Guest Post: Capsules of Faith: Work for Allah, Take the Initiative
You can work for Allah in different ways: through your career, your voluntary work, your activism in defence of justice and humanity.
The follower, Oqba Ibn Nafea worked for Allah for 43 years. He established the city of Qirawan and was one of the pioneers who introduced Islam to North Africa.
Oqba Ibn Nafea’s father was a staunch enemy of Islam and Muslims. He shot an arrow at Sayeda Zainab PBUH (the prophet’s PBUH daughter). She was hit and consequently died. The Prophet forgave him.
وَلَا تَسْتَوِي الْحَسَنَةُ وَلَا السَّيِّئَةُ ادْفَعْ بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ فَإِذَا الَّذِي بَيْنَكَ وَبَيْنَهُ عَدَاوَةٌ كَأَنَّهُ وَلِيٌّ حَمِيمٌ
Quran 41:34: 'And not equal are the good deed and the bad. Repel [evil] by that [deed] which is better; and thereupon the one whom between you and him is enmity [will become] as though he was a devoted friend.'
The Prophet’s act of forgiveness touched the man’s heart so deeply, that he dedicated his son Oqba to Allah. He sent his son to be raised by an important companion of the Prophet PBUH.
Oqba Ibn Nafea worked for the cause of Allah throughout his life, he discovered his talents and utilized them in service of his cause. He became an expert on North Africa. His father put him on the right path. We should find ways of putting children and youngsters in our circle of influence on the right path, through excellent education and by being good role models.
If a sin is committed, don’t despair. Instead, do an act of kindness that outweighs your sin and ask for forgiveness.
The Messenger of Allah PBUH said: “Fear Allah wherever you may be, trail a bad deed with a good deed and it will wipe it out, and treat the people with good character.” [at-Tirmidhi stated as Hadith Hasan]
Are you going to inspire your children and those in your circle of influence to dedicate their life and work for justice, humanity and Islam? Are you doing all you can do to change the world by being the best influence possible on those around you? Are you inspiring and motivating others? Are you praising and appreciating those who are trying to leave a positive impact, no matter how small? Women have a special place in Islam. Are you acknowledging, praising and motivating the wonderful women in your life and making them feel appreciated?
It may be that the early trials are not always very fruitful, but without the early trials we wouldn’t have great achievements. Pioneers are always appreciated because they lay down the foundations of what will later become great successes.
Are you a pioneer? Do you always take initiative? Or are you passive and just follow the crowd?
Taking risks if necessary is something commendable, but taking unnecessary risks and making impulsive decisions are attributes that will not help you reach success.
Pioneers are not afraid of failure. They understand that failure is part of the process. They understand that learning from failure is an essential part of building success.
Thomas Alva Edison said:
“I haven't failed, I've found 10,000 ways that don't work.”
“Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.”
Don’t be afraid to try and don’t give up easily.
If you came to the realization that you are leading your life on the wrong path, you can stop and change your path. It might mean making sacrifices, but you have to be strong enough to lead your life, not let your life lead you.
Are you truly ready to join the path of Allah? Some people think that praying, fasting, paying zakat, wearing the hijab etc are enough. Rituals of worship are not everything in Islam. Islam is much deeper. What have you done for humanity? What have you done for science and knowledge? What kind of activism have you participated in? What injustice have you opposed or prevented? What have you done to raise awareness about the plight of innocents around the world? What voluntary work have you done? What have you done for your community or for your neighbourhood?
Your role in Islam extends far beyond your duty towards your family and friends. You have a responsibility towards the progress and advancement of humanity. You have a duty to stand up for justice against Muslim and non Muslim oppressors. You have a duty to spread goodness and solidarity to all people of conscience, whether Muslim or non Muslim. You have a duty to enjoin good and oppose evil in every field of life.
You may really want to work for Allah, supporting justice and humanity, but don’t know how to. You have to take the initiative and discover your talents and find the appropriate channels that will help you work in the most effective way for the cause. Just don’t sit and wait and be a bystander. Get involved.
مَن جَاء بِالْحَسَنَةِ فَلَهُ عَشْرُ أَمْثَالِهَا وَمَن جَاء بِالسَّيِّئَةِ فَلاَ يُجْزَى إِلاَّ مِثْلَهَا وَهُمْ لاَ يُظْلَمُونَ
Quran 6:160: 'He that doeth good shall have ten times as much to his credit: He that doeth evil shall only be recompensed according to his evil: no wrong shall be done unto (any of) them.'
وَالَّذِينَ صَبَرُواْ ابْتِغَاء وَجْهِ رَبِّهِمْ وَأَقَامُواْ الصَّلاَةَ وَأَنفَقُواْ مِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ سِرًّا وَعَلاَنِيَةً وَيَدْرَؤُونَ بِالْحَسَنَةِ السَّيِّئَةَ أُوْلَئِكَ لَهُمْ عُقْبَى الدَّارِ
Quran 13:22: 'Those who patiently persevere, seeking the countenance of their Lord; Establish regular prayers; spend, out of (the gifts) We have bestowed for their sustenance, secretly and openly; and turn off Evil with good: for such there is the final attainment of the (eternal) home'
This article is adapted from Dr. Amr Khaled’s lecture. Dr. Amr Khaled is an Egyptian televangelist. His work influenced Arab youth and has contributed to the calls for change in the Middle East.