Saturday, February 11, 2017

Review of Book: Methodology of the Quran to Carry Dawah by Sheikh Hafez Saleh

In this concise work, Sheikh Haafidh Saleh (r) defines what the Qur’an is in Islam and the angles that past ‘ulemaa viewed it from, whether from the perspective of balaaghah, fiqh, theology, etc. Due to the presence/living under the Islamic state in the past, it was irrelevant for these ‘ulemaa to view the Makki suwar and phase of the seerah from the legislative manner of establishing a state. This would have merely been theoretical in previous centuries, which is why it is rare to find reference to the Quranic methodology and blueprint for societal change today. As our current reality exhibits, this has now shifted from being theory to becoming a necessity.

Before explaining the Quranic methodology, the sheikh explains some of the details with regards as to why different opinions may exist amongst Muslims e.g. some texts may carry more than one meaning. Another important subject within this is when he defines the valid scope of difference of opinion in Islam and gives examples for the fact that there is no differing on qati’ (definite) matters.

It is imperative to highlight that the seerah itself is understood by way of the Qur’an, according to the asbaab al-nuzul (circumstances of revelation) and order of the revelation of the suwar (chapters). The sheikh focuses on the Makki suwar, as they formed the methodology of societal change for the establishment of a state. According to his research, 86 suwar were revealed in the Makki phase of the life of the Prophet (ﷺ) and 28 in the Madani phase. 

These 86 suwar contain the following subject matters:
• the basis of the Islamic ‘aqeedah 
• the intellectual struggle with other/kufr thoughts
• the political struggle with the leaders of society
• exposing and opposing the corrupt societal relationships and customs
• building the Islamic personality and 
• stories/parables to make firm the hearts of the Muslims when enduring hardship in the path of the da’wah

The ayaat pertaining to these matters is given, with further examples and clarification of the details e.g. the evidences for the articles of imaan.

As commanded in these suwar, the Prophet (ﷺ) undertook both the intellectual and political struggles with society and the ruling elite. The ‘aqaa’id (beliefs) of the mushrikeen, yahood and nasaara are refuted and the Qurayshi rulers attacked, in the battle between haqq and baatil. If we look at the first surah to be revealed, today some may quote the first ayah of Surah al ‘Alaq to highlight the importance of reading/gaining knowledge, but do not mention the latter part of the surah where the command to not follow Abu Jahl is present. Similarly, the next few suwar to be revealed further defined the Islamic thoughts, exposed the corrupt relationships/customs in society and also attacked both Abu Lahab and al Waleed ibn al Mugheerah. The sheikh also clarifies the Islamic stance of possessing political awareness of the local/regional and international situations, which was the circumstance of revelation of Surah al Rum.

This is the profound way that we should comprehend and learn the Qur’an, and it is what we should all be characterised with. Understanding it from the angle of the Prophet’ (ﷺ)’s da’wah is of utmost importance today, as he (ﷺ) was the vessel for revelation. 

I cannot recommend this book enough, as it puts the Qur’an and seerah into the true context of the battle between imaan and kufr. The Sahabah drank from the fountain of Islam alone, which allowed them as a collective to become true statesmen, conveying Islam to the rest of mankind under the flag of the shahaadah. May Allah (swt) allow us to become true carriers of the da’wah like them, and unite us with them in Jannah. 

(For those who are interested, this book is available to purchase on www.maktabaislamia.com and on Amazon)

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