2. Acquisition & imparting of Deeni knowledge
Hayaatul Muslimeen(Life of Muslims)
2. Acquisition & imparting of Deeni knowledge
Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
"The acquisition of (Deeni) knowledge is compulsory on every Muslim." (Ibn Majah)
This hadith proves that it is obligatory upon every Muslim, male and female, rich and poor, city dweller and villager, to seek Deeni knowledge. Acquisition of Deeni knowledge is not confined to the medium of the Arabic language. The teachings of the Deen are to be acquired through the medium of either Arabic books or non-Arabic books or by enquiring from reliable Ulama or by listening to lectures of reliable and qualified lecturers. Women who are unable to read and cannot reach any Aalim, should through the agency of their men-folk enquire from the Ulama about their Deeni requirements,
Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
"0 Abu Thar (a Sahaabi) if you go anywhere to learn one aayat of the Qur'aan, it is better for you than a hundred rakaats (Nafl) Salaat; if you go anywhere to acquire one law of the knowledge (of Deen), it is better for you than performing a thousand rakaats (Nafl) Salaat, irrespective of whether you practised on it (the knowledge) or not." (Ibn Majah)
The immense value and significance of Deeni knowledge are manifest from this hadith. Some people contend that knowledge without practice is fertile. This view is erroneous because the hadith states with clarity the great merit of acquiring Deeni knowledge even if one did not practise in accordance. There are three reasons for this great significance of knowledge even if one does not practise according to what has been acquired. These are:
1. Knowledge prevents one from going astray because of the realization of the truth. This in itself is a great treasure.
2. Knowledge of the Deen will, Insha-Allah, induce one to act in accordance with it sometime or the other. Insha-Allah, a man of knowledge will someday obtain the taufeeq to make amal (to practice according to the demands of knowledge).
3, Knowledge enables one to instruct others in the truth. One in possession of Deeni knowledge is in a position to impart that knowledge thereby disseminating the law of Allah Ta'ala. This too is of great merit and of tremendous thawaab.
Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
"The noblest charity is that a Muslim acquires some knowledge (of the Deen), then imparts it to a brother Muslim, " (Ibn Majah)
This hadith urges the imparting of Deeni knowledge in whatever measure one has acquired. Its thawaab is greater than all acts of charity.
Subhaanallah! How gracious is Allah! He bestows the greatest of thawaab for slight effort of the tongue. Such huge amount of thawaab can never be attained by expending even large sums of money in charity.
Allah Ta'a]a says:
"0 people of Imaan! Save yourself and your families from the Fire." Explaining this aayat, Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) says that it means:
"Teach your fancily acts of virtue (i.e. Deeni acts).
It is manifest from this ayat and hadith that teaching the Deen to one's wife and children is compulsory. Failing to discharge this obligatory duty will result in the punishment of the Fire as stated in the aayat.
(All Ahadith mentioned so far have been taken from the Kitaab, Targheeb)
Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said that among the good deeds of believers, which will continue to build up (as capital) after one's death is Deeni knowledge which was imparted to others. This applies to even a single mas'alah (rule) shown to another. Among such deeds is the dissemination of the Deen, for example by means of writing or purchasing books and distributing these or by assisting students pursuing Deeni knowledge. Also among the virtuous deeds, the thawaab of which will be perpetuated after one's death are pious children. The hadith mentions some other acts of virtue as well in this regard. Ibn Majah and Baihaqi)
Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
"No one has given his children anything better than adab (which in this context refers to Deeni knowledge). (Tirmithi and Baihaqi)
Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
"Allah Ta'ala makes Jannat a surety for a man who looks after three daughters or three sisters. He imparts knowledge to them; is kind to them until such time that Allah Ta'ala relieves him of their responsibility (i.e. until they get married). "
Someone then enquired regarding two daughters and Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) mentioned the same reward for caring for two daughters. Another person enquired in regard to one daughter. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said that this thawaab and significance are for caring for even one daughter. (These Ahadith have been extracted from Mishkaat).
