Sometimes all it takes is just one email to change someone’s life course to 180 degrees. This is what happened to our guest in this episode.
Muhammad’s life was just the way he wanted. He was working at a bank and making a good living. Until one day he received an email. He discovered he could no longer keep doing what he was doing and had to quit his job.
What would you do in this case? Listen to the full episode to find out what Muhammad did and where he is today.
I decided I need to benefit people instead of taking advantage of them.–Muhammad Quadan
Maruf: Hey Assalamualaikum, this is Maruf and welcome to the show. Muslims On Fire. Today we have a guest, friend of mine from Australia, Muhammad and his is an entrepreneuer but I would say he’s a social entrepreneur as well. Today we’re going to deep dive and get to know him better. So, we will invite Muhammad. Assalamualaikum bro, how are you?
Quadan: Walaikum Assalam. Alhamdulillah, how are you?
Maruf: Welcome to the show.
Quadan: Thank you so much for having me.
Maruf: Yeah, it’s not been easy to schedule this. You know, you are on the other side of the world, but Alhamdulillah we are here now.
Quadan: Yeah, it’s taken a few attempts but Alhamdulillah we are finally here.
Maruf: Sure. So, why don’t you start with telling who you are and what you do, you know briefly?
Quadan: Yeah. I mean in a nutshell I am Australian, Australian born, father of four amazing children Alhamdulillah and basically I’ve been working in the humanitarian and Community Development space over the past 16 years and that’s been a passion of mine and in terms of my entrepreneurial side of things. I run my graphic design studio for about 12 years as well. So,I juggle both at the same time.
Maruf: I didn’t know that. So, you still run your graphic design thing right now?
Quadan: Yes. Yes, I had a studio while back and then kind of phase it down a bit and just kept a small clientele. And I just so I can continue on with my community and humanitarian work, Alhamdulillah.
Maruf: That’s interesting. So that’s something we might have something in common, but we’ll get into that, I guess. It sounds good. So, Mohammad tell us, I mean I wouldn’t be able to ask you about your childhood because it is too big but I would just like to know, I mean looking back right now. If you look at your childhood, what do you really remember or what kind of memories do you think shaped you into who you are today? This is what we are really interested in.
Quadan: Share my troubles or?
Maruf: No, I mean what I’m saying is like, when you look back at your childhood.
Quadan: Ah, yes my childhood.
Maruf: What kind of memories come to your mind and what do you think that shaped you who you are today? That’s what we are interested in.
Quadan: Yea, I think honestly, I had an interview and the brother asked me the same question. The first thing that popped into my mind is being with my father and my uncles at a young age. And always going to Islamic dawa meetings and community meetings and being part of that environment. Although I wasn’t directly involved in a meeting. Because I was young, but just being around that environment.
I used to listen to what was going on and hear the conversations and regarding the community whether its development whether it’s issues whether its political. I used to sit in those meetings and listen, you know, from afar. So, I used to enjoy going to those meetings and seeing that they’re doing stuff for the community and seeing the outcomes of those meetings.
So, for instance if they went to a meeting about building a Masjid and then years later praying in that Masjid, I can see the fruits of their efforts and it wasn’t until maybe 2002 2001 2002 that my kind of passion for that kind of kicked in. And then I related it back to that because I was always around those kind of people you’re growing up.
Maruf: Interesting. So, what you’re saying is that taking your kids to Masjid and all this gatherings even though you didn’t probably understand the full capacity what was going on, but you were there in the background right?
Quadan: That’s right. I was passively kind of over here in the conversations. So it wasn’t directly hearing it or kind of like you said paying attention or such. It was more so just being in the environment. And I guess that maybe the butter got rubbed off, who knows? It could be a lot of things.
Maruf: Yeah. That’s very insightful and interesting you know. What about you now? You mentioned you have four kids, mashallah. I mean, do you also take them to the masjid or how does it work?
Quadan: Well I’m trying. I try and get them involved in a lot of physical activities and actions of the actual dawa like actions of cleaning a Masjid and actions of humanitarian works of volunteering with humanitarian Aid organizations. So I get them to put that into action because I know that these days when times are changed and attention spans of children, these days are very short. So keeping them busy other than giving them a lecture or take them to a talk, keeping them busy was given them little gems of information. It kind of shapes how they are growing up.
