Inviting people to Islam and endeavor for its victory is the duty of the believers.
Allah has created human being and guided them by sending His way of life ‘Islam’ through Messengers:
“ Say, Guidance of Allah is the only true Guidance”(Quran 6 :71). “ Truly, the way of life to Allah is Islam” ( Quran 3 :19 ) .
Those who accept ‘ Islam’ as their way of life, they have a duty to invite people to Islam. Allah Orders:
“ Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good teaching”( Quran 16 :125 ).
Those who accept Islam and become Muslim, they need to follow Islam as a complete way of life. Allah orders : “ Believers ! Enter Islam completely”( Quran 2 :208).
Calling people to Islam and strive hard for victory of Islam is compulsory for Muslims: Allah says :
“ Who speaks better than one who invites people to Allah, acts righteously and says, ‘ I am a Muslim’ ( Quran 41 : 33)”.
“ Have Faith in Allah and His Messenger and strive hard for His cause ( Islam) with your wealth and your lives. That is better for you, if you understand” ( Quran 61 :11).
Individual and collective effort to call and guide people to Islam by the believers shall be accompanied with doing good deed and avoiding evil and commanding others alike. Allah has stated these characteristics of true believers in the Quran :“ Believers have Faith in Allah and the Last Day. They command people to follow good, prohibit others from committing evil and compete with one another in doing good deed. They are in the rank of the righteous”( Quran 3 :114 ). “ Why do not some people from each group of the believers seek to become specialists in the way of life (Din) and after completing their studies, guide their nation so that they may be careful?” ( Quran 9 :122).
Allah promised great reward for those who accept Islam, invite people to Islam, do righteous work, avoid evil, command others to do good and stop evil , and work hard for making Islam victorious. Allah says : “Those who believe and do righteous deeds- we will surely remove from them their misdeeds and will surely reward them to the best of what they used to do” ( Quran 29 : 7 ). “ Convey good news to those who believe and do good deed”( Quran 2 :25 ). “ Let there be a group among you who invite others to do good deed, Command them what is right, and forbid the wrong. These people will have eternal peace”(Quran 3:104 ). Prophet (pbuh) said :“ Whoever calls to guidance will have, a reward similar to that of those who follow it”( Muslim 2674).
Neglecting duty of inviting people to Islam and lack of initiatives for the cause of Allah ( Islam ) by a believer is a major sin and punishable. Allah says : “ Surely, those who conceal the clear proof and the guidance that we have sent down, after we have shown them clearly in the Book; they are cursed by Allah and the cursers” ( Quran 2 :159 ).
Resources for calling people to Islam and making it victorious: Allah ordered people to follow His Way of life ‘Islam”. He has revealed the Quran as a Guidance for people to live on ‘Islam’. Allah says : “ Indeed this Quran guides to that which is most suitable and gives good tidings to the believers who do righteous deeds that they will have a great reward” (Quran 17 :9). Muhammad (pbuh) was chosen by Allah to invite and guide people on Islam through the Quran. He was appointed to demonstrate the Quran through his life and is recognized as a lamp spreading light of Islam. Allah says :“ O Prophet, We have sent you as a witness , a bearer of good news, a warner, and as one who invites to Allah by His permission and as a lamp spreading light”(Quran33:45,46). He was a living Quran and demonstrated the Quran through his life as a ‘ Role Model’ for people to follow. After his death when asked about his life, Ayesha (his wife) said : “ His character was the Quran” ( Muslim).
Therefore, The Quran and the Practical Model of the Quran (life of Muhammad , pbuh) are the two resources that the believers must use for calling people to Islam and making it victorious. Allah has given wisdom, wealth, and a life full of energy to the believers to work for the cause of Allah by using these two resources. Allah says :“True believers are those who believe in Allah and His Messenger and then do not doubt in their belief. They endeavor with their wealth and their lives for the cause of Allah”( Quran 49:15).
Planning for establishing Islam :
Plan, Schedule and Procedure for inviting people to Islam and engaging them in activities to make Islam victorious is essential for success. It is so important that Allah has assumed one of His 99 Noble Name as ‘ Makir’ ( The planner) and declared that He is the best of planners. Some of the references from the Quran about planning by Allah are as follows : “ Allah is the best of Planners” (3 : 54). “ Certainly, people who lived before devised plans, but Allah is the Master of all plans”( Quran 13 : 42).
