Friday, March 30, 2012


I seek refuge in Allah from Satan, the outcast. In the name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful. Indeed, all praise is due to Allah. We praise Him and seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allah from our soul’s evil and our wrong doings. He whom Allah guides, no one can misguide; and he whom He misguides, no one can guide.
I bear witness that there is no (true) god except Allah – alone without a partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is His servant and messenger.
“O you who believe! Revere Allah the right reverence, and do not die except as Muslims.” (Āli Imraan 3:102) “O people! Revere your Lord who has created you from a single soul, created from it its mate, and dispersed from both of them many men and women. Revere Allah through whom you demand things from one another, and (cherish the ties of) the wombs. Indeed, Allah is ever-Watchful over you.” (An-Nisaa 4:1) “O you who believe! Revere Allah and say fair words. He will then rectify your deeds and forgive your sins. He who obeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly achieved a great victory.” (Al-Ahzaab 33:70-71)
Indeed, the best speech is Allah’s Book and the best guidance is Muhammad’s (SAW) guidance. The worst affairs (of religion) are those innovated (by people), for every such innovation is an act of misguidance leading to the Fire.
I greet you one and all with the salutation of peace: Assalaamu Alaikum!
The Federation of Muslim Women’s Association in Nigeria (FOMWAN) could rightly be described as a da’wah organisation that has raised the consciousness of Muslim women in matters of faith and Islamic evangelism. Through FOMWAN, our sisters have discovered themselves capable of working for the advancement of Allah’s deen without much supervision of their brothers in the field. From being mere students of Islamic scholarship, and forming part of audiences in propagation conferences and forums captained by their brothers in faith, Muslim women are now more educated than some of their male counterparts; our sisters have graduated to be competent instructors in major sources of Islam, conveners of enlightening public discourse and resolute field workers in da’wah, thanks to FOMWAN and many other Muslim women organisations that sprang afterwards.

                          Sheikh Muhammad Bn Usman and this writer at the Conference

I am indeed happy to be here with you, and I beseech Allah to recompense with His choicest blessings the people behind the successful organisation and hosting of this National Da’wah Conference. May He also accept this service from us, and bring us all to His Mercy and Eternal Bliss.
In presenting today’s paper I will resist any urge to rephrase the topic or add definitive articles before certain words. I shall leave the topic as sent to me in your kind invitation letter: Da’wah in Qur’an and Sunnah.
The Glorious Qur’an speaks about the ditch, a pit of fire which was dug to burn believers because of their faith. The Qur’an says:
“Woe to the makers of the pit [of fire], Fire supplied [abundantly] with fuel: Behold! They sat over the [fire], And they witnessed [all] that they were doing against the Believers. And they ill-treated them for no other reason than that they believed in Allah, Exalted in Power, Worthy of all Praise! - Him to Whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth! And Allah is Witness to all things.” (Al-Buruuj, 85: 4-9)
These verses will form part of what this paper shall discuss in connection to the topic. Let us study these 6 verses and examine what the Sunnah has to say in expounding their meanings, and what lessons are there for da’wah.
In the Hadeeth the Messenger of Allah mentioned the people of the ditch in this narrative:
“Among the people who came before you, there was a king who had a sorcerer, and when that sorcerer became old, he said to the king, "I have become old and my time is nearly over, so please send me a boy whom I can teach magic.'' So, he sent him a boy that the sorcerer may teach him magic. Whenever the boy went to the sorcerer, he sat with a monk who was on the way and listened to his speech and admired it. So, whenever he went to the sorcerer, he passed by the monk and sat there with him; and on visiting the sorcerer the latter would thrash him. So, the boy complained about this to the monk. The monk said to him, "Whenever you are afraid of the sorcerer, say to him: `My people kept me busy.' And whenever you are afraid of your people, say to them: `The sorcerer kept me busy.''' So the boy carried on like that (for some time). Then a huge, terrible creature appeared on the road and the people were unable to pass by. The boy said, "Today I shall know whether the sorcerer is better or the monk is better.'' So, he took a stone and said, "O Allah! If the deeds and actions of the monk are liked by You better than those of the sorcerer, then kill this creature so that the people can cross (the road).'' Then he struck it with a stone killing it and the people passed by on the road.

The boy came to the monk and informed him about it. The monk said to him, "O my son! Today you are better than I, and you have achieved what I see! You will be put to trial. And in case you are put to trial, do not inform (them) about me.'' The boy used to treat people suffering from congenital blindness, leprosy, and other diseases. There was a courtier of the king who had become blind and heard about the boy. He came and brought a number of gift items to the boy and said, "All these gifts are for you on the condition that you cure me.'' The boy said, "I do not cure anybody; it is only Allah who cures people. So, if you believe in Allah and supplicate to Him, He will cure you.'' So, he believed in and supplicated to Allah, and Allah cured him.

Later, the courtier came to the king and sat at the place where he used to sit before. The king said, "Who gave you back your sight'' The courtier replied, "My Lord.'' The king then said, "I did?'' The courtier said, "No, my Lord and your Lord - Allah'' The king said, "Do you have another Lord beside me?'' The courtier said, "Yes, your Lord and my Lord is Allah.'' The king tortured him and did not stop until he told him about the boy. So, the boy was brought to the king and he said to him, "O boy! Has your magic reached the extent that you cure congenital blindness, leprosy and other diseases?'' He said, “I do not cure anyone. Only Allah can cure.'' The king said, "Me?'' The boy replied, "No.'' The king asked, "Do you have another Lord besides me?'' The boy answered, “My Lord and your Lord is Allah.'' So, he tortured him also until he told about the monk. Then the monk was brought to him and the king said to him, "Abandon your religion.'' The monk refused and so the king ordered a saw to be brought which was placed in the middle of his head and he fell, sawn in two. Then it was said to the man who used to be blind, "Abandon your religion.'' He, also, refused to do so, and so a saw was brought and placed in the middle of his head and he fell, sawn in two. Then the boy was brought and it was said to him, "Abandon your religion.'' He refused and so the king sent him to the top of such and such mountain with
some people. He told the people, "Ascend up the mountain with him till you reach its peak, then see if he abandons his religion; otherwise throw him from the top.'' They took him and when they ascended to the top, he said, “O Allah! Save me from them by any means that You wish.'' So, the mountain shook and they all fell down and the boy came back walking to the king. The king said, “What did your companions (the people I sent with you) do?'' The boy said, "Allah saved me from them.'' So, the king ordered some people to take the boy on a boat to the middle of the sea, saying, "If he renounces his religion (well and good), but if he refuses, drown him.'' So, they took him out to sea and he said, "O Allah! Save me from them by any means that you wish.'' So they were all drowned in the sea.

Then the boy returned to the king and the king said, "What did your companions do'' The boy replied, "Allah, saved me from them.'' Then he said to the king, "You will not be able to kill me until you do as I order you. And if you do as I order you, you will be able to kill me.'' The king asked, "And what is that?'' The boy said, "Gather the people in one elevated place and tie me to the trunk of a tree; then take an arrow from my quiver and say: `In the Name of Allah, the Lord of the boy.' If you do this, you will be able to kill me.'' So he did this, and placing an arrow in the bow, he shot it at the boy, saying, "In the Name of Allah, the Lord of the boy.'' The arrow hit the boy in the temple, and the boy placed his hand over the arrow wound and died. The people proclaimed, "We believe in the Lord of the boy!'’ Then it was said to the king, "Do you see what has happened? That which you feared has taken place. By Allah, all the people have believed (in the Lord of the boy).''So he ordered that ditches be dug at the entrances to the roads and it was done, and fires were kindled in them. Then the king said, "Whoever abandons his religion, let him go, and whoever does not, throw him into the fire.'' They were struggling and scuffling in the fire, until a woman and her baby whom she was breast feeding came and it was as if she was being somewhat hesitant of falling into the fire, so her baby said to her: "Be patient mother! For verily, you are following the truth!'' (Sahih Muslim: Book 42, Number 7148)

                                   A cross section of participants at the conference

This Prophetic narrative chronicled the case of a king, a magician, a monk and a boy. As for the king, he has attained the peak in hard-heartedness, frowardness and wickedness in that he ordered the murder of his own courtier, and the monk by placing a saw on the middle of, and splitting asunder their heads. After his woeful attempt to cause the death of the boy by myriad means, the haughty king stooped to receive instruction from the boy on how to kill him. And finally, the ditches were dug and the inferno underneath kindled at his behest; the faithful were plunged therein for no other offence than their persistence in faith.
