As we know from what's been said about pre-Islamic Arabia so far, there were no formal establishments of courts, police, and law in that time; most often the only way to resolve an issue was through revenge and much bloodshed. In the time when the Prophet (S) was in his teens, a man who was cheated out of his goods came seeking the help of the Quraysh tribe since at that time they were the custodians and guardians of the Kaa'bah (this was a very respected postion). The Prophet's (S) uncle Zubayr gathered the leaders of various clan in Mecca, and together they took a pledge to do the following:
"to help the poor and the needy, assist the oppressed, protect the weak and secure their rights from tyrants, and to establish peace and harmony among the people."
In later years, Muhammad (S) said, "I would not trade that oath that I took in 'Abdullah ibn Jud'an's house for a herd of red camels. Even today I would not hesitate to be a member of such an institution."
This is a profound reminder, subhan'Allah. It not only emphasizes to us our duty of helping Muslim brothers and sisters suffering throughout the ummah, but our obligation towards humanity in general: to the weak, the oppressed, the poor- irrespective of religious background. It's enough to just look within the local community that we live in to see the existance of these hardships... and I believe it's important to note this. These were a few of the thoughts that sprang to mind when i came across this passage, and I wanted to share.