The Call Towards Allah (swt)

Vol 3-Issue 2 Dawah The call towards Allah swt“The Bedouins are the worst in disbelief and hypocrisy, and more likely to be in ignorance of the limits (Allah’s (swt) Commandments and His Legal Laws), which Allah (swt) has revealed to His Messenger. And Allah (swt) is the All-Knower, the All-Wise… And of the Bedouins there are some who believe in Allah (swt) and the Last Day, and look upon what they spend in Allah (swt)’s Cause as means of nearness to Allah (swt).” (At-Tauba 9:97 & 99)

According to Tafsir Ibn Kathir Allah (swt) states that there are disbelievers, hypocrites, and believers among the Bedouins (nomadic tribes / villagers in Arabia). He also states that the disbelief and hypocrisy of the Bedouins is worse and deeper. They are more likely to be ignorant of the commandments that Allah (swt) revealed to His Messenger (sa).

Ibn Abbas (rta) reported that the Messenger (sa) said: “He who lives in the desert becomes hard-hearted, he who follows the game becomes heedless, and he who associates with the rulers falls into Fitnah.” (Ahmad)

Similarly, once a Bedouin man gave the Prophet (sa) a gift. In return, Allah’s Messenger (sa) had to return the gift with many to satisfy the Bedouin. The Prophet (sa) said: “I almost decided not to accept a gift, except from someone from Quraish, Thaqafi, the Ansar or Daws.” (An-Nisai) This is because these people lived in cities: Makkah, Taif, Madinah, and Yemen, and therefore their conduct and manners were nicer than the hard-hearted Bedouins.

Even today, human psychology remains the same. The merciless circumstances of life turn some of the villagers into callous humans. They teach their pupils harshly and mould them into stern and heartless individuals with questionable ideologies that have no roots in Islam. Secondly, they also lack exposure to the scientific advancements and cannot portray themselves as role models for the Ummah, because of the wide gap that lies between them and the educated masses. Our children want to explore Allah’s (swt) galaxies, while some Imams from the village can talk only about cattle and rice fields.

Unfortunately, the educated urbanized society does not feel the necessity to learn and understand the Quran, to address their spiritual needs, and develop spiritual leaders with a well rounded perspective of life. Since the Quran contains pre-figured phenomenon, it cannot be understood without staying abreast with modern advancements. Allah (swt) continually invites us to read and reflect, so we can draw closer to the Creator by unveiling the hidden meanings in the Quran. It is about building relationships and not just harping on a few do’s and don’ts in Islam, like unfitting clerics with limited comprehension.

The Prophet (sa) and his companions were men of extraordinary intelligence and mannerisms. They were the crème of the society who advocated Islam. If Allah (swt) had assigned the job to the illiterate and ignorant, would Islam ever had attained its glory?

Ali Bin Abu Talib (rta) said: “The hearts of the people have desires and aptitudes; sometimes they are ready to listen and at other times they are not. Enter into people’s hearts through their aptitudes. Talk to them, when they are ready to listen, for the condition of the heart is such that if you force it to do something, it becomes blind” (Al-Kitab al-Kharaj by Abu Yusuf).

I doubt if any of the religious clerics from the rural areas are imparting Quranic knowledge with this level of wisdom and sensitivity.

If we wish to develop a balanced and self-motivated Ummah as was prevalent in the Prophet’s (sa) time, we will have to integrate our worldly contemporary education with Quranic studies. This will lead to a more capable and dynamic breed of Imams and religious scholars, who will be able to guide their people in the future, while retaining identities and roots. We can’t simply leave’s Allah (swt) message in the hands of those, who are incompetent for conveying it with sublime purity.

The Call towards Allah (swt)

Vol 3-Issue 1 The Call towards Allah swtAllah (swt) states: “Has there come to you the story of Musa? When His Lord called him in the sacred valley of Tuwa, ‘Go to Firaun; verily, he has transgressed all bounds (in crimes, sins, polytheism, disbelief). And say to him: ‘Would you purify yourself (from the sin of disbelief by becoming a believer)?'” (An-Naziat 79:15-18)

The above verse introduces an intriguing aspect of Dawah (invitation to Islam). Allah (swt) commands His messengers to convey the message of truth to the leaders of nations, regardless of how evil they are. They were not instructed to organize a gathering for them to attend, but diligently initiate a dialogue. This strategy teaches us to present Islamic material, including the Quran and Seerah of the Prophet (sa), whenever we find the chance. Weddings, childbirth, job promotion or house warming parties are opportunities to present others with Dawah based gifts.

