Finding balance between community and self
Channel: Ismail Kamdar
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hamdulillahi rabbil Alameen wa salatu salam ala Nabil Kareem was early he was hobby of mine on my bed for inner circle Hadith tabula rasa you heard God Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam was shadow ammonium to
be the Akula Dolla dolla, the
problem that me noticing amongst the younger generation is that a lot of people in the younger generation have become very self centered. i This is the problem that we have today, there are a lot of people have become very self centered, that life has become all about the self, it's all about me, it's all about what I want my rights, my needs. And in the pursuit of the self, we tend to forget the needs of others. And we see this in every aspect of society. So for example, a very basic example, volunteering, you will notice that it's much harder to get the younger generation to volunteer compared to previous generations, right? It's very hard to find volunteers today why
everyone's always in there for what's it, you know, what's in it for me? What am I getting all of this? I could be playing video games, I could be watching Netflix, why should I volunteer? Life has become all about yourself. And I want to discuss today one of the ideologies that is causing people to become more self centered. And this ideology is one that it's not spoken about. It's more of a subconscious ideology, like it's there. It exists on a government level, it exists on a cultural level, but people don't talk about it like sure, like the other ideologies we discussed, people talk about it, and they attribute it to themselves. But this one is something that goes, it goes unsaid.
And that is the ideology of individualism,
about focus on the self. Now, historically, Modern society has been divided into two types of cultures. On the east, we have the collectivist cultures, where it's all about the state, or it's all about the family. And in the West, we have the individualistic cultures, where it's all about yourself. What's the difference between these two cultures,
you'll find that, for example, in a culture where it's all about the state, people are expected to just do whatever the government wants. So they will tell you what your job is you they will work you to death, and they don't care about you. It's all about the state. In a cultural way, it's all about the family, they will you will have to do whatever your family says to the to such an extent in such a culture, a man has to marry the woman he has parents wanting to marry, I guess to work the job his parents want him to work, he has no say in his own life.
On the other end, we have the individualistic cultures where it's all about yourself, my work, my rights, my my life, my choices, my freedom.
Where do you think Islam stands on this divide?
Keep in mind, the answer is something I've said over and over again for many other questions. Where do you think Islam stands with this divide? On one hand, we have countries which are locked run in a collectivist manner, it's all about the state of the family. And then we have other countries which are on the individual where it's all about my freedom and my rights. Right? Where do you think Islam stands? Remember, I said, Whenever there's two extremes, Islam is always in the middle. Islam is always in the middle. And Islam, there is a sense of the South, there is a sense of the nafs of the South, no one is responsible for somebody else's sins. Right? Now, you can only follow Nelson Illa,
Allah only holds you accountable for what you are capable of. Right. So either center of the South, you have to take care of your own spirituality, take up, you know, be accountable for your own sins, do your own good deeds, work your own way to Paradise, you have to work hard, you have to earn an income, you have to you are responsible for your own wealth, you have to take care of your own health. All of this is there in Islam, but it's balanced out. There is also a sense of OMA, there is also a responsibility towards the family. There is also a sense of maintaining family ties, there's also responsibility towards the neighbors, there's also responsibilities towards the poor towards
the orphans. There's also a general responsibility for caring about others. So what Islam does is it saves humanity from these extremes, that we have a one side of the world and extreme where you have no sense of self, you are just a cog in the wheel, you just do what you are told. And on the other extreme, we have this way, it's all about yourself. It's all about me, it's all about what I want, and nothing else matters. Now, one of the problems is happening over the past 20 years is that this sense of individualism in the West has has become extreme. It has become what we call hyper individualism. So the way it existed
50 years ago was fine. It was actually in line with Islam. Right, like 50 years ago, where the West was saying that you need to work hard, you need to earn your own income, you need to take responsibility for your life. You know, all of this was fine. But what's happened over the past 50 years, a few things happened over the past 20 years. One of them is the rise of social media. Right. So what happened with the rise of social media, social media, today, it's all about yourself. It's all about self praise. It's all about fame. It's all about, you know, who has the most followers and the most likes. And what this does, it became peep, it made people more self centered. Right? Social
media, as it exists today, has made a lot of youngsters more self centered, where life becomes all about itself. Nothing else matters. People will be willing to embarrass their own parents on social media just to get famous, where the parents don't even have, you know, any sense of REITs because it's all about yourself. So that's one of the things that happen. Another thing that happened over the past 20 years, is that we had a divide in families, right, the family structure broke down, you see what happened, the family structure broke down. And a lot of people don't have a sense of family anymore. And then they become even more individualistic. So you have people out there who don't want
to get married, don't want to have children don't want anything to do with their parents don't talk to their brothers and sisters don't have any sense of family whatsoever. Right? And they feel that that's the right thing to do. Why? Because I want to have fun, I want to enjoy my life. I want to do things my way. Right? It's all about me, it becomes all about the south. So with the breakdown of the family has led people to becoming even even more individualistic, where life becomes all about yourself. And it's become so extreme that we're hearing statements today that you will have never ever heard 20 years ago, like today, I hear young people saying things like, I don't owe my parents
anything. He just did what they had to do. Every parent has to do that. So I don't owe them anything.
