After discussing the prerequisites of being a great volunteer while working for the sake of Allah in part 1, and reaping maximum benefit while volunteering in part 2, we now come to the third and last part of the series: maximizing your reward and growth after successfully completing a project you’ve embarked on for the sake of Allah.
You might be wondering what could probably be left to do after completing a project, or perhaps whether any project or program that begins for the sake of Allah could be finished in the first place. The work of Allah keeps going on, right? While the rewards keep coming in (In sha Allah) long after you’ve finished your work, here’s how to properly wrap up any Islamic project on a personal, social and technical level:
Don’t let pride enter your heart upon success. Ask Allah to accept from you and grant you the highest of His rewards. Our real goal is the pleasure of Allah . Seek it in duas, in tahajjud, and in salah. You’ll never know if Allah is pleased until the angel of death comes to meet you, so keep striving!
Don’t let sadness or grief engulf you if things didn’t turn out as you expected. Instead, increase in istighfar (seeking Allah’s forgiveness), contentment, and dhikr (remembrance of Allah ). Rise above failure and let it humble you so that you realize the might of Allah ; and that nothing is possible without His aid and blessing. The beauty of working for Allah’s sake is that you are already rewarded for your intentions! So do not despair!
The Prophet said:
“Allah says, ‘If My slave intends to do a bad deed then (O Angels) do not write it unless he does it; if he does it, then write it as it is, but if he refrains from doing it for My Sake, then write it as a good deed (in his account). (On the other hand) if he intends to do a good deed, but does not do it, then write a good deed (in his account), and if he does it, then write it for him (in his account) as ten good deeds up to seven-hundred times.’ ” [Bukhari]
Give sadaqah (charity)
Sadaqah is an investment for a lifetime. Doing lots of good deeds in private and maintaining beautiful secret deeds between you and your Lord will energize and humble you when you do deeds in public and help greatly in purifying your intentions, In sha Allah.
Leave when you have to
Sometimes, when we are in certain positions and have given it our all, it is best to see if there is any way the role and work could be improved upon by the expertise of someone who is now more suited for it than ourselves. In such scenarios, it is best to leave the position in fresh hands for the benefit and growth of the project. If you have given your best and your all to a project, leave. Do not get attached to it. Don’t forget that it is only a means and a tool to please Allah and you will have many more doors of opportunities opened for you. It’s efficient to let people who can take your work to the next level take over, while you seek and focus on newer avenues that require your skills. Remember: the work of Allah keeps going on no matter who is in charge.
Never ever forget to thank Allah for choosing you, among the 1.6 billion people, to serve His religion. Know that there’s something special about you if you’ve been chosen to work for Him and make the best of it by being sincere! The beauty of being grateful is that when we thank Allah for choosing us, He grants us more opportunities to serve Him!
“And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor].” [Qur’an: Chapter 14, Verse 7]
When it comes to social responsibilities while winding up a project productively, ensure you:
- Apologize to those you may have offended, even if unintentionally.
- Forgive those who may have stepped on your toes.
- Always give thanks and be grateful to those who worked for you and you worked for. A little appreciation goes a long way not only in achieving better results consistently, but also in boosting people’s self confidence and motivation to keep working for Allah’s sake.
- Keep in touch with those you made friends with for the sake of Allah . The benefit and bond created by these beautiful relationships last beyond work and volunteering.
The Prophet said:”Allah, the Exalted, has said: ‘For those who love one another for the sake of My Glory, there will be seats of light (on the Day of Resurrection), and they will be envied by the Prophets and martyrs”. [At- Tirmidhi].
“On the Day of Resurrection, Allah, the Exalted, will say: ‘Where are those who have mutual love for the sake of My Glory? Today I shall shelter them in My Shade when there will be no shade except Mine”. [Muslim]
- Conduct a post-event meeting as soon as the project is completed and perform an honest and critical evaluation of the end results and the team’s performance without demoralizing anyone.
- Appreciate team members’ collective and individual performance in the post-event meeting and if you have suggestions for any team member to improve their individual performance, discuss it in private with that member.
- Get feedback from all team members with the intention to act upon it. Take steps to improve your own performance and the team’s as a whole.
- List down the key lessons you learnt from the project and how you can improve your teamwork, planning and execution in the future.
- Plan future projects while keeping your lessons learnt in mind.
You may ask yourself: ‘now that I’ve successfully completed this project, what next?’ There’s no limit to how much reward you can seek so dream on and keep going one step further, little by little from where you are. Your tomorrow needs to be a better today. Make big plans for the future and seek Allah’s help in fulfilling them; because with Him, everything is possible!
Even the sahabah who were promised Paradise never rested after any great deed they did because they couldn’t guarantee Allah’s acceptance; although they were always hopeful for it. So don’t stop. Keep working for the sake of Allah in whichever manner and way you can!
Let us know how you keep going and growing after wrapping up a volunteering project: leave a comment below!