نحمده و نصلي على رسوله الكريم
Duty of preaching
Allah Ta‘ala says:
يَا أَيُّهَا الرَّسُولُ بَلِّغْ مَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِن رَّبِّكَ وَإِن لَّمْ تَفْعَلْ فَمَا بَلَّغْتَ رِسَالَتَهُ وَاللَّـهُ يَعْصِمُكَ مِنَ النَّاسِ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الْكَافِرِينَ
“O messenger! Convey whatever has been revealed to you from your Sustainer. If you do not do so then you have not conveyed the message. And Allah Ta‘ala will protect you from the people. Indeed Allah Ta‘ala will not guide those who reject.” (al-Maa’idah: 67)
The instruction contained in this verse should be studied and examined very carefully. Allah Ta‘ala is commanding Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) to convey to the people whatever has been revealed to him. Failing to do so will result in him not discharging the responsibility of prophethood. The position of prophethood is not something that is acquired through tertiary studies or through a campaign, such as politics, where a person canvasses for votes to get the position of prophethood. No! Allah Ta‘ala bestows prophethood upon His chosen individual.
اللَّـهُ أَعْلَمُ حَيْثُ يَجْعَلُ رِسَالَتَهُ
“Allah Ta‘ala knows best where He places His prophethood.” (al-An’aam: 124)
The position of prophethood is not dependent upon the efforts of individuals or opinions of people. Allah Ta‘ala Himself confers upon the Ambiyaa (‘alaihimus salaam) the qualities, capabilities, strength and courage to discharge this mammoth task. And if any of the Ambiyaa (‘alaihimus salaam) discharged only a portion of this responsibility, then this will imply that Allah Ta‘ala Himself had incorrectly chosen this specific nabi. Na’oozubillah (Allah forbid)! Allah’s choices and decisions are impeccable and flawless. It was impossible for any Nabi to conceal a portion of the revelation or to fabricate something and attribute it to Allah Ta‘ala. Allah Ta‘ala has declared in the Qur’aan Shareef:
وَلَوْ تَقَوَّلَ عَلَيْنَا بَعْضَ الْأَقَاوِيلِ ﴿٤٤﴾ لَأَخَذْنَا مِنْهُ بِالْيَمِينِ ﴿٤٥﴾ ثُمَّ لَقَطَعْنَا مِنْهُ الْوَتِينَ
“If he (Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)) has to fabricate something and attribute it to Us, We shall seize him by his right hand. Thereafter, We shall cut his jugular vein.” (al-Haaqqah: 44-46)
Thus, never could a Nabi fabricate anything and attribute it to Allah Ta‘ala.
Assuming a Nabi did fabricate or conceal a part of the revelation, what could possibly be the underlying reasons for it? One possible reason could be the fear of harm inflicted by the people. Another could be the rejection of the message from the people, which would result in the total waste of the toil and effort made by the Nabi. Allah Ta‘ala Himself has cleared these conjectures in the Qur’aan Shareef:
وَاللَّـهُ يَعْصِمُكَ مِنَ النَّاسِ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الْكَافِرِينَ
“And Allah will protect you from the people. Indeed Allah Ta‘ala will not guide those who reject.” (al-Maa’idah: 67)
Sacrifice of Hadhrat Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam)
All the Ambiyaa (‘alaihimus salaam) faced these two fears. For example, Hadhrat Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) underwent great difficulties. His enemies catapulted him headlong into a raging fire, but Allah Ta‘ala, through His grace, commanded the fire to become cool and a source of comfort for Hadhrat Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam).
Thereafter, he had to leave his hometown and migrate with his family to another land. During their travels, they had to pass through the kingdom of a despotic and cruel king who enslaved the wife of Hadhrat Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam). Hadhrat Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) was a stranger in that land, thus having no acquaintances. As a result, he could not plead for assistance from anyone. However, Allah Ta‘ala honoured the respected wife of Hadhrat Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) and rescued her from the clutches of the king and thereafter blessed Hadhrat Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) with a child (Hadhrat Isma’eel (‘alaihis salaam)).
Allah Ta‘ala then tested Hadhrat Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) further by instructing him to leave his wife and infant child in a deserted and barren piece of land. When Hadhrat Ebrahim’s (‘alaihis salaam) respected wife asked him if he was intending to leave them there in that barren land, he replied in the affirmative.
