نحمده و نصلي على رسوله الكريم

Allah Ta‘ala had sent the Ambiyaa (‘alaihimus salaam) into this world to convey and disseminate the divine message to the creation. It was not the duty of the Ambiyaa (‘alaihimus salaam) to ensure that each and every individual accepts the message. They will not be questioned in regard to those who were adamant in their kufr. They (the kuffaar) will be answerable for their own deviation.

Today, we find that tableegh workers are confronted by opponents who try to create obstacles in their path. This is not a new scenario. The Ambiyaa (‘alaihimus salaam) were also impeded in their work by infidels who created difficulties in their path. The kuffaar rejected the message of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). They stoned him, abused him, berated him and even plotted to assassinate him. But when the divine protection of Allah Ta‘ala is bestowed upon an individual, then all such efforts are rendered useless.

A nabi will neither conjure up any revelation of his own accord nor will he conceal any revelation. His duty is to convey, not to conceal. In the early stages of Islam, Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) invited the people to the oneness of Allah Ta‘ala.

The senior members of the Quraish clan approached Nabi’s (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) paternal uncle and protested, “Your nephew speaks ill of our idols. He maintains that they can do nothing and they do not have power of their own.”

The feebleness of an idol is such that even a dog can lifts its leg and urinate on it or a fly can sit on it, but it does not possess the capacity to chase either away. Despite their feebleness, helplessness and frailty, people still worship them and present their needs before them. This is utter ignorance.

Anyway, the idolaters put forth the following proposal to the uncle of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), “Instruct your nephew to stop criticising our idols. If he desires, we are prepared to get him married to the most beautiful women of our clans. If he desires wealth, we are prepared to grant him heaps of gold and if he desires power, then we will make him our king.”

Nabi’s (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) uncle informed Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) of the mushrikeen’s offer. Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) replied, “If they place the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left hand in order for me to stop (propagating), I shall not do so. I have been sent to this world for this purpose.”

Allah Ta‘ala is All-Knowing, All-Seeing and All-Hearing. (After the incident of Taa’if) Allah Ta‘ala dispatched the angel of the mountains to Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). The angel said, “I am in charge of these mountains. Allah Ta‘ala has sent me to inform you that if you so desire, I will destroy these people living between these two mountains.”

Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) replied, “I do not desire to destroy this nation. I have hope that if they do not accept Islam, then someone from their progeny will accept Islam.”

Nabi’s (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) purpose and objective in life was to convey the message of Allah Ta‘ala and not to be the cause of the destruction of a nation. Once, a group of people were berating and abusing Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). Their actions caused him grief and injury, but he supplicated to Allah Ta‘ala saying:

اللهم اهد قومي فإنهم لا يعلمون

O Allah! Guide my people for they know not.

The effort of Hadhrat Moulana Muhammad Ilyaas Sahib (rahimahullah) and the extreme ignorance in Mewaat

This is the spirit of Da’wat and Tableegh and this is the effort that Moulana Ilyaas (rahimahullah) had commenced in a place where the locals were Muslims, but no trace of Islam was found in them. They had Hindu names, followed Hindu rituals, plaited their hair and even resolved to idol-worshipping. In another village of the same locality, a musjid existed, but neither was the azaan called nor was salaah performed therein. In fact, the grounds were used as a grazing ground for the local livestock. In this locality and among such people did Moulana Ilyaas (rahimahullah) start the work of tableegh.

Moulana enquired from one person, “Who are the people of your village?”

He replied, “Muslims.”

Moulana then asked, “And who are the people of the next village?”

He replied, “Hindus.”

“Tell me,” asked Moulana, “What is the difference between the Muslims and the Hindus?”

“A qaadhi performs our nikaah and a pundit performs theirs.” This was the fundamental difference between Muslims and Hindus.

Moulana taught a person how to perform salaah. When he started performing salaah in his village, the local population gathered around him and curiously asked one another, “Why is this person going up and down? Sometimes he bows and sometimes he falls to the ground! He must be overcome by sorcery or some type of witchcraft!”

This was the deeni condition of the people. They did not have the ability to learn deen or establish madrasahs in their villages. Hence, Moulana used to send them out in jamaat for 40 days at a time.