Maruf: Yeah, absolutely. Sounds good. I mean you’re so tell us more. Okay, that’s that’s what you remember about childhood. So tell us more like, you know, one of the interesting things in the show, we can ask our guests that like, you know that there’s a time appeared in men’s life that you’re gonna ask questions. Like what am I gonna do? Once my calling is you always started mentioning you started working with NGO for the last I don’t know, you said ten years, something like that?
Quadan: 16 years now.
Maruf: Okay. Well mashallah, sixteen years. But I mean you didn’t start like that, right? You actually worked at different corporation. Can you tell us more about that? How do you end up there? And how did you do the transition?
Quadan: Definitely. Before going to that can I also mention one more thing about the children you asked me? This just came to my mind. One thing growing up my father never ever forced. My mother never forced me to do anything religious. They always told me about it, they kind of encouraged me but never forced me to pray.
They never forced me to go to Madrasa and things like that. So I think that also was a big benefit because I didn’t feel you know, we’re forced to do something. I did it from passion and love rather than being forced to do it. So just wanted to touch on that because I think it’s a very important aspect for our kids and the way we parent and for our kids in sha Allah teach them to love it rather than to just do it because you told them to.
And yes, going back to your last question. Sorry to steer away. So my background actually when I left I never finished high school. I don’t have a University degree. I don’t have a college degree. And I actually finished, I left High School one year early and I was fortunate enough to be able to speak to people in different positions, you know, just kind of street smart. So I was able to land a job at the bank at 18 years old.
Maruf: Okay, So one question here, look, When you finished high school, you had to go to university, right?
Quadan: A university, yeah.
Maruf: So, what you’re saying to us that you didn’t ever go to college. Some people drop the college, but you didn’t even drop you didn’t even go to college?
Quadan: No, I didn’t even go to college. I didn’t finish school, like my high schooling.
Maruf: Oh interesting.
Quadan: I was growing up a very practical person. I theoretically I mean, my grades are always outstanding Alhamdulillah, but I hated studying, I hated reading. I was a very kind of I tried it try to find the easiest but most effective ways possible. Those kind of my thing and growing up. I never cheated but I just work out a strategy on how to do something in the shortest period of time but most effective as well. I had always had that kind of yeah, so that kind of that’s with entrepreneurial kind of mindset comes into play later on in the Years.
Maruf: Okay, go back to the first position. How did you end up with the bank. I want to know now. How did you end up there? You wanted to do work there or it was just out of necessity? What happened there?
Quadan: No, I just had a few friends at work they got a job there. They said, “come work with us” and I thought it would be pretty cool to hang out with my friends and get paid at the same time. That’s the kind of mentality I had. However, I was in a customer service for all the bank and then and we had some sales targets to me on a monthly basis and no, like a daily basis. Sorry, it was to get two sales a day, which would be referring someone to the credit card, home loan or whatever it may be. Alhamdulillah, Everything with that I got twenty to thirty sales a day. So, I got promoted within three months of working. I got promoted twice and I ended up being a mortgage lender.
Maruf: So, here is the thing Mohammad, the question is I guess, you got a job at the bank due to friendship. I think usually when you go to work in the bank, I don’t know the details but they would ask you like, about your financial background or like I mean, not that background but about the studies, right? You have to know the finance.
Quadan: Yeah, but not necessarily in this because this particular role was very entry level. Overall the bank but I knew that back of my mind that if also work hard, I can kind of climb my way up. So I had that kind of mentality in the background. So although my friends they’ll be cool to work there. I always had that hustle in the back in my mind. So, yeah, I ended up being a mortgage lender and then there from a year and a half I went to a different bank and became a business banker and and then went through a finance company as was a branch manager of the finance company. And yeah, and thenI was a manager for Ford Finance afterwards and then I listened to my first lecture which was sitting in my office and I was 22 or 25. I got an email from my cousin saying listen to this lecture and I went to their website and back then, you know in 2002 there wasn’t much on website. There were two lectures there, one was about the Quran and the second one was about finance and Riba.
I listened to the second one because I was in finance. I clicked on it and after 40 minutes I said to myself, I’m going to jahannam. That was my turning point right there. I left, I went home that night and it was on my mind all night. And that was also the year I started to fast, the first time I’ve ever fast in my life. That was the first year I ever fasted as well. And I just started praying again applying to the young age. But then that particular year I decided to start praying again and take it more seriously. And that was when I said to myself, I need to quit this job and I need to find something halal.
