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Compassion for all

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Among many other welfare institutions and non-government organizations operative globally, Saylani Welfare International Trust of Pakistan has a remarkable record of helping people. As per reports, the Trust has hundreds and thousands of beneficiaries across the country. Besides serving as a social welfare institution, it provides spiritual guidance to the people. That deserves appreciation. In the current situation – COVID-19 Pandemic – the trust is in active mode and is discharging the duty of care.
However, Trust caught flak when, according to the news item published in daily newspapers recently, it denied food supplies to poor non-Muslims. The non-Muslims were told that the Trust is for Muslims, only Muslims – certainly, hate evoking idea. Such a jarring attitude from this Muslim body in an ongoing situation was unthought-of. It is unsympathetic on the part of Trust’s management and is the brazen violation of the tenets of Islam.
If we look at the Constitution of Madinah, Messenger of Mercy Muhammad (SAAW) has introduced a separate clause for the welfare of Non-Muslims. Prophet’s (SAAW) approach towards Non-Muslims constitutes one of the important aspects of His biography. Numerous books have been authored from time to time on this subject indicating the conduct of Prophet towards Non-Muslims. Ahadees (reports of the sayings and actions of Muhammad (SAAW) are testimony to the fact that Allah’s Apostle’ treated non-Muslims with love and respect. Prophet (SAAW) looked at every non-Muslim as a potential Muslim. He dealt with them with such an honour that He attracted them to faith.
Islam protects animal rights. Treating animals well is considered a righteous deed in Islam. Abu Huraira reports, The Prophet (SAAW), said, “A wench had once been forgiven. She passed by a dog panting near a well. Thirst had nearly killed him, so she took off her sock, tied it to her veil, and drew up some water. Allah forgave her for that.” (Al Bukhari). When quenching the thirst of dog can lead a prostitute to heaven, what about serving a ‘human’ about which Allah (SWT) says: I have honoured the sons of Adam; provided them with transport on land and sea; given them for sustenance things, good and pure and “conferred on them special favours, above a great part of our creation (Al-Isra).
Also, Prophet (SAAW) has been sent as “Rehmatan Lil Aalameen” – Mercy for all that exists and not only for Muslims as the Quran says (Al-Anbya). Therefore, followers of Beloved Prophet (pbuh) need to be compassionate towards all, regardless of religious beliefs. When Prophet’s mercy is for one and all, how can his adherent be nonchalant about others?
Pandemic COVID-19 does not discriminate. It does not see your religion, which caste you belong to, and which family are you from. It just affects. Thus, everyone at present is suffering in one way or the other. Social workers, who are working on the ground, should try to understand the truth that this Coronavirus infects indiscriminately and it is an occasion for responding to it without discrimination. At this moment, we need to put aside the differences and make joint efforts for the welfare of entire humanity.
I am hoping the authorities of the mentioned Trust will take cognizance of this matter. If it is their policy, there is an urgent need to alter it. Other organizations doing charity-work should also desist from this approach. It is time to think beyond the manufactured barriers. There is a need to be human-centric rather than community, religion, and sect specific. Only then, we can defeat the prevailing Coronavirus crises.
I hope better sense will prevail and people will refrain from bedimming the bright picture of Islam through their close-mindedness and misconception.