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  • The Shariah Of Preaching: (3) Preaching Obligation Of The Scholars

    Posted by Umer on August 25, 2020 at 6:36 pm

    وَمَا كَانَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ لِيَنفِرُواْ كَآفَّةً فَلَوْلاَ نَفَرَ مِن كُلِّ فِرْقَةٍ مِّنْهُمْ طَآئِفَةٌ لِّيَتَفَقَّهُواْ فِي الدِّينِ وَلِيُنذِرُواْ قَوْمَهُمْ إِذَا رَجَعُواْ إِلَيْهِمْ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَحْذَرُونَ (122:9)

    And it was not possible for all the believers to undertake [this job]. So why did not a few from every group among them come forward to gain sound knowledge in religion and [after attaining this knowledge], warned the people of their [respective] nations, when they returned to them that they may also take heed. (9:122)

    This directive of preaching relates to the scholars of the Muslim ummah. The Almighty has said that it was not possible for all the Muslims to become scholars; however, some people from each group should come forward to gain sound knowledge of religion and try to save their people from the punishment of the Hereafter through warning and admonition.

    The first thing which is evident from this verse of Surah Tawbah is that the directive of preaching stated in it does not relate to every Muslim. The verse begins with the very words that it was not possible for every Muslim to undertake this task. This, of course, is an obvious reality. Neither is each person blessed with the same ability nor does every person have the same opportunities in life. Not every Muslim can be expected to become a scholar of Islam. Thus the Almighty has clarified in this verse that not every person among the Muslims is required to become a scholar; however, some from among each of their groups should aspire to do so.

    The second thing which is evident from this verse is that those who want to take up the responsibility of warning their people must first gain sound knowledge of religion. The words used for this are: لِّيَتَفَقَّهُواْ فِي الدِّين. This means that they must have a deep insight and understanding of religion. They should not be quacks; they should have a deep comprehension of what they are required to preach. After the demise of the Prophet (sws), this comprehension can be obtained only through direct access to the Quran and Sunnah. Consequently, it is essential that those who take up this job must have a thorough understanding of the Quran and Sunnah so that they can explain Islam to people with full confidence.

    The third thing which is evident from this verse is that once they have attained a masterful understanding of religion, the responsibility that scholars have to discharge is that of indhar and only indhar which means that people should be warned that one day they would have to give account of their deeds. A little deliberation shows that this is the same responsibility which prophets and messengers of God discharge. It is thus evident that after Muhammad (sws), this responsibility of indhar was transferred to the scholars of the ummah, and after the termination of the institution of prophethood, it is the scholars who must continue to discharge this responsibility till the Day of Judgement.

    The fourth thing which is evident from this verse is that the real addressee of a scholar is the nation to which he belongs. The words used are: وَلِيُنذِرُواْ قَوْمَهُمْ إِذَا رَجَعُواْ إِلَيْهِمْ (and warn the people of their [respective] nations when they returned to them). These words specify the sphere of a scholar’s preaching endeavour. They restrict him from leaving their real addressees and going after those who do not belong to them.

    The fifth thing which is evident from this verse is that the objective of the preaching endeavour of the scholars should be to warn people about the displeasure of God. The words of the verse are لَعَلَّهُمْ يَحْذَرُونَ (that they may also take heed). The implication is that people must take heed that if they show indifference, laziness or arrogance regarding the obligations of their religion in the individual and collective spheres of life, they could be punished in this world and in the next too. It may be the desire of a religious preacher that the reins of power be transferred to pious people, Islam should reign supreme in the world and the word of God become dominant in every sphere of life; however, in spite of being a desirable wish, the basic objective of their preaching as per this verse is to warn people of the punishment and humiliation of the Hereafter.

    It is evident from the above discussion that this verse of Surah Tawbah requires scholars of Islam to keep alive their preaching endeavour according to their ability in every nation and every place with the spirit of [1] وَجَاهِدُوا فِي اللَّهِ حَقَّ جِهَادِهِ. With deep concern and empathy, they should keep warning the people of their nation as well as those in authority of their obligations and duties. They should try to explain Islam to them at various levels. They should call them to the truth from various angles. They should warn them of the consequences of showing indifference to the truth. They should keep doing this till their last breath so much so, the oppression of evil rulers should also not stop them from this. This is the greatest jihad which scholars of religion can always wage in this world.

    It is this verse of Surah Tawbah which is the source of various efforts of preaching and propagation which have been undertaken in this ummah. It is a great favour of the Almighty that no period of Muslim history has remained devoid of people who have lit up the torch of truth in the desolate darkness of heresies and innovations, and have guided people to the truth while remaining indifferent to everything in this world. They do not care what people like and what they want. All their interest resides with the truth and they spend all their energy and skill to communicate the requirements of this truth to people. They demand nothing from the people; whatever they receive from their Lord, they generously give to others. Consequently, in every period of time, they are regarded as salt of the earth, the voice of the collective human conscience and the best representatives of mankind.

    It is this nature of the preaching of the scholars in consideration of which some aspects must always remain in mind.