Maruf: So, that was your turning point in life, wasn’t it?
Quadan: So yeah, that was my turning point and I walked in the next day to the office and I quit and I had nothing, no backup. I had no schooling, no degree. All I knew was finance. So, because I was in finance for about three or four years and that’s all I knew.
Maruf: So, until this point, you didn’t know know anything about this part of the you know Islam that I mean probably you didn’t know much about Islam and at that time you knew, right?
Quadan: I never knew about riba. I didn’t know about any of that stuff. I had no idea and I was just living a normal life. You know, I was a good person. I wasn’t close to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala in terms of action. My heart definitely was close, but not in action. At that point, so yes, it was a big turning point for me
Maruf: It takes a lot of guts right? To hear one lecture to admit that’s not something, you know likable by Muslims and taking action. I mean, what I’m trying to rub my head around is that like, you know, when you know something is wrong, right? And taking the like internalizing it and taking action. That’s very tough like, how do you do it?
Quadan: I just did it because after listening to the lecture, I went home and I started to just you know, read a bit more because I had some books at home. And all of a sudden I am putting the books to you know to understand a bit more about interest. And I kind of can of went across the Aya in the Quran that kind of talked about it and the punishments and some of the Hadith and I just from just from reading that was enough for me.
It was just that was enough. Although I never understood it in it’s full capacity, I just knew that what I’m doing because understand also my job was to charge people the most highest rate I could possibly get because higher the interest rate we charge the more commission we get. So, I knew that I was doing wrong by people already. So I have that feeling of doing wrong.
Maruf: Subconsciously you were not feeling well.
Quadan: Exactly, exactly. So, that kind of that bit with that mentality and then listening to the Islamic side of things. It kind of was enough for me to say, I need to move into a direction where I’m benefiting people and not take advantage of them at certain points of their life.
Maruf: you know, like at this point like understanding what’s right and what’s wrong, Islam most of the time it’s not the hardest part, right? The hardest part is taking action. Like in your case, I understand what you were doing was probably not right but it was your livelihood, right? This is how you were making money. Just I mean cutting off in one day and having this trust and moving on, I think that’s a big challenge. But that is what I’m asking, that’s why I’m asking you. How did you do that part? You know, I mean, Go ahead.
Quadan: I’m just gonna say, I’m a risk taker in general. So, I’ve always have been. Leaving high school that does big risk for me but I just want to do it. When I have my mind set on something I get it done. So, and there’s no turning back. Once I lock my mind to something I do it and I don’t turn back and if it’s a stop or if it’s something wrong, I learn from it and move forward and if the right choice Alhamdulillah. The risk itself, you know, it was it for me personally, it wasn’t a major risk, although I had nothing to fall back on. I knew that doing it for this reason. Something was going to be behind the next door for me somewhere. It was that kind of mentality I had and the path I took.
Maruf: Yeah, that’s that’s very interesting part. Okay, that’s so, go ahead, what happened there?
Quadan: This is the first time actually in any interview I’ve actually talked about this. So the question is fantastic, by the way.
Maruf: Alhamdulillah, I mean, that’s the point I want to get that because I think that that’s those transforming moments are what people are looking for, you know. At the end of the day most of us, I would say all of us. We handle those decisions every single day with taking action how we do that and to understand and Alhamdulillah, thank you for sharing. I know I’m sorry. I’m asking and being pushy a little bit.
Quadan: No, no, I am more than happy to share because I know that there’s someone out there who may be in a similar situation or you know, they may benefit, you have in one percent from this.
Maruf: Yea, I mean for me, it’s very interesting how humans take action in very critical moment, you know. We can all learn. So, thank you for sharing that. So let’s go on and tell us. So, you went to the home you give up your job. What happened then? What did you do after that?
Quadan: I went to score any job, just to get paid. So I was doing fire service maintenance. So basically all the fire extinguishers fire hoses. I’m just maintaining those. A friend of mine works in a company and he got me a job of doing that. So I did that for a while until I found myself. Until I really kind of really understood what I wanted to do and I have always been a good drawer. So I always Drew and I always animated to cartoons and things like that. So, I came across a course at college. And when I say college, our college is different to what you mean.
