The Little (Longer than Most) Email that Could

“To each is a goal to which Allah turns him; then strive together (as in a race) Towards all that is good. Wheresoever ye are, Allah will bring you Together. For Allah Hath power over all things. “- Surah Al-Baqarah, 148.

Assalamu Alaikum Everyone!

I know that we have all probably read this surah countless times. When I read it now, I am reminded of the first days I spent learning about Islam over ten years ago. Some of the verses I read back then were confounding, and sometimes abrasive to what I had known in my life up to that point. But verses like this one galvanized me to continue seeking knowledge about this new religion. As cynical as I had become at only 21 years old, I had an indefatigable hope that humanity was, at its core, driven by goodness.

After my conversion, alhamdulillah, I remember feeling a surge of renewed life. I know that sounds trite, but it is the best way I can describe it. I suppose it’s kind of the way a butterfly must feel when it emerges from a dark, cavernous cocoon. I was blessed to have a friend of mine convert about the same time with me, and we would call each other up with giddiness over verses we read in the Quran that filled us with strength and enlightenment. You could hear the smiles and incredulity over the phone line. And I remember having a long conversation with her about our discovery of the “meaning of life.” It all sounds very whimsical on paper, but it was such a wonderful time in our lives because we were wholeheartedly engaged in the newness and veracity of the knowledge that we so eagerly wanted to apply to our lives, which had plummeted into vapidity.

Which brings me to the point of this email. I’ve had numerous conversations over the years with many friends, and many of us seem to be struggling with the same thing. Knowing what we need to do for the sake of ALLAH, but not necessarily doing it. Why is it that we have a shopping list that ensures we don’t forget to get milk, but we don’t have a worship to-do list ensuring that we connect with ALLAH? I think it requires deep and honest introspection, an admission of responsibility, and perhaps support from friends to devise a plan that will tackle the individual trials that we face in elevating the level of iman with which we practice Islam.

What I’d like to do is create just a small incitement to do good deeds- I’m calling it my Good Deeds Challenge. If Oprah can have millions of people doing her Diet Challenge, can’t we have a few hundred Muslims (at least) in a challenge to do good deeds? Because ALLAH loves the most consistent deeds, I’m going to make it easy. I will send out a SPECIFIC good deed based on the Quran or a hadith, and you’ll have a week to do it. You can do it once in the week, or as many times in the week as you’d like. When you do these deeds, remember to purify your intentions and do them with love for the sake of ALLAH, and as recognition of your honored place on this earth as a Muslim. And though there are no tangible checks and balances in cyberworld, remember ALLAH is The Witness. If you can get work, school, and home projects in on deadline, you can certainly perform a righteous deed on deadline, insha’ALLAH. Now, I don’t want to add anything to an Inbox that isn’t wanted, so if you’d like me to take you off of the challenge list, please email me back. It can just be a blank email and I’ll know what to do. By ALLAH, there will be no judgment passed, for I am the last person who has any right to do so. I intend to begin the challenge in a week’s time, to give you time to reflect upon whether or not you are ready and willing to take it on. If at any time you wish to be removed from the list, just send me a blank email and I’ll do so, insha’ALLAH.

Meaningful words are easily written, but consistently meaningful actions are challenging. I look to myself now and with honesty and humility admit that I have unwittingly abandoned much of the commitment to action I had submitted when I came to Islam. I embark on this challenge seeking inspiration from these deeds and from the others who will join me. I PROMISE that the challenge deed emails will be FAR shorter than this one, so please don’t be scared off by my verbosity!

I pray that ALLAH protects us from being complacent in His Deen. I pray that we can emotionally and spiritually access the example set forth by our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and hasten to emulate him (SAW). I pray that we remember the mercy that ALLAH (SWT) has bestowed upon us by granting us the ability to be among the Muslims, and that we can actively and tangibly show our thanks by worshipping Him as He has asked of us, and living our lives with the Hereafter in our sights. Ameen.

Fi AmanILLAH,

Aisha (Gena) Chung

Forward to all you love fi sabeel LILLAH! If they want to sign up, they can just reply with “Add Me!” That way you won’t have to keep forwarding the challenges to them! I’ll keep you all posted on how many people have accepted the challenge (so far over 200!). Insha’ALLAH, the numbers will continue to increase!

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~ by deedschallenge on February 20, 2008.

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