In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, Most Merciful

A typical Qur'anic example of favoring the public interests over the private ones:

 Dear brother, pay attention to the following ayah:

((Remember) when the wife of 'Imran said: "O my Lord! I have vowed to You what (the child that) is in my womb to be dedicated for Your services (free from all worldly work; to serve Your Place of worship), so accept this, from me. Verily, You are the All-Hearer, the All-Knowing.")

[Aal-'Imran: 35]

 Dear brother have you ever thought why Almighty Allah relates unto us all these stories in the Noble Qur'an? Are they mentioned so that we can read them at our leisure? Are they merely stories to enjoy reading them? Are they in the Noble Qur'an just to increase our knowledge about past history? Absolutely not. Almighty Allah mentions them and tells us about these stories to make their heroes our best examples to follow.

 The woman of 'Imran owned nothing but the child who was in her womb. Yet, she dedicated that child for Allah’s service. Whoever is excellent at a craft such as repairing electronic devices or at a specialty such as a foreign language or Mathematics, he will be doing a great job if he dedicates his specialty to serve the servants of Almighty Allah.

 The crucial issue is that when we stand before Almighty Allah on the Day of Resurrection, He will ask us about the deeds we did for His sake. Let us imagine that Allah asked, "O My servant what did you do for Me throughout your life?" you would say, "O Allah I ate, drank, got married and cared for my house. I did all these things for You." These things were not done for Allah's sake, rather they were done for your own self and your own family. When death puts an end to your life, what will you take with you as a companion in your grave? You will take your good deeds that you did to please Almighty Allah.

Follow the example of the woman of 'Imran:

 That great woman said:

"O my Lord! I have vowed to You what (the child that) is in my womb to be dedicated for Your services (free from all worldly work; to serve Your Place of worship)

[Aal-'Imran: 35]

 It is a good deed to serve other people by your specialty, craft or profession. Some doctors give their businss cards to a charitable foundation. They tell the administration there that it can send poor patients to be treated at their clinics for free. A pharmacist can give poor patients medicines for free, hoping that Allah will be pleased with him. There are numerous ways to do good deeds and serve other people. I believe that all of you have knowledge, experience, money or a righteous child that can be dedicated for the services of Almighty Allah. I hope that all of us follow the example of the woman of ''Imran:

"O my Lord! I have vowed to You what (the child that) is in my womb to be dedicated for Your services (free from all worldly work; to serve Your Place of worship)

[Aal-'Imran: 35]

A charity project to serve Muslims:

 As you know Ramadan is the month of excessive worship, praying Taraweeh, remembrance and reading Qur'an. However, you still have the other months of the year to work and serve other Muslims. Listen what the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, used to say whenever he entered the Masjid:

((O Allah, forgive my sins and open to me the gates of Your mercy.))

 When you ask Allah to open to you the gates of His mercy it is as if you are asking Him to pacify your heart while you are praying in the Masjid, and asking Him to bestow upon your heart His Light, grant you the peace of mind, and be pleased with you. And what the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, used to say when he wanted to get out of the Masjid:

((O Allah, forgive my sins and open to me the gates of Your bounty.))

 Ask Allah to grant you a job by which you draw closer to Him. Everyone of you can serve other Muslims by his craft and profession. The righteous forefathers used to say whenever they opened the door of their shops, "O Allah, I intend to serve Muslims." I am not saying that you have to give all your goods to people for free, no. I would like those who are shopkeepers to serve people by being good to them, and by selling them good commodities at reasonable prices. Doctors can examine patients without extorting them and without asking them to pay them more money than what they ought to. One of my brother in faith, whom I respect a lot, told me that he could make a patient sell his house to treat him, but he does not do that. It is great to put your knowledge at Muslims' service. As a doctor, you can treat patients at reasonable fees, and you will give them more than what you take when you advise them and be good to them.

Answer the call of this new initiative:

 Dear brother, what a great woman she is!

"O my Lord! I have vowed to You what (the child that) is in my womb to be dedicated for Your services (free from all worldly work; to serve Your Place of worship)

[Aal-'Imran: 35]

 You can pledge yourself to help people get benefit from the knowledge or the experience which Allah has granted you. Someone may say that he is excellent at Maths; well he can give private lessons for free to the students who are not good at this subject. One of my brother in faith is a dentist and he told me what he did to one of his patients. He said that she was a poor teacher whose teeth were defective, so whenever she smiled, her students made fun of her. When the dentist told her how much money she had to pay to fix them, she apologized to him saying that she could not afford that. However, Almighty Allah inspired him to treat her teeth for free seeking by that Allah's Contentment. That dentist swore to Allah that he had never been that happy with any treatment before.

 Do you not own anything that you can serve other people with, seeking by that Almighty Allah's Contentment?

 Some people say that if the ship has nothing to be given to Allah, it will drown. You should serve people with what you have (a profession, a craft, an experience, a specialty that you are good at…etc) seeking Allah's Contentment. You may be asked to go to a far place, so when you answer this call you will be doing this for Allah's sake. Similarly, when you are asked to do a good deed and you do it, you will be doing this job for Allah's Cause:

"O my Lord! I have vowed to You what (the child that) is in my womb to be dedicated for Your services (free from all worldly work; to serve Your Place of worship)

[Aal-'Imran: 35]

A call to do good deeds:

 Dear brother, has anyone of you thought about encouraging one of his sons to be a missionary? Most of you want your sons to be doctors with Board Certification. You may look down to the profession of a missionary whose job is to advise Muslims and get them to know Islamic teachings. You may not be satisfied if one of your sons has a Bachelor Degree in Shari'ah or if he becomes a Khateeb in a Masjid. You aspire to have a doctor or an engineer thinking that they are better professions. Who has dedicated his son to be a scholar?

