The Path

Hadhrat Abdullah bin Umar radiyalaahu anhuma had mentioned, "Whoever wishes to follow the way of another, should follow the ways of those who have passed away. These were the companions of Muhammad sallalaahu alayhi wassalam, who were the best people of this Ummah. Their hearts were most pious, their knowledge was deepest and they were least pretentious. They were people whom Allah Ta'ala had chosen to be companions of His Nabi sallalaahu alayhi wassalam and for the transmission of His Deen. You people should emulate their character and mannerisms. By the Rabb of the Kaabah! The Sahabah radiyalaahu anhum of Rasulullah sallalaahu alayhi wassalam were correctly guided."

Saturday, 14 April 2012

My Tablighi Brother

Despite the early skirmish of events that I faced in relation to the effort of dakwah and tabligh, it had taken me ages to get to know the effort in a little bit deeper. Alhamdulillah, by the grace of Allah, I seemed to be reminded again and again that the ultimate responsibility of a Muslim is to firmly uphold the work of dakwah and tabligh. At the fragile time when I started to question my own purpose of life, Allah Ta'ala had sent me "full-blown reminders" from a single individual. The said individual is my own elder brother whom I briefly mentioned earlier.

He is the fifth from seven elder brothers that I have. Between them all, he is the wildest, the boldest and the loudest. He was rough, tough and unruly. Only my father (may Allah fill his grave with noor) could tame him. 

When he talks people listen to him. And there is a good chance that he will dominate any gathering whenever he talks. In those early days, the young ones in our family including me, liked to listen to him. At times he cracked jokes that made us laughed, at times he just loved to scare and terrify us and at other times he reminded us of the events in the past. Most of the time, we listened to him until the wee hour of the night. One blessed day, he joined his childhood friends in a jamaat of 3 days in the path of Allah.

Our beloved Rasulullah sallalaahu alayhi wassalam told us to migrate (in the path of Allah) and hold firmly to Islam; for so long as Jihad (striving hard in the path of Allah) exists, migration also would not end. Just as Jihad will continue till the Last Day, so will migration; which includes, leaving one's home for the sake of spreading, learning, or protecting Islam. Rasulullah sallalaahu alayhi wassalam also told us that migration is of two types. First, migration is to give up evils. Second, migration is to go towards Allah (His Cause) and His Messenger (by leaving your home). Migration will continue till repentance will be acceptable; and repentance will be acceptable until the time that the sun does not rise rise from the West. When the sun will rise from the West, the state of the heart (Imaan or Kufr) will be sealed; and the (prior) deeds of people will suffice (either for eternal success or failure).

He returned from the 3 days khuruuj in the path of Allah a changed man. The first person to notice the change was my mother and how glad and happy she was. Thereafter, began a total transformation of his life. 

Nevertheless habits once formed become second nature, which does not change. The Persian saying that, "The mountain can move, but not the habit." This saying is also gathered from another hadith, "You may believe if you hear that a mountain has moved from its place, but do not believe if you are told that the habits of somebody have changed." Habits do not change, but the relationship of habits changes. In a similar manner, my brother's nature is such that he is inclined to anger, bold and loud in his conversations, but whereas formerly his anger, boldness and loudness led him to vain or idle talks and insulting or mocking others, it is directed against violation of Allah Ta'ala's commandments and urging and pushing others towards rectification of imaan and aamal by the effort of dakwah and tabligh.

Needless to say, he started to continuously bombard everyone in our family, close or distant relatives, young and old, in the boldest and loudest of tashkeel that I had ever witnessed. It is said that a gem-grade diamonds exists through a process, from mining to cutting and polish. If diamonds are located in the diamond-rich density fraction with the help of X-ray flourescence, my brother centred and focused his immediate effort within the family members. And he is like a miner who uses TNT to blast layers of stones to get to the diamond ore block.

