Volunteering in Islam

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Bilal Philips

Channel: Bilal Philips

Episode Notes

Interesting lecture for those who involved in volunteering work. The importance and the commitments. How it relates to time management and so on.

This is a very good talk by Dr Bilal Philips about Volunteers in Islam and Voluntary Acts of Work

This is just a reminder for all of us, as a reminder is good for a believer Subhanallah, I speak to myself first, as I renew my intentions daily to keep that volunteer spirit & schedule alive Alhamdulillah.

We must care about each other so that the strong can help the weak and the weak can benefit from the stronger ones Ameen.

How can we protect ourselves from doing this work for the wrong reasons eg., popularity, fame etc.??? ~try to be around those who are sincere and their sincerity will rub off on us Ameen. Take stock of ourselves from time to time and ask why are we doing this? If it’s for the wrong reasons then you correct it by seeking repentance from Allah SWT and changing our intentions as it should be purely for the pleasure of Allah SWT Ameen.

Episode Transcript

© No part of this transcript may be copied or referenced or transmitted in any way whatsoever. Transcripts are auto-generated and thus will be be inaccurate. We are working on a system to allow volunteers to edit transcripts in a controlled system.


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Salatu was Salam

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he was hobby for many Stan nevison hE hE lamb Dean. appraisers do to align millas Peace and blessings beyond the last prophet muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam.

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And and all those who follow the path of righteousness until the last day

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the topic as was introduced by my brother,

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on volunteering in Islam,

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as you all are volunteers,

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and

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this is an issue which Muslims all around the world who are engaged in Islamic work, have to consider, you know, how do we look at

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volunteering in Islamic events, efforts, etc.

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Because the work of

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established establishing Islam, learning Islam conveying Islam,

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to a large degree depends on volunteers.

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Should it be that way?

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That's something which is debatable.

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If we look at the basic definition of what is a volunteer,

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it's basically one who freely gives of himself or herself

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for a cause,

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an event

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or an activity,

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freely giving, meaning that they don't get any obvious reward for it. Now, it could include some payments to cover costs.

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But the idea is that it's not like a job, you're being paid for doing a job, you're doing this freely from yourself, you some of your expenses may be covered. And

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otherwise, it is a sacrifice. It's about some form of sacrifice. And in fact, because of the fact that

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teaching the Quran for money,

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teaching the Quran for money is considered something objectionable.

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The Muslim oma from the earliest of times, they would never consider the Quran teachers, those who are teaching the Quran

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as

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workers, that this was actually a job per se, but rather, that those who are teaching the Quran, were volunteering their time to teach the Quran. And money was given to cover up for their expenses. Because if if they dedicate their whole time to the teaching of the choir, then they have no time to earn their living. So the money was given as support and not as payment of salaries. You know, so this is the way of thinking that Muslims developed with regards to teaching the Quran in particular teaching other things people didn't have any problem with being paid for, but the Quran this because this is the word of Allah and the idea of, of charging people to, to gain the word of Allah to learn

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the word of Allah or the teaching it you would be paid for it, you know, was objectionable from Muslim thought. Right? So they develop this other way of approaching it.

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And if we look from the early generation of Muslims,

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The first generation, the time of Prophet Mohammed, Salah, Salah.

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Those who are engaged in promoting Islam, in Mecca, all did so voluntarily. They were not there was nobody who was hired to do the job of promoting, you know, Islam spread.

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On that basis.

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Islam spread to Medina, through volunteers going to Medina from Mecca, Musab in America, he was the first to be sent out of Medina out of Mecca to Medina. And he stayed there

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and propagated Islam among the people of Medina.

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Now this was voluntary on his part, but they did provide for him food a place to stay, etc, because he would not have been able to do what he did otherwise. So we can see from there the early example. And after Islam spread in Medina, the continuous spread of Islam was always done by individuals. on a voluntary basis, there was nobody who was hired or working as a full time they are color to Islam. So

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we can say in general, we do have

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a responsibility to convey the message of Islam to

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those around us from the prophet SAW salams instruction belay, who am I a, convey whatever you've learned from me, even if it's only a single verse of the ground.

