It’s been a while since I wrote a post and a topic that has been on my mind are the cost of AlMaghrib classes. I have often been confronted with the question, why do the classes cost so much? I have heard rumors that the students from other groups and organizations have used the price tag of our classes as a criticism by which it has been said only the “haves” could attend the classes.
There are numerous ways to respond to all of this, and if I wanted to debate or explain each point, I very well could to the point that there is nothing left except for a person to say either it’s worth it to me or its not, and removing the negative stigmas surrounding the cost.
Those answers would all focus on convincing you that the cost is justifiable and that the intentions of AlMaghrib are not to use Islam to drain people of their money. Instead I will speak for myself, and myself alone.
Shaykh Muhammd reminded us of the story of a man who had just converted to Islam, and was fighting jihaad alongside the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wa sallim, and after the Muslims won the war, there were spoils from that war of which this newly converted Muslim sahabi received some.
Upon receiving these spoils, the man told the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wa sallim, “I did not become Muslim for this reason.” The Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wa sallim corrected him and said, “What blessed wealth in the hands of a blessed / righteous person.”
Meaning, if there is wealth, then what better place for it is there for it to be then in the hands of a righteous person? And then Shaykh Muhammad continued, saying that when you look at money, and wealth, it’s not in and of itself good or evil, but rather, it magnifies what is already in one’s heart. If someone already has sufficient evil in them, even if they look good on the outside, it can and probably will bring it out. And likewise, when someone is good, then that money magnifies the good within that person because it is spent on what is good.
It’s a very interesting point. I generally believe that if on a minor level, a person is weak, lazy, disorganized, stingy, or corrupt, then such failings will carry themselves forward at a higher level. I recall once sending out an email to my volunteers stating that Wasat was not a corrupt third world dictatorship. Meaning, we were not going to hold one set of standards for our friends and families with hook ups while waving a standard set of policies for everyone else. The reason I said this is because this type of mindset is what pervades our Muslim political leadership today, and people complain about this, but the fact is that the people at the ground level, even practicing Muslims, are often lacking the moral ethical framework to make the connection between the culture they propagate with such behavior, and how that chain reaction carries to higher levels – so is it really any wonder that we say change will not be effected unless people first change what is within themselves?
The same holds true more specifically, in my mind, with money. When there is corruption of intention and action, it will bring itself out, and I believe strongly in that. With AlMaghrib Institute, my observation has been that rather than creating harm, the benefit that AlMaghrib Institute has brought, the love and respect for knowledge, and even of people with differing views, of etiquette and adab, all this and more and the number of lives that have been touched and changed for the better are the result of the magnification of such wealth being used by people with the right intention and purposes in mind.
In the end, it is about results, and those are the results, with these standards, with these rules, with these costs. Alhamdulillaah, working the past 3 years for AlMaghrib as Ameer for Chicago, my life and perspective has changed in many ways, and I’ve had the priviledge of seeing others change and benefit in so many ways as well. I personally am not aware of any program that is as organized, professional, and most importantly, spiritually heart-hitting and lifechanging than the AlMaghrib program.
As I mentioned earlier, I’m offering my own perspective – what does it for me – rather than laying out the plethora of reasons that may convince others because another lesson that Shaykh Muhammad reminded us of – the most difficult day that the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wa sallim endured – the day when the daw’ah was rejected in at at-Ta’if.
After all that happened, when the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wa sallim had left, bleeding from stoned, not knowing where he was going, he said in a du’aa to Allah, “Oh my Lord, in whose hands will you put my trust in? Are you putting my trust in the hands of a near relative who will frown at me, or someone far from me to have control of my affair?”
He sallallaahu alayhi wa sallim then said, “As long as You are not angry at me, then it doesn’t matter.”
And with that lesson in mind, that’s why I say I’m offering my perspective – it won’t matter to me how many naysayers exist to criticize the pricing because my concern is not with them – it was simply with making sure that Allah subhaana wa ta’aala is not angry with me and is instead pleased.
When someone puts forth something good and beneficial, there will always be critics and criticism, some sincere, some not, and Allah knows best which is which, and it is not for me to judge. In the end, if the price is not to someone’s liking, there are plenty of other programs which are free, and I encourage those people to benefit from those. And when they want an AlMaghrib quality class, ahlan wa sahlan, we’re happy to have you onboard as well :D
May Allah subhaana wa ta’aala guide us all to doing what pleases Him. Ameen.
PS – We have about 350 now registered to come to The Shepherd’s Path, alhamdulillaah, and about 180 have paid and saved their spot. Hope to see you there too, insha’Allah ;)