Our college is like a how can I explain it? Our universities are your college and our college is that one step before university. So, the college courses about graphic design, web design. So, I thought you know what? Let me go and see what this is all about. So, I went in there. I learned all the software and within six months. I didn’t finish the course. I just learned all the stuff on it. And then I kind of got started advertising what I do like graphic designer, web designer. I started getting work and from there I just kept getting more and more work. And then my clientele became the Muslim organizations. So that’s how I started to get into the dawah more and started to get work with the community much more through that line of work.
Maruf: Okay, Okay. I saw your profile, I think at that time you started working with some of the NGO like charity positions Muslims charity positions.
Quadan: That was about two years before prior to the charity organizations. At that time I worked with community dawa organizations. So I worked with the Masjid, one of the largest mosques in Australia. And there I worked with Sheikh Sadi Solaiman and we worked with him for about six years I was there for Alhamdulillah.
Maruf: So, to understand for the listeners and for myself that is so at that time you’re doing a graphic design job and another side you are volunteering in this NGO. Is that correct?
Quadan: That’s correct. So in the daytime doing graphic design, at the same time doing graphic design for those organizations as well.
Maruf: Cool. So you were kind of monitoring your passion at the same time. That’s awesome.
Quadan: Exactly. Exactly. And then in the night time, I would go to the centers and we have youth programs. We run youth programs with one dawa talks. We’ve learned a whole bunch of things and then we do the mosque tours and things like that. So we had so much activity every night at the masjid Alhamdulillah.
Maruf: Okay, you’re fully packed. You’re immersed out from being not a man. So, okay, like then I think tell us your transition to like this halftime here, but then you did the full transition, right? We want to know more about that transition period as well. Just go ahead.
Quadan: Yeah, so obviously working within the Masjid and some other dawah organizations, you get to know a lot of the community. Most through those networks. So, alhamdulillah, I got to know a lot of people pretty fast. I started giving time at different masjids and in different centers. So you kind of meet some, you kind of get exposed to a lot of people in a very short period of time and through that network I met a few beautiful brothers from Human appeal Australia.
And yeah, so I got to know them really well loved their dawa and they offered me a role at the charity, full-time role. So it was for me something I’d love to do, something you know, humanitarian Aid and helping others. So I think, I want to get into this. So I started working with them full-time. Alhamdulillah that was my transition. And I went on to work with them in with two different hats on, one was a graphic designer role and the other one was program management because I come from management background in finance. So it was kind of developing. And growing my management skills through the organizations.
Maruf: So, Human Appeal is like an international charity organization for those who don’t know, right? Their base is in the UK or USA?
The HQ is actually in Ajman in the UAE, that’s where the HQ is.
Maruf: I didn’t know that.
Quadan: That’s where it started and then it expanded to the UK. There was an office opened UK and also in Australia and also a few other places as well. But Alhamdulillah, that’s how they work. They’ve been around for over 30 years, Alhamdulillah.
Maruf: So continue the story. We are here to listen.
Quadan: So, I started working here as a graphic designer and a program manager there and yeah, so working on an orphan sponsorship program mainly and then exposed me to a lot of things seeing the you know, the need to our umma has so many countries around the world. And I was exposed to that there was no turning back for me. I said this is, this is why I left. My finance roles. This is exactly what this is what Allah planned for me. So from that point on I was all locked in my mission for myself was walking up to the community and work for the community, inshallah.
Maruf: Sounds good. So right now you’re not with the human appeal anymore. Now, you have your own NGO right? It’s called ten fold. Your transition to them. What Ten Fold does and how is it what kind of challenge you guys are tackling specifically?
Quadan: Yes. So during still working with humanitarian aid over the years, I was working with Muslim Aid as well which is also another global organization. So I worked for all three major charities over the past 10 to 12 years. I’m sure longer 14 years now. And during that time we also wanted to do something ourselves. And so we can leave a legacy behind. A friend of mine and I. And one of the things that we saw at the at the youth center’s that we that we used to help manage was a lot of people that accept Islam and coming to Islam. They needed a lot of human resources, which is like a one on one to teach them how to pray to ask them questions.
Maruf: Like buddies, right?
Quadan: Yeah, exactly exactly partners and buddies. I think we talked about this before when we had a previous conversation a while back and so what we decided to do was try and come up with a product that can teach him how to pray without needing someone there. That was kind of what we need to try and work out and that’s where the prayer mat came into place where it’s the step-by-step guided prayer mat that we released and have been running now for 10 years along with a book and a video.
