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3 Levels of Struggle

Three levels of struggle I outline for you at the level of individual, then a little bit past that tangible goals you struggle with the community and then there is the intangible ideals in a society.

Now, let paint these three levels of struggle with Islam:

Level of Struggle with Individual

Beyond the worldly and not just in the worldly sense but in the otherworldly sense. Islam asks us to make a struggle at the level of the individual… I have to fight my nafs, I have to fight Satan, I have to fight my laziness, I have to fight my anger… a struggle with myself, that’s the struggle I have to make with myself.

I have to struggle to become better in my worship, so many du’as we make are about the struggle of ourselves:

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“Allah aid me in remembering you; aid me in thanking you; aid me in perfecting and beautifying my worship to you.”

That’s a struggle with yourself.

Level of Struggle with the Community

Then we go a little bit past that, and let keep things in the American context, even though this is universal value.

You say “I shouldn’t just worry about myself, we need a masjid, we need to have a place of worship… and then when masjid is built then there was a bigger concern… we need to educate our children, schools got built, Sunday schools were established… then there were even more concerns, we need to help others get the word of Islam, dawah organizations were created.

So, these are additional struggles that stem first at the individual level and then at the community level.

Level of Struggle with Ideals

Then even beyond that there are those who are trying, they have an open ended target.

The target is that one day we want everybody in this country to know what real Islam is… that may not be a tangible goal, it may be very open ended but they are ready to struggle for it and they’re not turned off by the idea that they aren’t seeing tangible results.

It’s enough for them that it’s a worthwhile activity… and any of these efforts that we make, for any other human being, they can believe what they believe… we believe that everyone of these efforts are at the end more that anyone else benefitting our own selves… they benefit us, they won’t necessarily benefit anybody else because we are not capable of that.

The Prophet Muhammad benefitted humanity more than anybody else and yet Allah commended him to say:

{Say, I possess not for myself any harm or benefit except when Allah should will.} (10:49)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) is more beneficial to humanity than any other human being that have ever lived and he’s commended to say “I don’t possess the power to benefit you”.

In other words, the benefit that the Prophet has given us that we benefit from him, the credit keeps going through him to Allah. And that’s the attitude of the believer, which is “whatever good I’m doing, I’m not benefitting anybody except myself, that’s who I’m benefitting in the end…

When I’m giving charity, I’m benefitting myself, helping build a masjid, helping out a school… is helping me. And the benefit that comes to others is not from me, it’s from Allah.”