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."

Monday, 6 August 2012

The Early Maqami Effort

BeforeI had been introduced to the effort of dakwah and tabligh, my married life generally confined me at home or workplace. If I was not at home, I would be in the office. And if I was not in the office, I would be at home with my family. I was not the outgoing type, though occasionally I would hang around with my college mates. But my involvement with the effort of dakwah and tabligh, was a life changing experience for me. I started to divide my time between home, workplace and the masjid.

In the early days of my involvement in the effort of dakwah and tabligh, I felt like a lonely helpless stranger lost in a city where all its inhabitants were trying very hard to chase him out, away from the city boundaries. As if, on everyone's forehead, there was a sticker sign that said, "Be like us, or else get out!" At other times, I felt like I was at war alone against the rest of the world, with only stick and stones as my weapons of protection. In those days, I was constantly reminded by Allah Ta'ala about the weakness and helplessness of man, particularly my own self.

The presence of the first jamaat from the Kuala Lumpur Markaz for three days at our surau/masjid had created a phenomena among the people in my mohalla (neighbourhood). All of a sudden, Tablighi Jamaat apperead as the main subject of discussion between two people or a group or an assembly of people in the neighbourhood. I'm sure there were many positive responds in the discussions that took place among the people in our mohalla. Unfortunately, I could only say what I had experienced in the surau/masjid environment were simply tantamount to tribulation against me. What I'm about to write is my fragile feeling at that point of time. Thus, I might be misjudging certain people and perhaps one may argue that I could have been more objective of the whole situation back then, but I am trying to be honest in writing about what I felt at that point of time.

Initially, I have difficulty in accepting the fact that not all Muslims are readily receptive to the effort of dakwah and tabligh. I started to share my concern and convey the work of dakwah and tabligh to whoever that I could in our mohalla from Maghrib to Esha', when I could only managed to find the time during weekdays.   However, there were a particular intimidating group of people at the surau that stood above the rest of the other worshipers. Sometimes, usually after Esha'', I would be surrounded by 5-6 people asking me bullying questions. To much of my annoyance, their questions and queries always tend to brand me belonging to a separate sect of Muslims. I was very disheartened and dejected for not being able to provide them with appropriate answers. They then started to poke fun at me, jesting and laughing at my disabilities.  One of them who was an ordinary man without indepth religious knowledge, even went to the extent of carrying a thick kitaab around in jeering  manner, looking always in scoffing mood to prove me wrong and refute whatever that I said. Perhaps they felt threaten with my presence and sharing of thoughts. Perhaps they felt it was not appropriate for me, as a newcomer to the surau, to take on them in Deeni matters. Perhaps I was rushing them to embrace the effort of dakwah and tabligh too soon. It followed that for almost three years, I felt a high degree of humiliation and embarrassment in our own surau and mohallaImam Al was fortunate to be spared with such tribulation.

Before my wife embraced the effort of dakwah and tabligh, I returned home to find no comfort to the trials and tribulations that I face in our mohalla. Once, I laid sleeplessly in bed feeling devastated about an argument that I had earlier with one person from the group. If such unfortunate thing happens to me now, I could always rely on comforting words from my wife. But it was different then. At that point of time, I feared things would turn for worse if I talked to her. Before I knew it, I found myself driving my car hoping that I could still meet the person in the vicinity of the surau. Indeed I found him still having chai (tea) at the nearby tea-stall with his group. I briskly extended words of apologies to him and returned home. It was the only way that I could find peace  within myself.

Alhamdulillah, all praise only be to Allah, in those trying times I also found peace and reconciliation when I always found the answers, solutions and justifications to my troubles in the most incredible circumstances. Sometimes I found an answer in fadha'il ta'leem, sometimes I got a solution in bayaan, and at other times I obtained justifications in circles of muzakarah. Truly Allah is Most Merciful, Most Gracious.

I learnt in the later phase of my life that is not so creditable to work in the the favourable and conducive environment as in the unfavourable and adverse conditions along with safeguarding our principles and trend. The ability and capability of those who engage in the work of dakwah and tabligh is best judged in such situations. That is why Hadhrat Maulana Inam'ul Hassan rahimahullah used to say time and again that we should not be worried by the disfavour and opposition because Allah is the doer. When Allah Ta'ala comes to doing, even idols would divulge his oneness and the voice of truth would rise from the establishment of untruth.

The jamaat going out in the path of Allah to different regions in the world do not come across same environment - somewhere an opposition to the work of dakwah and tabligh is experienced while at some other places even stay in the masjid is not allowed. If they are to work under such adverse circumstances, the first and foremost advice is to be lenient as far as possible. If the opponent stick to his rigid attitude then silence should be adopted, a strict attitude on our part, controversy or argument in response is harmful in this path. Therefore once Hadhrat Maulana Inam'ul Hassan rahimahullah said, "Explain your view politely while in the path of Allah, avoid rough talks. Such an attitude is to be adopted with the brothers that they accept the work. They are to be persuaded politely so that they may not get bewildered. In case they become rigid, nicely wind up the conversation. Not that you too become rigid. Don't become rigid, but persuade politely. Rasulullah sallalaahu alayhi wassalam had also been enjoined by Allah to be polite."

May Allah Ta'ala inculcate mutual affection in the entire Ummah.

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