Acquisition and teaching of Deeni knowledge being fardh (compulsory) and the considerable thawaab therefore are established by these Ahadith (cited above) as well as by many other Ahadith. The highest degree of such knowledge is that which qualifies one as an Aalim of the Deen. However, all people do not have the ability, determination and opportunity to become Ulama. Nevertheless, Deeni knowledge is incumbent upon all, hence a simple method of acquiring such knowledge will he explained. This simple method enables the general public to acquire Deeni knowledge, thereby discharging their incumbent duty and obtaining the thawaab promised in this regard. This simple way is as follows:
1. Those versant with the Urdu language should study authentic Urdu books of the Deen, e.g. Beheshti Zewer, Ta'leemud Deen, Qasdus Sabeel, Tahleegh-Deen and Tas-heelul Mawaaiz. These books should be studied in lesson form from a reliable Aalim. If the services of such a teacher are not available then read and study these books on your own until you find someone able to teach you. Wherever you do not understand, make a mark: seek clarification whenever you meet someone of knowledge. Whatever knowledge you acquire in this way, impart it to others also. Make a special effort to teach such knowledge which you have acquired to your wife and children.
2. Those unable to read Urdu should endeavour to enlist the services of one who is versant in Urdu. The instructor should read and explain the hooks to his class. At the same time they should refer their Deeni questions to him for explanation. It is best and most beneficial if such a knowledgeable man can be engaged permanently. If necessary, he should be paid a salary which should be the responsibility of the community. All can contribute towards this salary. To raise a salary for an Ustadh is not at all difficult. People squander considerable amounts of money on unnecessary and unlawful worldly luxuries. Contributing a bit towards one's own Deeni life which in reality is the capital and means of one's everlasting life in the Aakhirah, is no sacrifice.
In appointing a teacher and selecting the books for the syllabus do not be directed by personal opinion and choice. Seek the advice of a pious Aalim.
3. Refer your affairs to some pious Aalim so that you may know and understand if your affairs and activities are in conformity with the Shariah. Whenever you wish to embark on a venture, Deeni or worldly, and you are not certain of the Shar'i ruling and requirement pertaining to that venture, then seek the advice and guidance of a pious Aalim. What you learn in this way, impart it to others as well Should you not have the opportunity of going personally to such an Aalim then seek his counsel and guidance by means of a letter. To ensure a quick reply and to make it easy for the Aalim, enclose; self-addressed and prepaid postage envelope in your letter.
4. Occasionally endeavour to meet pious Ulama; sit in their company and listen to their talks and advice. It is very beneficial to go especially to meet them. However, if you lack the means of going to meet them or the opportunity does not arise and no such pious Aalim is nearby, then whenever such an opportunity comes your way take advantage of it and spend some time in their company. When in the company of such an Aalim ask him about your Deeni affairs.
5. Another important duty is to occasionally invite a reliable and good Deeni lecturer to your town or neighbourhood. When contemplating to invite a lecturer, seek the advice of a pious Aalim. Do not invite just anyone. When listening to his wa'z (lecture) do so with great attention so that the love and fear of Allah enter your heart. Practicing in accordance with the commands of the Deen will then be a simple matter.
The above is a brief explanation of' several simple ways of learning and teaching Deeni knowledge. determination and steadfastness will result in the easy acquisition of the essential teachings of the Deen.
In addition to the adoption of the aforementioned methods, it is essential to abstain from two harms:
a. Never attend or participate in the gatherings and functions of the kuffaar and those who have gone astray, Firstly, words of kufr and dhalaal (deviation) produce darkness in the heart. Secondly, at such gatherings there is the possibility of a Muslim being provoked; his Imaan may become inflamed because of haraam acts being committed or statements of blasphemy uttered. His anger may lead to dispute and strife. On the other hand, if one is unable to voice one's anger, one will be overtaken by depression and frustration. One's peace of mind will be wrecked.
b. Refrain from disputes and debates. In the majority of cases debates produce darkening of the heart, ill-feeling and frustration.
