Our Role Today is The Same as the Role of the Great Messengers of Allah (2)
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
(Friday speech delivered by Imam Mohamed Baianonie at the Islamic Center of Raleigh, NC on June 26, 1998)
We know from last Friday, that we addressed the question: What is our role today in this society? We concluded that our role is the same as the role of the great past messengers whom Allah (S.W.T.) sent to humanity. This is because we are the messengers’ heirs till the Day of Judgment, and we know that their first task was conveying the message in the clearest way. We know that conveying the message requires courage and not fearing the people. We also learned that conveying the message can be done by reciting the holy Qur’an that Allah revealed and by clarifying the divine revelations to the people.
Today, we will continue talking about the other tasks of the blessed messengers so that we can know our role and tasks today.
The second task is giving Da’wah (calling) the people to Allah:
The messengers’ task does not end with clarifying the truth to the people and conveying it to them. They also have to call the people to adopt what they are calling them for and submit to it, and apply it in their lives with conviction, both verbally and with action.
All the messengers had the same perspective when calling the people to Allah; They said to the people: You are the creation of Allah and are his servants, and Allah alone is your creator, your Lord and your God, and Allah has sent us to you to show you how you should submit your life to him alone, so you should obey us in this matter... and the verses are abundant in this context, for example, in Surat An-Nahil, (Verse 36), what can be translated as, "And verily, We have sent among every Ummah (community, nation) a Messenger (proclaiming): "Submit to Allah (Alone), and avoid (or keep away from) taghut (all false deities etc…)…"" And Allah speaks to his prophet Mohammad (S.A.W.) in Surat Al-Anbiya, (Verse 25), what can be translated as, "And We did not send any
Messenger before you (O Mohammed) but We inspired him (saying): La ilaha illa Ana (none has the right to be submitted to but I Allah), so submit to Me (Alone and none else)" Every messenger that Allah sent to the people, said to them, "Fear Allah and Obey Me" This appears in the Qur’an in more than ten different places.
The blessed messengers made so much effort for the sake of calling the people to Allah that it took them their whole life. We find many details about that in the holy Qur’an. For example, the first messenger, Nooh, who spent with his people 950 years calling them to the way of Allah. He spent all of his life, day and night, in different ways of approaching the people, secretly and openly, by alluring them, and making them fear Allah, by encouraging and warning them. Nooh had tried his best to open their minds and their hearts and direct them to the great signs in the universe that indicate the greatness of the creator Allah, but they turned away from his call, and no one believed in him except very few people. Read his story in the holy Qur’an in Surat Nooh and in other places to know the greatness of the Da’wah to the people for Allah.
Also, the life of the prophet Mohammed (S.A.W.) was all Da’wah for Allah and he used through it all means available to him and at all levels, inside Makkah and outside. The books of the Seerah are the best source for details about this.
The angels Gabriel and Mike’eel showed the prophet (S.A.W.) an example that clarified to him and us his role and his task. In the Hadith reported by Imam Al-Bukhari and At-Tirmithi, that the prophet (S.A.W.) said, "I saw in my dream that Gabriel was at my head, and Mike’eel was at my feet; one of them saying to the other: give him an example of himself, so he said: ‘listen, may Allah help you hear, and may Allah make your heart to understand, Your example and the example of your ummah is as the king who got some land, and built on it a house, then brought in it a table with food on it, then he sent a messenger to invite the people to his food, some of them accepted the invitation and came, and others rejected the invitation and turned away.’ ‘Allah is the King, the land is Islam, the house is the Paradise, and you oh Mohammad are the messenger, and the one who accepted the invitation and came, they entered Islam, and whoever enters Islam, they enter Paradise, and whoever enters Paradise, they will eat what is in it."
So, we should invite people to Islam, the Deen of Allah that he sent down to the prophet Mohammad (S.A.W.), and whoever accepts our invitation will enter Paradise, and whoever enters Paradise, they will eat what is in it. This is our second task.
The third task is giving glad tidings and warnings:
The Da’wah of the messengers to their people was always associated with glad tidings and warnings; it is the way that does not separate from the Da’wah, and because they are so associated with each other, because of that we find the holy Qur’an in some verses clarifying the task of the messengers as giving glad tidings and warnings. Allah (S.W.T) says in Surat Al-Kahif, (Verse 56), what can be translated as, "And we send not the Messengers except as giver of glad tidings and warners."
The prophet Mohammed (S.A.W.) gave an example about himself in a hadith that was reported by Imam Bukhari and Muslim, "my example and the example of what Allah has sent me with is like a man who came to a people and said: Oh people, I have seen the army of the enemy with my own eyes, and I am the naked warner, so save yourself, save yourself, so a group among his people obeyed him, so they moved early before dawn, they withdrew slowly and saved themselves from the enemy. And the other group among his people disbelieved in him and remained in their places, and in the early morning the army of the enemy got to them, destroyed them and ran all over them. So this is the example of the one who obeyed me and followed what I was sent with, and the example of the one who disobeyed me and disbelieved the truth that I came with."
The messengers, when giving glad tidings and warnings to the people, they were applicable to this life and the Hereafter. Allah (S.W.T.) says in Surat An-Nahil, (Verse 97), what can be translated as, "Whoever works righteousness, whether male or female, while he (or she) is a true believer verily, to him We will give a good life (meaning in this worldly life)," and also the Messengers gave glad tidings to the obedients and promised them with dignity, power, and peace in this life. Allah (S.W.T.) also says in Surat An-noor, (Verse 55), what can be translated as, "Allah has promised those among you who believe, and do righteous good deeds, that He will certainly grant them succession to (the present rulers) in the earth, as He granted it to those before them, and that He will grant them the authority to practice their deen, that which He has chosen for them (i.e. Islam). And He will surely give them in exchange a safe security after their fear. They submit to me and do not associate anything with Me…", Also, on the other hand, the messengers warn the disobedients of hardship and punishment in this life before the Hereafter. Allah (S.W.T.) says in Surat Ta-ha, (Verse 124), what can be translated as, "But whosoever turns away from My Reminder (this Qur’an) verily, for him is a life of hardship, and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Resurrection." Allah (S.W.T.) also says to the prophet Mohammed (S.A.W.) in Surat Fussilat, (Verse 13), what can be translated as, "But if they turn away, then say (O’ Mohammed): "I have warned you of a Sa’iqa (a destructive awful cry, torment, hit a thunder-bolt) like the Sa’iqa which overtook Ad and Thamud (people).
Giving glad tiding and warning like the messengers did is the key to the human soul because the good soul is naturally always seeking the good things for itself and keeping the bad and harm away from itself. If the messengers and the Da’eeyah (caller for Allah) show the people the good that they will gain from belief and the righteous deed, the people would hurry to gain that good. On the other hand, when it is shown to the people the great harm that would befall a person as a result of disbelief, misguidance and remaining away from the path of Allah, the people would get scared and hurry to leave all of that.
So, we should not forget the importance of this issue when we play our role in this world. Also we should start with conveying the message in the clearest way, then calling the people to Islam, then giving glad tidings and warnings, and this should be practiced in a balanced careful way without extremes.
Next week, if Allah wills, we will continue learning about the tasks of the great messengers of the past, that is in fact our role and task today.