ISLAM AND SOCIAL SERVICE
Thanks to Islamic renaissance that has given impetus to the positive developments in the Muslim society, Islam as a complete code of life is increasingly emphasized. The present study is an attempt to find out correlation between social service and Islam the Godly Ordained Path. However, before we touch upon the Islamic concept of social service, its motives, the directives given and the measures required to be adopted, it would not be inapt to have a cursory view on the modern concept of social service.
Essentially social service is the beginning of an end to social problems which are the product of social living. A man prefers to live in groups due to socio-economic and psychological reasons. So long as mutual understanding, co-operation, love and respect among fellow beings perists, the collective living results in the formation of an ideal society. But as soon as ulterior motives, vicious designs, and cut-throat competition thwart the positive thinking and action, then the society gets engulfed with vices, ills and evils. The reign of ills and evils becomes a matter of social concern particularly to the conscious group of the society. The concern converts into action-social action. Social service or social work is thus a natural outcome of the awareness on the part of the people that a particular social situation is a threat and that the existing situation can be altered only by collective action.
Social service or work is old in practice but new as a profession. It is said that as a profession, it woes its beginning to the enactment of English Poor Laws and educational activities of the first social settlement. Moreover, social service as a professional science depends upon the disciplined methods of social sciences. However the concept is easily understood than precisely defined as there is no universally accepted definition available. Some define social work as provision of services designed to aid individual or group in coping with present or future social and psychological obstacles that prevent or are likely to prevent full or effective participation in the society.
To some others, it is an organized activity that is primarily and directly concerned with the conservation, protection and improvement of human resources. According to an Indian definition, social work is a dynamic activity undertaken by the public or private efforts in the implementation of the social policy with a view to raising the standard of living and to bring about social, economic, political and cultural well-being of individual, family and the group within a society irrespective of its stages of social developments.
According to Coller’s encyclopedia, `social work is defined as a professional service which uses social scientific techniques to alleviate economic, social and emotional distresses among individual, group and communities.’
Thus from the above defined approaches it is clear that social work is an effort to remove conditions creating problems for an individual, a family or a group of the society. Furthermore, the modern concept of social work not only includes material help to indigent but interacts with concepts, conditions, traditions and practices that germinate social vices.
In partial consonance with the modern concept, social work has traditionally been understood as rendering help to indigent, sicks, destitutes, unfortunate and underpreviledged lot of the society. It appears that the scope of social work was limited due, perhaps, to the limited and less diversified nature of the problems. As mentioned above, in todays world the social problems are associated with social living. That is why the existence of ignorance, individual and collective disoganisation, poverty and unemployment, corruption and other unlawful works, dowry sati, problems of widow remarriage, prostitution and beggary, casteism and undeliquency and unmarried mothers and orphans etc. are different captions indicating the dimensions of social problems of our society. Truely speaking intensity and dimension of the problems have changed due to the change in outlook and understanding of the modern man.
The scope and dimension of the modern social work are multi faceted and wide. On the one hand assistance in cash or kind to the needy to rid him from his immediate problems ( worries ) is treated as social service. And on the other hand assistance to the people for restoration of their self-sufficiency is included in the sphere of social services. Over and above, efforts physical or mental directed to remove such conditions and factors which create or are likely to create ills are treated as the most desired type of social activity. That is how the modern literature of social service classifies social work:
a) Firstly, Palliative social work which is directed towards alleviation of already existing economic stresses which includes various measures like assistance in cash or kind.
b) Secondly, Protective or Rehabilitative social work which aims at restoring self sufficiency by removing dependency upon others, and
c) Finally, Preventive or Curative social activity which is directed towards the elimination of those factors in the environment or personality that prevent achieving maximum desirable standard of social and economic well being.
