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The Safety of the Road: An Unlikely Prophetic Lesson

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بَيْنَمَا رَجُلٌ يَمْشي بِطَريقٍ وَجَدَ غُصْنَ شَوكٍ عَلَى الطريقِ فأخَّرَه فَشَكَرَ اللهُ لَهُ ، فَغَفَرَ لَهُ

If a man who is walking along the road finds a thorny branch and removes it, God thanks him for that and forgives him .

 [Bukhārī 2305, Muslim 4750, Riyāḍ al-Ṣāliḥīn 127]

Streets and public places. An unlikely concern for a Prophet of God. But it was all part of a comprehensive plan on the part of the Prophet Muhammad to establish a sound and prosperous Islamic society. And ensuring the public welfare along with the safety of public places was an inevitable part of that plan.

And so, the Prophet spent a considerable amount of time safeguarding the public road.

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The Rights of Workers: Timely Wisdom from the Prophet

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pdfdتُعِينُ صَانِعًا أَوْ تَصْنَعُ لأَخْرَقَ

Help the skilled laborers and serve the disabled.

Alternate translation: Assist the one who is skilled, and do something for one who is not.

 [Bukhārī 2382, Muslim 250][i]

From the Prophetic treasures for human society are these important moral instructions concerning public service.  The Prophet instructed his followers to be forever in the service of others. It is a basic ethical value, recognized by all cultures and faith traditions. Yet, the genius of the Prophet of Islam lay not only in the advice, but in his choice of words and in his ability to diagnose and prescribe—in the most precise ways—the most effective solutions for the problems faced by people.

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