 A Damascene man has got four children who work in business, but he asked one of them to be an employee in Awqaf in order to serve Muslims. That son was good at trading, but his father asked him to leave trading and dedicate his time to serve the scholars, and he would be given his share of the business even after he stopped working in business with his brother. That father is a good example of a righteous man; he asked his son, who is still alive, to leave his job in trading and be at the service of the scholars. He promised his son to give him his share of trading just as he used to do when he was working with his brother.
 I would like to ask you a question that may seem an embarrassing one; have you given something to people for Allah's sake so far? You cannot consider praying, paying Zakat and fasting good deeds that you perform for Allah's sake, because these are obligatory acts of worship. Have you ever heard of a state that honored one of its citizens for paying his taxes? Definitely not. I repeat my question: have you ever dedicated something to people for Allah's sake? A young man who is good at Maths can give private lessons to poor students for free. I am just giving you an example of performing good deeds. There are millions of good deeds which you can perform, and these deeds may not need money to be done. The proof can be noticed in the following Hadith. The Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, said:

((You will not embrace people with your money so embrace them with your manners.))

 There are many examples of performing good deeds; you can visit one of your brother in faith and see if he needs your help, you can teach one of your brother in faith who may not be good at one of the school subjects and you can repair an electronic device in the Masjid…etc. I hope the woman of 'Imran is an exemplary for us to follow:

("O my Lord! I have vowed to You what (the child that) is in my womb to be dedicated for Your services (free from all worldly work; to serve Your Place of worship))

[Aal-'Imran: 35]

A good habit of the Damascene families:

 A brother who works in an orphanage told me that the Damascene families offer the best food in Ramadan, which is four times the amount of food needed for that one month. Many families used to queue waiting their turn to offer the best food they had. He said that once they turned down food that was three times the amount of the food offered and accepted, and that sometimes they were obliged to draw lots. According to that lots, each family offered food to one hundred orphans. Here lies the to bounty of this country; people are racing to honor the orphans by offering them the best Damascene food. You should ask yourself what you have offered people for Allah's sake. Every specialty can help you perform good deeds.

 I ask Almighty Allah to make this noble ayah a motivation for everyone of us to perform good deeds throughout the whole year. We should be inspired by this ayah to do righteous deed seeking by it Allah's Contentment. This good deed is our path to draw closer to Allah. The paths to Allah are as many as people who can breathe. Each one of you excels at something. I ask Allah that all of us will work on offering people some help, so that Allah may be Merciful to us

Whoever has not thanked people, has not thanked Allah:

 Dear brother, Allah is the Most Appreciative Who has put the fitrah in you, and one of its acts is gratefulness. Someone may pay the bus-driver five liras on your behalf, so you thank him. Sometimes you thank such a person three times for the five liras he pays for you; when he pays the money, when you sit next to him and when you want to get down from the bus. Almighty Allah has granted you things that are more precious than money; existence, hearing, sight, tongue, sound mind, reason and other systems that work regularly inside your body. Also He has given you a wife and children and has ordered you to return the favor:

("Work you, O family of Dawud (David), with thanks!" But few of My slaves are grateful.)

[Saba':13]

 Allah wants you to render your gratefulness into deeds; any deed by which you can serve His servants. Have you heard of the prostitute whose sins Allah has forgiven ? That prostitute saw a thirsty dog, so she took off her shoe, filled it with water from the well and gave it to the dog to drink. That dog thanked Allah for her, so Almighty Allah has forgiven her sins. She sought Allah's Contentment when she gave water to that thirsty dog in a desert where there was no human being. Thus, Allah has forgiven her sins. She did a dog a favor, and Allah has granted her His Forgiveness for that favor. You can do a favor for any creature, and Almighty Allah will reward you for that.

" Be merciful to those on earth, so that Allah will be Merciful to you in the heavens:"

 Dear brother I mentioned previously in this lecture that Ramadan is the month of worship, but the other months of the year are of work. Man will be elevated by his good deeds. Let me give you an example: can a cadet meet the Major General directly? Absolutely not. If this cadet wants to meet the General, he has to get permission from many ranks that are superior to his. He should first meet a Corporal or first Corporal, then Adjutant or first Adjutant, and a Lieutenant or first Lieutenant. However, the cadet will not need the permission if it happens that the General's son is about to drown and the cadet rescues him. The Major General in such a case will welcome the cadet.

 When you serve Allah's servants, you will be able to keep in touch with Almighty Allah while you are praying. When you serve other people, do them a favor and help them, you will be performing good deeds. If you do not blackmail Allah's servants, frighten them, cheat them, sell them bad goods at higher prices or control their need for a certain commodity, then you are merciful to them. Almighty Allah will reward you by being Merciful to you, and by elevating your ranks. What makes you in an elevated rank is your good deed. Listen again to the noble ayah:

("O my Lord! I have vowed to You what (the child that) is in my womb to be dedicated for Your services (free from all worldly work; to serve Your Place of worship))

[Aal-'Imran: 35]

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of Creations