Lead! Take Your Rightful Place
Channel: Suleiman Hani
File Size: 20.20MB
before I begin inshallah can everyone stretch and stand up for just 10 seconds or so so this is a different reason is that
both are valid just to get the blood count
oh this comes from my time okay everybody's
slow hamdulillah was to learn to Assam Allah was really love what other early he was so happy woman word, I begin in the Name of Allah, the Ever Merciful, the oft forgiving the most loving the sustainer, the maintainer, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, and all that is in between. And I ask Allah subhana wa Tada to send His peace and His blessings upon His Messenger, Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, and all of those who follow him correctly until the Day of Resurrection.
I want to begin by asking you a rhetorical question that I really want you to reflect upon.
Do you believe, genuinely deep down,
that you could be a catalyst? And your reason a cause of positive change in society?
Do you believe you, as an individual have that ability to make a difference in the world around you?
Some of you might have heard of a viral story from several years ago,
about a brother who more than 29 years ago,
on the verge of suicide,
was advised by his roommate or his friend
to try something called Islam.
He said, I've tried everything, and nothing has worked. He said, trust me. I've seen someone who was also in your situation, also struggling with mental health. And on the verge of suicide, this person changed their life through this thing called Islam.
He said, Man, I'm frustrated with looking for sources of solutions. For my problem when I know I've tried everything, and it's a dead end. What is Islam anyway, what kind of drug is that?
He said, It's not a drug. It's a way of life.
He said, Try it, and then design.
He took him to his friend, the one he referred him to. And after speaking for a few hours about Islam, the man said, I'm genuinely convinced this is the truth. The one who's teaching him about Islam, told him take some time to think about what we just discussed for the last few hours. And here's my phone number. Anytime you want to call and talk, we can talk. You're always welcome to my home, you're welcome to our mosque. He said, I'm done talking. I'm so frustrated with talking. I've been talking my entire life. What can I actually do not just to embrace Islam? What can I do so that I'm fulfilling the highest standards, because I do believe this is the truth.
And for the next 29 years of his life, and again, I know some of you have heard his story many times. He helped facilitate so many causes of charity and so many campaigns, in helping people overcome their problems in solving a lot of problems, facilitating the building of hundreds of water wells, helping hundreds of drug addicts overcome their addictions. And you might not think hundreds of drug addicts in 29 years might seem significant. But in Islam, we're taught that if you can help one person, if you can help one person, this is greater than anything you can possibly imagine. On the scale of deeds on the Day of Resurrection, and to help many people overcome their addictions is
no small task.
After his many years of actual service, concrete action, real engagement with the world around him through his acceptance of Islam
a few years ago, after a long battle with cancer, he passed away May Allah subhanaw taala have mercy on him say Amin,
and may Allah have mercy on all of us.
Those who have passed away before say me.
Now the reason I brought up this example
is that before he passed away, one of the things he would frequently say, is I can't imagine and this is not in a boasting way. This is rather in a very humble but Frank way. I cannot imagine, if I did not at that moment, 29 years ago, if I did not accept Islam, and if I did not decide to take action, how many other people would not have been helped? And this is not a boastful statement. The question is, if you and I are taken out of the equation of society, what changes in society are there people whose lives we are affecting, where if you are gone, and there is some kind of difference, there is something that will not have been fulfilled, there is some problem that would
not have been addressed, there's some hardship that would not have been relieved, there is someone who is struggling, you would not have anyone to turn to because of your existence. As Muslims, we know, we know that we individually should believe with conviction, with confidence, that there is responsibility on the shoulders of everyone here. Every single person has a different role to play different strengths and different weaknesses. And we complement one another, we work with one another. We utilize the resources around us, society around us the places we are in the people that we meet, the tools that we have, so that we are making some kind of difference in a very
quantifiable way. And so again, rhetorically, do you actually believe with genuine conviction that you could be a positive catalyst for something in society? And the reason we asked this question is because we see all around us no doubt, and a very volatile time that a lot of people do not understand this stuff. And a lot of people might not even like Muslims, some people have no doubt, some hatred for Muslims.
And when we see these things around us in society, we acknowledge, as we observe, that not everyone who hates Islam, will always hate Islam.
