Our Ummah needs our generation to be visionary leaders, who adhere to the Quran and Sunnah, who uplift our sisters, brothers, families and the society around us to prosperity, and who stand up for justice everywhere. We are a generation that has grown up in the dot.com era. Through the abundance of resources such as the internet, we have a greater access to information 24/7 and a greater opportunity to connect with people all over the world. I strongly encourage you to be a prominent factor in defining our generation of muslims – physicians, politicians, businessmen/women, teachers, health professionals, engineers, computer programmers and so on– who will change this world for the better. We need to realize that we are here for a greater purpose – to serve Allah(swt) and in doing so to better ourselves and the society we live in.
Our economy, as all of you know, is in a recession; the darkness of greed, fraud and other unethical traits that led to this recession also permeated countries all over the world. Just by picking up a newspaper, the deception and injustice that has spread throughout the world we live in is blatantly obvious. But there is reason to be hopeful –Islam. As Muslims, we are the carriers of the message of Islam that has been passed onto us by past generations – we carry the light and high ethical standards because of the knowledge of the Quran and Sunnah that Allah(swt) has bestowed upon us.
We need to realize that we should not hesitate to become involved in standing for justice. And we should work towards being leaders who spread knowledge. I have begun to look into what it takes to be a leader in a world where it’s so easy for us to get distracted. Here is some insight to help you stay focused (some of which are from my own experiences or things that I have come across that I would like to share). What I have highlighted below are current things that you can do NOW that can help you define and/or work towards your vision and goals in your life.
1. Always be on the Lookout for Opportunities
- Find Freelance Work – http://guru.com/
- Non-Profit Work – http://www.idealist.org/
- Get involved with your Local Masjid
- Be in the moment so you don’t miss something
2 . Be Innovative – Ideas to Change the World
- Brainstorm a list your favorite hobbies – see if you can turn it into something bigger
- Blog about something you care about
- Write a book
- Create a Documentary
- Start off small – For example participate in the Linktv Contest – http://www.linktv.org/onenation
We also shy away from sharing our aspirations. I see life as a dynamic setting where we can learn from one another. I believe that we are all leaders in our own unique ways. And leaders thrive not only on self-motivation but also by the inspiration they draw form those around them. Share your happiness with those around you, who knows, inshallah you might inspire the brother or sister next to you to reach new heights.
[I edited my original article in Al-Nur to reach out to all Muslims, not just my prior intended audience – college students]