The magician had perfected the art of sorcery that he was part of the king’s advisers. Sorcery, as we saw in the narrative, took the place of religion and faith in Allah that even the magician was afraid of dying before he passed his evil knowledge to the next generation, thus his request for a boy to learn sorcery under his tutelage.
 As for the monk he secluded himself in his monastery exhorting people concerning their Cherisher and Maker. His divine words had a positive effect on the boy who was anointed by the king in order to serve as an intergenerational link in sorcery. The monk found the boy’s sincere zeal and inclination to the truth, thus he imprinted on the boy’s mind that da’wah in Allah’s religion is not devoid of tribulations, and that he should keep his association with the monk a top secret in case he was tried in his faith. Unfortunately, the boy could not keep the secret for long due to intense torture.
The boy was the main protagonist in the narrative in that every major event revolved around him; he was on a scene with the courtier, the monk, the king who chose him to be the next depository of sorcery, and finally, he also met the sorcerer, but, from all indications, and Allah knows best, he did not learn sorcery, and even if he did, he did not practice it. He was always late for his classes with the sorcerer due to his attachment with the monk until Allah opened with heart for faith and granted him the ability to perform karaamah, miracles (as the likes worked by saints, not prophets) which caused multitudes to declare their belief in Allah.
In his position with the king, the boy exhibited rare perseverance, resilience and staunch trust in Allah by refusing to forsake his religion at the face of unbearable torment. Allah saved him from the tyrant and his hosts in their various attempts to slay him; first, by hurling him from the summit of the mountain; and, second, by drowning. The king’s executioners, in both cases, were annihilated by Allah. The boy did not waver in the face off with the despot until he paid the ultimate price, and in the process revealing the truth and the essence of Allah’s religion to the people. ‘You will not be able to kill me’ he said, ‘unless you do what I shall command…’
It is evident that faith in Allah has transformed a frail boy to a personage capable of barking orders at the king. And since he was looking for ways to kill the boy by any means necessary, the king bowed to the boy’s instructions: "Gather the people in one elevated place and tie me to the trunk of a tree; then take an arrow from my quiver and say: `In the Name of Allah, the Lord of the boy.' If you do this, you will be able to kill me.''
Apparently, the boy’s goal was limited to making known the truth to all the people, and calling attention to the fact that there is only One true God who gives life and causes death; the king was but a feeble mortal who has no control over bringing benefit or harm to anyone!
Since all will ultimately die, the boy has chosen the best way of exit. Yes, there is a mighty distance between those who are afraid of death and those who crave for it in the cause of Allah; between those who will perish in pursuit of the fleeting enjoyment of this life and those who will be martyred in the front lines of jihad seeking Allah’s Countenance.
After the king had obeyed the boy’s command, and was able, through that obedience, to kill him, what the king dreaded and had been trying to avoid happened: the conversion of hundreds of thousands of people to the religion of the boy; people declaring their faith in the Lord of the worlds. This unexpected outcome devastated the king; he became so distraught that he resorted to the only option that every froward potentate takes refuge in to avoid verity: torture and persecution. He, therefore, ordered that whoever persists in their faith in Almighty Allah should be plunged into the conflagrant ditches which were dug in large numbers on major arteries to the city.
Whoever is engaged in da’wah work should: 1) be ready to be tried, exposed to adversity in the course of discharging the task of propagating Islam; 2) be prepared to sacrifice whatever they possess of honour, position and wealth for the success of their mission of conveying Allah’s message to the people; 3) use the most effective medium in passing their message across and making it stick in the minds of listeners, even if that will cause one to pay the ultimate price; 4) be patient all through whatever ordeal they have to face; 5) be unwavering in the beliefs they are trying to propagate.
One; evil People also engage in calling others to their vile ways, and are keen on passing their wickedness to the next generation. Let us ask ourselves the question: what are we doing to establish intergenerational linkage in da’wah? What are we doing in preparing the next generation to continue from where we may stop in da’wah? These years of experience in the field; this knowledge in conveying Allah’s message; what have we done to forestall total breakage between the life we live propagating Allah’s deen and that which our progeny will live after us devoid of da’wah? Are we preparing them for the challenge or are we inadvertently grooming them to be pure ‘yan boko (western trained professionals) and thus bitterest opponents of da’wah work? Are we digging the graves of our own values?
Two; guidance is Allah’s prerogative. He guides whom He wills to the straight path. Thus, out of His Grace, He guided the boy through the exhortation of the monk, and through that boy, the courtier was guided when his sight was restored to him, just as the multitudes were guided after the death of the boy. But Allah did not guide the sorcerer and the king. The Glorious Qur’an underscores this fact, and the Sunnah expounds it in plain details. Speaking to His Messenger (SAW), Allah said:
“It is not required of thee [O Messenger], to guide them on the right path, but Allah guides on the right path whom He pleases.” (Al-Baqarah 2: 272) “No soul can believe, except by the will of Allah…..” (Yusuf 10:100) “It is true you will not be able to guide every one, whom you love; but Allah guides those whom He will and He knows best those who receive guidance. (Al-Qasas 28: 56) The scholars are unanimous that the last verse was revealed concerning the uncle of the Messenger of Allah (SAW).
When Abu Talib was about to die the Messenger (SAW) went to him and found around him Abu Jahl Ibn Hishaam and Abdullah Ibn Umayyah Ibn al-Mugeerah. The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: ‘O uncle! Say laa ilaaha illaah (there is no god worthy of worship except Allah) with which I’ll bear witness for you on the Day of Judgement.’
Abu Jahl and Ibn Umayyah said: ‘O Abu Talib! Would you turn away from the religion of Abdul Muttalib?’
Abu Talib said to the Messenger: ‘If not for the fear that Quraish will deride me that I utter it in anguish, I would’ve gladdened your heart by pronouncing the word.’
The Messenger of Allah kept repeating and presenting the kalimah until finally Abu Talib addressed them in his last statement that he was on the religion of Abdul Muttalib. He refused to say laa ilaaha illaah.
Then the Messenger of Allah said: ‘By Allah, I shall not cease to ask forgiveness for you until I’m prevented from doing that.’ And the revelation came:
“It is not fitting, for the Prophet and those who believe, that they should pray for forgiveness for Pagans, even though they be of kin, after it is clear to them that they are companions of the Fire.” (At-Taubah 9: 113) And this was followed with: “It is true you will not be able to guide every one, whom you love; but Allah guides those whom He will and He knows best those who receive guidance. (Al-Qasas 28: 56)
Just as the Messenger of Allah (SAW) hoped for the guidance of his uncle, that he may die professing his belief in Allah, in like manner have we witnessed the same ardent hope in Prophet Nuh (AS) for his son and wife; in Prophet Lut (AS) for his wife; and in Prophet Ibrahim (AS) for his father. They all hoped for the guidance of their parents, wives or sons, but as has been stated earlier, guidance is Allah’s prerogative. He guides whom He wills, and leaves whom He wills to go astray.
