Enrichment Through Selflessness
Self-Denial in Ramadan
Muslims are commanded in the Qur’an to fast during the month of Ramadan in order to learn self-restraint. From the coming of dawn (approximately 4:30 a.m. in Memphis in mid-May) until sunset, Muslims refrain from food, drink,
marital intimacy, and even anger and quarreling. On the eve of the holy month of Ramadan, the Prophet said “A great month has come upon you, a blessed month.
It is the month of endurance, and the reward of endurance is Paradise. It is the month of sharing with others, and a month in which the believer’s provision is increased. It is a month whose beginning is mercy, whose middle is forgiveness and whose end is freedom from hell-fire.”
Selfless Preference For The Well-Being Of Others
Eethaar, or selflessness, is one of the noble qualities emphasized in Al-Islam. In essence, selflessness is the preference for the well-being of others ahead of oneself. The selfless person is generous with his/her time and freely lends aid and
support to others.
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) reminded the believers of the noble quality of selflessness when he said: “None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother, what he loves for himself ”. His noble companions, keen to heed the advice of the Messenger, exemplified selflessness. There are numerous examples of their tendency to place others above themselves.
In regard to such acts of kindness, Allah said the following about the Ansar (“Helpers” – residents of Medina who befriended the Meccan believers who had left behind all their belongings when they emigrated from Mecca): “And those who, before them, had homes and had adopted the Faith, love those who emigrate to them, and have no jealousy in their breasts for that which they have been given and give them preference over themselves, even though they were in need of that. And whosoever is saved from his own covetousness, such are they who
will be the successful” Al-Qur’an- Surah (Chapter) 59: Ayah (Verse) 9
And Allah also says: “And they give food, despite their love for it (or the love of Him), to the poor, the orphan, and the captive, (Saying) ‘We feed you seeking Allah’s Countenance only. We wish for no reward, nor thanks from you.’ ” Al-Qur’an- Surah (Chapter) 76: Ayaat (Verses) 8-9
Quotations on Selflessness
I’d like somebody to mention that day that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to
give his life serving others.
I’d like for somebody to say that day that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to love somebody.
I want you to say that day that I tried to be right on the war question.
I want you to be able to say that day that I did try to feed the hungry And I want you to be able to say that day that I did try in my life to clothe those who were naked.
I want you to say on that day that I did try in my life to visit those who were in prison.
I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity.
Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace.
Say that I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter.
The Rev. Dr. MLK’s Last Sermon, “The Drum Major Instinct”
It is in giving that we receive.
St. Francis of Assisi
Always do good to others. Be selfless. Mentally remove everything and be free. This is divine life. This is the direct way to Moksha or salvation.
Only those who have learned the power of sincere and selfless contribution experience life’s deepest joy: true fulfillment.