Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The dangers of looking for the angels amongst men

There are some who look to the Da’wah carrier and the necessary qualities needed in him in an idealistic and unreal way. So they see the criteria for being a good Da’wah carrier as absolute knowledge, immense depth, eloquent speech and the like rather than looking at what it means to be a carrier of the Islamic call to liberate mankind. There is a huge difference in placing perfection as a criteria and holding perfection as an ideal.

The one who places perfection as the criteria, would see it unachievable in himself and in those around him, it would lead him to drown in his own weaknesses and be overcome by the shortcomings of others rather than being a fire that extinguishes the corruption around him and lights the path towards salvation. He would focus on the trivialities and become obsessed by minutia.

If we look to what the Da’wah necessitates this would point to the correct criteria for this is the standard that Allah (swt) ordered us to achieve. He (swt) didn't make it an individual obligation upon us to become the best intellectuals, mujtahideen or the best writers. He (swt) ordered us to resume the Islamic way of life by establishing the Islamic state and all this entails. This obligation translates into our lives as individuals as doing as much as we can to achieve the results in the Da’wah. So the criteria must be viewed from this angle, those who have many barriers to achieving the results would not constitute a good Da’wah carrier. For example those with the problems of pride and arrogance would not be able to achieve the results for they would not be able to see past their own shortcomings and errors. Thus their Da’wah for them would always be right regardless of the reality, they would not contemplate about their own errors which would end in either them achieving what they think are results which in fact would be sporadic attempts or they would produce people who reflect themselves and those who don't match the standard of having the basis for the Islamic personality.

Another example would be those who carry defeatism, this would be an obstacle in achieving the results because the world would be too big for them so they would remain closed away from it, overcautious about delivering the message to the extent that they would end up not delivering at all or undertaking half hearted actions.

Other examples of the major barriers to achieving the results would be the interests being the centre of ones life rather than the Da’wah, dependence in thinking and vagueness in the delivering the call.

If the interests were at the centre of ones life, he would live for them and not for the Da’wah and Islam which would make him one who would be laid back in the heat of the battle, detached from the urgency of the situation and complacent at the butchering of the Ummah by the Kuffar. His actions for the Da’wah would be nominal and not real, he would not achieve the results because he would not even be seeking them.

If the Da’wah was the centre point of ones life but he was dependent in his thinking, he would not be able to build the mentality of others because the concepts that he would seemingly carry would be expressions and words of others and not his own thoughts. So when asked about his concepts he would look for the reply of others rather than have his own reply because he hasn't adopted the ideas as his own. Independence in thinking doesn't necessitate that he understands every concept to its ultimate depth or that he can quote the books of Marx, Hagel, the Pythagoreans, Stoics or the Epicurean’s, rather it means that he is convinced of the idea as his own.

Someone who proceeds with vagueness in delivering the call would not achieve the results because he would not be clear in what he is trying to achieve, an example of this type of person is someone who would make the discussion with others one way only rather than looking at their reality, what is needed in them and how to achieve this in a rational manner. This barrier would mean that someone would deliver the Da’wah with no focus and direction even though he may possess the determination and will. So whilst thinking deeply about the adoption of the concepts of the role of the mind, qada wal qadr, revival and decline he would not think deeply about the people he was discussing with, their reality, background, concepts, motivation and how to change that in the best way.

Therefore the criteria for the good Da’wah carrier is that he has no barriers between him and achieving the result. It is important to realise this does not mean that the strive for perfection in the heart of the Muslim is dissipated, on the contrary if the Da’wah carrier was one of this standard he would look forwards and desire to be like the Prophet (saw) and the Sahaba, he would yearn for the fragrance of Jannah and the pleasure of Allah, would be cautious of the path of Shaytan and would be careful never to invoke the anger of Allah (swt). The correct way to view perfection would be something we strive for and continually aim for, knowing that absolute perfection is impossible for us. This realisation in our minds would make us reflective upon our weaknesses in mentality and behaviour and seriously work to change them. Hence even those who are the best Da’wah carriers on earth would continuously develop. We must realise the difference between continual ascendance and someone with barriers.

May Allah (swt) enable us to strengthen our personalities and work to achieve the establishment of his deen in the best manner.

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