“ They ( unbelievers ) make evil plans, but Allah too plans, and Allah’s plans are the best” ( Quran 8 : 30 ). “Surely My plan is strong “ ( Quran 7 :183).
“Allah is swifter in planning” ( Quran 10 :2 1).
“They ( unbelievers) planned a plan, and we(Allah) planned a plan, without their knowledge”( Quran 27 :50).
To understand the message of the above verses we must be aware that Allah does not need to plan anything. Whatever He wants, it just happens by His Command without any effort. Through these verses , He wants to teach the believers that planning for doing anything is His Way and they must do so for success at their work. Therefore, the believers are required to act according to the lessons in the verses and are as follows :
Plan before you do anything.
Make all efforts to prepare the best plan to achieve the objectives for what the plan is made.
Make sure that your plan is strong enough to overcome evil plan of those who are opposed to Islam.
Do not be lethargic in planning nor show any weakness in executing the plan. Be as faster as possible.
Maintain secrecy of strategic plan from enemy of Islam.
* Plan and procedure for establishing Islam is so detailed in the Quran and hadith that it is not possible to present it in a chapter of a book. Therefore, we will only discuss here few basic principles on the subject for further pursual from the Quran and teachings of Prophet (pbuh) by the believers :
a) The foundation of the plan, schedule and procedure for this task shall be based on clear proof from the Quran and Prophet’s (pbuh) life. Allah Orders the Prophet (pbuh) to confirm this : “ Say, this is my way. I and all my follower invite you to Allah on evidence clear as the seeing with one’s eyes”(Quran12 :108). b) Based on basic principles set in the Quran and Sunnah, best plan and strategy shall be prepared to meet the challenges of every situation and every age by research by the Intellectuals of Muslim Nation. Research on everything that Allah has created in the universe will aid in preparing best plan and will help to make use of everything in the universe for the welfare of the people. This will also help to strengthening the faith in Allah by understanding His Signs. Therefore, steps towards action should start only after deep study and planning with intelligence as follows :
– Study , think and then prepare plan. – Plan to develop a habit of ‘Deep Thinking’ in the believers in every affair. Allah says: “ Surely in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alteration of night and day, and the ships which sails through the sea with that which benefits people, and the rain which Allah sends down from the sky to revive the dead earth, in the creatures of all kind He has scattered in the earth, in the change of the wind, and the clouds controlled between the sky and the earth, are indeed Signs for the nations engaged in deep thinking” ( Quran 2 : 164). – plan to teach the Quran and wisdom and then develop a habit in the believers for making use of intelligence in everything that they deduce through deep thinking : “Allah has revealed to you the Book and wisdom” ( Quran 4 :113 ).” Teach them the Book and wisdom”( Quran 2 :129). “ Thus, Allah makes His Signs to you so that you might use intelligence”( Quran 2 :242 ).
– The wisdom achieved as above shall be applied for guiding people to the right path of life ‘Islam’, establish Islam and teach to benefit out of it. Allah says : “ Invite to the path of your Lord through wisdom and good advice and argue with them in the best manner”( Quran 16 :125). * Wisdom of the believers shall be built on the foundation of the Quran. Knowledge of the Quran is the means of the believers in inviting people to Islam. All Prophets used the Book of Allah in inviting and guiding people on the religion of Allah. Teach people and develop habit in them to search their need from the Quran. Allah has stated that everything mankind needs is in the Quran: “ We did not leave anything out of these Book”( Quran 6 : 38). * Introduce Islam to the people in a way that they can easily follow it . Allah says : “ Allah desires ease for you; He does not desire difficulty for you” ( Quran 2:185 ). “ Allah does not impose on any soul a responsibility beyond its capacity” ( Quran 2 : 286). Prophet (pbuh) implemented above directives of Allah in establishing Islam. He said : “ Allah has sent me to teach and to make things easy” ( Bukhari ). He ordered : “ Facilitate things to people, do not make it hard for them, give them good tidings and do not make them run away ( from Islam)” (Bukhari – book of knowledge ). Unfortunately , nowadays we see some ignorant preachers do not follow this guidance of Allah and His Messenger (pbuh). Recently, a friend told me that a new convert Muslim was asked to do so many things at the start which are not a must in Islam. He left Islam by saying he is unable to do so many things. * Believers need to focus and take up effective plan to guide people on the right path of life, make people righteous, inspire them to do good deed and save them from wrongdoing. This is a prime duty of the believers . Allah has repeatedly ordered this. He elevates the rank of the believers to the best of creatures by righteous deed : “ Those who have faith and do righteous deeds, they are the best of creatures” ( Quran 98:7).Only righteous people can lead the world on the road of peace and progress. Therefore, Allah has decided guiding people to Faith and Righteousness as the key characteristic of the believers: “ They believe in Allah and the Last Day. They command people to follow good and forbid the wrong. They compete with one another in doing good deeds. They are in the rank of the righteous” ( Quran 3:114).
