Some interpreters of the Quranic verses say that, what is mentioned as al-Khayri means the goodness which refers to Islam. Islam is about nurturing the Creed and Faith on the God. It includes the Tawheed (Oneness of the Lord) and Ma’rifat (Knowing Him). These two matters lead to the fact of religious awareness where ones could differentiate between goodness and evil.
Later, the feeling to incline toward goodness in the soul grows and it makes one having the courage to uphold the goodness and opposing the evil. If religious awareness is not yet growing in the soul, then the calling for goodness and opposing evil would be of no use since to differentiate goodness from evil is the teaching of the God.
To bring da’awa into the effect, religious awareness is very important dear brothers and sisters. A da’awa with the notions of the halal (legal) and haram (illegal) before everyone are aware about the religion or the path would be in vain like a man who divorce another man’s wife.
In the Arabic text of Surah Ali Imraan v. 104, we could also see the word ummatun which means a nation or a group of people. There must be amongst you a nation. Another one is the verb yad’ouna which means calling or launching a call. It refers to the mission or da’awa. The verse could be understood that among millions of people who are known as Muslims, there should be a nation who becomes the inner part with a specific mission to perform da’awa to others. The life, the development and the marginalization of the Path depends on the da’awa.
The verse which says: “And there must be some of you a group (or nation) who call toward goodness and telling others to perform charity and to prohibit vices” is explained as the field held by the nation who perform the mission to call others toward the Path are two:
- Mission among the nations who profess Islam as their Path.
- Mission toward those outside of the Muslim circle.
During the period of Muhammad s.a.w and few years after he passed away, Muslims could still receive the da’awa right away from Muhammad s.a.w himself or receiving the da’awa from his companions after he passed away. The law and principles which was not widely known were counseled and explained by Muhammad s.a.w himself. Later when he passed away, his companions took the charge and later the charge were passed to the teachers since the disciples period, the disciples of disciples period, the early period teachers and scholars, and to the recent teachers or scholars who continued the mission among Muslims so that they are aware about their Faith and Path.
Besides the inward da’awa, there is also the outward da’awa. The verse refers to the da’awa toward non-Muslims and to explain to them on what is Islam. What is the fact of Islam?
Telling others about Islam is our responsibility. It is not the responsibility of those baseless websites or preachers who call themselves as the most qualified people on the earth to tell the truth about Islam or the God while they could not bear the tests of the God and that made them turning to this and that.
In Malay language that we use in the northern Malayan Peninsula as our state’s national language, the term referring to these people is lalang. It means a weed. When the wind blows, the lalang will also follow the direction of the wind. It has no stance and no dignity like the weed that makes it easily being blown by the wind. The Arabic specific word for the term lalang is the munafiq. When we translate it into English, it means the hypocrite. People like these should just be abandoned, ignored and neglected.
The Definition of Ma’aruf and Munkar
As what has been mentioned before, ma’aruf refers to goodness, the act of goodness. It is basically something which is widely accepted by a good society. It is the obligation on a member of da’awa mission or the nation of da’awa to form a healthy public opinion on the nations through their acts and attitude. A mission of everyone in a congregation of a musalla or a masjid.
Now, why some Tabligh Jama’at members thought that I am one of them? Because the basis of the da’awa is all the same dear brothers and sisters no matter from what order we’re from. That is why I translate our turooq in English as mission orders. The tradition that I am following is the same tradition which is practiced by the noble prophet Muhammad s.a.w and his predecessors.
Munkar refers to evil symptoms, evil and bad attitude of life. It is rejected by a normal and sane society. Da’awa always in co-existence with healthy society and a healthy society is the goal of human life.
The normal human nature is to accept the goodness but rejects evil. If there is a society which rejects the noble way of life, then the society is not a healthy or a sane society. Goodness is for everyone's benefit. This is the fact of Islam. Islam is the nature of the universe.
When the amar ma'aruf nahi munkar which leads people toward charity and hinders them from evil stops, it signifies that the society is in danger and facing its disaster. Alhamdulillah, ending this part with salawat for Muhammad s.a.w : Allahumma salli 'alaa Muhammad, wa 'alaa aali Muhammad wa sahbihi aj'ma'in.
Sealed with prayers for mercy, peace and love, amin!