So far as the motives and features of the social work are concerned they are observed differently under different conditions. However, social work is treated basically as a helping activity. Moreover, it is a liaison activity through which disadvantaged individuals or groups may tap community resources. The motives behind social service are generally ego satisfaction, selfishness and sense of religious duties. It is observed that individual as well as societies devoid of Godly Learning undertake social activities, because of the satisfaction of their ego and pride. Furthermore, the motive of social work is noted differently in extreme materialistic viz. capitalist societies. It is observed that huge volume of money spending as charity by capitalists are less due to love and respect of fellow citizens but more for arresting the declining effective demand of the goods and services they produce. Truly speaking this type of charity is of compensatory nature and borne out of the fear that poverty anywhere is danger to the prosperity everywhere. Surprisingly, the capitalist as a bonus of charitable work, gets a mask of philanthrophism to hide his devlish face and bloody clutches to continue with his exploitative designs.
However, social work with its true nature of selfless helping activity is observed only when it is motivated out of religiosity. In fact the very emergence of social action owes its existence to religious teachings. Collier’s encyclopedia tracing the history of social service rightly quotes that…`religion created a social consciousness which responded to need. Modern social work springs from this social consciousness.
ISLAM :- The Godly Ordained Religion, preserved in pristine purity, is imbued with instruction to the service of mankind. In fact it is a complete code of life full of guidance for spiritual as well as material requirement of man, society and the state. Hence any effort in regard to thinking, planning and execution of service to mankind in individual or collective capacities cannot afford to ignore Islamic Teachings related to social relations.
The purpose of the creation of man is to worship Allah, the Almighty. Allah Says:
“I have only created Jinns and Men that they may serve Me.”
The essence of the service of Allah, Almighty is firstly to worship Him and Him alone and secondly to render service to His creatures. These are the two parts of the duties of man. And his success or failure on the Day of Judgement depends on his performance in these two fields. We have been told that Allah Almighty may shower His Mercy and forgive the sins of His Servants (Except of course the sin of making partner to his Lordship) related to Huqooqullah (i.e. duty towards Allah) but will not forgive the sins related to Huqooqulibad ( i.e. duty towards mankind ) unless otherwise the people concerned forgive him. This highlights the importance of duties and responsibilities of a man in religio-social context.
In the Islamic scheme, man is the best creature in the Universe. He not only enjoys wisdom but also freedom of will to approve or disapprove and act or react for prosperity or adversity. But he is created in the best of moulds. Therefore, so long as he preserves and professes the best nature and pattern on which he is created, man himself and the society he makes enjoys peace and prosperity. But ignorance, oversight, whimsical misfit and selfish intercourses result in or initiate and encourage to such phenomenon which thereatens or become a potential danger to certain social values which the people in general cherish. In brief, it is the deviated action of man that results in germination of ills and evils affecting individuals and societies.
“ We have indeed created man in the best of moulds. Then do we abase him (to the) lowest of low except such as believe righteous deeds for they shall have a reward unfailing.”
And regarding the ills and evils that reign over the Universe, misdeeds of men are found responsible.
THE CREATOR SAYS :
“ Mischief has appeared on Land and Sea because of (Meed) that the hands of men have earned. That (GOD) may give them of some of their deeds, in order that they may turn back.”
Thus all evils, sorrows, pains and afflictions are abnormal things which occure due to the twisting of the things created by Allah, Almighty from their pure and holy nature.
Regarding the availability of the provisions for life, Allah, Almighty says:
“If GOD were to enlarge the provision for His servants, they would indeed transgress beyond all bounds through the earth. But he sends(it) down in due measure as His pleasure. For He is with His servants well-acquainted, watchful.”
But lack of provisions for many can not be treated as niggardliness of nature as whatever comes before you, it is the result of your unrighteous deeds.
GOD SAYS :
“This is because which your hand sent before you for GOD never harms, those who serve His.”
Instead, the Creator is all Merciful to His servants. If He had punished His servants for their evil deeds there would remain no man on earth.
HE SAYS :
“ If GOD were to punish men according to what they deserve, He would not leave on the back of the (earth) a single living creature, but He gives them respite for a stated turn when their turn expires, verily God has in His sight all His servants.”
Further Allah, Almighty is the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe. He is the Creator and Sustainer of the rich as well as the poor, Physically and mentally fit and handicapped, of whites and blacks, masters and monks, kings and serfs, believers and non believers, faithfuls and un-faithfuls, spinters and widows, orphans and lames, deafs and dumbs, good doers and bad doers and even insects and animals-pet and poisonous.