She then asked, “Why are you doing this?” Hadhrat Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) remained silent.
“Is this the command of Allah Ta‘ala?” she asked. Hadhrat Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) replied in the affirmative.
“Allah Ta‘ala will then suffice for us as He is the Sustainer,” she confidently said to Hadhrat Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam).
Hadhrat Isma’eel (‘alaihis salaam) rubbed his feet on the ground, as he was in a state of distress with severe thirst, and Allah Ta‘ala, through His grace, caused the water of Zam-Zam to gush forth.
When Hadhrat Isma’eel (‘alaihis salaam) reached a tender age, he helped his father Hadhrat Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) to reconstruct the Ka’bah. Allah Ta‘ala then tested Hadhrat Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) by instructing him to sacrifice Hadhrat Isma’eel (‘alaihis salaam). Hadhrat Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) thus proceeded to slaughter his son, but the knife would just not cut. Allah Ta‘ala through His grace, substituted the life of Hadhrat Isma’eel (‘alaihis salaam) with that of a ram from Jannat. This (command to slaughter Isma’eel (‘alaihis salaam)) was another sacrifice.
Then there was also the time when the enemy had prepared a blazing fire and hurled Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) into it. However, the fire turned into a garden and a source of peace. Allah Ta‘ala says:
قُلْنَا يَا نَارُ كُونِي بَرْدًا وَسَلَامًا عَلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ
“We said, ‘O fire! Become cool and peaceful upon Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam).’” (al-Ambiyaa: 69)
Sacrifice of Hadhrat Moosa (‘alaihis salaam)
Hadhrat Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) was born in an era wherein the king (Fir’oun) ordered that all newborn male children be killed. Fir’oun was informed by his fortune tellers that a male child, born from among the Bani Isra’eel would dethrone him. Hence, he ordered every male child to be killed. This heinous decree led to the slaughter of 70 000 male children. In order to save Hadhrat Moosa (‘alaihis salaam), his mother put him in a basket and placed it in a river where there was no protector or saviour. However, this was all done through the command of Allah Ta‘ala. Allah Ta‘ala protected Hadhrat Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) by ensuring that the basket did not sink. Furthermore, that very same basket reached the palace of Fir’oun, whose fear was the cause for Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) being placed in the basket. Allah Ta‘ala, the controller of all hearts, instilled love for Hadhrat Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) in the hearts of the very same malicious Fir’oun and his wife.
لَا تَقْتُلُوهُ عَسَى أَن يَنفَعَنَا أَوْ نَتَّخِذَهُ وَلَدًا
“Do not kill him”, (Fir’oun’s wife pleaded to him) “Perhaps he will be a source of benefit to us or we can even adopt him.” (al-Qasas: 9)
Allah Ta‘ala, through His grace, saved Hadhrat Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) from the killing spree of Fir’oun’s army and placed him in the lap of Fir’oun.
Hadhrat Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) refused to be breastfed by any woman and Hadhrat Moosa’s (‘alaihis salaam) sister, who worked for Fir’oun’s wife, offered thus, “I know of someone who will breastfeed this child and nurture him.” This woman happened to be her mother. She was immediately summoned to the royal palace and instructed to breastfeed Hadhrat Moosa (‘alaihis salaam). She agreed to feed him on condition that she feeds him at her home, to which Fir’oun acceded.
Hence, Hadhrat Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) was reared by his own mother and thereafter, at the designated period, he was conferred with prophethood.
Hadhrat Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) was ordered by Allah Ta‘ala to invite Fir’oun to the oneness of Allah Ta‘ala, but Fir’oun rejected the da’wat (invitation) of Hadhrat Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) and even tried to oppress Hadhrat Moosa (‘alaihis salaam). Allah Ta‘ala once again, through His grace, protected Hadhrat Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) just as He had protected the other Ambiyaa (‘alaihimus salaam) of the past from the injustices of their people.