Another very harmful effect of attending such gatherings and functions and engaging in debates is doubt and confusion. A statement of falsehood or kufr may throw the unqualified one - the one with insufficient knowledge - into great mental confusion. One may be influenced by the baatil and due to insufficient knowledge the doubt will linger and not be dispelled. Thus, by attending such functions one unnecessarily invites great spiritual calamity upon oneself, One attends at the peril of one's Imaan.
Should anyone attempt to goad you into a debate, refuse firmly and refer him to the Ulama.
Adherence to these instructions and methods, will Insha-Allah, ensure Deeni and Imaani health. You will be fortified spiritually and morally; you will be saved from the diseases which attack the Deen, May Allah Ta'ala assist you and grant you Taufeeq.
THE REVOLUTION OF THE UMMAH
UMMATI - "My Ummah" (This is the call and slogan of love of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam); his deep love for his Ummah caused him to always call out in dua - "Ummati, Ummati")
The revolution of the Ummah in relation to this cry of "Ummati" does not leave for its goal worldly revolution. Thus the term 'revolution' must not bc: understood in the context of worldly change and revolution. Although a discussion regarding the mundane revolution of the Ummah is not futile, nevertheless, the dimension of change falling within the purview of our discussion here is Deeni Revolution. The change or revolution which is the aim and goal of Islam has no affinity and no relationship with the kind of mundane changes which have overtaken the Ummah.
A study of the life conditions of a disobedient Ummati in relation to the detailed laws and rules of the Shariah will produce the stunning revelation that there is absolutely no affinity and connection between the Ummati and the Shariah.
The following are the constituent parts of the Deen:
Aqaa'id (Belief's) Diyaanaat (Salaat, Saum, Nikah, Talaaq, etc.)
Mu'aamailaat (Transactions, contracts, trade, etc.),
Mu'aasharaat (socia life, e.g. food, dress, speech, salaam, etc.) and
Akhlaaq (Moral character).
Regarding Aqaa'id, it is indeed fortunate that the 'revolution' of rejection has not yet overtaken the Ummah. Beliefs are not outrightedly rejected although some changes have taken place under cover of the Deen. The type of changes affected under cover of Deen, fall within the scope of bid'ah (innovation). It is for the sake of bid'ah that the Ahl-e-Baatil (People of falsehood) have become the opponents of the Ahl-e-Haqq (People of Truth) because of the latter's endeavours to rectify the error of bid'ah. In short, the Nusoos (Qur'aan and Ahadith) have not been refuted, but have been subjected to baseless and erroneous interpretation (Ta'weel Baatil).
The evil condition of baseless interpretation is the malady which has overcome the Ulama. But the modernists (i.e. the self-styled reformists, luminaries and western-educated Muslims-Translator) have transgressed further by having adopted the revolution of rejection as well. 1 hey not only baselessly interpret the Nusoos, but outrightly reject these as well. In fact, they at times mock and jeer at the beliefs of Islam. As a result of their mocking and jesting at the Deen, the Guardians of Islam (the Ulama-e-Haqq) have labelled them with kufr. The modernist reactionaries in turn retaliated with epithets such as 'bigots' against the Ulama. But those aware of the nature of kufr will not be deluded. They will know that the Ulama had no choice in the matter. They are under Shar'i compulsion to proclaim such kufr. They will therefore be in agreement with the Ulama.
This, then, is the state of the 'revolution' which has overtaken the first constituent part of Deen, viz. Aqaa'id.
Regarding the revolution in the second part, viz., Diyaanaat (Salaat, Saum, etc.) the masses have not wrought a 'revolution' of bid'ah in it, i,e. they have not changed the actual acts and laws pertaining to the teachings in this department of the Shariah, but they have subjected it to neglect and omission. Their attitude of neglect towards this part of Deen is so marked that it conveys the impression that Salaat, Saum, etc., are not obligatory acts of worship. The same attitude of indifference has been adopted in regard to matters pertaining to Nikah, Talaaq, etc. While accepting these issues to be integral parts of the Deen, as well as accepting the exposition and explanation of these issues given by the Ulama, the general public act on the basis of desire. In a conflict between a Deeni demand and the nafs, the latter asserts its domination. For example: the commission of fornication; living together as man and wife inspite of having administered three Talaaq.