This is such a satanic statement to make.
Abdullah even Omar Abdullah and who he said, once a man once a man was making Tawaf while carrying his mother on his back. And he woke up to Abdullah ibn Omar and said, there's this act of worship makeup, for all the stuff she did for me when I was younger. And Abdullah, even woman said, it does not even make up one contraction. It does not even make up for one bit of pain that she felt during labor.
To think that your parents have no rights over you. This is a level of being self centered that is beyond the illusion this is this is like reaching satanic levels of self self centeredness, where even the very people who gave you everything who helped you to get where you are to date, that you want to throw them away. And now we have children kicking their parents out of the home and leaving their parents homeless, so they can rent out that house because they want more money. Like what kind of a devilish mentality is this? That's shaytaan has called out people this much that we have these happening in our community in South Africa, in Durban, amongst Muslims, where people have become so
self centered, they have zero feelings towards their own parents.
And one of the things that's contributed to this is this modern myth of independence, right, the modern myth of independence, one of the lies that this generation has been sold is that you need to be independent.
Reality is Allah is Oh, honey, Allah is independent, nobody else is independent. Nobody in this world is independent. You can be the best Alim in the world. But if you are sick, you still need a doctor. You can be the best doctor in the world. You need to pay your taxes, you need an accountant. Everybody needs everybody else for society to function. Nobody's independent. We are all interdependent, right. And that's how society functions. It functions to interdependence. A man needs his wife, a woman needs a husband, parents need their children, children need their parents, brothers and sisters need each other neighbors need each other communities need each other. But when
people start thinking only about themselves only about independence, where it becomes all about me, then they lose that self of the user, they lose that sense of caring about others, then life becomes only about how can I do things on my own and then you get the self delusion that oh, I'm a self made man. You hear this today? I'm a self made man. Someone born into a rich home sent to the fanciest of school by his parents given the best of education given his first job by you know, a contact in the family will say I'm a self made man. Nobody's a self made man. We all part of a community to community uplift each other but if you can't see the good that others are doing for you, then you
know the self made man you have broken yourself. You have broken yourself and what's going to happen what's going to happen with the generation that is so self centered, a few things are gonna happen. Number one, family is going to disappear even more. Family is going to disappear in one week.
Seeing this ad we now have youngsters who intend to never ever get married. We have young men and women who actually have the intention to never get married, to never have children. And by the way, if you're if you're in that category, look at what's happening in America and in Europe, the populations are in decline. You don't believe me go and read this research, the statue yourself. They are in population decline. certain races are in danger of becoming extinct, because they have an entire generation that's not getting married and having children.
I think about this, if an entire generation of a family does not get married, he does not have children, that family is extinct by the next generation. They don't exist anymore.
So we have this idea that nowadays with some people, when you and you asked him, I speak to them, ask them like why don't you want to get married? It's, it's natural to want to get married. It's natural to want to have children. They say, Oh, I want to enjoy my life. How are you going to enjoy your life for our family? That's the biggest joy. Allah Shiva. hunterson. Amalia? Well, Bernina Zenit, Lucha dunya wealth and children are the beauty of this world you want? Well, they're not children, you only getting half the package. Right? The Beauty and the joy of this world comes from family. So people think they want to enjoy them. So what they mean is they want to do everything
haram, without someone telling them no. So they move on to the parents house have nothing to do with it, parents won't get mad he couldn't do what the spouse telling them what you're doing is haram. They don't want to have children, because didn't have to be a role model to those children. They just want to stay in a state of rebellious teenager for the rest of their life. You know, we have many men in their 30s, who are still rebellious teenagers, they don't want to get married, they don't want to work. They don't want to, you know, be a role model to others, they just want to have fun. This is individualism gone to an extreme. So this is the problem that our culture faces today.
And it's very, very bad. And what's happened over the past two years is because of the lockdown. Because we always stuck in our own houses for two years. People who already had this mindset where it's all about me, it became even worse, because now they had zero interaction with other people. Some of them had literally zero interaction other people for two years. And now they don't even know how to interact with other people, that you will find that we now have people who don't even know how to be polite. They don't even know how to have good manners. They don't have a sense of, of feeling for others, life has become all about yourself.