Being His creatures alls share His bounties and boons. The able ones struggle and collect their shares themselves. And for those who are unable to collect it themselves, the Creator makes provision for them. He names all such servants as member of His family and makes all of them as His focus of attention. And it is here the concept of social work appears more visiably for thought and action.
ALLAH, ALMIGHTY, the Beneficient, the Most Merciful has provided complete social protection to the needy and indigents of the society. His arrangements can be looked into following heads:
For success in the life Hereafter, the righteousness is a necessary condition. And the righteousness includes not only offering of prayers but also included is the material help to indigents.
ALLAH ALMIGHTY SAYS
“It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces towards East or West: But it is righteousness that ye believe in GOD, and the Last Day and the Angles, and Book, and the Messenger. To spend of your substance out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves, to be steadfast in prayersand practice regular charity; to fulfil the contracts that ye have made. And be firm and patient in pain ( or suffering ) and adversity and throughout all period of panic. Such are the people of truth, GOD fearing.”
( AL BAQR-177)
“Serve God and join not any partners with Him; And do good to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, those in need, neighbours who are near, neighbours who are strangers, the companion of your side, the wayfarer (Ye meet) And what your right hand trosses, for God loveth not the arrogant, the vainglorious.”
“Say” Come rehearse what God hath (really) prohibited you from” join not anything as equal with Him; Be good to your parents; kill not your children on a plea of want. We provide sustenance for you and for them; come not nigh to shameful deeds whether open or secret except by way of justice and law: thus doth He commands you that ye may learn wisdom.”
“Those who spend (freely) whether in prosperity or adversity; who restrain anger, and pardon (all) men, for God loves those who do good.”
“And they feed, for love of God, the indigent, the orphan and the captives.”
“But he hath no haste on the path that is steep. And what will explain to thee what is steep? It is freeing the bondman or the giving food in a day of privation or to the indigent ( down in the dust).”
The above verses of the Quran clearly spell out the characteristics of the righteous person. To help the neighbour and those who are in need is not only described as the characteristic feature of the God fearing people, but the action is made the basis for reward or punishment on the Day of Judgement.
ALLAH, ALMIGHTY WARNS :
“O mankind reverence your guardian-Lord Who created you from a single person, created of like nature, his mate and from the twin, scattered (like seeds) countless men and women. Reverence God through Whom you demand your mutual ( rights ). And (Reverence) the wombs (that bore you) for God ever watches you.”
Commenting upon the social behavious of the people of Bani Israel.
ALLAH ALMIGHTY SAYS
“After this it is ye, the same people, who slay among yourselves, and banish a party of your from their homes; assist (their enemies) against them, in guilt and rancour. And if they come to you as captives, ye ransom them, though it was not lawful for you to banish them, then is it only a part of the book that ye believe in. And do ye reject the rest? But what is the reward for those among you who behave like this but disgrace in this life? And on the Day of Judgement they shall be consigned to the most grievious penalty for God is not unmindful of what you do.”
(SURA AL BAQRA 84-85)
Regarding the behaviour of the guardians of orphan’s, the code of conduct is given as follows:
“And come not nigh to the orphan’s property except to improve it, until he attains the age of full strength: give measure and weight with (full) justice:- No burden do we place on any soul, but that which it can bear:- Wherever ye speaks, speak justly even if a near relative is concerned; and fulfil the convenant of God; thus doth He command you that ye may remember.” (AL ANAM-152)
“Come not nigh to the orphan property except to improve it, until he attains the age of full strength, and fulfil (every) engagement, for every engagement will be enquired into ( on the Day of Reckoning ).
They ask thee concerning orphans say:
“The best thing to do is what is for their good; if ye mix their affairs with yours, they are your brethren: But God knows the man who means mischief from the man who means good and if God had wished, He could have put you into difficulties; He is indeed exalted in Power, Wise.
“They ask thee what they should spend (in charity) say: Whatever ye spend that is good, is for parents and kindred and orphans. And those in want and for wayfarers and whatever ye do that is good-God knowth it well.”
“If one amongst the pagans ask thee for asylum, grant it to him, so that he may hear, the word of God: and then escort him to where he can secure that it because they are men without knowledge.”
