At Islamic Relief, we have a fantastic volunteering team with over 2,000 individual lifesavers offering their time and skills to save lives worldwide. We love the incredible energy and warmth they bring to our organisation. Their zeal, motivation and eagerness are positively contagious!
As Volunteer Coordinator, what really inspires me is the personal choice that each volunteer makes to take positive action for their community, whilst also embarking on a personal journey of self-development. It’s incredibly important to cultivate this energy. What’s more, it’s also important to reflect upon the spiritual benefits that helping others can bring.
With that in mind, I’d like to share three top tips for potential and current volunteers to keep the momentum going and help remind ourselves of the fantastic spiritual blessings of volunteering.
1. Remember your intentions
As Muslims, we believe above all else that all our actions are judged by our intentions. So, when we embark upon this exciting new journey, let’s remind ourselves of why we want to help others. With the right intentions we can help people in need in the best way possible, whilst also pleasing Allah (SWT).
2. Heal and you will be healed
Our volunteers love to make other people happy and help raise spirits. A positive “can do” attitude, coupled with bags of enthusiasm as the essentials for any charity work. Yet such positivity can also help you too!
The Prophet (SAW) said that:
“The most beloved people to Allah are those who are most beneficial to the people. The most beloved deed to Allah is to make a Muslim happy, or to remove one of his troubles, or to forgive his debt, or to feed his hunger.” (Al-Mu’jam al-Awsat)
By helping others and working with such enthusiasm, we’re also helping ourselves both spiritually and emotionally. SubhanAllah!
3. With hardship comes ease
If you’re ever feeling low and struggling to find motivation, simply recite this important du’a to Allah (SWT):
Allāhumma a’inni ‘ala dhikrika wa shukrika wa ḥusni ‘ibādatika
“O Allah, help me to remember You, to thank You, and to worship You in the best of manners.” [Ahmad; abu Dawud]
This important du’a can helps us through any period of difficulty. It calls us to:
Remember Allah (dhikr):
Our hearts find peace in the remembrance of Allah (SWT). So, when you’re hit with a challenge, think about why you’re doing what you’re doing. Through all the sacrifices and hard work, know then that your purpose and work is for Allah above all else and He’s here to support you!
Be thankful to Allah (shukur):
Allah (SWT) has bestowed upon us so many blessings whilst many other people all around the world are suffering. As a volunteer, perhaps you feel you may not always get to hear thank you from the people you’re helping. But remember: Allah (SWT) will reward those who are patient and who strive for the good of others.
Worship Allah in the best way (ibadah):
As Muslims, we should remember that worshipping Allah (SWT) is not solely about rituals such as fasting and prayers but also good manners, actions and interaction with other people. By offering your time in the service of others, you are worshipping Allah. SubhanAllah!
So, remember that as volunteers you are our very own ambassadors. You’re lifesavers working to support communities in need across 40 countries. SubhanAllah! So, for anyone thinking about volunteering, don’t hesitate! It’s an important part of being a Muslim!