What is the importance of self- sacrifice in our religion? What is the place of self- sacrificing for someone else?

The Details of the Question
What is the importance of self- sacrifice in our religion? What is the place of self- sacrificing for someone else?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Self- sacrifice is sacrificing willingly the things one owns and gives importance to and preserving for the sake of his cause by withstanding every kind of difficulties. It is abnegating from his benefits for the merits he believes in and for humanity in order to achieve the pleasure of Allah.

Human soul is selfish. He cares his own desires and benefits first. Making sacrifices in order to achieve Allah’s pleasure by quitting the egoism of the soul is one of the greatest characters among the values of the humanity.

In Islamic history, the hijrah (migration) of the Muslims in Makkah by leaving their possessions and properties for the sake of their beliefs after the unbearable torments and oppressions they faced in Makkah; and on the other side Ansar in Madinah (the people of Madinah who responded to the Prophet´s call to Islam and offered Islam a city-state power) helping the Muhajirs (Muslims who emigrated from Makkah to Madinah during the time of the great repression) are good examples of self-sacrifice.

The Muhajirs were able to take a few portable things that they could carry with them and they had to leave their houses, herds and most of their properties. They did not know when they would return there, and even if they returned, they could not know what would have happened to their houses and properties. Therefore, the Muhajirs had a lot of financial losses in that journey. Among them, there were some people like Suhayb b. Sinan who was not able to collect his money owed by other persons and who had to migrate with nothing since all his properties had been extorted. On the other side, Muslims of Madinah’s sharing their properties and earnings with their brothers coming from Makkah is another aspect of self- sacrifice.

In the Noble Qur’an, the following verses are stated about the ones making self- sacrifice:

Those who spend (freely) whether in prosperity or in adversity; who restrain anger and pardon (all) men; for Allah loves those who do good, (Qur’an, The Family Of Imran (Aal-i-Imran); 134 (3: 134)

Those who spend their wealth in the cause of Allah and follow not up their gifts with reminders of their generosity or with injury, for them their reward is with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. (Qur’an, The Cow (Al-Baqara); 262 (2: 262)

Self- sacrifice is a merit. And since man is the most perfect one of the created things, self- sacrifice befits him first and being a human necessitates it.

In this century, struggling against unbelief and dissipation on behalf of self- sacrifice is the greatest principle and merit.

However, the dimensions and coordinates of self-sacrifice are very wide because self- sacrifice can be made regarding everything. By looking at the situation of the self-sacrificing people, one who cannot make self-sacrifice should not abandon himself to despair. For, although not every person can make every kind of self-sacrifice, everybody can make a kind of it.

For instance, someone can make sacrifice of his life, another one of his opportunities, his knowledge, his grade and rank, another one of his time, his love and compassion and another one of his worship and prayers.

A university student can make a kind of sacrifice mentioned above in point of conveying his cause to his friends, younger students and his masters under the circumstances he is in.  

If he cannot do anything, being a successful, hardworking and an exemplary student is an important self-sacrifice, too.

Treating people very hospitably and lovely, complimenting them, being easy-going and agreeable, living ethically and virtuously, quitting conceit and egoism, being respectful to other people are the examples of self-sacrifice almost most of us can make.

Besides, efforts and self-sacrifices related with conveying the message are the features achieved by education and experience in time.   

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