Concerning the wives of Nuh and Lut (AS) the Qur’an says:
“Allah sets forth, for an example to the Unbelievers, the wife of Noah and the wife of Lut: they were [respectively] under two of our righteous servants, but they were false to their [husbands], and they profited nothing before Allah on their account, but were told: "Enter ye the Fire along with [others] that enter!" (At-Tahreem 66: 10)
Allah said on Nuh (AS) calling on his son to believe and join the Ark of Salvation along with the faithful:
“….Noah called out to his son, who had separated himself [from the rest]: "O my son! Embark with us, and be not with the unbelievers!" The son replied: "I will betake myself to some mountain: it will save me from the water." Noah said: "This day nothing can save, from the command of Allah, any but those on whom He hath mercy!" And the waves came between them, and the son was among those overwhelmed in the Flood. Then the word went forth: "O earth! Swallow up thy water, and O sky! Withhold [thy rain]!" and the water abated, and the matter was ended. The Ark rested on Mount Judi, and the word went forth: "Away with those who do wrong!" And Noah called upon his Lord, and said: "O my Lord! Surely my son is of my family! And Thy promise is true, and Thou art the justest of Judges!" He said: "O Noah! He is not of thy family: For his conduct is unrighteous. So ask not of Me that of which thou hast no knowledge! I give thee counsel, lest thou act like the ignorant!" Noah said: "O my Lord! I do seek refuge with Thee, lest I ask Thee for that of which I have no knowledge. And unless thou forgive me and have Mercy on me, I should indeed be lost!" (Hud 11:42-47)
On Prophet Ibrahim and his father, the Qur’an says:
“[Also mention in the Book [the story of] Abraham: He was a man of Truth, a prophet. Behold, he said to his father: "O my father! Why worship that which heareth not and seeth not, and can profit thee nothing? "O my father! To me hath come knowledge which hath not reached thee: so follow me: I will guide thee to a way that is even and straight. "O my father! Serve not Satan: for Satan is a rebel against [Allah] Most Gracious. "O my father! I fear lest a Penalty afflict thee from [Allah] Most Gracious, so that thou become to Satan a friend." [The father] replied: "Dost thou hate my gods, O Abraham? If thou forbear not, I will indeed stone thee: Now get away from me for a good long while!" Abraham said: "Peace be on thee: I will pray to my Lord for thy forgiveness: for He is to me Most Gracious.” And I will turn away from you [all] and from those whom ye invoke besides Allah: I will call on my Lord: perhaps, by my prayer to my Lord, I shall be not unblest." (19:42-48)
Surprisingly, we read about one of our mothers who lived in the nest of disbelief, but because Allah has destined her to be among the righteous, her faithless environment had no effect on her. Allah said about Maryam (AS):
“And Allah sets forth, as an example to those who believe the wife of Pharaoh: Behold she said: "O my Lord! Build for me, in nearness to Thee, a mansion in the Garden, and save me from Pharaoh and his doings, and save me from those that do wrong"; (At-Tahreem 66:11)
You all know the story of how Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab (RA) embraced Islam, and how Abu Jahl continued in disbelief. When persecution and torture of the Quraish   against the Muslims reached its peak, the Messenger of Allah (SAW) prayed his Lord to strengthen Islaam with the most loved to Him, between Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab and Abu Jahl. And the most loved proved to be Umar.
Let us also take part of the story of ‘Umair Ibn Wahb. During the time of ignorance, the Quraish gave him the epithet: The Satan of Quraish. On the Day of Badr, the Satan of Quraish fought fiercely and wildly, but the forces of the Quraish returned to Makkah completely beaten and Umair Ibn Wahb left a part of himself at Al-Madeenah, as the Muslims had taken his son as a prisoner of war.
One day, he joined his cousin Safwaan Ibn Umaiyyah who was chewing his enemies in deadly bitterness because his father Umaiyyah Ibn Khalaf had been killed at Badr and his bones buried at Al-Qaleeb.
Safwaan, mentioning those who were killed at Badr said, ‘By Allah, there isn’t any good in life after them.’
Umair said, ‘That’s true. By Allah, were it not for debts that I’m unable to repay and my children who I fear might be vagabonds after me, I would ride to Muhammad and kill him. I have a plausible reason to give him. I’ll say that I have come for the sake of my son, a prisoner of war.’
Safwaan seized the chance and said, ‘I’ll repay your debts and maintain your children with mine and comfort them as long as they live.’
Umair agreed and said, ‘keep it secret.’ Then he ordered his sword to be sharpened and poisoned and, he set out.
When he arrived at Al-Madeenah, Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab was sitting among some of the Muslims talking about the Day of Badr. Umar looked and saw ‘Umair Ibn Wahb, girded with sword, making his camel kneel at the door of the mosque.
‘Umar said, ‘That dog, the enemy of Allah, ‘Umair Ibn Wahb! By Allah, he has come for nothing but evil. It is he who provoked us on the Day of Badr.’
‘Umar entered and said to the Messenger of Allah (SAW): ‘O Prophet of Allah, here is the enemy of Allah, ‘Umair Ibn Wahb come girded with his sword.’
The Prophet (SAW) said, ‘Let him in.’
‘Umar came and took him by the scabbard of his sword round his neck and said to some of the men, ‘Enter and sit with the Prophet (SAW) and be cautious of that fellow, he is dishonest.’
Then ‘Umar entered holding the scabbard of his sword round his neck and when the Prophet saw him, he told ‘Umar to let him alone and said to ‘Umair, ‘Draw nearer.’
‘Umair approached and said, ‘Good morning.’ That was the salutation in the period of Jahiliyyah.
The Prophet (SAW) said, ‘Allah has honoured us with a better salutation than yours. It is As-Salaam, the salutation of the believers in Paradise.’
‘Umair said, ‘O Muhammad, by Allah I have heard it recently.’
The Prophet (SAW) said, ‘What made you come, ‘Umair?’
‘Umair said, ‘I have come for the sake of this captive in your hands.’
The Prophet (SAW) said, ‘Tell the truth, ‘Umair, what have you come for?’
‘Umair said, ‘I have come for that purpose.’
The Prophet (SAW) said, ‘But you sat with Safwaan Ibn Umaiyyah at Al-Hijir and mentioned those of Al-Qaleeb from the Quraish, then you said, were it not for debts and my children, I would ride and kill Muhammad. Safwaan promised to repay your debts and maintain your children on condition that you kill me, but Allah prevented you from doing so.’
At that moment, ‘Umair cried, ‘I witness that there is no god but Allah and that you are His Prophet. That matter wasn’t attended by anyone except Safwaan and me. By Allah, Allah told it to you. Praise be to Allah who guided me to Islaam.’
Yes, guidance is Allah’s prerogative. ‘Umair who hated Muhammad (SAW) and his religion so much as he was willing to assassinate him at any price ended up believing in Islaam and being ready to give his life as ransom for the Prophet’s life.
During a ceasefire interval for rest and replenishment of supplies in the battle of Yarmuuk, Jarajah, the Roman general sought audience with Khaalid Ibn Waleed. When Khaalid came, the two generals remained mounted and stood very close to each other that the heads of their horses crossed in such a way that the mane of one was brushing the neck of the other.
‘O Khaalid,’ the Roman general commenced the discussion, ‘inform me truthfully, and don’t lie or deceive me, for a freeman, as a gentleman, neither lies nor deceives. Did Allah send a sword from the horizon to your Messenger which was given to you and with which whomever you strike was routed?’
‘No.’ answered Khaalid.
‘Then why were you christened The Sword of Allah?’
Khaalid said, ‘Verily, Allah has risen in our midst His Prophet who invited us to the Truth, but we refused and deserted him. Then some of us followed him, and many of us were obdurate and gave a lie to his message. I was among those who belied and rejected him; and later, Allah guided our hearts; we believed in, and pledged our allegiance to him. The Messenger of Allah (SAW), afterwards, said to me: ‘You are the Sword of Allah, unsheathed on the polytheists.’ He supplicated Allah to grant me success. From then on, I was named the Sword of Allah. I am the fiercest and sternest of fighters against the polytheists!’
‘To what do you call people, O Khaalid?’ asked Jarajah.
‘We invite people to testify that there is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is His servant and messenger; that people accept what he brought from Allah Almighty.’
Jarajah said, ‘What if the people refuse to answer your call and reject what your Prophet brought?’
‘Then they will have to pay tax under our rule and protection.’
‘And what happens if they refuse to pay you the tax?’ questioned Jarajah.
‘That amounts to declaration of war, and we shall fight them…’ answered Khaalid.
‘Now tell me, Khaalid,’ said Jarajah, ‘what is the position of one who embraces your religion today in relation to older adherents?’
‘Our position is one and the same with regards to religious obligations; we are equal; the honoured and the lowly; the first of us, and the last of us.’
‘Do you mean by that those who come into your religion today will have the same reward with you in spite of what has been recorded in your favour of recompense before this day?’ said Jarajah.
