Question: How is the volunteers’ understanding of working hours supposed to be? Will you share your considerations on how self-sacrifice relates to working hours?
Answer: Our time spent working for the sake of Divine truths can be considered in the same category with money and possessions donated for the sake of God—or with infaq to use a general term—with respect to their essential philosophies. Particularly in the conditions of the Meccan period, the issue of infaq was taken in the absolute sense: “…and out of what We have provided for them, they spend (of wealth, knowledge, power, etc., to provide sustenance for the needy and in God’s cause, purely for the good pleasure of God and without placing others under obligation)” (al-Baqarah 2:3).
As it is seen, God Almighty encourages us to spend as much as we can out of the blessings He provided us. In the same way, acting with a complete spirit of devotedness and spending our time on the righteous path with the absolute understanding of the Meccan period is a consequence of such horizons of self-sacrifice. However, one important point should not be overlooked. In order to motivate the volunteers, we can make statements like “They should spend as much as they can” or “They should run like noble steeds until their heart stops…” As such a style can be adopted for the sake of encouragement, some situations may truly necessitate one to give whatever one possesses and run breathlessly until he or she perishes. However, considering everybody in general, it is necessary to take human nature into consideration both regarding spending for the sake of God and planning the hours of working. That is, we are human beings, we have families to support and other responsibilities, and thus expectations from us should not be beyond what we can bear. There can be exceptional figures who do keep running until they perish. However, such sacrifice should not be expected from everyone, and such performance and program should not be taken as the basis for everybody. We need to make our plans by taking general facts into consideration and present our issues accordingly.