The Right to Experiment

“You have a right to experiment with your life. You will make mistakes. And they are right too. No, I think there was too rigid a pattern. You came out of an education and are supposed to know your vocation. Your vocation is fixed, and maybe ten years later you find you are not a teacher anymore or you’re not a painter anymore. It may happen. It has happened. I mean Gauguin decided at a certain point he wasn’t a banker anymore; he was a painter. And so he walked away from banking. I think we have a right to change course. But society is the one that keeps demanding that we fit in and not disturb things. They would like you to fit in right away so that things work now.” – Anais Nin

Make Your Mark: Benefit Your Society or even the World!

Assalamu Alaykom everyone,

One thing that I find most important as an individual apart of our global-community is charity. We all can give something to the cause of the planet we live on. So many people have taken great strides in changing their neighborhoods by teaching others and transforming the bad into a good. I have never seen anything more revolutionary than seeing people doing things for themselves and not waiting for the government to step in. We are powerful people, but we just have to believe it. We have to believe it. The different movements and revolutions that has taken place is because of ordinary people with extraordinary ideas and goals.

It is from the Islamic tradition that charity is due upon every Muslim:
Abi Musa Al-Asha’ri ( may Allah be pleased with him ) related that the Messenger of Allah ( PBUH ) said :

( There is a Sadaqa ( charity ) due on every Muslim; if he cannot give because he has no money, let him work then he can support himself and give charity; if he is unable to work, then let him help someone in need of his help; if he does not do that, let him adjoin good; if he does not do that, then he should not do evil or harm others: it will be written for him as a Sadaqa ) Narrated by Ahmad,Bokhari, Muslim & Nesa’ee

We can give this daily charity by putting forth little ways that can benefit someone else. That someone can be our family members because the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said that the best charity is given to one’s family. So, you can possibly start there.

This can be as simple as planting for others in your local-community. In many areas throughout America, it is known that residents do not have access to vegetables and healthy foods. So, many times there are individuals that start up neighborhood gardens. Fortunately, the prophet Muhammad even spoke about the act of planting:

Anas ( may Allah be pleased with him ) related that Allah’s messenger ( PBUH ) said :

( Every Muslim who plants a seed or plant, then another human being or a bird or animal eats from it, till it is written for him as a charity )Narrated by Bokhari & Muslim

The simple act of planting will become a form of charity for you. Furthermore, this act of charity will benefit another individual for the better. In benefiting another person, we are changing the world for the better. Sometimes we think about things so much to the point that we make things complicated when it is indeed quite simple. There is nothing hard about planting or giving whatever you may have. Yes, we probably all are guilty of turning a blind-eye, but we can stop right now. Turning your face from a reality doesn’t make it go away. If anything, it makes the problem bigger.

Also, many people have this false ideology that giving in charity reduces your wealth, but in the Islamic tradition it does the total opposite. Your wealth doesn’t diminish when you choose to give in charity according the the prophet Muhamamd (peace be upon him):

Abou Horaira ( may Allah be pleased with him ) related that Allah’s messenger ( PBUH ) said :
( No money ever decreases because of charity; when a servant of Allah forgives, Allah increases him in dignity;
and whenever a person humbles himself to Allah, Allah will elevate his status )Narrated by Bokhari & Muslim

So, remember this as you make your mark in the world. Every form of charity that you do will benefit. You may not see the results right now, but it will be seen in the future, inshALLAH. One step is one step closer to something better for the future of the next generation or even our own generation. We are all apart of this global-community, so we must work to save this planet. This is our planet. Sometimes we think we have to wait for someone to do something for us, but we can do this ourselves. There is nothing hard about picking up something harmful from the street, planting vegetables, giving food to your neighbor, smiling at a child or saying a good word. These things are simple. And charity isn’t only in one form. The prophet Muhammad( peace be upon him) was a beautiful example and gave great guidance in how to live our lives, but he gave us great guidance about charity. So, take this time and think about making your mark. Find yourself giving of yourself and benefit your neighborhood, your city, your village, your tribe, family, and country by giving charity.

Knock Knock By: Daniel Beaty

Never allow the circumstances you’re in to prevent you from being powerful beyond all measures. You are not your parents. You are not anyone, but you. Strive and keep going! Rise above the world and your society’s expectations.