In the Shafi'i fiqh book Reliance of the Traveller, we have

c3.3 ... Obligatory acts of undefined amount are those which the Lawgiver has not stipulated the amount of, but rather demands them from the subject in an undetermined quantity, such as spending in the way of Allah, cooperating with one another in good works. feeding the hungry, helping those in distress, and so forth.

While cooperation is encouraged in the Qur'an, "and cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression." (Qur'an 5:2), this is the first time I've seen it described as obligatory.

Question: Is "cooperating with one another in good works" obligatory?

I'm seeking confirmation (or otherwise) outside of Reliance. It's possible this stance is limited to the Shafi'i fiqh.

  • 1
    The quote in the Quran you gave uses the language of commanding something; when something is encouraged, it's usually "this is better for you" etc.
    – G. Bach
    Feb 20 '17 at 0:45

Yes, this is commandment of Allah in quran. And not in one place, we find this in enamores places in quran and hadees. Collecting them, we can conclude it is obligatory.

Though, for a believer, commandment of Allah is enough. If Allah has commanded us, so we should do as it. Without questioning if it's obligatory or not. Because if your lord say so, just do it.

Now, let's discuss some references of this matter:

"The Believers, men and women, are protectors one of another: they enjoin what is just, and forbid what is evil: they observe regular prayers, practice regular charity, and obey Allah and His Messenger..." (at-Tawba, 9/71)

In this verse, it is clearly mentioned that believers does so. What if someone does not do so? well, he is not complete(or perfect) believer... this is conclusion from this ayah.

As an example, just like properties of a specific element in chemistry, if we know a specific element reacts in a specific way with certain element, and if it does not do so, we will investigate if we have that element pure? Because it is not doing what it is expected to do. Similarly, here Allah describes the property of believers, so if a believer is not doing so, we cannot say he is a perfect believer. Because this property is defined by Allah not by any human being.

About believers Allah say in quran:

The Messenger has believed in what was revealed to him from his Lord, and [so have] the believers. All of them have believed in Allah and His angels and His books and His messengers, [saying], "We make no distinction between any of His messengers." And they say, "We hear and we obey. [We seek] Your forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the [final] destination." 2:285

So, obeying what they know is from Allah is also a property Allah has described for true believers.

A few ahadees for the matter: (just to shed some light of importance of this)

You see the believers as regards their being merciful among themselves and showing love among themselves and being kind, resembling one body, so that, if any part of the body is not well then the whole body shares the sleeplessness and fever with it." (see Bukhari, Salat, 88)

"Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or he is an oppressed one." When he was asked how to help whenhe is an oppressor, the Prophet said,"By preventing him from oppressing others. This is how to help him then." (Bukhari, Mazalim, 4; Muslim, Birr, 62)

"A Muslim has six rights over another Muslim. When he meets a Muslim, he greets him; when a Muslim invites him, he accepts his invitation; when a Muslim sneezes and says, 'alhamdulillah (praise be to Allah)', he says, 'yarhamukallah (may Allah have mercy on you)'; when a Muslim becomes ill, he visits him; when a Muslim dies, he takes part in his funeral; he loves for his Muslim brother what he loves for himself." (Darimi, Istidhan: 5; Ibn Majah, Janaiz: 43)

May Allah unite muslims again as his commmandment, by his will (انشا اللہ)

Allah knows best

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .