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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Dakwah and Me


Bismillahirrahmanirrahim.
Assalamualaikum wbt.


An American lady we met at Petaling Street during Street Dakwah Activity recently (August 12, 2012).
She kindly asked about why Muslims pray and why women have to wear hijab.

1. I strongly believe that Islam is the action of  heart.

2. For that, I would argue that the ultimate aim of doing dakwah is not to win argument but to win hearts.

3. That in no way deny the importance of arguments though.

4. The difference is only whether the arguments are used to prove that we are cleverer, or to prove that Islam is better for everyone. I mean, Islam makes us cleverer than the other of course, but it is certainly not about us, it's about Islam instead.

5. We don't preach others into Islam because we were born as Muslims and believe that truth depends on what we believe is truth.

6. Rather, truth, which in this case I would argue is Islam, is something that is exclusively independent of anything or anyone to qualify as truth.

7. The most astounding ayah (or verse) in the Quran that I would relate to this matter is about the confidence planted in the hearts of the believers that Islam requires no FORCE to be accepted by others.

8. In Surah Al-Baqarah, ayah number 256, Allah SWT mentions:

"Let there be no compulsion in religion..."

9. To illustrate this point, let me create an analogy for you.

10. Imagine that you are driving a car down a steep hill on a nice sunny day.

11. The fact of the matter is, the car will still move, even with its engine removed!

12. Yes, it is an act of gravitational force.

13. My point is, there is no need to create a force when there's already a force.

14. Please don't forget your car brake though. =)

15. Likewise, Islam, if understood and properly studied, is itself already a force.

16. Hence there is no need to force people into Islam, and those who reject Islam, they are actually the ones who are forcing themselves from something their heart and intellect would always want to have.

17. Another instance would be like eating when we are hungry. Of course, when we are hungry, we will eat food almost effortlessly, but abstaining ourselves from food is on the other hand, the real kind of force or torture that we exert to our body.

18. This is the way I see it when it comes to the relationship between Islam and the hearts of us the human being.

19. Put it in a different way, Islam is a way of life that is designed by our Creator to suit our innate nature, which we call fitrah. So again, we are created to be already NATURALLY inclined to it, so it requires no force, but to reject it is indeed the real sort of compulsion against the will of oneself.

20. Having said that, it is now important to see the parallel between this fact with what is expected from us as a da'ie (one who preaches or invites people into Islam).

The t-shirt design for our Street Dakwah Activity.
Credits to Bro Zulhafifi and Bro Rahmat.

"The messenger is not responsible except for THE DELIVERY (OF MESSAGE)..."
(Surah Al-Maidah, ayah number 99)

21. Isn't that impressive?

22. The responsibility of a da'ie like us, is to share and spread the message, not to GUARANTEE one's submission to Islam.

23. Whether one wants to accept the message, that will be between him/her and God Almighty.

24. Interestingly enough, the ayah number 99 above is followed by a sound reminder by Allah SWT that He knows what we reveal and what we conceal!

25. It gives us an assurance, that it's ok if someone rejects what we share, because they may conceal (from us) what they feel deep inside their hearts about the truth of Islam (provided that we have eloquently explained what is necessary), but Allah knows, Allah surely knows.

26. They may either decide to contemplate about it at home and sincerely accept Islam afterwards (even if not through us), or they will have to face the consequence of booking a ticket into the blazing Fire in the Hereafter.

27. Here comes the biggest point to grasp.

28. The hidayah or huda (guidance) from Allah SWT belongs to Him alone. We have no rights, ownership or whatsoever over it and let me explain at least 3 important implications that we can derive from understanding this fact.

29. The first and the second are somewhat related.

30. When we invite people into Islam, there are generally 2 possibilities. They either accept Islam, or they reject it outright, if not with hesitation.

31. By understanding that guidance only comes from Allah SWT, insya Allah we can avoid feeling too proud of ourselves when someone embraces Islam after talking to us. It is the essence of takabbur, a negative characteristic we should absolutely get rid of.

32. That is the first. The second is when the opposite happens instead. Acknowledging that guidance belongs to Allah, won't stop us or let us down from doing dakwah, even if nobody accepts Islam from our sharing of Islam!

33. Thirdly and I personally would take this as the most significant point for myself, is that we must all admit the fact that even the guidance that we claim to have now as a Muslim, is not ours and is not guaranteed by our own hands.

34. It is for this reason that we make supplication to Allah SWT at least 17 times a day during our prayers, to keep giving us the guidance and show us the right path. It is in Surah Al-Fatihah, ayah number 6.

35. Within my short participation in activism like sharing Islam, it led me to one point in life when I started to think that the further away I try to reach out, the greater is the calling to look at myself and make more self-reflection and self-correction.

36. Hence, I make a simple conclusion that in life, we always have to begin things from inside, before the changes in us drive more positive impacts and changes in the environment that are outside of us. This is the way I understand the words of Mahatma Ghandi who said that WE ARE THE CHANGE WE WANT TO SEE IN THIS WORLD.

