The call is to all people
The religion of Islam is the religion of benevolence to the people. Therefore the honorable Prophet (peace be upon him) was the best practical example for serving people and meeting their needs.
His sayings are full of examples of exhorting Muslims to serve one another and help others because the one who helps his Muslim brothers, Allah will be in his support. Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “He who alleviates the suffering of a brother out of the sufferings of the world, Allah would alleviate his suffering from the sufferings of the Day of Resurrection, and he who finds relief for one who is hard pressed, Allah would make things easy for him in the world and in the Hereafter, and he who conceals (the faults) of a Muslim, Allah would conceal his faults in the world and in the Hereafter. Allah is at the back of a servant so long as the servant is at the back of his brother.”
Imam An-Nawawi said: “This is a great Hadith, which collects all kind of sciences, rules, and proprieties. Moreover, it contains the virtue of meeting people’s needs and benefiting them with Knowledge, money, aid, advantage, and advice, etc.”
Likewise, the Prophet (peace be upon him) exhorted Muslims to fulfill peoples’ needs. `Abdullah in `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “A Muslim is a brother of another Muslim, so he should not oppress him, nor should he hand him over to an oppressor. Whoever fulfilled the needs of his brother, Allah will fulfill his needs; whoever brought his (Muslim) brother out of a discomfort, Allah will bring him out of the discomforts of the Day of Resurrection, and whoever screened a Muslim, Allah will screen him on the Day of Resurrection.”
Scholars said: As for his saying: “Whoever fulfilled the needs of his brother,” it means: Fulfill it by action or by being a cause for it.
Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “When a person makes efforts to help his brother, he earns the reward for performing I`tikaf for ten years. Whomsoever performs I`tikaf for a day, thereby seeking the pleasure of Allah, Allah will spread three trenches between him and the fire of Hell, the width of each trench being greater than the distance between heaven and earth.”
The Prophet’s exhortation to help the needy
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “And assisting a man to ride upon his beast, or helping him load his luggage upon it, is a Sadaqah; and a good word is a Sadaqah.”
The Prophet’s exhortation to the general benefit of people
Jabir ibn `Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: A scorpion stung one of us as we were sitting with Allah’s Messenger (may peace upon him).
Thereupon, a man said: O Messenger Allah, Shall I use incantation (for curing the effect of sting)? Thereupon the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: Whoever among you is able to benefit his brother, then let him do so. This Hadith is general in all things that may contain benefits, so anyone is able to benefit his Muslim brother or people in general should do so.
The Prophet’s exhortation that a person serves his friends
The Prophet (peace be upon him) passed by a man who used to bake bread for his companions during a journey and the heat of fire harmed him.
Thereupon, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “He shall never be harmed by the heat of Hell-Fire.” Abu `Ubaidah said: The Hadith is a proof that the Messenger of Allah praised that man for serving his companions during the journey.
The Prophet’s exhortation to look after the widow and the needy
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The one who looks after a widow or a poor person is like a Mujahid (warrior) who fights for Allah’s Cause, or like him who performs prayers all the night and fasts all the day.”
The Prophet’s exhortation to treat orphans well and fulfill their needs
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “I and the one who looks after an orphan will be like this in Paradise,” showing his middle and index fingers and separating them.”
The Prophet’s exhortation to reconcile between people by saying: “And for every day on which the sun rises there is a reward of a Sadaqah (i.e. charitable gift) for the one who establishes justice among people.”
The Hadith contains exhortation to reconcile among people. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said to Abu Ayyub (may Allah be pleased with him): Shall I guide you to a charity which pleases Allah and His Messenger? He said: Yes, O Messenger of Allah. He said: Reconcile between people when their relations are corrupt and bring them near when they are apart.”
The Prophet’s exhortation to help the fool
Abu Dhar (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated: I asked the Prophet (peace be upon him): “What is the best deed?” He replied: “To believe in Allah and to fight for His Cause.” I then asked, “What is the best kind of manumission (of slaves)?” He replied, “The manumission of the most expensive slave and the most beloved by his master.” I said: “If I cannot afford to do that?” He said, “Help the weak or do good for a person who cannot work for himself.” I said, “If I cannot do that?” He said, “Refrain from harming others for this will be regarded as a charitable deed for your own good.”
The Prophet’s exhortation to spend for the sake of Allah and guide the lost
Al Bara’ ibn `Azib (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that he heard the Prophet (peace be upon him) say, “If anyone gives a Manihah of milk or silver, or guides one who is lost then he will get reward for setting free a male slave or a female slave.”
So, we are in dire need to ponder over these examples, their meanings, and wisdom because there are no instructions equal or even try to reach its status.
We need to apply them and act according to their instructions.