Archive for category MSA advice
This past week I came across a new hijabi face, which is unusual nowadays. Being on the same campus for years, and being that it is the end of a semester, I was quite surprised and delighted to see this sister whom I had never seen before. She was clearly an older adult, but it is not uncommon to see sisters with husbands and kids attending college. Smiling at her, I approached her to give my salam and to make some small talk. My shoes were slippery with sand and dust so I almost slipped, but I caught myself and began talking to her while laughing behind my niqab at how I almost fell.
I talked to her for just a couple of minutes, or maybe even less. Then I began to tell her about the MSA on campus. I first mentioned the clubroom to her and told her that she can pray there. She listened and politely responded at the appropriate openings. I was about to continue on but she interrupted me and said, with her arm on mine and with a smile on her face “By the way, I’m a professor here.”
That was my initial reaction. But as I keyed into her body language (the fact that she had already began to turn and walk towards the elevator) and her facial expression, I realized that this is the reaction she was expecting. I was supposed to stop after she said that, perhaps even offer an apology of sorts. But you know, I’ve never been one to take hints. (lol) So upon realizing this fact, I continued on and let her know that that doesn’t matter and that she can still come to events. At this, she stated that her students keep her up to date with all of this, and this made me happy because it meant that there were Muslim students out there doing their jobs. I showed her my approval at this, and gave her my hearty salam.
Point of Benefit: If your job is to give da’wah to the Muslims, everyone is fair game. (Just keep in mind the restrictions and dangers in a sister giving da’wah to a male, or a brother giving da’wah to a female.) You’ll find some MSA workers who become like scientists as they closely inspect the prospective person from afar, peering at them closely, as if looking for a neon sign in their hand that reads: “Yes, I am Muslim and I’m looking for the MSA room. Please help me.” Some sisters who work with MSA’s may think that they should only approach hijabis, or that they should not approach a Muslim who is standing with a nonMuslim friend. Or some may think that if the Muslim is a professor, that it is actually considered rude to tell him/her about Islamic events and activities on campus.
If you find yourself ever thinking thoughts like these, honestly ask yourself: Are these whispers from Shaytan? Then seek refuge with Allah swt and continue on with the message, because regardless of who it is, you never know when you will be the catalyst for change in that person’s life, bi’ithnillah.
“He (Muhammad saws) never worked on structures. He worked on the hearts and minds of people, until he created men and women who changed the landscape of history. Men and women who were heavy in the scales of Allah swt.”
“This is the sunnah of Allah. Allah never judges people by their numbers. He judges them by their quality and substance.”
“There are two ways of looking at Islam. 1) What can Islam do for me? and 2) What more can I do for Islam?” – Dr. Israr Ahmed
“Does the deen need any help? For as long as the answer to this question is ‘yes’ you should not enjoy your food, buy extra clothes, expand your property…” – Dr. Israr Ahmed
“It is one thing to say that, but it’s another to do that [and he did]… ‘Forget about everything else, the deen needs your help,’ that was his calling” – Nouman Ali Khan
I was just browsing through this website, and subhan Allah, I don’t remember the last time I said “wow” out-loud, so many times, in succession. There is some amazing stuff on this website, composed/translated by the brother, so check it out when you get a chance. I’m going to be re-posting some stuff that I want to return to often, here, with a link going back to his page. Inshaa Allah
A powerful incident in which Shaykh Uthaymeen advises a young boy in regards to praising…
Working in any Muslim organization, or giving halaqaat, you are bound to be praised. The people mean well, but they don’t realize what a dangerous thing they are doing sometimes. Always remind yourself that the people who are praising you, do not have knowledge of the Unseen, so they do not know all of your flaws. They have a biased view of you. Allah swt, the Knower of the Unseen, knows about every stain on your heart, and every error made by your tongue, and every glance of your eyes. If you do not remind yourself this, you are walking down the treacherous path to self-amazement.
If you are praised, remember the dua for it:
Allahumma laa tu’aakhithnee bimaa yaqooloona, waghfir lee maa laa ya’lamoona, [waj’alnee khayram-mimmaa yadhunnoon].
O Allah, do not call me to account for what they say and forgive me for what they have no knowledge of [and make me better than they imagine].
A man said to al-Hasan al-Basri (rahimahullah): ‘The people sit around you so that they may find fault with you!’ So he said, ‘Indeed, I encouraged my soul to aspire for Paradise so it aspired for it. Then I encouraged it to aspire for salvation from Hellfire and so it aspired for it. Then I encouraged it to aspire for salvation from the people, but I didn’t find a way to that. Indeed the people were not pleased with their Creator although He provides for them, so how can they be pleased with another creation like themselves?’ 
Prophet Musa (‘alayhisalam) said: ‘O my Lord, the people say things about me which are not (i.e. not true)! So Allah revealed to him: ‘O Musa, I did not make that (privilege) for Myself, so how can I make it the case for you?’ 