And charity is not only to the near and dearones but whosoever requires it. To pursuade people to undertake social activities, several traditions of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) are reported in the Books of traditions. Imam Bukhari reports in Kitabul Adab that Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) said:
“ Those striving for help for help to widows and poors are like those striving in the way of Allah.”
“Recommend for help (to needy) you will get the reward from Allah.”
In Kitabul Ata’ama, Imam Bukhari reports that the Prophet ordered the people to feed hungry, take care of sick and free the slaves. And –
“ The one who visits the sick is in fact like one who is in the fruit garden of Paradise as long as he does not return.”
( Muslim Kitabul Birr)
“ Allah shows not mercy to them who are not merciful to the people.”
( Sahih Muslim )
Concern of the Creator about the needy and indigents can be understood from the following Hadith-e-Qudusi :
“O son of Adam, I was sick but you did not visit Me. He would say: O my Lord, how could I visit Thee whereas Thou art the Lord of worlds? Thereupon He would say-Did not you know that such and such servant of Mine was sick but you did not visit him and were you not aware of this that if you had visited him, you would have found Me by him? O son of Adam, I asked food from you but you did not feed Me? He would say: My Lord how I could feed Thee whereas Thou art the Lord of the worlds? He would say-Didn’t you know that such and such servant of Mine asked food from you but you didn’t feed him and were you not aware that if you had fed him you would have found him by My side? O son of Adam, I asked drink from you but you didn’t provide Me. He would Say: My Lord how could I provide Thee whereas Thou are the Lord of the worlds? Thereupon, He would say: such and such servant of Mine asked you for a drink but you didn’t provide him. And had you provided him drink you would have found him near Me?”
( Sahih Muslim )
Regarding the close relations of the believers the Prophet is reported to have said that:
“Muslims are like one body of person if the eye is sore, whole body aches and if the head aches, the whole body aches.”
“Believers are like one person. If his head aches, the whole body aches with fever and sleeplessness.”
(Sahih Bukhari & Sahih Muslim )
With the above verses and traditions of the Prophet it is crystal clear that service of the people in need is a matter of priority to a GOD fearing man. He not only commands His servants to do social work and remove immediate worries but He also strongly warns His servants to refrain from doing such acts which may in trun create social vices. The following quotations supplants the view that conditions, traditions and practices that germinate ills are completely forbidden:
“ The punishment of those who wage war against GOD and His Apostle, and strive with might and mains for mischief through the land is execution or crucification or the cutting of hands and feet from opposite sides or exile from the land, that is their disgrace in this world and heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter.”
“Do no mischief on earth after it has been set in order: but call on Him with fear and longing (in your hearts) for the Mercy of GOD is near to those who do good.”
“GOD commands justice, the doing of good and liberty to kith and kin and He forbids all shameful deeds and injustice and rebellion. He instructs you that ye may receive admonition.”
“And follow not the bidding of those who are extravagant, who make mischief in the land and menel (their ways).”
“But do thou as GOD has been good to thee and seek not mischief in the lands for GOD loves nto those who do mischief.”
“When ye have done wrong, it will avail you nothing that day, that ye shall be partners in punishment.”
Similarly the traditions of the Prophet are equally vocal in discouraging such actions which give birth to social vices. For instance on one occasion Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) said that he guarantees Heaven for those who guarantee the proper use of tongue and sex organ. Likewise discouraging beggary another important social evils-the Prophet said that beggars will be raised on the Day of Resurrection in their skelton ( and no flesh on body). Further, encouraging the self esteem Prophet is reported to have said that the best food man takes is the one earned by his own hands.
Allah Almighty, has made social action, a characteristic feature of Islamic society. He has encouraged and established collective social action in the Islamic society. The institution of ZAKAT, USHR, FAI and REKAZ may be treated as regular and active social institution which provide complete social security to the people. Truly speaking no code of practice other than Islam has so emphatically instructed and repeatedly asked for social action.