This condition of neglect, indifference and omission regarding the second constituent part of Deen applies to the masses. However, the modernists (the products of western education) have no hesitation in denying the validity of even these teachings and practices of the Deen.
The change which the remaining three parts of Deen, viz., Mu'aamalaat, Mu'aasharaat and Akhlaaq, have suffered is by far graver than the revolution which has overtaken the first two departments of Deen. Even the masses, due to ignorance, have excluded these three constituent parts from the Deen. These three departments are regarded as mundane affairs - matters applicable to only the world - and as such to be decided upon and chosen by opinion and fancy. Thus, impure motives and corruption of the heart have played havoc in these three fields of the Deen. This attitude of crookedness and corruption in understanding have brought into existence a new practice, a new custom and a new kabit in opposition to almost every rule and demand of the Shariah in these three departments. A conglomeration of practices, customs and habits having no affinity and sanction in the Shariah now constitutes the way of life of the Ummah.
In having chosen an un-islamic innovated way of life, the masses do not feel the slightest inhibition because they do not consider themselves to have erred in this respect. On the contrary, they proudly regard their newly adopted (un-Islamic) way of life as progress. In fact, they regard their personal practices, customs and ways which they have introduced ill opposition to the Divine rules and etiquette of conduct to be superior to the Shariah. This attitude is amply demonstrated by the severe and unbridled opposition they offer those who call them towards the true Law and Way of life of a Muslim, viz., the Sunnah.
This has indeed been a drastic change in the Urnmah.
In the first two departments of Deen (viz., Aqaa'id and Diyaanaat) the constituent parts were not excised from the Deen nor were other beliefs and devotional acts of worship introduced in opposition to those of the Shariah. In other words, in so far as belief and practice are concerned, no Muslim considers any act or practice (which may have been innovated) to be superior to Salaat, Saum, etc. The changes in these two departments are in relation to baseless interpretation (Ta'weel Baatil), neglect omission and addition to the existing valid practices of Ibaadat. But, the gravity and magnitude of the changes in the latter three departments are so great that these, viz., Mu'aamalaat, Mu'aasharaat and Akhlaaq, have been actually detached and expelled from the Deen. After this excision new rules and norms of conduct have been adopted in diametrical opposition to the Shariah's conduct and culture. To aggravate the issue the newly adopted un-islamic culture has been assigned superiority over the original culture of islam. Thus the change wrought in the latter three departments of the Deen are vastly greater and more drastic than the 'revolution' which the first two departments of the Deen have suffered.
The external manifestation and occurrence of the changes in the latter three departments are both abundant and conspicuous. Aqaa'id, although compulsory, are not externally conspicuous. The change wrought in beliefs is therefore less discernible. The occurrence of Diyaanaat (e.g Salaat, Saum) is in specific times, hence the change in this department too is relatively less in abundance and conspicuousness. But, the last three departments of the Deen (viz., Mu'aamalaat, Mu'aasharaat and Akhlaaq) are applicable at all times and in abundance since they govern every facet of man's life and movement. Therefore, the change which these three departments underwent is abundant and very conspicuous. Indeed a great revolution of detriment has overtaken the fatter three avenues of the Deen.
Due to the abundance and conspicuousness of this change, an observer will at all times witness the transition - the great change - in the members of the Ummah. The observer (acquainted with true and original Islamic culture) when witnessing this profound change constantly in a member of the Ummah who simultaneously sends up the slogan of (I am of the Ummah of Muhammad sallallahu alayhi
wasallam), will indeed be astounded. He will be struck with surprise and wonder. He will ask:
"On what does the claimant base his slogan? In which respect and in what does he agree with Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)? On what does he stake his claim?"
0 Muslims! You are again being warned of your condition of degradation. You have to be alert. You must awaken from your slumber. If even now you fail to wake up, then may Allah help! If you have realised your fallen state - your fall from the pedestal of glory - then have you not realised that its reformation and its restoration to its former lofty state are incumbent upon you? If it is incumbent - in other words, if indeed you do acknowledge this incumbency - then what are you waiting for? When will you commence with your spiritual reformation which will bring about your restoration to your proper pedestal of glory? Are you awaiting some obstacle, some incapacitating disease or death or some new wahi (revelation)? For a certainty, there is no hope of any new wahi coming. The Qur'aan therefore asks you:
"Then, which revelation after it (Qur'aan) will they believe?"
Obstacles and diseases which will render you helpless are not impossible. But Maut (death) is a certainty. If you are then awaiting the certainty of Maut, what do you think you will then achieve?
0 Muslims! Regarding this very 'revolution' which the Ummah has undergone and is still undergoing in this age, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) predicted:
Mankind is like a hundred camels among which you cannot find mount (i.e. one worthy of riding). "
"And, Allah knows best and He is the One to grant Taufeeq. "
HOW TO RECTIFY THIS CHANGE : HOW TO REFORM
In the previous question, it was asked:
"Is reformation of the change (or the degradation brought about by the change) not incumbent"
It is not expected of any Muslim to answer that there is no need to reform and reverse the detrimental process of the evil change, which has and is presently gripping the Ummah. No Muslim can say that there is no need to reform the degraded and stagnant condition of the Ummah. We shall now, Insha-Allah, indicate the way by which the Ummah may achieve the incumbent reformation.
At the very outset it should be understood that the change or 'revolution' which the Ummah has suffered is a spiritual ailment. Like physical ailments have causes, so too have spiritual ailments. Like the cure for physical disease is the elimination of the causes, so too, the cure for spiritual disease is the elimination of its causes. Once the causes of the spiritual disease have been eliminated, spiritual health and vigour will be the result. There are two factors to be dealt with in this regard:
1. Diagnosis to establish the causes.
2. Ways and means of eliminating these causes.
A careful and thorough study and examination will reveal that the cause of the Ummah's disease of change and decadence consists of two parts:
a. Dearth of Islamic knowledge, i.e. widespread ignorance prevailing in the Ummah.
b. Lack of determination.
In the absence of knowledge, the essential laws of the Deen remain hidden. Lack of determination impedes practice even if one possesses knowledge,
WAYS AND MEANS OF ELIMINATING THE CAUSES OF OUR DEGRADATION
This is the most important factor, which demands the greatest attention and the firmest resolution. It has been stated above that the cause of the Ummah's fall consists of two parts. Now each of these two parts has to be attended to and eliminated m different ways. Both the Ulama and the seekers of knowledge have a role to play in the elimination of ignorance and for each group the programme of action is different.
The laymen, i,e. those who have to seek knowledge, fall in two categories, viz., the wealthy who have sufficient means and those with lesser means, who have to spend their times in earning their livelihood. The wealthy who have the means should liberate their sons and dedicate them to the purpose of acquiring Deeni knowledge. Although worldly knowledge may he pursued, this should be only to the degree of necessity and be kept subservient to the Deen. The pursuit of worldly learning should never be allowed to eclipse Islamic knowledge. In this way the new generation - the offspring of the present generation - will be reformed.
The elders themselves should engage in the acquisition of knowledge. Arrangements must be made with an Aalim or one well versed in Deeni knowledge. Ilm should be acquired from such a person systematically. If possible acquire the knowledge through the medium of the Arabic language, for Arabic is the medium of greater insight. If this is not possible, then acquire through the medium of Urdu. On the advice of an experienced Aalim, a set of Urdu books should be studied. The books prescribed should comprehensively explain the various branches of the Deen, viz., Aqaaid, Diyaanaat, Mu'aamalaat, Mu'aasharaat and Akhlaaq. Each book should be studied twice or thrice under the guidance of an Ustad. If this is not possible, then complete each book at least once by an Ustad. Thereafter study it several times on your own.
Those, not in a position to devote much time to the acquisition of knowledge because of involvement in earning of livelihood should also study a set of Urdu books. These books should be prescribed for their children as well and should be studied repeatedly. This system of self-study should be adopted until arrangements could be made to enlist the service of an Ustadh who can teach the books. The studies should proceed systematically and with regularity. Should any section in the books not be clear, then make a mark and when meeting a person of knowledge seek clarification from him regarding the relevant section. But, never form your own opinion, for this can he very dangerous.
Those who are unable to read and for some reason cannot dedicate their children to the acquisition of knowledge academically, should initiate among themselves classes for Deeni knowledge. They should make an effort to obtain the service of a qualified Aalim who will teach them the authentic books of Islam. If a qualified Aalim is not available then enlist the service of one who has benefited from the company of Ulama. If such an instructor is not available free. The community should make arrangements to pay him. The classes should be conducted with regularity, preferably daily. If not daily, then at least, once a week.
The teacher who is a non-Aalim should not explain anything in the books which he does not understand. He should mark the relevant parts and seek clarification from the Ulama.
If a suitable teacher cannot be obtained locally, introduce one from outside and pay him a salary. Do remember that when collecting funds, employ only means which are Islamically lawful.
The various categories of seekers of knowledge should, in addition to their respective ways of study, adopt another two obligations: These are:
1. Whenever you are not aware of the Shariah's ruling regarding any of your affairs, worldly or religious, immediately approach the Ulama-e-Haqq for guidance. If locally no such Aalim is available, write to such Ulama who will be able to guide you. If one mas'alah (rule) is asked every day, after a year one will have acquired the knowledge of over 350 masaail. After ten years this number will have grown to 3500. This is not a difficult task.
2. The second necessary duty is to visit frequently the gatherings of Ulama, be such gatherings public or private occasions.
ACQUISITION OF KNOWLEDGE BY WOMEN
Now remains the question of knowledge for women. Endeavours should be made to obtain the service of a pious, uprighteous female teacher to impart the Qur'aan Majeed and other basic Islamic teachings to minor girls. For this purpose, the kitaab, Beheshti Zewer will suffice. If a pious female teacher is not available, then the minor girls too should be included in the program of study of adult females. The program for study of adult females consists of two ways:
a. If at home any male (father, husband, brother, son, etc.) is versed in Islamic knowledge, he should daily and at fixed times conduct a class for the ladies of the house. The same kitaabs prescribed for men (especially Beheshti Zewer) should be taught to ladies at home. These books should be taught to them several times over.
b. Occasionally ask some pious Aalim who is steadfast on the Sunnah to call at home and lecture to the ladies. (Such lectures will be from behind a screen, fully observing all Shar'i requirements of Purdah) This method is wonderfully efficacious in ingraining the Deen into the hearts of females.
The aforegoing is the program of study and for acquiring knowledge for all seekers of knowledge of the Deen. We shall now discuss the program for the Ulama.
PROGRAM FOR THE ULAMA
The Ulama should have it foremost in them to deliver the ahkaam (laws of the Shariah to the people. There are a number of ways in which the Ulama can execute this duty. Among such ways and means to be adopted by the Ulama for the dissemination of knowledge are:
1.DARS: Dars, or teaching the knowledge of the Deen. In such teaching the basic parts of the Deen must be accorded priority. Students should be equipped with Diyaanaat as soon as possible. After having acquired Diyaanaat, if the student wishes to study further, and time is available, the Ulama should never refuse.
When conducting dars, the Ustadh should not answer nonsensical and futile questions put by students. On the contrary, the Ustadh should draw the student's attention to the futility of the question and forbid him from indulgence in such futility.
2. WA'Z.: Wa'z or lecturing is directed to the public in general. When lecturing, the Ulama should take into consideration the time factor. The main topics of lecturing should be the ills of society and the untoward practices prevalent during the time. Although other subjects too may be introduced, these should be given less time and treated with secondary importance. The essential topics should not be confined to Aqa'id and Diyaanaat, but should cover Mu'amulat (Dealings and contracts, etc.) Mu'asharat (social behaviour and conduct), and Akhlaaq (Morals and Character) in detail.
