This shows the blessings of good works and that engaging in some good deeds opens the door to the performance of others. The practice of doing some good deeds assists one in further good works. We can see here that the blessings of fasting and of meeting Gabriel increased the Prophet's in generosity and charity, so much so that he became more generous that a beneficial breeze.Al-Zayn b. al-Munîr explains the comparison with a "beneficial breeze" as follows [al-`Asqalânî, Fath al-Bârî (4/139)]:
His charity and good treatment for those who are poor and needy - as well as for those who are well-off and possess sufficient means - is as general as the relief brought by a beneficial breeze.Al-Shâfî`î said: "It is liked for a person to increase his charity in the month of Ramadan. This is following the Prophet's example. It is also in consideration of the people's needs and their welfare, since so many of them are distracted from earning their livelihood due to their preoccupation with fasting and prayer."
This shows that fasting entails refraining from obscene and false speech just like it entails refraining from food and drink. A person who engages in false or obscene speech detracts from the value of his fast, He exposes himself to his Lord's displeasure and to the possibility of his fast not being accepted.The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "If one of you starts off the day fasting, he should avoid obscene speech and ignorant behavior. If someone abuses him or starts to fight with him, he should reply by saying: 'I am fasting. I am fasting'." [Sahîh Muslim (1151)]
It is possible that the person is recommended to say "I am fasting. I am fasting" merely to remind himself, so that he refrains from getting involved in the exchange of insults.`Umar b. al-Khattâb said: "One does not merely fast from food and drink, but also from lying, from falsehood, from vain talk, and from swearing." [Musannaf Ibn Abî Shaybah (8882)]
Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) called himself by many names, some of which we committed to memory and some of which we did not. He said: “I am Muhammad. I am Ahmad. I am al-Muqaffî (the Sender). I am al-Hâshir. I am the Prophet of Penitence. I am the Prophet of Mercy.” [Sahîh Muslim]And Allah knows best.
Receiving Allah’s Blessings and RewardsA person can attain Allah’s blessings and rewards for every good work that he is involved in, as long as he makes his intention that he is doing so seeking Allah’s pleasure. When a Muslim engages in relief work, he is doing good for others by fulfilling their needs.
2. Direct Involvement in Fulfilling the Needs of SocietyRelief works gets the Muslims involved in the dynamics of fulfilling society’s needs. In this way, the values of cooperation, love, and civic loyalty are cultivated. Social harmony is achieved. The spirit of brotherhood is fostered.
3. The Rewards of Personal SatisfactionHelping other people brings happiness to the heart. There is nothing like the satisfaction that one feels when he sees the joy that he has brought to the lives of others or when he sees that his efforts have removed their hardship and put an end to their despair.
4. Warding Off Affliction and HardshipHelping others is a means by which Allah keeps hardship and affliction from befalling ourselves. It is a means by which Allah brings to us prosperity and good fortune.
5. Awakening Latent Strengths and Learning Skills that Society Has to OfferA person who engages in voluntary relief work develops new strengths and learns new practical skills. He develops expertise that he otherwise would not even be acquainted with. He also strengthens his people skills.
6. Making New Friends and AcquaintancesVolunteer work is a great way to meet new people. It provides opportunities to get to know people from different backgrounds and different walks of life.
7. Self-EmpowermentInvolvement in relief work makes a person realize that he can make a change. He can have a positive affect on society. This work gives a real sense of the truly important place that the individual has in his community and in the world at large.
It is narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever wipes over the nape of his neck is saved from the neck-chain.”Ibn Hajar does not mention the strength of the chain of transmission for Mûsâ b. Talhah’s statement. It is weak, since it contains the narrator al-Mas`ûdî who was known to confuse his narrations.
Abû Muhammad al-Juwaynî quotes it and then says: “The scholars of hadîth do not look favorably upon its chain of transmission There has been disagreement as to whether the practice is a Sunnah or a nicety.”
However, the Imam [al-Haramayn] counters this by saying – as we summarize – that the students [of al-Shâfi`î] had no need to disagree about the ruling when the hadîth that indicates it is weak.
Al-Qâdî Abû al-Tayyib says: “There is nothing established in the Sunnah to support it.”
Al-Qâdî Husayn says: “There is nothing in the Sunnah to support this practice.”
Al-Fawrânî says: “There is no narration to support it.”
Al-Ghazâlî quotes this hadîth in al-Wasît and then Ibn al-Salâh comments on it saying: “This hadîth is unknown from the Prophet (peace be upon him). It is rather the statement of one of the Pious Predecessors.”
Al-Nawawî says in [al-Majmû`] Sharh al-Muhadhdhab: “This hadîth is fabricated. These are not the Prophet’s words.”
In another place, he writes, “There is nothing authentic related about this from the Prophet (peace be upon him). It is not Sunnah. Rather, it is an innovation. Al-Shâfi`î did not mention it, nor did the majority of the students. It was only mentioned by Ibn al-Qâs and a small minority. Ibn al-Ruf`ah raised the objection that al-Baghawî, who is a leading hadîth scholar, considered it to be a preferable act. However, there is no basis for declaring it a preferable act except a report from the Prophet or a Companion, since there is no place for analogical reasoning in this matter.”
