Chosen As the Best People Muslims Are Under the Moral Obligation to Act by Dr. Mohammad Manzoor Alam

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The whole world is going through crises; wild commotion is added to this state. Be it developed countries or backward, what is witnessed in all quarters is unrest, hunger, robbery, excesses committed against the poor, and oppression on the weak. A handful of strongmen are exploiting the poverty-stricken people. Peace, security, tranquility and calmness have eroded altogether. Despite wealth, riches and power, people are not at peace with themselves; the rich are not happy and the poor are not satisfied either. Misery, anguish and hardships human being suffer these days have perhaps never been witnessed before. At this hour it is necessary to know and understand why humans are in trouble. Why restlessness, confusion and anxiety prevail despite development in technology, electronics and availability of all luxurious means? What is the cure of these ills? How the world can get rid of hatred, violence and dissatisfaction? The responsibility rests on the shoulders of the Muslim community since they are declared by the Holy Qur’an as “the best people” (khair-e-ummat) to address these issues and find out the best solution to resolve them all. Hence, “the best people” are under obligation to give a call to the true faith; they are assigned the duty to guide humanity on the straight path.

If one takes stock of the commotion, unrest and misery across the world and reflect on the causes leading to this state of affairs, we can’t escape the conclusion that human beings have forgotten the purpose behind their creation; they are in rebellion against the Creator of the Universe; they are opposing the law of nature. Instead of working for the development and prosperity of humans, they are bent upon uprooting mankind, oppressing the weak and transgressing all limits to suppress the poor. Disparity has become the social norm. Justice, equality and freedom are in want in the society. Such are the basic issues which have divested the whole world of peace and tranquility. There is no peace of mind. Peace and security have become extinct. Creating unrest, hatred, violence and trouble are now the rules of power politics. In these circumstances it is the prime duty of the Muslims to save mankind, to put them on the straight path and identify the cure of these evils. Remedy should be provided to those who are afflicted by such evils.

The world which is under the weight of misery and anguish should know that the secret to remove these ills consists in telling mankind the purpose of his creation. They need to be told the truth of their coming into being. They are to be told why this universe has been created. Who is the Creator of heaven and earth? What is the purpose of human creation?  Why heaven and sky and those inhabiting them have been brought into existence? When human will realise the reason behind their existence, they will understand the purpose of their creation; they will have intimate knowledge of the True Creator; they will get acquainted with the Entity Who brought and why they brought heaven and earth into being. Thereafter, they will be inclined to perform good deeds; they will despise hatred and violence; they will work for the welfare of mankind; they will set a goal and mission of their life to act accordingly and learn to follow the path they chooses and the life they should live.

Enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong (al-amr bi-l- m’aruf wa-n-nahy ‘ani-l-munkar) means Da’wah, that is “invitation”, the act of inviting people to the message of Allah. Those who are engaged in Da’wah must be endowed with patience, high spirit and passion. It is incumbent on them to follow the methods of Da’wah. At one place in the Holy Qur’an, Allah tells the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him): “Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom (hikmah) and fair preaching (mau’izah), and argue with them in a way that is best.” (16: 125). That is to say, invite people with wisdom and fair preaching. Da’wah (invitation) and Tabligh (preaching) are indispensable for the well-being of mankind, but these tasks shall be carried out with good conduct and ingenious plan. Good intentions have to be inculcated in morals, conduct, actions, character, business, service, education and in all other affairs. The example of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) shall have to be emulated. Only then invitation can be extended to people to enter into the fold of Islam; it will impact greatly on people and the universal message of Islam will produce positive results.

Ideological inroads are invading social and political space during this time. Humanity is under siege. A handful of people aim to enslave the entire world; their plan is to impose slavery on mankind. Their design is to reduce the entire world as their subject and install themselves as their undisputed master. This group demonstrated trial of strength several times in the past and is showing resurgence once again. It targets the oppressed, poor and helpless people with the aim to bring them under their control; its nefarious design is to take away their freedom, so they become dependent on them. Obviously, Muslims and the Islamic world is their main target. Muslims are being pressed by their adversaries in all spheres, like ideology, politics, culture, society, education, military, etc. Nevertheless, this is also the time to exercise self-restraint, to muster courage and show high spirit. This also is the time to not allow our strength and energy to scatter and guide those gone astray on the straight path.

To undertake the mission of Da’wah and Tabligh, social reform, improvement in the conditions of communities, the prerequisite includes humility, modesty and a tender heart. Submission, humility, shunning pride, vanity and arrogance are the qualities engraved in human nature. Humility is the virtue of the Children of Adam, whereas arrogance and pride are the particular traits of Satan. Adam made a lapse in Paradise and soon begged pardon, but Satan refused to mend his mistake. Adam seeking forgiveness and Satan refusing to mend reflect their respective nature. Therefore, Adam confessed to Allah his lapse, and when Allah asked the cursed Satan to admit the mistake he had committed, he showed in contrast arrogance refusing to obey the Almighty and not seeking forgiveness. In fact, it was a demonstration of human nature and Satanic nature. Submission to Lord, obedience, humility modesty, reverence and obedience are imprinted in Adam’s nature. So, Adam promptly begged pardon, thus proving that he was submitting to his Lord’s command. In contrast to this, Satan showed arrogance and pride, refusing to admit his mistake and also refusing to ask forgiveness, thus opting for a path of defiance and disobedience. The inference from this account is that while inviting the Children of Adam to the message of the true faith, those engaged in the mission of da’wah and tabligh must keep in mind the basic traits of human nature and demonstrate in their words and actions humility, modesty, gentleness, wisdom and good manners. This would ensure the success of the mission and the object will be achieved.

Conditions prevailing around this time indicate that generally speaking a campaign is surging ahead to exploit the Muslims. This is the time that the believers must have recourse to their Faith. They must study the life of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) and embrace the teachings of the Noble Qur’an. They must translate into action the Qur’anic message, “And hold fast by the rope of Allah all together and be not disunited.” (3: 103). Try to understand the significance of the Qur’anic declaration that “You are the best people.” (3: 110) It is the Muslim community which is endowed with the profound appellation of “the best people” so, it urges the people to do good to others and withhold them from committing evil deeds. Allah, the Praiseworthy, states in the Holy Qur’an that “Assuredly We have honoured the Children of Adam…”(17: 70), meaning all human beings deserve respect, kindness and dignity; equal rights are bestowed upon all humans; every human being has the right to justice, equality and freedom; none can have precedence over others. Is this not the international agenda for those who possess wisdom as stated by the Noble Qur’an: “Who listen to the word attentively and follow the best thereof. It is they whom Allah has guided and it is they who possess wisdom.” (39:18) Let the wisdom, a blessed gift from Allah, guide humans on the straight path.

(The writer is General Secretary, All India Milli Council)

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Disclaimer: Chosen As the Best People Muslims Are Under the Moral Obligation to Act by Dr. Mohammad Manzoor Alam - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect point-of-view

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