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Topic initiated on Wednesday, October 11, 2006  -  10:05 AM Reply with quote
Ambassadors of Islam

Umm Haram bint Milhan, a Sahabiya, (a companion of the Prophet) was married to Ubadah ibn as-Samit Ansari. Along with her husband she undertook several trips to foreign countries. Now her grave is in Cyprus, and is called the grave of the pious woman (Hayat As-Sahaba 1/592). The grave of Khalid ibn al-Walid, who was born in Mecca, is in Hims (Syria).

The same is the case with the majority of the Companions of the Prophet. At the time of the Prophet’s demise, his companions numbered more than one hundred thousand. However it is worth noting that if you go to Mecca and Medina you will find only a small number of graves there. The reason for this is that these companions left Arabia and spread to various countries far and beyond its borders. The majority of them breathed their last in various Asian and African countries, where their graves still exist.

Why did this happen? It was because during his last days the Prophet gathered his companions together in the mosque in Medina and addressed them in these words: God has sent me as his messenger for the entire world. So you do not differ with one another. And spread in the land and communicate my message to people inhabiting other places besides Arabia. (Seerat Ibn Hisham 4/279).

It was this injunction of the Prophet that led to the Sahaba (companions of the Prophet) settling in foreign lands. In those countries either did business or earned their living by hard work, all the while communicating to their non-Muslim compatriots the message of monotheism which they had received from the Prophet. Every one of them thus became a virtual ambassador of Islam. This resulted in Islam spreading across the globe. Its evidence can still be seen in the inhabited world of that time.

I feel history is repeating itself in modern times. New circumstances, produced in the wake of industrial revolution, have resulted in Muslims leaving their homelands to spread all over the world. Today, whichever part of the globe you visit, you will find Muslims there. Mosques and Islamic institutions have come up everywhere. Muslims have settled in these countries either for work or for business. However, in respect of their religion, their actual position is that of Islam’s representatives. It is as if each one of them is an ambassador of God. Now the need of the hour is to awaken the missionary spirit in these Muslims settled in foreign lands, so that they may effectively communicate the message of Islam—a task of universal magnitude made incumbent upon them by their new sets of circumstances.

wahiduddin khan

Posted - Wednesday, October 18, 2006  -  12:34 PM Reply with quote
Da‘wah Explosion
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

The battle of Cesmi is a significant event in the history of the Turkish caliphate. In this battle, fought in July 1770, the Ottoman naval establishment was destroyed by a Russian fleet at the harbor of Cesmi on the Aegean sea. (13/784)

A few years later, in May 1799, the British forces defeated and killed the Muslim ruler Tipu Sultan of South India. This was the beginning of the end. Subsequently, the European Christian nations conquered, directly or indirectly, all of the Muslim countries one after the other, thus establishing their own political supremacy.

Now, at this stage, the entire Muslim world reverberated with the call of jihad which was considered to be the only solution to its problems. It was felt that it was only by following this path that Muslims could regain their lost political power and glory. Therefore, the process of jihad (in the sense of militancy) was set in motion everywhere. It was a kind of explosion, the impact of which was felt all over the Muslim world. This militant jihad is still being pursued in different regions in one form or the other.

Now in the last quarter of the 20th century another revolution has occurred, but on a vaster scale. Over the last few years there has been a rapid spread of Dawah work. In any town or country, wherever you go you will witness Dawah activity. Its increase has been so great that it would not be an exaggeration to call it a Dawah explosion.

Now let us compare the dawah of the last twenty years to the jihad of 200 years. You will find a significant difference between the two so far as the result is concerned. During this prolonged and all-out war Muslims unilaterally brought down destruction upon themselves. Even after political defeat Muslims had had great resources at their disposal. But now they have lost all these in the process of continuing militancy.

On the other hand, Muslims have lost nothing in Dawah work. In fact, there have been positive gains, for every day and everywhere people are leaving their flawed, imperfectly preserved religions to enter the fold of Islam, which has been preserved in its pristine form. This is plain for all to see. A glance at the journal Al-Ilamul Islami issued from Mecca, will suffice to prove this statement.

This Dawah explosion has been so sudden that it seems as though set in motion by God Himself. This is an all-encompassing movement in which both sincere as well insincere people are taking part. Even non-Muslims are playing their part in carrying this mission forward at a great speed. Both Muslims as well as non-Muslims are publishing Islamic literature on a large scale, and Islamic conferences are being held by non-Muslims as well as by Muslims. Big institutions are being established for this purpose. This is a historical process in which even anti-Islamic elements such as Salman Rushdie have also had a hand. It is because this age is marked by the spirit of enquiry. This is why, when the opponents of Islam publish a book against Islam, they inadvertently awaken the desire in millions of people to make a thorough study of the subject.

