Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Noble Duty

Bismi Allahir Rahmanir Raheem, wahuwa Allahu al-Wahidu al-Qahhar.

Nothing happens without the will of Allah. No one does any goodness without His Mercy. All praise is for Allah, the Most High, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace be upon all the Prophets of Allah, especially our Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu 'alaihi wa aalihi wa sallam).

"Dawah - A Noble Duty"

"By the time! Surely mankind is in loss,
except those who believe and do good deeds;
exhort one another to the truth and exhort one another to patience."
Al Quran [Surah Al-Asr]

Allah's Apostle (peace be upon him) said: 
"Convey from me, even if it is one verse."

Assalamu 'alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh,

Victory is not achieved by erecting banners at the necks of the people. The real victory is when the banner is placed at the hearts of the people.

-=[ Da'wah - In Concept ]=-

Shaytan (devil) attacks at the hearts of people by whispering and inviting/calling them to evil. Shaytan will say at the end: "I just invited you, and you accepted my invitation. Now! Do not blame me, but blame yourselves..." al-Quran [14:22]. In contrast to the Shaytan who invites to the hell, Allah the Most Merciful invites people to the abode of Peace & Paradise and to Forgiveness. There is no compulsion in religion because the true path has been made clearly distinct from all the wrong ways. Allah says: "There is no compulsion in religion. True guidance has been made clearly distinct from error..." al-Quran [2:256]. It is our duty to display this true path and to invite others to it before the devil leads us and takes over the people.

Unfortunately we conceive these Non-Muslims to be our enemy and forget that once in time we, our forefathers, were just like them. If Allah had not guided us and our forefathers through Prophets and other noble persons, we would be no different to these people whom we call as 'Kuffar'. Every Prophet of Allah has tried to save as many people as possible from falling into the hell fire. Unfortunately, we wish all these non-Muslims to go to the hell fire... Alas! the Shaytan wins here. Allah says:

ان الشيطان لكم عدو فاتخذوه عدوا انما يدعو حزبه ليكونوا من اصحاب السعير

Surely, Shaytan (Satan) is an enemy to you, so take (treat) him as an enemy. He only invites his hizb (followers) that they may become the dwellers of the blazing Fire. [Faatir - 35:6]

If the angry ones had the means to destroy all the infidels in the name of Jihad, they would had unknowingly caused chaos on earth. Jihad is a pillar of this Deen, but its misuse cannot be tolerated. Rasulullah (sallallaho 'alaihi wasallam) and his Sahabah (peace be upon them) held back their hands for more than half of the Risala period, even though they were harshly treated by the surrounded people. In fact, Prophet Musa ('alaihi salam) and his people at his time were also persecuted by the Fir'own and his people. They did not hold their hands back because they were powerless but because they did not want the disbelievers to taste the fire of hell until when Allah had destined fire for the disbelievers.

Rasulullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam) was asked by an angel whether that angel should retaliate with the wrongdoers by crushing them in between the two mountains. The Prophet negated and prayed that may Allah guide these people and their children. Allah says: "Wama arsalnaka illa rahmatan lilAAalameena","And We have sent you (O Muhammad SAW) not but as a mercy for the Alameen." [al Anbiyaa - 21:107]. Our Prophet is sent as a Mercy from the Most Merciful, so should we not reflect a portion of this mercy too? It is not difficult for Allah to destroy all the wrong people on earth. Allah wants to invite everyone to His Forgiveness and Paradise. Allah says: "Your Lord is Most Forgiving, the Lord of Mercy. Had it been His Will to seize them for their sins, He would have hastened their punishment, but for that there is an appointed time, after which they will not find any refuge." [al-Kahf, 18:58].

Providing a speech, a few lectures or a few passages may not be sufficient to convince someone towards the truth. Remember that Prophet Noah ('alaihi salam) preached and tried to convince his people for 950 years. Would we had Umar bin al-Khattab (radi Allahu anhu) and other alike Sahaba if Allah had hastened His punishment at that time? Why should we get tired of promoting the true path when the Shaytan is continuously calling people to wrong ways? Who knows when Allah might choose someone who could formerly be a great enemy of His religion, then open his heart for Islam and make him a big supporter for this religion and him better than all of us? Just see the beautiful words of Allah:"Perhaps Allah will make friendship between you and those whom you hold as enemies. And Allah has power (over all things), and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." [ al Mumtahana - 60:7].

ومن احسن قولا ممن دعا الى الله وعمل صالحا وقال انني من المسلمين ¤ ولاتستوي الحسنة ولاالسيئة ادفع بالتي هي احسن فاذا الذي بينك وبينه عداوة كانه ولي حميم ¤ ومايلقاها الا الذين صبروا ومايلقاها الا ذو حظ عظيم

Trans: Waman ahsanu qawlan mimman daAAa ila Allahi waAAamila salihan waqala innanee mina almuslimeena ¤ Wala tastawee alhasanatu wala alssayyiatu idfaAA biallatee hiya ahsanu faitha allathee baynaka wabaynahu AAadawatun kaannahu waliyyun hameemun ¤ Wama yulaqqaha illa allatheena sabaroo wama yulaqqaha illa thoo haththin AAatheemin ¤

Who is better in speech than the one who calls people towards Allah, does good deeds and says: "I am a Muslim?" ¤ Good deeds are not equal to the evil ones. Repel other's evil deeds with your good deeds. You will see that he with whom you had enmity, will become your close friend. ¤ But none will attain this quality except those who patiently endure and none will attain this quality except those who are truly fortunate. [ Fussilat - 41:33-35 ]

-=[ Basic Methods & Principles of Da'wah ]=-

Muhammadur Rasulullah (sallallaho 'alaihi wasallam) invited people through words and actions.

[ With Words ]

Rasulullah ('alaihi salato was-salam) was the most gentle person, as Allah says to the Prophet: "Thus it is due to mercy from Allah that you deal with them gently, and had you been rough, hard hearted, they would certainly have dispersed from around you..." [ Aal-e-Imran, 3:159 ]. If we are rough with people, no one will want to come near us and know about this Deen.

When Allahu Ta'ala asked Prophet Musa ('alaihi salam) to deliver His message, Allah said "Speak to him in gentle words; perhaps he may take heed of the reminder or fear Our punishment." [Ta-ha, 20:44]. Therefore, one should be gentle and soft when delivering His message. Allah says: "Call people to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and best advice, and reason with them, if you have to, in the most courteous manner: for your Lord knows best who strays from His Way and He knows best who is rightly guided." [ an-Nahl, 16:125 ].

A care must be taken when delivering the Rahman's message: don't attribute anything to Allah and His Rasool without knowledge. If one has a clear reference then include it and one should avoid his/her own interpretation unless there is a very firm back plus a high degree of certainty and experience. A simple way is to just pass/convey/circulate any message.

[ With Action ]

Allah said to the People of the Book, "What! do you enjoin men to be good and neglect your own souls while you read the Book; have you then no sense?" [al-Baqarah 2:44]. It is silliness and hypocrisy that one's own actions are contrary to his words. Allah says: "It is very hateful in the sight of Allah that you say something which you don't do" [ Saf - 61:2-3].

A Muslim in public and an Islamic society collectively displays Islam to others. If we behave well with others by following Islam, we are doing da'wah without speaking any word. Muhammadur Rasulullah (sallallaho 'alaihi wasallam) is the best model for us in this regard. Allahu ta'ala says about him as: "You are of the highest noble character." [al-Qalam, 68:4]. His wife, Aisha (radi-Allahu anha), once described him as the 'Walking Quran'. Islam was portrayed in him, therefore, we should live a life with his Sunnah to display the true Islam. Allah says: "You have indeed, in the life of Messenger-Allah (Muhammad [SAW]), the 'Best Model' for him whose hope is in Allah and the Day of the Hereafter, and who engages himself much in the remembrance of Allah." [al-Ahzaab, 33:21].

-=[ Inviting and Reminding ]=-

A Muslim might get some Islamic material and then says "I am already a Muslim, why are you giving me this Islamic material...!". The truth is that we Muslims really need to be a Muslim! A true believer will always find guidance from anything of this religion. Allah says: "And remind for verily, the reminding profits the believers." "Wathakkir fainna alththikra tanfaAAu almumineen" [Zaariyaat,  51:55]. Everything is nicely concluded in Surah al-Asr: "By the time! Surely mankind is in loss, except those who believe and do good deeds; exhort one another to the truth and exhort one another to patience.".

-=[ Call towards Allah AND Call towards Islam]=-

The noble people of the past would first tell people about Allah and then Islam (commandments and practice), although both knowledge is important. Since most of us are born Muslim, we concentrate more on the physical aspects of Islam (prayers, fasting...) and don't focus enough on the integral part: who is Rahmaan (Allah)!

When Sayyidina Musa ('alaihi salam) was delivering the message to the Pharaoh (Fir'own), Fir'own asked him "Who is this Lord of the Worlds?" Musa ('alaihi salam) replied: "He is the Lord of the heavens and the earth and what is between them, if you would be sure." [Ash-Shuaraa, 26:23-24]. In the following passage, Sayyidina Ibrahim ('alaihi salam) explains to Namrud about his Lord.

Have you not considered him (Namrud) who disputed with Ibrahim about his Lord, because Allah had given him the kingdom? When Ibrahim said: My Lord is He who gives life and causes to die, he said: I give life and cause death. Ibrahim said: So surely Allah causes the sun to rise from the east, then make it rise from the west; thus he who disbelieved was confounded; and Allah does not guide aright the unjust people. [al-Baqarah - 2:258]

Muhammadur Rasulullah (sallallaho 'alaihi wasallam) initially preached about Allah, in surah al-Ikhlas Allah says:

Trans: Qul huwa Allahu ahadun ¤ Allahu alssamadu ¤ Lam yalid walam yooladu ¤ Walam yakun lahu kufuwan ahadun ¤

Say: He is Allah the One and Only; ¤ Allah is the Self-Sufficient (independent of all, while all are dependent on Him); ¤ He begets not, nor is He begotten; ¤ And there is none comparable to Him.

Islam without a soul is merely a tradition. Sincere devotion requires sincere attention. Rasulullah ('alaihi salato was-salam) was asked "What is Ihsan (perfection)?", he (SAW) replied "To worship Allah as if you see Him, and if you cannot achieve this state of devotion then you must consider that He is looking at you.". We should reflect in the Ayaat of Allah (among heavens, earth, Quran..) and advice others to do the same, so to know more about Rahman (Allah) and move closer to Him.

هو الحي لااله الا هو فادعوه مخلصين له الدين الحمد لله رب العالمين

He is the Ever-Living. There is no god but Him.Therefore call upon Him with your sincere devotion.Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. [  سورة غافر   (Ghaafir) - 40:65]

-=[ Rasulullah AND Rasul-of-Rasulullah ]=-

Allahu ta'ala says: "O Prophet, We have sent you to the entire mankind, to give them good news and forewarn them, but most men do not know." [ Sabaa - 34:28] and "O Muhammad, say: 'O mankind! I am the Messenger of Allah towards all of you from He to whom belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth. There is no deity but Him. He brings to life and causes to die. Therefore, believe in Allah and His Messenger, the unlettered Prophet (Muhammad) who believes in Allah and His Word. Follow him so that you may be rightly guided.'" [ al-A'raaf - 7:158]

From the above ayaat it is clear that Muhammadur Rasulullah (sallallaho 'alaihi wasallam) is the Messenger of Allah towards all of us. His Risala (Message) will continue to travel as long as there is a single Muslim alive on earth. Our duty is merely to convey this Message, the Message which we got from the Messenger of Allah, to the rest of mankind. We are therefore, Rasul of Rasulullah, as the Sahaba called themselves. This duty of conveyance is not limited to the Sahabah only. The Prophet ordained this duty on all of his followers when he said "All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and may the last ones understand my words better than those who listen to me directly. Be my witness oh Allah that I have conveyed your message to your people.". So, we bear witness that our Prophet has conveyed Allah's message to us. It is our duty to deliver it to others.

Trans: Wakathalika jaAAalnakum ommatan wasatan litakoonoo shuhadaa AAala alnnasi wayakoona alrrasoolu AAalaykum shaheeda ...

"We have made you a moderate Ummah (nation) so that you may testify against mankind and that your own Messenger may testify against you..." [al-Baqarah - 2:143]

Trans: huwa sammakumu almuslimeena min qablu wafee hatha liyakoona alrrasoolu shaheedan AAalaykum watakoonoo shuhadaa AAala alnnasi faaqeemoo alssalata waatoo alzzakata waiAAtasimoo biAllahi huwa mawlakum faniAAma almawla waniAAma alnnaseeru ¤

".. He named you Muslims before in prior scriptures and in this (The Qur'an), so that His Messenger may testify against you and you yourselves may testify against rest of the mankind. Therefore, establish Salah, pay Zakah and hold fast to Allah, Who is your Protector - so what an excellent Protector and what a splendid Supporter!" [ al-Hajj - 22:78]

Allah says: "Every soul shall have the taste of death: And only on the Day of Judgment shall you be paid your full recompense. Only he who is saved far from the Fire and admitted to the Garden will have succeeded: For the life of this world is but goods and chattels of deception." [3:185]. If someone is saved from the Fire because of our conveyance then Allah has really blessed us with His special blessings! This world is nothing more than a TV play which has to end one day, if a person's sins are stacked up to the heavens and he repents and enters into Islam then Allah will forgive him and turn his sins into goodness, insha'Allah! Remember the words of Prophet Ya'qoob (Jacob, 'alaihi salam): "Never give up hope of Allah's mercy; in fact none despairs of Allah's mercy except the unbelieving people." [12:87].

When Prophet Ibrahim ('alaihi salam) was in Makkah (the barren desert), Allah asked him to call people to the House of Allah. Sayyidina Ibrahim (alaihi salam) said: "O Lord, how can I convey this to people when my voice will not reach them''. Allah said: "Call them and We will convey it.''. Therefore, let us convey the Message of Prophet Muhammad (The Messenger of Allah, sallallaho 'alaihi wasallam) and insha'Allah Allah will spread this message around, even to the other creatures.

"Tell them how We brought to you a group of jinns, who when they reached the place where you were reciting and listened to the Qur'an, said to each other: "Be silent." When the recitation was over, they returned to their people as warners. ¤ They said "O our people! We have just listened to a Book that has been revealed after Moses which is confirming that what came before it, and it guides to the truth and to the Right Way. ¤ O our people, answer the one who is calling you towards Allah and believe in him! Allah will forgive you your sins and save you from a painful punishment. ¤ He that does not answer the one who is calling towards Allah, shall neither escape in the earth, nor shall have any to protect from Him. Surely such people are in manifest error." [ al-Ahqaaf - 46:29-32]

"Turn in repentance to your Lord, and submit to Him before there comes to you the scourge: for then, there shall be none to help you. Follow the best way that is revealed to you by your Lord before the scourge comes to you all of a sudden while you do not even perceive it. Lest someone should say: 'Alas! I neglected my duty towards Allah and I was one of those who mocked at His revelations." Al-Quran [Zumar - 39:54-56]

"Glory be to your Lord, the Lord of Honor, He is free from what they ascribe to Him!
Peace be on the Messengers, and praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds." Al-Quran [37:180-182]

wa Assalamu 'alaikum wa Rahmatullah,

Abdullah ibn Adam

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