In times of difficulty, be a key to goodness & benefit for your community

In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy.

All praise is for Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. He is perfect in His Essence, Names and Attributes; The Eternal Living and Self-Sufficient. Glorified above any imperfection and weakness; never touched by illness nor affected by sleep.

May peace and blessings be upon His beloved Messenger, his companions and followers.

Every one of us is aware of the devastating effect COVID-19 is having on every level of our communities. In times like this, it is up to the Muslims – as individuals, families, mosques and organisations – to stand up and demonstrate our Islam through serving humanity. In fact, community service is an intrinsic part of Islam in normal situations never mind times of need. The basis for this is the saying of Allah,

{And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression} [05:02]

Also, the reply of the Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) when a man asked him, “O Messenger of Allah, which type of people are most beloved to Allah?” The Prophet replied by saying,

The most beloved people to Allah are those who are most beneficial for people. [1]

So serving your local community is a part of being a Muslim, and more so in times of tumult wherein actions are more important than words, and this is our test today.

Contemplate the following Hadeeth,

Indeed from among the people are those who are keys to goodness and closures of evil. And indeed from among the people are keys to evil and closures to goodness. So glad tidings for the one who Allah has made a key to goodness and woe to the one who Allah has made a key to evil. [2]

How can I be a key to goodness for my community?

  • Know that many people will be suffering in isolation. The suffering may not always be financial. It could well be mental or emotional – especially the elderly and frail who have no one to turn to. Cases of depression and loneliness increase as people isolate themselves from the community. In such cases, a friendly phone call, card or even a note would be a significant service.
  • Those in isolation may need somebody to collect their shopping or prescriptions; feed their pets or collect a parcel. Offer your services, whilst politely explaining to them that, as Muslims, you cannot buy alcohol or pork for them, however you are happy to help them with any other items.
  • NHS staff and front line emergency personnel are also in distress, and they are being neglected. They are working day and night, finishing shifts later than others, and by the time they arrive at the supermarkets, the shelves are empty. Do you know a nurse, doctor or paramedic? Could you help them with their shopping, a hot meal or even minding their children for them?

The Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) told us about the man whose sins were forgiven on account of removing a branch from a passer’s way,

While a man was walking by a roadside, he found a tree branch with thorn, he took it (out of the passers’ way), Allah appreciated his deed and forgave him his sins. [3]

If a believer is rewarded for removing an obstacle from the path, or quenching the thirst of a dog, how great then would the reward by for alleviating physical, emotional or mental needs of the vulnerable?

Never underestimate the smallest acts of goodness; you may consider your action to be irrelevant however its effect on the recipient could well be immense, and greater still the reward which is with Allah. The Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) said,

Do not underestimate any kindness, even if it is merely meeting your brother with a smiling face. [4]

When there is such uncertainty in the world, one thing is most certain – Allah helps those who help others. This is not achieved through mere self-service but by embracing the call for service to others, as shown in the life examples of each and every one of our noble Prophets. The above are only some ideas and suggestions towards acquiring the help, protection and pleasure of Allah.

May Allah alleviate the suffering of every ill person and remove the calamity from us.

Written by the one in need of Allah,

Abul Abbaas Naveed Ayaaz
Nelson, Lancashire
22 Rajab, 1441h
Corresponding to 22nd March, 2020


[1] Narrated by Ibn Umar; Collected by At-Tabarani

[2] Ibn Maajah; Declared Hassan by Albaani
For an explanation of this Hadeeth, please read:

[3] Narrated by Abu Hurayrah; Collected by Al-Bukhari & Muslim

[4] Narrated by Abu Dharr; Collected by Muslim

He is a graduate of the Islaamic University of Madeenah, having graduated from the Institute of Arabic Language, and later the Faculty of Sharee'ah in 2010. He currently resides in Nelson, Lancashire and is the Imam of Masijd Sunnah.

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