Tuesday 16th of April 2024
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The duty of the believers

The needy person is that one whom need and poverty have disabled and who has lost every means of living.

The duty of the believers and their legal and human responsibilities are to help this needy person with their money to solve his problems, to keep his dignity and to satisfy his needs.

The Qur'an has made obligatory on the believers to take care of the needy and to satisfy their needs. The Qur'an considers satisfying the needs of the needy and taking care of them as one of the great worships because Allah loves this doing and this high morals and He loves everyone who tries to improve the conditions of the needy and to care for their livings.

As for paying no attention to the needy and poor people and turning away from them will no doubt, according to the Qur’anic verses, bring painful torments on the Day of Resurrection.

“And give to the near of kin his due and (to) the needy and the wayfarer, and do not squander wastefully.” Qur'an, 17:26

“…and give away wealth out of love for Him to the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and the beggars and for (the emancipation of) the captives.” Qur'an, 2:177

“Alms are only for the poor and the needy, and the officials (appointed) over them, and those whose hearts are made to incline (to truth) and the (ransoming of) captives and those in debts and in the way of Allah and the wayfarer; an ordinance from Allah; and Allah is knowing, Wise.” Qur'an, 9:60

Being stingy, not spending on the needy and not taking care of them are not causes of deserving torment in the afterworld only but also they have bad and dangerous effects on man’s life in this world.

Allah has mentioned in the sura of al-Qalam (68) the verses 17-33 the story of the brothers who had inherited a flourishing garden from their father but they did unlike what their father did. Their father was generous and kind to the poor and needy. When the brothers inherited this garden they decided in their meeting not to help any poor one who would come to them the following day. They would close the gate of the garden and would not allow anyone of the poor and needy to come to them. In that night and because of that satanic intention and malicious thinking, a thunderbolt hit the garden by the will of Allah and burnt all the fruitful trees and nothing remained in the garden except ashes.

In the morning when the brothers opened the gate of the garden, they became astonished at seeing the ashes instead of their flourishing garden. They began blaming each other and said,

“Glory be to our Lord, surely we were unjust.” Qur'an, 68:69

The Qur'an sees that the appearance of the problems of poverty and neediness is because of some reasons among which are not caring for the poor, not being kind to them and not helping them.

“But when He tries him, then straitens to him his means of subsistence, he says: My Lord has disgraced me. Nay! but you do not honor the orphan, nor do you urge one another to feed the poor, and you eat away the heritage, devouring (everything) indiscriminately, and you love wealth with exceeding love.” Qur'an, 89:16-20

When there is nothing in man’s heart save love for money and wealth, poverty, neediness and meanness appears on man.

The Holy Qur'an mentions in the sura of al-Haqqah (69) some kinds of severe torment that will be the reward of some people because of two reasons; disbelieving in Allah and not feeding the poor.

“And as for him who is given his book in his left hand he shall say: O would that my book had never been given to me, and I had not known what my account was. O would that it had made an end (of me). My wealth has availed me nothing. My authority is gone away from me. Lay hold on him, then put a chain on him. Then cast him into the burning fire. Then thrust him into a chain the length of which is seventy cubits. Surely he did not believe in Allah, the Great, nor did he urge the feeding of the poor. Therefore he has not here today a true friend, nor any food except refuse (pus or festering liquid) which none but the wrongdoers eat.” Qur'an, 69:25-37

In fact taking care of the affairs of the poor and the needy is something very important that whoever is indifferent to this matter will be liable to the wrath of Allah and will get painful punishment on the Day of Resurrection. It is narrated that Gabriel has said, ‘I love three things in the worldly life; guiding the deviants, supporting the wronged people and loving the needy.’[1]

Imam as-Sadiq (s) has said, ‘…whoever helps them (the needy) with the leftover of his money, Allah will reward him with wide gardens in Paradise, forgive him and will be pleased with him.’[2]

He has also said, ‘Whoever feeds a believer until he makes him satiate no one of the creatures of Allah will know how much reward he will get on the Day of Resurrection; neither a close angel nor a prophet except the Lord of the worlds.’ Then he added, ‘From among the requisites of forgiveness is feeding a hungry Muslim.’[3] Then he recited,

“Or the giving of food in a day of hunger, an orphan near of kin, or some poor wretched in misery.” Qur'an, 90:14-16

Courteous saying

The many Qur’anic verses that talk about the important and sensitive job of the tongue and the importance the Qur'an has entrusted the tongue with show the great and the very important function of this organ of man.

