Spread goodness


Saudi Gazette

There is a saying of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) that states, “Righteousness is in good character.”

The doors to spreading goodness are many, and a praiseworthy believer is the one who varies his/her acts of goodness and kindness. Each different act of kindness can help someone in your community, and at the same time it will leave a special, distinct, and sweet feeling in your heart.

It is good to train your soul with various and different acts of kindness just as it is good for your body to vary your exercise routine in order to strengthen different muscles in your body.

I have gathered from different sayings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) a long list of simple acts we can do that will, Number 1: bring a bit of happiness to our fellow brothers and sisters. Number 2: help us gain ample rewards from Allah. Number 3: impart an unmatched sense of personal satisfaction and inner peace in our hearts.

The first and easiest act of kindness is to greet whomever we encounter in the best way possible, to wish them peace. At work, at school, in the hospital, or in the market, be the first one to say, “Asalamu Alaikum.”

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “The person nearest to Allah is one who is the first to offer greeting.” (Abu Dawud)

It is the most beautiful of greetings. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon you.

A man once asked the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), “Which act in Islam is the best?” He (peace be upon him) replied, “To give food, and to greet everyone, whether you know or you do not.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

When someone sneezes, it is not only an act of goodness, but it is even obligatory for you to say, “May Allah have mercy on you.”

You may think little of it, but Allah will reward you immensely for removing litter or something harmful from the path of the people in your neighborhood or community. If you notice something harmful lying on the road, do not wait for the sanitation workers to pick it up, you take the initiative and discard it properly so you can earn great rewards.

Our Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “A man passed by a branch of a tree leaning over a road and decided to remove it, saying to himself, ‘By Allah! I will remove it from the way of Muslims so that it would not harm them.’ On account of this, he was admitted to Paradise.”

Quench the thirst of someone who is hot, exhausted, and thirsty, and Allah will quench your thirst on the most fearful and tumultuous day, the Day of Judgment. Make this your new favorite good deed for this month, seek the janitors working on the streets during the heat of the midday, and distribute cold water bottles among them. A wonderful charity is to build a well in a village with water shortages.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “Whichever Muslim quenches the thirst of another Muslim, Allah will grant him drink from Ar-Rahiq Al-Makhtum.” (Abu Dawud)

Ar-Rahiq Al-Makhtum is a special drink in Paradise promised for the righteous believers.

Feed the hungry. Rather than prepare lavish dinner parties for your friends, cook delicious meals, package them, and deliver them to the homeless women and children roaming the streets, begging. There are plenty of worldwide campaigns to join for providing food in hunger-stricken countries.

One of my favorite Hadith, or saying, of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) summarizes some of the best acts of kindness and piety that we can do to improve our level of faith.

He (peace be upon him) said, “O people, exchange greetings of peace, feed people, strengthen the ties of kinship, and be in prayer when others are asleep, you will enter Paradise in peace.” (At- Tirmidhi)

Sometimes, what our sister or brother in Islam needs is not food or donations. Sometimes they really just need a kind word, someone to listen to them, or maybe someone to baby-sit their young kids, or they may need a ride in your car, or some other service that is not necessarily material.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him said, “Whoever relieves a believer’s distress of the distressful aspects of this world, Allah will rescue him from a difficulty of the difficulties of the Hereafter.”

Try to figure out what your friend in distress needs, and try to be there for her. It could be honest and gently advice, it could be help studying for an exam, or it could be going with her to a doctor’s appointment she may be nervous about. For helping someone in distress, Allah may easy your distress on the day you will need it most, the Day of Judgment.

Do not belittle any act of kindness, even if it means making room for someone to sit next to you in a crowded room or bus, and making them feel welcome.

Since it was mentioned in the Holy Qur’an in the following verse, it is important to take into consideration in our gatherings.

(O you who have believed, when you are told, “Space yourselves” in assemblies, then make space; Allah will make space for you [i.e. in Allah’s mercy or in Paradise].) (Qur’an 58:11)

A valuable act of goodness that you may be unaware of is to reconcile two people who are experiencing a rift in their relationship. You could help two arguing coworkers get along better with one another, you could bring two estranged friends together, or you could help a married couple settle some dispute. Be the one to always reconcile rather than separate and fuel anger.

This act of goodness was specifically commended by the Prophet (peace be upon him), as it was reported that he said, “The son of Adam does not act with anything better than prayer, reconciliation between people, and good character.” (Shu`ab al-Iman)

Plant a flower, a shrub, or a tree, because it will bring benefit to not only people, but also other living creatures.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “Muslims will always earn the reward of charity for planting a tree, sowing a crop and then birds, humans, and animals eat from it.” (Bukhari)

Give your neighbors a gift or bake them a cake.

The doors to spreading goodness are many. We can make an effort to vary our acts of goodness and try to use as many doors as possible. Do not be stuck in only one act or righteousness; try several. Share your stories of spreading goodness with us.