Shawwal 15, 1426 AH: Social Responsibility
All praise belongs to the Almighty [swt], the Master of the Universe.
Islam is a complete way of life which governs all aspects of material as well as spiritual wellbeing of humankind. Included in this comprehensive code of conduct are social ethics; a vast topic that has been studied by great thinkers over the course of history.
Humans are social animals and thus require frequent interaction with other humans, such as family, friends, and community in order to survive. One of the key aspects of social interaction is respecting the rights of others. The golden rule of behave with others as you would like them to behave with you applies. With respect to fellow Muslims, Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq [a] has said: “The rights of a Muslim upon his Muslim brother are: 1. That he greets him when he meets him, 2. That he visits him when he becomes sick, 3. That he defends him in his absence, 4. That he prays for him when he needs prayers, 5. That he accepts his invitation when he invites him, and 5. That he escorts his funeral when he dies.” [Al-Kafi Vol. 2 P.171]
Imam Sadiq [a] also describes the strong bond between mo’mineen (persons who have Imaan). Imam [a] has said, “The Mo’min is the brother of a mo’min just like a single body; if part of it is not well, the entire body feel that pain. And their souls are from a single soul. Indeed the connection of a mo’min’s soul to the soul of Allah is stronger than the connection of the sun’s rays to the sun.” [Al-Kafi, v.2 p.170]
In another instance, Imam Sadiq [a] explains the need for mutual assessment and betterment. He [a] has said, “The most beloved of the brothers to me is the one who presents to me my shortcomings (faults).” [Tuhful-Aqool p.366]
Thus, our Imams have explained how we should lead our lives, how we should treat Muslims, and how we should interact with fellow believers. As opposed to other ideologies, Islam places great emphasis on social rights and responsibilities. It is unfortunate that in this world of material dominance, where greed and selfishness are staples of life, the principles of humanity are disappearing. In this politically correct era, the duties of Amr-bil-Ma’roof and Nahi-anil-Munkar are getting harder to perform.
Therefore, Muslim Youths are urged to pay attention to their social interactions with other human beings, and to be cognizant of responsibilities towards fellow brethren in faith. Surely the followers of Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq [a] should be the foremost in meeting the expectations of the Imam [a], inshallah.
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