Charging for Religious Events

Mufti Menk


Channel: Mufti Menk

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Assalamu alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh, my brothers, my sisters,

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this is a beautiful evening. And I'd like to address a very, very important subject. And that is the subject of charging for the Islamic events, and the religious events, lectures, and so on. It's a topic that means discussion, because many years ago, I was one of those who believe that it was actually wrong to charge for an Islamic event. But I was young, and I didn't realize that every event has costs. The venue costs money. The preparation costs money. The salaries cost money, the volunteers and the people, not always are they available to work free of charge, transport costs, money, food costs, money, logistics, costs money, and the sponsors are not able to actually sponsor

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full amounts all the time. So I grew up in an environment where people used to just have the events in a Masjid. And that's it. And in a lot of the masajid, unfortunately, there was no place for women. So not only women, but a lot of people wouldn't come readily to a Masjid, for certain events. And sometimes the politics within masjids is so bad that people don't attend a Masjid just because the Imam there wears a cap that happens to be a different color. So this type of problem happened to be in every community and society. As I grew a little bit older, I realized that not everyone had the facility that I had, not everyone was able to have a an income that was separate from their

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activity for the faith and the religion.

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They were people who had to work as Imams and get a salary. And they've been there all along. There are people who have to work as scholars and get a payment. Because that's, that's how they would survive, how would you expect them to survive when they have a wife and children, rents to pay fees to pay bills to pay, and nobody is ready to sponsor them. And a lot of the times the scholars of Islam get less than one 10th of the salary of an average person who works out there, who might be a doctor or an accountant or something of that nature. So it's it became clear that, you know, in a lot of communities and a lot of countries that we visit, these costs are not met by people, the

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people who sponsor have become more and more selfish in the sense that they want their logos they want a say they want to be, they want to do it their way they want to manage it like a business, they they sometimes actually spoil the entire event by

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having conditions that are not appropriate. So in order to avoid all of that, what was the simplest thing to do was to give everyone who attends the opportunity to invest in their hereafter by giving an amount towards their own benefit of the Hereafter, whether it was $5 $10 $20, or $50, sometimes even more, depending on which country it was, depending on what exactly the activity is. And depending on so many factors, you know, the costs of bringing scholars from overseas sometimes is tremendous. Like I've said before, I for one, do not charge in any way, I'd expect a community that can afford it to cover my accommodation and perhaps transport if they could afford it. And if they

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were the ones who invited me. But otherwise, I'm sure most of those who have mixed with me interacted with me and worked with me would realize that it's not about money. In my case, actually, I wouldn't mind contributing, if if the need had risen towards a cause that I attended, you know, and that's something that I mentioning not because I want to brag about it, but just as a point of encouragement and because so many people pick on us, they should know that sometimes we spend our money on you because we are the ones who would pay for a lot a lot actually that you would benefit from and then you still want to make a noise to say all these collars are charging and these collars

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are for dollars and so on. Unfortunately, it's a sign of success when people accuse you of that which you're not guilty of. You need to thank Allah because that goes to show that the Almighty is testing you. When I did good to you. I didn't do it because I thought you deserved it. I did it because I know that the almighty loves those who do good and I'll keep on doing it. So even if you do bad to me as a result, it's okay it doesn't bother me because I didn't do it for for you in the sense that yes, you might be a human being and you will benefit from the goodness but I did it for the pleasure of the Almighty. Maybe to for the benefit to reach you indeed.

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But we do it because we love each other for the sake of a lot of at least I love you for the sake of Allah, even if you don't love me, I love you for the sake of Allah meaning if you don't love me, it's fine.

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Because my love is not connected to your love. It's connected to my love for the Almighty. I know the almighty made you, I know that the almighty expects me to treat you in a good way, and so on. So recently, there is an event that is going to take that was advertised to be taking place in the Philippines, for example, and I received some messages from people saying, Oh, do you charge and so on, and I don't charge. And some said, Well, why is there a charge and even if I'm not aware of it, sometimes at times there is a charge because it's a law giving you the opportunity to contribute.

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Sorry about that. It's Allah subhanho wa Taala, giving you the opportunity to contribute towards something very, very great. And you need to realize that shaytan will come to you and make you spend the same money on a desert.

