Channel: Omar Suleiman
Serving for the Love of Allah – ICNA-MAS Annual Convention
May 28, 2016
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I always love to be able to address the dimensions of charity outside of a fundraiser, where we actually get to speak about the the scope and we get to speak about the deep theological meanings behind this command to serve Allah subhanho wa Taala. Now I'm going to start off by saying this one question that I get asked, and I can't really tell if you guys are nodding your heads or not when I say this, but one question I get asked sometimes is, when I give charity, how do I give charity for the sake of Allah? Meaning, you know, what, if I'm just being a good person? What if it's just me doing something out of the goodness of my heart? Is that not for the sake of Allah? What does it
exactly mean? And many people don't really know how to answer that question. It's a very, very profound question. If we do things out of our values of empathy and selflessness, is that not rewardable? in the sight of Allah subhanaw taala? Is it only rewardable before I give charity, I say to myself, or I say to the other person, that this is for the sake of Allah Subhana Allah to Allah, and Subhana Allah, we find that everything is contained. Within this powerful verse, will you'll play more and apply on a hook be he your team and woman skeena what I see a lot in demo company watch Hila learn resume income. Jessa and wala Shakira. last panel data says that those people, when
they give they feed out of their love of Allah subhanho to Allah, the One who is poor, the one who is an orphan, and the one who is a prisoner. And as they feed them in the manual for mo commonly weds Hilah we only feed you for the sake of Allah, not desiring any sort of gratitude and not desiring any sort of compensation, not now or in the future. This one idea, or even the first fragment of the ayah answers three essential questions of charity, why you give charity, how you give charity, and who you give that charity to, within just a few words, Allah subhana wa tada encapsulates all of these powerful meanings, that truly if we pay attention to, would completely
reinvent the manner in which we serve, even if we are already in the service of mankind. And I want to start off with that question, while you'll play monado Allah, Allah hug, be He, they feed in accordance with their hope, their love for him or their love for it.
The word hope he he is actually disputed. Is it? Do they give out of their love of Allah? Or do they give in spite of their love of what they're giving? Meaning? What the pronoun the lumea? Here? Is it referring to Allah Herbie that they spend out of their love of Allah, or they spend despite loving the food that they're giving away. And that's a very legitimate difference of opinion. And it's a powerful one, it's a profound one, because both of them and we often find that within the Quran, you'll have one word that serves two meanings and those meanings do not conflict with one another. Rather, they embellish one another. And this is one of those situations, they stand out of their
love of Allah Subhana Allah to Allah, the scholars that say that it means they spend out of their love of Allah, that they feed people for their love of Allah Subhana Allah to Allah, they say that this means maccoby he, you'll put him on a parama hobby he that when they give, they give with their love of Allah, they accompany that giving that service with their love of Allah Subhana Allah, so they beautify their service, they beautify their charity, because they know that it's for the sake of Allah subhanho wa Taala the other scholars and I'll get back to that definition, that say that they spend, despite loving what they're giving, you'll pay more now for um, specifically food. They
feed others, specifically what they love what they desire, they give that away. It addresses one of the most one of the deepest crisis's we have in how we understand charity and philanthropy in our generation. And that is that most people give charity, not because they love that charity or that they love the person they're giving charity to, but because they no longer have any use with what they are disposing of.
And they want to find something that's semi Noble. And it's also convenient to get rid of things that they no longer love. Charity in our day and age is not because we care deeply or for the most part. Of course there are people and hamdulillah there's always good in this world. But it's not necessarily because people care deeply about solving the problem of economic inequality, or solving the disparity that we have. That's always existed, quite frankly, throughout mankind even before Bernie Sanders By the way, economic inequality has been an issue and has been spoken about. In fact, throughout world history, usually you have people
are extremely rich and elite and extremely poor and downtrodden. There's very rarely a middle class in most societies in history, usually, you're either overwhelmed with poverty or you're overwhelmed with ease. So when people spend, do they give what they love to who they love? Or do they give what they no longer have a need for to people that they're really not interested in knowing or serving? That's the question that needs to be addressed here. And the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, he addressed this with his word and with his deed. In word, the Prophet slicin was asked a your solder party of wall what is the best form of charity to give? He says until sadhak will enter sahelian
Shahi Juan Manuel Ah, what's actually
he gave four things a lot of it was sentiments, my authentic hadith and Sunnah nasai, by Abu huraira, or the low I know, he said, the best type of charity is when you give charity what until, while you're healthy, meaning what when people die, suddenly they try to will off all of their stuff all of their inheritance to charity, it doesn't work that way. You should be giving it while you're healthy. Because now you're just robbing your children of that wealth. It's not fair Wait, you know what, while you yourself are healthy and able to benefit from that money, and you yourself are not in need. Physically, you're in a position to earn, what until sahelian. shahidan, the profit slice.