Everything is in the control of Allah Ta‘ala. Whatever He desires will transpire. No good can be attained nor any evil warded off without the permission of Allah Ta‘ala. A knife has the quality of cutting something, but only if Allah Ta‘ala has ordained it, otherwise, it is of no benefit. That is the reason why Hadhrat Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) could not sacrifice Hadhrat Isma’eel (‘alaihis salaam). Similarly, fire has the effect of burning and destroying, but only if Allah Ta‘ala wills it so, otherwise it will become a source of comfort and enjoyment, like it had become for Hadhrat Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam).
Allah Ta‘ala has enumerated many incidents in the Holy Qur’aan explaining how He had protected the Ambiyaa (‘alaihimus salaam). Hadhrat Yunus (‘alaihis salaam) was travelling by ship when he was thrown overboard and swallowed by an enormous fish, which descended to the depths of the ocean and tried to digest Hadhrat Yunus (‘alaihis salaam), but was unable to do so. Hence, it realised that it had swallowed something that was not food, but a trust from Allah Ta‘ala. Hadhrat Yunus (‘alaihis salaam) supplicated to Allah Ta‘ala and made the following du’aa:
لَّا إِلَـهَ إِلَّا أَنتَ سُبْحَانَكَ إِنِّي كُنتُ مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ
“There is no deity besides You, Glory be to You! Indeed I was from among the wrongdoers.” (al-Ambiyaa: 87)
Eventually, the fish resurfaced and emptied the contents, which was Hadhrat Yunus (‘alaihis salaam), from its belly.
Hadhrat Nuh (‘alaihis salaam) was commanded by Allah Ta‘ala to construct an ark and board it with his followers. Thereafter, the punishment of Allah Ta‘ala was unleashed on the disbelievers in the form of torrential floods; and everything on the surface of the earth was destroyed.
وَاسْتَوَتْ عَلَى الْجُودِيِّ وَقِيلَ بُعْدًا لِّلْقَوْمِ الظَّالِمِينَ
“And the ship settled on Mount Judy and it was said, ‘Distant from the mercy of Allah Ta‘ala are the disbelievers.’” (Hud: 44)
Prior to the floods, the Hajr-e-Aswad was taken to a mountain called Ameen and left there for safety.
The floods could not destroy Hadhrat Nuh (‘alaihis salaam); the river could not drown Hadhrat Moosa (‘alaihis salaam); the knife could not cut Hadhrat Isma’eel (‘alaihis salaam); and the fish could not digest Hadhrat Yunus (‘alaihis salaam); the reason being that everything is subject to the order of Allah Ta‘ala. To this end, Allah Ta‘ala has explicitly declared in the Qur’aan:
وَاللَّـهُ يَعْصِمُكَ مِنَ النَّاسِ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الْكَافِرِينَ
“And Allah will protect you from the people. Certainly Allah will not guide those who reject.” (al-Maa’idah: 67)
Hadhrat Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) was born in the house of Aazar, who worshiped those very same idols that he carved and sold to the people. Notwithstanding this, Hadhrat Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) invited his father and the people to worship the One and Only Allah Ta‘ala and reject associating any partners with Him.
It has been reported that when Hadhrat Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) was instructed by his father to sell these idols in the marketplace, he would tie a string around its neck and drag them through the streets announcing, “Come and purchase that which will destroy your Imaan.”
While dragging them through the streets, the noses of the idols would fall off or the eyes would be destroyed or the ears broken off.
Hadhrat Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) would also ensure that he dragged them through the mud and muck that accumulated on the sides of the streets. He would return to his father lamenting, “O Father, these idols are not selling!”
“My son,” his father would affectionately reply, “how do you expect them to be of any value when you destroy them in this manner?” He would then painstakingly recarve and repair the damage. (I could not substantially verify this incident from any kitaab. – compiler)
When the day of the festival dawned, the people gathered at a pre-selected venue to celebrate the auspicious day. Hadhrat Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) did not attend the festival, but went to the temple where he destroyed all the idols with an axe and then placed the axe around the neck of the largest idol.
When the people returned from their celebration, they were shocked to discover what had happened.
قَالُوا مَن فَعَلَ هَـذَا بِآلِهَتِنَا إِنَّهُ لَمِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ
“Who did this to our idols? Indeed he is from among the wrongdoers,” they cried. (al-Ambiyaa: 59)
“We have a youngster called Ebrahim,” some replied. “He is known to carry out this type of actions. Call him and interrogate him.”