Every jamaat had a miajee. He was the most learned person in the jamaat. He would know approximately one para of the Qur’aan and the other 10 people in the jamaat knew nothing. This miajee, during these 40 days, would teach them the Kalimah, Surah Faatihah, Surah Ikhlaas, Attahiyyaat, etc. Thus, the jamaat became a mobile madrasah. They also learnt how to perform wudhu, the correct manner of performing salaah, the correct recitation of the Qur’aan, the correct recitation of the Kalimah, a few surahs of the Qur’aan and all the du’aas associated with salaah. The importance of salaah settled in their hearts and when they returned to their villages, they made tableegh (propagated) among their families and encouraged them to start performing salaah. In this manner, the awareness and cognisance of deen began spreading amongst the people.

Another unique custom prevalent among these people was that at every 10 miles, a drum was permanently stationed. This was used to inform the people about a battle in one of the other villages. The first drum would be beaten followed by the second and then the third and so on, till all the villages were informed of the battle that had broken out. The villagers would then arm themselves with axes, swords, spears, sticks, etc. and rush headlong into the battlefield without even trying to ascertain who is right and who is wrong.

Every haraam and despicable action was found in their lives. Drinking, stealing, looting, hijacking, gambling, etc. was second nature to them. They did not even realise that these actions were contrary to the teachings of Islam. Even the British, who were ruling at that time, tried to gain a measure of control over them by appointing harsh and stern Muslim governors to rule over them, but they failed dismally in ‘taming’ these people. It was only through the blessings of tableegh that Allah Ta‘ala granted them the taufeeq (ability) to abandon their evil practices.

The extent of their ignorance can be gauged from the following incident: A blind miajee lived in one of the villages. The village folks used to bring their animals to him for slaughtering. This blind miajee never recited Bismillah when slaughtering, because it was his opinion that the Bismillah recited by his grandfather on the knife sufficed for every slaughter made thereafter and that he was using the same knife. On one occasion, the miajee began slaughtering with the blunt side of the blade. He made a few strokes and informed those who brought the animal that the slaughtering had been completed. One of them astonishingly asked the other, “Has the sheep been slaughtered?”

“Of course!” replied the second person.

“But I don’t see any blood,” protested the first.

“Sometimes,” explained the second, “it happens such that the blood comes out only after slaughtering.”

Hence, he released the legs of the sheep and it immediately sprang up and headed for the open fields. The person was amazed.

“This sheep has been given life again!”

They caught the sheep and went to the miajee explaining that he had to perform the slaughtering rites again as the sheep was gifted a second life. The miajee on this occasion held the knife correctly and began slaughtering. As the sheep began to bleat and kick, the miajee started swearing. Instead of reciting Bismillah and slaughtering the sheep, the miajee was now swearing and slaughtering the sheep! This was the state of their ignorance.

When Moulana Ilyaas (rahimahullah) commenced the effort of tableegh, strange accusations were levelled against him. Some said that he was an agent of the British, others labelled him as an agent of the C.I.D., while others called him an impostor and a charlatan. However, the truth always prevails!

In one village, Moulana established a madrasah and Moulana himself bore the expenses of running the madrasah and appointed himself as the ustaad. However, the hearts of the people were void of the zeal to acquire deeni ‘ilm (knowledge), hence nobody came to the madrasah. Therefore, Moulana began the effort of tableegh and sent the people out in jamaat.

Allah Ta‘ala showered His blessings on this noble effort in such a manner that the common message on the tongues of the masses was, “Come, let us go out for one chillah, two chillahs or three chillahs to learn deen.” (A chillah is a period of 40 days).

The spiritual benefit of coming out in jamaat was realised to such an extent that some people memorised the entire Qur’aan Shareef in those chillahs and many others abandoned their evil and shaitaani ways and practices. For example, a habitual drunkard, after going out for 40 days, abandoned this despicable practice. When he returned to his home environment and the urge arose to consume alcohol, he reasoned to himself, “I learnt, while I was in jamaat, that alcohol is impermissible. Hence, I will abstain from it.” Whereas, prior to going out in jamaat, it was a near impossible feat for him to leave out this practice.

Through the barkat of tableegh, deen spread among the people and they established madrasahs in different areas. They even sent their children to darul ulooms to study the Qur’aan, hadeeth and fiqh and thereby rectify their way of living.

