Sometimes, it is hard not to wonder poor Islam is a refugee from what all people.
For example, professional Mullahs whose main concern at times seems to be with guarding their own personal and professional interests than serving the true interests of Islam and Muslims.
And, for example, professional politicians, who seem to be more preoccupied with catering to their own professional ambition and personal greed than to advancing the cause of Islam and Muslims in society and in the world.
And, to mention a third example, new converts, some of whom refer to themselves as “reverts” and, having converted to Islam from their previous state of non-Islam, turn to professional preaching of Islam to gullible Muslims, rather than go out and preach to non-Muslims and invite them to come to Islam, just like they did.
And, to use yet another example, some Muslim rulers who use Islam as a means of distracting attention from their economic, social and political misdeeds and as a ruse to safeguard their own power, hereditary or otherwise.
Riding the Coattails
Those of us claiming to work for Allah, we cannot hope to get cheap publicity for our work by riding someone else’s coattails.
Publicity for our work must come through our own hard work and through the expenditure of our own energy and resources.
If we want the world to know what we are doing, we must then do everything in our power to reach that world by knocking at every door and at every heart individually and by approaching every passerby personally.
And by sending out repeated e-mail messages to all those whose e-mail addresses we may have.
And by pressing into service such Social Media portals as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.
And by crying before Allah at late night and in the early hours of morning for help and support.
How will our prayers be accepted if Allah finds us cheating and defrauding and taking other people’s work from them without their permission?
As Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, says:
Fa-Annaa Yustajaabu Lahu?
“How do such people expect to have their prayers answered!”
The journey to Allah can be a long and arduous one. And it may require great sacrifices. Not the least our egos and pride.
The Right and Wrong Kind of Parties
When people invite people to a party with booze and boogey, people say yes with great alacrity: those you know and those you don’t.
Or even for a simple community Cook-Out.
That is because there are all kinds of internal and external facilitators working to make that happen.
But when people invite people to come to a Qur’an Session, where God Almighty’s word could be read and studied and understood, then many people tend to drag their feet. All of a sudden, all kinds of difficulties and excuses pop up along the way.
That is because there is a whole host of internal inhibitors and external pressures working to make things difficult for everyone involved, when the party pertains to God and his work.
The Devil and his multitudes, both human and Jinn, would rather you sleep the afternoon off than go and study the Qur’an with those who can help you to read and understand it better.
There is nothing the Devil and his minions want more than to stop you from ever getting close to God’s Word on earth: the Noble Qur’an.
However, the key to success in these situations is patience and perseverance. What the Qur’an calls Sabr.
As Allah says in the Qur’an: Success comes with patience.
Wa Tawaasau Bilhaqqi Wa Tawaasau Bis-Sabr, is how the Qur’an puts it.
Perils in the Path of Working for Allah
Even though we all live – hopefully – in free and democratic societies, and operate by democratic norms, Working for Allah means constantly dedicating and rededicating ourselves, with single-mindedness, to our Program, our Jama’at and our Leadership.
Failure or hesitation to do that is indicative of breakdown of mental discipline and spiritual commitment on the part of individuals.
And it is suggestive of lack of personal growth and progress in one’s journey to Allah.
They are all instances of problems, and possibly ongoing struggles, inside people, many of which could be summed up under the rubric of Nafs – selfishness and self-centeredness.
Such individuals generally have a tendency to be focused on themselves rather than on the Jama’at, the Program and the Leadership with which they are supposed to be working.
At that level, it is generally a problem of what is called Ikhlas and Iman.
Left unaddressed, these issues will come to the fore sooner or later, as the Jama’at continues to plod along in the pursuit of its goals.
And these individuals, unless they correct their attitudes in time, may turn out to be a problem to the Jama’at and the work down the road.
Qualifications for Doing Tafsir of Qur’an
Muslim or not, everyone is required to read and understand the Qur’an. But who should or should not explain the Qur’an to other people – do a Tafsir of the Qur’an, as it were – that is not open to everyone.
The only people who should embark on that most arduous and potentially treacherous journey are those who possess at least the following qualifications:
- Unimpeachable sincerity of purpose – Iman and Ikhlas.
- Deep and strong fear of Allah – Taqwa.
- Strong command of Arabic language.
- Strong grasp of Hadith literature.
- Sound knowledge of Tafsir literature.
The first two qualifications – Iman/Ikhlas and Taqwa – are open to anyone.
The last three – Arabic Language; Tafsir Literature; and Hadith Literature – are almost an exclusive prerogative of those who have been blessed with that kind of training, background and expertise.
All others simply must quote their sources as they do their talking and explaining – such as this or that book of Tafsir or Hadith or their own teachers and Shaikhs – whenever they undertake to offer Tafsir of any part of the Qur’an.
My own view is that no one should be told not to think their own thoughts; or to ask their own questions; or to express their own views, with regard anything in the Qur’an – an Aayat or something – even though the Salaf (our early leaders in the field such as Sahabah and later experts and great scholars of yore) had serious reservations on that score.
So, all would-be Tafsir-Doers in any part of the world, not the least in an enterprising place like the Caribbean, should think long and hard about what they do, and tread only gingerly and very, very thoughtfully on the path of doing Tafsir of the Qur’an.
Jump to Quote: