On the authority of Abu Huraira (RadhiAllahu Anhu) from the Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) who 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. Whoever alleviates [the situation of] one in dire straits who cannot repay his debt, Allah will alleviate his lot in both this world and in the Hereafter. Whoever conceals [the faults of] a Muslim, Allah will conceal [his faults] in this life and the Hereafter. Allah is helping the servant as long as the servant is helping his brother. Whoever follows a path in order to seek knowledge thereby, Allah will make easy for him, due to it, a path to Paradise. No people gather together in a house of the houses of Allah, reciting the Book of Allah and studying it among themselves, except that tranquility descended upon them, mercy covers them, the angels surround them and Allah makes mention of them to those in His presence. Whoever is slowed by his deeds will not be hastened forward by his lineage.”
[Recorded in Muslim]
“Allah is helping the servant as long as the servant is helping his brother.”
We can see from this statement of the Prophet, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, that Allah rewards His servants in a manner similar to the deeds that they perform. If we are helping our brother or sister, Allah will help us in return. This particular hadith gives us further cause for reflection. Allah promises to be our helper if we help one another, and who could be a better helper than Allah? If Allah is helping us, would we need for anything?
This also shows us what the ideal Islamic society should look like. It is a society in which its members help each other and support each other and encourage each other to do what is best. Allah, all praises and glory be to Him, commands us:
“Help one another in acts of piety and righteousness. And do not assist each other in acts of sinfulness and transgression. And be aware of Allah. Verily, Allah is severe in punishment”
Hence we should help each other to do good and avoid helping others in acts that would displease Allah.
A hadith of the Prophet, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, illustrates the reward of helping one another. Anas (RadhiAllahu Anhu) narrated that the Prophet, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, and his Companions were on a journey, and some of the Companions were fasting whilst others were not. Those who were fasting were struggling to perform the chores of feeding the animals and preparing the food and so forth, so those who were not fasting performed these tasks for them. Although fasting is an act that is extremely pleasing to Allah, the Prophet, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, said of their situation:
“Those who were not fasting took all of the reward today.”
[Recorded in al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Those who were not fasting received such a great reward because they were helping their brothers who were in need.
Helping one another is not limited to doing a deed on another’s behalf, it also includes the other deeds previously referred to in this hadith, including relieving someone in a distressful situation, relieving debt or interceding on their behalf. We should therefore use our physical and material means as well as other means such as our reputation and authority to help those in need. When we do this, we will find the most blessed of things, Allah as our helper.