* Believers should educate people about Islam and allow them to decide to accept or reject Islam freely. Allah does not allow to force anyone to accept His religion. Allah says :
“ There is no compulsion in acceptance of religion” (Quran 2 :25). “Say, truth comes from your lord. Let people have faith or disbelieve as they wished”( Quran18:29).
Sequence of planning and scheduling activities for preaching and establishing Islam : Any plan and action for preaching and establishing Islam in any age and place by individuals and organizations shall follow the sequence set by Allah in the Quran and implemented by His Messenger Muhammad (pbuh). The Quran was revealed in total twenty-three years’ time. 86 out of 114 chapters of the Quran was revealed in first thirteen years in Makkah and is known as ‘Makki Surah’. Remaining 28 chapters were revealed in last ten years of the revelation in Madinah and is known as ‘ Madani Surah’. These two distinct divisions and contents in each period give a clear picture about sequence of plan and activities in preaching and establishing Islam. Understanding the subjects discussed in the Quran in the sequence of its revelation gives a direction to set up education and training program for calling people to Islam and establishing Islam step by step. When we closely study the revelations chronologically from its beginning, we notice the following steps in propagation of Islam :
a)Phase one :
Thirteen years from the time of first revelation of the Quran in 610 AD till migration to Madinah in 623 AD , is known as ‘Makki Period’ of Prophet’s (pbuh) propagation of Islam and is regarded as very unique in its goal and approach. During this period Allah guided the Prophet (pbuh) by revelation in the chapters of the Quran known as ‘ Makki Sura’. These are 86 of total 114 chapters of the Quran. Main focus of these chapters are as follows:
Correction of faith of people by teaching attributes of only one God, Prophethood, affirmation of Hereafter, accountability on the Day of Judgment etc. The goal of this teaching is to inform about true Creator, establish true ‘faith in Allah’ in the soul and develop righteousness by accountability in the Hereafter.
Reform Morals of the people and develop best manner and character in them.
Develop habit of doing good deed and avoiding evil by the believers.
Introduce purpose of life and prepare the believers with the qualities necessary to assume the responsibility as the Representative of Allah. As a Representative of Allah, they are required to work to develop the world for good of the people. Best of all good things that a believer can do for people is to teach them the way of good. It is so noble action that the Prophet (pbuh) said : “Allah, the angels and even the ant in its nest and the whale in the sea will pray for the one who teaches people the ways of good” ( Sunan at-Tirmidhi). Therefore , Preachers should focus to teach beneficial knowledge. There is no limit of beneficial knowledge. Any teaching that benefits people in the world and in the Afterlife is beneficial knowledge. Of course, teaching right way of life brings the best benefit.
By following above guidance in the first phase of Revelation, Muhammad (pbuh) developed a nation of believers, who were ready to obey the Orders of Allah in every affair of life, do righteous deed and avoid evil in His fear and accountability in the Hereafter.
– This phase of work for ‘propagation and establishing Islam’ started after Prophet’s (pbuh) migration to Madinah in the year 623 AD and continued for 10 years till his death in 632 AD.
– Focus on this phase was to develop understanding and implement the ‘Order of Allah’ in every sphere of life in the spirit of Worship and make ‘Islam’ supreme. For this purpose, Allah detailed law and regulation of every aspect of life as such : Law of Ritual Worship ( like Prayer, Fasting, Zakat, Hajj etc.) , Personal law, Family law, social code, Law of inheritance, Human Rights, State law, Economic system, Judiciary, Defense, Charity etc. All of these are mostly discussed in the 28 chapters of the Quran in the last ten years of the revelation.
– To facilitate Obeying His Order in every aspect of life as above, Allah has reminded the believers the teachings of phase one time to time during phase two also.
– Prophet (pbuh) implemented Injunctions, Laws, Limits, and duties on every affair of life, by following the Guidance in the Quran and finally established Islam as victorious by managing everything by The ‘Law of Allah’.