So we did that back in 2009 with intention to distribute in Sydney, Australia just a small distribution just to help people in our community. But what happened is that while distributing across Sydney There was some visitors from overseas some for America, something the UK and they happened to stumble across it and then when they got back to their countries, they emailed us saying we need some for ourselves. So we sent a batch over to them and we sent them to print files and they printed they distributed themselves. So we ended up that year Distributing 50,000 packs.
Maruf: Cool. In first year.
Quadan: Yea first year. These would have thrown away because that wasn’t our intention. So we thought well there’s something behind this. There’s obviously a need and demand for it. We need to really kind of you know grow this. So over the years Alhamdulillah we kind of pushed. We didn’t kind of follow up on it only because of our time working with others NGOs and being so busy with NGOs. We never gave it enough justice to that project. To be honest, we just fulfilled some orders like a thousand here a thousand there and running in the background.
So we are all happy because we’re helping people still. But up until maybe two years ago. We had a meeting and we thought listen we really need to give this a proper shot and then see how big this can really go and that’s what we did. I made a decision to just have my income from my from my graphic design work, also my full time in tenfold. And Alhamdulillah, over the past two years, you know, we’ve distributed about 60,000 more packs. We’ve released before products. We’re now in 38 countries. Alhamdulillah, we’ve grown dramatically and it comes back down to that entrepreneurial mindset, I guess.
Maruf: I mean, you mentioned the price. I’m just trying to understand because you see like in my case. I’m not a convert. So I’m just trying to put myself in their shoes. So like look, so I heard that the many Muslims, the new Muslims who come to Islam, if there are no support you also mentioned before I guess, most of them to end up leaving, right? So your product is actually to tackle one of the challenges and so I just want to understand that is not just a prayer mat. What is it? Like, can you can you go into the details and tell one unique selling point I guess?
Quadan: Definitely. So basically when people come to Islam or even someone myself, let me give you myself as an example and then this will kind of make it easier to understand, when I first started to learn how to pray, my cousin, she taught me how to pray that we wrote the steps on a piece of paper.
Okay, a lot of people do, so we write the steps on a piece of paper and I’d stand up and read on paper as I’m standing up a praying and that became very difficult to keep turning the pages and you know, Became very fiddly. So we thought what if we just put all those steps on one prayer mat, so it’s got step by step with a with a silhouette of the person with the actual action as well. So that way you can see what the action is when you’re going into that position. So Step 1, raise your hands.
Maruf: These are on the mat, the prayer mat right?
Quadan: Live visual step-by-step guide on the prayer mat itself.
Maruf: It’s like a hi-tech thing
Quadan: Yea, that’s right.
It’s such a simple kind of product but so impactful. If I had that when I was learning how to pray it would have been much easier and then some but then you go to someone who’s a new Muslim and even if they are in that, majority of them don’t come from our background. So reciting in Arabic is a foreign language to them is completely foreign. So they’re not even understanding what they’re saying let alone trying to get the pronunciation correct. So we put those there recitations and all the words of the prayer in transliteration in English. So that way they can just read it in transliteration said in Arabic. So that way literally our concept was they can go from not praying to praying in five minutes.
Maruf: I see. That’s very beautiful
Quadan: Yea alhamdulillah. So we had that book of company with that. So the pack itself was a prayer mat, a book and then DVD. but obviously as to the DVD, DVD is no longer, It’s just YouTube videos now. And we translated the actual video these step-by-step instructional video into seven different languages and also the book that can be downloaded in terms of different languages as well on our website. So it was kind of adapted and grew that project more.
Maruf: I see, I mean, it’s just like a must-have for every Muslim. It could drop you of into pray anyway.
Quadan: Definitely a must have. Every person that we’ve come across that, you know, just say they became Muslim three or four years ago and they see it of the exact words are, I wish I had seen this when I first became muslim.
Maruf: I see, I mean look, so you said you already sold more than 100 thousand, you know of this, I want to understand like how you distribute this. You know, is it like somebody come to you or you work with the dawa organization? How does it work?
Quadan: So The way we get funding is for sponsorships. So anyone can jump on the website and sponsor a pack to be sent out on their behalf. So they’ll go on, they’ll sponsor a pack and then we send it out to someone and they get the rewards for it. So, our whole concept is an ongoing charity, so that everyone who is part of this project, they get for every person that makes a thick beard, every person that says Bismillah, every person that reads the Fatiha, you get the reward for every single time they pray. That is something priceless.
Quadan: So that’s the offer that we have for people and that’s an offer you can’t refuse. And it’s only i $15 Australian 14 or 19 to sponsor someone. Which is about not even a bit nine dollars US. So for nine dollar US, You can teach someone how to pray and you get their rewards for the rest of their life.
Maruf: That’s a good deal.
Quadan: For nine dollars, that’s huge. Yeah, so we had that concept with okay, we want to get people involved want to share the reward and that’s how we share the reward. Number one and how we distribute it is that over the years with connected with so many organizations around the world who are mashallah doing amazing work. So what we do is that we through sponsorships say for instance, we get a thousand sponsored, we will get a thousand pounds and send them across to the organization and ask the organization just to pay for the shipping costs. That’s pretty much it. And that’s at least as long as I pay for shipping. They get the packs for free and they distribute it and that’s how we work basically.
Maruf: Sounds cool.
Quadan: Individuals that jump on the website and they can actually order a package for free for themselves and they pay for the ownership.
Maruf: Yeah makes sense. I mean like I assume you already worked in the organizations. I mean, not the dawa organization, all over the world already right? You probably know all of them like in the UK.
They are the biggest I worked with because they also have a global reach. They are in every country. So Alhamdulillah in their organization they also have sub organizations in different countries, Alhamdulillah.
Maruf: Cool, cool. You know what, after the call, last year I attended the dawa organization I did not know it existed. I think it’s called Hidayat foundation. You know them from Malaysia?
Quadan: Yes, Hidayah, we actually worked with Hidayat. So, Alhamdulillah, we actually visited their offices last year in Malaysia and we worked with them and we distribute through them and in Malaysia as well.
Maruf: I was just want to connect with you with him If you didn’t know but mashallah, you already know almost everyone. That’s good. Go ahead.
Quadan: In Malaysia as well I worked with IPSI, another big organization that run from Penang and they were close to Dr. Zakir Naik and like and other people like brother Firdaws Wong and strong guy is in the Malaysian Community, mashallah.
Maruf: Yeah, I mean you’re tapping into one of the topics and I’m kind of really interested in that new Muslims, right? When someone becomes muslim? So, what is it after shahada? What’s happening after the shahada? I mean, most of us get happy with the Allahu Akbar you know, clap when they become and the day after that is the silence. So, I think you are tackling like, let’s have them pray. I mean, you also mentioned about the buddy system. What else do you think we could do to help the new muslims?
Quadan: We have also like a 90-day Journal that we’ve put together purely because a lot of times as we mentioned before, they don’t have anyone to talk to, they don’t have you know, they feel that they just left one community and then joining a new community but a lot of the times the new community are busy with their own things. It’s not that they don’t want to help, it’s just that they are preoccupied with so many other things.
And so we put together a good Journal so that way at least they can document their development over the first 90 days. It’s not a solution for everything but it’s something that we’re trying to offer in the pack to kind of assist them in the new journey of religion and life spirituality. There needs to be more and there definitely needs to be more. Is there a solution? I mean one of the easiest solution is that the local community centers and the organization of the masjids, they have some of the structure because it is a grass root level. Most definitely I mean that isn’t the most ideal scenario.
However, having an online platform. I mean, we all connected these days. We connected online platforms and that’s how we got talking today. So there’s we have that availability. So we should be able to create something whether it is like an online community online platform that connects the new muslims to other people so that way they can kind of bounce off one another to talk about issues or challenges they’re facing.
Maruf: That’s exactly where I’m heading. Right? I was actually asking the questions that look also we are in the background, I guess. We are just launching this this platform. One of the things is we wanted to focus on new Muslims, but you mentioned you see, after they you know, accept Islam, best first thing we can do is personal help, we understand about but sometimes in some communities, it’s not even possible or feasible, right? So I think the next big thing is could be the as you’ve mentioned online community and connecting, you know, local Muslims, right? It doesn’t have to be someone who doesn’t even have times. It could be local someone really famous old who’s trying to you know help out from time to time for the new Muslim. That could be a good start, wouldn’t it? Like a buddy system?
Quadan: Definitely, it could be like an Uber to new Muslims like, you know connecting to the closest Muslims that’s willing to help.
Maruf: I like the idea.
Quadan: Today we’re in a society where we don’t like waiting. We would like to see where our driver is, you know? Honestly, what’s happening is, we want to be in control of everything.
Maruf: I like that idea. Okay, I mean so look, I think the next question you actually answer it so but I’m gonna ask you so, maybe you a little bit differently. So one of the things in life as Muslims, you know, is that usually the, you know, people ask work-life balance, but for us it’s much more like Dunya and Deen balance, right? How do you balance it in your case?
Quadan: Yeah, I mean it’s not easy to be honest. Anyone that works in the community sector or NGO sector know that it’s a very challenging role. It takes a lot from you mentally, emotionally, physically because you see things that other people don’t see speaking you get so many videos that from the ground, you know, after after a devastation or after something, you know, and you obviously can’t put these videos and pictures up because, you know, they’re too disturbing. Yeah, so that affection number one. Number two the demand on the NGO workers, it’s quite high because it there’s always a catastrophe. There’s always something happening. So you only have to drop everything in and kind of change and do things on the go. So, it does become a lot of intense work. The way I balance it is I do get my family involved as well. Because that allows that me to be with them at certain times, so whether it’s a charity dinner, I make sure they volunteer around me. If tenfold is with packs, I get them to pack and write the addresses with me together and we send out some individually. So, we kind of have a bonding time but most importantly I do believe and I do practice that as well. You need to stop and make time for the duniya as well which you know your family because that also is your akhira. That’s something we have to keep thinking about. The Dunya is also a preparation for akhira. So, I don’t think people should kind of separate the Duniya and Akhira. I think they should just say we’re just living because Allah (SWT) created us and the dean is so easy. It’s an easy thing for us to follow. It shouldn’t be difficult. It should have been confusing shouldn’t be hard. It should be easy for us to follow. So we need to create that work-life balance. No matter what you do, whether it’s working in the corporate sector, you need to just stop and you know that we have a saying, stop revive survive. I’m not sure if you have heard this before. In Australia when you go on long trips, they tell us to stop revive and so that we can survive and not have an accident. So the same concept you need to stop revive yourself so that way you can keep going. Because if you don’t you’re going to burn yourself out.
Maruf: I see, I mean that’s very insightful to you know to kind of as a final note. Do you think a question I should have asked maybe but I didn’t? Either anything you want to would like to share with the listeners?
Quadan: Definitely, two things I want to share number one is never doubt yourself. If you want to do something take a crack, do it. Because you don’t want to end up living your life saying only if I did this, only if I did that. When I say do it, I mean do it after calculating risk, don’t just do what I did and stop everything. I don’t have any regrets. I don’t but not everyone can do that. I’m not saying I’m better than anyone.
It’s just that some people are willing to take that risk and they are okay with the outcome. But some people you know, I’ve seen it. I’ve seen in the past, some entrepreneur in some videos and they stop what they’re doing. They leave their job to go into Amazon full-time and then they are depressed because they’re not making any money. So take a calculated risk, you know, they generally say if you’re going to do something on the side until you’ve covered your salary, don’t leave your job. That’s true, that’s number one.
I will say three things. Number two, get involved in the community work and cleanse your heart. Cleanse your time to take better care of your wealth, your health and your time and your family because you’re giving back. Definitely I’ll tell everyone to either try and volunteer with an organization and get to understand what goes on in the background. It’s not just you know, fundraising dinners, there is so much more happening in the background and get involved and get connected because that will really humble you as a person and ground you.
I think everyone needs this. And number three is, getting children involved. get your children involved. I can’t really emphasize on that anymore. Then I can’t stretch that enough. Having your children around the community around the humanitarian Aid work. It also humbles them growing up and they will remember that when they’re old enough, they’ll look back and that will kind of rub off on them inshallah. So, always expose your kids to those beautiful surroundings Inshallah.
Maruf: Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Thank you for your time. But can you tell us where the listeners can find out about your project that you know, follow you on social networks. Just quickly mention them and you know, we also put them in the show notes, inshallah.
Quadan: Of course. So if you want to follow me personally, you can go to Instagram and follow me @muhammadquadan and also same with Facebook, it’s just at Muhammad Quadan and for tenfold if you go to the website tenfold.ngo. And that’s the same handle for YouTube for Instagram and Facebook as well.
Maruf: Sounds good. Muhammad thank you very much for your time again. And until then see you. Assalamu Alaikum.
Quadan: Wa Alaikum Assalam Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh.