IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE BENEFICENT, THE MERCIFUL
DAWAH ILALLAH - ITS CONCEPT, NEEDS, PRIORITIES & STRATEGIES
The theme of Dawah Ilallah is multi-dimensional. For the sake of clarity, I will divide the topic in four sub-headings. I will first elaborate the concept of Dawah Ilallah, then discuss its Needs and pinpoint the Priorities in a sequence. Lastly, I will share with the Muslim brothers and sisters about the Strategies to attain the goal, objectives and priorities in American perspective within a feasible time frame.
Alhamdulillah, Dawah activities are going on everywhere, in every mosque, in every Muslim community and in correctional facilities all around. But it is a casual activity at almost all places. No regularity is maintained. Emphasis over the training of the Da'ees and producing effective Dawah literature which are the integral parts of Dawah Ilallah are missing. Equally, the growth of Dawah activities is lopsided. Mostly it is limited to African-American community. Dawah in Spanish community is scanty. In the Caucasian-Americans and the Native-Americans, it is practically on marginal.
The causes of this lopsided growth of
Dawah work in
THE PREVALING CONCEPTS OF DAWAH ILALLAH [DI]:
1. Deliver the message through individual
contacts or through lectures in public and the job is done. Dawah in jails
falls in the same category. It is limited to distributing of literature,
personal talks, lectures and Shahadah. There is no arrangement of Tarbiyah and
Tazkiyah [education and purification] of the New Muslims and to take care of
them when they come out of jail. Halfway house facilities to make them good
practicing Muslims and Muslimah and rehabilitate them in the society are
totally missing. Here I would like to add some suggestive points for the Muslim
Dawah in jail needs a universal approach. Developing effective Dawah material, training of Da'ees, eliminating enormous overlapping of Dawah activities in jail, undertaking various psychological and educational problems of Da'ees and the Muslim inmates of the jail, taking care of Muslim brothers and sisters coming out of jail, and keeping close contact with jail authority at Central and local levels to make the life of the inmates easy are some of the basic issues to be undertaken by the National Leadership Council. Dawah in jail is in a mess. It needs enormous funds, human resources and a uniform Dawah strategy to get our Dawah efforts in jail streamlined, productive and effective.
2. Distribute the flyers or Islamic literature in thousands and thousands at public places - markets, parks, sub-way entrances, public gatherings, playgrounds and the job is done. Here it matters little whether some one reads it or throws it in the garbage. The objective is only to deliver the message. It is very often found as shear wastage of time, talents and resources.
3. Involvement in community work or activities is considered as Dawah Ilallah. Community work is a service to the community. It deals with its immediate needs and problems. It is not undertaken to change the pattern of life, its objectivity or the system in which people live. It does not bring any change in the behavioral concept of the individuals or the community members. Those who think that by doing community work, they can change the society, its system or can bring Islam in the forefront, they are mistaken. Community work cannot replace the need and urgency of Dawah Ilallah. Here it can be added for the sake of clarity that community work must be carried out with a clear understanding that it is not a replacement of DI.
4. On the same pattern, working for
Masajid or participating in the Masjid-oriented activities is also taken as
Dawah Ilallah. This concept is infested with the same fallacies as discussed
above about the community-oriented works. We must note here a point of
The concept of Masjid and that of the Imam in the indigenous community of the Muslims of America is a little wider and more comprehensive than that of the concept of Masajid and Imam in the immigrant Muslim communities. However, the indigenous Muslim communities or Masajid could not take the shape of a movement to change the society and its pattern. The indigenous Masajid are small self-sustained nucleus, rotating within their own self-centered activities with little influence outside in the society, neither through their Masjid activities nor through any of their socio-cultural-educational program. Dawah Ilallah in its absolute form is the need of the Muslim communities, Masajid and Imams.
A few years back, the writer was the
Incharge of the Dawah Program of Majlis Als- Shura,
5. Somewhere, individual Dawah efforts are followed till the Dawah contactees take the Shahadah with great celebration, love and affection for the new brothers in Islam. Then he or she is left with little knowledge of Islam, providing no mentorship and practically no help towards rehabilitation in his or her changed environment, making little effort in transforming him or her as a Da'ee Ilallah. However, this concept is somehow better than the others presented above. It goes in right direction to certain extent.
6. Picking up some pieces of Aqeeda and emphasizing one or two aspects of personal Ebadah, ignoring the total concept of Deen, is considered as Tableeg-e- Deen or Dawah Ilallah. This concocted concept of Deen creates a distorted concept of Dawah Ilallah and that of the Deen. This has brought the Deen itself to the level of a religion as it is understood in the West about Judaism and Christianity.
This brief description of the prevailing concepts of Dawah Ilallah explains why the Muslim Community of America so far could not undertake a comprehensive campaign towards introducing the Deen of Allah to cross sections of the people at the grass root level, through a planned, progressive and all-comprehensive Dawah effort. It is, therefore, essential that I must now spell out the dynamics of the concept of Dawah Ilallah for the benefit of our readers, especially those brothers and sisters who are interested to be actively involved in the Dawah process in this country.
THE MEANINGFUL CONCEPT OF DAWAH ILALLAH:
I will first give a comprehensive definition of Dawah Ilallah and then spell out its salient features. It will help the reader to comprehend it clearly and without any ambiguity. He or she must know for what he or she is striving and what is his or her goal and how can he or she get it through?
Dawah Ilallah is an organized, a determined and a continuous effort to call the people of the land to the fold of their Creator and Sustainer, Allah (SWT), as priority Number One [of the Da'ee], towards accepting Islam as a way of life and convincing them to the need and urgency of establishing the Deen of Allah in the body politics of the country, with the sole objective to get the pleasure of Allah.
At this juncture, one can put a question as how I arrived at this comprehensive definition of Dawah Ilallah? What are the fundamental aspects of the life of Rasulullah (S) that dictated me to define DI in these terms? An in depth study of the Seerah of Rasulullah (S) and his life long struggle for Iqamatuddeen will convince the reader to arrive at the same conclusion. Alhamdulillah, I had studied the life of Prophet (S) and its various aspects in depth for over forty years. When I put the following questions to his (S) inspiring life, it convinced me to define DI as above.
This is the summation of his life long Dawah efforts.
1. Was Rasulullah (S) involved in Dawah work casually?
2. Was it not a determined effort with a definite goal?
3. Has he (S) not done it for the whole of his life?
4. Was it a haphazard effort or he (S) carried it out in an organized fashion on a continuous basis?
5. Has he (S) left his Dawah contactees, after they took the Shahadah or became Muslim or Muslimah or he did Tarbiyah and Tazkiyah of each of them painstakingly?
If the answer of these pertinent questions is in affirmative, then the most appropriate definition of Dawah Ilallah is that what I have given above. The life long pattern of Rasulullah (S) and his Dawah efforts confirm it. The following episode of his (S) life will clarify and substantiate what I am trying to advocate through the aforesaid definition.
When the conflict of Haq and Batil intensified and the Quraish observed that the influence of Muhammad (S) and his Dawah efforts are increasing day by day, they sent a delegation to his uncle, Abu Talib. They complained about the way Rasulullah (S) was condemning their idols, the idolatry of their forefathers and the Shirk of their life style. They asked Abu Talib to get this process stopped. Hearing this complaint, Abu Talib asked Prophet Muhammad (S) not to create problems for him. Rasulullah (S), understanding that perhaps his uncle now wanted to withdraw his protective support under duress from Quraish, expressed his determination to carry out his mission in these famous words:
" Idolaters may place the sun in my
right hand and the moon in my left but I will not stop the mission which has
been assigned to me. I will carry it out till either I lay down my life for its
sake or the Deen of Allah becomes dominant."
[Ibne Hisham - Vol. I]
Prophet Muhammad (S) has used the word "La Yuzharahu" which stands for "domination". The resolution, which these words carry, should instill our hearts with determination to make every effort to get Allah's Deen dominant on this earth. The mission of his (S) life was uppermost in his mind. Abu Talib was very much impressed with the determination expressed by Rasulullah (S). Abu Talib consoled and told him to go ahead with his mission the way he wished. He would never withdraw his protection.
Rasulullah (S) left no stone unturned to deliver the message, invite the people to the fold of Allah, organize them into a team of Da'ees, and build their character in a continuous process. During his stay in Makkah, he visited all trade caravan, coming and camping in and around Makkah - at Akkaz, at Majannah, and during Hajj time at Mina, and delivered the Message of Islam. Sometime Abu Bakr ®, sometime Ali ® and very often Zaid bin Harith ® used to accompany him (S) in his Dawah errands. In Madinah, after migration, along with Dawah efforts, the formation of the Islamic society and state became prominent. This shows that Dawah Ilallah was an organized, a determined and a continuous effort till Rasulullah (S) fulfilled his mission and the Deen of Allah was dominant everywhere. I will throw more light on this aspect of Dawah at later stage, Insha Allah.
SALIENT FEATURES OF DAWAH ILALLAH:
1. AN OBLIGATION on each and every Muslim and Muslimah, especially when Allah's Deen is no where found in a dominant position on the surface of this earth.
2. AN ORGANIZED EFFORT: A joint and concerted effort to carry out Dawah activities in a planned and an organized manner, not in a haphazard and disorganized way, depending on the mood and whims of individuals. There must be an Amir [the Incharge of Dawah], a well-structured Dawah program, effective Dawah literature and a team of dedicated and committed workers to reach out to the people. Regularity, follow-up and evaluation of the programs must be the integral part of the organized effort.
3. A DETERMINED EFFORT: Dawah Ilallah is a determined effort to deliver the message of Allah, even under adverse circumstances, with Hikmah [wisdom] and to remain cool and calm under all kinds of provocation with a grim determination to carry it out to the point where he or she [the Da'ee] either gives up his or her life in that pursuit or the people accept the Deen of Allah as their way of life.
4. A CONTINUOUS EFFORT: Dawah Ilallah is a continuous effort. It is not a casual job. It is a life long pursuit. It must be regular and be followed till the Dawah contactees reject the Deen of Allah or accept it as the way of life. The Da'ee must go on picking up new faces for Dawah contact from the society while giving up the tried ones in a continuous process.
5. TOP MOST PRIORITY Of LIFE: Dawah Ilallah must be the top most priority in the life of a Da'ee. It needs fresh hours of life not the tired ones. If the case is not so, justice cannot be done with Dawah and its priorities. Very often Dawah work suffers because it does not get the priority in life. This is the state of affairs of all most all Dawah activities in America and elsewhere in the world. DI is declared as the Priority Number One but in fact in the list of priorities of life, it is very often found at the bottom. This anomalous situation must be corrected.
6. THE BEGINNING AND THE END OF DAWAH ILALLAH: The aforesaid definition of DI pinpoints both the beginning and the end of DI. The beginning is to call the people to the fold of Allah and the end comes when the Deen of Allah becomes dominant in the entire spectrum of human society, both in individual and collective aspects of life. DI is a continuous process. The prevailing short-cut concepts of DI, as discussed above, ignore the ultimate goal of Iqamatuddeen and hence are not effective or productive to the extent that it can bring any change in the society.
Alhamdulillah, Dawah Ilallah has become the talk of the day. Most of the Muslim boys and girls of younger generation are very much interested in it. They are really serious to get themselves involved into Dawah process one way or the other. They are our future hope. I, therefore, think that they must know clearly what Dawah Ilallah is? What it connotes? What is its scope? What is the beginning and what is the end of it? They should not be allowed to live and involve themselves in Dawah activities under the prevailing concepts of DI which are mostly concocted, confused, unproductive and lead the Ummah to no where.
Our youths deserve our help and the correct understanding of what they are aspiring to do in terms of the Qur'an and the traditions of Rasulullah (S). My humble effort is a part of that process. The aforesaid definition of Dawah Ilallah and its profound concept-in-depth will, Insha Allah, help our younger generations, to prepare themselves for the real task lying ahead of them to fulfill the obligation of Dawah Ilallah and meet the challenges of time with courage, dedication, wisdom and their productive ingenuity. They are to prepare themselves as how to introduce Islam to the people of the land as the only way of life to balance their life-style, both at individual and collective levels.
I will now discuss the Needs and the pre-requisites of Dawah Ilallah, especially in American perspective.
The emphasis on Dawah Ilallah stems out of the Kalimah, La Ilaha Ilallah Muhammadun Rasulullah, which we recite every now and then throughout our life.
WHAT THE KALIMAH DEMANDS?
When a person confirms his or her belief [Iman] in this Kalimah, he or she becomes Muslim or Muslimah. In its wake, he or she declares that:
1. He or she denies all the centers of authorities - the monarchs, the dictators, the sovereignty of the people, the parliament and the congress - [La Ilaha];
2. He or she confirms that he or she will obey Allah alone and follow only His directives and laws in his or her life, both at the individual and collective levels - Illa - Allah];
3. And that Muhammad (S) is the Messenger of Allah and is the only roll model in his or her life to follow.
This declaration of truth that Kalimah demands is three-dimensional. It demands that he or she will obey only Allah and His Prophet (S) in his or her personal life, in family life as well as in collective life. In other words the Kalimah advocates:
1. Dawah to self [change yourself]
It is the most logical demand of the Kalimah that the believer must bring his or her entire life in obedience to Allah and His Prophet (S). This obedience must be complete, perfect, and all comprehensive. Allah (SWT) ordains it:
" O Ye who believe, enter into the Deen of Allah in its totality and follow not the footsteps of the Satan [devil]. Lo! He is an open enemy for you."
[The Qur'an 2 : 208]
It demands: "purification and reconstruction of thoughts on Islamic lines"; removing all the inconsistencies in life; building strong cohesive Aqeeda; acquiring at least the working knowledge of Islam; building a dependable and trustworthy character; demonstrating and manifesting Islam in all and every walk of life- personal dealings, behavior, commitments - thereby presenting an inspiring model of the Islamic way of life in practice.
2. Dawah to Family [change your family]:
The Kalimah makes it incumbent both on the Muslim and the Muslimah to protect themselves and their family members from hellfire. To meet that requisite of Iman, they are to bring and raise their family under the directives of Allah and His Prophet (S): Family is, thus, a constant point of focus of Dawah Ilallah.
"O you who believe! Ward off from yourselves and your families a fire where of the fuel is men and stones….."
[The Qur'an. 66 : 6]
The emphasis on building a model family can be better understood from the following Hadith of Rasulullah (S):
"Each of you is a shepherd and each of you will be accountable [to Allah] about his or her sheep [being the head of the family or holding any position of collective responsibility]"
The Iman in Allah and His Prophet (S) urges a Muslim and Muslimah to develop a family that professes the Islamic values of life, showers love and affection upon youngsters, respects the elders, rotates around obedience to parents, devotion and dedication to brothers and sisters, care and concern for relatives, thereby making every effort to transform itself into an inspiring model home for the kids, the neighbors, the relatives and the friends.
3. Dawah to Society [change the society] -
Equally, it is the direct demand of our Iman to bring Islam at the doorstep of every member of the society in which we live. Allah (SWT) has exhorted the believers [both the Muslims and Muslimah] to undertake the onerous task of Dawah Ilallah in different verses of the Qur'an in different ways.
* " O you who believe! Bow down and prostate yourselves, worship your Lord and do well, that haply ye may prosper.
And strive for Allah with the endeavor
that is His right. He has chosen you and has not laid upon you in Deen any
hardship: The faith of your father Abraham [is yours]. Ha has named you Muslim
of old time and in this [Scripture], that the messenger may be a witness
against you, and that you may be witness against mankind….."
[The Qur'an. 22 : 77, 78]
* " Thus We have appointed you a middle nation, that ye may be witness against mankind and that the messenger mat be a witness against you"
[The Qur'an. 2 : 143]
* "Call into the way of thy Lord with wisdom and fair exhortation and reason with them in the better way."
[The Qur'an. 16 : 125]
* " Say: This is my way: I call unto Allah with sure knowledge, I and whosoever follows me."
[The Qur'an. 12 : 108]
It is the demand of your Iman in the Creator and Sustainer, Allah (SWT), that you transform yourselves and your families as models of Islamic way of life through constant Dawah efforts. However, you cannot keep yourselves and your family as a true Muslim and Muslimah, if the society around you is corrupt, full of filth and dirt, secular in nature and liberal in the attitude of life.
It is the demand of our Iman and the commitment which we have made to Allah (SWT) through the Kalimah that we go out, meet the people and convince them about Islam as an alternate way of life, thereby making a tremendous continuous effort to change the society. Alone we cannot change the society, so we are to make a joint and concerted effort with all our might, talents and resources that Allah has given us, on the pattern Rasulullah (S) demonstrated in his life time. Dawah Ilallah is thus a collective effort. It is obligatory on each and every Muslim and Muslimah to struggle hard to change the society. "Wa Jahedu Fillahe Haqqa Jihadehi"- [And struggle in the way of Allah as it ought to be], stands both for individual and collective efforts of the Muslims and Muslimah to change the Batil system in which they are living with total resources at their respective command.
THE POSITION OF MUSLIM UMMAH:
The Muslims who recite, believe and stand for the Kalimah constitute the best of the Ummah. It has been raised by Allah (SWT) to serve the humanity. It is to eradicate the Munkar [evils] and establish the Ma'roof [good] in the human society. Allah ordains:
* "Ye [the Muslims] are the best community [Ummah] that has been raised up for mankind. Ye enjoin right conduct [Ma'roof] and forbid indecency [Munkar]; and ye believe in Allah".
[The Qur'an: 3 : 110]
* " And let there be from you a people who invite [mankind] towards goodness, and enjoin right conduct and forbid indecency. Such are they who are successful ".
[The Qur'an. 3 : 104]
Muslims have to struggle for this cause in an organized manner. Through Dawah efforts, they will have to call the people of the land and pinpoint the evil consequences of bad deeds and actions and invite them to establish good deeds [Ma'roof] in a continuous process of Dawah Ilallah till they are convinced to change the society. Thus, Dawah Ilallah is an obligation of utmost importance for Muslims. It is an integral part of their Iman. It is a lifelong pursuit. It is, therefore, essential that I must spell out to readers the fundamental needs of Dawah Ilallah. What are its requisites? What preparation a Da'ee must resort to make him or her an effective Da'ee? Dawah Ilallah has its own delicacies or pre-requisites that must be fulfilled to get the best results in the field.
DAWAH AND ITS NEEDS:
I will briefly elaborate the needs and requisites of Dawah Ilallah to enable the Da'ee to fulfill its goal and obligation.
1. Clarity of vision: A Da'ee must be crystal clear about the goal, the objective and the process, from where he or she is to start and to where the end lies. As discussed earlier, Dawah is the first step and it culminates when the Deen of Allah becomes dominant. I will just give an example how much Rasulullah (S) was clear in his vision.
In Makkan life, one day Rasulullah (S) asked Uthman Bin Talha, the then custodian of the house of Allah [Haram] to give him the keys of Kaabah. Uthman refused. Rasulullah (S) asked for the keys three times and every time he refused. Rasulullah (S) addressing Uthman said "Look here, one day these keys will be in my hands and I will entrust them to whom I would like". In the eight year of Hijrah, Makkah was conquered and the Keys of Haram were in the hands of Rasulullah (S). He called for Uthman and showed the keys in his hands. He (S) told that today I am giving it to you and nobody will take it from you. The honor placed by Rasulullah (S) remains in the progenies of Uthman even to this day and will remain till Qayamah.
[ Bukhari, Dawood, Nisaai]
Rasulullah (S) was extremely clear that one day his mission of Dawah Ilallah will succeed and the Deen of Allah will be dominant. If a Da'ee is clear in his or her vision in today's perspective, he or she will plan to carry out the DI to its logical conclusion, otherwise, his or her Dawah efforts will be abortive and end in fiasco. He or she will get the reward of his effort, no doubt about that, but the objective will remain in jeopardy. There is no cut short method in Islam.
2. Getting working knowledge of Islam: A Da'ee must equip himself or herself with a working knowledge of Islam: fundamentals of the Islamic way of life from the Qur'an, the Hadith, the Seerah of Rasulullah (S), Fiqh [day to day problems of life - Taharah, Salah, Swam and Zakah], the first 100 years history of Islam/Muslims at the least and a comparative study of Islam, Judaism, Christianity and other secular cults and ism.
3. Getting the knowledge of the land, the people and their problems with whom he or she is going to meet or who are his or her addressees or Dawah contactees. A Da'ee in the field of Dawah faces various situations where these information and understanding will help in making him or her an effective Da'ee. [I will elaborate this point further at later stage]
4. Be a practical model of what he or she preaches, presents and advocates: This is the most important aspect of Dawah Ilallah. A Da'ee must present or demonstrate in his or her actions, deeds, promises, commitments, gestures, mood, temperament, behavior and in over all exposures of life that he or she is a practical model of what he or she preaches and presents to his or her addressees. He or she is to present himself or herself as a trust-worth, dependable and loveable character.