I'm sad, when you feel stingy. When you're healthy, and you're well off, and you feel a sense of stinginess, when you're called to give for the sake of a loss of Hannah Montana. Not only that,
you still feel like you have a long life ahead of you. So you still hope for a long life. So it's not something that you're doing because you're at the end of your life and you've already lived your worldly goals and what you've used to be your purpose. This is your purpose service to mankind is your purpose, you still got your life ahead of you, you still have hopes and dreams and career goals and so on so forth, and you still give
and you're a human being talk shall fuckup you fear poverty. When these four things are combined within a person as they give charity, it shows that you're giving charity with a sense of purpose. You're referring others to yourself, I that helped me he despite your personal love for that food. And this is something confirmed throughout the Quran. And throughout the sun of the prophets lie Selim in the Quran lantana a little hotter tone people mingma to hipbone you will not achieve righteousness or its reward until you give from what you love. What you see Runa and foresee him when Oh, can I be him ha salsa, and they prefer others to themselves, even when they themselves are
in need of what they're giving this concept of serving, and giving your free time giving your wealth and not just your disposable wealth, and not just the food that you don't really like, and not just the clothes that you don't really like to wear anymore. And somehow that's a culture that's inherited, we teach our kids that you're no longer wearing these clothes, that's fine. Let's throw them into a box and give them to the Salvation Army or go drop them off in front of a Muslim and hope they'll send them to Syria. They don't need your garbage.
They really don't need your garbage. They don't need your leftovers. Where's the sun and what you give, where's the spirit of the messenger sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, when I saw the law, and he gave away the entire part of the lamb and left the shoulder. Because she knew the prophets lie, some loved it, he desired it. And for that reason, when the prophets lie, some came home. He said we have given away the shoulder and kept everything else.
You know this concept of edge of the hereafter the reward of the hereafter truly being that which is everlasting. So you'll pay more for Allah Allah humbly, he would mean that you spend what you love to people that you care for, even though they don't have a technical right upon you. You don't have to love them. But the goodness inside of you, causes you to love them.
Your team and what Myskina what a zero, and they give to the one who is poor, they give to the one who is an orphan, and they give to the one who is a prisoner. You know, I want to summarize those categories in Sharla. And then get back to the central question that I asked in the beginning. those categories are very interesting, because the Prophet sallallahu wasallam, or rather Allah Subhana Allah in this ayah is talking about feeding people. Now here's the thing, when someone is in financial difficulty,
shouldn't you be trying to make them no longer miskeen no longer in financial difficulty is in priority to go and get them out of that financial duress. Right? Isn't that the priority? Can you guys just nod your head so you can make me feel good about myself good. Xochimilco, when someone's poor, when someone's needy, the priority if you're capable is to be able to go to that person and take
them out of their poverty, rhythm of their poverty. But here we're talking about feeding them. Why? Because this is necessitates that you yourself are a person who is not capable of making the miskeen no longer miskeen you're not capable of doing away with this poverty, but at least I'll preserve your dignity, at least I'll feed you a wholesome meal, a hearty meal, the one that I have in my own house, so it necessitates that I'm not able to no longer make you a miskeen one who's one who's poor or need, but I will feed you and preserve your dignity. What about an orphan, because this is particularly talking about aplomb, feeding, feeding the orphan. Now, the miskeen is someone who's
unable who has not earned so you know, you know, at least half of what's necessary for their needs. So miskeen is technically someone that's under 50%, they are completely incapable of financially providing for themselves. An orphan. Yeah, team, linguistically means someone who no longer has a father, so the father is no longer able, or they're no longer able to benefit from the Father, providing for them their children, and they don't have the bread, the breadwinner in the house, whether it's the father or the mother, right, but they no longer have a breadwinner in the house. Now Shouldn't the priority be