The tongue leads either to the deliverance of man or to his perishment in this world and the afterworld.

The tongue can be the cause of tranquility and peace in the family and society and it can be the cause of disturbance and confusion.

The tongue is either a reformer or corruptive. It either keeps reputation, dignities and secrets of people or exposes their secrets and disgraces them.

The Qur'an invites all the people especially the believers to meet the others with good and courteous sayings. Besides the Qur’anic verses there are many important traditions talking about this important organ narrated from the Prophet (s) and the infallible imams (s). Perhaps if we collect these traditions from the books of Hadith, we can compose a big book on this concern alone.

The Prophet (s) has said, ‘When the son of Adam gets up in the morning, all the organs say to the tongue, ‘Fear Allah on behalf of us! If you become straight, all of us will become straight and if you become deviate, all of us will become deviate.’[4]

Ameerul Mo'mineen (s) has said, ‘The tongue is the scales of man.’[5]

The Prophet (s) has said, ‘Allah will punish the tongue with torment that He will never punish any other organ with. The tongue will say, ‘O my Lord, you have punished me with torment that You have never punished any of the organs with!’ It will be said, ‘A word has come out of you and has reached the east and the west and because of it inviolable bloods have been shed, moneys have been robbed unlawfully and honors have been violated unlawfully.’[6]

Imam Ali (s) has said, ‘How many men have been perished because of their tongues!’

The tongue must be controlled day and night and must not be set free to say whatever it likes. One has to think deeply before saying anything. One has to say the suitable thing, at the suitable time, in the suitable place, before the suitable person and about the suitable subject. One has to put in mind that Allah is present at every time and everywhere in order not to commit a sin that cannot be repented of or forgiven.

Imam as-Sadiq (s) when talking about this verse “and speak kindly to people” (Qur'an, 2:83) has said, ‘Speak kindly to all people whether the believers or other than the believers. As for the believers you are to meet them smilingly and delightfully and as for the others you are to speak with them kindly to attract them towards faith and even if they do not believe at least you will keep yourself and your brothers safe from their evil.’[7]

Imam al-Baqir (s) has said when explaining this verse “and speak kindly to people,” ‘Say to them the best as you like to be said to you. Allah hates those who curse and abuse the believers and those who speak obscenely and ask importunately and He loves coy, polite, patient, lenient and chaste people.’[8]

The Prophet (s) has said, ‘All the speech of the son of Adam is against him and not for him except enjoining the right and forbidding the wrong or mentioning Allah.’[9]

According to the verse 83 of the sura of al-Baqara (2) mentioned above, being kind to the parents, the relatives, the orphans and the needy and saying good and courteous talking with all the people are among the good moral things that a repentant of sins especially the major sins and in order to perfect his repentance and reform his condition, doings and sayings has to follow. He has to follow the orders mentioned in this verse so that he can purify his inward from vices and bad deeds and replace them with good morals, good doings and good sayings to gain success in this life and the afterlife.

[1] Al-Mawa’idh al-Adadiyya, p.147.

[2] Tafsir As-Safi, vol.1 p.108.

[3] Al-Kafi, vol.4 p.598.

[4] Al-Mahajja al-Baydha’, vol.5 p.193.

[5] Ghurarul Hikam, chap. of “lam letter”.

[6] Usool Al-Kafi, vol.2 p.115.

[7] Tafsir As-Safi, vol.1 p.151-152.

[8] Ibid..

[9] Al-Mawa’idh al-Adadiyya p.87.

source : REPENTANCE THE CRADLE OF MERCY By Husayn Ansariyan
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