Thus, they summoned Hadhrat Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) and questioned him. He replied:
قَالَ بَلْ فَعَلَهُ كَبِيرُهُمْ هَـذَا فَاسْأَلُوهُمْ إِن كَانُوا يَنطِقُونَ
“This big idol is guilty of the damage. Ask it if it can speak,” (al-Ambiyaa: 63)
لَقَدْ عَلِمْتَ مَا هَـؤُلَاءِ يَنطِقُونَ
“You know that these idols cannot speak.” (al-Ambiyaa: 65)
This was their angry retort to Hadhrat Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam).
“Can something,’ asked Hadhrat Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam), “that is unable to speak, be worthy of being worshipped?”
The people however, in their stupor, rejected Hadhrat Ebrahim’s (‘alaihis salaam) message and advice. Thus, we see that during his lifetime, Hadhrat Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) underwent great difficulties, as did the other Ambiyaa (‘alaihimus salaam).
A saw was placed on the head of one of the Ambiyaa (‘alaihimus salaam) and he was sawed in two.
Sacrifice of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)
Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) also endured great difficulties. When the aayat:
وَأَنذِرْ عَشِيرَتَكَ الْأَقْرَبِينَ
“And warn your close relatives.” (ash-Shu’araa: 214)
was revealed, Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) ascended Mount Safa and called out to his people by their names and the various tribes they belonged to. When they had gathered at the foot of the mountain, Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) with great tact asked them: “Tell me! If I were to inform you that an enemy is preparing to launch an attack on you from behind this mountain and you should safeguard yourselves by taking this particular route to safety, will you believe me?”
“Most certainly!” they unanimously replied.
They had personally witnessed the pure and blessed actions of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) for the past 40 years and knew that he neither uttered any lie, nor did he ever deceive any person.
Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) then continued, “After this worldly life there is another life. Its loss is the greatest loss and its gain is the greatest gain.”
No sooner had Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) uttered these words, the gathering mocked and insulted him and the person who was most vociferous in his condemnation was the paternal uncle of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), Abu Lahab.
Thus began the era of great hardship and striving for Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) invited various tribes and individuals to Islam saying,
يا أيها الناس قولوا لا إله إلا الله تفلحوا
O people! Say ‘laa ilaaha illallah’ and you will be successful.
Abu Lahab would follow Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) remarking, “O people! Do not listen to him. Whatever he utters is false.”
Despite his uncle’s opposition, Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) continued to invite the people to the oneness of Allah Ta‘ala and His divine assistance was always with him. Remember, never did any nabi abandon his responsibility of inviting towards Allah Ta‘ala because of the attitude and opposition that they encountered, but they strove relentlessly in their quest, even if they lost their lives in the process.
When Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) began his invitation towards the oneness of Allah Ta‘ala, his family members and the local community began ostracising him and stopping him from spreading the message. They even attempted bribing him!
They approached his paternal uncle and explained to him, “Your nephew desires that we reject our idols, whereas we have been worshipping them for generations. Inform him that if he desires, we will appoint him as our leader and if he wishes, we will grant him all the wealth he wants. We are even prepared to arrange his marriage to the most beautiful damsels of our tribe, on condition he discards his preaching of worshipping one Allah.”
When Nabi’s (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) uncle conveyed the message, Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) replied, “O my uncle! If they place the moon in my one hand and the sun in the other, then too, I will not stop inviting towards the oneness of Allah Ta‘ala. Inform them that I do not want any money or reward from them. I have come only to convey the message from my Sustainer.”
Mindset of a daa’ee (preacher)
The glaring lesson learnt from this incident is that when people are invited towards the deen of Allah Ta‘ala and they reject, this should not stop us from continuing our mission. “This is madness,” or “This was for the era of the camel-ages and it doesn’t apply to us nowadays,” are the sarcastic statements they will make, but we must persist in our effort and ignore their comments.
The duty of the nabi was not to force his teachings upon the people, but to simply convey the message. Accepting or rejecting is not the responsibility of the nabi. It is recorded in the ahaadeeth that some Ambiyaa (‘alaihimus salaam), on the Day of Reckoning, will not even have a single ummati (follower) in their ranks. This is not an indication of the deficiency of the nabi in any way, or rejection of their efforts from Allah Ta‘ala. No! They are still the chosen and special servants of Allah Ta‘ala.
