Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Lifetime achievement award

I'm working on putting together a list of nomination criteria for a lifetime achievement award for a professional organisation. The exercise has been quite interesting, with questions like:

  • How long is a "life time"?
  • How do you compare achievements in different profession?
  • Minimum percentage of community contribution?
  • How much should be the person known in the circles around him?
  • Education level?
  • Should self-nominations be allowed?
  • ...
In the next 10 years, what type of work would you do, to win a lifetime achievement award?
I'm still working on the criteria, but here are my thoughts.

If your plan is
  • to work a 9-5 job and support your family, and volunteer once in a while because that's all you can handle,
  • Or, if you have no career goals but simply want to serve the community, like running a soup kitchen,
  • Or, having a goal such as setting up a school for orphans by putting all your money behind it
you're not going to get an award in this world.

Now, this award is quite different from the type of work you would do to raise your rank in front of Allah (swt)- That's a completely different story, because Allah (swt) loves a charitable act that's done in such a way that the right hand doesn't know what the left hand has given, or a youth who's attached to the masjid, or those who serve their parents; you can't get an award in this dunya for that type of worship.

So, what kind of work do you need to do to get an award both in this dunya, and the akhira?


Anonymous said...

Your statement tends to give the wrong impression that any act the public knows of will not raise your ranks with Allah (s.w.t.) Sure an act can be done that is only between you and God but what about acts the public knows of eg. if you organize a sandwich run, the whole world knows of it but if your intention is to do it only for Allah (s.w.t.) then i think this is rank raising worthy, besides if you do not tell anyone of the event then how many people can you help (you alone could make 10-20sandwiches but as a group it could be in the 100s, such events need to be known and in the end your niyaat is what counts)

faraz said...

Interesting point anonymous. From a personal experience, I've learned that unless a person is constantly keeping in mind his niya', subconsciously people tend to drift towards events that are public.

Now of course, there is nothing with doing events that are public and in some instances its better to do something in the open so others are encouraged but there can come a time where a person is only taking events because of the 'celebrity status' it might bring. The shaytaan has different ways to get to someone so this person might not even realize what he/she is doing.

Of course, none of us can be the judge of others except for ourselves. So this is more about introspective reflection than anything else :-)

Humairah Irfan said...

I don't think I mentioned anywhere any public act will not raise ranks with Allah (swt). I wasn't talking about intentions either :)

In fact, what I was talking about was... the importance of having a balanced approach in doing everything in the dunya, in such a way, that it suffices for the akhirah as well.

The 3 examples that I mentioned, are to show, in my opinion, that that's not a balanced enough approach to win an award.

And I agree with your example of the sandwich run, which is why we try to recognise a person's efforts in this world (such as the Nobel peace prize, etc).

Anonymous said...

Faraz what you said is very true, even in my experience people choose to go with more public events, whatever their reasons (they want to make friends or contacts, make a name for themselves in this dunya, they want others to see/hear the work they do or if they want to get married ;)

All these are valid reasons and if someone can get 2 birds with one stone that is help another fi sabi lillah and also makes friends for example is alright But one thing I don't agree with is if one chooses one thing over another just because the latter is more public, as in this case the intention comes into doubt (if you want to do some event for fi sabi lillah then why not do it when no one knows or "would you have still done it if the event was not so popular/public"

To add here, there are some cases which people did something without the intention of publicizing themselves but due to success of the event, they became popular, which is a fringe benefit and blessing Manshallah

Allahu Alam