This trap is old and overused, but it still gets so many of us.
When you join the MSA board, you have this mindset now that you’re going to help people. You’re going to go out there and guide others. Heck, you’re gonna save the world!
But take that down a notch. ‘Cause here’s what ends up happening:
With this mindset, you put all of your focus and attention into helping others and tending to the needs of the MSA (for the sake of Allah, inshaAllah). Planning events, buying supplies, contacting speakers, advertising, and the list goes on. This is how you spend your days and your nights. So what’s missing in this equation? You leave zero time for yourself. You leave zero time to reflect upon your state and your relationship with Allah swt and with His Book.
Your tasks become just that: tasks — chores. You come home late at night after having spent the entire day running around trying to “save the world,” and now you face your parents’ disapproved looks. You sit on the couch and have to hear a lecture about how you make no time for your family, and “is this what Islam teaches you?” You respond with anger and arrogance, why? Because you were so busy with the MSA that you never found out how to discipline yourself and how to have good manners, especially with your parents. You were so busy with helping everyone around you, and fixing their problems, that you didn’t realize your poor heart was calling you, asking you to give it some attention. You didn’t realize that you were deteriorating internally.
This is the trap of shaytan. Avoid it.
When you join the MSA, remember why you are joining. One reason, and one reason only: for Allah swt, to earn His pleasure. So if that’s the reason, then you’ll see why it doesn’t make sense that you let the MSA distance you from your salah, or from Qur’an, or from your family.
This advice is especially for those who have recently joined, but it’s also for those who have been falling in this trap for months and years now. Now is the time to recognize it for what it is, and to protect yourself.
You’re not superman, you can’t save the world. And you really can’t help anyone if you don’t help yourself first.
“O you who believe! Ward off from yourselves and your families a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones, over which are (appointed) angels stern (and) severe, who disobey not, (from executing) the Commands they receive from Allah, but do that which they are commanded.” Surah At Tahrim, ayah 6
This is an ayah that I quote often, because this is a trap that I find many falling into. So keep reminding yourself about this ayah. Allah swt says “yourrselves and your families.” Pay attention to that order, there is a huge wisdom in it.
How can you save anyone if you haven’t saved yourself?
And then notice that the ones mentioned after “yourselves” is “your families.” Why? Ponder over that.
Do what you want for the MSA, but if you come home, and your parents are displeased with you because you’re not giving them time and not helping out around the house, then ask yourself where your priorities really lie. Are you really a slave trying to please his/her Lord?
Do what you want for the MSA, help as many people as you can, but if your family is sitting at the edge of the Fire, and you’re not giving sufficient da’wah to them, and they barely even see you, then ask yourself where your priorities really lie.
Do what you want for the MSA — no seriously, do it, I’m not discouraging you from helping the MSA, but don’t ever let a day go by when you haven’t improved your relationship with Allah swt, and with His Book, and sought beneficial knowledge that increases you in understanding your deen, and spent time with your family while simultaneously teaching them something new that you learned.
And Allah Knows Best.
Any good in this is from Allah and any evil is from myself and the whispers of shaytan.