Thursday, 27 September 2012

Tools for Da'awa Part III

Assalaamu'alaikum wa rahmatullah

Another two points before I burn down the notes. Just returned from Cyberjaya after 'Isha service in Sultan Mizan mosque. Long time haven't prayed in the mosque cause helping my mother to take care my paralyzed father. Just after the prayer service, they had salat hajaat (special prayer). So, I just take the opportunity to pray to Allah to help my father, to guide everyone with His mercy and helping me with thesis. I wish to be graduated in March next year. I spend some time in Cyberjaya because the night life there is quite lively as compared to us who is nearby. Just watching people around to make sure that I am still "normal" like other human and I bought olive oil for prayer purpose.

I think that I need to return to the varsity apart of getting permission to endorse my thesis, I wanted to take a book of the Qadiri mission lineage to read it again. I met those teachers too but I do not want them to initiate me to be within the circle. Some kids trying to get some kind of conformation when they talked with me and I detest this. If we wanted to join any mission lineage, make sure we are at least acquired with Shari'a knowledge at the basis of taqlidi (follower). Find qualified teachers who memorized holy Quran in full, well-versed in Shari'a and Sunnah. Also make sure they are certified and recognized by our local states government. Those who had no problem with their life and do not have to shift madzhab then just remain in Shafi'ie school of jurisprudence. Though now, I am a Hanbali kitabs student but I still have huge respect to this imam of salaf.

Regarding tasawwuf sciences and sufi circles, there are two types of people whom being initiated into it. I do not like to talk about this but just telling brothers and sisters that I am not from Wahhabi-Salafi group though I am studying Hanbali traditional books. The first kind of person is those who finding the teachers so they are initiated into chains of circles. They will receive prayer books from teachers, some tenets and trained as da'ies according to steps if the teacher agreed to accept them. This is known as suluk. The second type of person is initiated by Allah through His mahabbah (loving-kindness) without any "visible" teacher because Allah is their Sole True Teacher and Mawla. The second type of person actually suffers a lot in his life and living like a pathetic animal but nobody realize that. I am aware about this once I went for pilgrimage to holy Mecca. Somebody told me that. When I listened about the kids talking about whatever saints among people, I do not really feel happy. Never ask for sainthood as it is nonsense! Nobody would know what would fallen upon them! Anyhow, the knowledge about Allah and his prophets could be acquired from al-Quran and Sunnah of Muhammad s.a.w. Just try to be in the middle path dear brothers and sisters labels mean nothing. You will be o.k and living a happy life with the middle path. So, we continue:

12. Comparative Religion

A da'ie need to know about the religions around him or her. Know the differences of these religion in their regions, the developments of the religion and philosophies within them. For example of world religions and philosophies in the Orient there are Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism, Taoism, Confucianism, Shinto, Bahai and Zoroastrianism. There were sub-sects and sub-philosophies under those religion. For celestial religions, there are Samaritanism, Judaism or Christianity. For Islam, there are three branches of lineages which are the Sunnah, the Shi'a and the Ibadhi. There are schools of jurisprudence. So, when we wanted to talk to the others we won't argue like little kids and bringing all sort of lies just to win the debates for example with Shi'a Muslims we would bring up things that we only learn from pamphlet spread out to public in the mosque or bringing up issues like muta'ah marriage or taqiyya without realizing that there are also usooli branch of Shi'a Muslim lineage who adhere to hadiths and ijtihad. Not only listening to the fatawa of their imams. This is to make sure that we are not thinking that Islam is only a group of people which happens to be our group while we committing the sin of "takfeer" to others. For this, I am talking on the basis of Amman Message spirit which was endorsed in 1425 H (2004) by Abdullah II, the ruler of Jordan after he commissioned meetings among ulamas from Islam's main schools of thought and sufi tariqas. For non-Muslim religion, I am watching and listening how Muslim brothers and sisters are talking about them. I was once among them. Don't tell anything which is not true about other religions even if we want to promote Islam or never talk anything that we do not know or never experience. We should not be speculating on things that we have no knowledge about. We should be displaying the manner and the morality of the noble prophet Muhammad s.a.w. When we commit those things, we are actually displaying bad quality of moral and at certain point showing our ignorance (of spirituality) and ego selves.                

13. Knowledge about Culture and Art

I get some knowledge when I mingle with some kids. Some of the kids are influenced by popular culture such as pop music. Other kind of kids were influenced by poetry in the form which is delivered by metal music band. Some are listening the hip hop music. We can't expect the audience of da'awa are listening to nasheed, mosque goers, talking about this hadith or that Quranic verse all the time like us and always in accordance to our taste of art or wearing white robe with beard or wearing the attire like our movements' uniform that make us to mingle comfortably with them. This is an example for young people. 

For other nations perhaps the da'ie needs to know what are the socio-cultural traits of certain nations for example how the Japanese or Chinese view their culture? In some revert brothers' experience, they perhaps had talked about the significance of incense sticks in their culture. So, other dai'e who had never experienced this perhaps would need to take note on their explanations. It might be useful in dealing with other friends of different culture and ethnicity thus helping us to promote charity, peace, spreading mercy and propagating chastity. Allah never ask others to be an Arab or a Saracen when a person getting to know Islam because Islam is the nature of human-being and universe. The knowledge about others' culture and art made a person thinking calmly and he would not hastily issuing judgement over certain things. He would not been neglected in his opinion and would not be confused when question regarding these matters risen.

These points perhaps come up to the mind of some brothers who were involved in the organizations such as Mahasiswa Islam but I had to work down here with many type of people. So I am not talking the theories or simply discussing here. As what I always say that I have only thugs and thrash as my friends. No one of decent background or looking would want to be my friend. When I mingled with those "ungodly" kids, those of Mahasiswa Islam groups were just looking at me like an ungodly person with "holier than thou view" because they do not know what is my "real" life and my education before I joined the university as a graduate student. If these "da'ie" group talking about da'awa, they would just forming the group circle known as halaqah among them. Not approaching others of different levels because they are afraid to be looked down by their other friends or perhaps they looked down on those "non-religious" people. 

If we wanted to be serious, then these are some suggestions that a da'ie needs to know or perhaps being taught in all mission orders. This is from my limited observation, my humble experience and also from the highlights of some ulamas way of performing da'awa. Anything to add or to correct, this site is still opened to public. I do not know for how long I would be posting in here but only Allah is the One who decides everything according to His decree.    

Important things for a da'ie to take note. One needs to be free in his thought, free from taqlid. It means that he should know and understand well the jurisprudence so he would not be unrealistic and he could be creative in explaining the words of Allah (messages in Quran) to others and fitting them within society in a flexible yet firm way. Fluency in speech, having his own consideration accompanied with the courage to endure sufferings for the sake of Allah's pleasure. A successful da'awa is when his noble manners and morality never show any falsity.

Allahumma salli 'alaa Muhammad wa 'alaa ahlihi wa sahbihi ajma'in..... Sealed with prayers for mercy, peace and love, amin!

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