So to go back to what I was saying in the beginning, that modern cultures of two types. In the east we have a lot of collectivist cultures, where it's all about the state or all about the family. And in the West, we have individualistic cultures, and this includes South Africa, where it's all about itself. And recently, Islam is in the middle. You take care of yourself, take care of your health, take care of your wealth, take care of your of your spirituality, take care of your personal development, you take care of yourself, but you also take care of family, you also care about your neighbors. You also care about society, you care about the poor, you care about the orphans, you
care about the Ummah, you find a balance between both, you find a way to be part of the whole and to be yourself at the same time. Because at the end of the day, it's all about Allah, Allah subhana wa Taala he made us individuals, but he made us part of an ummah. And we have to find that balance between caring for ourselves individuals and caring for the ummah. Let me give you one last example of, of how people go to extremes in this, that
there is an example of doing it the right way, right? If a woman tells her husband, that I need an hour to myself every day, because I need me time off, a man tells his wife that this is balanced. This is the right way to get me time to focus on yourself to be individualistic in a balanced way. Now we are cases where a woman who's in a perfectly happy marriage will say I want to divorce. And we ask Why say I want to focus on myself. This is I want to focus on myself, I want you to be me, I don't want to have to worry about the husband and children anymore. This is not going to extreme. Where you and yourself and you're nasty, so important. You will break up your family for the sake of
self and our to this alpha day balanced breaking up an entire family because you only care about yourself extreme. And beware this is on the rise. This is on the rivalry where people aren't divorcing because of I mean, we understand that people divorced because of abuse or because of negligence or because of something like that. But when people are now divorcing because I want to focus on myself, or I want to do self love, that's when you are using self love. So you love yourself more than your family. You willing to split children upon the Father because you care about yourself more, you know this, this is now becoming extreme. And he'd be very careful of these
extremes. At the end of the day, Islam is a religion of balance, find time for yourself, find time for others. You go back to the wisdom of Solomon Voxy you know, when when he met Abu darda Rajala one when he knows that Buddha was only focusing on worshipping Allah, and on acting out what did he tell him when he told him your God has rights over you? But your wife has rights over you and your body has rights over you should give everyone their rights
Give everyone their rights, give Allah his rights, give your family the rights, give society the rights, give yourself your rights. Everyone has rights, including your own self. So you find that balance. When you take care of yourself, you take care of family, you take care of society, and you worship Allah, that is the straight part. And if someone is becoming too self centered, they have to really rethink how they're looking at life. Because the end of that the end of that road of being self centered, is not independence. It's loneliness. It's loneliness. That one day as a young now, as a young man, 25 you think, Oh, I'm going to be independent, No wife, no kids, no parents, no
friends, just me on my own. By the age of 70, or 80, you're going to be crying out of loneliness. Because what that decision when you are young means It means when you're old, you have no children, no grandchildren, nobody in your life. Now people who made that choice, and they died in a stage where nobody knew they did until the smell came out to the house a few days later, because they literally don't need to act to any other people. They just completely isolated themselves from society. Be careful of the loneliness that comes from divorcing yourself from the ummah. We are a part of the Ummah and we must make that a part of our lives. We ask Allah for guidance, we ask Allah
for balance, we ask Allah to keep us in the middle part in this three part Shobhana Rebecca Robin is at the embassy for so long. Selena Al Hamdulillah Al.
Hamdulillah he was Salatu was Salam ala manleigh, Nabil about the Ummah bad?
So how do we find balance? How do we bring our youth back to the middle part?
I just mentioned four things very quickly. Number one, model the behavior and attitude that you want your children to have. If a mother or a father is self centered, the children are going to be self centered. But if they see in their parents, models of kindness, have community of service of loving for others, what they love for themselves of being part of an ummah, then that's what they are going to replicate that if they see the mother and father volunteering, and they taking part in Islamic events, and helping the poor and helping their neighbors and being there for the relatives, then that is what they're going to, to model that's what the children are going to do. But if the parents
are self centered, it depends only care about themselves. If the parents are always focused on just me, myself and I, then you're gonna raise a child who is the same. So it starts number one by modeling the behavior that you want the next generation to have. Number two, make sure that your children are connecting with others. And one of the problems of this generation is everyone's being raised in isolation, that children are just sitting and playing video games and watching Netflix all day. And the only interactions they have with others is through social media, which is a very toxic environment to be interacting with others. Take your children to socialize, take them with you to
volunteer at events, right take them to visit extended family, invite extended family over let them spend time with cousins let them spend time with the broader family. Let them get to know the neighbors and the neighbors children.