Zakat is the third pillar of Islam. In Islamic Shariah (Law) it is a due (Charity) to be paid by rich. The rich man, holding economic goods as surplus for more than a year is required to pay the said due at the rate of 2.5%. Denial of this institution is in fact denial to the basic tenents of Islam. Moreover, the non payment of Zakat endangers the very status of the believer. It is treated like Namaz. That is why Islamic Shariah wages a war against the denial or non payment of Zakat: The following verses and traditions of the Prophet bear testimony to the above cited facts:
“Alms are for the poor, and the needy and those employed to administer the (Fund); for those whose hearts have been (recently) reconciled (to truth); for those in bondage and in debt; in the cause of GOD: and for the wayfarer, (thus is it) ordained by GOD and GOD is full of knowledge and wisdom.”
“And they have command no more than this; to worship GOD, offering Him sincere devotion, being true (in faith); to establish regular prayer; and to practice regular charity; and that is the religion right and straight.”
( AL BAYYANA-5)
“The believers, men and women, are protectors of one another; they enjoin what is just, and forbid what is evil; they observe regular prayers, practice regular charity and obey GOD and His Apostle. On them will God pool His Mercy for God is exalted in Power, Wise.”
“Those who rehearse the book of GOD, establish regular prayer, and spend (in charity) out of what We have provided for them, secretly and openly Hope for a commerce that will never fail.”
“And there are those bury gold and silver and spend it not in the way of GOD; Announce unto them a most grievious penalty. On the Day when heat will be produced out of that (wealth) in the fire of Hell and with it will be Branded their forheads, their flanks, and their backs: this is the (treasure) which ye buried for your selves; taste ye, then the (treasures) ye buried.”
“Let not those who convetously withhold of the gifts which GOD hath given them of His Grace, think that it is good for them; Nay, it will be the worse for them: Soon shall the things which they convetously withheld Be tied to their necks like a twisted collar, on the Day of Judgement to God belongs the heritage of the Heavens and the earth; and GOD is well acquainted with all that ye do.”
Many tradition of the Prophet may also be quoted in this regard. However, the following few narrations of the sayings are quoted as under :
Zakat shall be collected from the rich and will be distributed among the poor of the society. Whenever a nation (People) refrain from the payment of Zakat, God made them face drought.
Wherever charity (Sadqa) is mixed with wealth, it spoils the wealth.
When Zakat of the wealth is paid, wealth is protected from distruction.
Ushr is a kind of due (charity) levied on the produce of the lands. The farmers are required to pay 5% of the total produce of land which is irrigated and 10% of the total produce of land which is not irrigated. This due, again is for needy and indigent of the society. The Islamic instruction to this effects are found in the Quran and sunnah as under.
“ It is He Who produceth gardens, with trellises and without, and dates and tilth with produce of all kinds, and olives and pomegranates similar (in kind) and different (in variety); eat of their fruit in their season but render the dues that are proper on the day that the harvest is gathered. But waste not by excess: For GOD loveth not the wasters.”
Regarding the rate of due on the produce of land Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim have reported saying of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) as 5% Imam Muslim narrated Hazrat Jabir (R.A.A.) that Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) said:
“The crops irrigated by natural means like rain etc., the due is 10 percent of the produce. And ( the crop) irrigated by the artificial means, like well etc., the due is 5%.
( Sahih Muslim )
A saying of the Prophet of similar content is also quoted by Imam Bukhari as under :
“The crops irrigated by natural means, the due is 10 percent and (the crop) irrigated by organized means, the due is 5 percent.”
( Sahih Bukhari)
It is another institution providing social security to the weaker sections of the society. Fai is defined as the booty acquired in war. Twenty percent of such booty is allocated for Apostle and the needy. The Quranic instruction in this regard are as follows:
“And know that our of all the booty that ye may acquire (in war) a fifth share is assigned to God, and to the Apostle, and to near relatives, orphans, the needy, and the wayfarer, if ye do believe in God and the revelation We send down to our servant on the Day of Testing-the Day of meeting of the two forces, for GOD hath Power over all things.”
“What GOD has bestowed on this Apostle (and taken away) from the people of the townships belongs to God, to His Apostle and to kindered and orphans, the needy and the wayfarer; in order that it may not (merely) make a circuit between the wealthy among you. So take what the Apostle assigns to you, and deny yourselves that which he withholds from you. And fear GOD: for GOD is strict in punishment.”
