Am I Sinful If I Don’t Serve the Ummah?

Answered by Shaykh Abdullah Anik Misra

Question

If a person worships Allah Most High obediently, prays, fasts, completes all obligations concerning their parents, children, and kin, however, is unable to help the Ummah in any form like donation, medication, or teaching, is this a selfish act?

Am I sinful for this? I don’t want to be self-focussed, and in today’s time earning is getting difficult. This thought stresses me a lot that my prayers or everything I’m doing is for my benefit in the Hereafter.

Answer

In the Name of the Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate

Our first obligation as believers is to save ourselves and our family from detrimental things to our faith in this world and the Hereafter. Allah Most High says,

“O believers! Save yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is humans and stones…” (Quran, 66:6)

Therefore, by covering your personal obligations and upholding your family’s rights, you are doing your duty and should hope for reward. Anything beyond this for the broader Ummah and community is praiseworthy and beneficial. Still, if your funds or time are limited and you do not have the means to do extra charity or volunteering, you are not sinful for this.

Your feeling of regret is a sign of your sincere wish and desire, and Allah Most High sees that and can reward you for that. However, you should not be stressed out, feel guilty, or pay attention to any misgivings in this regard. Instead, one thing you can do is keep praying for the Ummah whenever you pray for yourself.

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Abdullah Anik Misra
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Shaykh Abdullah Misra was born in Toronto, Canada, in 1983. His family hails from India, and he was raised in the Hindu tradition. He embraced Islam in 2001 while at the University of Toronto, from where he completed a Bachelor of Business Administration. He then traveled overseas in 2005 to study the Arabic language and Islamic sciences in Tarim, Yemen, for some time, as well as Darul Uloom in Trinidad, West Indies. He spent 12 years in Amman, Jordan, where he focused on Islamic Law, Theology, Hadith Sciences, Prophetic Biography, and Islamic Spirituality while also working at the Qasid Arabic Institute as Director of Programs. He holds a BA in Islamic Studies (Alimiyya, Darul Uloom) and authorization in the six authentic books of Hadith and is currently pursuing specialized training in issuing Islamic legal verdicts (ifta’). He holds a certificate in Counselling and often works with new Muslims and those struggling with religious OCD. He is an instructor and researcher in Sacred Law and Theology with the SeekersGuidance The Global Islamic Seminary. Currently, He resides in the Greater Toronto Area with his wife and children. His personal interests include Indian history, comparative religion, English singing, and poetry.