5. Basic Dawah literature: A Da'ee must keep and carry with him or her Dawah material about Tawheed [monotheism], Risalah [Prophethood], Amanah [trust], Akhirah [life Hereafter] and a copy of the Qur'an etc., both for intelligentsia and masses. These are the tools of a Da'ee for Dawah Ilallah. These are his or her paramount companions at arm. He or she should not leave them behind while in field.
6. Preparedness to sacrifice time and resources for Dawah efforts: This is the gas-fuel of Dawah efforts. If the requisite amount of time and resources are not put in this pursuit, Dawah will remain as a wish only. It will never be materialized and gain momentum. It will tantamount to half-hearted effort that do not succeed in spite of all sincerity.
7. To be an active part of an Islamic Movement: Dawah Ilallah, as pinpointed earlier, is a collective effort. It is planned and programmed collectively by a Jamaah, a Group or the Movement with set targets to achieve but implemented through individual efforts and contributions. Allah (SWT) exhorts us to do so:
" O ye who believe or have attained to faith! Remain conscious of Allah and be among those who are true to their words[who are truthful or Sadeqeen]".
[The Qur'an, 9 : 119]
To be with the "Truthful" [ or be amongst the Sadeqeen] means that be the integral part of the Jamaah [party] which is struggling for Iqamatuddeen as its goal through Dawah process and be actively involved in its Dawah-oriented programs. Alone a Da'ee cannot get the desired results of his Dawah efforts to get the Deen of Allah introduced, spread and establish in the body politics of the country. This is possible only through a joint and concerted effort. For effective Dawah, a collective effort through a Jamaah is essential. Rasulullah (S) had to make a collective effort with the team of his beloved companions [Sahabah] to change the system of his time. He (S) had to go through the process of Dawah, organization, Tarbiyah, peaceful resistance against the onslaught of Batil [evil forces that totally eradicated the idolatry from the society and established the authority of Allah in the body politics of the country. [ I will elaborate this point further at a later stage, Insha Allah]. We have to follow him (S) and his footsteps. There is no exception to this rule. This is his Sunnah [tradition of Rasulullah (S)] and the Da'ees of today have no choice but to follow all the rules of the game without any deviation.
An important reminder: " Learning, [of Islam], practicing [building individual character] and preaching [Dawah efforts] will go together. There is no waiting period or a point of culmination of the three aspects of Dawah. Dawah Ilallah is a continuous process. "Learning, practicing and preaching" goes together in a constant process. There is no stage of perfection in human life. The process continues from birth to death. Dawah efforts provide immense opportunities to a Da'ee to change himself or herself as it is ordained by Allah. That is why Rasulullah (S) directs his followers:
" Ballego anni walau an Ayah" - Preach even if it is a verse.
Insha Allah, I will now elaborate on a very important issue - the Priorities of Dawah Ilallah. It is at this point that many brothers and sisters, interested in Dawah Ilallah, become unbalanced and in their zeal for Dawah, priorities are either ignored or side tracked. As such, the cause of Dawah Ilallah suffers out of our own ignorance.
This is a very important aspect of Dawah Ilallah. It must be clearly understood from the very outset that for what should an Islamic Movement strive? What should constitute its priority Number One and what should it follow in sequence? If the list of priorities is not maintained in a proper sequence and in strict order with a clear vision and foresight, the Movement may develop a lopsided growth. It may become unbalanced or may lose its objectivity altogether in the midst of confusion. In that case, its meager resources will be consumed not in strengthening the Movement but instead in "unproductive" programs and projects that does not serve the cause of the Movement. In that situation, the Movement will lose its charm. It may deviate from its path, make its workers disenchanted and land in a troubled land, far away form its Goal of Iqamatuddin.
I will, Insha Allah, try to substantiate my viewpoint from the example set by Rasulullah (S) in this respect. He is the only model available to us, in its most perfect form, to follow in the present context of the world in its totality.
THE MODEL OF RASULULLAH (S):
When the directives came from Allah (SWT), " Qum Wa Anzir. Wa Rabbuka Fakabbir" - [Rise and warn and Glorify thy Lord - Al-Muddassir 2-3], let us see, how Rasulullah (S) fulfilled this assignment.
The assignment was to call the people, the mankind, to the fold of Allah (SWT). Rasulullah (S) needed two things to fulfill this life-long obligation.
1. The Guidance: what to do and how to do?
2. A team of workers to get it done
The Guidance came from Allah (SWT) in bits and pieces, as and when it was needed. It was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (S). It is available intact in its original form in the shape of the Qur'an. This was the most effective, eloquent, forceful and very convincing Dawah literature of the time. This was and is a unique Book of Guidance for mankind.
For building the Team of workers, Rasulullah (S) started to pick up individuals from the society in ones and twos through his Dawah efforts. He did Tarbiyah and Tazkiyah of those who responded to his call and galvanized them into a Jamaah, the organized and disciplined team of committed individuals. This process was Dawah, Tarbiyah/Tazkiyah and Jamaah [organization] in a sequence. Rasulullah (S) was condemning the idolatry and inviting the people to accept the authority of their Creator and Sustainer in every walk of life, associating no partners with Him. He was exhorting his people to accord him as the Messenger of Allah, and feel accountable on the Day of Judgment. The Qur'an substantiated these vital points of Dawah Ilallah eloquently with fascinating arguments from this cosmos and the human life itself. With the start of the Movement and Dawah activities, the task of building the team of workers [Da'ees] augmented in its wake. Along with Rasulullah (S), his companions were also involved in calling the people of the land to the fold of Allah, absorbing those who accepted the call into the Jamaah through the same process of Dawah and Tarbiyah. Rasulullah (S) and his beloved companions carried out this process of Dawah Ilallah in the first three years in Makkah secretly, from person to person, with little opposition from the vested interests of the time.
In the third year of Prophethood, a clear directive came form Allah (SWT):
" So proclaim that which thou are commanded, and leave alone [don't care for] the idolaters".
[The Qur'an. 15 : 94]
From that day onward, Rasulullah (S) ended the period of Dawah in secrecy and openly addressed the society through an address from the top of the Mountain of Faran and inviting the tribal chiefs at a feast, arranged by Ali ® on directive from Rasulullah (S). The message of Rasulullah (S) was:
" It is a Kalmah, if you accept it, you will be the master of Arab and dominate the non-Arab world"
[Seerah Ibne Hisham]
Ibne Hisham in his Seerah, Balazari in Fatuhul Baldan and Ibne Kathir in Al-Bidayah Wa Al-Nahayah have elaborated this point further. After the revelation of the aforesaid Ayah 94 of Surah Al-Hijr, Rasulullah (S), wherever he went, whomsoever he addressed and with whom he came in contact, delivered the same message as under:
" O! The people, say, "La Ilaha Ilallah", you will be benefited. This Kalmah will bring the Arab under your control and the Ajam (non-Arab world) under your domination. And when you become the believers in Allah, you will be like a king in the heaven".
[Seerah Sarware Alam. Vol. 2 - Moulana Maudoodi]
This Kalmah was the most revolutionary [political] slogan of Rasulullah (S). It has a very strong motivating force behind it. Once a person accepts it as his or her faith, he or she cannot sit idle at home. He or she is to move ahead, invite others to the fold of Allah (SWT) and struggle hard for the whole of his or her life for establishing His authority and His Deen on self, in family and in the society.
