ACTION FOR ANOTHER’S BENEFIT:

Allah brought you here and put you among those that he loves as a great favor. In return, everything that you do is a zakat. The zakat of Sufism is being good and helping people and not getting angry. The human body is not compatible with anger and anger does not help the human body at all. Compassion, love and mercy are compatible with the human body and your system. If you get angry, you may get heart trouble, heart attacks, tension, and other diseases. This is a scientific fact that is one demonstration of this truth. If Allah wanted us to be angry and uncompassionate people, would He have made anger so detrimental to our bodies?

Let’s say that there is this person who is working on a farm harvesting grapes. Somebody comes along and says to him, “Your house is burning.” And so he gets on his horse and rushes towards his house. On his way he passes by a fountain. Sitting beside the fountain is a drunken man, begging for some water. The man on the horse says, “If you can, just reach next to you. The water is there, right where you are sitting.” But the drunken man in his ignorance says, “Hey man, where are you going, aren’t you going to give me some water? I am so thirsty.” What would a Sufi do in this situation?
Al-Hasib – The One Who Keeps Accounts and Measures of All Things

The answer is that you would get off your horse and give this man some water. If you can do this without resentment, then you can be a Sufi. If you can put aside your personal problems, ignore the fact that your own house is burning, and help someone who is so ignorant that they have made themselves drunk and cannot see that the water they need is right in front of them, then you are a Sufi.

In every situation, ask yourself, “What is a better action?” You are sick and you have all this work to do. Your son or daughter says, “Can you help we with my math?” Then what do you do? Can you be nice to them or talk to them without yelling at them? “Yes honey, what can I do for you?” Or do you tell them, “Look, don’t you see that I am suffering here?” Can you be kind when people have been unkind to you? When you are sick yourself and need help, can you help others?

There are so many stories that illustrate this point. One time there is a war and the women are carrying water to the wounded. As one of the women is about to give water to a soldier, he says, “No, give the water to my brother over there. He is more wounded than I am.” And the other soldier sends the water back to him, but by the time the woman returns to the first man, he is already dead. What is more important? Life and death matter, but can you say, “No, give the water to someone else,” even when you are dying? This is a Sufi.

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