By: Muslema Purmul
“And whoever volunteers good – then indeed, Allah is appreciative and Knowing.”
I was really inspired this Sha’baan because I found out that a wonderful Muslim couple I know took initiative in a beautiful way to raise money for the dire situation in Somalia. They had a fundraising dinner in their home which they invited their acquaintances to. Fifteen people came masha Allah. They cooked for the group themselves and sold each dinner plate for £ 20.00, and they also had an auction. One of the touching things the wife had mentioned was that they couldn’t keep hearing about the situation on the news and wait for somebody else to do something. They had planned on attending and helping with the larger community fundraising dinners if and when they occurred, but they felt they could do more in the meantime rather than simply waiting. In fact, she had discussed this in her halaqah and every sister was supposed to host a small fundraising in their home too! Imagine if 6 couples each were able to host 15 people, over a hundred people would be included in a single effort to raise funds and awareness for an important cause, without making a single flyer! This particular couple raised £420 on the day and a couple of hundred since masha Allah!
With so many organizations serving the community, sometimes Muslims have become lax on themselves, forgetting that in their own personal lives there are so many opportunities to volunteer good, to initiate, and give back. It’s very important to be involved in the community teamwork through Islamic organizations, but that does not give us a license to stop there. Every day there are opportunities to plant a seed of goodness wherever we are, in our families, with our neighbors, and yes even on the internet. A sad situation is watching parents in the community unsure of what to do with their kids, yet taking real initiative with them, never crosses their minds. Parents want to lecture and talk, and drop their kids off at programs and that’s all they think they can offer in terms of guidance. Taking creative initiative to actually DO something with their family themselves never crosses their minds! Why not have a Qiyam program in the house in Ramadan and have different members prepare the talks, the suhur, and the activities for example? There are many creative ideas we can come up with that fit our various circumstances if we are willing to invest ourselves in actually taking initiative.
We cannot simply be consumers of other people’s efforts in the community, only attending functions after they are organized. “Liking” articles only, after they have been written. Praising others for their efforts only, like a cheer-leading squad thinking their job is done by simply screaming ‘hooray!’ on the side-lines instead of rolling up our own sleeves and realizing that we too are on the playing field. We too, are part of TEAM ISLAM. Let us never forget that Allah (swt) has always given us some control over our own choices, while the consequences and results are with Him.
If we look at the multitude of ahadith from the Prophet (saw), we see that no act of goodness is belittled in Islam. It always has significance and value with Allah (swt) and He is al-Shakur! Repeatedly in life, we see how when a small tiny effort is put forth, even a smile or giving half a date in charity, with the right intention– Allah (swt) makes that act significant, weighty, and sometimes we are fortunate enough to see in this life some of His blessings in the results!
The 30 day Ramadan Countdown 2011 has brought advice each day hoping to bring everyone important reminders. Let’s take the tip of the day and start with inviting you the reader– to move from being a consumer to a contributor– and leave behind your own important advice for Ramadan in the comments section to all your brothers and sisters reading on the internet. Volunteer some good, and realize that Allah (swt) appreciates your good like no one else can, and He knows it intimately even better than you know it.