Community Service – khidmat

Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS spoke at length of the nature of honeybees, their reverence for the queen bee as well as the queen bee’s care for them. In the manner in which a bee consumes the nectar of various flowering plants, Maula encouraged Mumineen to advance is their respective fields, be it medicine, architecture, engineering, law, computer science etc. He counseled them to become proficient in them and ultimately benefit humankind and seek the prosperity and development of Allah’s lands.

However, he pointed out that bees consume nectar only after they have made their homes in the mountains and trees. Therefore, he stressed, that one should first build his home, the home of his beliefs and faith, and with Maula’s raza mubarak and humility set out to acquire the best of what is on offer. Only then will the efforts of his labour be sweet. Otherwise, he may lose sight of his identity and purpose in seeking knowledge, and ultimately lose the mohabbat he had for his Moula.

Reference : www. alvazarat.org.

As I read the above excerpts of the Vaaz Mubarak of 3rd Muharram 1437H the English rendering of Kalemaat Nooraniyah that ‘ bees consume nectar only after they have made their homes in the mountains and trees’ made me reflect, in the context of community service.

Community service in comparison with general service is more specific. First those who are desirous of doing khidmat must be properly grounded in the tenets of our DEEN. Before rendering service, ‘ gathering nectar to benefit the community of mumineen’ they should have knowledge and understand the depth and nuance of their khidmat, that is akin to ‘ making their homes in the mountains and trees’ first.

Miqaat khidmat entails that while rendering khidmat one should also ensure that he/she is not missing out on the DEEN tenets. They should manage in such a way that when it is time for Vaaz / namaz specially during Muharram, the priority is upholding the tenets of DEEN first and then managing with khidmat.

Things have changed for the better in the past few years. Those who volunteer to serve are more sensitised and understand their priorities, 30 – 40 years ago it was different.

There are many but just one example will suffice. When I was in Shabab, we were entrusted with distribution of ‘ khichda’ on the day of Ashura. It so happened that after Zohar – Asr namaz the Shabab members would busy themselves with distribution, by transporting the ‘khichda’ to different centres in tempo, and at the main Masjid centre, the khichda would be carried down in the by lane and the servants and ayahs of mumineen household would come to collect it.

The distribution would always take more than the anticipated time, and the Maqtal Bayans would by then have started. As expected with youngsters when they work in the group, frivolous talks and comments, and exchanging of crude jokes occupied their mindset as they entered the Masjid and sat at the back in a group. How, under the circumstances would one expect to concentrate and be moved by the Maqtal bayan. The most important Ashura waqt of Asr was thus missed.

Alhamdolillah after just a year of this khidmat, at that young age I realised that this was not right, and I did not volunteer. Many years later, the newly appointed Amil Saheb put an end to this practise, and advised that ‘khichda’ to be distributed after magrib/Isa Namaz at different centres.

This is just one example out of many. Nowadays khidmatgujars are properly sensitised in such matters and made aware that attending Vaaz / namaz is top priority and takes precedence, and service providing has to be adjusted in such manner, that first you serve your soul and than others.

However, there are many who find uniform, service badges and khidmat outlets, to be an easier option not to having to sit in cramped conditions for long hours, to stand in long queues specially during Ashara Miqats to enter Masjid and Mawaid. Now, this depends entirely on individuals and their niyat to serve. Allah Knows.

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