‘Exactly so, and more…’ assured Khaalid.
‘How can one who becomes a Muslim today be equal with you when you’ve preceded them in faith?’
Khaalid explained, ‘We had to accept this message; we pledged allegiance to the Messenger of Allah (SAW) while he was in our midst, the revelation was being sent to him, and he was conveying it to us, rehearsing his Lord’s verses to us. It was more logical to one who saw what we saw and heard what we heard to accept this religion and believe in Allah. But in your case, you people have not witnessed what we saw; you have not heard what we heard of divine revelations, miracles, plain proofs and wonders. Therefore, whoever will accept the message now, convinced of its veracity out of their freewill, are by far better than us!’
At this point Jarajah said, ‘By Allah, you have spoken rightly and have not deceived me.’
‘Yes, I have,’ continued Khaalid, ‘and in doing that I don’t have need for anything either from you or from any other person. My purpose is to convey the truth about my religion as I understood it.’
There and then Jarajah said, ‘Teach me how to practice Islaam.’
Khaalid took Jarajah to his tent for ritual bath, ablution, etc. They later prayed two raka’aat with Khaalid leading the salaah to Allah, Lord of the worlds.
The ceasefire period ended and hostilities continued. Jarajah, the Roman general, was now fighting on the side of the Muslims; he fought gallantly until he was struck, martyred. He came to the battlefield a polytheist, and exited the world as a Muslim martyr who only prayed two raka’aat with Khaalid (RA); that was the first and last prayer he ever offered to Allah, the Lord of the worlds; Allah, who guides whom He pleases to the right path.
Narrated 'Ali (RA):
“We were accompanying a funeral procession in Baqee’-I-Gharqad. The Prophet came to us and sat and we sat around him. He had a small stick in his hand then he bent his head and started scraping the ground with it. He then said, "There is none among you, and not a created soul, but has a place either in Paradise or in Hell assigned for him and it is also determined for him whether he will be among the blessed or wretched."
A man said, "O Allah's Apostle! Should we not depend on what has been written for us and leave the deeds as whoever amongst us is blessed will do the deeds of a blessed person and whoever amongst us will be wretched, will do the deeds of a wretched person?"
The Prophet said, "The good deeds are made easy for the blessed, and bad deeds are made easy for the wretched." Then he recited the Verses:-- So he who gives [in charity] and fears [Allah], And [in all sincerity] testifies to the best,- We will indeed make smooth for him the path to Bliss. But he who is a greedy miser and thinks himself self-sufficient, And gives the lie to the best,-We will indeed make smooth for him the path to Misery; (Al-Layl 92:5-10) (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 23, Number 444)
Our understanding of predestined matters is finite, but we have to accept whatever comes of it, be it favourable or unfavourable to us. Any attempt to explain such matters will only lead to further perplexities and deeper confusion. Allah is not questioned about what He does; mortals are questioned: He cannot be questioned for His acts, but they will be questioned [for theirs]. (Al-Ambiyaa 21:23) We shall not exceed the bounds by trying to deduce inner meanings from things that Allah has chosen to conceal from us. Only He has perfect knowledge of what is hidden and what is apparent.
What is good for every sincere Muslim is self-effacement regarding their Islaam. You should rather praise Allah for making you part of this Ummah. You were not better than anybody; Allah just chose you for His guidance.
The Qur’an has this to say:
“For We assuredly sent amongst every People a messenger, [with the Command], "Serve Allah, and eschew Evil": of the People were some whom Allah guided, and some on whom error became inevitably [established].” (An-Nahl 16:36)
“Allah commands His Prophet (SAW) to mention his Lord’s favour unto him, in that He guided him unto a right path that is not crooked. Say: "Verily, my Lord hath guided me to a way that is straight, - a religion of right, - the path [trod] by Abraham the true in Faith, and he [certainly] joined not gods with Allah." (Al-An’aam 6:161) But Allah has endeared the Faith to you, and has made it beautiful in your hearts, and He has made hateful to you Unbelief, wickedness, and rebellion…” (Al-Hujuraat 49:7)
And your Islaam is for your benefit, something for which you have to be grateful to Allah for having guided you. You have not done favour to anybody for being a Muslim. That was the mistake that the Bedouin Arabs did when they became Muslims, and Allah answered them: “They impress on thee as a favour that they have embraced Islam. Say, "Count not your Islam as a favour upon me: Nay, Allah has conferred a favour upon you that He has guided you to the faith, if ye be true and sincere.” (Al-Hujuraat 49:17)
Those working in the area of da’wah should be sincere and seek reward from Allah for what they do. They should not aim at impressing their audience or those they call to Islaam or good works. Let Allah be their goal. Let them praise Him for guiding them to this noble task of conveying His message to His creatures. Let them seek His help in exerting more effort in da’wah; in continuing with perseverance until they meet Him.
Praise be Allah for the favour of faith and guidance; "Praise be to Allah, who hath guided us to this [felicity]: never could we have found guidance, had it not been for the guidance of Allah: indeed it was the truth, that the messengers of our Lord brought unto us." (Al-A’raaf 7:43)
Three; those in the da’wah work should relate the message to the people and leave outcome to Allah Almighty. The monk in the narrative under review conveyed what he had in his training of the boy without the slightest idea that his pupil was likely to play this major role in da’wah. Of course the monk did not envisage that this boy would fearlessly confront the king and bring about a positive impact on such a large number of people as witnessed afterwards. Every da’wah exponent started in a very ordinary manner; and with good intention, seeking of Allah’s acceptance, their da’wah grows and their persona and message transformed to a household name. So, your task is to be involved in ways to make the message reach the people, but acceptance of that, guidance and imaan is for Allah. The Qur’an says:
“If they do, they are in right guidance, but if they turn back, thy duty is to convey the Message; and in Allah’s sight is [all] His servants…” (Ali-Imraan 3:20)  “O Apostle! Proclaim the (Message) which hath been sent to thee from thy Lord. If thou didst not, thou wouldst not have fulfilled His Mission.” (Al-Maa’idah 5:70) “Obey Allah, and obey the Apostle, and beware (of evil): If ye do turn back, know ye that it is Our Apostle's duty to proclaim (the Message) in the clearest manner.” (Al-Maa’idah 5:95) “The Apostle's duty is but to proclaim (the Message). But Allah knoweth all that ye reveal and ye conceal.” (Al-Maa’idah 5:102) “…thy duty is to make [the Message] reach them: it is our part to call them to account.” (Ar-Ra’d 13:40) “But what is the mission of messengers but to preach the Clear Message?” (An-Nahl 16:35)  “But if they turn away, thy duty is only to preach the clear Message.” (An-Nahl 16:82) “If then they run away, We have not sent thee as a guard over them. Thy duty is but to convey [the Message].” (Ash-Shuuraa 42:48)  “Therefore do thou give admonition, for thou art one to admonish. Thou art not one to manage [men's] affairs. But if any turn away and reject Allah, - Allah will punish him with a mighty Punishment, For to Us will be their return; Then it will be for Us to call them to account.”  (Al-Ghaashiyah 88:21-26)
Da’wah officers are to make sure that the message is conveyed plainly without ambiguity. The teachings of Islaam should be explained and taught in the simplest, most sincere and wisest of ways. That is our responsibility. We are not to force people; we are not to judge them or keep guard over them to ensure their righteousness by trying to monitor what they do in secret. No…. whoever is guided they do that to the good of their souls; whoever goes astray they do that in like manner.
Four; Allah Almighty will groom those He chose for da’wah and make them ready to face with perseverance whatever challenges may come their way in discharging this duty. Allah may even support them with karaamaat (miracles performed by saints, not prophets) due to their sincerity and firm faith.
As we saw in the narrative; the monk was groomed to impart the right ideology and proper form of worship to the boy. Also, Allah made the monk to bear the maltreatment he received in the way of da’wah until he was martyred in the disturbing way that was described in the narrative.
We can say the same thing in respect to the king’s courtier who stubbornly stuck to tauheed (oneness of Allah) after he was guided to it in spite of unbearable torment, until he was martyred.