Malik ibn Dinar: ‘Since I have known (the reality of) people, I have not taken delight in their praise nor have I hated their criticism.’ It was said to him, ‘Why is that?’ He said, ‘The one who praises from amongst them is excessive and the critic from amongst them exaggerates!’ 
‘Aisha (radhiallahu `anha) wrote to Mu’awiya (radhiallahu `anhu): ‘Salamun ‘alayk. Amma ba’d, I have heard the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) say, ‘Whoever gains the Pleasure of Allah by the anger of the people (i.e. thereby gains their anger), Allah suffices him of the people’s troubles. And whoever gains the pleasure of the people by the Anger of Allah (i.e. in the process he gains His Anger), then Allah leaves him to the people.’ Wa-Salaamu ‘alayk.’ 
Imam al-Shafi’i: ‘There is nobody except that he has someone who loves him and someone who hates him. So if that’s the case, let a person be with the people who are obedient to Allah `azza wa jall!’ (- as they love and hate for the Sake of Allah and they are not unjust) 
 Al-Bidaya wal-Nihaya (9/318 )
 Al-Adaab al-Shar’iyyah by Ibn Muflih (1/38 )
 Tarikh Dimishq (59/307)
 Reported by al-Tirmidhi in Kitab al-Zuhd (no. 2414), declared Sahih by al-Albani
 Hilyat al-Awliya (9/124)
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.
“…and to call upon oneself saying, enough hypocrisy, and enough showing off, and enough seeking people’s pleasure, and enough seeking praise and thanks, and to turn to Allah…”
Something that we shouldn’t learn the hard way: it never pays to be insincere. It doesn’t pay in the aakhira, and if you think it pays in this life, you’re deluding yourself. And if you continue like that, then you are fighting a battle that you will never win. But it may be that from His mercy, He shows you in this world that it doesn’t pay to be insincere.
Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan (may Allaah have mercy upon him) said:
“It is not permissible for other than the Mahram (non-marriageable relative) to enter upon the woman, shake her hand, or be secluded alone with her, except that there’s one in the home who is present to where the seclusion will take place. As for him entering upon her in a home where there’s no one there except her, and he is not from her Mahaarim (pl. of Mahram), then this a prohibited seclusion alone with her and it’s dangerous. Or even if he enters upon her in an empty room and there’s no one there except for the two of them, this is also not permissible. This is due to it being a reason for fitnah to take place even if the man who is in the place is a doctor. Just as the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said:
“Never does a man seclude himself with a woman alone, except that the Shaytaan is the third of them”
(Musnad of Ahmad and Sunan of At-Tirmidhee)
This means that the Shaytaan is present and he beautifies for the both of them falling into that which is indecent. That is because he calls to Fitnah and seeks to capitalize off of the opportunity to bring about corruption between the two of them. In order to cut off the path to the Shaytaan and his supporters, in bringing about the matter of corruption, the legislator has prohibited the man from being alone with the woman.
From that which is present in our time from the prohibited seclusion is the woman riding alone with the driver who is not from her Mahaarim. He takes her to school, the market place, and even to the Masjid. This is not permissible. It is not permissible for the woman to ride in the car alone with the driver of that car who is not Mahram for her. That is because this is from the prohibited seclusion. This type of seclusion (between the man and the woman) is prohibited whether it is in the home, the car or any other place. This is from that which is obligatory upon the Muslim woman to be aware of, especially in our day and time where there is an abundance of leaving the home by the woman for their occupations, going to the market places, visiting relatives or other than that.”
Source: Naseehah wa Fataawa Khaassah bi Al-Mar’ah Al-Muslimah by Shaykh Saalih Al-Fawzaan prepared by Abu Abdir Rahmaan Aadil bin Alee Al-Furaydaan pg. 18
I wasn’t sure if I already said this so:
Some people may wonder why everything under the section MSA advice has to do with those who are running the MSA and not with the “average” member. It’s simple, if the one’s who are running the MSA have ‘issues’ so to speak, then what makes you think that that won’t have some sort of effect on the way the MSA is run, and thus, on the “average” member?
Imagine having an MSA run by very strong-willed, mu’minoon (ppl of imaan) and muttaqoon (ppl of taqwa) and muhsinoon (ppl of ihsaan), musalleen (ppl who guard their salah), with excellent manners, who lower their gaze and fear Allah in all that they do. Now imagine having an MSA where, may Allah forbid this, those who run it are those of weak will, weak imaan, little knowledge, and are easily swayed…two different’ MSAs.
Allah swt says in Surah Tahrim : O you who believe! Save yourselves and your families from a fire whose fuel is men and stones…
Notice the order: yourselves, and your families.
Why should we save ourselves first?
Because if you can’t swim, how do you expect to save those who are drowning?
So in short, let us work on ourselves first, so that there can be greater benefit and ease in helping the masses, bi’ithnillah.