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AabiruSabeel
01-22-2010, 05:35 AM
Muslim Degeneration and its Only Remedy
by Maulana Ihtishamul Hasan Kaandhlawi


بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

الحمد لله رب العالمين والصلوة السلام على سيد الأولين والآخرين خاتم الأنبياء والمرسلين محمد وآله وأصحابه الطيبين الطاهرين

Past History:
About fourteen centuries ago, when the world was sunk in the darkness of ignorance, sin and impiety, a light of true knowledge and guidance rose from the horizon of the rugged hills of Batha.* Its rays spread to the East, West, North and South; they reached every corner of the earth and within the short period of 23 years, the way was paved through that light for the mankind to move to such heights of glory as had never been attained before. It enlightened Muslims and created in them the urge for taking the right counsel, which would ultimately bring them their salvation. By following the right path and the guidance emanating from that light, the Muslims moved from success to success and attained the highest pinnacle of glory in history. For centuries, they ruled on this earth with such grandeur and strength that no contemporary power had the courage to challenge them and, if someone dared to do so, he did that at the risk of being annihilated. This is the historical truth, which cannot be-erased. But, alas! this fact of history has only become a myth, an ancient tale, to narrate which may sound meaningless and ridiculous, particularly in the context of the present day life of Muslims, which obviously is a blot on the brilliant performance and achievements of their ancestors, the early followers of Islam.

*Batha: Name of hills around Makkah

The Disease:
The history, even up to the end of the thirteenth century Hijri, will reveal that the Muslims were the sole possessors of honour, dignity, power and grandeur, but when one turns his eyes away from the pages of the history books and looks at the Muslims of today, one sees the picture of a people sunk in misery and disgrace, a people who possess no real strength or power, honour or dignity, brotherhood or mutual love, and reflects no virtues or moral character worth the name. One cannot find any sign in them of those noble deeds which at one time used to be the symbol of each and every Muslim. Now-a-days, there can hardly be a living person who can be said to have the purity or the sincerity of conscience. On the contrary, Muslims are sunk in vice and sin. They have wandered away so much from the path of virtue which at one time used to be their "hallmark", that the enemies of Islam talk and discuss their affairs with delight, contempt and ridicule. Unfortunately, the matter does not end here. The Muslim youth of the new generation, which has been affected and influenced by the so-called modern trends or the Western way of life, take pleasure in laughing at the very ideals of Islam and openly criticize the sacred code of "Shariat" as being out of date and impracticable. One wonders at such behaviour and finds that a people, who once gave strength, happiness, honour and peace to the entire mankind, have now become completely demoralised, apathetic, shallow and helpless. Those who had once taught the world the golden lessons of etiquette and culture are today found wanting in these very adornments.

Earlier Attempts Towards Improvement:
For a long time, some distinguished thinkers and preachers of Islam have been seriously pondering over this unfortunate plight of their people and have been striving hard to reform the Muslim society, but alas!
مرض بڑھتا گیا جوں جوں دوا کی
(The treatment only aggravated the disease).

The situation is fast deteriorating and the future looks darker still. Inaction and complacency on our part in these circumstances will be an unforgivable sin and crime. But, before deciding what is to be done, it will be necessary to look closely at the root cause of this sad state of affairs.

People have assigned several causes to this degeneration and have adopted numerous measures for arresting the rot, but unfortunately all efforts so far have only brought further frustration. Instead of improvement, despair and confusion have resulted, particularly so in the ranks of learned preachers and "ulema". The basic truth of all this is that the root cause of the real disease has not been diagnosed. Until this is done, no proper treatment can be prescribed or administered, hence no cure or improvement can be expected. Any step lacking proper diagnosis and correct treatment would amount to making a chronic situation more chronic, and further increase confusion and despair.

The Approach:
It is the proven claim of Islam that the "Shariat" is the Divine Code, which lays down a complete way of life outlining every possible measure for advancing and progressing on the path of true success and righteousness. It very clearly describes the proper course of action and indicates methods to check and re-orientate in the event of losing direction or going astray. In other words. "Shariat-e-Muhammadiah" assures its followers their spiritual and material well-being and advancement for their whole life in all situations, right up to the last day of life on this earth. Obviously, therefore, it would be futile to look for the cause and the cure for the prevailing degeneration outside the dictates of "Shariat". For this, of necessity, we must look closely into the "Quran-i-Hakim" which is the fountain source of "Shariat" and of all knowledge and guidance for the whole of mankind. In fact, it is the only source of wisdom for man. We ought to seek its help in finding out what our troubles are and how they are to be removed, if we really desire to attain full recovery. Once we come to know about that, we must cling to the solution and solemnly resolve to adopt it. Certainly, the wisdom and guidance from the "Quran" will never fail us, particularly at the critical juncture and in the difficult times through which we are passing nowadays. Let us look and search for the right solution in the "Quran" and "Sunnah".