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This is an instruction which the prophet SAW Selim gave,

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based on the

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command in the Quran, from Allah Subhana Allah, who also said odourless, abelia, rebeccablack material more edited Hassan according to the way of your Lord with wisdom and fair preaching.

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So, this was a an Islamic instruction, coming from a loss rondalla reinforced by the statements of the prophet SAW Allah. So this is a duty of Muslims.

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To do so,

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is not in and of itself something voluntary, it is an obligation, which has been placed by a law on all Muslims, that whatever we have learned from the profits or asylum, we have the duty to convey that message to others, because had others not conveyed the message to our for parents are great, great, great grandparents, whatever, then we would not have been Muslims today. This is the reality. So this

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conveyance of the message, spreading the teachings, this is an ongoing responsibility of the Muslim community as a whole. And those in the community, who have the

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best, the best knowledge, the best abilities to speak, etc, then that obligation becomes even that much more

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heavy on their shoulders, it's on everybody, but those who are more capable and becomes on their shoulders even more so.

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So

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to help those who have taken up this responsibility, since it's a community responsibility, and there will arise in all the Muslim communities, some individuals who will take it on and go ahead and try to do it, it is the duty of the rest of the community to support them, to help them

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to help them whether it is financially, you know, or to help them whether it's politically or to help them from a physical volunteering perspective, that you have some who have stood out and have taken the responsibility and going ahead than the rest of you, okay, you see yourself not able to give that kind of time or to commit yourself on that level, but you support them. So the volunteering, spirit comes in support of those who have taken up this responsibility, which was on the community as a whole

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So, then, as a volunteer, we have to have the right mindset. Otherwise, our voluntary

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commitments will not last long. Volunteers are known for coming for a while in the beginning, very much worked up and everything. And then as time passes, they get weaker, and weaker and weaker till we don't see them anymore. This is a cycle that volunteers seem to go through. Wherever we are in the world, volunteers, whether it's for religious activities or other activities, even, you know, outside of religion, just

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social activities, etc. The volunteers

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start a lot in the beginning, and they are very vigorous. But then with time they get weaker and weaker till they drop off.

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This is a cycle perhaps we can never stop. That's just how life is. But for those who do join, we encourage you to consider

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what in fact,

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is your commitment and why you made this commitment.

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Because those are the project you're committing yourself to,

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may benefit others.

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When you join it voluntarily, you are benefiting yourself,

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you have to see the benefit for yourself. If you can't see the benefit for yourself, when you only see it as benefiting others, then it's more likely that you will fall away, you will lose your enthusiasm. Because you know, you help a person you help another person who continue to helping, you know, eventually you get tired. This is our nature, but when the but that's when we look at it as merely helping others. But the reality of the matter is that we're helping ourselves.

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When we volunteer in our organization, or any Islamic project, etc, we are helping ourselves first and foremost, because we are earning through it. Good deeds, as promised us and of itself, that data will help kavali one who guides others gets the reward of whatever they do.

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If we guide somebody to do the right thing, to do a good thing, we get the same reward that they earn for doing that thing. So it is for our benefit, we stand to benefit the most. So therefore, we have to treat the voluntary work

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as

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beneficial first and foremost to ourselves.

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And when we look at it that way, then we'll be more likely to look after it and keep it going.

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So very important for us to have the right mindset with regard to voluntary work.

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And we know in Islam, we have the obligatory and the voluntary, right this voluntary we may call sadhana almost to have other terms for it. But the voluntary work

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is ultimately the goal.

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The obligatory is really to train us to do the voluntary.

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If you think about our day to day prayers, right and our fast etc, and Ramadan, etc. This is to get us to fast outside of Ramadan

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and to get us to pray outside of the obligatory times.

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That's the ultimate goal because the voluntary act of righteousness

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is greater than reward ultimately, then the obligatory act.

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What you are obliged to do you have to do no matter what if you don't do it, you're in sin, so you are obliged to do it. Whereas the voluntary act, you're not obliged.

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If you do it, you're rewarded if you don't do it, you're not punished. It's not considered a sin.

