allah, the exalted, says:
"and invite (men) to (believe in) your rubb [i.e., in the oneness (tauhid) of allah - (1) oneness of the rububiyah of allah; (2) oneness of the worship of allah; (3) oneness of the name and qualities of allah]. (28:87)
"invite (mankind, o muhammad (pbuh)) to the way of your rubb (i.e., islam) with wisdom (i.e., with the divine revelation and the qur'an and fair preaching)".(16:125)
"help you one another in al-birr and at-taqwa (virtue, righteousness and piety)". (5:2)
"let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good (islam).'' (3:104)
173. abu mas`ud `uqbah bin `amr al-ansari al-badri (may allah be pleased with him) reported: messenger of allah (pbuh) said, "whoever guides someone to virtue will be rewarded equivalent to him who practices that good action".
commentary: the statement quoted in this hadith was made by the prophet (pbuh) when, on a certain occasion, someone requested him to give an animal for riding. the prophet (pbuh) replied that he did not have any. a man who was present there said that he could show him the man who could help him in the matter. this is how the prophet (pbuh) revealed the reward of directing people to good deeds, which is mentioned in this hadith.
174. abu hurairah (may allah be pleased with him) reported: messenger of allah (pbuh) said, "if anyone calls others to follow right guidance, his reward will be equivalent to those who follow him (in righteousness) without their reward being diminished in any respect, and if anyone invites others to follow error, the sin, will be equivalent to that of the people who follow him (in sinfulness) without their sins being diminished in any respect".
commentary: `invitation' and `call' stand to mean here that someone induces others to virtue or seduces to sin by means of his speech or action. we come to know from this hadith that one who becomes a medium for either of them is given a reward or punishment respectively by allah (swt).
175. sahl bin sa`d (may allah be pleased with him) reported: messenger of allah (pbuh) said on the day of the khaibar battle, "i will give this banner to a person at whose hands allah will grant victory; a man who loves allah and his messenger (pbuh), and allah and his messenger love him also.'' the people spent the night thinking as to whom it would be given. when it was morning, the people hastened to messenger of allah (pbuh). every one of them was hoping that the banner would be given to him. he (the prophet (pbuh)) asked, "where is `ali bin abu talib?'' they said: "o messenger of allah! his eyes are sore.'' he (pbuh) then sent for him and when he came, messenger of allah (pbuh) applied his saliva to his eyes and supplicated. `ali (may allah be pleased with him) recovered as if he had no ailment at all. he (pbuh) conferred upon him the banner. `ali (may allah be pleased with him) said: ``o messenger of allah, shall i fight against them until they are like us?'' thereupon he (the prophet (pbuh)) said, "advance cautiously until you reach their open places; thereafter, invite them to islam and inform them what is obligatory for them from the rights of allah, for, by allah, if allah guides even one person through you that is better for you than possessing a whole lot of red camels".
[al-bukhari and muslim].
commentary: besides mentioning the excellence of `ali (may allah be pleased with him) and the miracle of the prophet (pbuh), this hadith tells about the procedure of jihad. according to procedure, first of all, polytheists and infidels should be invited to islam, and if they reject the invitation, then jihad be made against them. jihad is such an action that if at its initial stage, that is to say at the stage of invitation, some people accept the guidance, then the people who will participate in jihad will get the reward of good deeds done by those who would join the fold of islam.
176. anas bin malik (may allah be pleased with him) reported: a young man from the tribe of aslam said, "o messenger of allah (pbuh), i wish to fight (in the cause of allah) but i do not have anything to equip myself with (for fighting)". he (the prophet (pbuh)) said, "go to so-and-so, for he had equipped himself (for fighting) but he fell ill.'' so he (the young man) went to him and said, "messenger of allah (pbuh) sends you his greetings and says that you should give me the equipment that you have provided yourself with.'' the man said (to his wife or servant): "o so-and-so, give him the equipment i have collected for myself and do not withhold anything from him. by allah, if you withhold anything from him, we will not be blessed therein".
1. we learn from this hadith that if a person has made preparations for doing some good deed but he is unable to do it due to illness or some other genuine reason, and he gives the material to be used for that purpose to someone else then he will also be equally eligible to the reward of that good deed.
2. rather than spending wealth in the way of allah, those who withhold it, displease allah, and their wealth becomes deprived of his blessing.