that the team needs kafala, he needs someone to take them in. Just like the poor person needs to be rid of their poverty, the team, the orphan needs guardianship. And the priority if you are capable, is guardianship. But at least if you're unable to provide them guardianship, you still preserve their dignity, you feed them from what you love. it necessitates that you're not in that place, what I see at all and the prisoner, and according to Muslim scholars, this is a mucky verse. So what that means is this is literally when the Muslims were being captured, or the slaves who were accepting Islam were being tortured, or the Muslims were being, you know, captured by their tribe, whatever it
may be. But you know, Subhanallah, it literally is a political prisoner. The car in this situation are the political prisoners, people that were imprisoned people that are being tortured, for no other reason. But saying La ilaha illAllah, which was a political statement in the time of Mecca, you're challenging the authority by saying La ilaha illAllah. Now, how isn't the priority to free that political prisoner if you can purchase their freedom, and no longer make the seed a seed that's priority, but at least preserve their dignity by feeding them on some how to love the Arabs had a practice. Before Islam, Islam abolished it, were what they would do with their prisoners, they
wouldn't feed them in their prisons, and they wouldn't feed their slaves, what they would do is they allocated a time of the day to send their prisoners out to go beg for food. So it's kind of like every single day, there was a time of the day in Mecca, where the prisoners would be let loose in the streets, in their chains, to beg for food.
And a loss of Hannah Montana is saying you preserve that person's dignity to the best of your ability. So if you can make them esteem no longer miskeen and the team, no longer your team, and the car, no longer sex, that's wonderful, that's beautiful. But if you're in a situation where you're not well off, you're not an authority. You're not someone who can change the system, you can challenge it vocally. But at the same time, you will take care of the victims of that system. You can't sit around and talk about economic inequality, and talk about the volume that people face because they're poor and so on, so forth, and oppression and you yourself are an oppressor and you
yourself are greedy. You can't challenge the systems if you're a part of that system, if you're a part of that brutal process. So you have to challenge it within your own capacity and that's what Allah subhana wa tada is telling us in this ayah Finally, the last question, when I give do I give for Allah? Or do I give because I'm a decent human being and are those things in contradiction with one another? Now the scholars like full of Narayan Rahim Allah to Allah, Who said that Allah helped me He means that you love Allah and that's why you give. The reason being is that the next part of the ayah is in the manual for a monochrome language Hilah we feed you only seeking the pleasure of
Allah Subhana Allah to Allah. So what does that mean? A loss of Hannah junta Allah tells us what it means to feed for the sake of Allah. And that is in the manual for a mockingly words Hilah we feed you only for the pleasure of Allah subhanaw taala learn or resume income doesn't wanna show Cora. This is the explanation of it. We don't want anything in return. Nor do we want to be thanked. We don't want to be paid back because we know that a lot is on Lezak. We know that Allah is the Sustainer and Allah will give me back in this world and he will provide for me Jenna in the next we don't want to be thankful.
by anybody because we know that Allah is a so called Allah is the most grateful. And we want to save that thinking for the day of judgment and let Allah subhanho wa Taala be the one to thank me, I am, I am completely content and fulfilled not having a single human being acknowledged my work or my service, because if I need that acknowledgement, then there is a level of insincerity inside of me, if I crave it, and I need it, that every single time I do something good for someone or something, I need someone to come pat me on the back or pay me or do this for me or do that for me. That in and of itself is an indication that there's something wrong with my core. So Landry domain comm jaza and
what are tsuchiura is feasibility law, feasibility law in the path of Allah, when you when you become grateful to Allah Subhana Allah to Allah when you humble yourself to Allah Subhana Allah to Allah, then those natural things of fitrah of compassion, of empathy, those natural dispositions, they are polished and they start to shine. The prophets lie Selim, he mentioned that he man polishes character, it polishes that goodness of selflessness and humility. And that's why if a person has Deen but no hook, that means they're not doing Dean writes. If they have religion, Deen and they don't have good character. That means they either don't understand the religion properly or they're
selectively applying it like hypocrites.
