SHAFAQNA -Â Islam places tremendous emphasis on the social aspects of life. Islamic practices are not only confined to the spiritual dimensions, but also to the social environment. For example, Islam encourages people to perform their daily prayers in congregation. Praying in congregation strengthens the ties between people by giving them the opportunity to interact with one another and discuss their issues in a religious compound.
The worth which Islam places on the congregational prayers is to such a level that it is reported that once a blind man came to the Prophet Muhammad and said that no one was able to take him to the mosque to attend the congregational prayer. Prophet Muhammad told him to stretch a thread from his house to the mosque to assist him in going to the mosque to attend the congregational prayer.
Another spiritual act which has many social aspects is fasting. The keeping away of food and water for the entire day causes Muslims to feel the pains of starvation, the agony of the poor and the deprived in society, and encourages the fortunate ones to extend their hands in help towards the indigent.
The Hajj undoubtedly is the largest religious and social convention that congregates millions of people from around the globe to one arena in order to strengthen their ties, develop their skills, and exchange ideas and opinions as to how to improve their situations.
Khums and zakat (charity) also plays an important social role in Islam. The giving of khums and zakat holds Muslims responsible in bridging the gap between the rich and the poor, as well as sharing in the wealth that God has provided them with for the needy and disadvantaged of society.
Enjoining the good and forbidding the evil is a social duty that falls on the shoulders of each and every individual in an Islamic society â€“ to promote goodness, kindness, peace and justice, and to fight oppression, corruption, and evil.
Therefore Islam, in practice, is truly a social religion.
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