Rekaz can be treated as the fourth institution providing social security under the Islamic scheme of life. Rekaz referes to the due levied on the buried wealth which includes minerals resources as well as wealth buried by the people. The Islamic instruction to this effect may be quoted as under:
ALLAH ALMIGHTY SAYS :
“O ye who believe give of the good things which ye have (honouraly) earned, and of the fruits of the earth which We have produced for you, and do not even aim at getting anything which is bad.”
The fruit of earth are not only the crops but it also includes resources which are unearthed. This is the basic instruction regarding the Rekaz. However, sayings of the Prophet Mohammed (PBHU) are elaborative in regard to the rate of the payment of due on buried wealth. Abu Huraira reports that Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) has said:
“(The due) in Rekaz is twenty percent.”
(NailulAwtar Vol. 4 PP 147
and Nisal Vol. 5 PP. 44 )
3) LEGAL PROVISIONS
Allah Almighty has further showered His Mercy through award of punishment also. For crimes befitting to its intensity, capital punishments are prescribed. But such punishments can be averted with spending accruing social benefit. The concept of Kaffara is a point to note in this regard. The Principled instructions of Quran in this regard may be quoted as under –
“ O ye believe, the law of of equality is prescribed to you in cases of murder, the free for the free, the slave for the salve, the woman for the woman. But if any remission is made by the brother of the slain, then grant any reasonable demand, and compensate him with handsome gratitude. This is a concession and a Mercy from your Lord. After this whoever exceeds the limits shall be in grave penalty.”
( AL BAQRA 178)
Regarding breaking the promise Allah commands –
“God will not call you to account for what is futile in your oaths. But He will call you to account for your deliberate oaths: for expiation, feed ten indigent persons, on a scale of the average for the food of your families, or clothe them, or give a slave his freedom. If that is beyond your means fast for three days. This is expiation for the oaths ye have sworn. But keep to your oaths. Thus doth GOD make clear to you His signs, that ye may be grateful.”
Regarding the oaths uncalled for the expiation prescribed is:
“But those who divorce their wives by zihar, then wish to go back on the words they uttered,-(it is ordained that such a one) should free a slave before they touch each other: thus are ye admonished to perform and GOD is well acquainted with (all that ye do). And if any has not (the where withal) he should fast for two months consecutively before they touch each other. But if any is unable to do, he should feed sixty indigent ones, this that ye may show your faith in GOD.”
Hajj is an obligation. If any pilgrim is unable to complete any prescribed part of of Hajj, he is liable for expiation
ALLAH COMMANDS :
“And if any of you is ill or has an ailment in his scalp (necessitating shaving), (he should) in compensation either fast, or feed the poor,or offer a sacrifice. And when ye are in peaceful condition (again), if any one wishes to continue the Umra on the the Hajj he must make an offering such as he can afford, but if he cannot afford it, he should fast three day during the Hajj and seven day on his return, making ten days in all, this for those whose household is not in ( the precincts of) the Sacred Mosque and fear GOD and know that GOD is strict in punishment.”
The similar instructions are prescribed in the tradition of the Prophet regarding, expiation of consciously delimiting the Islamic Limits (Hudood)
Example of Social Work
The instances of organized social service can be traced back to the Islamic history. The desirability of organized social service can even be found in the saying of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH). Reacting to Halfal Fadhool-an agreement between tribes of Makka to end war, rivalry and all other type of oppression in the society-Prophet is reported to have said: “Islam has strengthened further the agreement of jahiliya.” Moreover he said. “He whold prefer to accept such call to join even at the cost of hundred red camels.” (the symbol of huge sum) (Seerat Ibn-e-Hisham). With true understanding of letter and spirit of Islamic teaching, Islamic men and Islamic states since the days of Prophet onward have continuously engaged themselves in social action. Manual social service rendered by the first two Caliphs in the individual capacity and philanthropism of Hazrat Usman and Hazrat Abdur Rahman bin Auf (R.A.T.) is known to the students of Islamic history. In fact the whole society was geared up for service to mankind. Further ahead, they were competing with each other in the service of the servant of Allah, almighty. So far as the state orgnised service is concerned, we find several examples. The few among them may be quoted as under:
ABU MUSA CANAL : “Nine miles long canal was dug from river Tigris to supply water to the people of Basra.
AMIRAL MOMIN CANAL : “Joined Red sea with river Nile. It was dug with the purpose of reducing the distance and facilitate water traffic.”
MA’QAL CANAL : “Another canal dug from river Tigris”
In view of the primitive nature of socio-economic structure of the society, public works were undertaken. But if you turn the pages of history of only Muslim period, during Umayyad and Abbasid Rule, the traditions of giving scholarship, construction of roads, bridges, hospitals and Musafirkhana, wells, and planting of trees on public roads etc. are commonly found. As mentioned above there is a great emphasis on rendering service to mankind on the hanes of Islamic teaching.
Strategic Essential for Islamic organizations:
Organisations, parties or movements, organized to undertake Islamic activities have no way but to resort to socially oriented action. The least effort in the cause of social service is that one should feel happy when people around him are happy and feel sad when people around him are sad. And the utmost and the height of social service shall be the one in which a social worker sacrifices himself in removing conditions that create or likely to create problem for the people. This service of servants of Allah is expressed in the following verse of QURAN-
“Thou wouldst only, perchance fret the self to death, following after them in grief, if they believe not in the message.”
Irrespective of their nature and field of operation ultimately aim at the popularization and practice of Godly commandments in the irrespective fields and help to establish an ideal Islamic Society. The approach to work, prescribed by Quran, goes through social service.
ALLAH ALMIGHTY SAYS :
“Invite (all) to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preachings; and aruge with them in ways that are best and most gracious: For thy Lord knoweth best, who have strayed from his path and who receive guidance.”
But the Islamic prescription for utmost effort can be inferred from the following verses of Quran:
“And why should y not fight in the cause of GOD and of those who being weak, are ill treated (and oppressed)? Men, women and children whose cry is; “our Lord” rescue us from this town whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from thee one who will protect; and raise for us from theee one who will help.”
“And fight them on until is no more tumult or oppression and there prevail justice and faith in GOD”.
“And say not of those who are slains in the way of GOD: “They are dead, “Nay they are living though ye perceive it not.”
The Benefactor of Humanity, Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) himself is recorded to have rendered ex-emplary service to mankind. Be it orphan, widow, oppressed, slave etc. all enjoyed the service and sympathy of the prophets. The clause of Sulah-Hudaibia that the Prophet will return Makkah if they go to him but the Makkah will not return Prophet’s companion back to him is a glaring example of sacrifice on the part of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) in collective life. As the life of Prophet is an example, the followers have to adopt it. Looking at Islamic teachings, one is compelled to conclude that social service is a strategic essential of Islamically organized institution or movement. The immediate and apparent gain of such policy may be summarized as follows:
Social service should compulsorily be adopted as of Islamic Dawab as it softens the attitude of the people and prepare them for surrender /submission to Allah, Almighty.
To render help to indigent and needy is the characteristic feature of an Islamic man.
Social service is a more practical method of propagation as it is teaching by doing.
Islamic society provides complete social security to poor and needy. Therefore, Islamic organization, being representative of Ideal Islamic society, must undertake measure in this direction.
Social work suitably places the Islamic worker in an otherwise non-religious society. That is he practices what he teaches and that he is a giver and not a taker. In the real world only those are followed who are in a position to give and not to take.
However, looking at the present situation of Muslim society and Muslim organization, one feels irritated. There seems to be confusion and lack of creative thinking on the part of the individuals as well as organizations. On the one hand social service institutions are not given due attention. While on the other hand, socially conscious group is practically engaged in traditional type in nature and mode of social work required to the changing need of the present day society. Absence of well organized social service institutions, and required type of social service institutions, and required type of social action is testimony to the fact. Some stray instances of exemplary social work is observed with considerable degree of success in its impact. Therefore what is required is a revitatlization of social service spirit and plan of social action. This needs an in-depth study of the various issues and priorities of the present society, Social Policy, thus adopted can only serve the purpose of liberating human society from socio-economic and political slavery.