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An Opportunity to Purchase Paradise

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Imagine a person who prepares a pot of food and sends it to his affluent neighbours next door, as a gesture of Islamic character and neighbourly love. Next, imagine a person who prepares a pot of food, and then personally travels to a rural township many kilometres away to feed a household that is dying of starvation.

Outwardly, both people carried out the same action of sending a pot of food to a household. However, while both actions are meritorious and virtuous, the action of saving the poor family from starvation will be more rewarding.

The reason for the latter being more rewarding is that the need fulfilled was greater (due to the starvation) and the personal effort and sacrifice involved in carrying out the deed was more (through personally traveling many kilometres to deliver the meal).

In the early stages of Islam, the Muslims were being subjected to widespread oppression, excruciating torture and relentless harassment. They were few in number and lacked resources and financial strength. Later on, after Makkah Mukarramah was conquered, Islam gained dominance and the floodgates of conquests and victories were opened. The number of the Muslims multiplied manifold and wealth began to pour into Madeenah Munawwarah. With regards to these two situations, Allah Ta‘ala informs us in the Quraan Majeed that the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) who spent their wealth for the cause of Deen and strove in the path of Allah Ta‘ala in the early days, during the times of hardship, have superior rank and virtue compared to those who joined the cause of Deen after the conquest of Makkah Mukarramah.

The reason is that the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) who strove and spent for Deen in the early days of Islam did so at great personal risk, despite the odds being stacked against the Muslims and the threats that they faced day and night. Since their sacrifice and risk was so great, and the need they fulfilled was also extremely great, as the Muslims were outnumbered and vulnerable at that time, their reward is far greater and their rank is loftier.

To assist the Muslims, or even humanity at large, is always an endeavour of great virtue and reward. However, during these trying times of the Coronavirus pandemic, the reward will surely be more. When entire households have fallen ill, people have lost their jobs, incomes are decreased, loved ones have passed away and other similar tragedies and difficulties are being suffered, then the need for assistance is certainly greater. Likewise, assisting people under such circumstances also entails greater sacrifice.

We should thus endeavour to assist people in whatever way we can. Be it preparing food or sponsoring meals for people, attending to the sick, assisting with the ghusal and burial of the deceased, financially assisting those in need, speaking words of encouragement and solace to those suffering and indeed making du‘aa for those in difficulty – this is the time to go beyond the call of duty and earn our Jannah. Indeed, it is hoped that these endeavours, at this time, will fetch a far greater reward than at any other time. As such, we should not lag behind while others are reaping immense rewards for assisting the creation.

May Allah Ta‘ala assist the Ummah through these trying times, and may He grant the best of rewards to all those who are of service to the Ummah in any way – the sponsors and donors, doctors, funeral service members, social welfare workers, ‘Ulama, etc., aameen.