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Hearken to the call of Duty: Philanthropic approach of Sufi masters

by Minhaj

We live in a crowded world and are tied to many others through kinship, yet many of us are very lonely. Despite their interaction with others, people feel friendless in the vast world. Such people are unable to support themselves fully or to make a living. The unemployed or the underemployed, who are denied economic support and social services, feel they have been abandoned. No one is there to help them function fully in the community. However, Islam provides the solution to the financial woes of people and their terrible predicaments.

When we study the Qur’an deeply, we learn that Allah’s message on serving creatures, lending them a hand in hardships, doing practical good to them and dedicating one’s resources to their uplifting is as old as human history. Purely from the Islamic perspective, the champions of human rights are such people who are ready to sacrifice anything for other members of the community. This Divine message has been good for all ages.
Due to their lofty morals, spiritual orientation, compliance with the Qur’an and the sunnah, Sufi saints were guiding lights, symbols of hope, inspiration and guidance for the people of their age. All flocked to them. When the mystics met their Creator and were buried, people did not break off their relation with them. Devotees visited their tombs when the saints’ invisible existence commenced. Generally speaking, it is thought that the saints only quench the thirst of the seekers after the truth and inward enlightenment, and that they have nothing to do with social development. The reality is the other way around. The present research work aims to highlight this oft-neglected aspect of the lives of Muslim mystics and highlight how in their lifetimes, they try their best to work for the betterment of their societies in religious, spiritual, political, social and financial spheres.

One of the best forms of rendering help to people in need is making charitable gifts to them. Financial support carries great significance in the lives of Muslims. Even after the payment of Zakāt, obligatory alms, the faithful are charged to spend their material resources on their fellow beings in such a way that they might fight poverty and eliminate the economic stalemate of the indigent. This ideal can be realized when the financially distressed people are enabled to fully exploit their potential concerning making a living. The smooth functioning of society requires that the poverty-stricken are facilitated in order that they may play their due role for building a progressive social fabric.
On the one hand making charitable gifts to those in need will protect the giver from horrors of the Day of Resurrection as the Quran verifies: Those who spend their wealth in the cause of Allah, and then do not follow up their spending by reminding of their benevolence or by hurting, there is reward for them with their Lord. And (on the Day of Resurrection) they will have no fear, nor will they grieve.(2:262).

On the other hand, financial support to the individuals living at or below the poverty line does colossal good to them. 

Without charitable donations, some people at the very least might even revert from Islam due to their suffering and privation, as the Messengerﷺ said: “Poverty may result in infidelity.” [Bayhaqi, Shub al-Iman,5:267 $6612;Mishkat al-Masabih,3:82 $5050]

One of the character traits of Prophets(AS) was doing good to humans socially. All of them were seekers of their welfare and betterment. To illustrate the point, the story of the Prophet Mūsă(AS) is cited here. When he reached Madyan and found two women, the daughters of Prophet Shu’ayb(AS), at a well with their flock of animals,  Prophet Müsă(AS) gave water to their animals.
 Allah Most High describes the productive character of the Prophet Müsa(AS) in the following incident.And when he arrived at the watering (well) of Madyan, he found there a crowd of people watering (their flocks). And on a side, he saw two women, withdrawn, holding back (their goats. Mūsā [Moses]) asked: “Why are you (standing) in this condition?” Both said: “We cannot water (our goats) till the shepherds take back their flocks and our father is an aged man.” So he watered their (flocks) and then turned back to the shade and submitted: “O Lord, I am in need of whatever good You send down to me.”

The people of wealth and influence, rather than living a lavish lifestyle, must spend their means on supporting the deprived sections of society. Faithful affluent individuals must realise and fulfil their obligation to the people living on meagre income. A share for the deprived is assigned in the resources of the faithful. 
Based on Book : 

Hearken to the call of Duty : Philanthropic approach of Sufi masters by Sahibzada Dr. Hussain Qadri

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