If we appoint a sentinel to guard our property and apprehend any would-be-thief, and by the morning no one was caught, will we say that he is not worthy of receiving his wage on account of not apprehending anyone? No, certainly not! He had fulfilled his responsibilities.
In short, one should continue striving, together with the continuous remembrance of Allah Ta‘ala. Furthermore, one should firmly believe that Allah Ta‘ala alone is the Doer and the Helper. Do not fear opposition, for Allah Ta‘ala is the Protector.
Once, while on a journey, Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) stopped at a certain place to rest. Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) rested under the shade of a tree and hung his sword on a branch of the tree. Meanwhile, a bedouin came up to Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), took hold of the sword and exclaimed, “Tell me, O Muhammad ((sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)), who will save you from me?”
With total calmness, Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) replied, “Allah will protect me.”
Merely hearing these words of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) caused the bedouin’s body to shiver, thus causing the sword to fall from his hands.
Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) then took hold of the sword and asked him, “O enemy of Allah! Now, tell me, who will protect you?”
His only reply was, “There is no one to protect me now.”
When the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) learnt of what was transpiring, they rushed over to Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). Some wanted to kill the bedouin while others wanted to do something else.
Seeing this, Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) addressed the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum), “He has not murdered anybody. He only threatened to kill me. It was only his intention to kill, but he did not kill.” Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) then forgave him.
This should be the mindset of a person coming out in the path of Allah Ta‘ala (tableegh). If we go out with the correct understanding, then we will find peace in every aspect of our lives, so much so, that even if we encounter any difficulty or harm while we are out in jamaat, we will immediately understand that this is the favour of Allah Ta‘ala upon us. Just as soiled clothing is struck on the washing stone to cleanse it, Allah Ta‘ala wishes to clean us of the sins that we committed, by subjecting us to some form of dunyawi (worldly) difficulty, so that we turn our gaze to Allah Ta‘ala and repent for our sins. Thus, when we appear in the divine court of Allah Ta‘ala there will be no reckoning upon us.
When coming out in the path of Allah Ta‘ala, one must not think that it is a form of financial benefit since there will be not much expenses incurred. Our aim and objective should be to try to establish the progress of deen. With this in mind, we will not bemoan the financial sacrifices made because we had no desire to accumulate wealth.
Abdullah bin Huzaafah Sulami (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) and the Christian ruler
Once Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) dispatched Hadhrat Abdullah bin Huzaafah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) with a jamaat (group) of 10 people as envoys to a Christian king who thereafter imprisoned them. This violated the general principle whereby envoys, in that era, were respectfully received and not incarcerated. After a few days, the king summoned Hadhrat Abdullah bin Huzaafah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu). He offered Hadhrat Abdullah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) half his kingdom if he forsook Islam and accepted Christianity.
Hadhrat Abdullah bin Huzaafah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) angrily replied, “لا حول ولا قوة إلا بالله – laa howla wa laa quwwata illaa billah! Your kingdom is not worth forsaking Islam for.”
“Very well. Then prostrate before me and I will give you half of my kingdom.”
“I lower my forehead for none but Allah Ta‘ala,” replied Hadhrat Abdullah bin Huzaafah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) defiantly.
The king ordered a huge blazing fire to be prepared and a cauldron of water be placed on it. Thereafter, he instructed that a prisoner (not from among the envoys) be thrown into it. He then turned to Hadhrat Abdullah bin Huzaafah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) and said, “Prostrate before me or you will meet the same end.”
Hadhrat Abdullah bin Huzaafah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) calmly replied, “Never. You may do as you desire, but I will not prostrate before you.”
Thus, the order was given to throw Hadhrat Abdullah bin Huzaafah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) into the cauldron of boiling water. As the guards were leading him away, Hadhrat Abdullah bin Huzaafah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) began crying. Instantly, this incident was relayed to the king who ordered him to be brought back.
“Did you cry because you have come to your senses and you are now ready to prostrate before me?”
“Absolutely not!” was the spontaneous reply by Hadhrat Abdullah bin Huzaafah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu).
