Exemplifying the Greater Narrative for Society
Channel: Omar Suleiman
File Size: 16.91MB
ICNA-MAS Convention 2018
Episode Transcript ©
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A Long Walk
in people, they did this thing. And they look back now. And they're grateful for their decision to go through with it. He said, I've tried everything, man.
I don't feel like there's any hope. He said, Every time somebody tells me there's another thing that will help me with my depression and my problems, my trauma and my experiences, I find it to be a dead end. His friend said, I please, I promise you just try it. I know someone who tried it. And now their life has changed, and everyone they know has changed as well.
So the man stayed quiet for a while skeptically looking at his friend,
wondering if perhaps it's another dead end? And then he said, Okay, fine. What is it?
He said, Have you heard of Islam?
The man responded, I have no idea what that is. How much does it cost? He's like, it's not a drug man. I'm not telling you to take drugs. He's like, what's Islam. He's like, I know somebody who embraced Islam as a way of life. And now they look back at that moment in which they were going to take their lives, something that did not belong to them. And they do not regret for a moment all the good that came from they're embracing Islam.
This man is curious, he has no idea what Islam is about. So his friend takes him to this Muslim who had converted years earlier.
And he starts asking question after question after question. He asks him question for three hours, three hours of questioning him. He asked, Why is there corruption in society? Why do we have crime? Why is there evil and suffering in this world, he wants to understand these questions.
And at the end of the three hour conversation, his friend says to him, I want you to take your time and call me if you want to continue talking about Islam, think about what we said, and anything you need, just call and we'll talk about it. He said, Man, I am done talking. I am done talking. I've been talking my entire life. We've been talking for many decades. He said I want to become Muslim right now. And he became Muslim Alhamdulillah. Now, the highlight of this is not the fact that someone became Muslim that has nothing to do with the important result of the story with the outcome. Much later, for the next two decades. This man who has no fame no following whatsoever, and
never wanted any spotlight or fame.
He helped more than 500 people with their drug addictions, a number that perhaps for some of you might not seem to be that great. But to help 500 people to help one person with their drug addiction is a massive accomplishment. More than 500 people, he facilitated in those two decades, more than 1000 water wells built in other countries for people who needed water. And Allahu Allah and God knows how many other things he did in his life. He started giving back to society. As soon as he said, a shadow Allah illallah wa shadow under Muhammad Rasulullah.
His idea of Islam his understanding from the very first moment was not that Islam is about me, or my salvation alone. It was about a comprehensive way of life to make society a better society, to lead the way forward to show people how things should be done to be the ultimate role models following in the footsteps of our beloved sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, and every time you hear his name in this conference, and every time you hear his name in your life, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam,
I want you to reflect on the fact that this man, this brother, he passed away three years ago, may Allah subhanaw taala have mercy on him, say Amin, may Allah have mercy on all of our brothers and sisters who passed away before say Amin and may Allah subhana wa Tada sheffey The one who heals grant everyone here who is suffering with an illness, a speedy recovery Allahumma Amin.
Before he died, he mentioned that the best decision he made in his life was that moment in which he had contemplated leaving this world. And when he embraced Islam, it was not just for him. It was not only about him, it was about society. Can you imagine how many people would not have been helped had this man not become Muslim? Had he decided to do something he should not have done? The question is, do you believe you are a catalysts for positive change in society? Do you believe you do and can make a difference? Oftentimes when we talk about change, and we talk about Islam, we don't emphasize enough the fact that Islam is a societal
way of life. It is not just about you and your rituals, we can use our teachings from ALLAH SubhanA wa Tada and His Messenger sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, to show society the way forward to exemplify the proper and correct narrative for society in times like this.
And not everyone knows about Islam, and those who know about Islam and hate Islam, many of them will not continue to hate Islam. And we have many examples like the politician last year in Europe.
He advocated against Islam his entire life. And then he embraced Islam. Just last fall, he embraced Islam and he became someone who actually was supporting Muslims. Not everyone hates Islam, and those who hate Islam will not always hate Islam. But regardless of their situation, we do what we can to show society the way forward. It does not take a mentally stable genius to meet a few Muslims and talk to a few Muslims and get to know Islam as it actually is. And the reality is Allah subhanho wa Taala reminded you and I so all of us are responsible, that we are to facilitate and support all goodness and society and abstain and avoid and forbid all types of oppressions and evils and
wrongdoings, the oppressions that you and I see every single day, Allah subhanho wa Taala reminds us in Surah, two Toba is 71. One more meno now one more Mina to bow.
Bow, the believing men and the believing woman are protectors of one another. Allies of one another supporters of one another. Yeah, moron. I beat him out all the way on Hohner honeymoon. They command good and they forbid evil.
We facilitate the good for society, not just for our children, not just for our families and not just for ourselves. Every single person here and every single person in this OMA has a role to play, whether you're five years old, or you're 150 years old, and if you're 150, please I want to meet you afterwards in sha Allah. The reality is, you and I should reflect what is my role? Because every one of our roles will be different. Our strengths and our weaknesses are very different. What is your role as a catalyst for positive change in society? We move forward with practical and hopeful opportunities. We remain realistic and optimistic and never lose that hope. We remain practical.
When we think of change in the world, and you tell yourself I want to make a difference in this world realize that the power is in the numbers the power is in the collective voice, the volunteerism that we see in every beautiful community around this world.
