altruism
3:28:52 2018-03-25 671

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful   
May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon you all.


When coming in contact with a person one of the first things we notice is the positive and negative characteristics of that individual. The more positive characteristics the more likely we are to like that specific individual, regardless of their physical beauty. 
Altruism is considered to be a very positive and likeable characteristic. An altruistic individual is disinterested and shows a selfless concern for the well-being of others. The highest degree of generosity and munificence is altruism. An altruistic person, despite having his own acute needs and necessities, makes a sacrifice by giving others preference over himself. 
Altruism is greatly praised in Islam and is seen to be a quality that has a very high ranking in Islam. Even the act of giving alms occupies a lower rank than altruism. Attaining the pleasure of Allah plays a pivotal role in it. If a person, in an effort to save the life of a drowning person, gets drowned himself, the commendation from the Lord for this self-sacrifice, is a thousand times more than that for the alms which he pays out.
In the Holy Quran Allah says: “And they give others preference over themselves even though they were themselves in need” 
Regarding this the Holy Prophet (PBUH) has said “One, who covets something, (but) suppressing his desire gives others preference over himself, shall have his sins forgiven.” 
Altruism is a humanitarian endeavor praised by all societies.  Practically every nation on earth has stories of great kings, brave warriors and noble men and women who sacrificed their material possessions, status or even themselves for some or other common good. This in particular is greatly demonstrated in the Holy Religion of Islam. 
The Prophet Muhammad, (PBUH)  said in a narration, known to perhaps every devout Muslim: “None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.”
The Prophet (PBUH) used to prefer the poor to himself. He used to give them his food while he suffered hunger to the degree that he, once, tied the stone of hunger on his stomach so as to share the pains of hunger with the poor. 
Imam as-Sadiq (a) narrated: Ali was the most similar to the Prophet. He used to eat bread with oil and serve people with bread and meat.
The following holy Verse was revealed for Ali and his family:
“They feed the destitute, orphans, and captives for the love of Allah, saying: We only feed you for the sake of Allah and we do not want any reward or thanks from you.
With this we can easily conclude that the Ahlul-Bayt (AS) were the absolute embodiment of altruism, they always put the needs of others before their needs. As their followers we should always strive to be more active followers of the Alhul-Bayt (AS). 

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