All too often, we see individuals being raised up by their communities and then just leaving when they’re old enough.
When they were younger, they used to attend the full-time/weekend school, spend hours at the playground with other children, attend the after-school Karate or sports program, participate in the community festivals, get scolded by their wizened elders, and get loved and spoiled by their uncles and aunties…They were being raised by the whole village, by the whole community.
What do they decide to do?
They turn their heads in scorn and traipse out the second they’re allowed to. They forget the love and care that was shown to them throughout the years. They forget the countless hours of works their parents spent to make sure they grew up to become happy Muslims. They forget the harsh sacrifices their teachers had to endure to make sure they received a high-quality Muslim education.
They forget all of this, and embrace the ‘real world’ with open arms. They stifle any thoughts of their childhood and try to fit in with their new circle of college students. They walk by former acquaintances without even a nod of acknowledgement. They ignore any pleas of help and assistance from their families and community members. They would rather live the high life. They would rather move up the career ladder, forgetting who were the ones responsible for their education and upbringing. After all, it was them that had to work hard, not their families, right?
Wrong. Believe that your community didn’t have a positive role on you, and you have committed a great travesty. Believe that you don’t need to give back to your community, and you have have committed an even greater travesty.
It’s time that we remember and appreciate the ones who brought us up. It’s time that we contribute back to the community that lovingly brought us up. It’s time that we realize that the Ummah will only move forward when we fix what is in ourselves and reach out to those all around us. It’s time we understand that we must be the flag-bearers of the new generation. It’s time that we stop being selfish and become selfless.
May Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) guide us all and help us to give back in a most beneficial manner to our communities.