Moulana Ilyaas (rahimahullah) strove for 25 years with the effort of tableegh in this area. A markaz (headquarters) was established in every district. The condition of the people was revolutionised to such an extent that when a report was taken from each district, the answers were as follows, “In our district, all the males, with the exception of three, are performing their salaah.”

In one area, notorious for its ongoing feuds, the report submitted was: “All the Muslims of this area are united and care for one another. No fights or arguments break out among us.”

In a third area, the report was: “Every mature person in this area is punctual with Tahajjud.”

Even the English and other non-believers had acknowledged the transformation of these people through the effort of tableegh. Once, a Muslim was caught for theft. The Hindu policeman who apprehended him, asked him whether he had gone out for a chillah! When this person replied in the negative, the Hindu policeman beat him till he promised to spend 40 days in jamaat.

On another occasion, a fight broke out between two villagers. One punched the other in the face and broke his tooth. The culprit thought to himself, “I have done a very terrible deed.”

He approached the miajee and asked, “What is the appropriate punishment.”

The miajee replied,

وَالسِّنَّ بِالسِّنِّ

“A tooth for a tooth.” (al-Maa’idah: 45)

Thus, the person went to the victim and instructed him, “I have broken your tooth. The punishment is that you should break the same tooth of mine, however you wish to.”

He then lay down and the other person grasped his tooth and pulled with all his strength, but it just would not break.

Hence, he went back to the miajee and asked, “How would it be if I forgave him?”

The miajee replied:

وَأَن تَعْفُوا أَقْرَبُ لِلتَّقْوَى

“Forgiveness is closer to Taqwa

[piety]).” (al-Baqarah: 237)

Thus, he forgave him.

This is the quality that is lacking in us: to acknowledge our errors and endeavour to rectify them. A great calamity that has befallen us is that we fail to admit our mistakes. We fail to recognise that we are committing a sin by trampling on the rights of others.

Once, I was walking through the fields with a farmer. He was pointing out the boundaries of his farm and that of his neighbours, when he sadly said, “Moulana! Haraam wealth has been decreed for me!”

“Why is that?” I asked, astonished.

“This is my farm and that is my neighbour’s farm,” he began explaining. “Whenever I need chana or sugar cane, I take from his farm and whenever he needs chana or sugar cane, he takes it from my farm, yet we both grow the same type of chana and sugar cane.”

He knows that this action of his is incorrect, yet he does not possess the fear of Allah Ta‘ala in his heart! He fails to understand that his actions are displeasing to Allah Ta‘ala and, in actual fact, the purpose of life is to gain the pleasure of Allah Ta‘ala. He feels that the only objective in life is to eat, drink and sleep similar to the lives of animals. He is unconcerned about injunctions like halaal and haraam, whereas Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) has mentioned,

كل لحم نبت بالحرام فالنار أولى به

Every piece of flesh nourished by haraam is deserving of the fire of Jahannum.

Nabi’s (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) instruction of tableegh and the Sahaabah’s (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) response

As discussed initially, the duty of the nabi was simply to convey the message of Allah Ta‘ala and Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), as well as all the other Ambiyaa (‘alaihimus salaam), discharged this duty most admirably.

It is recorded in the hadeeth that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) mentioned in his final sermon: “This is perhaps the last time that I shall be among you. My time for leaving this world is close. Have I conveyed the message of Allah Ta‘ala?” – هل بلّغت

The Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) unanimously replied, “Most certainly you have done so!”

Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) then said, “اللهم اشهد – O Allah! You be my witness.”

Thereafter, Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) gave the following instruction,

ألا فليبلغ الشاهد منكم الغائب

It is now the responsibility of those who learnt deen from me, to teach and convey it to others.

It is stated in the hadeeth that after this statement by Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) spread out to the four corners of the world disseminating the deen of Allah Ta‘ala. Their intention was never to return home. The desire of each and every one of them was to convey the message of deen to the remotest parts of the globe. Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) had entrusted upon the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) the responsibility of conveying this message, which they discharged with great zeal.