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So the challenge in doing the

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The voluntary is far greater,

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we have to look after it even more, you know, meticulously, we have to be very careful with the voluntary

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obligatory is obvious, it's clear it's in front of us, the voluntary is more subtle.

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because it requires us to commit to something we didn't have to commit to.

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So when we make that commitment, we should do so with the strongest of intentions, we should make the greater effort to preserve the voluntary, even then we have to make for the obligatory because for the obligatory, we know we have to do it.

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We know we have to do it.

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And if we leave it to sin, so we're gonna do it. If we have Muslims practicing Muslims, we're gonna do it. But the voluntary, this is something which has to come from ourselves.

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So seeing it as our,

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our fight for our benefit, then, in order to ensure that we preserve it, we have to manage our time because what happens, why do people end up

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you know, dropping out of voluntary work, because they find other things that they want to do. And then they say they don't have time. We got busy, we don't have any more time for the voluntary.

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So it becomes an issue of time management, managing our time. shavon is busy,

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to keep us occupied, and to believe that we don't have time to do

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the extra good deeds. And that's why the prophets I sent him I said,

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Now mahtani, Maha Boonen fee market hero mananas, there are two blessings are two

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gifts from Allah, which most people are deluded about.

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He said as

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well, for our Sangha is good health.

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We are tricked by our state of good health to think we're always have good health, things will always be good. Until you lose your health. When you lose your your health, then you value good health.

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While for all any spare time, that is spare time that you think you have spare, I will always have time to do it. You know, let me put this thing off, I'll do it later, I'll find tomorrow, the day after whatever. And then time passes, we're not able to do it. So it is easy to become diluted with regards to voluntary work, and the time that it has to be done in. So we have to be very, very

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conscientious about looking after that voluntary commitment.

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by scheduling,

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set the schedule,

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put it on your wall, remind yourself as long as you can keep things in the schedule, you can keep it going, when it's slides out, when you procrastinate. Shaytan tells you Oh, you got this to do that to do the other to do you know, put it till tomorrow. And this is you know, once you start putting it until tomorrow, then that is the beginning of the decline. So we have to keep to keep that voluntary spirit alive. Then we stick to our schedules, whatever schedules were made, stick to it, give it its proper time. Stay behind it.

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So

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this is just you know, a brief reminder for you. You are all volunteers who are working for this dollar organization.

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And we all do need reminders from time to time. So this is just a reminder. I'm sure you all are hardworking. I've met some of you and it's clear you have you're dedicated you're trying to do the right thing.

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But at the same time, we're all human beings. And we do have our own weaknesses. And very important for us to work closely together, keep track of our fellow brothers and sisters and activities. Because sometimes it's just a reminder, sister doesn't show up this week. You know, if somebody calls her up and say, Are you okay? Everything is okay. So and So rather than calling her up and say, why aren't you here? Right? You're assuming that they could have come.

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But they chose not to come? Give them the benefit of the doubt. Are you okay? That's different, right? Are you fine? Is your health okay? having any problems? Can I help something like this, you do it from that perspective, they feel good. And that will help to encourage them to come back. So also, we have to be very careful in terms of the words and the language we use when trying to keep volunteers active, you know, because they are making a sacrifice. So we should recognize that sacrifice, give them the benefit of the doubt, and offer them support. And that will help to encourage them. Because when we will feel that others care about you, then you want to be around

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those people see that that's the psychology behind it. You know, we want to be a group that cares, you know, that you care about each other, very important

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that the strong will help the weak.

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When you're around others, that's why even if you feel yourself getting weak, and try to be around the people more,

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those who are committed to hard work and want to strive to be around the more that will help to strengthen your own will to keep working for the sake of Allah.

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And the prophet SAW. selama told us to be careful about who he chooses our friends, because we'll be raised on the Day of Judgment with our friends. So we try to develop and build on our friendships, which come from the group of volunteers, try to be close to the most hard working ones, for yourself, and be close to the weaker ones for them. And for yourself, you know, you tried to be close to everybody, but you'll be conscious that you're close to those who are in the leadership, not because you want to be in the leadership, you know, you want to be recognized, but because you want to benefit from their enthusiasm that some of it would rub off on you and make you more

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enthusiastic, and then for those who are weaker, that you try to help them because we all need help from time to time.

