi, vol. 2, p-l99.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w) has said:
" The people are God's children, therefore the most persons before God-Almighty are those whose benevolence reach to God s children, thus, making their families happier full of joy." - al-Kafi, vol. 2p-l&1.
Imam al-Baqir (a.s) said:
"Smiling of a believer while encountering a fellow brother believer as well as solving his problems are accounted as righteous deeds. no worship more beloved before God-Almighty than making a believer joyful." - the Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 2 p-i 88.
Imam al-Sadiq (a.s) said:
"Whoever makes a believer happy has made me happy, whoever makes me happy has made the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) happy; whoever has made the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) happy has made the God-Almighty happy, beloved There is and whoever has made God-Almighty happy will enter into Paradise." - the Bihar al-Anwar vol. 74, p-4l3.
"Fulfillment of a than performance believer s need before God-Almighty is more ten times each time spending ten thousands." - al-Kafl, vol. 2 p-l93.
"To strive for fulfillment of Muslim s need is better than circumambulating around the Holy Kaba for seventy times."
- the Bihar al-Anwar vol.74, p-3ll.
"God-Almighty the time of their has created some of His special servants, that at needs, people take shelter in them. These are the ones who will be immune from God's Punishment on the Judgment Day." - the Bihar al-Anwar, vol.74, p-318.
Therefore, as described above, according to Islamic point of view beloved of Hajj pilgrimage for- benevolence, goodness, helping God's servants and to solve their problems are considered as great worships. And if they are done with the intention of God's pleasure will become means for nourishment and perfection of self, spiritual migration and ascension towards God's Nearness.
Unfortunately, a majority of people lack the proper understanding of true Islam, and therefore, have been deprived from benefits of such a large and important part of Islamic worship. In their opinion worshipping and undertaking spiritual journey towards God-Almighty is not possible, except, through prayer, fasting, pilgrimage, supplication, invocation, and incantations.