Da’wah: Do It or Die!
Grow or die. That is God’s Law in his creation.
For Muslims it means: Do Da’wah or die. And here is why.
Da’wah means inviting people to join you. And that means growth.
If any nation or society or culture wants to thrive in this world, it must not only continue to live out its life the way it is, it must actively seek ways to grow and become increasingly robust.
That is the nature of life on earth: You Grow or You Die.
That is why Jihaad is such a fundamental concept in Islam. Jihaad permeates and defines everything Islamic.
It lies at the very heart of life, the very process of living and growing – whether for humans; animals; or plants.
Jihaad means the all-out struggle of an organism for growth – and thus ultimately for survival.
That is because living organisms grow and multiply. Dead ones decay and disintegrate.
And Muslims have been dead a long time now – more or less; for the most part; and at least at the macro levels as nations, cultures and societies.
Over the past several centuries, theirs has been a life of steady disintegration and decay.
Answer: Simple. Muslims abandoned Da’wah as the central mission and purpose of their life.
More important than that, Muslims abandoned Da’wah as an entire and comprehensive way of life.
That is why.
That is because Islam is the message of life that the creator of life sent into this world to put new life into a dying and dormant humanity.
He charged the prophets and messengers at different times and in different places to go to different peoples, cultures, tribes and societies and invite them to the life-giving message of Islam.
Limaa yuhyeekum, says the Qur’an.
Paraphrase: to that which gives you life.
Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon and Jesus (God Bless Them All!) were some of those prophets and messengers of God. And they all preached the message of Islam to the world in their own times and places.
And thus they regenerated and revived a dying and decaying humanity in every place and time.
Then finally God sent Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, as the last and final prophet and messenger of God to give the divine message of Islam to the whole world and for all time.
He invited the world to accept the message of life that he brought from God in the form of Islam. And thus he breathed a vigorous new life into the body of an ossified humanity.
And that message consisted of two things:
- The Qur’an: the heavenly book that God gave him to give to the people.
- The Sunnah: the earthly record of how he went about inviting the whole world to the message of Islam.
Using the Qur’an as his basic framework, he completed his mission of giving Da’wah to the world in about two decades – a time span that all by itself is as full-fledged a miracle as any you can imagine.
No one in this world builds a whole new world from scratch in 20 years. And yet that is exactly what Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, did.
When he was done, the world had changed as never before or since.
Unbelievable as it may sound, the world had gone from a most wretched and deadly place to become a haven for peace and prosperity.
Not only for the rich and the strong but also for the poor and the meek. Not only for men, but also for women.
It was a new world, unknown and unsuspected by anyone.
In that world, truth became humanity’s guiding light, right became might, justice reigned supreme everywhere and the message of human dignity, liberty and equality rang out from every mountain top and rained down from every cloud in every sky.
By inviting people to Allah’s Deen – to the life-giving message of Islam (Limaa Yuhyeekum) – Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, had built a whole new world, unknown and unsuspected by anyone since the beginning of time.
And, then, when it came time for him to leave this world, he made his Ummat – the nation he had crafted one individual at a time – responsible for the mission of Da’wah to which God had appointed him.
To give to the whole world the message of Islam and thus give the whole world a new life: Limaa Yuhyeekum.
Thus, the Ummat or nation of his followers, the Muslims, were now appointed, as a people, to the divine mission for the fulfillment of which God used to send divine prophets and messengers in earlier times.
Those prophets used to come one or two at a time. Now, the entire nation of Islam and Muslims, in all places and at all times, was mobilized and elevated to that position.
The mission of their life now became: Do Da’wah or die.
God himself put his seal of finality on their mission in the following way:
“You are raised up, as a nation, for all the people of the world.
Go tell them to do good things and stay away from bad things.”
Here is the Founding Charter of the Muslim Ummah as stated by the Qur’an:
Kuntum khaira ummatin ukhrijat linnaasi,
ta’muroonal bil-ma’roofi wa tanhowna ‘anil munkar.
And Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, left the Qur’an and his own Sunnat in the hands of his Ummat – the Muslims – to use as guides and models in the fulfillment of their mission of Da’wah to humanity.
And the Muslims did that for a while. And the world became a Paradise on Earth. Not just for them, but for everyone everywhere.
But then they did what their human nature would dictate: they relaxed. And they began to enjoy the fruits of their expansion and victories.
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