The Diagnosis:
The Creator of the universe, Allah Ta'ala, remains avowedly committed that the kingdom and His vicegerency on earth are only meant for the true Muslims (momineen).
This is clear from the following verse:
وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنكُمْ وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَيَسْتَخْلِفَنَّهُم فِي الْأَرْضِ

"Allah has promised to those from amongst you who believe and do righteous deeds that He would surely make them His vicegerents on earth." [Surah An-Noor: 55]
He has also given the assurances that true believers will always dominate over non-believers and that non-believers will be left without any friend or ally; as is clear from the following verse:
وَلَو قَـٰتَلَكُمُ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ لَوَلَّوُاْ ٱلأَدبَـٰرَ ثُمَّ لَا يَجِدُونَ وَلِياًّ وَلَا نَصِيرً۬ا

"And if these non-believers had given you a battle, they were sure to turn on their heels, and they would have found no protector and no helper." [Al-Fath: 22]
Moreover, it is Allah Ta'ala's own obligation to grant every help to the true Muslims and it is also His promise that such people will always remain exalted and glorious. This is borne out by the following verses:
وَكَانَ حَقًّا عَلَينَا نَصرُ المُؤمِنِينَ‏
وَلاَ تَهِنُوا وَلاَ تَحْزَنُوا وَأَنتُمُ الأَعْلَوْنَ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ
وَلِلَّهِ الْعِزَّةُ وَلِرَسُولِهِ وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ

"And it is our bounden duty to render succour to the true believers." [Ar-Room: 47]
"And do not give way to despair, and do not grieve, and you only shall dominate, if you are true believers." [Aal-Imran: 139]
"And honour is only for Allah, His Prophet (sallallaho alaihe wasallam) and those who believe." [Al-Munafiqoon: 8]
The above Divine assertions clearly indicate that the way to regain honour, grandeur, exaltation, glory and virtues by Muslims, lies only in their being strictly faithful. If their relationship with Allah Ta'ala and the Holy Prophet (sallallaho alaihe wasallam) is strong and firm, they are destined to be masters of each and every things on this Earth. But if, on from the following verse:

وَالْعَصْرِ إِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ لَفِي خُسْرٍ إِلَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالْحَقِّ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالصَّبْرِ

"And let Time be witness: verily man is in a great loss except, of course, those who believe and do righteous deeds and who rejoin truth and enjoin patience." [Al-'Asr: 1-3]
As already brought out, history proves that the early Muslims had been able to reach the highest summit of honour and glory, whereas the present day Muslims seem to have moved in the opposite direction. It is obvious from the above verses of the Quran that the first Muslims had attained that high position in life because of the purity and strength of their faith and the excellence of their character. Conversely, the deplorable condition of the present-day Muslims is the result of weakness in their faith and character, the opposite of what their forefathers possessed. Therefore, it will be right to say that today we are Muslims in name only! In this connection, the true Messenger of Allah Ta'ala Hadhrat Mohammad, (sallallaho alaihe wasallam), had prophesied:

سيأتي على الناس زمان لا يبقي من الإسلام إلا اسمه، ولا من القرءان إلا رسمه [مشكوة]ـ

"An era will come in the near future when Islam will exist merely in name and Quran will exist merely in phrase." [Mishkat]
This is clearly applicable to the Muslims of the present time. In these circumstances, the points which need urgent investigation are:

  1. as the right type of faith, which can have the approval of Allah Ta'ala and His Apostle and which will bring us spiritual and material advancement, is not to be seen anywhere, what will be the means of acquiring that true faith; and
  2. what are the factors which have caused the extinction of that faith, and with it the true life of Islam, from our midst?


A study of the Holy Quran clearly reveals that the capacity to maintain the required level of the true faith of Islam, and the ultimate ascendance to exaltation and glory through it, are dependent on the fulfilment of a special task which has been so graciously assigned by Allah Ta'ala to the Muslims alone. It is for this that they have been given, in the Quran, the distinguished position, "Khair-ul-Umam" (the best of all peoples).
According to the faith of Islam, the main purpose behind the creation of this world was to establish and prove the Divinity, the Oneness, and the most exalted existence of Almighty Allah Ta'ala, and to reflect His unlimited Powers and boundless Attributes through man, who was to be guided by the light of true knowledge. It was impossible for man to conceive and utilize that knowledge without his first being purified of impiety and obscenity. Only after that purification, is he to be adorned with fine virtues, excellence of conduct and the eventual capacity to act righteously. It was for this purpose of bringing about this purity and power in the ranks of mankind that thousands of Prophets and Apostles had been deputed by Allah Ta'ala. The last in the series, came the "Sayyed-ul-Ambia wal Mursalin" (the greatest of all the Prophets) Mohammad (sallallaho alaihe wasallam). It was through him that man reached the high state of development of mind and body leading to the final stage of purity. It was then that mankind received the glad tidings in the following verse:

الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ الإِسْلاَمَ دِينًا

"And today we have perfected your Religion for you and completed our bounty upon you." [Al-Ma'idah: 3]
The supreme purpose of man's creation had been fulfilled; good and evil had been clearly defined, a complete system of practical life had been revealed, the lineage of prophethood and apostlehood had been terminated, and lastely, the duties that were formerly discharged exclusively by the Prophets had devolved as a collective mission upon the "Ummat-i-Mohammadia" (the Muslim people). This last fact has been clearly brought out in the following verses of the Holy Quran:

كُنتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللّهِ

"O you (followers of Mohammad): you are the noblest of peoples, in that you have been brought out for fthe benefit of) mankind. You enjoin the good and forbid the evil, and you believe in Allah." [Aal-Imran: 110]

وَلْتَكُن مِّنكُمْ أُمَّةٌ يَدْعُونَ إِلَى الْخَيْرِ وَيَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ

"And it is but meet that amongst you there should be a group devoted to inviting people towards righteousness and enjoining the good and forbidding the evil, and it is only those who do this that prosper." [Aal-Imran: 104]
In the first verse, "Allah Ta'ala" has stated the reason why the Muslims are called "Khair-ul-Umam" (noblest of all peoples); it is because of spreading good and preventing evil. In the second verse, He has further clarified that only those people shall be exalted in life who fulfil that injunction. The command does not end here. It is stated in another place that the failure to accomplish this vital task will bring curse and gloom on its assignees. This inference is taken from the following verse:

لُعِنَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِن بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ عَلَى لِسَانِ دَاوُودَ وَعِيسَى ابْنِ مَرْيَمَ ذَلِكَ بِمَا عَصَوا وَّكَانُواْ يَعْتَدُونَ كَانُواْ لاَ يَتَنَاهَوْنَ عَن مُّنكَرٍ فَعَلُوهُ لَبِئْسَ مَا كَانُواْ يَفْعَلُونَ

"And those amongst the people of Israel who rejected Allah's commands were cursed by Allah through the tongues of Dawood and Isa, son of Mariam. And the curse was because they rebelled against Allah's commands and transgressed the limits and did not desist from the evil that they were doing; and verily it was a grievous lapse on their part." [Al-Ma'idah: 78,79]
A further explanation and clarification of the above verse of the Holy Quran can be seen from the following "Ahadis" (sayings of the Holy Prophet Mohammad (sailal-laho alaihe wasallam).

  1. It has been narrated by Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mas'ud (radi Allaho anho) that the Holy Prophet (sallallaho alaihe wasallam) was pleased to say;

    وفي السنن والمسند من حديث عبد الله بن مسعود قال : قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : إن من كان قبلكم كان إذا عمل العامل فيهم بالخطيئة جاءه الناهي تعذيراً ، فقال يا هذا إتق الله، فإذا كان من الغد جالسه وآكله وشاربه كأن لم يره على خطيئة بالأمس، فلما رأى عز وجل ذلك منهم ضرب قلوب بعضهم على بعض، ثم لعنهم على لسان نبيهم داود وعيسى ابن مريم، ذلك بما عصو وكانوا يعتدون، والذي نفس محمد بيده لتأمرن بالمعروف ولتنهون عن المنكر ولتأخذن على يد السفيه ولتأطرن على الحق أطراً أو ليضربن الله قلوب بعضكم على بعض ثم ليلعنكم كما لعنهم
    "Amongst peoples gone by, when somebody committed a sin, the other would reprimand him and would say: "Fear Allah"; but on the following day would befriend him and mix with him as if he had never seen him committing the sin. And when Allah saw them behaving thus, He confounded the hearts of some with those of some, and cursed them through the tongues of Dawood and Isa son of Mariam; and this because they rebelled against Allah and transgressed His limits. I, Mohammad swear by Him, Who has control over my soul: you must enjoin the good and forbid the evil and force the ignorant wrongdoer into the path of rectitude; else Allah will confound your hearts and you will be cursed, as were some of the peoples gone by."

  2. وفي سنن أبي داود وابن ماجة عن جرير بن عبدالله ‏قال ‏‏سمعت رسول الله ‏ ‏صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ ‏يقول: ‏ما من رجل يكون في قوم يعمل فيهم بالمعاصي يقدرون على أن يغيروا عليه ولا يغيرون إلا أصابهم الله بعقاب قبل أن يموتوا ‏
    Hadhrat Jareer (radi Allaho anho) has narrated thai Hadhrat Mohammad (sallallaho alaihe wasallam} was pleased to say: "When an individual of a community sins, and the community, in spite of its authority over him, does not prevent him from sinning, Allah's punishment descends on them even before death, i.e., He subjects them to various tribulations in this very world."

  3. وروى الأصبهاني عن أنس بن مالك رضي الله عنه أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: لا تزال لا إله إلا الله تنفع من قالها وترد عنهم العذابَ والنقمة ما لم يستخِفوا بحقها قالوا يا رسول الله وما الاستخفاف بحقها قال يظهر العمل بمعاصي الله فلا يُنكر ولا يُغير [الترغيب]ـ
    Hadhrat Anas (radi Allaho anno) has narrated that Hadhrat Mohammad (sallallaho alaihe wasallam) was pleased to say, "The Kalimah La ilaha Illallaho always benefits the individuals who proclaim it, and keeps away from them woes and troubles, unless, indeed, its rights are ignored." The companions inquired: "What does the ignoring of its rights mean?" Replied the Prophet: "It means that when sins are being committed openly they do not prevent or stop them."

  4. عن عائشة رضي الله عنها قالت: دخل علي النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فعرفت في وجهه أن قد حضره شيء فتوضأ وما كلم أحدًا ، فلصقت بالحجرة أستمع ما يقول ، فقعد على المنبر فحمد الله وأثنى عليه وقال : " يا أيها الناس ، إن الله تعالى يقول لكم مروا بالمعروف وانهوا عن المنكر قبل أن تدعوا فلا أجيب لكم وتسألوني فلا أعطيكم وتستنصروني فلا أنصركم " فما زاد عليهن حتى نزل [ترغيب]ـ
    Hadhrat Aisha (radi Allaho anha) says: "The Holy Prophet, (sallallaho alaihe wasallam) came to me and I could read from his noble countenance that something extraordinary had happened. He did not utter a single word but, having performed ablution, repaired straight to the mosque. I, too, stood by the wall of the mosque to hear what he had to say. The Prophet of Allah ascended the pulpit and, after the usual holy exordium, said: 'O people, Allah has ordained you to enjoin the good and forbid the evil, lest a time should come when you call and He may not respond, you ask for a favour and He may not grant it, and you call for help and He may refuse'."

  5. عن أبي هريرة قال‏:‏ قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏"‏إذا عظمت امتي الدنيا نزعت منها هيبة الإسلام، واذا تركت الأمر بالمعروف والنهي عن المنكر حرمت بركة الوحي، واذا تسابت امتي سقطت من عين الله‏" (كذا فى الدر عن الحكيم الترمذي) ـ
    Hadhrat Abu Huraira (radi Allaho anho) has narrated:
    "Said the Prophet (sallallaho alaihe wasallam): When my "Ummat" (followers) begin to attach more importance to the world and to regard it as a source of glory, the awe and importance of Islam will vanish from their hearts. When they give up the practice of enjoining good and forbidding evil, they will be deprived of the blessings of Revelation, and, when they begin to indulge in mutual recrimination, they will fall low in the eyes of Allah."



