Selflessness is one of the noblest qualities that hold a special place in Islam. Its owner is the one who selflessly puts caring for others above caring for oneself. A selfless person spares neither time nor money and always provides help and support to others. The opposite of selflessness is selfishness, which consists only in caring for one’s own well-being when a person does not think about the well-being of others, always pursuing only his or her benefit. That is why self-denial and selflessness play an important role in Islam.
There are many examples in Islam where sincere Muslims put the interests of others above their own. One of the best examples of selflessness is the way the Muslims of Medina greeted the Muhajirs, immigrants from Mecca (Satria, 2018). They were forced to leave all their wealth in Mecca and came to Medina destitute and needy. To alleviate the suffering of the Muhajirs, the Prophet Muhammad settled each of them in the families of Medina. The brotherhood between the Muhajirs and the Ansars was so strong that there was a time when they left each other an inheritance from their property (Satria, 2018). The Ansars felt such a commitment to their brothers that they offered to enter into a cooperation agreement that would provide the Muhajirs with work so that they would receive a share of their profits.
No quality of a believer is valued as much as self-denial and the preference of others for oneself. A selfless person is generous and always ready to provide help and support to others. That is why zakat, a tax on behalf of Muslims in need, is one of the Five Pillars of Islam and religious duty for all Muslims. The tax cleanses the wealth from which it is paid and helps to free a person from excessive self-love. In the Meccan suras of the Koran, it is described as a good deed, material assistance, and alms. A regular collection in favor of needy members of the community appeared after the resettlement of Muslims from Mecca to Medina. Thus, selflessness fully exemplifies Islamic beliefs and practices.
Satria, P. A. (2018). The influence of zakat mal expenditure towards human resources performance through the altruism and the quality of work life. International Journal of Islamic Business Ethics, 3(1), 410-422.