The Prophet PBUH said, “ Allah helps (is in the service 0f) His slave as long as he helps (in the service) of his brother.”
we are living in strange times, a time where we are always within reach of our friends, our families, our workplaces, our homes, the media and the world community. with a ping, we can be alerted to the latest disaster in the Middle East, the arrival of an urgent email, or the birth of our second cousin’s child. We are connected like never before.
But this is a time also for disconnect and distance. Studies show that we are more isolated today than ever before, more cut off from human beings, more desensitised to pain and suffering. Maybe we have become overexposed to suffering via our numerous social media channels and 24-hour news channels. Maybe we are overloaded with information in the form of video clips, posts, tweets and WhatsApp groups. Maybe it’s all too much
it is so much easier to withdraw into our own bubbles, our own homes where we are more or less in control, where we can design the layout of a room, change the wallpaper and curate our best photographs to upload in Instagram. In this safe space, we can plan fun days out with the family, fill the children’s rooms with books and toys and create wonderful family memories on yearly holidays.
so much easier to design a lifestyle on Pinterest and dedicate our lives to make it a reality.
But what do we lose, in the pursuit of our individual happiness? and is there anything to be gained by reaching out, beyond our own families, to touch the lives of others? to risk being exposed to the pain and suffering outside our carefully curated lives, and by doing so, end them or, at the very least, relieve them to some degree.
the hadith I first quoted directly links Allah Ta’ala aid to our willingness to help our brothers and sisters. Our willingness to step out of our comfort zones and, indeed, sacrifice our ease and the ease of our family for others who need our help. What does that look like? Perhaps it means that we sacrifice some of our luxuries in order to ease the burden on another Muslim. Perhaps it means that we forgo time relaxing as a family in order to volunteer at a soup kitchen. Perhaps it means buying extra presents for Eid so that children in need may also taste the joy of this occasion.
Maybe it means we even celebrate Eid with orphans or spend the weekend with refugees or welcome foster children into our homes. Maybe it means we become bolder, braver and more ready to be part of the change we want to see, because it is as a result of our action that Allah Ta’ala will bring about change.
“Verily, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.”
Maybe its time to envisage our lives as something bigger than ourselves, a larger project with loftier ambitions. Maybe its time to live with intention to make a difference on a grander scale. We are blessed to be in a position to offer our help, to be the upper hand, to be the ones who can strive for Allah’s pleasure with their lives or their wealth. There are so many in need of our help.
Let us rise to the challenge.
Let us live bolder, braver, larger lives.