To be continued inshaAllah...
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AabiruSabeel
01-22-2010, 04:29 PM
The Root Cause

From the above Ahadith it is clear, that the abandonment of the act of "Amir bil maruf wa nahi anil munkar" (enjoining the good and forbidding the evil) has usually been the root cause of "Allah Ta'ala's" anger and displeasure and His eventual wrath. And if the "Ummat-e-Mohammadiah" becomes guilty of that neglect and omission, the punishment to be given to them will be more severe than to the earlier people, because they would have failed to recognise their exclusive obligation and neglected to fulfil the sole mission in their life. For this reason, the Holy Prophet (sallallaho alaihe wasallam) has enjoined the act of "Amir bil maruf wa nahi anil munkar" (enjoining the good and forbidding the evil) "as the essence and the pivot of the faith of Islam" and the abandonment of that act as the cause of decay and decline of the faith.

In the Hadith of Abu Saeed Khudri, (radi Allahu 'anhu) it is mentioned:

من رأى منكم منكرا فليغيره بيده ، فإن لم يستطع فبلسانه ، فإن لم يستطع فبقلبه ، وذلك أضعف الإيمان (رواه مسلم)ـ
"When anyone of you witnesses the commission of evil, he should use his hands to prevent it; and if he has not the power to do this, he should use his tongue; and if he has not the power to do even this, he should use the power of his heart; and this last represents the weakest degree of faith."
There is yet a clearer version of the same Hadith from Ibne Masud (radi Allahu 'anhu):

ما من نبي بعثه الله في أمة قبلي ، إلا كان له من أمته حواريون وأصحاب يأخذون بسنته ، ويقتدون بأمره ، ثم إنها تخلف من بعدهم خلوف يقولون ما لا يفعلون ، ويفعلون ما لا يؤمرون ، فمن جاهدهم بيده ، فهو مؤمن ، ومن جاهدهم بلسانه ، فهو مؤمن ، ومن جاهدهم بقلبه ، فهو مؤمن ، ليس وراء ذلك من الإيمان حبة خردل (مسلم)ـ

It is usual for Allah to so arrange that every Prophet leaves behind a group of his companions who perpetuate His message, who follow it rigorously and preserve the holy message exactly in the form in which the Messenger left it. Then comes an epoch of mischief and error, an epoch that witnesses the birth of people who step aside from the path laid down by the Prophet. Their actions are at variance with their proclamations; their activities are not warranted by the holy law. So whosoever arises in defence of Truth and Law, and opposes the miscreants with his hands, is a true believer; he who cannot do this but uses his tongue, is a believer too; and he who cannot do even this, but uses the power of his heart, is also a believer; but less than this, there is no degree of faith. (Musiim)
The vital importance of Tabligh (the task of propagation) has been further emphasized by Imam Ghazali, (rah-matullah alaih) in the following manner:

"There can be no doubt that the act of "amr bil maruf wa nahi anil munkar" is that solid pillar of Islam, on which each and every article of faith rests. It is for this very mission that Allah Ta'ala deputed all the Holy Prophets. If unfortunately, it is ignored or forgotten and its methods and practices are given up, one has to say that the very purpose of prophethood is totally defeated and rendered meaningless. Thereafter, the conscience, which is the capital wealth of man, will wither and degenerate. Indolence and dullness of mind will prevail. The highway to vice and arrogance will be opened up and barbarity will spread in the whole world. All achievements of man will become dangerous and even harmful. Human relationship will break down. Civilization will be ruined. Mankind will be reduced to utter moral destitution. But, the vivid realisation of all this will come only on the Day of Judgement, when the entire mankind will be under trial before the Almighty Allah Ta'ala and called upon to account for each and every action."
Alas! alas! the fear has come true, that which was apprehended is before our eyes.

وكان أمر الله قدرا مقدورا ، فإنا لله وإنا إليه راجعون
The tower of knowledge and enlightenment has been demolished and its benefits and effects have been completely wiped out. Consequently, mutual contempt and humiliation are rampant. Nothing, of the sublime relationship between man and his Creator, is left in human hearts; on the contrary, man, like an animal, has become the slave of his passions. Indeed, not only is there a paucity of true Muslims in this world now, but it is practically impossible to meet anyone who is prepared to bear the inevitable privations for the sake of propagating Islam.

"Any Muslim who dares to take steps to remove the present state of ruin and devastation, endeavours to revive the act of propagation and comes forward to shoulder that heavy responsibility, will surely rank as the noblest and the most distinguished being among the whole of mankind."
He said this nearly eight hundred years ago, but his statement is very accurately applicable to us today.

We must ponder and calmly think out what is to be done in these circumstances. There are some well-known causes which seem to be responsible for the apathy and indifference that prevail today. These are discussed below.

To be continued inshaAllah...
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AabiruSabeel
01-22-2010, 09:01 PM
CAUSES

First
We generally believe that the act of Tabligh is the sole and special responsibility of the Ulama, even when the related orders of the Quran are clear and fully apply to each and every living Muslim. The actions and the hard work of the Sahabah of the Nabi (Sallallaho Alaihi wa Sallam) and all those distinguished Muslims who immediately followed them, bear definite testimony to the view that each and every Muslim is responsible for the propagation of Islam (Tabligh).