During the khilaafat of Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), Musailamah, the great liar and impostor, had become an obstacle in the progress of deen by claiming prophethood. Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) dispatched an army commanded by Hadhrat Khalid bin Waleed (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) to crush Musailamah, the great impostor. Allah Ta‘ala granted victory to Islam and Musailamah was defeated.

During the khilaafat of Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), 4 500 new musjids were constructed. In the month of Ramadhaan, Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) ensured that Taraaweeh Salaah was performed in each musjid. He instructed that the entire Qur’aan be completed in the Taraaweeh Salaah and he also instructed the commanders of each army to produce huffaaz among their soldiers. Hadhrat Sa’d bin Abi Waqqaas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was stationed in Kufa when he had received this instruction from Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu). Thus, he ensured during the day the soldiers engaged in jihad while at night they memorised the Qur’aan Shareef. At the end of the year, he sent a list to Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) comprising of the names of each soldier who had memorised the Qur’aan Shareef. The number totalled 200.

Hadhrat Abu Moosa Ash’ari (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was based in Egypt when he received the instruction from Ameer-ul-Mu’mineen. At the end of the year, 10 000 soldiers became huffaaz.

Hadhrat Uthmaan (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) used to complete the recitation of the entire Qur’aan Shareef in Witr Salaah.

Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), during his reign, accomplished great services to deen as well.

Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) used to teach hadeeth in Musjid-un-Nabawi. He would place his hand on the mimbar and say, “I have heard the inmate of this grave (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), saying…”

Hadhrat Ibnu Mas’ood (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) would weekly conduct classes in his home, teaching hadeeth to the people.

Hadhrat Sa’d bin Abi Waqqaas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was the governor of Kufa. He sent a request to Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) to send Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mas’ood (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) to Kufa to propagate deen among the people.

“Abdullah bin Mas’ood (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) is such a person, whom I am in need of because of his knowledge of deen,” pointed Hadhrat Umar (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). “However, I shall give preference to you over myself.”

Thus, Ibnu Mas’ood (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), accompanied by 1 500 students, was sent to Kufa. They dispersed all over Kufa and taught deen to the people. One taught in a madrasah, another in a field and another under the shade of a tree. In this manner, the entire populace of Kufa became enlightened with the knowledge of deen.

Imam Bukhaari (rahimahullah) compiled his kitaab, Bukhaari Shareef, over a period of 16 years. Before recording any hadeeth, Imam Sahib would use a miswaak, take ghusl (a bath), perform two rakaats of salaah and then write down the hadeeth. After the completion of the kitaab, Imam Sahib conducted classes to teach hadeeth. It is recorded that more than 100 000 students would sit in his gathering and Imam Sahib conducted the lesson without the aid of a loudspeaker!

Hafiz Hasan bin Munda (rahimahullah) strove continuously for 40 years researching and compiling ahaadeeth. Upon reaching any town, he would enquire the whereabouts of the local muhaddith and sit in his gathering listening and recording ahaadeeth. In this manner, he went from town to town, sitting in the gathering of one muhaddith to another, recording ahaadeeth. Upon his demise, he had left behind 40 trunks of kitaabs containing ahaadeeth which he had personally recorded.

Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) had entrusted the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) with the responsibility of spreading the deen of Allah Ta‘ala throughout the four corners of the world. Thus, from one generation to the next, there was a continued effort to convey and propagate deen.

Khwajah Mu’eenuddeen (rahimahullah) had travelled on foot from Chisht to Ajmer wrapped in a shawl resembling a dervish. En-route, he rested for a while at a certain spot. The king’s minister approached him and reprimanded him for sitting at that spot.

“This is the resting place for the king’s camel,” he roared.

“Very well,” replied Khwajah Sahib. “The king’s camel will sit here.”

After a short period, the king arrived and the camel sat down at that very same spot. When it was time to leave, the camel refused to get up! No matter what they tried, the camel would just not get up.

Meanwhile, the time for salaah had approached and Khwajah Sahib enquired if anyone had water for him to perform wudhu. Despite having the water, they refused to give it to him.

Khwajah Sahib peered through the doorway of the mandir (temple) located there and addressed the idol saying, “O idol! You are Allah Ta‘ala’s slave and I am also Allah Ta‘ala’s slave. These people have refused to give me any water. Hence, you fetch it for me.”