The truth is that the Dawah explosion is no simple matter. It is a historical process which started at the proper time, as predicted by the Prophet, so that with the approach of Doomsday, the message of Islam would be brought by God to every home. It seems quite obvious that this process has been set in motion according to the prediction.First of all, propitious circumstances have been produced towards this end. For instance, modern communications; the urge to study different religions; freedom of religious expression; commercial value in religion etc. By creating such a variety of favorable conditions, God has Himself arranged for the successful outcome of Dawah work.This is a historical process which will keep advancing on its own. It will be our great good fortune to become a conscious part of it thus securing for ourselves the blessings of Allah. While others are working for it under the pressure of historical process, we must perform this noble task by our own conscious decision.

Posted - Tuesday, October 24, 2006  -  7:21 AM Reply with quote
My take on this is that dawah is an essential part of a muslims responsibilities. However the scope,responsibilities and audience will be different in different situations. There are responsibilities for a common muslim,a scholar, muslim Ummah and a muslim state.

For Common Muslims

At a common man's level, a Muslim has been prescribed to participate in mutual admonitions and exhortations regarding steadfastly following what he has understood to be the Truth (Al-Asr 103). The words "mutual admonitions and exhortations" have defined the nature and the scope of the responsibilities of propagation, which the Qur'an has placed upon common Muslims. For instance, these words clearly imply that:

This work is done at a mutual level. This work does not create a relationship of teacher and pupil, or the learners and the learned among those who participate in it. On the contrary, it creates a relationship of mutual helpers in promoting whatever is considered good and hindering whatever is believed to be bad (or evil). The Qur'an has referred to the true Muslims as 'mutual friends, promoting good and hindering evil, among themselves' (Al-Taubah 9: 71).

The scope of this work seems naturally to be limited to one's own social environment and surroundings. In other words, this work is primarily to be undertaken and conducted in one's own environment and surroundings. It is to be conducted in one's family, friends, relatives and social and professional acquaintances. It is obvious that 'mutual exhortations and mutual admonition' cannot take place without a prior relationship between the two or more individuals who involve themselves in the exercise.

For Those With Knowledge

The Qur'an, in Al-Taubah 9: 122 has prompted some of the Muslims to gain expertise in Islam and has subsequently prescribed an assignment for them as well. The referred verse reads as:

And it was not possible for all the believers[2] to go out [to gain expertise in Islam][3]. Then why did not a group from each community come to gain in-depth knowledge in [God's] deen and to warn their people, when they returned to them, so that they may save themselves [from God's wrath].

The opening of the verse tells us that even though it is not possible for all the Muslims to gain in-depth knowledge of Islam, due to the natural differences in their abilities as well as in the opportunities that one is provided in life, yet some of the people, in each community, who had the ability of gaining such in-depth knowledge, as well as the opportunity for doing so, should have made the efforts of gaining this knowledge.

In contrast to the nature and scope of the work assigned to the common man, the work prescribed for those bestowed with an in-depth knowledge of Islam, is one of teaching and wisely admonishing others on their deviations from the right path. This work is not done at a mutual level. In this case, one person assumes the active role of a teacher for his people and the common Muslims are expected to assume the role of pupils.

For Muslim Collectivities

The third level of propagation mentioned in the Qur'an is one, which is to be undertaken by a Muslim collectivity[4]. The Qur'an says:

These are the people, who - if We give them authority in the land - shall establish Sala'h, pay Zaka'h, promote good and forbid evil. (Al-Hajj 22: 41)

This verse was revealed before the establishment of the Muslim state in Medina. This verse chalked out the basic Da`wah program for the Muslim state even before its establishment. The primary responsibilities given in this verse are:

The first and the foremost responsibility in this regard is the establishment of Sala'h. This responsibility includes the establishment and the maintenance of all such facilities that may be required for the organization of Sala'h. For instance, this responsibility includes - as is also evidenced by the Seerah of the Prophet (pbuh) and that of the subsequent Muslim Caliphs - the construction and the maintenance of mosques; the appointment, if necessary, of the leaders of prayers; the organization of the Jum`ah congregation and address etc.

The second responsibility of an organized Muslim collectivity, as is mentioned in the referred verse is the establishment of the system of collection and the equitable distribution of Zaka'h[5].

The third responsibility of an organized Muslim collectivity is that of the promotion of whatever is good and forbiddance of what is known to be bad. After the establishment of the Muslim state in Medina, the Qur'an gave a further directive with respect to the fulfillment of this particular responsibility. It directed the Muslim state to create an organized department, which is authorized by the state, for the purpose of carrying out this particular responsibility, on behalf of the state. The Qur'an says:

And it should be so that there be a group among you, which calls to virtue, promoting good and forbidding evil. And whoever makes this arrangement, shall indeed be successful. (Aal Imraan 3: 104)

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