    Firstly, scholars should have so much faith in the truth they go about preaching that it should be the voice of their hearts and the call of their souls. Only after totally submitting themselves to the Almighty should they enter this field, and should declare with all their heart and soul that they have professed faith in what they are calling people to:

    قُلْ إِنَّ صَلاَتِي وَنُسُكِي وَمَحْيَايَ وَمَمَاتِي لِلّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ وَبِذَلِكَ أُمِرْتُ وَأَنَاْ أَوَّلُ الْمُسْلِمِينَ( 162:6 – 163)

    Say: “My prayer and my sacrifice, my life and my death, are all for God, Lord of the Universe. He has no peer. Thus am I commanded, and I am the first Muslim.” (6:162-163)

    Secondly, there should be no contradiction between what they believe and what they actually do. Whatever ideology or truth they want to preach others should first be practiced by them. The Quran is absolutely clear that this is not the work of preachers who do not practice what they preach; it is the work of people whose preaching foremost addresses themselves, and who force themselves to accept the truth which, they understood from their Lord, in its complete form and in an ultimate manner. Consequently, the Quran reprimands the scholars of the Jews that they in spite of being well-versed with the shariah and knowing full well that as per the dictates of the shariah and those of sense and reason they are much more liable to practicing religion, yet it is a matter of great pity that they vehemently urge the common man to fulfil his obligations and forget their own selves in this regard:

    أَتَأْمُرُونَ النَّاسَ بِالْبِرِّ وَتَنسَوْنَ أَنفُسَكُمْ وَأَنْتُمْ تَتْلُونَ الْكِتَابَأَفَلَا تَعْقِلُونَ(2:44)

    Would you enjoin piety on others and forget it yourselves even though you read the Book. Have you no sense? (2:44)

    Thirdly, they should never show a compromising attitude to the truth. The smallest of truths that becomes evident to them should be wholeheartedly accepted by them; their tongue should bear witness to it and they should present it to the world disregarding the reproaches of a reproacher. Never should they try to change or distort the truth. All the directives of the Quran and Sunnah and the complete guidance they provide should be presented by them to people and whatever they find against these two sources of Islam should be rejected by them without any hesitation whatsoever. They should not conceal any directive of religion if they are asked about it; in fact, they should present it the way it is and the way they believe in it. However, this does not mean that they should not wait for opportune moments to present religion. No doubt, the truth should be presented by them in the right manner at the right instances to the right audience; however, they must never conceal the truth or refrain from bearing witness to it for personal interests, fears, prejudices or benefits.

    Consequently, the Almighty has ordained for His prophets who have been sent for indhar that phases and trials they will be put through are not meant to put them into any discomfort. Thus it is only befitting for them to discharge their duty disregarding any reproaches in this regard and fearing Allah only:

    مَا كَانَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ مِنْ حَرَجٍ فِيمَا فَرَضَ اللَّهُ لَهُ سُنَّةَ اللَّهِ فِي الَّذِينَ خَلَوْا مِن قَبْلُ وَكَانَ أَمْرُ اللَّهِ قَدَرًا مَّقْدُورًا الَّذِينَ يُبَلِّغُونَ رِسَالَاتِ اللَّهِ وَيَخْشَوْنَهُ وَلَا يَخْشَوْنَ أَحَدًا إِلَّا اللَّهَ وَكَفَى بِاللَّهِ حَسِيبًا(33: 38-39)

    There is no bother for the Prophet for what Allah has made mandatory on him. Such has remained the practice of God about all previous prophets – and a time was appointed for the judgement of God –; who delivered the messages of God and feared Him only and none besides Him and God alone is sufficient to take account. (33:38-39)

    While addressing the Prophet (sws) in Surah Maidah, it was said:

    يَا أَيُّهَا الرَّسُولُ بَلِّغْ مَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِن رَّبِّكَ وَإِن لَّمْ تَفْعَلْ فَمَا بَلَّغْتَ رِسَالَتَهُ وَاللّهُ يَعْصِمُكَ مِنَ النَّاسِ إِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الْكَافِرِينَ (67:5)

    O Prophet! Communicate diligently whatever has been revealed to you from your Lord; And [you should know that] if you do not, you will surely fail to convey His message, and [rest assured that] God will protect you from men. Indeed, God does not guide these disbelievers. (5:67)

    Fourthly, the Quran should be the means of indhar they should adopt. Verses such as فَذَكِّرْ بِالْقُرْآنِ مَن يَخَافُ وَعِيدِ (45:50) (remind through the Quran whoever fears My warning, (50:45)), and وَجَاهِدْهُم بِهِ جِهَادًا كَبِيرًا (52:25) (and through this [Quran] fight with them with full force, (25:52)) point to this. For this very reason, the Prophet (sws) is a nadhir (warner) for the whole world, and the scholars of religion actually communicate his indhar to people: تَبَارَكَ الَّذِي نَزَّلَ الْفُرْقَانَ عَلَى عَبْدِهِ لِيَكُونَ لِلْعَالَمِينَ نَذِيرًا (1:25) (blessed be He who has revealed al-Furqan to His servant, that it may warn the whole world, (25:1)).

    Consequently, the Quran says:

    وَأُوحِيَ إِلَيَّ هَذَا الْقُرْآنُ لأُنذِرَكُم بِهِ وَمَن بَلَغَ (19:6)

    And this Quran has been revealed to me that I may warn you through it and all whom it may reach. (6:19)

    (Javed Ahmed Ghamidi)

    (Translated by Dr. Shehzad Saleem)


    [1]. Struggle for the cause of God in a befitting manner, (22:78)

    Umer replied 3 years, 9 months ago 1 Member · 3 Replies
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  • The Shariah Of Preaching: (3) Preaching Obligation Of The Scholars

    Umer updated 3 years, 9 months ago 1 Member · 3 Replies
  • Umer

    Moderator August 25, 2020 at 6:37 pm

    Lectures by Ghamidi Sahab on The Shariah of Preaching (Qanoon-e-Dawat): (3) Preaching Obligation of the Scholars

    (Part-1) – from 26:29 onward

  • Umer

    Moderator August 25, 2020 at 6:38 pm

    (Part-2) – from 00:00 to 22:50

  • Umer

    Moderator August 25, 2020 at 6:38 pm

    Parent Thread:

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