And not everyone who hates Islam, is necessary for us to address with all of our attention and efforts, and so on and so forth.
We have many examples, like a famous politician, without using names last year, who accepted Islam in Europe, despite many years in his political party and advocating against Muslims through his policies. We see examples like this all the time, it does not take a genius to actually meet someone that you might have some kind of preconceived notion about. And try to understand their perspective, their religion, their ethnicity, their lifestyle, their culture, does not take a genius or a mentally stable genius. It takes very little effort for us to connect with the people around us. If you think for a moment that our religion is advocating, to live in isolation, as minorities, then
you're not understanding the full scope of Islam. And all we need as a proof is to go back to the messenger, sallAllahu, alayhi wasallam himself.
So when we talk about this concept of being a positive catalyst for change,
I'll mention for the sake of remembering the takeaways, I'll mention two points in sha Allah, about the theme of leading, what does it entail? Leadership does not necessity that you have a leadership position in some organization. It's not a necessary condition.
And so the first points related to this thing is don't always wait for other people to take action. Don't always wait for someone else to take care of it. Don't always wait for some organization or a scholar or an activist, to finally tackle a problem. And the reason we bring this up,
is to drive home and reaffirm that in reality in a very quantifiable way, every person makes a difference. Every voice makes a difference. Every optimist makes a difference. Every believer has a role to play. And if we fulfilled and maximize our potential towards these roles, we will see a difference in the society around us today. In the world around us today. We know as Muslims that we have the solutions to many of the
ills of society, and we have the ability to help this nation and the world over to overcome many of the problems that people are struggling with. We say this with confidence. And if we say this with confidence, then we must not wait for other people to take action. We must be proactive, individually, as families, as communities as organizations, often times a person acknowledges that there's a problem, but they're waiting for their local activist or local scholar to do something about it. And I'm not saying we have to all get into and involve ourselves with every single situation if we're not qualified, no. When you are able to make a difference or address a problem,
ask yourself, How can I do it? What can I do about this problem, rather than sitting and waiting for something to progress for something to change, when nobody's willing to take responsibility for that change. We are not an ummah, a nation of talking and talking and talking. We have Alhamdulillah our praises due to Allah a lot of information and access to information and resources and knowledge. Our problem is not a lack of information.
Oftentimes, there's a disconnect between the many lectures that we attend, and the many books that we read, and the many posts that we see on social media, a disconnect between the information and the actual IP security, what it is that we're learning, in a very quantifiable way. Who you are is not defined by what you say up here. Who you are, is not defined, but what you're posting on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and Snapchat, and if you still use MySpace, Allahu Allah, why?
It's not what we're saying. It's what we're doing, and have happened to Allah, we look, and we observed the last few decades in this country, and the immense amount of work that Muslims have contributed to the efforts all across the stories are countless, the impact is unimaginable. But there's still a lot of work to do. And there's still a long path ahead of us. And our lives are a culmination of that pie. Our lives are a dedication towards that change. And what greater life is there than the one who accepts the truth from God and uses it to make this world in adherence with the things that are better in adherence with things that are proper against injustices, against
immorality against oppressions. Because if we remain silent, and only observed in the face of injustice than will law, you that is a type of injustice. And if we observe in silence, as oppression takes place, that we are contributing to that oppression. We are an own man of action. And if you want to know what it is that our Alma calls towards, we can summarize this one point with one Hadith reported from a popularity in which the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said what is translated as the most beloved people to Allah are those who are most beneficial to others.
Leadership does not require you to have a position in an organization. Leadership is for you to see a problem to see someone struggling, whether on a minor scale or a major skill. And for you to take responsibility in your own hands and say, I want to make a difference. And it's purely for the sake of Allah subhanho wa taala. Leadership is not posting constantly on social media with no offline action. We utilize multifaceted approaches and platforms, no doubt, but we have to take action all the time. And we observed throughout the weeks, every week of your life, ask yourself aside from work and family, aside from personal ambitions, and personal development and personal care, what am
I doing to volunteer for the causes around me? What am I doing to contribute, whether it's through an organization like karma or through any program, or campaign that you see in society that is in need, of more work in need of volunteers in need of some kind of help? Because as we said, every voice makes a difference. Every individual matters. You cannot think for a moment that you cannot make a difference.
When we see the problems and the ills of society around us, we cannot remain silent and think only about ourselves. When you see a disproportionate amount of racism and discrimination towards our African American brothers and sisters. If you think for a moment that because you are not African American, that this does not concern you that you are not exemplifying Islam
Um, to its fullest extent, because Islam is not just about you. And it is not about only your family, it is not about your obligations and your rituals alone. But these are requirements. It is about the people around us who are suffering. It is about making your Soul Cycle and your nation where you are living today and where your children will live tomorrow, and where your community is trying to survive and contribute. It is about making that society a better place. And we understand that this is the proper complete, comprehensive exemplification of Islam. It's wider than just rituals. Islam is not only prayer, but prayer is a requirements. Islam is not only good manners, but
exalted moral character as a requirements. Islam is not only about smiling in the face of your brother and your sister.
And there's always that one or two people that are frowning when I say this, I don't know why. The Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam was the most fearing of Allah subhanho wa taala. And yet many companions reported we never saw anyone smiling more than little sooner allah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam.
Islam is comprehensive. And we ask Allah subhanaw taala to make us amongst those people who understand Islam as it is and continue to learn and develop ourselves so that we are giving back to the societies around us. So again, point number one, don't wait for someone else to take action. Ask yourself what can I do to solve this problem? And number two,
for us to realize who we are on a greater level, for us to attain self actualization meaning a greater version of who you are the best version of who you are, to fulfill your maximum potential in this world requires deep daily reflection. Deep daily reflection is a part of our faith. Take some time to think every day about where you are today. And where do you want to be tomorrow, in every facet of life, the things that get measured more often find progress more often. And the one who reflects on the day of judgments more often will find a difference in their actions in this life more often, and hustlers, mostly Anahola, one of the famous scholars of the past. He said whoever
holds themselves accountable frequently in this life will find their accountability on the Day of Judgment lighter and easier. But whoever does not frequently hold themselves accountable, meaning through that reflection, and through some kind of change, then they will find the accountability on the day of judgment or difficult. And we ask Allah to make our accountability on the day of judgments light and easy.
Daily reflection requires us to ask the question, why do I exist? What is my purpose in life? And when do I expect that I will really return back to the cream? This is not a question that should cause people to become gloomy. This is a question that should cause us to become more productive people to cherish the relationships that we have, the time that we have, and not to kill the opportunities that we have the blessings that Allah subhanaw taala gave us, as you heard at the very beginning and the opening of this session with a beautiful re citation that we had. Allah subhanaw taala reminds us Oh, you who believe Yeah, even Adina Ave he is addressing us as a nation. Be
conscious of Allah itself along with a ton of little neffs who may have been damage to the environment, Let every soul reflect, reflect on what you have sent forward for tomorrow. Allah subhanho wa Taala out of his mercy, as the scholars of Tafseer have said, uses the word tomorrow to reference your afterlife. Because deep down we might think the afterlife is far away. And if you think it's far away, and you could live for another 2030 years, you might not take the proper action today. You might not be as productive today. If you believe you can return back to Allah subhanho wa Taala at any moment that let that be reflected through the actions that you take today.
Many scholars will say regarding this verse under close, but this notes
that most of the injustices and oppressions and crimes that we see in the world today, whether it is towards people's rights or the rights of the created, these things are a result of a lack of regard for the afterlife, because the more you believe there is an afterlife and there is a day of judgment and a day of justice and that the one who oppressed you and abused you 2030 100 years ago will find that there is
Some kind of judgment for it, and that no one escapes with their injustice, and that the silence people cannot remain silent in the face of injustice that we will take action today, we will not procrastinate becoming more engaged with the world around us with the society around us with those who are struggling and suffering rather we will see the reality which is through our faith, that leadership is for us, number one, not to wait for others to take action. And number two for us to reflect on our purpose and to return back to Allah subhanho wa Taala so that we can become better and more productive and more realized people today we ask Allah subhana wa Taala to forgive us for
our shortcomings to increases in goodness and to make us role models for the world around us. And we ask Allah subhanaw taala to increases in strength and guidance and to allow us to return to in a pleasing state or solid Amada, Muhammad wa ala alihi wa sahbihi divine was Salam alaykum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh