Friday, January 12, 2007

Appreciating the Amanah (responsibility) of the Da’wah

The following is a transript of a talk delivered on this subject.

It is noticed that some of us may not take the Amanah or the responsibility of the Da’wah in the manner it should be taken, some may take it in a light manner such that it is not the centre of their attention and highest priority in their mind. Rather we sometimes see people get dominated by their job, family, studies and other Dunyawi (worldly) matters that lead them to betray the Amanah (responsibility) of Da’wah.

Therefore it is necessary to clarify the meaning of the Amanah, the importance of fulfilling it, the consequences of betraying it and how should it practically manifest.

The Amanah means the trust or responsibility. It has been mentioned in relation to various issues in the texts upon our necks is something mentioned. It has been mentioned in relating to issues such as keeping a promise, keeping the private affairs of someone to yourself and the like. However the root meaning which we are concerned with today is the responsibility of the Deen and its conveyance.

It should be understood that the concept of Amanah (Trust) has been given to us since the time Allah Azza wa Jall created mankind. Allah offered the trust to the Heavens and they refused, He Al Malik (Sovereign) offered it to the Earth and it refused, He Al Aziz (The Mighty) offered it to the Mountains and they refused then He Al Muhaymin (Giver of Protection) offered it to Man and he was indeed foolish and accepted it. Allah says in Surah Al-Ahzab (The Confederates):

إِنَّا عَرَضْنَا الْأَمَانَةَ عَلَى السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَالْجِبَالِ فَأَبَيْنَ أَنْ يَحْمِلْنَهَا وَأَشْفَقْنَ مِنْهَا وَحَمَلَهَا الْإِنْسَانُ إِنَّهُ كَانَ ظَلُومًا جَهُولًا

“Truly, We did offer Al-Amânah (the trust or moral responsibility or honesty and all the duties which Allâh has ordained) to the heavens and the earth, and the mountains, but they declined to bear it and were afraid of it (i.e. afraid of Allâh's Torment). But man bore it. Verily, he was unjust (to himself) and ignorant (of its results).” [TMQ 33: 72]

The Prophet (saaw) gave the concept of Amanah such a degree of importance and the responsibility that accompanies it, that he (saw) equated its negligence to Hypocrisy, When He Nabieena (saw) said in a Hadith narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira

"Signs of a hypocrite are three: whenever he speaks he lies; whenever he promises, he breaks his promises; and whenever he has been entrusted, be betrays his trust; even if he fasts and prays and even if he claims he is a Muslim." [Bukhari & Muslim]

And in another narration in the book of Imam Bukhari on the authority of Abdullah Ibn Umar:

“The Prophet said, "Whoever has (the following) four characters will be a hypocrite, and whoever has one of the following four characteristics will have one characteristic of hypocrisy until he gives it up. These are: (1) Whenever he talks, he tells a lie; (2) whenever he makes a promise, he breaks it; (3) whenever he makes a covenant he proves treacherous; (4) and whenever he quarrels, he behaves impudently in an evil insulting manner."

We should think about ourselves – do we have this characteristic of Nifaq (hypocrisy)? Are we truly fulfilling the responsibility of the da’wah. If I was to ask you today – how many of you think you are committing a great sin? Maybe you would think that you are safe from that and that you may only fall into the minor sins now and again. However we need to be careful, if we do not fulfil the Amanah of the Da’wah which is the greatest of the Amanat today, then we will definitely fall into great sin as in reality it would be a great betrayal of this trust.

We need to realise clearly that we are not free from the responsibility just because we are studying in halaqat and engaging in some actions of da’wah. The weight of the problems of the world – all of the evils including the killing of our brothers in Iraq, the abuse of our sisters in Palestine, the insults upon the Prophet (saw) by the Kuffar, the disrespect of the Quran in Guantanomo bay where they throw it in the toilets and where they urinate on it – the obligation to change all of these evils is upon our necks unless we are working to our utmost for the true solution to them, the Islamic Khilafah.

So we do not know whether the sin upon our necks as we mention in the hadith, “Whoseover dies without the bay’ah on the neck dies the death of Jahilliyah” [Muslim] Whether this sin is lifted from our neck or not, because the lifting of the sin is conditional upon the effort we are making in order establish that Khalifah to give the Bay’ah to.

This requires serious effort, discipline, organisation, hard work, sleepless nights and perseverance in the da’wah. Only studying in halaqa two hours a week and talking to people now and again is not acceptable, it will not relieve the sin. Unless we couple that with true activity in order to win people to the true Fikrah (thought).

Contacting people

We should understand what that actually means for ourselves. It was mentioned in the leaflet by the pioneers of the da’wah for Khilafah:

“You are responsible for establishing it in the Ummah. You are the most sensitive in the Ummah, possessing the deepest thought. How would you then accept to sleep while you are in a race with Kufr? If Kufr wins, you very well know what the result will be. Kufr has called all of its supporters against you in order to stop you. After your supporters have fallen, you would not have any support except that of the Ummah when it sees your zeal and sincerity and adopts your ideology. It will embrace your ideology when it realizes that you are neither ignorant nor a coward. This is the practical manifestation of your work.”

It also said:

“Let us learn from them how Allah grants victory, how they built themselves through the hardship of carrying the Da'wa and through establishing the Aqeedah in themselves and in the society. The ideology will not be established in the people and society until we establish it in ourselves by living with the people, educating them, convincing them, caring for them, and discussing with them until they adopt it. This will create ideological awareness which leads to public awareness in favour of the ideology. As a result, the ideology becomes the basis for people's ideas and feelings. Once it is established in such a manner, it guarantees that Islam is alive in reality and is applied….I would like to remind you that when the Prophet (saaw) began his mission, the resistance was stiff even to the very concept of Prophethood. But once the concept of Prophethood was established, even others started to claim it, like Sujah and Musailamah among others.

All of this is regarding strengthening the ideology in ourselves and in the Ummah…all of you should realize the importance of the task and the heavy burden we carry… the idea needs people to carry it in such a way that it becomes the air they breathe and the glasses they see with i.e., people who are completely occupied with the ideology. Also, their number should be enough to carry the Da'wa, to structure the Ummah, to establish the State, and to supervise the application of Islam once the state is established.

Your number, no matter how big, will always be less than what you need today and after establishing the State. The issue of developing…and pumping new blood into it is a very important one. Naturally, it cannot be achieved through prayers and Ibadah even though such things motivate and inspire; it requires hard and well orchestrated efforts.
This means we should focus on winning people over. They are good in nature. They are our supporters, because they accepted our ideas…It is wrong to think that there is no good in the Ummah or that winning people is impossible. We are not able to win the people because of us, not them or the harsh environment or people revolving around their interests.”

It continues:

“Thus, every Shab…should make visits for the sole aim of winning people. He should not view it as a secondary thing or talk about it during a political talk but the effort should be fully dedicated towards winning people. Let each one of you go through the list of people he knows and add to that list and start working to win them. For Allah's sake, ask yourself: how many people did I win…how many visits did I perform in the last ten years or a given period of time to win the people? I leave the answer to you so that each will question himself before asking when will Allah grant us the victory! You have made the delay of victory a means of despair, and awaiting for the victory some sort of a stage where you tend to relax and wait as if the State is a magic stick that will change the society and construct the Ummah with the reading of Al-Fateha
وَقُلِ اعْمَلُوا فَسَيَرَى اللَّهُ عَمَلَكُمْ وَرَسُولُهُ وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَسَتُرَدُّونَ إِلَى عَالِمِ الْغَيْبِ وَالشَّهَادَةِ فَيُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِمَا كُنْتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

"And say: work, for your work will be seen by Allah, His Messenger and the believers and fear Allah so that you may prosper." [At-Tauba 9: 105]

Being organised

In order for us to fulfil the fard of da’wah and for us to follow the administrative rules of a party we must be disciplined and organised. Being organised means that we don’t leave things to the last minute and when we perform a task we do it properly. Unfortunately we are living in a non-ideological society where the norm is for people to be unorganised, always late in doing things, undisciplined and have a care-free attitude, where giving your word to someone doesn’t mean anything.

We as da’wah carriers must be careful not fall into these things as we believe in Islam and this should transform our thinking and behaviour. Islam should make us disciplined, organised, on time and thoughtful in achieving our tasks in the best way. The Prophet (saw) said:

“Verily Allah has enjoined the perfection (ihsan) to everything; so when you kill, do so in a good way and when you slaughter, slaughter in a good way.” [Narrated by Muslim from Shaddad bin Aws]

So we must work to perfect our actions. In order to do this we have to think properly about actions and to think about the best way of achieving results.

E.g. So if have to attend a meeting, circle or halaqa – we must think beforehand about how to reach there on time, the mode of transportation we will use, will there be a lot of traffic or not, etc. If the halaqa was early morning after Fajr, then we would ensure that we would set our alarm clock in order to wake up in time. This is what is meant by seriousness in thinking.

E.g. If we need to prepare a talk to deliver, we must think in advance about the subject, the audience, the concepts you aim to pass, what examples will be relevant and then to prepare it properly in advance and to ensure you have enough time to revise it and check through it.

E.g. If we are instructed to give a report about an activity then we should think about it properly, structure it, spend time on it and give it in a detailed manner so as to convey the reality properly. If the Kuffar can do this in their businesses and institutions – then how can we not do this? As we are doing not only a mubah (permitted) or mandub (recommended) work rather what we are doing is Fard (obligatory).

The da’wah carrier has to be organised in order to fulfil the tasks of the da’wah and his obligations which include the points mentioned in the leaflet ‘The Activities of the Da’wah carrier’: 1) The Islamic commitments, 2) Recitation of the Quran, 3) Reading the adopted culture and general culture, 4) Contacting people and 5) Following up the political events.

How can we achieve these all without being organised? If we look at the Sunnah of the Prophet (saw) we will see that he (saw) was very organised. How could he have achieved what he did in his life without being? He had many wives, was a da’wah carrier, was a father, friend and husband and became the leader of the Islamic state and leads wars and manage the affairs of state. This is only possible by being organised and disciplined.

Let us look at the example of the Hijra of the Prophet (saw). 1) He (saw) left Ali (ra) in his bed when he found out the plan of the Quraish. 2) He went to the house of Abu Bakr during midday when people are not normally about – due to the heat, 3) He had covered his face with his turban, 4) He asked Abu Bakr to speak to him privately and Abu Bakr (ra) explained that he could say anything in front of his family as they are his family, 5) He and Abu Bakr (ra) left from the back of his house, 6) They employed a non-Muslim guide to take them to Madina through an unusual route, 7) They hid in the cave.

The Sahabah had discipline as they realised the weight of obligations and what it means to be Shuhada alan-Naas (witnesses over mankind). It was said about Abu Bakr Siddiq (ra) that when he used to prepare the armies that you would think he did not rely upon Allah and when you saw him in Salah you would think that he does not rely on anything in the Dunya.

Doing maximum not the minimum

We should not accept doing the minimum, rather we must strive to do the maximum for the da’wah.

We must appreciate that the Da’wah is the at the top of the scale of values and is of the highest of the obligations. Therefore it is not permitted to treat it as part of our lives only, rather it must be the centre around which our lives revolve.

It is related that when RasulAllah (saw) was commanded to carry the dawah, he said to the Mother of the Believers, Khadijah (ra), "From this day onwards, there is no rest".

One of the greatest Imams of this Ummah, Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (ra), who endured a life of poverty, hardship and trials, was asked one day by his son Abdullah, "Abi when will we ever relax?" To which the Imam, looking his son in the eye, said "With the first step we take into Jannah."

Allah (swt) has warned us of making other things our priority in life other than His Deen and the da’wah to it. He (swt) said:

قُلْ إِنْ كَانَ آَبَاؤُكُمْ وَأَبْنَاؤُكُمْ وَإِخْوَانُكُمْ وَأَزْوَاجُكُمْ وَعَشِيرَتُكُمْ وَأَمْوَالٌ اقْتَرَفْتُمُوهَا وَتِجَارَةٌ تَخْشَوْنَ كَسَادَهَا وَمَسَاكِنُ تَرْضَوْنَهَا أَحَبَّ إِلَيْكُمْ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَجِهَادٍ فِي سَبِيلِهِ فَتَرَبَّصُوا حَتَّى يَأْتِيَ اللَّهُ بِأَمْرِهِ وَاللَّهُ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الْفَاسِقِينَ

“Say if your parents, your children, your brethren, your wives, your tribe, the wealth you have acquired, a merchandise for which you fear that there would be no sale and dwellings you desire are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger and Jihad in His way, then wait till Allah brings His command, and Allah would not guide the wrong-doing folk." [TMQ 9: 24]

The word "Amrihi" (His command) in the verse means His punishment, and it serves as a warning to those who prefer these matters to the love of Allah, His Messenger and Jihad in His way. Hence Allah (swt) has classified and specified the values and warned against the violation of this order. Therefore, there is no excuse for the Muslim to place something at the top of the scale of values, different to the love of Allah, His Messenger and Jihad in His way, i.e. other than Islam and Jihad. Then the rest of the matters were put in their order according to what the Sharia'a rules had stated. Therefore, it would be forbidden for the Muslim to make his life at the top of the scale of values, then his wife and his children, then their wealth and well being, then Islam and Jihad, for if he did this, he would be sinful and would deserve the punishment of Allah (swt) as clearly outlined in the Ayah. A Muslim should therefore place Islam, Jihad in the way of Allah, the Da'awa to the Deen of Allah and making the word of Allah reign supreme at the top of his priorities i.e. at the top of the scale of values. Then the rest of the matter would also be placed, however, not according to the benefit obtained from them, but according to their order which Allah (swt) had predetermined and in relation to the other values.

So let us make sure that we fulfil the Amanah as it should be fulfilled and not betray it. Let us ensure that we do our best and not just the minimum. Let us take heed in the words of Allah (swt):

إِنَّ اللَّهَ اشْتَرَى مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَنْفُسَهُمْ وَأَمْوَالَهُمْ بِأَنَّ لَهُمُ الْجَنَّةَ

“Verily, Allâh has purchased of the believers their lives and their properties; for the price that theirs shall be the Paradise.” [TMQ 9:111]

Abu Ismael

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