“Then why were you crying?” asked the king, baffled. “Was it because of your wife and children?”
Hadhrat Abdullah bin Huzaafah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) replied in the negative.
“Is it because of the pain that you are going to suffer?”
Hadhrat Abdullah bin Huzaafah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) again replied in the negative.
“Then why did you cry?” asked the king.
“Today,” explained Hadhrat Abdullah bin Huzaafah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), “I have the opportunity to sacrifice my life for Islam. I am crying because it is a pity that I have only one life. I wish that I had 1000 such lives to sacrifice for Islam.”
When a person embarks on a journey of tableegh seeking the pleasure of Allah Ta‘ala, then Allah Ta‘ala blesses him with extraordinary courage. He is spreading the message of Islam, thus he is blessed with the conviction that Allah Ta‘ala’s unseen assistance is with him.
“Very well,” relented the king. “If you kiss my forehead, then I will release you.”
“Will you release my companions as well?” asked Hadhrat Abdullah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu).
The king agreed to this request. So he kissed his forehead and all were released. When the envoys returned to Madinah and related the entire incident to Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) he in turn kissed the forehead of Hadhrat Abdullah bin Huzaafah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu).
Striving in the path of Allah Ta‘ala creates the true understanding of the system of Allah Ta‘ala. If we then encounter any difficulty, we will immediately realise that the Ambiyaa (‘alaihimus salaam) underwent untold hardships and difficulties. Hence, our suffering is in actual fact a blessing from Allah Ta‘ala in that He has chosen us to undergo and bear with patience this difficulty.
Endurance of our pious predecessors
One of our senior elders, Hadhrat Shaikh-ul-Hind (rahimahullah), used to spend the entire night in Ramadhaan listening to the recitation of the Qur’aan in salaah. On one occasion, his feet became swollen because of this excessive standing in salaah. However, Shaikh-ul-Hind (rahimahullah) became ecstatic and proclaimed, “O Allah! All praise be to You that You have afforded me the opportunity to practise upon a sunnat.”
Nabi’s (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) feet used to also swell because of the lengthy salaah performed during the night. Therefore, if any calamity befalls us, we should bear it with patience and accept that it is required for the benefit and progress of deen. After all, difficulties are experienced for dunyawi (worldly) benefit too.
Imam Ahmad bin Hambal (rahimahullah) endured great torture and calamities. Daily, he used to be lashed 100 times and, with each strike of the whip, he used to say (to the person meting out the punishment), “May Allah Ta‘ala forgive you.”
When he was released from prison, his son noticed that Imam Sahib used to supplicate daily, on behalf of a certain individual.
“Who is that person whom you always make du’aa for?” asked his son curiously.
“A drunkard,” was the even more surprising reply from the great imam.
“Why do you make du’aa for him?” asked his son, bewildered.
“While I was in prison,” explained the great imam, “this person advised me that the lashes meted out to him on account of his crime did not deter him from abandoning his evil habit. Hence, he told me that it should not happen that I, on account of my punishment, discard my responsibility of speaking out the truth. This statement of his encouraged me to bear the difficulty and remain steadfast in my actions. This is the reason why I continuously make du’aa for him.”
Imam Maalik (rahimahullah) also underwent great torture and punishment. He was shackled and lashed very severely. On one occasion, his shoulder was dislocated. However, he mounted his horse and rode through the streets announcing, “I am Maalik bin Anas. Whosoever has meted this punishment to me is forgiven and I instruct that no one should seek any retribution on my behalf.”
The ruler of that time had sought a reprisal for Imam Maalik (rahimahullah). When Imam Sahib learnt of this, he confronted the governor and said, “This person did not harm you. This matter was between him and me. I have forgiven him. Who are you to seek retaliation on my behalf?”
This was the condition of our pious predecessors. When a person journeys for the sake of Allah Ta‘ala, he is blessed with astonishing courage and self-determination.
Reason for the Muslims’ victory
Once, somebody posed the following question, “When we page through the annals of Islamic history, we find that the Muslims, although few in number and ill-equipped, overpowered their enemies despite their strength in number and arms. What was the reason for this?”
