There are people who are persecuted and tortured to death: innocent babies, people who cannot even afford a loaf of bread, who sleep in cold weather, in tents and even on the streets, who cannot afford medical treatment, or who, despite being old and weak, have to wait for hours, or even days, for hospital care, people who are killed just for belonging to a certain race, women, children and old people who are thrown out of their homes because of their religion, enormous extravagance alongside poor people suffering from starvation and neglect, who are just left to die, children too young and defenseless to be able to look after themselves, children who leave school to work or beg for money to help their families survive, people who live with the constant fear of being slaughtered by their enemies.
Everybody is aware of the existence of such people as these. Almost every day we come across pictures of these helpless, miserable, homeless, and needy people in the papers or on TV. Many people see their plight and pity them. However, they then either turn off the channel they have been watching, or else they turn over the pages of the newspaper they have been reading and forget they exist once more.
Most people never think that they have to make an effort to save these people from the terrible conditions they live in. They ask, “Is it up to me to save these people when there are so many rich and powerful people in the world?” and leave the responsibility to others.
However, prosperity and power alone are not enough to save these people and to make this world a place where justice, peace, security, and well-being prevail. For instance, despite the existence of many rich and developed countries in the world, people in Ethiopia are still dying from hunger. That people are still going hungry despite the present advanced state of technology and the many resources in the world is a clear indication that wealth and power by themselves are not enough.
In order for wealth and power to be used for the well being of these poor and needy people, first of all, we have to be conscientious. The sole way of being conscientious is through belief. Only if people who believe consistently and act conscientiously can there be a solution to injustice, chaos, terror, massacres, hunger, poverty, and oppression. The one solution is the morals of the Qur’an.
When we look at the problems in the world in general, we see that they are all caused by feelings such as hatred, malice, antagonism, self-interest, selfishness, indifference, and cruelty. The way to finding a solution to these and eliminating them lies in love, compassion, mercy, pity, the zeal to serve without expecting anything in return, sensitivity, sacrifice, brotherhood, tolerance, reason, and wisdom. These traits are only found in those who fully live by the morals in the Qur’an. In one of His verses, Allah refers to the Qur’anic aspect of leading people out of darkness to light:
” . . . Indeed there has come to you from Allah a light (Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him) and a plain Book (this Qur’an). Wherewith Allah guides all those who seek His Good Pleasure to ways of peace, and He brings them out of darkness by His Will unto light and guides them to the Straight Way (Islamic Monotheism).” (Al-Ma’idah 5:15-16)
In another verse, Allah states that everything which conflicts with the Qur’an will end in corruption and confusion:
“And if the truth had been in accordance with their desires, verily, the heavens and the earth, and whosoever is therein would have been corrupted! Nay, We have brought them their reminder, but they turn away from their reminder.” (Al-Mu’minun 23:71)
At the very moment you are reading this, millions of poor people are either suffering, or trying to avoid dying from hunger or cold. Or else they are being torn away from their homes, families and children, and forced to leave their homelands.
For this reason, conscientious people must think about all this and act as if these troubles, adversities, and hardships had befallen themselves or their loved ones. Or they must look for ways to help those who ask for spiritual or material help. In the following verse, Allah orders conscientious and faithful people with common sense to assume this responsibility:
What reason could you have for not fighting in the way of Allah – for those men, women and children who are oppressed and say, “Our Lord, take us out of this city whose inhabitants are wrongdoers! Give us a protector from You! Give us a helper from You!” (An-Nisa’ 4:75)
The most important thing for Muslims to do is to struggle in the intellectual domain so that the morals of the Qur’an prevail against lack of religion. The only salvation for the weak, helpless, homeless, and destitute is the widespread practice of the morals of the Qur’an by all the people of the world. For this reason telling people about the morals in the Qur’an and communicating the message is a very important and pressing way of worshipping for all Muslims. As is also stated in the Qur’an : “And Our duty is only to convey plainly (the Message).” (Ya-Sin 36:17).
Those who do not use their consciences, who behave indifferently and uninterestedly towards orphans, the poor, and the unhappy, who spend the possessions given to them on vain things in the life of this world, who coldly watch women, children and old people under oppression, who feel happy at the spread of all kinds of immorality and ugliness in the world, and who encourage this point of view, will certainly account for all that in the hereafter as Allah says in the following verses:
Have you seen him who denies the Recompense? That is he who repulses the orphan (harshly) and urges not on the feeding of Al-Miskin (the poor). So woe to those performers of Salat (prayers) (hypocrites). Those who delay their Salat. Those who do good deeds only to be seen (of men). And withhold Al-Ma’un (small kindnesses like salt, sugar, water). (Al-Ma`un 107:1-7)