Have you ever experienced a total mindset change?
Mindset changes can be gradual, developing with the accumulation of experience and knowledge, or they can be sudden, like waking up from a deep sleep. Sudden change requires an instantaneous realization, the precise key that was needed for the lock in your head.
As a MAS Youth worker, I was often skeptical of whether I could really impact the youth around me. I tried this, tried that, was it working? Was it making a difference? Sometimes I thought yes, sometimes it all seemed like one big guess.
Then I heard something in a workshop by the MAS Tarbiyah Department that really got me thinking:
The first, most useful tool for us as mentors is our sincerity.
People around us sense that sincerity, so that even if we make some mistakes or don’t do everything perfectly, they can tell when someone truly cares for them, wants them to succeed in their life mission, and is trying to empower them. Sincerity, hoping for nothing but the pleasure of Allah in guiding others, makes the hearts open and the ears listen. We have an array of tools to make our youth think, make them cry, make them talk, make them act, but it is the sincerity in our hearts: that will win the Help of Allah: that will make them truly feel empowered to change. This genuine, selfless concern for the youth we hope to influence can work wonders.
Suddenly the daunting responsibility of helping others to change became conceivable, because while working on others I can strengthen my efforts by working on myself. I can be amplifying the progress of my usra members by making sincere dua for my sisters, nurturing deep-rooted concern and care for them, and always believing in their potential. Not only, as Shaikh Qaradawi explains in Sincerity, is sincerity to Allah the magic ingredient that turns every action into worship, but it also brings synergy to our work and deepens our ability to influence others, with the will of Allah (swt).