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And you will complain about how old $20 is so much. But when you went to buy a pizza, you just spent $40. So you ate it. And you didn't realize that the spiritual food was actually a greater bargain, but you complained about it. Come on, think about what I'm saying.

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So somehow, like if you were to pay 20 3040, it's not even, it's priceless. Actually, you cannot put a price tag on it. And a lot of the times if I were to attend, I'd like to ensure that it's free. If we find sponsors, so if you're willing to sponsor please contact me if you are ready to give 20 $50,000 or

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a huge amounts that are required for transport accommodation, the hiring of facilities, and it's not possible to have it at a Masjid all the time. Remember masjids the houses of Allah there is a certain sanctity respect of the house of Allah, you cannot just come there and do as you please. Also, a lot of the times like I say, a lot of the machines have politics very unfortunately, where they they are very uneasy to have certain people there just because those people may differ with them in certain matters. So to have a neutral venue to have a posh venue, a lovely venue, why should Muslim settle for that which is mediocre or that which is very low in terms of standard and quality?

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Why? And we should have the best facility we should have that which is top, pay the $5. Pay the $10 consider it an honor, pay $100 and buy 10 tickets and give the others to your friends. If Allah used your effort and your money to guide even a single person, perhaps like the Hadith says it's better for you than anything material that this world can have.

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So remember, don't let shaytan overtake you by making you think that you know what, they're ripping us off. They're not they're not ripping you off. You're supposed to be spending your wealth in a good cause. When last did you spend on your own spiritual upliftment? When last did you spend on things, you know, the Islamic applications no one wants to donate. Sometimes obese people donate it's just $2. But you advertise something to do with a worldly, you know, benefit and people will spend $1,000 $500, even the wealthy, they will give $10,000 to a cause that doesn't really need the money. And they won't give even $100 to a cause that will need the money at times. The reason is,

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Allah probably does not want that money. Maybe it's ill gotten. Allah doesn't want that money in his cause, because it might be dirty. So when you don't want to spend for your own benefit for your spirituality, for the deen, when you want to complain about the $5, the $10 the $50 then you should ask yourself the question, why am I complaining? Did I meet the costs? Did I sponsor? Did I encourage anyone to sponsor? Do I know the costs? Did I contribute towards the cause? Have I do I trust the people who are engaged in this and if I don't want to participate, I shouldn't. But if I really believe that this is a good cause, and it's a cause of the dean after thinking about it, then

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even if you're not going to attend, please donate, please buy tickets and make sure you give it to people. So it's important for us to think of these things. And this is why I've been meaning to address this topic for a long time. But today, I thought I'd spend about half an hour on it maybe less. My brothers, my sisters think very carefully. When you're being asked to pay for attending an Islamic event or religious event. Please, please look into it. Make sure that you spend Okay. Now some people say well, Islam is not just for the rich. I agree. That's why we put it online. That's why we make it available. That's why it's sometimes

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beamed live. I always encourage people that if your tickets are all sold, then make sure that you beam this live across the globe so that people can benefit sometimes if before the tickets are sold. If people know it's going to be broadcast live, they won't even buy the tickets not realizing that the venue itself was maybe $10,000 for the two days or four

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The day. I know some prime venues much more than that I know of venues that have costed 30 40,000 $70,000. I'm talking of praying huge five star venues. And trust me, they've been full. And Subhanallah, they've been a great success, why should we settle for something mediocre. So don't say that we're only facilitating for the rich, I've been to the poorest of communities, the poorest of communities. So don't come and give me that. So panela. And I'm sure a lot of my colleagues have been, you know, we have, if you go to the doctor, and the doctor charges you it doesn't mean they don't do good work. They must be not charging 1000 other people, but they charge you it doesn't make

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them bad. So what may Allah subhanho wa Taala make it easy. So what I'd like to say my beloved brothers and sisters is, for example, tomorrow, we have an event East London Mosque in the evening, it's totally free open for brothers and sisters, from marketing to Asia, it starts off at 7pm. And then a lot of the talk will be after Sinatra's mother even after select Alicia, there'll be a book signing. So that's a free event. Mashallah. tabouleh Cola, nobody's looking at those. So we haven't counted the number of free events that they have been. We haven't looked at how much money we have spent on Muslim Central For example, 1000s of dollars, a few sponsors, yes. How many people donate