The idol went and filled an earthenware jug with water and placed it before Khwajah Sahib. The people were mystified at this event and wondered as to who this individual was who had subjugated their deity! Seeing this, many people accepted Islam.

When Khwajah Sahib set off for Delhi from Ajmer, the news spread like wildfire, without the medium of a radio, loudspeaker or newspaper, that the dervish is coming to Delhi. The people came out in their droves to catch a mere glimpse of Khwajah Sahib (rahimahullah). What was this power of attraction in Khwajah Sahib? It was the power of Allah Ta‘ala’s fear and the overwhelming love for Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). Khwajah Sahib settled in the village of a Hindu tribe. The villagers came and sat in his company and in this one gathering, over one thousand people accepted Islam.

Thereafter, hordes of people accepted Islam at the hands of Khwajah Sahib. From among them, how many must have become huffaaz, ulama, buzurgs, etc. and they as well must have spread and propagated deen to thousands of people.

When Moulana Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi (rahimahullah) had passed on, an individual who frequently saw Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) in his dream, asked Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), “What kind of a person is Moulana Gangohi (rahimahullah)?”

Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) replied, “He is such a person on whose one side will be Moulana Khaleel Ahmad Saharanpuri ((rahimahullah)) and on the other side Moulana Yahya ((rahimahullah)) and following them will be a countless number of Muslims. Moulana will take them all into Jannat.”

Allah Ta‘ala is going to question us on whether we have discharged our duty of conveying the deen of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) to His creation. Our punctuality on the five daily salaah only will not suffice. We will be asked regarding the effort made to make others punctual on the five daily salaah as well.

On the Day of Qiyaamah, the effort rendered for the service of deen will be scrutinised. The mansion that we had constructed in this world will not benefit us in the hereafter; the orchards that we had cultivated in this world will be to no avail in the hereafter. We will not be asked whether they had produced fruit or not and, if they did, was it of a superior or inferior quality. We will not be asked about the exquisite clothes that we had worn, but we will be asked concerning the efforts made to spread the deen of Allah Ta‘ala. Striving in this path (propagating deen) is the means of attaining closeness to Allah Ta‘ala.

We proclaim to possess unrivalled love for Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). It is easy to pay lip service, but the criterion or yardstick used to measure the extent of our love for Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) is the sacrifice for deen. How much did we sacrifice for the deen of Allah Ta‘ala? Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was stoned and beaten; at times he underwent such pangs of hunger that rocks were tied to his stomach to gain some relief. Alas, we have become so embroiled in the affairs of this world that we truly believe that our professions and businesses will grant us salvation. A lawyer feels that if his son follows in his profession, he will be successful. Only then will he be able to stand on his own two feet! A doctor has similar aspirations for his children, but no consideration is given towards the deen of Allah Ta‘ala that, first and foremost, our children must become good, practising Muslims.

This effort of tableegh is a great bounty bestowed by Allah Ta‘ala. Any individual, be he an intellectual or an illiterate, a government official or a street sweeper, a saint or a sinner, a local or a foreigner; all can participate in this effort. No one can shirk from this work by claiming incapability. Every individual should contribute according to his capacity.

If an individual is instructed to teach Bukhaari Shareef, he will have to be enrolled in a madrasah and thereafter toil for eight to 10 years before he acquires some potential to teach this kitaab. But the effort of conveying the deen of Allah Ta‘ala is incumbent upon every person. If we cannot spend some time by going out in the path of Allah Ta‘ala, then we should take part in the weekly gusht programmes and the daily ta’leem that take place in our musjid. This is an extremely simple method that we can adopt.

Importance of the sessions of ta’leem

The gatherings of ta’leem are extremely beneficial. We should never underestimate the importance of such gatherings.

Once, an elderly person (over 60 years old) sat in a ta’leem session that was revising the Du’aa-e-Qunoot. This person realised that instead of reciting,

وَنَشْكُرُكَ وَلا نَكْفُرُك

And we express to You our appreciation and we are not ungrateful to You

 he was reciting,

وَ لانَشْكُرُك وَنَكْفُرُك

And we do not express our gratitude to You and we are ungrateful to You.

He had incorrectly learnt this du’aa during his childhood and he had been reciting it incorrectly ever since! Now, what is the condition of all his past Witr Salaahs?

He cried profusely and said, “For how many years I was reciting the incorrect words in salaah.”

Hence, it is imperative for the young and old, the learned and the illiterate, the teacher and the student, the imam and the muqtadee to participate in these gatherings of ta’leem and revise with each other the masaa’il of salaah, its du’aas and surahs, so that mistakes can be rectified.

The dire need for the effort of tableegh becomes more apparent when we sit in the gatherings of ta’leem. Only then do we realise the common errors that are made in the recitation of the Qur’aan or performance of salaah. Sometimes, we discover that people cannot recite the kalimah correctly. Therefore, all and sundry should sit in the gatherings of ta’leem, be he an aalim or an ignorant person.

Another benefit of ta’leem is the elimination of the categorisation of classes of people, because a jamaat is generally made up of people from diverse backgrounds. We have the professional class and the illiterate, the affluent and the less privileged. We also find a difference in the spiritual outlook of the jamaat members; some are punctual with salaah whilst others are not. This group of people will travel together, eat together, stay together, reform themselves together and learn deen together. Automatically, a special bond and love is created in the hearts of the jamaat members and they will appreciate the roles of one another in society.

Some Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) were businessmen, while others were farmers. However, they did not strive only in their worldly occupations, but propagated deen as well. The businessmen played a great role in spreading Islam. They left the Arabian Peninsula and settled in foreign lands were they conducted business with the local people and propagated deen. Just on observing their noble character, people accepted Islam.

During the reign of Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), there was a group of Muslims residing in a Jewish village. Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) instructed them to leave that village. The seniors of that village approached Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) and pleaded: “Please do not take them away from our village. If you desire wealth, we will give it to you. If you require goods, we will give them to you. Whatever you require, we will make it over to you, but do not remove them from our village. Since their arrival, all vice and corruption has terminated. People do not deceive, rob, cheat, loot, fornicate, or even consume alcohol. This is only through the blessings of these people. Please, do not take them away.”

When Muslims reform their actions and lead their lives according to the laws of Allah Ta‘ala, then a unique and special noor (celestial light) is created within them. By merely sitting in their company, one remembers Allah Ta‘ala and the fear and love of Allah Ta‘ala fills your heart. So powerful is this noor, that the love for Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) is also increased within us.

In today’s society, irreligiousness is rife, books and magazines are written against Islam, and objections are levelled against the Qur’aan and hadeeth. Allah Ta‘ala, in His infinite mercy, has brought about this effort of tableegh that contains the solutions to all these fitnahs.

Need to acquire sound and correct knowledge

A great fitnah that has surfaced nowadays is the misunderstanding of religious terminology. We commonly hear people saying that this hadeeth is ‘dha’eef’ (weak). Until and unless we do not acquire the correct ‘ilm under the supervision of a qualified aalim, we will remain ignorant of the true understanding of such terminologies.

For example, one category of hadeeth is classified as ‘Ghareeb’, which literally means poor (in Urdu). A person unacquainted with this field will deduce that the hadeeth has come to beg because it is poor!

Similarly ‘Dha’eef’ literally means weak, but its technical meaning is different and the ulama-e-kiraam who have studied this science know its true meaning. The common laymen, on the other hand, are ignorant of it and they will continue to remain ignorant until they do not acquire this science via a qualified ustaad. Self-study will not automatically instil the correct understanding of Islamic jurisprudence in one’s heart.

Could there ever be anyone superior to Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)? Allah Ta‘ala brought Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) into His Divine presence and bestowed upon him the gift of salaah. Thereafter, Allah Ta‘ala sent Jibra’eel (‘alaihis salaam) to teach Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) how to perform salaah. This training period lasted for two days and Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) observed every detail meticulously.

Following upon this, if someone claims that he can understand the method of performing salaah by merely looking into the Qur’aan, then he is gravely mistaken. In fact, such a claim displays his stupidity and ignorance. Allah Ta‘ala mentions in the Qur’aan:

وَرَبَّكَ فَكَبِّرْ

“And say the takbeer”, (al-Muddath-thir: 3)

وَثِيَابَكَ فَطَهِّرْ

“And purify your clothes”, (al-Muddath-thir: 4)

فَوَلِّ وَجْهَكَ شَطْرَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ

“Face the qiblah”, (al-Baqarah: 149)

فَاقْرَءُوا مَا تَيَسَّرَ مِنَ الْقُرْآنِ

“Then read the Qur’aan”, (al-Muzzammil: 20)

ارْكَعُوا وَاسْجُدُوا

“Make ruku and sajdah”. (al-Hajj: 77)

All the aspects of salaah are covered in these aayaat, but if you have not observed someone perform salaah, then you will not know how to perform salaah. Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) did not instruct the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) to learn the performance of salaah by studying the Qur’aan, but gave the following instruction to them:

صلوا كما رأيتموني أصلي

Perform salaah as you see me performing salaah.

The different aspects of salaah are mentioned at different places of the Qur’aan, not only at one particular place. Although the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) understood Arabic just as well as Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), it was only Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) who could relate the different verses on the performance of salaah. Therefore, we realise that self-study creates confusion and uncertainty in understanding deen.

Once, a Sahaabi came into the musjid, performed salaah and presented himself before Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) instructed him:

قم فصل فإنك لم تصل

Get up and perform your salaah, for you have not performed your salaah.

He repeated the salaah and presented himself once again before Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) again instructed him to repeat his salaah. This transpired for a third time and the Sahaabi said, “O Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)! This is the only way I know how to perform salaah.”

Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) thereafter taught this Sahaabi the correct method of performing salaah, from the beginning to the end. This was despite the fact that this Sahaabi, as well as the other Sahaabah, were Arabs and the Arabic language was their mother tongue, but he needed to be taught the correct manner of performing salaah!

Whichever profession or occupation we wish to pursue, we will have to learn it under the tutorship of an expert in that field, be it farming, tailoring, medicine, etc.

Similarly, understanding the Qur’aan requires the tutorship of an aalim. Had it been a simple task, the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) would have learnt it themselves and not under the guidance of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). The Sahaabah studied under the guidance of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), the taabi’een under the guidance of the Sahaabah, the tab-’e-taabi’een from the taabi’een and so forth. The knowledge of deen cannot be learnt through self-study, but only under the guidance of a qualified aalim.

The effort of tableegh is a simple and effective way of learning deen while continuing with our different professions. The Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) successfully combined the worldly life with that of the aakhirah. They conducted their business and other professions, but continued to propagate deen to all and sundry. Whomever they met, even while conducting their business, they would say that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) had said this or Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) had prohibited us from this. The teachings of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) were embedded in their hearts and because of this, Allah Ta‘ala endowed them with unique strength.

The strength of a Muslim

In Basra, the Muslim army was engaged in a battle with the Christian emperor. Hadhrat ‘Amr ibnul ‘Aas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), who was the commander of the Muslim army, sent a request for additional reinforcements. The Ameer-ul-Mu’mineen consulted with his advisors and decided to dispatch four thousand soldiers. One of the advisors objected and put forth a motion that only four people be sent instead (the advisor being one of them). He reasoned that each believer’s worth was equivalent to a thousand non-believers.

The Ameer-ul-Mu’mineen accepted his advice and sent these four people only. On reaching Basra, the advisor sought out the king and presented himself before him. The king was amazed that this person had come in his royal court despite the presence of such a huge army and all his personal attendants.

The advisor asked the king: “Why are you waging a war with the Muslims?”

“They are of no benefit,” answered the king.

“What do you mean?” asked the advisor, puzzled.

“There is no rain. Had they been of any benefit, they would have caused the rain to fall,” replied the king.

“Causing the rain to fall is the work of Allah Ta‘ala, not of me and you,” replied the advisor.

The advisor then made wudhu and after performing two rakaats of Salaat-ul-Haajah, made the following supplication, “O Allah! These people are Your enemies, the enemies of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), the enemies of the Muslims and the enemies of Islam. O Allah! Through Your grace, allow the rain to fall so that we may be saved from this oppression.”

The advisor had barely passed his hands over his face when a cloud appeared and abundant rain fell.

The advisor said, “It is now raining!”

Hence, the king withdrew his forces. A few days had elapsed when the king decided to order his armies to attack the Muslims. The advisor made his way to the king and said, “O Christian king! Why are you going back on your promise?”

The king was gripped with such fear that he got up and started to run away! The advisor ran after him and the king headed for a river and attempted to dive in. The advisor caught hold of his legs and dragged him out from the river. This entire scene was played out in front of the king’s army and his attendants, but no one had the courage to come to the king’s rescue. Allah Ta‘ala had blessed the Muslims with this level of awe and fear!

It is recorded in the hadeeth that two fears cannot be contained in one heart: the fear of Allah Ta‘ala and the fear of the creation. If we inculcate the fear of Allah Ta‘ala in our hearts, then we will not fear the creation and if we fear the creation, then we cannot fear the Creator!

Once, a person put forth the following question: “If we examine the Muslims of the past, we find that although they were few in number and ill-equipped, they were always successful in the battlefield against opponents who were far superior in number and armoury. Why is this?”

I replied, “Every individual strives to attain his objective and goal. The Muslims’ objective was to strive for the advancement of deen. Consequently, they rushed headlong into the battlefield seeking to destroy the enemy whereas, the non-Muslims’ objective was to save and secure their own lives, hence they retreated from the battlefield.”

Today, the appeal that is being made is not to attack the enemy-lines in the battlefields, but to go from town to town propagating and spreading the deen of Allah Ta‘ala; be it for 40 days or five days. Every person should sacrifice his time according to his ability and capacity. This sacrifice is not a supreme type of sacrifice and we should not think that by coming out in the path of Allah Ta‘ala, who would look after our business, our families and our wealth? The Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) used to go out in the path of Allah Ta‘ala for jihad, without having the slightest concern about the affairs of the homes and their businesses. However, if the occasion of jihad did not arise, they would then ponder and reflect over their businesses and families and would thus seek permission to return home.

But no sooner had they reached their localities, the call would be made to protect the Islamic kingdom and they would set out once again in the path of Allah Ta‘ala. So long as the primary concern was the protection of deen, Allah Ta‘ala had safeguarded their personal affairs, but when the objectives were changed or altered, Allah Ta‘ala had allowed the enemy to gain the upper hand!

It is recorded in the hadeeth that if an individual performs two rakaats of salaah before embarking on a journey, Allah Ta‘ala will safeguard his life and wealth, and if he performs two rakaats of salaah on reaching his destination, Allah Ta‘ala will protect him from the evils of that place.

Our focus and reliance is upon the ‘lock’. We lock up our homes and place the key safely in our pockets and do not even consider performing two rakaats of salaah. I do not suggest that we adopt a careless attitude, but together with locking up our homes, we should also implement the way of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). The real Protector is Allah Ta‘ala. If He wishes, the lock will serve its purpose, otherwise not!

Those who cannot go out in jamaat should render assistance to those who are going out in jamaat. This assistance can be in the form of financial help, security checks on his house and family, etc. In assisting them, we will also share in the rewards.

In a certain locality, in South Africa, there are three doctors who rotate in going out in jamaat every four months. One goes out and the other two carry on with the practice and at the end of the month, the profits are divided into three parts and shared equally. On his return, another doctor will go out for four months and the same system will be implemented. In this manner, service to deen is rendered, as well as continuing with our daily chores. Now, if this type of arrangement – I do not say that the exact arrangement should be implemented – or a similar type can be put into practice, it will certainly prove to be extremely beneficial. Service to deen, as well as providing for our families, can be done simultaneously.

Tremendous benefit is gained in the effort of tableegh. In London, I had the opportunity of hearing very attentively to a bayaan delivered by one of the jamaat brothers. Although he was not an aalim, he quoted approximately two hundred ahaadeeth.

He did not quote the Arabic, but merely said, “We have heard from the ulama that it is mentioned in the hadeeth that….”

The ahaadeeth he had quoted were correctly explained despite him being a non-aalim. When we sit in the gatherings of ta’leem and listen diligently to the kitaab-reading, we will learn various ahaadeeth and will also be able to explain them correctly.

We can also assist a jamaat that has come to our locality by providing bedding for them or fetching water for them or rendering whatever assistance we can. Nobody can say that he cannot serve deen in any capacity. Everyone should serve deen in his or her own capacity and in accordance with his or her own circumstances. May Allah Ta‘ala grant us all the taufeeq. Aameen.