Pleasing a Believer


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Pleasing a Believer

In the first article of the first chapter of Mishkatu al-Masabih and in the hadith reported by Abu Hurairah, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said:

"Whoever brings his Muslim brother out of discomfort Allah will bring him out of the discomforts on the Judgment Day."


There is no doubt about the correctness of this hadith, which is reported by various sources. It has great importance for humans and their social life.

In the hadith, the different expressions which mean "helps him with discomforts", "clears the way for him", "ease his discomfort", "saves him", and "pleases him" actually all state, in different terms, that the discomfort of a Muslim, whether easy or difficult, must be alleviated in some way, directly or indirectly.

The word qurba, which has been translated as "discomfort" is a substance that causes discomfort and aggravates the breathing by blocking the respiratory tract. The easing of this discomfort can be understood as "enabling one to breathe", i.e., bringing the discomforted person back to life. It is not the difficulty or ease of such an action or the ease of application that is considered to be important, but the care itself and the occurrence of this relief.

Even if minor, distress, anxiety, difficulty or discomfort are considered important and major for some people. In such cases, helping them is important and meaningful as well. Things that we do not care about at all may be very important and of top priority for others. A discomfort must be evaluated in accordance with the discomforted.

On the other hand, this hadith is the beginning of a long account that brings together the moral rules and good manners that are of great importance for Muslims. This condition refers to the starting point of Islamic morality that is defined as "compassion for all beings." Moreover, it states an important point that the quality of being Muslim is enough for someone to receive help. Actually, according to another hadith, even if a Muslim is a cruel person, the quality of being a "Muslim brother" continues. In fact, the Prophet said:

"Help your brother, whether he is cruel or aggrieved". They asked the Prophet: "We thought that help was to be given to the aggrieved brother, but how are we to help the one who is cruel?" Upon this, the Prophet ordered: "If you dissuade him from his cruelty this will help him."(1)

Thus, whether a sinner or an aberrant, a believer is worthy of the attention and help of other believers. This does not imply discrimination or favoritism. The basis of the concept of "brotherhood" is "common faith", whereas the reason for this connection and mutual aid is not the goodness, honesty, mistake or sin of a believer, but their faith.

In the rest of the hadith, in order to give an example of the act of "pleasing a Muslim" acts that relieve are mentioned, such as "giving a term for a debtor or erasing the whole debt or part of it" and "covering the shame of a Muslim" and it is reported that the rewards of these deeds will be calculated to the same degree in the afterlife .

Finally, it is said that "as long as a person helps their brother/sister, Allah will help that servant too".

The Difference of Discomfort in this World and the Afterlife

Here another point that should be examined is the expression "world discomfort". As this world is temporary, "worldly discomforts" are ultimately temporary, too. It is stated that a person will be redeemed of the discomforts of their eternal afterlife in return for having relieved a Muslim of any worldly discomfort, the basic quality and position of which is temporary. This means that a person who pleases a believer in this world will gain happiness in the afterlife. "Reciprocation is in accordance with the type of deed." Naturally, accomplishing such a wonderful result must be the goal and desire of all who believe in the afterlife and who sincerely accepts that they will be held accountable for their deeds.

Relieving your Muslim brother/sister from a discomfort by any means, even if it is considered small or insignificant, is an act of goodness and benefaction. "Goodness will only be paid with goodness". (2) Also Allah Almighty declares the scale of the good deeds in the afterlife: "Whoever brings a good deed will receive ten times this goodness." (3)

1) Bukhari, Mazalim 4; Ikrah 7; Tirmidhi Fiten 68.

2) Al-Rahman, 55/60, Al-Enam, 6/160.

3) Al-Baqara, 2/216

عن أبي هُرَيْرَةَ ـ رضى الله عنه قَالَ:
قَبَّلَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم الْحَسَنَ بْنَ عَلِيٍّ وَعِنْدَهُ الأَقْرَعُ بْنُ حَابِسٍ التَّمِيمِيُّ جَالِسًا‏.‏ فَقَالَ الأَقْرَعُ إِنَّ لِي عَشَرَةً مِنَ الْوَلَدِ مَا قَبَّلْتُ مِنْهُمْ أَحَدًا‏.‏ فَنَظَرَ إِلَيْهِ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ثُمَّ قَالَ ‏"‏ مَنْ لاَ يَرْحَمُ لاَ يُرْحَمُ ‏"‏‏
God's Messenger kissed Al-Hasan bin Ali (his grandchild) while Al-Aqra' bin Habis At-Tamim was sitting beside him. Al-Aqra said, "I have ten children and I have never kissed anyone of them", God's Messenger cast a look at him and said, "Whoever is not merciful to others will not be treated mercifully." (Bukhari, Good Manners and Form (Al-Adab), 18)

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