The boy’s case was more revealing than the two examples of the monk and the courtier, in that Allah prepared him to be a conduit for the declaration of tauheed at a dark period in which injustice and corruption were rampant. That did not debar him from preaching to people concerning their real Maker and Lord; he called on them to worship Him and make religion pure for Him only. This he did without minding what his da’wah work would cause him of, for example, losing any mundane benefit or exposing himself to harm and torture. Just as we saw when the courtier brought him a treasure and said, "All these gifts are for you on the condition that you cure me.'' What do you think will happen today if a similar opportunity presents itself to any of the malams that claim to have answers to all ailments? But the boy said, "I do not cure anybody; it is only Allah who cures people. So, if you believe in Allah and supplicate to Him, He will cure you.'' So, he believed in and supplicated to Allah, and Allah cured him. Fleeting comfort of the life of this world was of no consequence in the estimation of the boy. His goal was for the message to reach its intended addressees.
The boy showed similar selflessness in his position with the king when he insisted on paying the ultimate price: "You will not be able to kill me until you do as I order you. And if you do as I order you, you will be able to kill me.'' The king asked, "And what is that'' The boy said, "Gather the people in one elevated place and tie me to the trunk of a tree; then take an arrow from my quiver and say: `In the Name of Allah, the Lord of the boy.' If you do this, you will be able to kill me.'' Thus, he was able to convince a multitude, without uttering a word, on belief in the Lord of the worlds. His sacrifice caused the belief of hundreds of thousands of people who screamed in one voice: "We believe in the Lord of the boy!'’
No wonder that Allah strengthened him with karaamah by destroying those who went with him to the zenith of the mountain to kill him; by causing to drown those who were with him in the ship to assassinate him. Allah saved him from their well-thought-out plans in order to underpin his genuine commitment to da’wah and his sincerity of faith in his Maker.
Of course Allah’s support in da’wah and the people working in that field is not confined to the protagonists of the narrative under discussion. Far from that! Allah has always helped those who help da’wah to His deen. He guides them to firm imaan; He prepares them with endurance to face and surmount imminent challenges confronting their da’wah work.
Al-Aswad Al-Ansy was a false claimant to prophethood in Yemen. When he became well-established he summoned one of the great scholars of the time Abu Muslim Al-Khaulany to believe in him and accept him as a messenger. As soon as Abu Muslim appeared before him Al-Aswad asked him: ‘Do you testify that I am the messenger of Allah?’
‘I cannot hear a word…’ Abu Muslim answered.
‘Do you then believe that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah?’
Abu Muslim said, ‘Yes.’
This pattern of questioning was repeated many times over, and in all, Abu Muslim maintained his position. Al-Aswad ordered that Abu Muslim should be thrown into a deep trench filled with live coals and blazing fire. Abu Muslim remained calm, and kept repeat hasbunallaahu wa ni’mal wakeel (Allah is sufficient for us and He is the best Protector); the same words that Prophet Ibrahim uttered when he was thrown into the fire. The fire did no harm to Abu Muslim; after the flames died out he came out unscathed and walked away. Upon that, the false prophet was advised to banish Abu Muslim from Yemen ‘lest he causes dissension in the ranks of your followers.’
Expelled from Yemen Abu Muslim Al-Khaulany immigrated to Madeenah; the Messenger of Allah (SAW) had died then, and Abubakr As-Siddeeq (AS) was the Khaleefah. He made his camel kneel at the door of the mosque and entered. ‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab (RA) went into the mosque and found Abu Muslim offering naafilah salaah. When he finished ‘Umar asked him, ‘From where is this brother?’
‘From the people of Yemen…’ Abu Muslim answered.
‘Tell me;’ ‘Umar said, ‘what happened to the man that the false prophet threw in fire?’
‘That must be ‘Abdullah Ibn Thaub.’ Abu Muslim said.
‘Umar was not convinced, so he said, ‘I urge you, in the name of Allah, are you the one?’
‘Yes.’ Abu Muslim confessed.
‘Umar embraced him and wept profusely. Then he took him to Abubakr As-Siddeeq and said, ‘Praise be to Allah who speared my life until this day when I saw a man among the Ummah of Muhammad (SAW) whom Allah saved from burning flames just as He did to Prophet Ibrahim (AS). 
This karaamah Allah caused to happen in respect of a righteous man who held firmly to Allah’s religion, and thus he was guided aright in what he said and did. Allah strengthened him at the time adversity by preventing the fire from burning him. The Qur’an says:
“Behold! verily on the friends of Allah there is no fear, nor shall they grieve; Those who believe and [constantly] guard against evil;- For them are glad tidings, in the life of the present and in the Hereafter; no change can there be in the words of Allah. This is indeed the supreme felicity.” (Yūnus 10:62-64)
Five; verily, Allah shall reveal the truth about His religion and support its da’wah even through the weakest of people. In this is reprimand against the rich and powerful that repel da’wah and withhold any form of succour to its cause.
Think for a moment about the valour of people like Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud – that frail, pitiable member of the earliest band of Muslims – who had no strong clan to protect him against the Qur’aish’s persecution; he was, however, the first to recite the Glorious Qur’an in public aside the Prophet (SAW).
One day the companions of the Messenger of Allah (SAW) gathered, and some of them said, ‘By Allah the Quraish have never heard this Qur’an read in public. What man could make them listen to it?’
‘I will;’ declared Ibn Mas’ud.
They said, ‘No; harming you will be easy for Quraish as you don’t have any clan that can protect you. We want somebody whose tribal strength will make the people think twice before they assault him.’
‘Allow me to do it;’ insisted Ibn Mas’ud, ‘Allah shall protect me.’
He went straight to Maqaam Ibraheem by the Ka’bah at the time the leaders of Quraish were having their afternoon rendezvous, and he started his recitation of the Qur’an: “In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. [Allah] Most Gracious! It is He Who has taught the Qur'an.” (Ar-Rahmaan 55:1-2) He kept reciting and people were listening, then one of the leaders said, ‘Wait a minute; what is this man reciting?’
‘It is Ibn Mas’ud reciting the Qur’an of Muhammad.’ He was told.
They pounced on him, hitting him from all directions, especially on his face. In spite of that he did not stop reciting the Qur’an until he reached whatever verse Allah had destined. He returned to his comrades with a bruised face and body. They said, ‘That was what we feared for you…’
‘The enemies of Allah are now more despicable in my sight than they were an hour ago.’ He said, ‘And if you please, I’ll repeat the exercise tomorrow.’
‘That’s enough for you;’ the companions said, ‘at least you’ve made them hear what they detest.’
That was Ibn Mas’ud; he attained this feat despite his frail and delicate stature and bodily weakness. On another occasion, the Messenger of Allah asked him to get him some siwāk (tooth stick) atop an ‘Araak tree. When he climbed the companions saw clearly how spindly his legs were, and they could not help being a little amused. ‘Why are you laughing?’  Asked the Messenger of Allah, apparently not pleased with what they did, ‘By Allah,’ he continued, ‘the feet of Ibn Mas’ud outweigh the Mount of Uhud on the Scale of Allah’s judgement on the Day of Resurrection!’
Allah, therefore, does not consider your physique, size, beauty or lineage before He anoints you in faith and in carrying out the work of da’wah. No wonder then that He said concerning the hypocrites: “When thou lookest at them, their exteriors please thee;” (Al-Munaafiquun 63:4) Yes, you get carried away by their good features, quality of their bodies and how gorgeously they dress.
Abu Hurairah related that the Messenger of Allah said, ‘A robust and sturdily built man will come on the Day of Resurrection, but, on the scale, his weight will be less than that of the wing of a fly.’
Six; tribulation will, doubtless, affect those engaged in da’wah work. That is Allah’s way of treatment in all the generations that went before. Study the lives of prophets and messengers; were they immune from tribulations and hardships? Take Prophet Nuh (AS) for instance, who called to Allah for 950 years among his people; he used all methods of da’wah: one-on-one engagement, public preaching, dialogue, exhorting them one time with lenience, the other in severity… all to no avail! They thrust their fingers in their ears, derided, and treated him with scorn and disdain. The leaders of the Unbelievers among his people said: "Ah! We see thou art an imbecile!" and "We think thou art a liar!" (Al-A’raaf 7:66) They said: "If thou desist not, O Noah! Thou shalt be stoned [to death]." (Ash-Shu’araa 26:116)
As we have seen earlier the Prophet of Allah Ibrahim (AS), his tribulation was in the form of putting him in the fire. [Abraham] said, "Do ye then worship, besides Allah, things that can neither be of any good to you nor do you harm? Fie upon you, and upon the things that ye worship besides Allah! Have ye no sense?"... They said, "Burn him and protect your gods, if ye do [anything at all]!" We said, "O Fire! Be thou cool, and [a means of] safety for Abraham!" Then they sought a stratagem against him: but We made them the ones that lost most!”  (Al-Ambiyaa 21:66-70)
The life of Prophet Musa (AS) was a cocktail of hardship, suffering, trouble, misery, distress, difficulty, anxiety and pain. History has recorded the various tribulations and adversities that the Messenger of Allah faced with the believers along with him.
 Many of the companions of the Messenger of Allah (SAW) were threatened with death, crucifixion and excessive torture. The Makkan Mushriks did not spare anybody; whoever deviated from the religion of their ancestors got their share of torment; there were no differences between men and women; children and the aged; weak people, without strong family support and those enjoying clan protection. The believers exhibited rare courage, resilience and perseverance. They sacrificed their lives, property and their loved ones. They forsook their homes, their sons and daughters and everything they held dear for Allah’s religion to be revealed to all. They fulfilled their vow to Allah, therefore He requited them with what was better; He granted the reward of whoever comes to Islaam through their effort.
Just look at a fellow woman, our sister in faith, Sumayyah (RA); she was the first to be martyred for Allah’s sake. She died of spear wounds to her privates at the hands of those who considered accepting Islaam a great crime then. Her husband fared no better; he was quartered (a term used for tying a man’s limbs to four separate camels and running the camels off in 4 opposite directions until they tore the limbs and torso apart) and his body laid in four chunks, lifeless.
Also, the tabi’uun (the generation of righteous predecessors that came after the Prophet’s companions) were tried. There was no prophet, messenger or any righteous person who stood firm calling people to the path of obedience to Allah, but that he was met with profound obstacles, suffering and distress.
Therefore, all believers in general, particularly those working in da’wah field, should be prepared to sacrifice everything for the sake of conveying Allah’s message; they must abjure the love of the world and loathing of death. We have to arm ourselves with the arsenals of faith, tenacity, perseverance and absolute trust in Allah, The Almighty.
Seven; at the time of tribulation da’wah officers should avoid saying things, or revealing secrets that may jeopardise the message or endanger a colleague. What is needed during hardship is endurance of any misfortune and distress so as not to give the enemies of da’wah any opening of compromising the message. That was why the monk said, "O my son! Today you are better than I, and you have achieved what I see! You will be put to trial. And in case you are put to trial, do not inform (them) about me.”
The Messenger of Allah (SAW) and his companions have been recorded using allegories if they did not intend revealing certain secrets.
The Prophet (SAW) set out with Abubakr (RA) seeking to gather intelligence about the Quraish. As they were patrolling the area, they came across an old Arab man. The Messenger of Allah (SAW) asked him about the Quraish’s army, about Muhammad and his companions, about the news he heard concerning both groups.
The old man said, ‘I will not tell you until you first tell me who you are from?’
The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said, ‘When you inform us (about what I asked), we will inform you (about what you asked).’
The old man said, ‘So is it a trade (of information), this for that?’
The Prophet (SAW) said, ‘Yes.’
The old man said, ‘It has indeed reached me that Muhammad and his companions have left (Al-Madeenah) on such and such day. And if the one who informed me about that was truthful, then they are today in such and such place,’ which in fact was where the Muslim army was on that day. ‘And it has reached me,’ continued the old man, ‘that the Quraish have left (Makkah) on such and such day. And if the one who informed me thereof was truthful, then today they are in such and such place,’ which in fact was where the army of the polytheists was on that day. The old man then said, ‘I have informed you about what you wanted to know, so now you tell me who you are from?’
The Messenger of Allah (SAW) simply replied, ‘We are from maa’ (water),’ after which he and Abubakr forthwith left the old man, who remained where he was, confused, saying to himself, ‘From the town of Maa’ in Iraq?’ Of course the messenger of Allah meant they were from water, in reference to the fact that all mankind was created from water ab initio. The man on his part misunderstood that to mean the town of Maa’ in Iraq which shares the same Arabic name with water. In talking in this manner, the Prophet evaded answering the man’s questions in a way that would jeopardise their mission while at the same time not lying to the questioner.
Also, during the journey of the Prophet (SAW) and Abubakr from Makkah to Madinah, Abubakr, being a well-known old man rode behind the Prophet on their animal. Every time a man met them he would recognise Abubakr but would not know the Messenger of Allah who was then much younger. ‘Who is this man riding with you?’ he would be asked. And Abubakr would answer, ‘He is a man guiding me on the path.’ The questioner would assume that to mean the path to Madeenah, while, actually, Abubakr meant the path to Allah.
Narrated Abu Hurairah (RA): Ibrahim did not tell a lie except on three occasions. Twice for the sake of Allah when he said, ‘I am indeed sick…’ (As-Saafaat 37:89), and when he said, ‘(I have not done it but) the big idol here has done it.’ (Al-Ambiyaa 21:63) The (third was) when Ibrahim and Saarah (his wife) were travelling, they passed by (the territory of) a tyrant. Someone said to the tyrant, ‘This man (i.e. Ibrahim) is accompanied by a very charming lady.’ So, the tyrant sent for Ibrahim; when he came, he asked him about Saarah, ‘Who is this lady?’
Ibrahim said, ‘She’s my sister.’
Ibrahim went to Saarah and said, ‘O Saarah! There are no believers on the surface of the earth other than you and I. This man asked me about you and I have told him that you are my sister, so don’t contradict my statement.’
The tyrant then called Saarah and when she went to him, he tried to take hold of her but his hand became stiff and he was confounded.
‘Pray Allah for me,’ he asked Saarah, ‘and I shall not harm you.’
So Saarah prayed Allah to cure him, and he was cured. He tried to touch her a second time and his hand stiffened again. He earnestly asked Saarah, ‘Pray Allah for, I, indeed, shall not harm you.’
She did, and again he was cured. He then called one of his guards (who brought her) and said, ‘You have not brought me a human being but a devil. Remove her from my territory’
The tyrant then gave Haajar as a slave-girl to Saarah. She returned to Ibrahim who asked her what happened, and she said, ‘Allah has foiled the evil plot of the infidel. He even gave me Haajar for service.
Eight; self-denial is the hallmark of a sincere da’wah worker. The boy was not carried away by the ephemeral pleasure of the life of the world in that he rejected the gifts brought by the courtier, and attributed ailment and cure to Allah, not to himself. We are often carried away by the plaudits we may sometimes receive while calling others to Islaam; we have to be wary of ascribing whatever success we achieve to ourselves instead of Allah, The Guide.
Nine; using opportunities as they present themselves, and utilising the appropriate place and time in passing a message across underscore the brainpower of one engaged in da’wah work. The boy, before he prayed Allah for the return of sight to the courtier, first of all, called him to tauheed and the worship of Allah without partners. He, also, contrived the gathering of multitude to witness how his murder by the king would be possible only in invoking the name of his Lord so that the message may reach thousands of people.
Ten; the ability to do ‘first things first,’ ensures success for people working in the field of da’wah. The boy insisted on the most important, first step to coming close to Allah, and that is imaan, faith in the Almighty.
We have to arrange in the right order what we intend to pass to our audience, then emphasis should be on the most important points; everything to be placed in its appropriate position. Da’wah must start with keeping shirk at bay and establishing solid basis for imaan in people’s hearts. Laa ilaaha illallaah must be a living reality within their system, illuminating their lives and dispelling the darkness of disbelief and shirk.
Your da’wah must not dissipate energy on naafilah at the expense of fard; on fighting minor sins and neglecting kabaa’ir; or on correcting makruuh and being unmindful of haraam. No; da’wah must commence with first things first.
