Bismillah ar-Rahmaan ar-Raheem,
I apologize for any confusion but after reading the comment section, I just wanted to clear up any misunderstandings. I didn't make the last post to ask for money whatsoever. Alhamdulillah, the sales with the shirts and DVDs have given a small source of support which helps pay for such occurrences.
As for the camera, the action has been forgiven. I mentioned the incident so people would understand the reason why I am no longer lending the camera out anymore. Also, it is another reminder for of all us, that when we borrow something, it is amana and that we will be accountable for returning it in the same condition. Once again, the action has been forgiven so I have no bad feelings.
To answer the comment about the camera being Ummah Film's camera: Originally, money was donated to Ummah Films to buy a camera with the idea the FILMS were going to be made with it. So after letting some brothers borrow the camera and not getting any films completed by them for many months, I felt bad. I felt that someone gave me something with the trust that I would be producing Muslim Films with it and I didn't have anything to show for it. Thus, I returned the money to the brother with full amount that he donated (donation refund I guess). I then bought the camera myself using my own personal savings (not Ummah Films money) with the intention of giving the video thing another shot InshAllah. Now I'm not a filmmaker by any means so I decided to try something simple. Instead of focusing on fancy effects, I decided to focus on the content. The goal was to make videos that wouldn't just be entertaining but would also have a point and hopefully promote thought. At the same time, I wanted to start something that wouldn't require the dependence of others. I sat in my chair, turned on the camera, and started the Reminder Series.
Right now, all that Ummah Films owns is shirts, DVDs, and one wireless mic. I purchased everything else with my own money because I didn't want to take someone's money and non fulfill their expectations. Alhamdulillah, those who have bought shirts, wristbands, and DVDs have helped Ummah Films greatly. Without that help, I would have to pay even for the small expenses (hard drive, tapes, etc..) myself. Some people have commented that they want to support Ummah Films but I'm not really sure how that can be done. I guess its a catch 22. If I put an email address for people to donate money to, people would think that Ummah Films is a business, which its not. Many Muslims think that anything Islamically related should be done for free but if its not Islamically related, then its cool if there is profit invovled. At the same time, if we don't have any funds to make videos, then people complain why we there aren't videos. Once again its a catch 22. For example, I really want to try making a short (film) between 7 to 10 minutes long but we don't have enough funds to make it. Yes, I'm willing to put in my efforts for free but I can't speak that from others who I need to help me make this film. I have learned that when I ask for volunteers, I get "volunteer quality". Its hard to explain but that is the only phase I can use to describe it. At the same time, I have found that when I offer money for someone to help me with a project, people treat it like a job and they don't flake and they show up. That's just one side of it. The other side is the customer who has unrealistic expectations and wants any Isalmic related work done supercheap or for basically free. Then people turn around and make copies of that product to everyone, which lowers the number of supporters. Then, when that organization doesn't have any funding (because of bootlegging, etc...), they stop making their product and then the customers complains. Catch 22. :)
Personally, I listen to many Islamic lectures off the net and I find them benifical. Some lectures have helped me gain knowledge while others have reminded me of things that I should and shouldn't be doing. Most importantly, it improves the way I carry myself so I find such impacting lectures priceless. Thus, I support those who making them because I want to make more so I buy their products. I figure if I don't support them, then I can't complain when they stop doing what they are doing. Please don't get the wrong idea, I'm not taking about Ummah Films. I'm talking about Islamic lectures that are beneficial to us.
I'm not a professional by any means but I am trying. I live a normal life like everyone else and somehow I manage to put these videos together. Because I have normal daily things that occupy my time, I find myself staying up in the middle of the night filming the videos. I don't think any video has ever been filmed during the day or evening. It has always been night...sometimes in the middle of the night. Yes, one has to sacrifice things to get things done (like sleep..lol) but my only hope is that Allah (swt) accepts my intentions and I see the fruits of my efforts on the Day of Judgment. This is why it is so important that I constantly remind myself and focus on keeping my intentions pure.
JazakAllah khair for all those who have offered to help by sending money. Please don't do so. This is why we sell t-shirts and dvds. No merchandise profits goes into our pockets so that the little fund we have, it allows us to pay for this. I really do appreciate the gesture and may Allah (swt) reward you all for your intentions. It is so nice to know that people out there really want to help this project.
Honestly, its priceless to know that such viewers are watching. May Allah (swt) reward you all for your intention.
Finally, its funny the amount of times I have been called a Sufi, Salafi, Muslim, Kafir, Sunni, Shia, and the list goes on. The funny thing is all these words are opposites of each other and people have come up with their conclusions by watching the same videos that you have. The very fact that all these conclusions are completely different is funny to me. The reminders are not meant for one particular class or group of Muslims...but rather for the entire Ummah (hence.."Ummah" Films).
I don't want fame or money from Ummah Films. The videos are never about glorify myself but rather they are about reminding the Ummah of things that we should already know. Similar to common sense, I called Islamic sense.
I make mistakes like everyone else. I'm human. For those who know me personally, they can tell you that I don't have an ego whatsoever so if I say something wrong, correct me InshAllah.
your brother in Islam