Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Sincerity in religious work

"What kind of man is he? teaching tajwid and charging fees? surely he's not sincere!"
"I don't know what happen to most 'ustaz' nowadays, charging money for their services to teach Islamic education?"
"Nasheedian are not sincere enough because they charge high rates!They can be quite demanding sometimes..."

Have you ever heard these phrases? or have they ever crossed your mind? Let me tell you one thing, all these crap came out from ignorant people who does not know anything about sincerity and believe me when I said they are the majority in our society. Sadly it only comes out to the religious people, meaning that other than these kind of people are free to charge any rate accordingly. Sincere as the dictionary defines it is totally different than in Islamic perspective. 'Ikhlas' in doing our job does not mean you don't take your salary or don't charge a fee to your service. But ignorant people nowadays are using this excuse not to pay the religious people accordingly and force them to sacrifice their potential income. Now answer these questions for me, do we sincerely go to work everyday? Do we receive our monthly income to be spent on our family needs? Are we considered sincere in our job or we're just doing it for the money?
Do we pay expensive fees for our children personal tuition in maths or science and feel hesitated to pay the fees for Islamic education? Is there any difference in terms of hours spent and work done by the tutor to teach them? Its natural that science tutor being paid more because they had to pay more when studying thus they have to earn more to pay back their expenses (loan etc)...Which knowledge are more beneficial for us after we die? Who taught our children to read Quran properly and to love us till the end of time? Who did all the research in how to live life in accordance with Islamic teachings and put it into action?
I have a lot of questions for examples in mind but to write it down in words would use all the space in this post. To make my point clear, people are so skeptical about spending money towards religion and being double standard to people who works for it. Undeniably there are some people taking advantage of using religion to persuade people in business. Firstly we have to know that there's nothing wrong in giving and receiving money for anything related to so-called religion. (If you had read my previous postings, we already discussed about secularism and to be honest, everything in the world is related to religion. Whether you are a politician, scientist, mathematician, policeman, etc...we are all performing 'ibadah'/worship to Allah.) Secondly, Islam prohibits any form of activity that will harm ourselves, therefore providing free service means we have to bear the cost of fuel, toll, labor, tax etc which will put us in a disadvantage position in the long run. Thirdly, we have to know the true meaning of sincerity and don't use it in a wrong concept giving the impression that someone is bad.
As for nasheedian performance as far as I'm concerned, is far more cheaper than other pop or rock artist available. But as usual, to spend RM10 in the mosque seems a lot of money but to spend RM1000 in leisure seems a small amount. Since entertainment industry is still a business, it depends on the demand before the supply can be commenced, hence I sense the demand for Islamic entertainment is not encouraging enough for it may lead to unnecessary nuisance in our ibadah. An understandable dilemma within a Muslim to enjoy themselves in a lawful manner than to restrain themselves from any sort of entertainment whatsoever. This is utterly formidable challenge for the nasheedian to educate people. Unfortunately, only a few people have the opportunity to listen to what I'm saying. So if you are one of the selected, please spread the truth to others and may Allah bless you.
Last but not least, I would like to tell you the danger waiting for these 3 types of people in the hereafter. 1) People who go to jihad, will be question if they do it for wealth or fame (considered a brave patriot etc). 2) People who seek knowledge and read the Quran, will be question if they do it to show that they are more knowledgeable than others, or if they do it to show they are good and pious. 3)People who gives a lot of charity (sedekah/infak), will be question if they do it so others may think that they are generous and loved by humans.
In conclusion, the main difference between a Muslim and non-Muslim is we do everything for the sake of Allah, just because Allah commands it to be done, and most of the commands are best for us whether we knew it or not, but other religion are doing good because of human nature(fitrah) that wants good things to happen. For example, Muslim don't eat pork or drink alcohol because Allah forbids them from doing so, but other religion may also do the same simply because of scientific reasoning that they are not good for our health.
May we be sincere in everything we do... Good luck and all the best!