Imam Siraj Wahhaj share his thoughts on the importance of supporting SeekersHub and the SeekersHub Islamic Scholars Fund.
Assalaam alaykum, brothers and sisters.
I have become a lover of the SeekersHub. I mean I fell in love with Shaykh Faraz. I’ve always loved the Shaykh, Alhamdulillah. You know what you remind me of? I think of you and I think of something that the Prophet, upon him be blessings and peace, did with his wife Aisha. He said one day, “Ya Aisha… Oh Aisha, here is Jibril, and he’s given you the salams. He’s saying to you: ‘Assalam alaykum.’” She said, “Peace and blessings be upon him and the mercy of Allah. You see, what I don’t see.”
“You see what I don’t see.” And sometimes when you can’t see the vision then trust the visionary. The insight and the wisdom of what has been done with you and others is astounding. It is so great I’m embarrassed that more people don’t know about it and I’m embarrassed that more people don’t help it.
So I’m going to spend a couple of minutes in trying to show our support for this fine institution. I want to tell you something. You know Allah blessed me and every time I say this, Shaykh, I get this big response. I’m going to tell you how many children I have.
Allah blessed me with nine children. I told you.
And the one thing I will tell you that I’ve always done. I’ve always given my children allowance. How many of you give your children allowance? Raise your hand. How many don’t? Mashallah, mashallah. But I always believed in giving my children allowance. I gave them allowance every week but I would always tell them that whatever allowance I give you you should give some to sadaqa.
And you know when you have children whenever you give them a commandment, you should look at their faces, shaykh. So one of my children, Muhammed, may Allah bless him, he looked like he had an attitude when I said give some money. The allowance, give it to sadaqa. And I said, “Muhammed, what’s the matter?” He said nothing. I knew better. I know my son. I said, “Muhammed what’s the matter?” “Nothing.” I said, “Come on man, I know you. What’s the matter?”
He said, “Dad, how come I got to give some money to Sadaka?” Sadaka is a name of his older sister. True story. And he thought he had to give money to Sadaka. You know you will learn today, none of you ever knew my kunya. You know what my kunya is? Abu Sadaka. Sadaka is my first child. So I am Abu Sadaka. So today I want you to give to Sadaka, she lives in New York. No.
Food for Thought
I just want you to think about this, right? I’m going to ask you for your financial support and the beautiful thing about this; what we’re asking you for tonight ain’t much. When you study the Qur’an you will see that often in the Qur’an Allah is speaking to the Prophet, peace be upon him. It is almost as if we’re like on the outside listening to this conversation that Allah is having with the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him.
Example, you said the word “qalat.” He said “qalat” (she said). But if he said the word “qul” what does that mean? “Say…” It’s a command. But the Arabic language is very precise. So when you say “qul” you’re not talking about two people. You’re not talking about a bunch of people. You’re not talking about women. You’re talking about one person and that’s Muhammed, peace be upon him. I counted over 360 something times in the Qur’an where Allah says to Muhammed, peace be upon him, “qul,” say this.
I’m going to show you another, part of another verse where Allah is speaking to the Prophet, peace be upon him. Listen to how Allah says it. “They ask you, oh Muhammed, ‘How much should we spend?’” Allah is telling the Prophet that the people asking you, “What should we spend?” “Qul.” “Say, what is extra.” (Sura al-Baqara 2:219) Why is that important?
In my community, in other communities, we have people literally who work two and three jobs just to make ends meet. They work two and three jobs just to have a place to live in. They work two and three jobs to put food on the plates of their family. Others Allah blessed with more. They have what is called disposable income meaning that after they pay all of their expenses, they pay for their rent, they pay for everything, and yet they still got money left.
Compete in Charity
Let me tell you something about the Sahaba, may Allah be pleased with them. They, you know, they’re so pure. In this hadith some of the poor of the companions of the Prophet, peace be upon him came to him, and I don”t want to use the word complain, so I put it in quotation marks. They complained to the Prophet, peace be upon him. The rich ones, the wealthy are among us. They take away the reward. They pray like we pray. They fast like we fast. But they spend out of the excess of their wealth. We can’t be like them. We can’t compete with them. We want more. We want to compete.
I don’t want more money so I can build a better house. I don’t want money so I can get some jewellery. I want more money so that I can give in sadaqa. So today I’m not asking you to spend your rent money. I’m not asking you to spend your food money. I’m asking you to look if you have anything excessive and to spend that.
I want to give you one person and then I’m going to ask for your money. There’s a woman, I think her name is Laurene. I’ll think of her name in a moment. But this is the 25th wealthiest woman in America. 25th wealthiest woman in America. And she’s the 25th wealthiest person, not woman, person in America and the 45th wealthiest person in the world. And you know how much money she’s worth? 19 billion, 500 million dollars. And to put that in perspective she has more wealth than 80 nations you know gross domestic product. That’s how wealthy she is.
What Is Truly Yours
Lot of money, okay. I didn’t tell you her, that was her maiden name. I just wish I could remember her last name, her maiden name. Laurene, yeah. Where did she get her money from? Where she get that 19 billion dollars from? Where she get it from? I’ll give you a hint. I’ll give you her last name, her married name, Jobs. Where’d she get it from? Steve Jobs. How she get it. That money belonged to him. He died, she inherited it. That’s the way it is.
The reality is everything that you have you don’t use it’ll be inherited. This is why the prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, said the people said, “My wealth, my wealth.” Really, for real? He said, what is really yours is what you eat and consume, what you wear and wear out and what you send ahead in sadaqa, that’s yours.
How do you know? Steve Jobs, his wealth, 19.5 billion dollars belonged to him until he died and it no longer belonged to him. Think about this. The car that you drive one day won’t be your car. All your beautiful clothing, your shoes. Shaykh, am I allowed to ask the sisters a question? Laurene Powell, mercy, I knew the Shaykh would get it. Shaykh, can I ask the sisters a question? Brothers, can I ask the sisters a question? Your permission, Shaykh, can I ask the sisters? [Shaykh Faraz:] “By all means.”
How Many Pairs of Shoes…
By all means. Now sisters you got to be honest with you, right. How many of you own more than two pairs of shoes? Raise your hand. Mashallah, Allahu Akbar. You should see what I see. How many of you have more than five pairs of shoes? Raise your hand. Allahu Akbar, all right.
I’m almost finished. How many of you own more than 10 pairs of shoes? Come on, Mashallah, Allahu Akbar. How many of you have more than 20 pairs of shoes? Come on, Allahu Akbar. The average American woman, okay good, okay.
Oh, ask the brothers. I should ask the brothers. [Women:] “Yes.” I don’t want to ask the brothers. They ain’t got no shoes. They got one or two pairs of shoes (laughter) Let me tell you though, right. The average American woman has 20 pairs of shoes. Average American woman, average, has 20 pairs of shoes.
What’s my point? The point is that there’s going to come a time. Every soul is going to taste of death. What about what we have left? This excess wealth that we have, what are we going to do with it? Why not spend some of it and get some ajar (reward) for SeekersHub?
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