By: Mirza Noorul Hasan Lucknowi

Serving the people and meeting their needs was part and parcel of the life of the Imams peace be upon them. Imam Jawad (as) was a pioneer in this field also.

In this regard the Imam said:

ثَلاثٌ یُبَلِّغْنَ بِالْعَبدِ رِضْوانَ اللَّهِ کَثْرَةُ الاسْتِغْفارِ وَ خَفْضُ الْجانِبِ وَ کَثْرَةُ الصَّدَقَةِ.

Humans having three good characteristics can reach the divine pleasure and happiness:

  1. Continuous Istighfaar (asking for forgiveness from Allah),
  2. Being tolerant with people (humbleness and humility) and
  3. Dispensing a lot of charity.

According to the Imam Jawad:

Serving the people is due to the Divine Mercy of Allah on the man, and if anyone has shortcoming and negligence in this area, he may risk losing the divine blessings.

This is why the Imam says:

ما عَظُمَتْ نِعمَةُ اللّهِ عَلی عَبْدٍ الاّ عَظُمَتْ عَلَیهِ مَؤُونَةُ النّاسِ. فَمَنْ لَمْ یَتَحَمَّلْ تِلْکَ الْمَؤُونَة فَقَدْ عَرَضَ النِّعمَةَ لِلزَّوالِ

Abundant blessings are not bestowed upon anyone unless more people would come to him for their needs. Anyone who does not work hard to fulfil the needs of the people, risks losing those blessings.

Explanation and elaboration

Honourable deeds and service to others and work of good are more beneficial for the doer of them than for those in need, so the Imam says:

‘The righteous people have more need of good deeds that they do for others, than the people in need themselves, because heavenly reward, honour and good name are registered in the records of actions of good people.

Whoever, works to alleviate people’s needs, and does good to them by being generous, has actually first served himself and has done good to himself, hence, he should not expect any gratitude and acknowledgement in exchange for the good that he has done.’