With the start of Open Dawah Campaign, the vested interests of the time started opposition. A fourth dimension of Trial and Tribulation was added to the three dimensions of Dawah Ilallah - Dawah, Tarbiyah/Tazkiyah and Organization. This fourth dimension crept into the process to test the Iman of the believers as how far they are sincere and truthful to their commitment to Allah and His Prophet (S). It helped the believers to inculcate and add new dimensions to their inherent qualities of heart and mind and polished their character. It created sterling values to their human qualities as individuals - courage, steadfastness, Azima [determination], Tawakkal Alallah and fearlessness against evil forces. This is the Allah's way to build the Team of Da'ees in the midst of stiff opposition. This is an inevitable milestone in the process of Dawah Ilallah. Allah (SWT) has spelled it out in Al-Baqarah: 155 and Al-Ankabut: 2-3.
* " And surely We shall try you with something of fear and hunger, and loss of wealth and lives and crops: but give glad tidings to the steadfast,
Who say, when a misfortune strikes them: Lo! We are Allah's and lo! Unto Him we are returning."
[The Qur'an. 2 : 155-156]
* " Do Men Think that on their [mere] saying, "we have attained to faith", they will be left to themselves [at ease], and will not be tested?
Yes, indeed, We did test those who lived before them: and so, [too, shall be tested the people now living: and] most certainly will Allah mark out those who prove themselves true, and most certainly will He mark out those who are lying."
[The Qur'an. 29 : 2-3]
This test is inevitable. If any Islamic Movement or Jamaah does not encounter the stage of trial, then, there is something wrong, either with the message or in its delivery. This phenomenon will be encountered in each society, wherever the Muslims are able to make their Iman a challenge to the secular system or the vested interests of the time and make genuine efforts towards Iqamatuddeen. It is an especial training program prescribed by Allah. The Da'ees are to sustain it, bear the onslaughts of Batil with patience and without any retaliation at all. Allah (SWT) has pinpointed this condition of "peaceful resistance" [i.e. to carry out Dawah and its activities in full swing against all odds, eventualities and provocations without any retaliation or armed resistance] of Makkan period in Verse 77 of Al-Nisa:
" Has thou not seen those unto whom it was said: withhold your hands [no retaliation and restrict yourselves to], establish Salah and pay the zakah….."
Rasulullah (S) guided the Islamic Movement through the process of Dawah, Tarbiyah/Tazkiyah, and peaceful resistance, absorbing his followers into his organization called Al-Jamaah throughout his 13 years of stay in Makkah. He collected through his Dawah efforts and the process as illustrated above, a Team of 124 companions from Makkah and through the magnificent Dawah efforts of Musa'b Bin Umair ® 61 from Aus and 170 from Khzraj [Reference: Seerah Ibne Hisham Vol. I]. Out of this accumulated team of Islamic workers [the Da'ees], he brought 313 in the Battle of Badr with the prayers: O Allah, if your promised help [Nusrah] does not come, you will not be worshipped ["La Tabud"].
Thus the priority Number One of Rasulullah (S) was to build a TEAM of devoted, dedicated and committed workers [reverently we call them Sahabah] and he accomplished it without any deviation. Let me elaborate this point further so that we should be crystal clear in fixing the priorities of the Islamic Movement of America [IMOA].
THE CONDITION OF ARABS:
When Rasulullah (S) declared his
Prophethood in the society of Arab Jahilyah, there was no peace, no security of
life, property and honor throughout the country except in the Haram and in its
vicinity. It was a tribal society and the tribal chief was the dominant figure.
There was no law, no human rights and the loyalty of the individuals was to his
tribe and its man made laws. There was blood shed all around. Robbery, theft,
slavery, gambling, alcoholism, and sexual anarchy were rampant throughout the
society. The society was generally poverty stricken except Qureish who were
traders by virtue of being the custodians of the Haram. All these and many more
issues were demanding attention. Rasulullah (S) knew all these burning problems
of the society and before his Prophethood he was contemplating a lot about the
condition of his people and thinking as how to get rid of these evils and human
In the midst of these problems, when Rasulullah (S) was appointed as the Messenger of Allah, he concentrated his total efforts on inviting the people of the land to the obedience of their Creator and Sustainer, accept him as the Messenger of Allah and feel accountable in Akhirah. These were the points of focus of Dawah Ilallah and Rasulullah (S) concentrated to build the character of his followers, his TEAM, on the same fundamental principles of Dawah. He was totally correct in his approach. If a team of Allah-conscious, dependable and of trustworthy characters is available to the leadership, it would then be possible to reconstruct or remodel the society on the concept of Tawheed, Risalah, Amana and Akhirah.
All the burning issues of the time could not deviate him (S) from the most paramount task of building a dependable, devoted, dedicated and committed team of Da'ees who could be entrusted to hold the leadership of the people and deliver justice to mankind. When a society is made of such inspiring characters, only then peace, security, and justice will become the order of the day. Such men of character champion the cause of the poor, the oppressed and the downtrodden everywhere. Such society was and will be a boon for mankind on the surface of the earth. Rasulullah (S) went on building these characters [the team] till the society and its system was totally changed and the Deen of Allah was dominant in every walk of life.
The old Jahilyah of Quraish could not tolerate the concentration of the team of Da'ees at Madinah, after Hijrah. It tried its best to crush the forces of Haq through the Battles of Badr, Uhad and Ehazb but failed. Rasulullah (S) ultimately conquered Makkah in eight year of Hijrah. With that conquest, the Deen of Allah was dominant everywhere.
Similarly, we are to follow suit, if we are really desirous to solve the human problems of our time. We are to follow the same process. Our priorities in the field of Dawah Ilallah must, therefore, be fixed accordingly. It will be nothing but to build the requisite TEAM of Da'ees [Islamic workers] as the first and the foremost task of the Islamic Movement of America. It is this team of Da'ees which through extensive and intensive Dawah efforts, activities and programs will bring the change in the society on the pattern Rasulullah (S) did in his life time. Any deviation form the path showed by Rasulullah (S) would be disastrous. Any short cut method will lead us to no where or may end in fiasco.
The Contemporary Islamic Movements of the world are the case study for us. They were started with the same zeal to produce the requisite team of Da'ees and change the society on the pattern Rasulullah (S) did. Now it is a matter of great tragedy that instead of bringing the Movement to its logical conclusion as planned by each of them, day to day problems of their respective Muslim community absorbed their attention. As a result, these Movements got themselves involved with them, adopted cut short method of election process and drifted away from their goal of Iqamatuddin on the pattern Rasulullah (S) demonstrated and accomplished. Where they stand today, it is a matter of mental agony for each of us to think and envision.
FIXATION OF PRIORITIES IN AMERICAN PERSPECTIVE:
1. THE TEAM:
From the foregoing discussion and the model set by Rasulullah (S), it is crystal clear that the top most priority of the Islamic Movement of America [IMOA] must be to build the requisite TEAM of Da'ees [Islamic workers] on the pattern Rasulullah (S) build the team of his beloved companions. The entire energy, talents and resources of the Movement must be harnessed in developing that team of devoted, dedicated and committed brothers and sisters who are well versed in Islam, intelligently acquainted with the people, the country and its problems and bear a dependable and trustworthy character. This team will exhort the Muslims of America to be conscious of their position on earth and undertake to introduce and spread the Deen of Allah to the Judeo-Christian society of the land, both to the intelligentsia and the masses. It will produce the Dawah literature and other publicity material for the people of the land as per needs of Dawah. This team will go on multiplying its number, both numerically and qualitatively, with the growth of time, involving in intensive and extensive multi-dimensional Dawah activities in this country, and rendering humanitarian services to the poor, the needy and the oppressed ones. This process will go a long way in changing the society in due course of time. The future is wide open for the team of Da'ees to bring the IMOA to its natural and logical conclusion with courage, patience, Hikmah and the Tawfeeq of Allah (SWT).
For the burning problems of the Muslim community, the IMOA will express its fullest sympathy and offer the best of Nasiha. If it undertakes their problems, it would eat away its vital energy, talents and resources. It must be clear to all concerned that the IMOA is not for the Muslims alone but for the entire Judeo-Christian-Muslim community of America. So the stalwarts of IMOA have to resist their temptation of being involved in the community problems of Muslims alone. The case study of the contemporary Islamic Movements around the world should serve as a lesson for the IMOA. It should not repeat their history and meet the same fate as they are encountering with. The ever-growing number of Muslim communities and the Masajid are sufficient to attend their problems. The Islamic Movement of America with the growth of time will muster hundreds and thousands of Islamic workers [Da'ees] in its ranks and files within the next 15 to 20 years. It will, Insha Allah, be a boon for the Muslims as well as for the other communities of America.
2. THE LITERATURE: The Qur'an was the literature of Rasulullah (S). It uniquely served its purpose. It cannot be replaced by anything. The language of the people of this land is English and Spanish. We have no choice but to produce Dawah literature in the spoken languages of this country. As mentioned above, the team of Da'ees will cater this basic need of the Islamic Movement efficiently and effectively in all its form and shape.
Along with the development of the Team and Dawah literature, it is equally a matter of paramount importance that the IMOA develops a clear-cut strategy of Dawah Ilallah in the American perspective. The progress of the Movement very much depends on its strategy of Dawah Ilallah.
As mentioned above, I will, Insha Allah, now elaborate the strategy of Dawah Ilallah in the American perspective. A Da'ee must be clear that who are his addressees and how to address them? Similarly, what should be the address and how to deliver it? These are the vital points of Dawah Ilallah. The fate of the Islamic Movement of America and its onward march hinges on how it addresses these fundamental questions from the very outset.
Alhamdulillah, I have tried to fix the priorities of the Islamic Movement in the light of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Similarly, the strategy of Dawah Ilallah is to be traced out form the Qur'an and traditions of Rasulullah (S). Rasulullah (S) had not only fixed the priorities but also laid down the strategy of Dawah Ilallah towards establishing His Deen in the body politics of the country. The life-pattern of Rasulullah (S) is the only model before us for every direction that we may need to introduce, spread and establish the Deen of Allah (SWT) in the present context of the world. Rasulullah (S) was guided directly by Allah both by open revelations through the Qur'an and secret revelations though Hadith. Both the sources of Wahi and their application and implementation were under the guidance from Allah. That is why Allah (SWT) ordained the believers in very clear terms:
" Say, (O Muhammad, to mankind): If you love Allah, follow me: Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. Allah is Forgiver, Merciful".
[The Qur'an. 3 : 31]
" Who so obeys the messenger, obeys Allah and who so turns away; [it should be clear that] We have not sent thee to be their keeper."
[The Qur'an. 4: 80]
We have, therefore, to find out:
i. Who were the addressees of the Qur'an and how they were addressed by Rasulullah (S)?
ii. What strategy was adopted by Rasulullah (S) in presenting Islam to his people and the mankind?
iii. The Islamic Movement of Rasulullah (S) - was it a closed or an open Movement?
iv. Can we deviate from the strategy as demonstrated by Rasulullah (S)?
The foregoing discussion about the Concept, the Needs, the Priorities and the onward discussion about the Strategy of Dawah Ilallah must answer these pertinent questions in their true perspective.
II. STRATEGY OF DAWAH ILALLAH IN AMERICAN PERSPECTIVE:
The strategy of Dawah Ilallah in American perspective rotates around the following questions:
1. What to present - The Message;
2. Whom to present - The Addressees;
3. How to present - The Methodology.
1. THE MESSAGE:
It covers the following fundamentals of Deen. This should formulate as the paramount message of Dawah Ilallah and be advocated, propagated and presented to the people of the land through personal dialogue, Islamic literature and computer network.
i. Tawheed [Monotheism]: Total obedience to Allah, the Creator and the Sustainer, in every walk of life, both in individual and collective spheres, associating no partner with Him and depending only on His Nusrah [help];
ii. The Amanah [Trust]: The people, neither individually nor collectively, are the masters or the owners of any thing in this cosmos or that they possess. They are only the trustees of their life, time, talents and resources;
iii. Accountability in Akhirah: Everyone will be accountable to his or her Creator and Sustainer for the use of his or her "trust" [the bounties of Allah] on the Day of Judgment and will be rewarded or punished for the manner he or she has used his or her "trust".
iv. Risalah [Prophethood]- The Model: The believers in Allah and His Prophet (S) are to follow the life pattern of Rasulullah (S) as the only model throughout their life till eternity.
During the entire Makkan period, these were the salient features of Dawah Ilallah. Allah (SWT) exhorted the people to enter into His fold by accepting and observing these basic concepts of Deen and practice Islam, as a way of life, in its totality. Later on, when the Jamaah was transformed into Islamic State in Madinah, new dimensions were added to the aforesaid message as listed below:
1. Calling the people to the fold of Allah;
2. Delivering Al-Qist [Justice] to mankind;
3. Establishing Ma'roof [dos] and eradicating Munkar [don'ts];
4. Upholding the cause of the oppressed and downtrodden;
5. Establishing a society free from all kinds of exploitation, discrimination and prejudices; and
6. Rendering humanitarian services to the poor, the needy and the incapacitated;
These basic obligations of Dawah Ilallah became the binding functions of the Islamic State and that of the onward Islamic Movement to get the Deen of Allah spread both at the individual and collective levels. The emphasis given in the Qur'an in these respects are very clear.
* " You are indeed the best nation that has ever been brought forth for [the good of] mankind: you enjoin the doing of what is right and forbid the doing of what is wrong, and you believe in Allah."
[The Qur'an. 3 : 110]
* " And that there might grow out of you a community [a group of people] who invite into all that is good, and enjoin the doing of what is right and forbid the doing of what is wrong; and it is they, they who shall attain a happy state."
[The Qur'an. 3 : 104]
* " And how could you refuse to fight in the cause of Allah and of the utterly helpless men and women and children who are crying, " O our Sustainer! Lead us forth [to freedom] out of this land whose people are oppressors, and raise for us, out of Thy grace, one who will bring us succor!"
[The Qur'an. 4 : 75]
* "O You who attained to faith! Bow down and prostrate yourselves, and worship your Sustainer [alone], and do good, so that you might attain to a happy state!"