37. Let me ask you this. Take a few moments to think of our ability to see.

38. Do you think that we can see because our eyes produce light?

39. No! It's exactly the opposite! The retina (an internal part of our eyes) is receiving light from outside and transfer it to our brain to be interpreted as an image.

30. What that implies is that, it's not our eyes that construct the image outside, because if it is a tree, then it is a tree that we see.

31. However, if we are blind, then we can't see the tree, although the tree will definitely still be there.

32. One quick lesson. It is easy to see trouble externally (in this case the absence of tree) though in reality, maybe the defect is on our part (being blind).

33. It doesn't really mean forgetting others, but it's about being someone who is good as 'the other' for people around us. Because to people around us, they will see us as 'the other'.

34. From inside us, then we slowly and gradually spread our wings of love to people closest to us, who are by right our own family members, and then relatives and then friends and the list goes on.

35. The Quran already gives a beautiful advice to keep our family members safe from the Hellfire.

36. Please check in Surah At-Tahrim ayah number 6.

37. The need to start from inside has everything to do with our hearts, the core theme of this article.

38. One huge difference between doing good to our own family members and random people in the public, is that the latter usually gains more attention and gives more 'popularity rating'. So please never ever let that be a reason for prioritizing the public over our own family members.

39. But then again, do not get me wrong here. It's not about avoiding others now, it's about who's first to be first.

40. Just imagine this one more thing. It may be theoritical, but it should be effective to picture what I am talking about.

41. Say you are a counselor in a school and you are trying hard to teach your students to become good to their parents. Because that's your job after all.

42. At the same time, one of your sons is on the other side of the state studying in a boarding school and have to frequently meet his discipline teacher for some problems he had caused to some teachers in the school.

43. The discipline teacher though, has a daughter who is currently not mixing really well with her friends at other school and has frequently consulted one of her favorite ustazahs there to try to solve the matter.

44. That may be a normal occurence nowadays of course. But then still, I am trying to illustrate on how roles are shifting in a way that a doctor is now repairing a car and a mechanic is now dispensing medicines in pharmacies.

45. There are roles out there that need to be played by the best people with the best of resources and skills, but it turns out that the roles are not very much well played because of this shifting in taking over of the roles.

46. In a more technical way, life offers two types of circles to us. They are the circle of concern and the other is the circle of influence.

47. The one we can influence the most is ourselves and people closest to us, but it is never wrong to have some concerns with some other people or matters, so long as it does not affect the amount of efforts and energy we spend within our circle of influence.

48. Alamak, I think it's time to wrap up now. I'm always struggling to discipline myself to write shorter for my blog because I think, many times less means more.

49. Just a few additional points here. When we are talking about dakwah and touching hearts, the best example is always the greatest man of all, Prophet Muhammad SAW.

50. During his time alone, there were many people who eventually embraced Islam through Muhammad's highly lovable character and the beautiful akhlak that he has. He has so much mercy and love and he also says that he is the best to his family.

51. Which brings us to the last point, that in dakwah, apart from points and arguments, our manners and akhlak are of supreme importance.

52. And when it comes to manners and akhlak it is definitely something that represent the true state of our hearts as a da'ie. If our heart is sound and healthy then our akhlak should be sound too. It is with this best state of heart that we can touch the hearts of others.

53. My dear friend, please ponder on this last fact.

54. As a Muslim, we all make prostration (sujud) when we pray.



55. In this position, out heart is located above our brain and symbolically, it represents something really beautiful; that in front of Allah, we surrender our intellect to the love and faith that we have for Him, thus putting the head on the ground but the heart at a higher position instead.

56. We put away the ego, and allow it to be at its lowest position as a sign that we submit to Him the Almighty.

57. Let's always cleanse our heart by remembering Allah SWT and do more zhikr insya Allah especially as Ramadhan is almost leaving us now. Like Sheikh Hamza nicely puts it, in time of trouble, they drink liquor to forget, but we do zhikr to remember ;-)

58. Please kindly read an article by a friend of mine Hisham on his blog about our Street Dakwah Activity a few days ago. He was with me in the same team when we were sharing Islam at Petaling Street. Here's the link.

59. You can find some of photos taken during the day of the program below (Credit to beloved friends who uploaded them on Facebook). To end, let me just say this; that in doing dakwah, we either win hearts, or we'll win hard ;-)

Thanks for reading and take care. Wallahuaklam, wassalamualaikum wbt.

Bro Mas Yury: A man with huge commitment and love for dakwah
Bro Saed: Born in Mecca, staying in Malaysia to do his noble part for Islam
Before leaving to several ' hot spots' to share Islam
We occupied Dataran! he3 =)


4 comments:

Lion said...

