A keen environmentalist made a poignant observation when she said, “the most alarming sign of the state of our society now is that our leaders have the courage to sacrifice the lives of young men in war, but have not got the courage to tell us that we must be less greedy and wasteful”. I wonder why? Is it because they don’t like to criticise their voters? Is it because they would be bigots – after all look at the waste that goes on in the government departments – or in their private lives.
Whatever is the reason for the silence of the politicians about the greedy and wasteful society what is keeping the vicar and the Imam quiet? Why aren‟t the doctors telling patients gluttony is bad? Why don‟t teachers and social engineers teach about the harm of being greedy and wasteful? There seems to be a denial of this deep malaise in the society. How long can we keep our head buried under the sand? When will someone stand up to this cardinal human vice of greed? We all need to be challenged. I think I know why – its painful, too painful to live simple austere and fugal life. We are sunk in materialism and consumerism is our way to life, we are affluent and can afford it, therefore we must have it. And have it any price. We have lost self-control and self-mastery. The Muslim teaching that, “Whoever is abler to protect himself from greed will be successful” is pertinent reminder to us all. A true Muslim is generous and not greedy. Please read Rays of Quran.
In this issue you will read about volunteering. There are millions of people who volunteer every year. They do invaluable service to the community. Our deen expects us to always be willing to freely give our time, money, talent and skills for the good of others. The volunteer is the true “mujahid”. Working hard to fulfil someone’s need, advise or serve in some other way. The volunteer is self sacrificing, as he helps for example a struggling student with his schoolwork or provides a shelter for the homeless or collects money to help the victims of natural disaster. Volunteering is precious in God‟s sight it is highly valued. The volunteer is actually living and acting on Divine attributes of generosity, kindness, patience and forgiveness. Four names of God: Al- Karim, Ar-Rahman, As-Saboor, and Al-Ghafoor.
We hope that these examples of volunteering will encourage our readers to take some work in the community. Remember the beloved Messenger (saws) said, “The person who merely directs, others to good work will be rewarded like the actual doer”. However, there are three conditions for volunteering: Sincerity, working only for the Divine pleasure and no other motive, being gentle and patient when things get difficult.