( Islamic NGO benefits / Islamic relief work )
I have been asked several times, what makes me want to be a part of a local Islamic group. “There are many opportunities to learn Quran and help people on individual bases? Why is it important to be a part of a group to achieve all this?” Though, I completely support those who seek to practice Allah’s laws on individual bases, (after all, on the day of judgement, all will be accounted individually for their actions) but the idea of increasing one’s reward by participating in group activities is definitely more rewarding and generates extensive results.
According to what is narrated from Abu Hurairah, the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Allah will give shade, to seven, on the Day when there will be no shade but His:
- A just ruler
- A youth who has been brought up in the worship of his Lord,
- A Muslim whose heart is attached to the mosques,
- Two people who love each other only for Allah’s sake and who meet and part in Allah’s cause only,
- A man who refuses the call of a woman and says, “I fear Allah”,
- A person who gives charitable gifts so secretly that his left hand does not know what his right hand has given,
- A person who remembers Allah in seclusion and sheds tears.”
(Sahih al-Bukhari, Muslim)
Connecting to those striving to gain Allah’s pleasure further enhances a sincere believer’s faith. It connects them to like-minded people who are working day and night to gain ‘jannah.’
Even our beloved Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) didn’t practise the laws of Islam individually. He worked with his companions in spreading Islam to a global level. He taught us that a society can achieve more good when people join hands to make this world a better place.
Taking into consideration the financial aspect of elevating a society, it is seen that on an individual level a person might be able to help three to four families (or more depending on his / her financial status). However, if one is a part of a group, no matter how much their personal contribution is, they achieve numbers that are generally larger than the perceived ones. For example, while providing aid to the needy in a society, a group might be able to help 100 families which cannot be compared to the 3-4 done on an individual bases, though both will receive tremendous reward from Allah (swt).
Personally, I also feel that the most important reason to connect to a group is to safe guard oneself from getting carried away from the evils of the society they live in. It is an unending task for an individual to fight his / her weaknesses. Hence, if a person is left to fight the evils of a society individually too, they might end up losing or giving up on their task. This is where a group that enjoins good and forbids evil plays a vital role.
Imagine a person who spends his / her leisure time with friends and family who are disconnected with Allah (swt) and far away from the blessings of Islam. Though this person is involved in all obligatory worship enjoined on them, they cannot match the rewards earned by those who are constantly indulged in pleasing Allah(swt) through their work and efforts. A person who befriends the friends of Allah, a person who dedicates his / her leisure time to pleasing Allah (swt) will inevitably be more successful than someone who spends their leisure time disconnected to their Creator.
“The believers, both men and women, are guardians of one another. They encourage good and forbid evil, establish prayer and pay alms-tax, and obey Allah and His Messenger. It is they who will be shown Allah’s mercy. Surely Allah is Almighty, All-Wise.” ( Surah At Tawbah, Verse 71)