You heard a narration earlier. A Paul Bharani reported from Abdullah bin Omar Radi Allahu Anhu mad at the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said some Allahu alayhi wa sallam said, have been nasty in Allah, the Most Beloved people to Allah and Pharaoh holiness are those who are most beneficial to people. The most beloved people to Allah are those who are most beneficial to other people. The most beloved people to Allah are those who are most beneficial to other people.
What defines you and I is not what we say all the time you and I talk Alhamdulillah and talking as part of our lives and a small part of what we're trying to do. What defines you are now is not what you go and post every single day constantly on social media on Facebook on WhatsApp, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, and if you still have MySpace, Masha, Allah.
What defines you and I is what we actually do. Our actions speak much louder than our words. What defines you and I is when you know that your community needs help, you're there to help.
What do you do when you find out that you can help volunteer somewhere or for some cause? But they did not ask you for help? Are you proactive? Or are you only reactive
our actions define who we truly are. And we ask Allah subhanho wa Taala to help rectify our actions in ways that are pleasing to Him.
When you see a mass shooting, in which a number of students are killed,
if your first reaction and your initial thought is your concern only for your child and your children, and you have no concern for the many other children in this country and around the world for the many other children
And in the next 500 years after us, then we are not exemplifying Islam to its fullest extent for the betterment of society.
When you see our African American brothers and sisters being treated with clear, blatant discrimination, if your thoughts is this does not affect me, this does not concern me, then you're not exemplifying Islam to its fullest extent, for the betterment of society. It is not the way of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam. When you see a lot of greed, financial greed and corruption,
and you think to yourself, these politicians and this society has nothing to do with me, I just want to pray and fast, then you are not exemplifying Islam to its fullest extent for the betterment of society. Islam is concerned with everyone, and you and I should be concerned with everyone, for the betterment of all of society, we can show the way forward, we can show people light after darkness or relief after despair. We can show people guidance after misguidance for many of the contemporary problems that people are talking about right now. We can resolve them and should continue as Muslims to lead the way forward. For we have these things within our teachings, following in the footsteps
of the Prophet salAllahu alayhi wasallam when we say love for your brother and your sister, what you love for yourself.
Remind yourself that if you are to go through oppression, or injustice or pain, you would want all of mankind to stand for you to advocate for you to speak on your behalf to lead the way forward.
And as a believer, we should know we should know more than anyone else. That when we implement this principle of loving for others, what we love for ourselves, we will and continue to lead the way forward by the will of Allah subhana wa Tada of Hamdulillah. A lot of progress has been made in the last 50 100 years, in the last 10 years in the last five years in the last two years. Regardless of how terrible a situation might seem. There is always a silver lining. And this last year and a half to two years, has shown and highlighted many of the amazing things that we have, as a community and in general as a society, leading the way forward exemplifying the proper narrative for all of
society regardless of their backgrounds. The Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam was not just sent to one family or a tribe or small group of people. So if you want to follow the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, and exemplify his teachings and you want to be a messenger of the messenger of allah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, then it is necessary for you on AI to implement Islam in its fullest capacity for the betterment not just of the individual, or your family, but for all of society. And we ask Allah subhanaw taala to allow us to do so. Islam is not just salah, but that is necessary. Islam is not just higher or modesty, but that is necessary. Islam is not just rituals or
Likud or spirituality, but that is necessary. Islam is not just smiling in the face of your brother and your sister. But that is necessary. And there's always that one person in the back was frowning. Like why are you telling me to smile, tear up men. The reality is the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam reminded us that salvation and success is for everyone, and we shouldn't be concerned for everyone. We should want to lead the way forward for everyone. We should want to help and advocate for everyone towards that which is pleasing to Allah subhanahu wa Tada. We don't want to say at the end of our lives that I lived only for myself and my children, I invested in good children, they
have good jobs, they're moving on. We want to look back and say I utilized every blessing that ALLAH SubhanA wa Tada gave me not just for the betterment of my family, but for all of society. My dear brothers and sisters. If I should leave you with a practical reminder,
I remind myself and remind everyone here please, regardless of your strengths and weaknesses and your background, please find some time every month or every week to volunteer for some kind of cause. Please find something you can help with something you're passionate about. And if you cannot at all, then support as much as you can. For there are many causes that need all of our help. And every single one of us matters. Every single voice counts. Every single person's efforts and energy are important. When you look at the collective picture. It does make a difference and we are seeing this already Alhamdulillah in essence we can say
To volunteer is a part of Islam to volunteer is a part of our faith. And if you study the life of the prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam and the great companions, we see that this this was a norm in their lives. The second practical reminder, please do not push people away. Do not belittle people's works. Do not allow yourself because you do not see their perspective to belittle the good that they're doing whatever it is that they're doing a volunteering for the sake of Allah subhanho wa taala, we want to use the message of mercy of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa salam to show people what is correct. We don't want to push people away. And the last reminder, if you want to
change something, and if you see a problem, and you just complain about the problem and assign blame for the problem, ask yourself what you can do to change it. Ask yourself, What can I do to make some kind of difference? Even if it's not in my lifetime? Don't look for 510 20 or 100 years from now. Look 1000 years from now. This is 50 years of Aigner, where are we going to be in 1000 years and where is America going to be in 1000 years and we're still sidey, going to be in 1000 years. If Muslims continue with this positive trend of leading the way forward, we ask Allah subhanaw taala to increase us in goodness, we ask Allah subhana wa Tada to forgive us for our shortcomings. And we ask
Allah subhana wa Tada to make every single one of us a positive role model for society. While SallAllahu Maota Muhammad wa early he was talking big Marina was salam aleikum wa Rahmatullah