To assign the responsibility of Tabligh and amr bil ma'roof wa nahi 'anil munkir (enjoining the good and forbidding the evil) solely to the ranks of Ulama and not to ourselves is a sign of grave ignorance on our part. The duty of the Ulama is to state the truth and to point out the right path. To enforce righteousness among the people and to keep the people moving on the right path is the responsibility of all other Muslims. The following Hadith is a clear exhortation to this:
ألا كلكم راع وكلكم مسئول عن رعيته فالأمير الذي على الناس راع ومسئول عن رعيته والرجل راع على أهل بيته وهو مسئول عنهم والمرأة راعية على بيت بعلها وهي مسئولة عنه والعبد راع على مال سيده وهو مسئول عنه ألا فكلكم راع وكلكم مسئول عن رعيته (بخارى - مسلم)ـ
"Lo! All of you are trustees and shall be questioned on the day of Qiyamah in respect of your trust. So the king is a head unto his subjects and shall be questioned in respect of them; the husband is a head unto his wife and household and shall be questioned in respect of them; the wife is a head unto her husband's house and the children and shall be questioned in respect of them all; the slave is a watchman unto his master's effects and shall be questioned in respect of those. So you are all trustees and you shall be questioned in respect of those entrusted to you." (Bukhari/Muslim)
And similarly, in another place, a yet clearer account is given:
‏ ‏ الدين النصيحة قلنا لمن؟ قال لله ولكتابه ولرسوله ولأئمة المسلمين وعامتهم (مسلم)ـ
Rasulullah (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam) said:
"Religion is the act of counselling." (The Sahabah) enquired: "On whose part (to counsel)?" He said: "On the part of Allah, the Apostle, the leaders of the Muslims and the lay Muslims." (Muslim)
Even if we suppose, as an extreme case, that this task has to be carried out by the Ulama only, the present emergency and the critical situation demand that every one of us should put his shoulder to the wheel and strive hard for establishing Allah's supremacy on the earth and for protecting the Muslim way of life.

Second
It is commonly believed that if a person is firm and steadfast in his own Iman, the wrong belief of others will bring him no harm because of the meaning attached to the following Ayah of the Quran:
يا أَيُّهَا الَّذينَ آمَنوا عَلَيكُم أَنفُسَكُم ۖ لا يَضُرُّكُم مَن ضَلَّ إِذَا اهتَدَيتُم ۚ (المائدة: 105)ـ
"O ye who believe! Guard your own souls: If ye follow (right) guidance, no hurt can come to you from those who stray" (Al-Maaidah 105)
In fact, the real meaning and sense of the above Ayah is not what is being apparently attached to it, because, in that case, the meaning would appear to be against the Divine wisdom and spirit and against the teachings of the Shariah. It considers the collective life and progress and salvation of the Muslim society as a whole to be fundamental. The Muslim people must be considered like a single body having several limbs. When any limb receives an injury, the whole body suffers from the pain.

Mankind may progress to any limit and it may reach the highest pinnacle of glory in every sphere of life, yet there will be some who will go astray and become involved in impiety. In that event, the above Ayah re-assures the righteous people that as long as they remain steadfast and keep moving on the right path, no harm can be brought to them by those who decide to give up the right way of life.

Yet another point is that full enlightment will be received only when all the rules of law of the Shariah are accepted and practiced, including all the Divine commands, which naturally cover enjoining the good and forbidding the evil. This interpretation is supported by the following words of Abu Bakr (Radiallaho Anhu):
عن أبي بكر رضي الله عنه أنه قام فحمد الله وأثنى عليه ثم قال: " أيها الناس إنكم تقرؤن هذه الآية { يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ عَلَيْكُمْ أَنفُسَكُمْ لاَ يَضُرُّكُم مَّن ضَلَّ إِذَا اهْتَدَيْتُمْ } وإني سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول: « إن الناس إذا رأوا المنكر فلم يغيروه أوشك أن يعمهم الله بعقابه »ـ
"O people! you quote this ayah: "O ye who believe! Guard your own souls: If ye follow (right) guidance, no hurt can come to you from those who stray," but I have heard Rasulullah (Sallallaho Alaihi wa Sallam) say that when people see something evil and do not seek to change it, Allah will send down punishment for all of them."
The Ayah in question has been similarly explained by all the truly learned personages, such as Imam Nawawi (Rahmatullah Alaihi) who explains in his book Sharh Muslim:
"The consensus of opinion of the learned personages regarding the meaning of this Ayah is that, when you have performed the duty enjoined on you, the remissness of those who refuse to profit by your counsel will not harm you, as Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) says:
ولا تزر وازرة وزر اخرى (فاطر 18)ـ
"No one shall carry another man's burden" (Al-An'am 164, Al-Israa 15, Faatir 18, Zumar 7), and of the several injunctions addressed to all, one is that regarding enforcement of good and prevention of evil. Therefore when an individual has performed this duty and the addressee proves refractory, the former shall not be penalized for it. He has performed his duty of enjoining the good and forbidding the evil and acceptance or rejection of it by the other party is not within his ability. Allah knows best."
Third
People of distinction as well as the common man, the learned and the ignorant, all alike, have become indifferent or even lost hope of the reformation of the society. They all seem to have accepted the fate, that is is difficult, rather impossible these days for Muslims to make any progress to regain their lost glory. Whenever any scheme for improvement and reformation is presented to anyone, the usual reaction is: how can the Muslims progress in the circumstances when they have neither a state of their own nor any power to rule, neither wealth nor any financial standing, nor army and equipment of war nor any influence? They lack even in physical stamina, mutual agreement and unity of purpose. Even the religious people seem to have decided by themselves that, it being the fourteenth century Hijri and the people having drifted so farther away from the prophetic teachings, the downfall of Islam and the Muslims is inevitable. The maintain that, in these circumstances, it will be useless to make any effort towards the reformation of Muslims.

It is true that the effects of the light of Nubuwwah become less and less as we are removed farther and farther away from it, but this does not mean that no effort is to be made to revive that light by enforcing Shariah and upholding and defending with all our energies and power, the way of life taught by Mohammed (Sallallaho Alaihi wa Sallam).
For, had the Muslims before us thought so, there would have been no trace of Islam left anywhere by now, because there would have been no means through which the lessons and the teachings of the Shariah could have reached us. Therefore, it will be fatal for us not to check the present negative attitude towards Islam. We should adopt a vigorously positive line for our own sake and also for the sake of future generations. The time is moving fast and so is the pace of deterioration in the religion of Islam. The situation demands a strong, quick and determined effort by one and all for arresting the rot and stopping further degeneration of Muslim society.

As a rule, existence of true Islam depends entirely upon the perseverance and collective effort of its followers. Unfortunately, they seem to be deficient in these very requirements. We must appreciate that the Quran and Hadith are full of the lessons in calling Muslims to be active and to stand firm in the path of Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala). There is a Hadith about a very pious person who may pray night and day all his life, but he cannot come to the level of one who strives and sacrifices his pleasure and comfort for the sake of guiding and helping people to move on the right path of Islam.

On this very point, many commands and injunctions in the Quran exist. It is clearly brought out that the one who strives hard in the path of Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) remains superior and noble compared to all others; for example:
لا يَستَوِي القاعِدونَ مِنَ المُؤمِنينَ غَيرُ أُولِي الضَّرَرِ وَالمُجاهِدونَ في سَبيلِ اللَّهِ بِأَموالِهِم وَأَنفُسِهِم ۚ فَضَّلَ اللَّهُ المُجاهِدينَ بِأَموالِهِم وَأَنفُسِهِم عَلَى القاعِدينَ دَرَجَةً ۚ وَكُلًّا وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الحُسنىٰ ۚ وَفَضَّلَ اللَّهُ المُجاهِدينَ عَلَى القاعِدينَ أَجرًا عَظيمًا ﴿٩٥﴾ دَرَجاتٍ مِنهُ وَمَغفِرَةً وَرَحمَةً ۚ وَكانَ اللَّهُ غَفورًا رَحيمًا ﴿٩٦﴾ـ
"The believers who, without a reasonable excuse, sit at home cannot equal those who perform Jihad in the path of Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) with their lives and wealth. Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) has raised the status of those who perform Jihad with their lives and wealth as compared to those who stay at home. To the former, He has promised a blessed abode. Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) has exalted the Mujaahideen over those who stay at home, with glorious rewards, eminent positions, His mercy and forgiveness; and Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) is forgiving and Merciful (Al-Nisaa' 95, 96).
Although the above Ayah refers directly to Jihad against the infidels and unbelievers in order to uphold the teachings of Islam and subdue and subjugate faithlessness and Shirk and, although we are unfortunate in not having the opportunity of fulfilling that great task, we ought not to throw away any chance of doing something, however small, in the direction of propagating the truth. Only then can we expect that one day our humble efforts and insignificant perseverance may gather momentum and impetus for bigger and higher performances.

وَالَّذينَ جاهَدوا فينا لَنَهدِيَنَّهُم سُبُلَنا ۚ ﴿العنكبوت ٦٩﴾ـ
And those who strive in Our (cause),- We will certainly guide them to our Paths (Al-Ankaboot 69)
Undoubtedly Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) has promised to provide protection for the way of life propagated by Mohammed (Sallallaho Alaihi wa Sallam). But, human effort and perseverance have been defined as the only media for its promotion and advancement. The Sahabah of the Nabi (Sallallaho Alaihi wa Sallam) strove untiringly for that purpose and, assuredly, they succeeded and were recipients of high rewards. They has the honour of receiving Divine help and assistance. We, being their admirers and believers, ought to try and follow them and prepare ourselves for working to establish Allah's supremacy on the earth and for propagating the message of Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala). Thus, we will also be favored with Divine help and assistance.

إِن تَنصُرُوا اللَّهَ يَنصُركُم وَيُثَبِّت أَقدامَكُم ﴿محمد ٧﴾ـ
"If you (come forward to) help the religion of Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala), He shall help you and make you steadfast" (Muhammad 7)


Fourth
Most of us think that, as we ourselves do not possess the essential virtues and qualities of Islam, we are not competent to perform the duty of propagation of those qualities among others. This is a clear misunderstanding. Since an obligation has to be fulfilled, particularly when we have been commanded by Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) for that task, there can be no question of denying obedience to it. We must set ourselves to work in obedience to the Divine command. Our efforts then shall, InshaAllah (if Allah wills) gather greater strength and make us more determined and resolute. In this way, our continued endeavor on proper lines will one day bring us the great honor of being dear to Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala). It is against the law of Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) that, if one preservers and strives for His sake (religion), He would not grant favours and kindness because the person was not competent or fit for the task! This point is fully brought out in the following Hadith:

عن أنس رضي الله عنه قال: قلنا يا رسول الله لا نأمر بالمعروف حتى نعمل به كله ولا ننهى عن المنكر حتى نجتنبه كله. فقال صلى الله عليه وسلم "بل مروا بالمعروف وإن لم تعملوا به كله وانهوا عن المنكر وإن لم تجتنبوه كله" (رواه الطبراني في الأوسط)ـ
Anas (Radiallaho Anho) relates: We said, O Rasulullah, should we not enjoin good until we practice it all and should we not forbid evil until we avoid it all? He (Sallallaho Alaihi wa Sallam) said: No, enjoin good even if you do not practice it all yourself and forbid evil even if you yourself are not able to avoid all of it.
Fifth
Most of us take it for granted that the religious schools, the Ulama, the saints who have their seats at various religious places, and the religious books and magazines are sufficient activities for the fulfillment of the mission of enjoining the good and forbidding the evil. These efforts, they think, are enough to meet the requirements of Tabligh. Undoubtedly, the presence of all these is absolutely essential and one must look upon them with reverence and pay attention to their problems, as the traces of Islam that exist today owe their existence to these very institutions, but they are not enough to meet the situation even partially. The task is stupenduous, considering our present weaknesses and the extend of the problem. To be content with the existence of these few methods will be a grave folly on our part.

