Exclusive study: Islamic Movements and Ethics of Public Work (3)
Second: treatment that focuses on the group
In part II, we provided some suggestions that may help the individual address the problem within his heart. In this part, we will focus on the group's duty towards individuals with respect to means of addressing the problem.
1- The individual comes first
The Islamic movement in general cares about the individual in the first place and qualifies him, and it is always keen that the individual lives under the teachings and Sharia of Allah to achieve happiness in the present life and winning in the hereafter. Therefore, it must prioritize considerations of the public work’s likely negative effect on the individual’s heart over calculations of likely gains if he engaged in performing a certain public work; so that choice of the individual to do something would not lead to success of the work, but loss of the individual who did it.
2- Always choose the appropriate person
The group should always be keen on choosing the appropriate person to occupy those tasks related to the public field. Such person should be well qualified both at the educational level and the technical level, provided that his life conditions must be commensurate with the requirements and responsibilities of engaging in public work, including time, effort and some material requirements.
3- Do not exaggerate in imposing restrictions
It is natural that public work has its problems as we showed in the previous part, but the group should not address these problems by preventing its members from entering and engaging in this field (of public work) for fear of facing its dangers and consequences. But rather it should not go overboard in imposition of restrictions on them. The group should qualify its members, immunize them against such diseases, and gradually push them to engage in and undertake these actions at the right time, and in the right place but under close observation.
4- Educational training and qualification, and continued follow-up
The group should pay great attention to individuals in general in terms of educational aspects and completion of basic deficiencies in order to form a healthy educational personality. Although this talk is applicable to all individuals working in the field of Da’wa (call), it is more important and necessary for those involved in public work, who should be monitored on a continued basis to follow up development of their conditions.
5- Don't support the devil over your brother
We should all be keen on avoiding excessively expressing praise to someone of us if he has fulfilled a good job, no matter your good will or love is, but you should always praise the work not the person with reminding that this success is attributed to Allah’s support and blessings that are bestowed upon the doer of the action. ‘Dear brother, praise and thanks be to Allah for bestowing His graces, blessings, and merits on you, and made this success come at your hands; for Allah has the credit and grace, alone’.
6- Let's go worship Allah and get nearer to Him
You should be keen to hold spiritual meetings from time to time for remembering Allah, away from concerns and administrative problems. It is preferable that these meetings be held periodically and consistently, and to include in these meetings topics such as diseases of the soul and heart and how to address and confront them, and reminding each other of Allah, His graces and blessings, as well as reminding of sins and repentance.
7- Include spiritual session in administrative meetings
There must be a fixed session related to Iman ‘belief’ during administrative meetings, even for a few minutes, for introducing a guided reminder that reminds brothers of the need to always redirect the compass (of the heart and intention) in the right direction and to proceed in the path of pleasing Allah without responding to any distractions. For example, you can include in this fixed session (within administrative meetings), ‘Wird al-Muhasaba’ for reviewing our performance of acts of worship and all daily actions, with respect to quantity and quality and punctuality, reminding of sincerity of intention, and ensuring that all these works are completely devoted to Allah Almighty.
8- Do not forget about others that have supported you
People engaged in public work are often prepared, qualified, and supported by a big team to carry out their mission perfectly. We, all, should not forget these people and give credit to only one person ignoring all others. These people are the unknown soldiers who work in secrecy to help achieve success of the work and its emergence and prominence in this perfect way.
Do not forget to honor them and remind the prominent figures and the well-known people engaged in public work that they have reached this position thanks to the efforts of those unknown soldiers.
I would like to conclude this article that attempted to answer the question: Can public work go in line with sincerity of intention? Or do they go in two parallel lines that will never meet??
Perhaps this simile summarizes the problem and provides a summary of the likely solution. The simile sends a direct message to that person who is engaged in the field of public work that he must understand and comprehend well and always recall it whenever his ‘self’ tried to aspire for doing something that violates rules and sweep him away with its aspirations and desires through seeking earning a share of the action’s reward (like showing off to people to get their admiration), which reduces the reward and almost nullifies the work completely.
Have you ever gone to gold shops and saw shop windows displaying gold jewelry and other beautiful and varied types of jewelry and ornaments that significantly attract people and draw their attention?
Have you noticed that the material chosen to display this gold and precious jewels through is glass; not because glass is the strongest material; certainly wood and iron are stronger, but because it is transparent, a unique characteristic for which it was basically chosen as an appropriate material for achieving this end.
In fact, while engaging in activities of public work, you are nothing but this glass. Although you are not the best; the most powerful, with respect to belief and faith; the wiser, the most talented, or the most active, as there are others who are better and stronger than you; yet you may be the most appropriate person for undertaking this task. It is also important to always remember that you are the shop window and not the gold that is displayed through it; as the true jewelry is the Islamic project that you are representing.
The pure pearl is your call and idea with all its beauty and perfection derived from the Lord of the worlds. The glittering gold represents the hearts of your brothers who have chosen you, backed you, supported you, and always prayed for success in your mission. When you succeed in your job they were greatly pleased and joyous, not bothering to be unknown soldiers and you are at the forefront of such public work.
The authentic and true gold is hearts of your brothers who raise you above their shoulders and paste your photos here and there for the purpose of promotion and spread your name among people and propagate and mobilize people behind you, considering your promotion and elevation as promotion and elevation of the Islamic call.
And for you is blessedness if you are the glass that displays those gold jewels and jewelry, then your heart – being sincere and humble, as you relate due credit to the deserved people – will be a pearl that deserves to be placed among those jewels.
Finally, dear brother who have engaged in public work, the most dangerous threat to the glass of shop windows is to get dirty or to get broken. Beware, my glass brother, to let your heart get dirty and lose its purity and nobility and become ‘black and dust-colored like a vessel which is upset, not recognizing what is good or rejecting what is abominable, but being impregnated with passion’.
Then beware lest your heart would break; as when glass is broken it will never be fixed.