A SOCIETY SHOULD NOT lead an individualistic life full of crises and chaos. The needs of human life is to live by assisting and depending on each other. One’s life will not be complete without the presence of others. A person’s need lies in another person. Therefore he should maintain a good relationship with others. Within this relationship there is a necessity for his own need.
It means that besides fulfilling the spiritual needs, loving and caring amongst mankind also fulfils the physical needs in life. If he is not kind towards others, he would live alone facing various problems. For example:
1. There is a rich person who does not mingle with others in a village because they are not as rich as he is, could he survive by himself? What would happen if a fire broke out in his home? To whom would he ask for help? Or one of his family members dies, to whom would he go to? Or if he would like to hold a feast, who would help to make it a success?
Or when he falls sick, does he not need someone to help cure his illness? Without the presence of others, the wealth he owns could not fulfil his needs in life. He would face all kinds of problems. The only solution is no other than being kind, loving and caring towards other human beings.
In the West today, when man chooses to live by himself, not wanting the presence of others, it does happen where the aged die alone in their homes and it takes days for the neighbours to know about it. Even so, the neighbour who realises the death does not assist in the burial process but only to inform the police and the hospital and let them take care of the rest. Is that a nice way to live and die?
The same thing happens in other emergency cases where the surrounding community does not come out to help but leave everything to the authority who does not know each other. The assistance given is merely done on the basis of carrying out their formal duties and is not done from their hearts. Are we satisfied with such involuntary assistance?
2. Leaders need their followers. This could be observed during the election time whereby various appeals are made by the politicians to win their votes. They have to buy votes, commit bribery and make empty promises to gain the sympathy from the people. Ironically, once the elections are over, they neglect the people. Whereas if the leader were to continue being kind and loving towards the people, when the next election, they could avoid making an intense campaign, need not buy votes and make more empty promises. Once the people love their leaders, their votes are casted willingly. Leaders are supposed to realise this fact and make an effort to consider and care for the feelings of the people more than their own family members. The reason being that the people’s choice make them become leaders. But why is it today, there is a near total absence of sincere love from the heart of the 2 4 i”he Society needs love followers towards their leaders? What exists today are the relationships bounded by duties and self interests to obtain material and benefit. Whereas, when the leaders are not present, the people spite behind their leaders’ backs and forget them. Thus, the leaders are forced to bribe the people with money to gain respect and praises. This is “money-loved” which is not the pure love and care.
3. Thinking further, we can see the natural relationship among man which requires that man should love and care for each other. The rice that we eat, the farmer grows it. The fish that we serve, the fisherman catches it; brought to our homes by the vendors or brought to the market by the businessmen. The houses that we live in, the carpenters build them. The car that we drive, others had gone through various difficulties to build it; and so forth. Between us and the others, we need and depend on each other whether we realise it or not, directly or indirectly. Whether we like it or not, we have to accept it.
The above situations do not happen in the animal kingdom. Therefore, if the animals do not live as a society collectively, it would not be their loss or wrong. They do not need or depend on each other.
But human being should live within a society collectively. Although we have paid for the services of the farmers, fishermen, carpenters and others, but would it not be better if we make payments along with feelings of gratitude. Show some love and care for his willingness to be a source of income for us. The money we paid would be finished, but the love and care given would generate a good relationship, consideration for others and a feeling of togetherness.
Which is more beautiful, two people bonded together by material objects such as money or two people bonded with love? When bonded by material objects, man is deprived of friendliness, relationships or friendships. They do not visit 2 5 Love & Care: The Key to Universal unity each other, entertain, laugh and cry together. What is so appealing about living alone in a house without friends to pay him a visit, shoulder his problems alone and even laugh alone? Indeed, the reality of a relationship based on material gain is passive and devoid of feelings. Thus, let us give priority to the bonding of hearts than materialism. For love and care is more precious and contains more wisdom than money.
4. Through our own experience in life, once in a while we would encounter difficulties, sickness, poverty, accidents and various trials of life. Do we not require others to help us in these situations? If nobody helps us, we are faced with a greater difficulty and pain. This means that when others suffer from difficulty, we should help them. They need us badly just as we need them.
Therefore, we cannot avoid the need to depend on each other although we might not want it. Thus, would it not be better to foster a loving and caring relationship rather than having an individualistic life. Assistance given with due love and care is meaningful whereas any assistance rendered with a sour face and with insults would only serve to hurt the feelings of others. Thus, it is clear that love and care is greatly needed in our life. Without which, man would be in a great difficulty.
5. Why do we prefer and have the heart to do things that not only make others hate us but also cause love to perish? Until it ends up in tension and chaos? The effect not only causes difficulty to others but also to himself. Do we like it if we are in difficulty? If it is not true, then why do we let ourselves do things that would ruin love and care as well as harmony in the midst of a society, which will ultimately cause hardship to others?
6. As we have mentioned before, man has a natural instinct of wanting to be loved and not being disliked. Man realises this attribute of his, he understands and is able to read his own feelings because he experiences all the time. When somebody shows their love to him, he is very happy. When somebody expresses hatred, he suffers. Thus, man should understand that just like how he feels, the others feel the same way too. If he likes to be loved and does not like to be despised, others too would feel likewise. But why doesn’t man make an effort to give love? Why do they think about themselves only, and do not bother to think or consider others?
With the views expressed above, I would like to emphasize that love and care is greatly needed in the life of the human society. We should struggle to uphold love and care in the society. Man should not imitate the jungle community (animal world) that live individualistically because love and care is not important in the jungle. In the village, town and the human society, love is important. Without love and care, man would always be in the state of difficulty, anxiety, worry, and distress.
In striving to uphold love, we have to begin by sacrificing all of our individualistic attitude and craving for worldly gains. We have to consider the feelings of others as we do towards our ownself. We have to share our wealth and not monopolize it alone.
This is the teachings in Islam. Islam gives priority to the value of love and care more than to the price of this world and its contents. However, this has been forgotten by Muslims and even their ulama. The need for love and care is far greater than the need for material things. People who love and care each other could live eventhough they are poor. But how many rich people suffer a tormenting life because of the lack of love and care?
With love and care, man could live, without using much money. They work together to build houses without having to pay for the construction service. They cooperate to plant rice without having to reward the planters and so forth. But now, with the absence of love, to manage a burial ceremony also requires a lot of money. Otherwise, the corpse wolud rot and left unburied. What more, to build a house, if there is no wages given, then no house would be built.
Any intention to get married would be futile if you do not have money. People no longer marry based on pure love, but it is solely to fulfil their lusts and they have to pay a high price for it.
We would not lose anything if we were to pay or replace money with love. For love is extremely valuable and precious. It strengthens the soul and serves as the source for peace and happiness. May we successfully regain a life filled with love and care by saving ourselves from the encroachment of our desire towards worldly craze and materials.
ABUYA SHEIKH IMAM ASHAARI