Service to Humanity

It is one of the basic commandments of Islam that we should help and serve others. This is what we have been ordered by Allah and His Prophet to do, and this is what we have been taught by our Imams. It is our duty to help a person who is in difficulty, whether he be a Muslim or a non-Muslim.

One day, a friend of Imam al-Sadiq (a) came from some other place to see him in Madina, where the Imam was then staying. In the course of conversation, he said to the Imam, “O' Holy Imam! Some nomads are staying in our town. They come around every now and then and seek help. Unfortunately, they are not Muslims. Should we help them?”

The Imam replied, “It is our duty to help every needy person. It makes no difference whether he is a Muslim or a non-Muslim

Islam considers those rich persons to be virtuous who meet all financial obligations consisting of zakat and rights of the relatives, beggars and the needy.

As and when Imam Ali (a) appointed anyone to the governorship of a province, he used to give the man a number of instructions. One of those instructions was this:

“Always give people their rights, whether they be Muslims or unbelievers. If they are Muslims, they are your brethren in-faith and even if they are not Muslims, they are your fellow beings”.

It is our duty to help every needy person.


1. Is it the duty of Muslims to help the needy even if they are non-Muslims?

2. What instructions did Imam Ali (a) give to the governors regarding human rights?