“Have you not yet understood the reason, although it is glaringly evident why they were victorious?” I asked.
“No! I cannot understand the reason,” he said, puzzled.
“When a Muslim goes out in jihad, his objective is to be slain in the path of Allah Ta‘ala and drink from the goblet of martyrdom. Hence, every mujaahid (warrior) strives to penetrate the enemy lines so that he can achieve his desired objective. The kaafir’s (disbeliever’s) objective on the other hand, is to save his life at all costs, even if it means abandoning the battlefield. This is the reason why the Muslims were victorious and why the kuffaar fled the battlefield in total defeat.”
An Iranian king named Maahan Armani had assembled with an army of two million people to attack and defeat the Muslims, while Khalid bin Waleed (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) had set out with merely 100 horsemen to engage in dialogue and ascertain the king’s reason for the declaration of war. When Hadhrat Khalid bin Waleed (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) confronted the king, the king noticed that no fear was apparent on his face, and this angered him greatly. Hence, he instructed his commanders to attack and kill the Muslim regiment.
On hearing this announcement Hadhrat Khalid bin Waleed (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), turned to his companions and said, “Do not look over your shoulders at one another. Our next meeting will be at the Howdh-e-Kauthar.” (i.e. We shall fight till we meet our end.)
Hadhrat Khalid bin Waleed (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) then drew out his sword and the companions followed suit. The joy and ecstasy that emanated from their faces was the exact opposite of what the king expected. Their expressions conveyed the message that they had finally discovered their ultimate aim and goal.
This had such an impact on the hearts of the enemy that the king humiliatingly said, “I was only joking. I never really intended to attack you.”
Purpose in life
Thus, the real aim in life is to sacrifice whatever possessions we have for the deen of Allah Ta‘ala and not to amass wealth, fame and fortune. Sacrificing for the deen of Allah Ta‘ala should be our fervent desire and goal. My advice is that we should create this mindset that we must patiently endure whatever difficulties befall us; aspiring to gain the pleasure of Allah Ta‘ala and the progress of His deen. Additionally, we should endeavour sincerely to change our lives of luxury, fashion and futile practices.
Mankind is the best of creation, and the believer holds an even more special status in the eyes of Allah Ta‘ala. Thus, his primary purpose of creation was not to graze sheep and cattle, clean their dung and feed them fodder. Will he be fulfilling the purpose of his creation only through these actions? Did Allah Ta‘ala create you only to graze cows? No! Allah Ta‘ala has created you to serve His deen, lead your life according to the sunnat of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), learn the Qur’aan, teach the Qur’aan and spread the message of deen throughout the four corners of the world.
If we need to attend to these worldly activities for the benefit of deen, then there is no harm in it, but to make these actions the objectives of our lives is a deception. This fallacious reasoning needs to be rectified. We have not been created for the sole purpose of advancing in trade and farming. Yes, we will pursue these matters, but according to our needs and requirements.
Once, someone from Calcutta asked me, “Why do you prevent people from participating in sports and other harmless activities? Do we not have a right to engage in these activities?”
I explained, “Brother, ponder for a minute over the purpose of your creation. I will explain this through an example. A certain village is about to be annihilated by the enemy and, in order to save the people, someone is dispatched with a lorry or a truck to load the people and take them to safety. Before he reaches the village, he sees a few youngsters playing hockey or cricket, and he thinks to himself, ‘Don’t I also have a right to indulge in these amusements?’ What will we tell him?
“We will say, ‘Your duty was to take these people to a place of safety, not to play cricket!’ Similarly, Allah Ta‘ala has sent us here to save others and ourselves from the fire of Jahannum. This is the purpose of our creation and we must strive to achieve this purpose.”
The Qur’aan, hadeeth, tafseer, tableegh, etc., are taught and practised upon so that we obtain and comprehend the true purpose of our creation. We have not been created solely to breed animals, engage in trade and construct monumental buildings. We have been created to learn deen, practise deen and teach others deen. Every other facet of life, be it the businesses, farms, houses, cars, etc. are to be compliant to the orders of Allah Ta‘ala, and not the other way around.
الدنيا خلقت لكم وأنتم خلقتم للآخرة
Indeed the world has been created for you and you have been created for the aakhirah