The lecture given should be clear without ambiguity. The audience should understand what is being said. The lecturer should refrain from adopting a style of incitement and animosity and he should never accept any remuneration for delivering a lecture. However, if one is employed specifically for this purpose, then accepting wages will be permissible.
3, Answering Questions: Such answering pertains to questions whether asked verbally or by letter. In this field the Aalim should bear in mind the following:
i. As far as possible do not delay in answering.
ii. Do not answer nonsensical questions. On the contrary, draw the questioner's attention to the futility of his question.
iii. If the question has two or more possibilities, do not answer all possibilities. First ascertain from the questioner, the possibility that is applicable to his question. Sometimes, after having been apprised of the answers of the various possibilities, the questioner chooses the possibility, which is conducive to the furtherance of his motive. He thus opts for that answer. In this way he harms himself spiritually and worldly. By choosing an answer, which furthers his motive, he puts his adversary at a disadvantage.
iv. Do not make it a normal policy to furnish the reasons or dalaa-il (proofs) of the ahkaam (Laws) to laymen. In most cases such dalaa-il are beyond the comprehension of laymen, Furnishing proofs is beneficial for the Ulama.
v. If there is reasonable cause to believe that the questioner will not fully understand the answer, then after furnishing him with the written answer, advise him to request an Aalim to explain the written answer to him.
vi. If there is reason to suspect that the questioner intends to create a dispute and controversy, then do not answer his questions. In short, do not withhold from those who deserve, but refrain from those who are undeserving.
4. COMPILING BOOKS: In this field as well, the times should be taken into consideration. The writings should embody clarity and comprehension. If Allah Ta'ala has blessed the writer with an income, he should not sell his own books.
5. AMR BIL MA'ROOF: Amr bil Ma'roof (Commanding righteousness), Nahyi anil Munkar (Prohibiting evil) is also one of the ways in the program for the Ulama. In some cases non-Ulama also come within this scope. The non-Ulama have to discharge this duty in regard to their subordinates and relatives over whom they exercise control and authority. Such particular Amr bil Ma'roof, Nahyi anil Munkar is not exclusive with the Ulama. However in relation to the general public, the duty of Amr Bil Ma'roof is exclusive with the Ulama.
In most cases it is detrimental for non-Ulama to engage in general tableegh to the masses because laymen are not generally versant with the limits of propagation. 'I hey, therefore, commit excesses in the Deen.
Furthermore, since most laymen are not spiritually reformed, their propagational activities are clouded with base motives of the nafs.
Pointing to the fact that propagation to the general public is the exclusive duty of the Ulama, some Mufassirin have said that the word 'mien' in the aayat:
Let there be among you a group calling to virtue...
is 'mien' tab'iedhiyah' , which sets aside some out of the whole; the meaning here being that some and not all should execute this duty. The particular Amr Bil Ma'roof of the Ulama is Waajib in the following cases:
1. A person does something and is not aware of the Shariah's ruling in regard to his doing.
2. The Aalim has full control and authority over the one who does the act.
3. The Aalim is confident that the one doing the deed will heed his (the
Alim's) statements of Amr bil Ma'roof.
In cases other then the three above mentioned, the Amr bil Ma'roof will be Mustahab (preferable and meritorious), but not obligatory.
Among the etiquettes of Tableegh is to exhort and explain the one concerned in privacy and with kindness. Thereafter, if necessary, in public and with emphasis and severity. On the other hand, if there seems to be no hope of the audience heeding one's call, then ignore them and make dua.
Among the branches of Amr bil Ma'roof, Nahyi anil Munkar is to propagate to the kuffaar as well, Such propagation may be either verbally or by means of literature distributed to them. Tableegh to the kuffaar should be to the non-Muslims of one's own land as well as to those of other lands. Although tableegh to the kuffaar is no longer Waajib, nevertheless, since the Shariah is universal, it will be highly meritorious if this branch of tableegh is also undertaken.
Defending Islam against the onslaught of the forces of baatil is also a branch of Tableegh. To save the seekers of truth from doubt, confusion and deception, the Ulama should counter and neutralise the criticism, attacks and false allegations of the kuffaar and the Ahl-e-Bid'ah. In achieving this goal, all lawful means should be utilised.
The aforementioned discussion pertained to the ways and means of dispelling ignorance. We shall now proceed to outline the ways and means of overcoming lack of courage and negligence.
HOW TO ELIMINATE LACK OF COURAGE
Experience has proven that the following ways are highly efficacious in strengthening one's resolve and in overcoming weakness and lack of courage.
l. Association with a Kaamil (expert and qualified) Shaikh of Tasawwuf
(Spiritual Mentor or Guide). The following are the signs of a
a. He possesses sufficient knowledge of the Deen.
b. He is a firm adherent of the beliefs, practices and morals of the Shariah.
c. He is devoid of worldly greed.
d. He lays no claim to perfection and excellence.
e. He had lived a while in the company of a Shaikh-e-Kaamil.
f. The contemporary uprighteous Ulama and Mashaa-ikh hold him in esteem .
g. Comparatively, more intelligent persons than ignorant ones incline towards him.
h. The condition of the majority of his mureeds in relation to obedience to the Shariah and reduction in worldly greed, is good.
i. He is alert and is concerned about the conditions of his mureeds. He reprimands and admonishes them for their wrongs and defects. He does not permit his mureeds to be the slaves of their desires.
j. After having been in his company several times, one feels a reduction in worldly love while at the same time discerns progress in the love for Allah Ta'ala.
k. He engages in Thikr and Shaghl (spiritual exercises). Without such practice there is no barkat in ta'leem (instruction and teaching).
Kashf (a form of revelation which comes to the Auliya), karaamat (miracles), istijabat-e-dua (acceptance of dua) and tasarrufaat (metaphysical acts) are not requirements of a Shaikh. The companionship of a Shaikh-e-Kaamil is wonderfully efficacious. However, for achieving the benefits of a Shaikh, the mureed's intention must be sincere.
The mureed, himself must desire spiritual progress and obedience. He most desire to be imbued with a detestation for sin. It is essential that the mureed keep his Shaikh informed of the changing conditions of his heart. Whatever the Shaikh prescribes, the mureed should accept and practice accordingly.
2. The second way will apply when the company of a Shaikh-e-Kaamil is not available. In this case, read and study the fife-conditions and spiritual strivings of the Ahlullah (the Saints of Allah), But, never engage in the mystical practices of Tasawwuf which are written in relation to the lives of the Sufis. Yes, readily follow their advices and statements regarding spiritual purification.
3. The third way in which to eliminate weakness of heart and lack of courage is Muraaqabah (meditation) of Maut and Muraaqabah of the period which will follow Maut. This form of meditation consists of setting aside at least twenty minutes daily. Meditate in solitude about the events which will occur from the time of Sakaraat (pangs of death) until entry into Jannat or Jahannum. Think about these future events, e.g. the questioning in the grave by the two Angels, the punishment and comforts of the grave, resurrection, the scaling of deeds, reward, crossing the Siraat, etc.
The attributes of excellence, e.g. zuhd (being abstemious of the world), khashiyat (fear of Allah), etc., which are influenced by the development of courage, will attain perfection by means of this form of Muraaqabah.
Thus far, the factors and causes of the harmful change which the Ummah has undergone as well-as the ways and means for rectifying the situation and for reforming the degraded condition of the Ummah have been fully discussed and explained. All praises unto Allah Ta'ala. The prescription presented for the reformation of the Ummah is very simple and universally applicable. If the Ummah adopts this prescription, its reformation will be possible swiftly - within a very short while. It now remains upon those who are desirous of acquiring benefit and success to act.