He used to say to me, "During one of my longer khuruuj in the path of Allah, I specifically mentioned all the names of our family members one by one, for hidayah from Allah Ta'ala. And somehow, your name was being mentioned first." Alhamdulillah, today all of our family members and most of our relatives are in close proximity with the effort of dakwah and tabligh.

May Allah Ta'ala grant us all istiqama (straightforwardness) in the noble effort of dakwah and tabligh and may Allah Ta'ala covers us all with mercy and bounty.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Different Opinions On The Effort of Dakwah and Tabligh

"In a certain country no one had ever seen an elephant. From India the first elephant was brought to this country. It was placed in a dark building where the eyes could not see the dark coloured elephant. Many viewers came along to see the animal. They were allowed to touch the elephant and then draw conclusions as to what an elephant was. According to which part of the elephant they had touched, they drew their conclusions by analogy and in this manner each one had a different opinion. The one who touched the ear‑lobes of the elephant exclaimed: “The elephant was like a huge fan.” The one who touched its back exclaimed: “The elephant is like a platform.” The one who touched its leg exclaimed: “No, you are all wrong. This is like a pillar.” The one who touched the trunk of the elephant said: “According to my opinion, this elephant is long and hollow within.” So, in this manner all of them had different versions of an elephant.

Maulana Rumi (R.A.) says that if in their hands they had a lamp, all these differences of opinion would have disappeared. “If every one of them had a lamp in his hand, they would all have been safe from differing.”

These days there are much differences of opinion in this world regarding the concept of Allah, Messengership, Prophethood, the aim and object of life on earth and the resurrection. Many people, in this darkened world, independent of the light of revelation try to understand the links between the worldly life and the life of the hereafter. They try to understand the relationship between the Creator and His creation simply and only by using reasoning powers, or who try to understand these things through the reason of him who does not rely on revelation; They are all like those mentioned in this story. Not one of them will be able to reach the truth. One blind man, whether he tries to tread the path of his own accord or through following another blind one, in both cases he will be treading towards destruction and be deprived of reaching the required destination. If a traveller and guide, are blind ‑ no matter how many they may be, the sum total will still be blindness. Hence, to understand the reality of things, logic and reason alone is not enough. Light of revelation is also required. In the story all those who touched the elephant were rational beings, only light was missing."

The above writings are excerpts of MA‑AARIF‑E‑MATHNAVI: A Commentary of the Mathnavi of Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi (R.A) By Maulana Hakim Muhammad Akhtar Publisher: Idara Isha’at-e-Diniyat (P) Ltd

Perhaps one may claim he knew all about dakwah and tabligh effort inside out by merely hearing something about the effort from someone else. From time to time, I've met scores of people who tended to give judgement on the noble effort by just looking at the people in the jamaat, or might have spoken a few sentences with them, or have a friend, a family member or relative who is involved with the effort of dakwah and tabligh. Of those people, they are of two types - they either like the effort or shun it.

As for me, I know I could not learn how to swim by merely reading a swimming guide book, or listening to a talk by an Olympic gold medalist, or by joining as a member of Watermanship Club, or even after watching all the rerun episodes of Man from Atlantis. I have to simply go in the water to be able to swim.
Likewise, if I sat at a chai stall just outside a football stadium, sipping a cup of tea, I would never know for certain what transpires inside the stadium. When the stadium suddenly erupted with shouts, cheers and loud applause, I may assume the home team scored a goal. But it would only be my assumption and imagination. Perhaps it is not a goal scored, only a penalty kick is being awarded. Even if it is a goal, I would not be able to tell who scored the goal or how the goal was scored. My position is not the same as someone who is actually in the stadium watching the game.

If only we could feel the sweetness and ecstasy of hidayah from Allah that is opening wide, waiting for the Ummah thorough the blessed effort of dakwah and tabligh - that is, unless and until we are willing to spend some time ourselves in khuruuj in the path of Allah and forego whatever that is dear to us in order to attain closeness to Allah.