Volunteer Feature Series: A Fruitful JourneyBy Ahmad MianWith the world being in the current state that it is, it’s of utmost importance to strive in the path laid out by our dear Prophet, and be a positive impact. This can be done in various ways, but one that has grown to be successful here at Loyola University Chicago is the Orphan Sponsorship Drive. The MSA sets its sights on a mission every year, one that will not only benefit us as individuals in strengthening that bond with our creator, but will also be a physically manifested form of aid to our brothers and sisters suffering around the globe. We hold a series of events throughout the year in hopes of raising funds that will support orphans. The events this past year consisted of a ping pong tournament, lectures, large scale dinners, and more. There is great reward in the funding coming from these events, but also in the outcomes of other initiatives we strive to implement. These include creating a comfortable and beneficial environment for the attendees, which in our case is not only limited to Muslims, but rather the entirety university and whosoever wishes to attend. This has helped display Islam in a positive light. Naturally, this vision wasn’t achieved overnight; it has been a long work in progress. It was implemented by the leaders before us, we carried the torch for some time, and inshAllah it will continue as an established activity in our MSA. Much of the beauty in this line of work is that once the initial goal is intact, we can take any road you wish to reach the end. It’s actually more proper to say that there isn’t a finish line in sight; rather, there is an endless road, which is life. We don’t know when and where it’ll be our time to step off, and that’s why we do the most we can with what we have. The future leaders in the community, the Shura, will continue the MSA legacy. Just as we created new innovative events for the Orphan Sponsorship Drive, such as the ping pong tournament, they, too, will find creative ways to fulfill the mission. We were able to sponsor not one, but five orphans this past year. That’s five lives Allah (SWT) allowed us to impact positively. It’s when we receive such news that we truly acknowledge all the effort put in. Sahl ibn Sa’d reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The one who cares for an orphan and myself will be together in Paradise like this,” and he held his two fingers together to illustrate. This Hadith is Sahih, being mentioned in al-Bukhari, and has been one of the initial driving forces behind our motivation to succeed in this mission.This Hadith alone makes it worthwhile to strive in this path, let alone the countless others mentioned that will earn Allah’s favor. I ask Allah (SWT) to accept the work we’ve done during our time here, and to accept the work our brothers and sisters are undertaking across the globe. I ask Allah (SWT) to allow our work to have a positive impact on the world and help our brothers and sisters in need. Our work isn’t done here; the journey continues.