– Success in establishing Islam as victorious in the phase two was possible because of success in phase one in preparing the ‘ Soul’ of the believers to obey the ‘Order of Allah’.
* Contemporary method of ‘propagation of Islam’ compared to Prophet’s (pbuh) time:
a) During Prophet’s (pbuh) time people were invited to Islam by the Quran: “ He ( Allah ) has revealed this Quran to me to warn you and the coming generations” ( Quran 6 : 19). Nowadays preachers hardly refer to the Quran and rarely apply the methodology of the Quran in preaching Islam. They preach Islam in the way they see their organization do or by reading the books written by scholars of their organizations or by the way they inherit from the society they live. By this way the purity of propagation that the Quran offered may not be achieved always.
b) During Prophet’s (pbuh) time sequence of the revelation of the Quran was followed in planning and scheduling activities for propagation. This was first to establish Iman in the believers , then prepare them to follow Order of Allah and finally command them to obey the Order of Allah. Unfortunately, this process is largely ignored by preachers of our time. Teaching the significance of Iman and Islam as a ‘complete way of life’ is mostly overlooked. Faith and ritual practices are taught without teaching significance of these. As a result, majority Muslims of contemporary world do not know the ‘Order of Allah’ in every affair of life and unable to live by obeying the order of Allah. However, good thing is that consciousness for learning the Quran with understanding among Muslims is steadily increasing and as a result revival of Islam looks promising.
c) During Prophet’s (pbuh) time believers used to follow the Quran to the words. They were the living Quran, and their society was Quranic Society. Prophet (pbuh), the Model of the Quran was present as an illuminating lamp to exhibit Islam. Present scenario of Muslim world is very different. Though the Quran and Prophet’s (pbuh) life is available unchanged , people find very few Models of the Quran in Muslims, in the family , society and country of Muslims. As a result, believers and their society are not that effective in convincing people to accept Islam. On the contrary, some actions of many Muslims negate than attract others to Islam. Even in many cases we could not attract our children to practice Islam by exhibiting Islam through our life. d) Understanding the importance of ‘Propagation of Islam’ and sacrifice for victory of Islam is not as was at the time of Prophet (pbuh). Compared to the sacrifice needed for revival of Islam , believers are way behind.
e) During Prophet’s (pbuh) time believers were trained to check the Quran for any need or for a solution to any problem they face. Nowadays, this practice is largely ignored.
f) Working for the overall welfare of people together with calling them to Islam is the teaching of the Quran. Prophet (pbuh) gave immense importance to this. Nowadays, Preachers are not very much focused in doing this together with believers in organized way.
g) Technology used for propagation of Islam during Prophet’s (pbuh) time was no way less than opponents of his time . Nowadays, Muslims are far behind in using modern technology compared to opponents.
Above are few critical areas, where contemporary Muslims need to focus on the direction of the Quran and follow Prophet’s (pbuh) Model for revival of Islam. Leaders and Islamic Organizations of Muslim Nation are required to mobilize ‘Intellectual Resources’ to undertake research and recommend ways and means to make up the deficit in the propagation of Islam .
1.Muslims need to understand the concept of the Quran and the methodology of Prophet (pbuh) in preparing Plan, schedule and activities for propagating and establishing ‘Islam” as way of life. Islamic organizations and leaders should focus to educate the preachers about Qur’anic concept and Prophet’s (pbuh) method of propagation so that they can do this effectively.
2. Plan, schedule and activities in any place and time shall be done by following the phase one, first and then phase two. This means prepare believers’ mindset first to obey the Order of Allah and then educate and finally help the believers to obey the Order of Allah in every affair of life.
3.Plan to educate people to develop habit of sincere sacrifice of wealth and time regularly for propagation and victory of Islam. Without using these two , we cannot make Islam victorious, cannot achieve anything in the world nor can aspect salvation in the Afterlife.
4. Plan to develop habit of deep thinking, gain wisdom and then apply intelligence for effective use of wealth and time for the cause of Allah.
5. Review achievement compared to planned and action and then take next step.
6. Work for the cause of Allah unitedly.
6. Pray to Allah for His acceptance and blessings. Remember! Allah’s acceptance and blessings are conditional to sincere effort according to His guidance in the Quran and methos of His Messenger Muhammad (pbuh).
Syed Md Jalal Uddin