Perhaps, al-Baghawî relied in this matter on what Ahmad and Abû Dâwûd narrated from Talhah b. Masraf from his father that his grandfather saw the Prophet (peace be upon him) wipe over his head until he reached the ociput and the nape of the neck. However, this has a weak chain of transmission, as we have already discussed.
As for the person from the Pious Predecessors that Ibn al-Salâh mentions, perhaps he is referring to what Abû `Ubayd relates in Kitâb al-Tahûr from `Abd al-Rahmân b. Mahdî from al-Mas`ûdî from al-Qâsim b. `Abd al-Rahmân from Mûsâ b. Talhah who said: “Whoever wipes the nape of his neck along with his head is protected from the neck-chain on the Day of Resurrection.” It is possible to say that though it is a chain of transmission that stops at a Companion, it has the strength of a hadîth that goes back to the Prophet, since it is not something that can be said on the basis of personal opinion. This would make it mursal.
[This is the entry for this hadîth, quoted in full from al-Talkhîs al-Habîr as published by Maktabah Nizâr al-Bâz, first edition – Mecca and Riyadh: 1997]
The Muslim ummah is vital, caring, and fruitful. Its still retains its youthful vitality. With Allah’s help, it is able to compensate for the deficiencies that come over it in every age. Nations rise and fall. Personalities come and go. Great works, schemes, and projects fall to dust. However, the Muslim ummah remains.
The destiny of Islam is intrinsically tied to the destiny of the Muslim ummah. It is not tied to the destiny of any individual, group, organization, or country. Islam is greater than all of that. It is a mistake to tie the future of Islam – or of Islamic work – to the fate of some group or another. Likewise, it is wrong to regard the future of Islam in light of the contributions of a certain individual or to the continuation of some activity that we believe to be beneficial and productive.
No doubt, there are many contributions being made by many people that have a clearly positive effect in the advancement of Islamic work. However, all of these things are but means that are not irreplaceable. A person might die and the Muslim ummah will live on, and Allah may replace that person with even better people.
It is injurious for people to tie the future of Islamic work to any specific individual, no matter how highly people might hold him in their esteem. Every person is but a mortal human being with limited potential. He is prone to make mistakes as well as to be correct. He is subject to the influences that surround him, whether they be social, economic, political, or personal, and he cannot escape them. Many people clasp their hands over their hearts and fear that a certain beneficial door or pathway will become blocked, or that some orator will not be able to ascend the pulpit and speak, or that some writer not be able to write. We need to ask such people: What is it then? How many are the orators, writers, and Islamic workers that Allah has at His disposal. How many are the pathways to good that are at our disposal.
Surely, we should grieve when a door of opportunity is closed. However, it is wrong for us to think that the future of Islamic work is inexorably tied to it. No one can be blamed for being affected by the silencing of a voice or the absence of a true word that used to be spoken. However they will be blameworthy if they start to think that the future of Islamic work is ruined and that the means to carry it out have perished.
The Muslim ummah is something bountiful and fertile. If one voice becomes silent, there are a thousand voices behind it to take its place. If one orator dies, Allah will bring forth a thousand others like him.
By vesting our hopes in personalities, we place too much upon their shoulders and, whether we like it or not, we end up stifling a lot of potential for goodness that our ummah can bring forth. Who out there can carry the future of Islamic work upon his shoulders as if he is its living embodiment?
We do justice to consider each person in his natural place and keep our perspectives from becoming distorted. No one needs to be slighted or denied the credit that they and their contributions are due. At the same time, we should not elevate anyone above their true worth and expect from them what they are unable to deliver.
In times of weakness and decline, it is easy for people to seize upon anything near at hand that they find to be strong and then pin upon it all of their hopes. This is why we see many good people shrinking away from the public and electing to remain silent, simply because they cannot bear the burdens and that the people foist upon them because of their working for Islam. They cannot handle being put in such a position of absolute accountability.
“Every soul is held in pledge for what he earned.” [Sûrah al-Tûr: 21]
“Every soul is held in pledge for what it earned.” [Sûrah al-Mudaththir: 38]
“On the Day when every soul will come pleading for itself, and every soul will be repaid what it did, and they will not be wronged.” [Sûrah al-Nahl: 111]
“And We have made every man's actions to cling to his own neck.” [Sûrah al-Isrâ’: 13]
From what verse of the Qur’ân are some people today getting the idea that for a person to be something he has to be everything? Where do they get the idea that all responsibility should be foisted upon the shoulders of a few people so that everyone else can be relieved from carrying theirs?
The only difference between the person who is carrying out this work and the rest of the people is that we have one person who is doing his duty and the rest who are failing to do theirs. So may Allah reward the one who is fulfilling his duty and may He bless his work. However, the basic accountability upon all the people is the same. It may be that those of us who are not mobilizing ourselves have greater natural talents and stronger personalities than those who are doing so. Why should we forget ourselves and bury our own talents? Why should we not ourselves assume what others have neglected or have failed to carry out in the fullest possible manner?