Last week had been a hectic one for me, but one I thoroughly enjoyed as it was about me 'giving' to others. I was invited by akhi Firdaus Rahim, a 4th year medical student in the Nottingham University to share my thoughts in the recently-concluded winter gathering called Fun with ILuvIslam's Youth Overseas, fondly known as FUIYO 2009, held in Telford, United Kingdom.
The so-called Abang Tampan (don't ask me why), full with exuberance and youth
In lieu with the event's theme entitled 'What You Give, You Get Back', I highlighted the importance of Muslims being on top of the pecking order when it comes to giving to others. Some people believe in the karma of what goes around, comes around. When you help a person today, you might get the payback when someone helps you in the future. I certainly have my own share of the so-called 'karma', when a person I've assisted in the past, helped me to remain in the UK for the crucial treatment of my condition, ie the high-dose chemotherapy and stem cell transplant.
As my mom often reminded me, "Afzal, kita tolong orang ni jangan nak berkira sangat. Sebab satu masa nanti mungkin kita pula perlukan bantuan orang." Yes mom, you are spot on.
However, giving or being of benefit to others should not just be solely done in anticipation of the so-called karma. Not just because you know that your help now will be rewarded one way or another. Rather, helping one another is an inherent quality of a Believer, one that is part of his/her akhlaaq (character).
خَيْرُ النَّاسِ أَنْفَعُهُمْ لِلنَّاسِ
"The best people are those who are most helpful or beneficial for other people." [Bukhari and Muslim]
It is worth noting that giving or helping in Islam should not just be seen only in the form of monetary, such as our sadaqah (donation) and alms. Offering some of our time to listen to our friends' problems or lending a hand with any kind of voluntary work is also equally as important.
Sometimes, we even forget that the simplest but yet profound form of giving are in smiling to others, as well as pardoning someone else's faults towards us. It doesn't require us to fork out a single penny or any of our 'precious' time. But the effect can be just as immense.
"Your smile to your brother is a charitable act." [Hadith]
Learn about yourself to see what form of 'giving' are you most comfortable at. As for myself, public speaking seems to run in my family, thus I have always enjoyed giving talks, be it educational or motivational to people especially the youths. Which is why I have never been bothered with traveling far on trains or buses, or even spending my money just to share my humble thoughts to others. When you enjoy 'giving' and try your best to sincerely perform it, Allah will put His barakah (blessings) in what you pursue, insya Allah.
The meaning of life is about giving to others
To the crew of FUIYO 2009, a job well done guys. I really enjoyed the fresh and creative concepts inculcated in the event, and I must admit that it will be extremely difficult, but nevertheless an interesting challenge for the successors to even equal the success of the event. Well, what is life without its challenges anyway.