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to Muslim Central, Muslim providing you the largest online audio library and Subhanallah? Have you done it but you've benefited from it? you've benefited from it. You know why you haven't donated because you haven't thought about it? And sometimes you think about it and you think others will donate why others? When are you going to donate even if it means one pound $1 even if it means 10 rands or whatever it might be a currency of your, you know, that you're using. So don't think about others, you might just be rejected by Allah, perhaps Allah doesn't want your money. It might be contaminated. So I would be very frightened. If I were told that, you know, my

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money is rejected. Because the idea the way I I mean, someone contacted me from the Middle East, some of the people who were who work there, and they were telling me you know, what, all this is such an expensive event, my brother, so if it's expensive, use come the $100 and buy tickets for five people back at home. Why not? Why don't you gather a few people and sponsor the whole event and make it free? Like I've said, I that had that has happened in Nigeria once where there was a sister who bought all the tickets, and she decided now it's going to be free for everyone else. So Wow, somehow Allah Who would think that would happen in a country like Nigeria, it did. And it has

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happened in other countries where people look, and they say, Look, I don't want my logo, I don't want my name. I don't want anything else. I'm doing a free sebelah I don't even want people to know who I am. But I'd like to spend this money in this beautiful course. So my brothers and sisters,

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you know, we need to make sure that our money was used not only for pizzas, and not only for accessories and makeup, not only for handbags, and shoes, not only for cars, not only for cigarettes, and what else, although that's like terrible, but that's what people do. To go to the shisha lounge, we wouldn't mind we would spend so much, but five pounds for a Muslim event, we would complain and we would discourage others from going there. But you encourage people to go to the shisha lounge, to go for desserts, to go for everything else. And to panela even just to waste time to go on an outing and so on. I'm not saying it's prohibited to go on an outing. But I'm saying

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think think very carefully. Where would you like your money to be spent? When the Hadith says one of the first things you're going to be asked is? Where did you earn your money? And where did you spend your money, your wealth? So where did you earn it? Where did you spend it, I would love to tell Allah subhanho wa Taala Oh Allah, I earned my money in a good way. And I've spent it on Islamic events, transport accommodation, helping people and at times, also, you know, on my family and so somehow Allah don't think for a moment that the scholars or the Allah or the people out there, you know, they're out there to make money. That's not the case in the majority of, you know,

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circumstances in the majority of cases. That's not actually what happens. A lot of scholars spend their own resources Subhana Allah and so many volunteers I know of organizations that struggle, they doing really good work, but they struggle. There's a lot of cutthroat tactics at the moment within an among Islamic organizations where one might say about another that you know, don't help these people, but they're doing good work. Sometimes it's just because we are in competition with the other ones. I was listening to a certain scholar.

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And unfortunately, the mistake he made is he said, I want to be the biggest name in Islamic you know, Islamic lecturing and Islamic Tao, etc. I want to be bigger than this guy, this guy this guy, and I thought to myself, that's a mistake. don't compete with others in that sense that you want to be bigger than them say, I'm going to do this for you Sabina. If Allah allows you to grow inshallah, one day it will be the biggest maybe I am working

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dedicatedly feasability left for the sake of Allah, and Allah will give it growth, the growth is not, if I say I'm in competition with someone else, I'm going to want to see them go lower than me. And that's the failure. Let's see people go higher, we're all working, we're one team, we should be loving one another, we shouldn't be hating on one another. So this is a very important evening, I've taken the time to actually tell you that my brothers, my sisters, donate towards Islamic events. If you have wealth, sponsor these events, it's becoming very, very difficult. You know, come out with that wealth, and, you know, ensure that you've donated an amount, not always to put your logo, it's

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not wrong to put a logo and to say your name there, especially if it's coming off your tax and so on. But try not to, you know, publicize who you are, do it free Sevilla and come in not as a VIP just as a normal person and see, can you do it for the sake of Allah subhanho wa Taala? Did you donate. So it's not always wrong, to have to have a charge. Like I said, I discourage it. I know, in my country, it wouldn't work in most cases. But I think we need to start it, you know, in a small way to say, look, you pay $1, pay whatever you can, and pay for others who cannot afford it. So I was telling one of the brothers that when you have an online registration, you save five pounds per

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ticket, and that's for your ticket and donate towards those who cannot afford it. So you donate another 50 pounds towards those who cannot afford it. And that's another button there. So panela. So we'll have a button, saying I cannot afford it. That's one another button saying I can't afford it. Here's five pounds and another button saying, I would like to pay for those who cannot afford it. Wow, I think we would actually do very well. But Subhanallah I hope we spread this message far and wide, because we need to talk about it. It's an honor, it's an honor to pay towards an Islamic event. I used to think otherwise, just some time back. And now I've realized, you know, there are

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costs involved, we're spending a lot of our own money. We're spending a lot of resources that and it's tough sometimes, you know, we don't have to go with a begging bowl to people to say, we'd like you to sponsor sponsor sponsor, and then be like the underdogs where those who sponsored you will dictate the pace. And so I know the people who are going to attend can can share this. And I remember once when we didn't charge I actually received some emails saying, why was there no charge, we actually were looking forward towards contributing towards this beautiful cause of the dean and so on. And I woke up to say, there are people who look at things very, very differently. Some people

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look at it and say what what an honor, and other people look at it and consider it a punishment. And some people go out and discourage people to say, oh, that shame is stealing. And this one is robbing and this one is no, you don't want to pay don't pay. But Subhanallah let the cause of Allah continue. Let it go. Let it progress. Don't be a person who blocks others from what Allah might have put in their heart. At the end of the day, what is it? It's $20 $10 $5 I mean, $50 Come on. That's it different people have different levels. So sometimes even just to filter people I know here in Britain, they say a five pounder is nothing, it's nothing, actually five pounds. They say that's

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people don't really charge five pounds, and I'd like to drop it to one pound. So Pamela, I'd like to encourage people to drop it to one pound.

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Like I said, personally, I don't charge so Subhanallah no one can come and tell me Oh, you charged so much. I didn't charge a penny. If anything, I've spent my own money, a lot of cases some halala my own resources, I've done things myself and you know who's benefited all of us. I've benefited you've benefited we've all benefited for the sake of Allah Subhana Allah to Allah so

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my brothers and sisters remember this, you know, we were I was very, very hurt by people who actually tried recently

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to discourage others from attending an event in the Philippines just because of a charge they had whether it was equivalent of $18 are so you know, they have 1500 seats, they have a lot of costs. And on top of that, if there is any surplus, it's going to be used for a good cause. So Wouldn't you like your money your 20 bucks to be spent in a good cause, you know, not always pizzas not always burgers, not always fast foods, not always your shoes and your clothes and all your accessories and your perfumes and so on. If you had to just look at your face and look at your body and what you wear, the amount of money you spent on the outward beautification. How much have you spent on the

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inward beautification Subhanallah how much money have you spent on the interior on your dean on your hereafter, to live this life and for people to appreciate you for the next day or two, you're already spending so much money but what about for your hereafter that is everlasting. You're not prepared to spend $20 and like I said, it's not just for the rich, the poor, can hear it online. They have the audios, they have the live streams, they can sit in the comfort of their homes, it's going to be posted. I record a lot of my own talks. If you see me with my phone, pressing a button, it's to record it for you who might not be able to afford

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The attendance so I'll upload it on Muslim Central immediately after in most cases so that those who were not able to attend or couldn't afford the attendance, who would actually be able to benefit from it? So don't come and tell me we only did it for the rich. We did not. It was done for everyone, everyone, it has reached far and wide. You have a million views in a week, where were they? Where did they pay from if they all had to pay 10 cents? We would never ever need to charge for an Islamic event. Again, I hope my words have encouraged you. I'd like to come back one day, very soon to discuss this issue, again to remind people but please spread this message far and wide.

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I'm going to upload it onto YouTube inshallah shortly, and I'd like it to really go as far as you know, the north and the south, the east and the west in order for us to be able to spend on a good cause. May Allah help us to change the way we look at these things and to be able to spend in the cause of Allah. If this is not the cause of Allah, what is the cause of Allah subhanho wa Taala Allah bless you all, and I know I was a little bit serious, no jokes, but inshallah I am looking forward to seeing you guys very, very soon again sometime in the obedience of Allah. Allah Allah Allah Salam aleikum wa rahmatullah wa barakato.