Take them to the masjid introduce them to people at the masjid let them see the masjid and they saw the place of of source of socializing a place of community that they know all of the uncles in the masjid and they know all of the elders in the masjid and they make connections in the masjid. And again, the mentors from the masjid. And again, the spiritual guides for the masjid because it's a place of community for them. It's not just a place that they pop in once a week, listen to goodbye and go home. It needs to be essential community. But it starts with the parents that the parents need to make sure that the children are part of the community. If you feel your child has been
raised in isolation, make sure that you are helping them to form community bonds.
Think about it. Think about your own kids and think about whether they have a sense of community or not. And if they don't find ways, and it started needs to the masjid at least have a sense of connection to the people of knowledge and to the righteous people in your community so that they grew up as a part of society. Do they have elders in the community they can ask for advice to they have people who could help them get a job one day that they have people who can advise them spiritually or issues they might not want to talk to their parents about that they have healthy role models around them, and not just the toxic people that they interacted online. Number three, start
volunteering. And we take your children with you that if you're volunteering at an event, make your teenagers volunteer as well. Make them volunteer I also nowadays we want to make people do anything we feel like it's wrong to make children do anything but it's a parent's job. It's a parent's job sometimes to make your child do something that they don't want to do because it's good for them in the long run. So if you are going to volunteer at an Islamic event, take your teenagers with you whether they want to or not, and make them sit up the chairs, make them do something make them you know, pour the tea, whatever it is get them involved in serving people so they can learn the joy of
serving others so you can learn that Central Community is not all about me. That is a great joy being part of a community and helping others and serving
others have been part of society and just focusing on yourself. And maybe that will awaken something in them, maybe a little weakened in them this idea of being part of the community and helping others and serving others, but you don't gain those experiences they'll never know. All they know is the bubble that they grew up in. So take your children and make them part of the community by allowing them to volunteer, or by help making them volunteer. And finally, have honest discussions with your children about this topic. If you have a child who is very self centered, sit them down and talk to them about what that's going to mean in the long run. And if you can't do it, get an elder to do it,
or get a scholar to do it or get a a counselor to do it. Because that mindset is very destructive. People don't see long term I the teenagers, and the youngsters who think that they don't see long term, all they can see is now all they can see is the joy and the power that they get from being independent. Now they don't see the long term consequences for them, for the family and for the society. If they're just pursuing an option, in the short term, they need these discussions. You need to sit with them and be honest with them that this is not a good path to go down. That if you don't see your parents having rights over you, then who will you see as having rights over you?
Someone who doesn't even feel that their parents have rights over them? Do you think they're gonna think that the wife or the husband has rights over them? Or did the children have rights over them? Or did the neighbors have rights over them? Or that the you know, the poor people of society have rights over them? No, because all they care about is themselves. They have divorced themselves from the most primary relationship, that bond with your parents, every other born falls apart as well.
So you need to have honest conversations with them that this is a very dangerous path to go down.
And be aware of the signs that someone's becoming individualistic, hyper individualistic, when you stop caring about others, when they only talk about their own rights, when they only talk about their own selves, where they don't have a sense of, of, of empathy for others. Whether you have a flood in another country doesn't affect them. They hear about poverty doesn't affect them. They hear about people dying doesn't affect him. Why? Because he didn't it didn't happen to them. If someone is becoming like that, then they're heading down a dark path. And you have to have an honest conversation with them about being part of the Ummah,
that this ummah we are one, and we are supposed to be there for each other. We are supposed to be there the Hadith says like bricks supporting each other.
A brick on its own is useless. A brick on its own is useless. And this is what we are becoming that we are becoming a nation of 2 billion useless bricks in serve a house to protect our people from the outside forces. So we need to understand the importance of Omar and the importance of being there for each other and the importance of brotherhood in Islam.
And it starts with the parents. It starts with making sure that your children are growing up with a sense of understanding that yes, you need to build up yourself you need to focus on your personal development, your spirituality, your your career, you need to focus on that but you also need to focus on others. You also need to make time for for your family, for your neighbors for the orphans, for the poor for the Ummah as a whole you need to be part of this ummah. Otherwise you will have a very lonely existence. You ask Allah for guidance you ask Allah for balance you ask Allah to keep us steadfast on the street but Robin Artina for dunya Hasina will accurately Hasina working as Abner
Robina hub Lana Mina as wodgina will do the yard in a Kurata
Kenai mama Subhana rahbek Robin is it Yama? Yes the phone was salam anon group saline will hamdulillah Hara rabbil aalameen