Even to derive full benefit from these institutions, we have to create within ourselves, a true and a deep respect for the faith of Islam and a burning desire to adopt it in our practical life. Up to fifty years back, people did possess real love, urge and passion for Islam and there were visible signs and products of the Islamic way of life. In those days these institutions could perhaps meet the demand satisfactorily. But today all our sentiments and feelings for Islam are practically dead, because of the continuos onslaught on our faith and social structure by various foreign elements and forces. Alas! they have succeeded in their object, as, instead of love, we seem to possess a hidden inferiority complex towards our religion and faith! Obviously, therefore, we must act quickly and take the initiative from the hands of opposing forces and launch a strong counter effort whereby we are able to revive the dead spirit of each and every Muslim and rekindle in him the love and attachment for Islam. Only then we get full benefit from existing religious institutions which in turn, can serve the community in a befitting manner. Unless such steps are taken vigorously, the present state of complacency will spread deep and wide and these institutions which are doing good in this limited way, may meet the fate of total destruction.


Sixth
There is great danger that whenever one takes up the work of commanding good and forbidding evil, he is not received well by the people. The people always treat him badly, using harsh and insulting language. Also, sometimes people adopt a mean and contemptuous attitude towards religious workers. This is true, but we are likely to forget the fact that the performance of the act of propagation means simply to follow in the footsteps of the Prophets of Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala), who were always the victims of the worst type of treatment. That is the usual and certain fate of those who take to this mission! Indeed, all Ambiya had to suffer untold miseries on account of this, as is clear from the following Ayah:

وَلَقَد أَرسَلنا مِن قَبلِكَ في شِيَعِ الأَوَّلينَ ﴿١٠﴾ وَما يَأتيهِم مِن رَسولٍ إِلّا كانوا بِهِ يَستَهزِئونَ ﴿١١﴾ـ
"And we sent down Prophets before you amongst people gone by, and no Prophet came to them but that they ridiculed him" (Al-Hijr 10)
The Nabi (Sallallaho Alaihi wa Sallam) once remarked:
"No Prophet has suffered more than me in the propagation of truth."
It is obvious, therefore, that there is no excuse for such doubts. As we profess to be the followers of Mohammed (Sallallaho Alaihi wa Sallam) who himself had suffered in the performance of this very mission, but took everything cheerfully and with forbearance, we must also follow his noble example and show patience and calmness while performing the essential duty of Tabligh.

To be continued inshaAllah...
Reply

AabiruSabeel
01-25-2010, 12:55 PM
Solution

It has been clearly brought out in the previous pages that the current disease in the body of Muslims has sprung from the weakening of the true spirit of Islam in our hearts. As a result, real sentiments and love for Islam are practically dead in us and our belief in it has become dissipated. Obviously, when the very source becomes dry, the channels of virtue, good deeds and fine character, which can flow from it are not to be seen any longer. This is exactly what is evident today. It has been fully discussed and brought out earlier that the only means for the building up of this source and maintaining a constantly proper flow of religious benefits from it, is the act of Tabligh which really and truly is the life blood of Islam. Unless we are able to revive it, we cannot achieve anything in this life, because no nation or people can rise to glory without having in them the high human qualities and character which only the religion of Islam can give.

We should now clearly realize the disease from which we suffer and judge the treatment which can bring the cure. It is now up to us to set about the renewal of the obligatory task of Tabligh. It will be only then that we can hope to restore the true faith of Islam in the people. By this means alone can we recognize and truly understand both Allah (Subhanahu Wa Taala) and His Rasul Mohammad (Sallallaho Alaihi wa Sallam) and will be able to clearly understand and finally submit to their commands and wishes. To achieve all this, we will have to adopt the exact methods and ways which are laid down and were shown by Rasulullah (Sallallaho Alaihi wa Sallam) himself when he reformed the pagan Arabs. Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) says in the Quran:

لَقَد كانَ لَكُم في رَسولِ اللَّهِ أُسوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ (الأحزاب 21)ـ
Indeed Rasulullah (Sallallaho Alaihi wa Sallam) is the perfect example for you to follow (Al-Ahzaab 21)
In this very connection Imam Maalik (Rahmatullah Alaihi) said:
لن يصلح آخر هذه الأمة إلا ما أصلح أولها
In other words, the people who come as the last part of the Ummah of Mohammad (Sallallaho Alaihi wa Sallam) will never be reformed until the same way is used to reform them as was used in the beginning.

In the beginning, when the Nabi (Sallallaho Alaihi wa Sallam) had started to call the people to Islam, he did not have a single supporter behind him nor had he any political power or possessions. The pagan Arabs were proudly independent and un-compromising. No one among them was prepared to listen to reason or truth or obey another person. They strongly disliked and were deadly opposed to the message of Truth which the Nabi (Sallallaho Alaihi wa Sallam) had the sole mission to teach. In these circumstances, one wonders what gave such invisible power and force to that one single man, who was worldy poor and without any means that he eventually was able to draw the whole of the Arab nation towards him. After all, what was it towards which Rasulullah (Sallallaho Alaihi wa Sallam) called people and whoever would find it would remain Rasulullah's forever? The whole world knows that there was a single lesson which was Rasulullah's goal and real purpose which he beautifully presented in front of people.