Salam

Alhamdulillah I'm very happy to see Muslims doing dakwah. May Allah swt grant you success!
I've got a blog, where I've collected some hadiths that not many non-scholars know, but are very accurate about the future, and can be used as proofs of the Prophet, see below, and I've added some other stuff you insha'Allah would find of interest:

Planes:
http://muslim-lion.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/prophet-on-planes-hadith.html

Madinah as fortress:
http://muslim-lion.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/madinah-at-end-of-times.html

Internet?
http://muslim-lion.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/prophet-hadith-predicted-tvinternet.html

Flying:
http://muslim-lion.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/flying-mentioned-in-hadith.html

Big bang:
http://muslim-lion.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/quran-and-big-bang.html

Mufti Taqi Usmani's sign of Makkah:
http://muslim-lion.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/hadiths-about-makkah-signs-of-day-of.html

Genetics hadith:
http://muslim-lion.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/hadith-on-genetics-dominance.html

Its interesting the hadiths talk about earthquakes increasing near end of times. Well the article scientist quoted below says global warming is causing more earthquakes:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/hay-festival/9312347/Hay-Festival-2012-Government-adviser-Bill-McGuire-says-global-warming-is-causing-earthquakes-and-landslides.html
Also a good article analysing it from Islamic view:
http://www.furqaniaacademy.com/English/Articles/IncrEQFreq.htm

Interesting study about how the hadith talk about proportion of land to sea mass, geography and science :
http://www.furqaniaacademy.com/English/Articles/GeogConcepts.htm
Btw I wanted to draw your attention to this short Sheikh Hamza Yusuf video on Madinah being protected from lava and a non-Muslim geologist (Dr John Roobol http://www.saudicaves.com/lava/introobl.htm) commenting on it. Its very interesting, especially since the lava went against gravity there, and the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) predicted it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0E5-lt4Zoc


A friend of mine tested some of the claims and proved about the numerical aspects of the Qur'an's word:
Here's part 1:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xix7QDXJN0&feature=player_embedded
Part 2:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQ4sh-FQnaY&feature=player_embedded
And he said:
""On your second point, I would challenge you to produce similar patterns in any other book. I tried this exercise on Alice in Wonderland and Romeo & Juliet. I did not find even one example of repetition of any two similar words. Not one."

I think you'll like this because it talks about bees (one example is page 67), mosquitos etc. It is the proceedings of the 2011 scientific conference on the Qur'an and Sunnah
Please feel free to share with others.
The part from pgs 99-103 are really interesting about dogs hadith.
You can also see the link here:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/102112150/Quran-Sunnah- Science-Conference-2011


Here's the Prophet's mantle amazing incident (its got Al Jazeera's video where they show the scientists etc. So you can see that there is a popular news source):
http://muslim-lion.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/prophetic-cloak-and-experts-turkey.html

Black holes:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7BPeVRqBRM

Amirul Asyraf said...

Jazakallahu khair kasira ya akhi. Your sharing, prayers and support are highly appreciated.

Please keep up your good work too, blog etc.

Let's keep in touch ;-)

Wassalam wbt and Eid mubarak. Taqabbalallahu minni waminka insya Allah ameen ;-)

Ayesha 'Naf Naf' said...

salam amirul asyraf. Nak tanya, is there a .. Macam, utk seseorg tu peluk islam, kena ada saksi ke? Atau, senario dia mcm akad nikah, ? Tgh street dakwah ni. Is ther anyone i can consult?

Amirul Asyraf said...

Waalaikumussalam wbt.

Terima kasih Sis Ayesha, for asking.

Stkt ni, sy blm ada pnglmn 'live' org peluk Islam dpn sy.

Jika diteliti dlm video dlm You Tube (alhamdulillah banyk skrg, boleh check online), di conference misalnya, seseorang yg msuk Islam akn mengucap 2 kalimah shdh dpn smua org (dibantu oleh speaker atau sheikh).

Lazimnya bila sy berdkwh, sy akn mklmkn pd non-Muslim, nk jadi Muslim insya Allah ckup mudah.

Hanya prlu prcya bhwa tiada Tuhan selain Allah yg 1, dan N.Muhammad SAW ialah nabi-Nya. Supaya mereka x trbeban dn tak tersalah fhm bhw cukup pyh nk masuk Islam =)

Kemudian, mnjadi tnggungjawb kita mmbawa saudara baru utk mndftr atau selesaikn apa2 urusan lain berkaitan melalui institusi yg brtnggungjawab.

Ia adlh utk kebaikn mereka memandangkn bnyk cbrn serta keperluan kwngn yg mngkn dprlukan saudara baru ni.

Utk Street Dakwah, skrg ada bnyk bengkel yg sediakan modul dn latihan utk brdkwh. Sy ada join salah satu di IIS Setiawangsa dan stkt ni sy brksmptn buat Street Dakwah dgn kwn2 sbnyk 3 kali trmsuk Ramdhn thun lps.

Kalau Sis Ayesha berminat, sy boleh cdgkn dn bntu insya Allah. Or, memang tgh buat steet dakwah? ;-)

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