Let issues be presented according to the preferential order in the Glorious Qur’an and how often they are mentioned in its verses. Let such matters as commanded that level of attention in the Glorious Book be accorded equal consideration in our process of thinking and way of life. Favoured candidates in this regard could be belief in Allah, His prophets and His Messengers. Another is belief in the Abode of the Hereafter in which reward for good or evil deeds will translate into eternal life in Paradise or Hell.
In the second category is the fabric of worship, like the proper establishment of salaah, giving out of zakah, fasting and pilgrimage to the Ka’bah. Closely related to this is the concealed form of worship of dhikrullaah, tasbeeh, tahmeed, seeking for His forgiveness and repentance. Also, in this line could be putting implicit trust in Him, hoping for His Mercy, dreading His punishment, showing gratitude for His bounties and perseverance in times of adversity.
Right conduct will follow: truthfulness, shyness, humility, tenderness to believers, sternness to  the faithless, showing mercy to the weak, obedience of parents, keeping the ties of kinship, honouring the neighbour and taking care of those in need and the orphans.
We shall not accord an issue any more importance than that given to it by the Qur’an; for the Qur’an is the ultimate proof for this Ummah; it is the basis for the deen; and the Sunnah is there for explication.
What is concealed in the breasts should be given preference over physical actions; Allah looks at what is hidden in our hearts of faith and sincere intentions. By this, I do not mean the faulty understanding of some people who say all that matters is the intention. The action also matters a great deal but we should not fixate on the action without knowing the underlying intention too.
So, what is imperative to da’wah work is for us to pay more attention to the source rather than the branch; like the people who will spend the night in naafilah prayer but neglect the subh prayer which is obligatory. Or such night vigil will sap away the energy they need in their place of work. They come to the office weak and unable to discharge the task for which they earn their salary. Such people should know that discharging their official responsibility is obligatory; giving less than what their appointment letters and schedule of duty expects of them amounts to dishonesty and eating up of the property of that office in vanity. Night prayer is naafilah; discharging official task is mandatory!
What about those who will observe naafilah fast every Mondays and Thursdays with difficulty especially in summer? The effect of the fast weakens their performances in their offices and places of work. But observing such fast is optional, not obligatory. The Prophet (SAW) prohibited the observance of naafilah fast by a woman whose husband is present until she asks for his permission, because the husband’s rights on her are more deserving of observance than naafilah fast.
In the same connection as above is the case of people who have performed the obligatory hajj as is compulsory on every Muslim able to do so, but they undertake to observe voluntary hajj and Umrah every year – for the tenth, twentieth or even fortieth time - spending millions on what is not obligatory while their neighbours need urgent assistance or die of hunger and preventable illnesses.
Then all of us, those engaged in da’wah and those to whom it is directed, are required to put things in the right perspective: the very important and then important; then the essential and then necessary, and so on.
Eleven; the strength of imaan in Allah and how firmly the Islamic ideology is rooted in the heart make one working in the da’wah field to become strong and daring enough to face any tyrant and convey the message without fearing any repercussions or the blame of any blamer. We saw that in the position assumed by the boy in his intercourse with the king and in the ultimate showdown with the countless number of new believers who were murdered but who smiled as they died for Allah’s sake.
Twelve; every froward potentate cannot and will not permit free exchange of ideas among his people; has no proof against plain truth; their only refuge is in stifling the truth, and torturing and killing those who accept it. This is exactly what the king did to the monk, the courtier, the boy and all those who believed afterwards.
The Glorious Qur’an chronicles the story of Musa (AS); how Allah strengthened him with miracles and wonders and how Pharaoh and his chiefs denied him without any proof. They accused him of lying against Allah; that he was a madman and a sorcerer. Pharaoh, may Allah’s curse be upon him, even claimed divinity and purposed to kill Musa (AS).
The Qur’an says:
“When Moses came to them with Our clear signs, they said: "This is nothing but sorcery faked up: never did we hear the like among our fathers of old!" Moses said: "My Lord knows best who it is that comes with guidance from Him and whose end will be best in the Hereafter: certain it is that the wrong-doers will not prosper." Pharaoh said: "O Chiefs! no god do I know for you but myself: therefore, O Haman! Light me a [kiln to bake bricks] out of clay, and build me a lofty palace, that I may mount up to the god of Moses: but as far as I am concerned, I think [Moses] is a liar!" And he was arrogant and insolent in the land, beyond reason, - he and his hosts: they thought that they would not have to return to Us! So We seized him and his hosts, and We flung them into the sea: Now behold what was the end of those who did wrong!” (Al-Qasas 28:36-40)
“Of old We sent Moses, with Our Signs and an authority manifest, To Pharaoh, Haman, and Qarun; but they called [him]" a sorcerer telling lies!"... Now, when he came to them in Truth, from Us, they said, "Slay the sons of those who believe with him, and keep alive their females," but the plots of Unbelievers [end] in nothing but errors [and delusions]!... Said Pharaoh: "Leave me to slay Moses; and let him call on his Lord! What I fear is lest he should change your religion, or lest he should cause mischief to appear in the land!" Moses said: "I have indeed called upon my Lord and your Lord [for protection] from every arrogant one who believes not in the Day of Account!" (Ghaafir 40:23-27)
The Qur’an taught us that repudiators and enemies of Allah’s emissaries have one trait: they belie the message and accuse the messenger of insanity and or sorcery. It says: “Similarly, no messenger came to the Peoples before them, but they said [of him] in like manner, "A sorcerer or one possessed"! Is this the legacy they have transmitted, one to another? Nay, they are themselves a people transgressing beyond bounds!” (Az-Zaariyaat 51:52-53)
Thirteen; realization of the presence of Allah makes those in da’wah work confident and firm in whatever condition they find themselves. When Abubakr As-Siddeeq saw the polytheists going round the cave in which he and the Prophet were taking refuge, he said, ‘O Messenger of Allah! If one of them were to look beneath his feet he would see us.’
‘O Abubakr,’ the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said, ‘what is your opinion concerning two people, the third of whom is Allah?’
Also, when their pursuers caught up with them and there appeared to be no place of refuge, the people of Musa (AS) said, ‘We’ve been overtaken; they shall kill all of us.’ Relating this, the Qur’an says:
“And when the two bodies saw each other, the people of Moses said: "We are sure to be overtaken." [Moses] said: "By no means! My Lord is with me! Soon will He guide me!" (As-Shuuraa 26:61-62)
Fourteen; the time for the death of each soul is predetermined by Allah; no soul can outstrip or delay its term. No one can cause the death of another before its time. “To every people is a term appointed: when their term is reached, not an hour can they cause delay, nor [an hour] can they advance [it in anticipation].” (Al-A’raaf 7:34) "Wherever ye are, death will find you out, even if ye are in towers built up strong and high!" (An-Nisaa 4:78)
Fifteen; believers in general, and those in da’wah field in particular are not overawed by threats of torture or death, due to their conviction that everything is under Allah’s control; that none shall befall them but what Allah has destined for them; whatever He desires will come to pass, otherwise nothing will happen. “Allah hath purchased of the believers their persons and their goods; for theirs [in return] is the garden [of Paradise]: they fight in His cause, and slay and are slain: a promise binding on Him in truth, through the Law, the Gospel, and the Qur'an: and who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah? Then rejoice in the bargain which ye have concluded: that is the achievement supreme.” (At-Taubah 9:111) Say: "Nothing will happen to us except what Allah has decreed for us: He is our protector": and on Allah let the Believers put their trust. (At-Taubah 9:51)
Sixteen; when hearts become hard they cannot perceive truth or recognise it. In spite of what Allah has shown the king of various signs through the boy, he and his people could not ponder over what they saw. The immediate conversion of thousands of his subjects all at once did not remove the shield from his eyes and heart. He could not see what they saw because the heart was already hard as a rock, or even worse in hardness.
Seventeen; if people are left alone their innate conscience will lead them to Allah as soon as they are nudged towards that by the slightest sign. Look at how the people returned to their true nature of monotheism after the death of the boy with their chorus: ‘We believe in the Lord of the boy.