أَلّا نَعبُدَ إِلَّا اللَّهَ وَلا نُشرِكَ بِهِ شَيئًا وَلا يَتَّخِذَ بَعضُنا بَعضًا أَربابًا مِن دونِ اللَّهِ ۚ (آل عمران 64)ـ
That we worship nothing but Allah, and associate none with Him as His compeer or rival, and none of us considers another god except Allah (Al-Imran 64)
The propagation of that same very truth can bring the same results again.
The Nabi (Sallallaho Alaihi wa Sallam) forbade his followers from looking upon any being except Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) for worship or obedience. Not only did he succeed in achieving his aim, but was able to cut all ties between his followers and every alien element and bound his people in one uniform system of life from which they never tried to break away again. They really became the picture of:
اتَّبِعوا ما أُنزِلَ إِلَيكُم مِن رَبِّكُم وَلا تَتَّبِعوا مِن دونِهِ أَولِياءَ ۗ ﴿الأعراف ٣﴾ـ
Follow that which has been sent to you from the Sustainer, and do not follow others (considering them) as Protectors except Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) (Al-A'raaf 3)
This was the real lesson, which the Nabi (Sallallaho Alaihi wa Sallam) had been commanded (by Allah) to teach and spread. It is further clear from the following Ayah:
ادعُ إِلىٰ سَبيلِ رَبِّكَ بِالحِكمَةِ وَالمَوعِظَةِ الحَسَنَةِ ۖ وَجادِلهُم بِالَّتي هِيَ أَحسَنُ ۚ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ أَعلَمُ بِمَن ضَلَّ عَن سَبيلِهِ ۖ وَهُوَ أَعلَمُ بِالمُهتَدينَ ﴿النحل ١٢٥﴾ـ
O Mohammed! invite (people) to your Lord with wisdom and better counsel, and argue with them in such a way as is best; verily your Lord knows the one who wanders astray from His path, and He knows those who are on the right path (Al-Nahl 125)
The highway marked for the progress of the Nabi (Sallallaho Alaihi wa Sallam) and his followers is further described in the following Ayah:
قُل هٰذِهِ سَبيلي أَدعو إِلَى اللَّهِ ۚ عَلىٰ بَصيرَةٍ أَنا وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَني ۖ وَسُبحانَ اللَّهِ وَما أَنا مِنَ المُشرِكينَ ﴿يوسف ١٠٨﴾ـ
وَمَن أَحسَنُ قَولًا مِمَّن دَعا إِلَى اللَّهِ وَعَمِلَ صالِحًا وَقالَ إِنَّني مِنَ المُسلِمينَ ﴿فصلت ٣٣﴾ـ
(O Mohammed!) say, this is my path, and I invite you towards Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) with full wisdom, I and my followers too: and Allah is all Pure, and I am not one of those who associate others with Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) (Yoosuf 108)
And whose words can be better than those of one who invites (you) towards Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala), does good deeds and says "Verily, I am of those who submit their will to Allah". (Fussilat 33)
To call mankind to Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) and show the right path to all those who had gone astray was the only mission and the sole purpose of the life of the Nabi (Sallallaho Alaihi wa Sallam). To serve this very purpose, thousands of Ambiya had been deputed before him.
As Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) says:
وَما أَرسَلنا مِن قَبلِكَ مِن رَسولٍ إِلّا نوحي إِلَيهِ أَنَّهُ لا إِلٰهَ إِلّا أَنا فَاعبُدونِ ﴿الأنبياء ٢٥﴾ـ
"And we did not send any Messenger before you, but that We revealed upon him that verily there is no god but Me and so worship Me" (Al-Anbiyaa 25)
The noble biography of Mohammad (Sallallaho Alaihi wa Sallam) and also those of other Prophets show one single aim as the sole mission of their lives: i.e., to believe in One True Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) and His one Divine Personality and His Attributes. This belief is the essence of the faith of Islam. It was to practice and prove this very faith that man has been sent on this earth.
وَما خَلَقتُ الجِنَّ وَالإِنسَ إِلّا لِيَعبُدونِ ﴿الذاريات ٥٦﴾ـ
I have only created jinns and men, that they may serve Me. (Zaariyaat 56)
We should by now be able to understand the real purpose behind the creation of man and the way we, particularly Muslims, should live; we also know the true disease from which we suffer and its treatment; it should, therefore, not be difficult then to find out how to apply that treatment and regain our lost strength. If we bear in our mind all that has been discussed so far, and with that background act sincerely, any method adopted will Insha Allah (by the will of Allah) prove to be beneficial and successful.
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AabiruSabeel
05-20-2010, 05:57 AM
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tigerkhan
05-20-2010, 06:50 AM
mashallah v.worth reading lines.......
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espada
06-16-2010, 11:53 PM
السلام عليكم

جزاك اللهُ خيراً


This post is very beneficial and has brought up many of things i've been feeling lately.

Even the choice of wording.
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tigerkhan
05-27-2011, 06:16 PM
i wish some more members see this thread....it so beneficial if someone understand.
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Scimitar
05-03-2012, 01:52 AM
I read this in the Fazaa'il e Amaal, (Virtues of Practice)... was one of my favourite chapters actually. Thank you for the reminder, Jazak Allah Khair.

Scimi
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