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So, this is as I said, just a brief reminder for yourself. And

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for the effort, this is a very good effort, the issue of calling to to the way of a law, this is a major responsibility in the Muslim community, which is not being fulfilled and for you to step up to do this, Mashallah is a great reward of Allah has promised, you know, for you. So, inshallah, just know that you're on the right track. A large reward is with you.

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Though a lot of people are invited,

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only few may show up. But ultimately, the reward is with those who stick to it. So we try to schedule our activities and be consistent. As the promises element said, you know, Allah loves the deed, which is done consistently, even if it is small. So you give yourself the amount of time that you can afford a reasonable amount. Don't overdo it. Don't overburden yourself, take what you know, you can handle, assign that and stick with it. later on. If you want to add you can add, you know, but it's better than taking a large amount committing yourself. That's one of the things sometimes, and volunteers become too enthusiastic. And they want to do this one. I'll do that one. Yes, I'll do

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that one too. You want to be in everything but you know, you don't have the strength to keep that going. Maybe Initially, the first week, first month, but then you start to decline. So better to take something

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reasonable, you know, you can do this and just stick with it later on when you become strong and you find this as easy, you can add to it add to it better to be adding than taking away. inshallah. So those are just a few words, you didn't finish your food

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and I'm hungry to

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the left me

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Yeah, sure.

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If you have any questions, please ask your question. Okay. Try to be very precise slowly

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as you can see,

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we are in the correct one, how my question is how me trying to get See, ignore? Do we split?

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So that we can

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Okay, brothers question, how can we protect ourselves from doing this work for the wrong reasons, the reasons of popularity, fame, etc, for people to clap for us and says, This person is a great this or that? You know, how do we protect ourselves from that? Well, what we do, as I advised in the beginning, that we try to be around those who we know to be sincere,

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those who we know, are working for the deans sincerely try to be around them, because their sincerity inshallah will rub off on us, you know, keep them as the example, we all need examples, and that will help us to stay and to recognize, you know, where we are. And then it's about Also, our prayers, asked a lot to protect our hearts, you know, from Korea, from doing righteous deeds, to be seen and praised by others.

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And, as well, it is good for us to take stock above ourselves, from time to time, you know, we look at ourselves and ask ourselves, why are we doing this, you know, and try to be sincere and honest to ourselves. And if we find that, actually, we're doing it, you know, because we want to be known, then we seek refuge in a law from it, and try to remove that from our minds, our intentions, reset, because it doesn't mean that

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we are off the track or off the path because this comes because we're human beings. And these thoughts may enter into our minds and may find route start to grow. But the key is, as long as we find them, we catch them, we correct them by seeking repentance from Allah. And by changing our intention, and inshallah we can overcome Ria, because at the same time, we don't want to become so big, that it stops us from doing good deeds, because that's the other way shaytan doesn't get you one way, he doesn't get you with Ria, then he gets you to give up the good deeds,

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out of a fear of falling into rehab. So these are both channels by which shaytaan satanic forces trick us into losing our good deeds, either losing the value through Ria, or losing the deed altogether by giving up the deed because you're afraid that they will enter into your deed. A lot of people ask me about that, you know, what should we do while we're doing this thing? And we feel this realness. So should we give it up? No, don't keep doing it. And change your intention. Ask allows forgiveness, and inshallah that's better because it's better that you continue to do it.

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And you don't get rewarded for it because then for you not to do it at all.

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I would like to ask about the ethics in the whatsapp group.

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In this WhatsApp

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non Muslim,

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Muslim.

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So when it comes to some Muslim,

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Islamic

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or Muslim or non Muslim,

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for example Christmas, then I know some knowledge we shouldn't to wish that not mostly

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respect some opinions.

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How do we react? Let's say I reacted like I put a note

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against it

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how to. Okay. Question is if you're in a mixed group, Whatsapp group

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where

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people may make posts, which are an Islamic

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right example given was greeting

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Christians on Christmas right? Some Muslims in ignorance might feel this is okay and we'll do it. So do you correct them

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publicly in that whatsapp group which could lead to non Muslims in the group feeling offended? Because then you're saying Muslims shouldn't you're clarifying you say Muslims shouldn't be greeting non Muslims in this way then you've opened an can of worms as they say the non Muslims question Why not? Why should new greeters? You know this is like offensive, you say no, you should not be. So then you have even more things to explain. So the better thing is to address that person outside the group, you get their personal email and send them the message and advise them separately from that group.

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Unless this is an issue that you're discussing, and you need to give clarification, then you can enter into it otherwise, it's better not to

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correct that publicly, where others may be offended by it.

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And then question from the sisters. The last two questions. Last two questions.

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No question.

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Try to ask for specific topic.

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purchase.

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Okay, so this will be the

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last question so that the ship can have the foot?

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How

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do you choose Islam?

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Yeah, in summary, because this is a story in itself.

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Just say that, when I was dissatisfied with communism, and what the effectiveness of communism, in fixing the problems of the world because I joined communism, believing that it was the answer to human problems, I had a system which was supposed to eradicate the evil and promote the good. So when I found that it wasn't eradicating the evil, it was just adding more evils. You know, and the good was not being promoted as it should have been. Then it caused me to look elsewhere. And then Islam was presented to me when I was in that state of dissatisfaction.

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And as such, when I studied Islam, it just was a last will that I was given in a book which was a comparative study, looking at communism, capitalism, Islam, Buddhism, you know, etc. And it seemed, from what I read, that all the good things that are promoted in all these other systems were there in Islam, and all the bad things which made them inferior or made them not a good choice. Were not found in Islam. So Islam seemed to have gathered all of the good so that was what intellectually in a convinced me that Islam was the way of course, spiritual conviction that took some time.

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After being a communist denying God's existence for so many years, you know, you don't just change overnight.

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Okay.

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It's normal that some organizations,

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and it's normal

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diversity and split into two groups, and maybe some

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majorities, then they come with the

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so

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called leaders how to handle this kind of situation.

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Okay.

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Brothers question, good question that most group efforts are faced with how to handle differences of opinion.

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What shaytaan once

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is that, you split into two.

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And then after another year, you split into four.

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And after next year, then it becomes eight and so on and so forth, that you splinter is split into splinter groups because with this splitting, you get weaker.

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You know, your split your, your your source of, of strength, your energy, your resources, all of that has been split means you can't be as effective as you were when you work together. So, this is one of the ways of undermining the Dow that

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the ranks of those who are involved in the Dow have become split. So what we need to be is flexible, we have to be able to tolerate different opinions. And even if

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you have other people with you, but the majority opinion is one way, and you go with the one way.

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And of course those in leadership have they see that the majority are holding a different position than them, then they have to consider that different position and correct themselves relative to it. But if they decide for whatever reason, that this way, even though they're there, they're in the minority, this way is actually the better way, then again, the majority have to be flexible enough to say, okay, since they're the leadership,

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they may have information we don't necessarily have, you know, we don't have access to or whatever.

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But they are the leadership that we have accepted from the very beginning, then we need to go along with them.

00:37:46--> 00:38:06

Even though we think our idea is better, we go along with them. And hopefully, they will come around to our idea later on. Or maybe they won't, you know, and we kept working with them anyway. You know, because the

00:38:07--> 00:38:48

strength is with the group, as a professor Salomon said, you know, law, Allah Java, the hand of a law, the support of a law is with the group, that as long as you stay united, then allows support is there for you. You allow yourself to split up, you know, as the Lord told us, you know, don't split up your rights that the Federal who you know, do not split yourself up as those who before you had done, you know, splitting yourselves up, you know, you described into separate groups, each group happy with what they have

00:38:49--> 00:39:14

believed in our day hold on to. So this is from shaytaan know that the splitting is not good, you know, will suffer from it. So we should work against it. Try to preserve the rights, the Sahaba they had differences, they did not agree on everything, but they didn't allow those differences to split their ranks. This is the key.

00:39:16--> 00:39:17

Baraka logical.

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