They go hand in hand, the religion polishes those ideals and those values, and by necessity is supposed to make those qualities shine. Not only does it make those qualities shine, because I'm grateful to Allah, so I become a grateful human being. I humble myself to Allah, so I become a humble human being. And that naturally translates into empathy and goodness for others. But it even embellishes it and beautifies it How? Because when I'm able to add on top of it, the elements of doing it for Allah,
then I will beautify the charity that I'm already inclined to do because of my service to Allah. I'm going to say that again. If I'm able to embellish and beautify my charity by doing it for Allah, then I'm able to beautify the charity that I already will do, because I serve Allah subhanaw taala because I know what Allah has given to me. What does this mean? And how what's the practical implementation of that? A practical implementation is I shall be allowed to add on her perfuming her money when she gave it to the poor
perfuming her money because he knows that will go to Allah, the way that you give charity, you already feel an inclination to serve, because you love Allah. But the way that you give charity now represents your love of Allah subhanaw taala and represents a complete understanding, a deep understanding. Does that mean each and every single time I smile, I need to make an intention. feasable Allah, Tibet semoga fumc League Soccer, smiling in the face of your brother's a charity? Does that mean I need to make the intention every time does that mean? I need to make the intention every time I do something good for somebody else. No. Number one, have no expectations of anyone
else. That's a loss, purify yourself of needing any net any appreciation or any payment from anyone else. That's sincerity. Number two, when a smile and doing goodness is simply a manifestation of a quality which you gained for the sake of Allah subhana wa Tada. So you learn to be a good person or you polish your goodness for the sake of Allah. Then every time you act upon it, you will be rewarded each and every single time you smile at someone. You don't have to sit there and make the intention every time and go Bismillah Alhamdulillah wa salatu salam ala rasulillah this smile is for the sake of Allah and that smile.
It's who you are. It's who you are. And you you apply it because you love the sinner but it becomes second nature. Goodness becomes second nature right? So when you're doing charity, it's part of your nature now and you beautify it by your remembrance of Allah subhanaw taala by making it even better by adding to it Subhana Allah and another proof of that Hadith and I leave you with this is what the prophet slice alum mentioned in the lambda layer to kellem period one Allah He tada a person says something that's pleasing to Allah subhana wa tada up Lucha Bala. He doesn't think that it means anything, or he's not paying attention to it, meaning he's someone who's accustomed his tongue to
goodness, accustomed his tongue to speaking well to other people accustomed his tongue to saying nice things to other people accustomed his tongue to praising Allah Subhana Allah when something happens to him. He's accustomed his tongue to goodness la de la habana. He doesn't think about the Prophet slicin says he says that one word
autofire Allah Javi Dada Allah raises him in Paradise by degrees and degrees and degrees even though he wasn't even paying attention.
And on the other hand, in the lambda to column, b satilla a person says one word Kelly mommy Sokka Tila one word that's displeasing to Allah. la de la habana, and he doesn't pay attention to it and it caused him to pledge and plunge into hellfire. Why? Because you've manifested an ugly character that you should be working on. And your tongue has become so filthy, that you don't even recognize the filth anymore. You don't even recognize when you're being rude anymore. It's so constant and degrading and condescending. So polish your character for the sake of Allah subhanho wa Taala and serve for the sake of Allah subhanho wa Taala and your empathy and your selflessness is good. It's
part of how Allah created you and intended for you to be so when you live up to those values and shout out to Allah. That is not something that's displeasing to Allah to the contrary, that's something that elevates your status in the sight of Allah Subhana Allah, we ask Allah to make us the people that serve His creation, with with what has been given to them the most precious of what has been given to them, because their most precious goal is seeing the noble face of Allah subhana wa tada and attaining His pleasure. And we ask a lot to make us a people that expect nothing in return from any human being when we do things that we are supposed to be doing anyway. And we asked a lot
to beautify our charity and to beautify our service with Santa Elena. I mean, a hula kolyada was tough Raleigh, welcome to Sacramento Hayden was salam wa salam ala nabina. Muhammad was Salam aleikum wa rahmatullah wa barakato.