Building a Society characterized by Solidarity - II

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One of the most important manifestations of solidarity which Islam is keen to instill in our communities is how to treat the elderly and take care of them, starting with one’s parents, acting upon the verse that reads (what means): {And We have enjoined upon man, to his parents, good treatment. His mother carried him with hardship and gave birth to him with hardship, and his gestation and weaning [period] is thirty months.} [Quran 46:15] Also, the Prophet said: “He is not one of us who is not merciful to our youngsters and does not respect and honor our elders.” [At-Tirmithi] Then comes the duty of caring for the orphans, the poor, and the needy, and supporting them. Allah, The Exalted, Says (what means): {They ask you [O Muhammad] what they should spend. Say, “Whatever you spend of good is [to be] for parents and relatives and orphans and the needy and the traveler. And whatever you do of good – indeed, Allah is Knowing of it.”} [Quran 2:215]

This can be achieved by providing job opportunities for all members of the community rather than concentrating the employment opportunities in specific segments or groups, eliminating the obstacles hindering the poor, and empowering them to break free from the feelings of inferiority to their peers.

Another important manifestation of solidarity in Islam is the enjoined kindness towards neighbors by keenly fulfilling their rights and preserving their interests. The Prophet said: “By Allah, he is not a believer! By Allah, he is not a believer! By Allah, he is not a believer.” It was asked, “Who is he, O Messenger of Allah?” He said: “The one whose neighbor does not feel safe from his evil.” [Al-Bukhari]

Another manifestation is honoring guests and offering them hospitality, and this applies to your private guests or those visiting your country, such as tourists or expatriates (guest workers). You should be hospitable to them all; the Prophet said: “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should be hospitable to his guest.” [Al-Bukhari]

There are many ways by means of which the members of the community can contribute to the realization of this solidarity, including: Zakaah, charity, expiation, Waqf (Islamic endowment), Wasiyyah (will), ‘Aariyah (gratuitous loan of non-fungible objects or property), gifts, grants, and others. There are also other means which the government is responsible for, including: carrying out public projects, building infrastructure for the cities and villages, providing job opportunities for all members of the community, facilitating the fulfillment of people’s needs, organizing transportation and communication means, and the means of individual solidarity among the members of the community such as facilitating the establishment of centers for collecting and distributing Zakaah and facilitating their work, acting upon the verse that reads (what means): {Take [O, Muhammad] from their wealth a charity by which you purify them and cause them increase, and invoke [the blessings of Allah] upon them. Indeed, your invocations are reassurance for them. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing.} [Quran 9:103]

These were some of the features and manifestations of social solidarity in light of the teachings of Islam, and there is no doubt that this topic deserves more detailing, but brevity is the soul of wit, and less is always more; and Allah Knows best.



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