Duties of Man Towards the People

The paternal and maternal relatives, who have a consanguineous and near relationship, are the natural means for the formation of the society. Due to the similarity of blood and cells, man becomes part of a family. For the sake of this unity and natural relationship, Islam orders its followers to observe the kinship bonds with kindness. Strong recommendations have been made in the Qur'an and the traditions of religious leaders in this respect. The Almighty Allah states: "...And be careful of (your duty to) Allah, by Whom you demand one of another (your rights), and (to) the ties of relationship; surely Allah ever watches over you.(1)
The Holy Prophet (PBUH&HP) states: "I enjoin my Ummah (people) to observe the kinship bonds with kindness. Even if the relatives are separated from one another by a year-long distance, they should not disconnect the kinship bonds of their relationship."
Since neighbours very often come in contact with one another due to the proximity of their residential area and naturally - as they constitute a larger family, the good behaviour and the misbehaviour of one of them will have more effect on other neighbours than that of all others.
He, who spends the night with clamour in his house, does not annoy anyone residing in the remote corner of the city, but he disturbs his neighbour's peace. A wealthy man who spends his life in feasting and drinking in his beautiful palace is far away from the sight of the poor, but he burns the heart of his indigent neighbour living in a clay-hut. Surely, a day will come when this wealthy man will duly be punished. For this reason, taking care of the neighbours has been highly emphasized in the holy religion of Islam.
The Holy Prophet (PBUH&HP) stated: "Gabriel recommended to me about the neighbours to such an extent that I thought the Almighty Allah would appoint one's neighbour as one of his heirs." (2)
He also stated: "whoever believes in Allah and in Ma'ad, never does injustice to his neighbour, lends him money if he asks for it, and shares his grief and happiness. One should not annoy his neighbour even if he is an unbeliever."
He also states: "He, who hurts his neighbour, will not smell the fragrance of Paradise and he, who disregards the rights of his neighbour, is not my follower. Whoever has had enough to eat and does not help his neighbour after knowing that he is hungry, is not a Muslim."
There is no doubt that the establishment of a society is to fulfill the needs of the individuals. The most important duty of the members of any society is to help the helpless and the weak and to eliminate in some way the needs of those who are unable to eliminate these by themselves.
It has been thoroughly clarified nowadays that the carelessness of the rich towards the difficulties of the poor is the greatest danger that can destroy a society and that the rich will be the first victim of this danger.
Taking this danger into consideration, fourteen centuries ago, Islam ordered the rich to distribute a portion of their wealth among the poor and the helpless annually. If the said amount is sufficient to eliminate the needs of the poor, it is recommended that the rich donate as much as they can for the cause of Allah so as to improve the living conditions of the poor.
The Almighty Allah states: "By no means shall you attain to righteousness until you spend (benevolently) out of what you love". (3)
The ahadith on the subject of serving the humanity are innumerable. The Holy Prophet (PBUH&HP) stated: "The best of men is one who is more beneficial for the people." (4)
He also stated: "In Ma'ad, a person who has taken greater steps towards charitable acts for the servants of Allah will be placed in a higher status before the Almighty Allah."
Help friends at the time of calamity so that you may have favours of Allah. Somehow you will someday reap the seeds of goodness that you sow today.
As we know, human beings work with joint effort. They take advantage of each others endeavours to eliminate the needs of their life. The society established by these individuals is similar to a "great man" and each individual is like an organ of this great man's body.
Each organ of the body performs its own specific function and makes up for its own weaknesses by benefiting from the functions of other organs; that is, in its sphere of activity, each organ provides its interests while providing the interests of other organs and continues its life in the light of the life of other organs. If some organs acted selfishly and were of no use to other organs; for example, if while the hands or feet were functioning, the eyes did not cooperate with them or if the mouth only contented itself with chewing and enjoying the food without swallowing it to satisfy the needs of the stomach, man would die and, as a result, the same self-centered and self-seeking organ would also die.
The duty of the members of a society is exactly like the duty of the organs of a body, man must look for his interests within the framework of the interests of the society. He must consider what benefits the society would derive from his efforts so that by his efforts all are benefited and he also gets benefited. He must defend the rights of others so that his own rights would not be violated.
This is a fact which we realize with our Allah-given nature. The holy religion of Islam, which is established on the basis of nature and creation, does not have the commandments and views other than these on this matter.
The Holy Prophet (PBUH&HP) states: "A Muslim is one from whose hand and tongue Muslims are safe."(5)
He also states: "Whoever does not care about the affairs of the Muslims is not a Muslim."(6)
1. (4:1)
2. Man La Yahdhor, Vol. 1, P. 52.
3. (3:92)
4. Al-Mustadrak, Vol. 12, P. 391
5. Al-Kafi, Vol. 2, P. 234.
6. Al-Kafi, Vol. 2, P. 164

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