Truth is nurtured in the open with no fears or double standards and has a pure life of its own. More significantly, Allah (swt) the Dispenser of all affairs supports it.  Thus, a Daa’ee does not need to use clandestine or hushed up policies to convey His message. Secondly, a Daa’ee’s message remains constant. He does not condition it to the external environment to impress a few for short-term profits, while concealing facts that may otherwise anger those in power. A beautiful example remains with Jafar Ibn Abi Talib (rta) when Negus, the Christian King of Abyssiniah, granted Muslims political asylum during the first migration in the history of Islam. This enraged the disbelievers of Makkah who decided to send the leading politicians of the Arab world Amr Ibn Al-Aas and Abdullah Ibn Abi Rabeeah with expensive gifts for the king. The two attempted to poison the kind-hearted king’s mind with tales about the Muslims. Being a far-sighted and just ruler, Negus allowed the Muslims to present their case, before he made his decision.

Jafar (rta) was chosen as the Muslim ambassador. When his delegation reached the court, they greeted the king and sat down. Amr Ibn Al-Aas quickly observed, how they arrogantly refused to prostrate before Negus as was protocol. Upon inquiring, Jafar (rta) explained that Muslims were only to bow before Allah (swt), and prostrating before any of His creations would amount to its worship. Then, he eloquently explained the tenets of Islam and how, they transformed them into a humane and caring community.

Negus asked him about the revelations their Prophet received from Allah (swt). Jafar (rta) took advantage of the opportunity and recited Surat Maryam in such a heartrending manner that it left Negus in tears and his courtiers speechless. The king confirmed that it seemed that these verses and those in the Bible were of the same Divine origin. Negus then turned to the emissaries of Quraish and declared that the refugees were people of sound character and could continue to live in Abyssinia for as long as they pleased.

As Amr saw his plot becoming futile, he made one last malicious attempt by requesting the king to demand Islam’s point of view about Isa (as). Jafar (rta) stated the truth only. Prophet Muhammad (sa) had told them that Isa (as) was the servant and messenger of Allah (swt), and he was also the spirit and Word of Allah (swt). Negus was so delighted to hear this complete answer that he beat his palm on the floor and returned all of Amr’s gifts and refused to hand over the Muslims. Jafar (rta) believed in the truth and hence uttered it with conviction, in spite of a potential threatening situation. Such is the miracle of truth.

The Call towards Allah (swt)

Vol 2 -Issue 4 Dawah The call towards Allah swt“So the earthquake seized them and they lay [dead], prostrate in their homes. Those who belied Shoaib, became as if they had never dwelt there [in their homes]. Those who belied Shoaib, they were the losers. Then he [Shoaib] turned from them and said: ‘O my people! I have indeed conveyed my Lord’s Messages unto you and I have given you good advice…” (Al-Araf 7:91-93)

This Ramadan, Allah the most Merciful, destined for me to attend Daur-e-Quran (Quran’s commentary and understanding) conducted by Sheikh Abu Khalid. When our discussion led us to the above Ayah, the Sheikh explained a critical requisite for every Da’ee (the one who invites towards Allah’s (swt) Deen): a sense of selflessness and sincerity towards everyone he invites. Vital for Dawah is the presence of an untainted feeling of empathy that is free from ridicule, ulterior motives, accusations, and selfish designs.

As human beings, we all judge a book by its cover, as only Allah (swt) knows what a man’s heart reveals and conceals. Our body language, tools of communication and mannerisms convey to others our purpose of action. If we are successful in translating our sincerity to others, they will realize that our Dawah is only for the sake and pleasure of Allah (swt) rather than material benefit. A selfless Da’ee does it out of care and concern for the well-being of the approximately 4.75 billion non-Muslim of today.

As Da’ees it is mandatory for us to constantly check our intentions: Do we want salvation for those who have not yet experienced the beauty of Quran and Sunnah? Or are we one of those who constantly speaks ill of other faiths and wants to see them doomed? If that is the motive, then it is in grave contradiction to what our Prophet Muhammad (sa) felt for people out of the fold of Islam. Allah (swt) has repeatedly referred to the Apostle’s (sa) love and sincerity towards the whole of humankind, although it distressed him when people refuted the word of Allah (swt). In one of the verses Allah (swt) states: “Perhaps, you, would kill yourself [O Muhammad saw] in grief, over their footsteps [for their turning away from you], because they believe not in this narration (the Quran).” (Al-Kahf 18:6)

Once a Jewish boy was seriously ill and the Messenger of Allah (sa) visited him to inquire about his health. As the boy lay in bed, the Prophet (sa) asked him to repeat: “There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is His messenger.” The boy turned his face towards his father asking for permission. His father was silent, expecting Muhammad (sa) to leave upon this cold treatment. So the boy remained silent too. Allah’s Messenger (sa) did not give up; he repeated the request and the boy looked towards his father once again. His father still remained silent. The Prophet (sa) repeated his request a third time. When the boy looked towards his father for approval, his father’s heart melted and he said, “Do as Abu Qasim tells you to.” The boy recited the Kalima and died. The Prophet’s (sa) joy knew no bounds. His face radiated with delight and as he stepped out he glorified Allah for saving this boy from the Hell fire. (Bukhari)

This must be the level of every Da’ee’s earnestness and genuineness. The Quran is full of such examples of our Messenger’s (sa) sincerity, which enabled him to become Allah’s (swt) beloved. As Da’ees, if our motive is just that we will learn to love humanity in general and be concerned about their welfare.

Dawah – The Call Towards Allah (swt)

Vol 2-Issue 3 Dawah The call towards Allah swtAllah (swt) says in the Quran: “Invite (mankind, O Muhammad) to the Way of your Lord (i.e., Islam) with wisdom (i.e., with the Divine Revelation and the Quran) and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better. Truly, your Lord knows best, who has gone astray from His Path, and He is the Best Aware of those, who are guided.” (An-Nahl 16:125)

The Prophet (sa) has said: “Convey from me even one verse” (Bukhari). Conveying the message, therefore, is not the responsibility of the scholars only; it is, in fact, a responsibility of each and every Muslim, according to his or her ability. This call towards Allah (swt) is called ‘Dawah,’ and the one, who calls towards Allah’s (swt) Deen, is a Da’ee.

To understand the role of a Da’ee, think of him/her as a smaller road leading to a bigger, clearer path. A by-pass that in itself is not as important as the road (Sirat-e-mustaqeem) to which it leads others. Yet, the Da’ee is a like a connecting wire, which transmits the high voltage power it is connected to. In so doing, the Da’ee illuminates countless hearts and souls and connects them to the power of recognizing Allah (swt). One candle results in thousands of others being lit. Wondrously enough, the light of the candle responsible for lighting up other candles does not lessen. In fact, it glows and grows — the reward of the Da’ee’s work is reaped in this world and stored for him in the hereafter.

Calling towards Allah (swt) is a job that does not require you to give up your existing assignments. You can continue being a parent, a child, a spouse, an executive, a teacher…whatever it is that you are doing with your life. Yet, the time and energy a Da’ee invests brings rewards like no other line of work. It guarantees a sure success!

Allah (swt) says in the Quran: “Let there arise out of you a group of people, inviting to all that is good (Islam), enjoining Al-Ma`ruf [i.e., Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam has ordained] and forbidding Al-Munkar [polytheism, disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden], and you believe in Allah (swt).” (Al-Imran 3:104) Yet, when weighing career choices, we hardly ever think of Dawah as something we want to do in our practical life.

Calling people to Allah (swt) means completing our own worship, because of which we are created. It is one of the noblest acts, which entails a high reward.

Allah (swt) says in the Quran: “And who is better in speech than he who [says: ‘My Lord is Allah (swt) (believes in His Oneness),’ and stands firm (acts upon His Order), and] invites (men) to Allah (swt)’s (Islamic Monotheism), and does righteous deeds, and says: ‘I am one of the Muslims.'” (Fussilat 41:33)

The Prophet (sa) has said: “Whoever guides [another] to a good deed will get a reward similar to the one who performs it” (Muslim). Also, “By Allah (swt), if Allah (swt) were to guide one man through you, it would be better for you than the best type of camels.” (Bukhari, Muslim)

Dawah is an obligation on every Muslim, young or old, male or female. All it requires is the love of Allah (swt), a conviction in your purpose, and correct knowledge of Deen. One can call towards Allah (swt) in so many different ways. Writing a book, giving a talk, teaching someone, how to pray or recite the Quran, providing counseling or good advice to someone, who needs it, distributing cassettes or books, helping someone actively involved in Dawah, doing social work, gifting to someone a Quran… there are countless ways, in which we can perform Dawah. No matter which method or path of Dawah you choose to travel on, your destination is the same – Allah’s (swt) mercy in this world and in the hereafter.