Monday, November 30, 2009

The Road of Da’wah: Roses or Thorns? ( 2)

Assalamualaikum my beloved sisters and brothers,
O My Lord! Open for me my chest (grant me self-confidence) and ease my task for me; and make loose the knot from my tongue so that they understand my speech."
[ Surah Thaha, verse 25-28 ]

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Commanding what is right and forbidding what is wrong (amr bi alma 'ruf wa nahi 'an alnunkar) is an Islamic principle that we should practice to maintain a healthy spiritual life. If we ignore this principle and do not adhere to it, we are considered as dead in spiritual and moral sense. `Abd ullah ibn Mas’ oud narrated that the messenger(sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam ) said: “Do you know who is the living dead? The one who does not command good, nor does he reject munkar.” (saheeh muslim ~also reported by Hudhaifah). The Prophet also said: “The living is the one who commands good and forbids evil, and the one who does not command good and forbid evil is the one who has desires (Hawaa) in his heart.” (Saheeh Al Bukhari, Fath ul Baari).

In our road of da’wah besides love, kindness and patient, we need to seek knowledge about Al Ma’rouf and Al Munkar. It is a requirement of our da’wah that we seek knowledge as if we do any actions without knowledge, it is ignorance. Thus, it is essential to have the knowledge of the reality of Ma’rouf and the reality of Munkar in order to command good and forbid evil for the sake of Allah. Qadi Abu Ya’la said: “He must have knowledge about the Ma’rouf that he wants to command and knowledge about the Munkar he wants to forbid, (he must be) kind when he commands and kind when he forbids, patient when he commands and patient when he forbids.” “We must seek the knowledge about what we are calling for, about whom we are calling and about the way in which we are obliged to call as a pre-requisite for our Da’wah.” (Al Mukhtasar for ibn Qudama A Maqdisi and kitab Al Mu’tamad)

Commanding good and forbidding evil is a responsibility of a believer, it is also an issue of testing our faith and if we ignore it we will be sinful.
Abu Sa'id al-Khudri said, "I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, 'Whoever of you sees something wrong should change it with his hand; if he cannot, then with his tongue; if he cannot, then with his heart, and that is the weakest form of belief.'" [Muslim] . Allah Almighty says, "Let there be a community among you who call to the good, and enjoin the right, and forbid the wrong. They are the ones who have success." (3:104) The Almighty says, "You are the best nation ever to be produced before mankind. You enjoin the right, forbid the wrong." (3:110).
Ubaidallah narrated that the Prophet (pbuh) said: “If Muslims are in a society and they see a munkar while they are greater in number, and they do not change it (the munkar) by their hands, they are sinful.” (Saheeh muslim).

If we ignore and do not forbid those who do evil, we will also be accountable and eventually perish with them, but if we stop them from doing evil, we will have the attributes of believers and we will be successful and be saved, InshaAllah.
An-Nu'man ibn Bashir reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The metaphor of someone who stops at the limits of Allah and someone who transgresses them is that of some people who draw lots on a boat. Some of them get the upper deck and some of them the lower. When those in the lower deck want to get water, they have to pass by those above them. Then they say, 'If we were to make a hole in our deck, we would not have to bother those above us.' If they were to let them do what they wanted, all of them would perish. If they seize hold of their hands and stop them, they will be saved and all of them will be saved." [al-Bukhari].
The Almighty says, "Make allowances for people, command what is right, and turn away from the ignorant," (7:199) and the Almighty says, "The believers, men and women, are friends of one another. They command what is right and forbid what is wrong." (9:71)

Let us mujaahadah and move together on our journey returning to Allah, together seeking His redha and to attain His love and mercy, in order that we can live together in Jannah, inshaAllah.
The sage Fuzali said in one of his sermons:-
“It is strange that you wish to live in Paradise of Firdous and in the neighbourhood of the merciful with the prophets, truthful, martyrs and pious men but what actions have you done for it. What tie of relationship you have united after it was severed what faults of your brother you have forgiven, and which distant persons you have brought near for God.” (Love and brotherhood- Ihya’Ulum-ud-din~ Imam Gazzali)

May Allah forgive us, guide us all in our intention, actions, utterances, writings, etc in our path towards contributing to Islam, nurture love towards fellow Muslims and build unbreakable bonds of brotherhood, commanding what is right and forbidding what is wrong (amr bi alma 'ruf wa nahi 'an alnunkar) with knowledge, inshaAllah

Wallahualam bi shawab

1. Riyad al-Salihin of Imam al-Nawawi
2. Al-Musnadu Al-Sahihu bi Naklil Adli
3. al-Jaami’ al-Sahih al-Musnad al-Mukhtasar min Umur Rasool Allah wa sunanihi wa Ayyamihi.