[The Qur'an. 22 : 77]
* " Indeed,[even aforetime] did we send forth Our apostles with all evidence of [this] truth; and through them We bestowed revelation from on high, and [thus gave you] a balance [wherewith to weigh right and wrong], so that men might behave with equity;"
[The Qur'an. 57 :25]
The Message containing in these verses of the Qur'an is paramount, eloquent and goes a long way to create an equilibrium in the human society. It is the hopes of mankind and the panacea for the suffering humanity. The Islamic State of Madinah, established by Rasulullah (S), implemented this agenda meticulously in its domain. These obligations were subsequently undertaken, progressed and promoted by Khulafae-Rashedeen. They are laid down in the Qur'an as the most demanding challenges to Muslim Ummah. The Islamic Movements of our time have no choice but to undertake and struggle for the attainment of these glorious ends in the same process as phased out above.
2. THE ADDRESSEES - [The humans]:
The addresses of the Qur'an were and are the humans, the people of the time, not any tribe or community. From the very outset in Verse 21 of Al-Baqarah, Allah ordains:
" O mankind! Worship your Sustainer, who has created you and those who lived before you, so that you might remain conscious of Him".
[The Qur'an. Al-Baqarah: 21]
The addressees must be introduced in nice and fascinating language about: the fundamentals of Aqeeda; the position of man on earth; the concept of success and loss; the principles of rise and fall of nations; the unique position of womenfolk; the family values, and the principles of social justice. The Islamic Movement is to fulfil this prime obligation of Dawah Ilallah in American perspective. It has to develop a strategy as how to present the basic concepts of Islam to the people of the land in a convincing manner.
To accomplish this job efficiently and effectively, the Da'ee must know his addressees in depth: the people of the land and their composition, the country and its resources, their customs and traditions, their virtues and short-comings, their etiquette and behavior, their culture and ethnic background, the spoken languages of the people, and the issues and the problems which they are facing. Let us examine some of these aspects in detail.
Islam is to be presented to the people of the land in their own spoken language or languages by the Da'ee. As:
* All prophets were from their own people [nations] They spoke their own language.
[Ref: Ibrahim - 4; Yusuf- 2; Al-Shooarah - 106,124, 142, 161]
" And never have We sent forth any apostle otherwise than [with a message] in his own people's tongue, so that he might make [the truth] clear unto them".
[The Qur'an. Ibrahim: 4]
"We have revealed it [the Qur'an], in Arabic [for the people of the land to understand well] "
[The Qur'an. Yusuf : 2]
The IMOA has to present the message to the people of the land in their own language. They have to develop a plan to produce and publish the Islamic literature in the spoken languages of the country. It is the strategy of Dawah Ilallah that the IMOA must produce its own Dawah literature in American English and Spanish. Late Moulana Maudoodi ® advised the writer in July 1979 to do the same. I have narrated the full text of his valuable advice on page 111 of my book. "Methodology of Dawah".
INFORMATION ABOUT THE PEOPLE: As stated earlier, it is very important that the Da'ee knows his addressees well - their nature, their temperament, their likes and dislikes, their weaknesses, their individual and national character. It will help the Da'ee to address them in correct perspective.
Rasulullah (S) was well aware of his addressees, the Arabs and their traditions. To collect the tribal chiefs at the foot of Faran Hill, he called them with their slogan of "Ya Sabaha" and the people came running to him. Abu Bakr (R) was an authority on "Ilmul Ansab" [the knowledge of family trees]. Mostly he used to accompany Rasulullah (S) in his Dawah errands. It was a very indispensable knowledge of the time to address the tribal chiefs. He (S) used to gather information of the Batil's camp both at the time of peace and war. Rasulullah (S) used to get information in advance from Allah and through His angels. Allah gave a running commentary on relationship and the fighting condition between Iran and Romans through Verses 2-4 of Surah Al-Room. Rasulullah (S) was the best-informed person of his time.
Similarly, the Islamic Movement of America, its leadership and the team of Da'ees must know this country, its people, their problems and the Islamic solution in the light of the Qur'an and the Sunnah. It is the prime requisite that the Da'ee is well aware of the situation under which he is to fulfill his or her responsibility of Dawah Ilallah. It provides a strategical gain to a Da'ee in his or her pursuit to win over the heart and mind of his/her addressee in a familiar and friendly environment. It will constitute as the best strategy of DI.
In the American perspective, the Da'ee along with aforesaid information, must also know in depth about the existing position of new American Muslims - their strength, their orientation, their whereabouts and the quantum of their understanding of Islam and readiness to do all for Allah's Deen. They should be contacted, called in conferences, inspired and exhorted to undertake the mission of Rasulullah (S) with their respective religious and ethnic background. The indigenous Muslims will be the best means of Dawah Ilallah in American perspective. The IMOA must give top priority to organize the New Muslims to undertake the mission of introducing Islam to their own countrymen and women effectively.
ADDRESSING THE PEOPLE BY THE PEOPLE OF THE LAND:
It will be a strategical gain for the IMOA when the people will be addressed by the people of the land who know them well, speak their language and have many common concern for self, family and society in which they live together. This will ultimately help in producing the requisite indigenous team of Da'ees, and Dawah-oriented leadership on the pattern Rasulullah (S) built at his time. These indigenous Muslim brothers and sisters will include Caucasian American [CA], African American [AA], Latino American [LA], Native American [NA] and the Immigrant Muslims [IM] of Indo-Pak sub-continent and that of the Middle East. It will represent the Team of cross - section Da'ees at grass root level of this country on the pattern, the team of Sahabah ® was built by Rasulullah (S). It will be a true rainbow of different color, languages, race, regions and ethnicity but believing, practicing and propagating only one Aqeeda with the only mission to call the humanity to the fold of Allah (SWT).
3. THE METHODOLOGY:
There is no fixed methodology in Islam. It differs from person to person, situation to situation and place to place. Rasulullah (S) has used all the methods available to him and what his (S) and his beloved companion's ingenuity could foresee and muster depending on the situation, the people and his addressees. It is, therefore, to be developed through Dawah process and Dawah contact programs with different ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds. I have discussed this important aspect of Dawah Ilallah in detail in my book, "Methodology of Dawah Ilallah in American Perspective"; published - 1989 by Forum for Islamic Work, NY; [Ref: Pages from 116 to 161]. It is not advisable to produce it here. Interested brothers and sisters can refer the book under reference.
III. WHO WILL DO THIS JOB?
It will be initiated and carried out by the Immigrant Muslims in conjunction with the indigenous Muslim Brothers and sisters
A. Why the immigrant Muslims should take initiative? They should do it because of the fact:
i. The Immigrant Muslims have a great responsibility in this respect - especially the Dawah-oriented brothers and sisters of Jamaat-e-Islami, Muslim Brotherhood, Hizbut Tahreer, & Tanzeem Islami [mere their condemnation of the non-Muslims as "Kuffar" on their part and doing nothing to change the system will not help them];
ii. It is the planning of Allah that they are here - none could come on his own accord. They are now the ambassadors of Islam in America.
iii. Comparatively, they are better equipped with Islamic knowledge, wisdom and have practical experience in the field of Dawah Ilallah;
iv. They are to work here for the success of their back home Islamic Movements -It is a game of rebound - to be played in America and reap the harvest in the Muslim world [Reference - "The Revival" - S A Siddiqi; chapter 4, Pages 59 -63]
v. It is their obligation as citizen of this country to save the sinking ship of America for the sake of themselves and their progenies.
B. How this job will be done and through what process? [The role of Immigrant Muslims]
i. Searching for the good New Muslims from CA, AA, LA, NA and from the Immigrants Muslims ["Saeed Ruhoon ki Tallash"], wherever they are through Dawah process;
ii. Transferring the concept of Dawah Ilallah in its totality and its process to the indigenous team of Da'ees;
iii. Helping them in building the requisite character of Da'ee Ilallah with proper Tarbiyah and Tazkiyah
iv. Formulating and consolidating them into the requisite TEAM of Da'ees on the pattern Rasulullah (S) did ;
v. This process must continue for four to five years till a Team of a few hundred Da'ees, bearing a trustworthy character, is available to the IMOA on the pattern Rasulullah (S) built his team;
vi. Till that time, the movement will remain a "closed net" organization and its Membership will be restricted to those who meet the criterion of "Ebadus Saleheen";
vii. This will provide the requisite indigenous Team of the cross section of people. It will be a prelude to the formal Islamic Movement of America.. This team will provide the indigenous Islamic leadership in American perspective around 2004/5, provided the priorities are fixed forthwith and the strategies are followed, as being discussed in this paper, without any further lapse of time. This team will constitute the core group of the Movement, keep it on right track and grow both in number and quality with the passage of time;
viii. IMOA will then [by 2004 or 5] organize itself formally as an "OPEN" Movement for the Muslims of this country.
When the organization becomes OPEN, any person who subscribes to the Goal of Iqamatuddeen and its process, meets the expectations from the Members of the Movement, has the urge to be a Da'ee Ilallah, follows the Constitution and discipline of the party, will be eligible to be the Member of the Islamic Movement. The IMOA will transform itself into a broad-based indigenous Islamic Movement of America at the grass root level of this country. The IMOA will have only one tier of Membership and will be open to all the citizens of this Country, irrespective of color, race or origin.
IV. WHAT THE TEAM WILL DO BEFORE AND AFTER transforming itself into a formal IMOA?
A. THE FUNCTIONS: BEFORE THE FORMATION OR BECOMING AN OPEN MOVEMENT:
i. Calling the people of the land, the Judeo-Christian-Muslim community of America, to the fold of their Creator and Sustainer, Allah (SWT), through active involvement in Dawah activities both at individual and collective levels - The addressees of Dawah Ilallah. [Al-Baqarah:21]
NOTE: [It should be clearly noted that the IMOA is for the entire Judeo-Christian-Muslim Community and not for the Muslims alone]
ii. Soliciting like-minded Muslim brothers and sisters to be the active part of the Islamic Movement;
iii. Producing Dawah Literature/material both for the intelligentsia and the masses;
iv. Publishing a Journal of highly academic standard for ventilating the views, comments and concern over the developments of world and national events, advocating for Islam as the only way of life against the secular and liberal cults and concepts and presenting Islamic solution of the problems being confronted with by America, the Muslim world and the humanity at large;
v. Rendering humanitarian services on personal level, creating an "oasis" of peace and good will around themselves;
vi. Developing strategy for a global Islamic Movement to meet the challenges of time and maintaining cordial relations with different sister Islamic Movements of America and abroad;
B. THE FUNCTIONS - AFTER THE FORMATION OR BECOMING AN OPEN MOVEMENT:
i. Doing extensive Dawah activities, using all the available means of communication, making Islam to be the talk of the day at the grass root level;
ii. Establishing the Ma'roof and eradicating the Munkar with cooperation from the people of the land;
iii. Doing Intensive Dawah work in some designated areas, Regions or States;
iv. Establishing a few ideal communities in the country to serve as model of Islamic way of life for the people of the land to visit and have a vision of the "would be Islamic society";
v. Working for a greater consolidated Islamic Movement in America to give impetus to the cause of Iqamatuddeen by all Muslims and every Islamic institution;
vi. Developing a global strategy for introducing Islam as the only way of life in the Western Hemisphere.
V. THE FUTURE OF THE ISLAMIC MOVEMENT IN AMERICA:
* Working along these two primary stages meticulously [first before and then after the Formation of the IMOA], the Movement will get momentum, Insha Allah, by 2010 or so.
* The leadership of the IMOA will then decide its future course and program keeping in mind the position of America, global upheavals and the needs of the Muslim Ummah. To me, it augurs well. If the Movement progresses well through the aforesaid program and Dawah strategy as spelled out above, Islam, Insha Allah, will emerge as an alternate way of life within the next two to three decades in the West.
A determined and an organized Team of Da'ees with a clear vision, a comprehensive Dawah program, having fixed priorities and a well defined strategy of Dawah Ilallah is the greatest need of the time. All the Dawah-oriented brothers and sisters should work together to build up such a Team in American perspective. Time is fast running out. Before the world settles down on some false notions, in the post cold war era, Muslims must take a stride and work hard for the emergence of Islam as a force somewhere on the surface of the earth, lest it becomes too late. The Muslims of America and the IMOA have a great responsibility in this respect. If they cannot rise to the demand of time, they will miss the bus again as they did at the time when communism collapsed early in 1991 in Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Muslims had no "model" of a modern Islamic state to offer to the nations who gave up Communism and were in search of some alternate code of life to fall back. If we do not accept this challenge, the world will then settle down on some false ideology and the Muslims will continue to suffer humiliations after humiliations and only Allah knows how long?
The existing IMOA, if there is any, must asses its present position, make positive changes in its program, re-arrange or re-set its priorities, and develop a clear-cut Dawah strategy on the lines just discussed in this paper. If it fails in getting it re-oriented, the so-called Islamic Movement will pay a big price for its indolence and keeping itself involved in "unproductive" projects and petty issues of the community.
Before conclusion, I would like to add that in a country there can be more than one Islamic Movement at a time to call the people of the land towards the fold of Allah (SWT). There is no "Al-Jamaah" today in the present context of the world. Some brothers and sisters may be desirous to set out afresh for their struggle for Iqamatuddeen in America. However, it must be clearly understood by them that they cannot deviate from the Goal, the Process, the Priorities and the Strategies of Dawah Ilallah which are well defined in the Qur'an and magnificently demonstrated by Rasulullah (S) through his life long struggle for "Izhare Deen". The same has been elaborated in this paper. These fundamentals of Dawah Ilallah cannot be changed or given up for the sake of expediency or to cater the "need of the situation". If they resort to some other format on the pattern of Corporate America or ignore the entire process of Dawah Ilallah, or they prefer to "shop on the process", it will be a disaster. Allah forbid, it may end in a fiasco. It is the means and the methodology, where they have the choice but that too must be permissible within the code of Islamic Shariah.
May Allah give us Tawfeeq to rise to the demand of time, accept the challenges before us and muster the requisite amount of courage to change the course of history both at home and abroad.
Shamim A Siddiqi