One Hadith that never cease to motivate me to contribute to the cause of Islam is: “If the Hour starts to happen and in the hand of one of you is a palm shoot or seedling; then if he’s able to plant it before the Hour happens, then let him plant it.” (As-Silsilah As-Saheehah, no. 9)
No doubt, there are many lessons that we can extrapolate from this short yet super-powerful Hadith. But the first lesson that comes to my mind is that a Muslim should learn to contribute under all circumstances. Now, I don’t think any Muslim would dispute the fact that the Day of Judgment is the ultimate accumulation of the most difficult set of conditions for a human being to operate in.
Yet, the Prophet manages to draw a breathtaking picture of someone who’s fighting against the Day of Judgment, it starting to happen and the man is trying to plant a shoot before it happens!! Subhan Allah, not even the Hour is an excuse for any one of us not to contribute to society and to the benefit of humanity. But if we look at our condition today, we see some Muslims, at least subconsciously, ignoring or even opposing this prophetic message. We have come to a point where some of us have become experts at manufacturing excuses. Take for example the prayer of Fajr in congregation. In the summer, we claim that Fajr is too early. In the winter, we convince ourselves that it’s too cold.
When it comes to staffing programs and manning projects for the Muslim community, you see meager participation. Where is the rest of the community?
Give your excuses a black eye! Now is the time to recapture and revive the spirit of our Muslim ancestors who operated under much harder conditions but with a very strong and positive attitude. They contributed selflessly even if they didn’t see the results of their works in their lifetime.
Just like this man that the Prophet (peace be upon him) described. He’s planting the palm shoot, but he’s not sure if he or the plant will make it for the next hour. But that’s okay since this man has fulfilled his responsibility. The rest is on Allah.