We often hear that Aussie Muslims fail to integrate or contribute to Australian society.
However, the fact is, that Aussie Muslims are obliged to not only integrate but contribute to societal progress and facilitate community wellbeing. A fundamental obligation for every Muslim is to serve mankind, to promote good, and to establish the welfare of society. These contributions all stem from a very important teaching of Islam – that of service to humanity.
His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community stated: “Service to humanity is an obligation upon every human being. We must fulfil the needs of people regardless of their faith and we should seek to understand one another based upon the principles of humanity. According to the teachings of Islam, if a person fails to do this, then their worship is worthless.”
Any humanitarian effort undertaken by Muslims is simply because this is what Islam teaches.
The Holy Quran provides guidance shedding light on the purpose of our being:
The Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad further explains: “We seek no praise and no reward for our humanitarian efforts because we are merely doing what our religion has taught us to do.”
So, what does service to humanity entail?
The Holy Quran instructs Muslims to spend their time, wealth, and knowledge to promote goodwill:
Without fulfilling the rights of mankind, Muslims cannot truly claim to be wholeheartedly fulfilling the rights owed towards one’s faith, and God. For a Muslim, loving God means that one must also always love God’s creation: “If you believe in the Creator you must also believe in his Creation. If you love the artist you must also love his art.” (His Holiness Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, 4th Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community)
It is the duty of all Muslims to always be actively contributing in every way possible to society.
As the Holy Quran justifies: “The reward of goodness is nothing but goodness.” (55:61).
“Muslims are taught to be the ones who comfort and love those people who have been failed by society and to carry the weight of their burdens on their own shoulders.” (His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community)
In terms of God’s creation, Islam does not teach us to fulfil only the rights of humans, but rather it teaches that every living creature, must be treated with love, mercy and compassion. The truth is that Allah has directly intertwined and interwoven the rights due to Him with the rights due to mankind. The Holy Prophet of Islam, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) stated: “If a Muslim plants a tree or sows seeds, and then a bird, or a person or an animal eats from it, it is regarded as a charitable gift for him.” (Sahih al-Bukhari Book 41, Hadith 1)
Further, charitable acts are not restricted, even small acts of humanity and empathy are considered important and beneficial for serving mankind: Even “Removing harmful things from the road is an act of charity, and this is because “There is a reward for serving any living being.” (Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him). Further explaining, Prophet Muhammad also said: “Your smiling in the face of your brother is charity, commanding good and forbidding evil is charity, your giving directions to a man lost in the land is a charity for you. Your seeing for a man with bad sight is a charity for you, your removal of a rock, a thorn or a bone from the road is a charity for you. Your pouring what remains from your bucket into the bucket of your brother is a charity for you.”
The ultimate goal for every Muslim should be to spread peace and love and to serve humanity only for the pleasure of God.
The greatest example of such Muslims, are those from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, who actively provide aid and assistance to those in need irrespective of race, religion or politics across the world. Within Australia, in the past year alone, the Community collected $84,000 for the Australian Red Cross (a Christian based organisation) – the highest community-based funds to be ever raised in Australia. Similarly, on Clean Up Australia Day in 2018, they maintained the top three positions for the fourth consecutive year nationwide by having 1094 volunteers collected 2370 kg of rubbish. And if that wasn’t enough, they also raised $1300 for the cause. It doesn’t end there. They raised $6500 for Dementia Australia through the “Walk for Peace” initiative; planted more than 26,700 trees over two years across 23 sites for National Tree Day; fed 3000 homeless people; donated nearly 400 bags of blood, saving 900 lives; and spent 24,000 hours volunteering across the nation.
So, what do you think?
Are Australian Muslims integrating and contributing enough?
Regardless of what sensationalist media may have us believe, we definitely think so!