Around the globe, the majority of people are among the oppressed. They are tortured, butchered, and live in abject poverty, are homeless, are forced to live their lives unprotected from the elements and they suffer lack of medical care. There are those who cannot even afford a loaf of bread. There are the elderly, facing neglect, abandonment and denied medical care. Then there are those who face discrimination, expulsion from their homes and lands simply because of their ethnicity, language, race or tribe and even massacres. Helpless, malnourished, defenseless innocent children are forced to work for money or beg.
Countless people live in fear for their lives anxious about their survival, in a world in the midst of whose poverty and oppression, there is also immense extravagance, privilege and wealth. Those blessed with the "good life" pass by the homeless, see pictures, and watch scenes on television of those less fortunate than they. Sometimes they feel a brief moment of pity, but then change the channel, turn away from the image, and in a short time completely erase that fleeting prick of the conscience.
So many who enjoy the bounties and comforts with which they have been blessed, never think of expending effort to save those who can not afford these. They believe it is not up to them to save those people, when so many are richer and more powerful and in a better position to come to the aid of the less fortunate.
However, prosperity and power alone are not enough to save those people and to make this world a place of welfare in which justice, peace, confidence and well-being prevail. Despite the existence of developed countries around the world, there are still too many countries, such as Ethiopia, where people still die daily of starvation. It is apparent that the wealth and power of some nations are not enough in themselves to solve the afflictions of drought, poverty and civil warfare.
Only being conscientious will channel resources and power towards the welfare of the poor and desperate. The sole way of being conscientious is having faith. It is only the believers who constantly live by their consciences.
Eventually, there is only one solution to the injustice, chaos, terror, massacres, hunger, poverty, and oppression in the world: the values of the Qur'an.
Those adverse conditions were created in the first place by hatred, malice, self-interest, indifference and cruelty and therefore must be undone by love, compassion, mercy, generosity, unselfishness, sensitivity, tolerance, commonsense and wisdom. These traits of compassion are found only in those who fully live by the values taught in the Noble Qur'an, which is our guidance directly from our Creator. In one verse, Allah (swt) refers to the Qur'an's feature of leading mankind out of darkness into light.
... A light has come to you from Allah and a Clear Book. By it, Allah guides those who follow what pleases Him to the ways of peace. He will bring them from the darkness to the light by His permission, and guide them to a straight path. (Surat al Ma'ida: 15-16)
In another verse, Allah states that everything would be in corruption and confusion if the truth were to be according to human desires:
If the truth were to follow their whims and desires, the heavens and the earth and everything in them would have been brought to ruin. No indeed! We have given their Reminder, but they have turned away from it. (Surat al-Muminun: 71)
As you read this passage, millions of people are suffering, are cold and hungry, or facing expulsion from their homelands. For this reason, people who have consciences need to think about this, and act to solve those troubles as if they themselves or their loved ones were facing them. We need to act both spiritually and materially to alleviate the suffering and oppression. In one verse, Allah orders conscientious and faithful people to assume this responsibility:
What reason could you have for not fighting in the Way of Allah – for those men, women and children who are oppressed and say, 'Our Lord, take us out of this city whose inhabitants are wrongdoers! Give us a protector from You! Give us a helper from You!'? (Surat an-Nisa': 75)
When we consider the Qur'anic commands, it becomes obvious what are our obligations. The most important thing for Muslims is first, to struggle in the intellectual domain so that the values of the Qur'an and the Sunnah prevail over disbelief. The only salvation for the weak, helpless, homeless and destitute is the practice of the guidance of the Qur'an, which is directed to all humankind. Therefore, it is our duty to spread the word and communicate the message, and that is a vital component of worship for all Muslims.
Those who do not follow their consciences, who are indifferent to the suffering of others, who spend their wealth on frivolous and vain things, who fail to show concern for orphans, who look coldly at oppressed woman, children and the elderly, and who are happy only when there is immorality and ugliness in the world, will certainly have to give an account in the Hereafter.
Have you seen him who denies the deen (religion)? He is the one who harshly rebuffs the orphan and does not urge the feeding of the poor. So woe to those who do salat (regular prayers), whose hearts from their salat are remote, those who show off and deny help to others. (Surat al-Ma'un: 1-7)