As stated in our last discussion, there are some well-known causes which seem to be responsible for the apathy and indifference that prevail today.
We generally believe that the act of tabligh is the sole and special responsibility of the “ulema”, even when the relevant injunctions of the Quran are clear and squarely apply to each and every living Muslim. The actions and the hard work of the companions of the Holy Prophet (Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam), and all those distinguished Muslims the contention that each and every Muslim is responsible for the propagation of Islam (tabligh).
To assign the obligation of tabligh (amr bil maruf wa nahi anil munkar) solely to the ranks of “ulema”, and not to ourselves, is a sign of grave ignorance on our part. The duty of the “ulema” is to state the truth and to poing out the right path. To enforce the righteousness among the people and to keep the people moving on the right path is the responsibility of all other Muslims. The following “hadis” is a clear exhortation to this?
“ Lo! All of you are leader and shall be questioned on the Day of Judgment in respect of your trust. So, the king is a head unto his subjects and shall be questioned in respect of them; the husband is a head unto his wife and shall be questioned in respect of her; the wife is a head unto her husband’s house and the children, and shall be questioned in respect of them all’ the slave is a watchman unto his master’s effects and shall be questioned in respect of those. So you are all shepherds, and you shall be questioned in respect of that entrusted to you.” And similarly, in another place, a yet clearer version is given. The Holy Prophet (Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam) said:
“Religion is the act of counseling.” (The Companions) enquired: “On whose part (to counsel)?” He said: “On the part of Allah, the Apostle, the leader of the Muslims and the lay Muslims.”
Even if we suppose, as an extreme case, that this task has to be carried out by the “Ulema” only, the present emergency and the critical situation demand that everyone of us should put his shoulder to the wheel and strive hard for the propagation of the “Kalimah” and the protection of the Muslim way of life.
It is commonly believed that, if a person is firm and steadfast In his own faith (eeman), the infidelity of others will bring him no harm, because of the meaning attached to the following verse of Holy Quran: “O you who believe! You are responsible for you own souls. He who goes astray cannot harm you, while you are on the path of righteousness.”
In fact, the real meaning and sense of the above verse is not what is being apparently attached to it, because, in that case, the meaning would appear to be against the teachings of the “Shariat-i-Mohammadaiah.” It indicates that the collective life and progress and salvation of the Muslim society as a whole are the essence of Islam.
The Muslim people must be considered like a single body having several limbs. When any limb receives an injury, the whole body suffers from the pain.
Mankind may progress to any limit and it may reach the highest pinnacle of glory in every sphere of life, yet there will be some who will go astray and become involved in impiety. In that event, the above verse re-assures the righteous people that as long as theyremain steadfast and keep moving on the right path, no harm can be brought to them by those who decide to give up the right way of life.
Yet another point is that full enlightenment will be received only when all the rules of law of “Shariat-i-Mohammadiah” are accepted and practiced, including all the Divine commands, which naturally cover “Amir bil maruf wa nahi anil munkar”. This interpretation is supported by the following words of Hadhrat Abu Bakr (Radhi Allaho anho):
“O people! You given to reading this verse: “O you who believe! You are responsible for you own souls” he who goes astray cannot harm you, while you are on the path of tighteousness,” but I have heard the Apostle of Allah saying that when people see something evil and do not seek to stop it, they will soon find themselves encompassed by the wrath of Allah.”
The verse in question has been similarly interpreted by all athe truly learned personages, such as Imam Nawavi (rahmat-ullah alaih), who explains in his “Sharah Muslim”:
“The consensus of opinion of the learned personages regarding the meaning of his verse is that, “when you have performed the duty enjoined on you , the remissiness of those who refuse to profit by your counsel will not harm you,” as says Allah Ta’ala: “(No one shall carry another man’s burden)”; and of the several injunctions addressed to all, one is that regarding enforcement of good and prevention of evil. Therefore when an individual has performed this duty and the addressee proves refractory, the former shall not be penalized for it. He has performed his duty of “amr-o-nahi” and acceptance or rejection of it by the other party is not within his competence. Allah knows best.”
People of distinction as well the common man, the learned and the ignorant, all alike, have become indifferent or even averse to the need for the reformation of society. They all seem to have resigned to the fate, that it is difficult, rather impossible these days, for the Muslims to make any progress to regain their lost glory. Whenever any scheme for improvement and reformation is presented to anyone, the usual reaction is: how can the Muslims progress in the circumstances when they have neither a state* of their own nor any power to rule, neither wealth nor any financial standing, no army and equipment of war nor any influence, they lack even in physical stamina, mutual agreement and unity of purpose. Even the religious people seem to have decided by themselves that, it being the fourteenth century “Hijri” and the people, having drifted so farther away from the prophetical teachings, the downfall of Islam and the Muslims is inevitable. They maintain that, in these circumstances, it will be useless to make any effort in these circumstances, it will be useless to make any effort towards the reformation of Muslims.
To be continued.
Courtesy of Fazail-e-Amaal