One of the best ways of strengthening social relations is by fulfilling the needs of people. Islam has laid special emphasis on this. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and the infallible Imams (a.s.) have stressed on this topic. The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) said,
“One who goes to fulfill the needs of his believing brother and spends an hour in it, whether it is during the day or night, (whether that need is fulfilled or no) but based on this effort and attempt, his reward is more than staying for a month in e’tekaaf in the Masjid al-Haraam.”1
Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) says:
“Compete with each other in doing goodness to the believing brothers so that you are included among the good-doers. There is a door in Paradise called ‘Ma’roof’. Only the one who has done good deeds in this world will be able to enter through it. Certainly, when a servant goes to fulfill the need of his believing brother, Allah, Mighty and Majestic be He, appoints two angels for him, one on his right and the other on his left. Both these angels continue to seek forgiveness for this servant from Allah and pray for the fulfillment of his needs.”2
Safwaan-e-Jammaal was a trusted companion of the infallible Imams (a.s.). He says, “I was in the presence of Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) when a person named Maimoon from Mecca entered. He started complaining about his grievances and not having enough money to pay his rent. Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) told me: “Go and help your brother.” I stood up and arranged for his rent. Then I returned to the holy presence of Imam (a.s.). Imam (a.s.) asked me: “What did you do for your brother?” I replied: May my parents be held your ransom! Allah has fulfilled his need. Imam (a.s.) replied: “Helping a Muslim brother is dearer to me than circumambulating (the Holy Ka’bah).”3
Resolving the difficulties of people and fulfilling their needs carry excessive rewards near Allah the Almighty and the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). This fulfillment is not restricted only to monetary help. If one does not have enough money to help, he can help by requesting someone else, directing towards a generous person and even through prayers. These needs could either be material and worldly or religious and spiritual. Informing an ignorant person of a religious act is also considered as fulfilling his religious need. Equipping someone with education and good morals is also regarded as fulfilling the spiritual need. The more a person fulfills or tries and strives to fulfill the needs of others, the more his needs will be fulfilled by Allah.