Something similar to the above happened to the magicians gathered by Pharaoh to outperform Musa’s miracles using sorcery. When they saw that Musa’s stick turned into a snake and was swallowing what they displayed, they instantly recognised that what Musa did was not magic. He was a messenger sent by Allah, so they fell down on their knees and declared belief in the Lord of the worlds. Seeing this, Pharaoh threatened to cut off their hands and feet alternately, and to crucify them. That threat did not cause them to waver, instead they asked Allah to strengthen them and to make them persevere in the ordeal as the worst Pharaoh could do was to cause an end to the life of this world.
Thus, Ibn Abbaas used to say concerning Pharaoh’s magicians: ‘They came in as sorcerers in the morning; by evening, they were martyrs.’
The Qur’an says:
“We put it into Moses's mind by inspiration: "Throw [now] thy rod": and behold! It swallows up straight away all the falsehoods which they fake! Thus truth was confirmed, and all that they did was made of no effect. So the [great ones] were vanquished there and then, and were made to look small. But the sorcerers fell down prostrate in adoration. Saying: "We believe in the Lord of the Worlds,- "The Lord of Moses and Aaron." Said Pharaoh: "Believe ye in Him before I give you permission? Surely this is a trick which ye have planned in the city to drive out its people: but soon shall ye know [the consequences]. "Be sure I will cut off your hands and your feet on alternate sides, and I will cause you all to die on the cross." They said: "For us, we are but sent back unto our Lord: "But thou dost wreak thy vengeance on us simply because we believed in the Signs of our Lord when they reached us?! Our Lord! Pour out on us patience and constancy, and take our souls unto thee as Muslims [who bow to thy will]!” (Al-A’raaf 7:117-126)
“They said: "O Moses! Whether wilt thou that thou throw [first] or that we be the first to throw?" He said, "Nay, throw ye first!" Then behold their ropes and their rods-so it seemed to him on account of their magic - began to be in lively motion! So Moses conceived in his mind a [sort of] fear. We said: "Fear not! for thou hast indeed the upper hand: "Throw that which is in thy right hand: Quickly will it swallow up that which they have faked; what they have faked is but a magician's trick: and the magician thrives not, [no matter] where he goes." So the magicians were thrown down to prostration: they said, "We believe in the Lord of Aaron and Moses". [Pharaoh] said: "Believe ye in Him before I give you permission? Surely this must be your leader, who has taught you magic! Be sure I will cut off your hands and feet on opposite sides, and I will have you crucified on trunks of palm trees: so shall ye know for certain, which of us can give the more severe and the more lasting punishment!" They said: "Never shall we regard thee as more than the Clear Signs that have come to us, or than Him Who created us! So decree whatever thou desirest to decree: for thou canst only decree [touching] the life of this world. "For us, we have believed in our Lord: may He forgive us our faults, and the magic to which thou didst compel us: for Allah is Best and Most Abiding." Verily he who comes to his Lord as a sinner [at Judgment], - for him is Hell: therein shall he neither die nor live. But such as come to Him as Believers who have worked righteous deeds,- for them are ranks exalted,- Gardens of Eternity, beneath which flow rivers: they will dwell therein for aye: such is the reward of those who purify themselves [from evil].” (Taaha 20:65-76)
“Moses said to them: "Throw ye - that which ye are about to throw!" So they threw their ropes and their rods, and said: "By the might of Pharaoh, it is we who will certainly win!" Then Moses threw his rod, when, behold, it straightway swallows up all the falsehoods which they fake! Then did the sorcerers fall down, prostrate in adoration, saying: "We believe in the Lord of the Worlds, "The Lord of Moses and Aaron." Said [Pharaoh]: "Believe ye in Him before I give you permission? Surely he is your leader, who has taught you sorcery! But soon shall ye know! Be sure I will cut off your hands and your feet on opposite sides, and I will cause you all to die on the cross!" They said: "No matter! For us, we shall but return to our Lord! "Only, our desire is that our Lord will forgive us our faults, that we may become foremost among the believers!" (As-Shu’araa 26:43-51)
Also, during the Prophet’s time (as another parable in quick conversion after recognising truth) a man called Dimaad Al-Azdy, from the tribe of Azd Shanuu’ah, arrived Makkah, and he used to treat people with Ruqyaa (exorcism through incantations in the case of those possessed by Jinn). He heard the fools among the people of Makkah saying that Muhammad was possessed.
‘If I see this man,’ he said, ‘perhaps Allah will heal him at my hands.’
So, he met with him and he said: ‘O Muhammad, I treat people with Ruqyaa in the case of Jinn possession, and Allah heals at my hands whomsoever He wills. Do you want that?’
The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “Indeed, all praise is due to Allah. We praise Him and seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allah from our soul’s evil and our wrong doings. He whom Allah guides, no one can misguide; and he whom He misguides, no one can guide. I bear witness that there is no (true) god except Allah – alone without a partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is His servant and messenger.”
Dimaad said: ‘Repeat these words of yours to me again.’
The Messenger of Allah (SAW) repeated them three times and Dimaad said: ‘I have heard the words of soothsayers and the words of magicians and the words of poets, but I have never heard anything like these words of yours. You have attained the peak of eloquence.’ Then, he said: ‘Give me your hand so that I may pledge allegiance to you in Islaam.’
So, he gave him his pledge of allegiance, and then the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: ‘And on behalf of your people?’
‘And on behalf of my people...’ Dimaad answered.
This story as recorded in Sahih Muslim, (chapter 13 on keeping the prayer and khutbah short), further proves that Islaam is the deen of fitrah; that the human soul, when freed from the manacles of dictatorial pressure, oftentimes recognises and accepts the truth as soon as it appears to it.
Eighteen; Imam An-Nawawy said: ‘In this Hadeeth (the hadeeth mentioning the story of the boy) is proof of the authenticity of the karaamah of saints and prophets. In it, also, is the permissibility of uttering untruth in war situation, where your life or someone else’s was at stake.’
Commenting on the same Hadeeth, Al-Qurtubee said: ‘the monk’s words to the boy: ‘and whenever you are afraid of your people, say to them: `The sorcerer kept me busy,'   testify to the fact that one can deliberately say something untrue (when in danger of a life or lives) for the benefit of the deen. This position is upheld given the Prophet’s rendering of the narrative in its entire and in praise of the parts played by the monk and the boy. If there was any part the he (SAW) took exception to, or goes against his sharee’ah, he would have drawn the attention of his Ummah to it. He (SAW) did not do that. Therefore, the account he gave concerning them and what they did is proof for the permissibility of the act.’ The messenger of Allah also used to say “war is deceit”. This means you are allowed to deceive the enemy in a state of war if that would save some lives or prevent the plans of the believers from getting into enemy hands.
If it is said: how is it lawful for the boy to expose the cover of the monk leading to his death; and give details on how he could be killed? The answer is twofold: one; that the boy was a minor; has not attained puberty. Let us even assume for argument’s sake that he has reached majority; the boy did not know that the monk would be killed, so, he would not be held responsible for causing the death of the monk. Two; on the issue of the boy guiding the king on how he may succeed in killing him, we can say that he was certain that he would eventually be killed; or, as part of what Allah inspired to his heart, He directed him to what will reveal his karaamah to, and show the genuineness of the religion he professes, for the people to surrender to Allah, their true Lord, as we have witnessed. In other words, if death would be the end of his ordeal at the hands of the tyrant, he might as well try to put that to good use by letting others accept the faith when they see that only Allah’s name could be used to kill him.
I wish to conclude by saying that what I have put down here is neither exhaustive nor conclusive. It has merely tried to scratch the surface of the topic, which I must say, is very open-ended. Given to a thousand different people equipped with better knowledge of the Quran and Sunnah, this topic would produce a thousand different volumes each as different from the other as there are different people writing them.
Please endeavour to expand and review whatever I have written, I am naught but human like you.
I must no doubt have made some mistakes in compiling the write-up; kindly direct my attention to these when you see them. I have also relied on the works of others which I read in preparing this but all correct information and quotations are entirely by Allah’s mercy. He Alone guides unto success. All the wrong things about this write-up are from me and Ash-Shaytaan, the accursed, I ask Allah to forgive me and you all.
And the termination of our supplication is to say Praise be to Allah, Lord of the worlds.
Was salaamu alaikum, wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh