Worship and service are inseparable (DW#408)

In Sura Maida, the Quran whilst talking about whom to take as guardians friends or protectors, says: those who keep up prayers and give alms while they bow[Quran 5:55] 

The verse refers to an incident in the life of the Holy Prophet (saw) which is reported by his companions. The companion reports: ‘Once I performed the noon prayers in a mosque, behind the Prophet (saw) then, a beggar came in but no one attended to him. The beggar extended his hands towards the heaven and said, ‘O God, bear witness! Here, in the mosque of the Prophet of God (saws) I asked (to be given something), but no one attended to me.’

Ali (as), who was in the state of ruku’, saying his prayers, gestured with his hand, inviting the beggar to take a ring which was on his little finger. The beggar stepped closer and removed the ring from Ali’s (as) finger. This incident took place in the presence of the Prophet (saws)’. Ref 

This verse is often used to encourage the practice of giving charity whenever it is required and scholars use it to remind believers to emulate Ali’s example by giving charity as soon as one recognizes that someone is in need. (ref: The Study Quran)

Whilst reflecting on the occasion of revelation of this verse, it is interesting to note that no one heard the man when he called out to the people but when he complained to, and asked God directly, He answered his call through this action of Imam Ali (as) 

On a broader level, this verse also teaches us that worshipping Him cannot be separated from serving humanity. 

In fact, the message of Islam can be encapsulated thus: Believe and Do Good. Worship Him and serve His creation. Imam Ali (as)’s charity during the act of ritual worship combined the essence of Islam in one single unified action. 

How cool is that? 

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