Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Propagating Islam

Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh,

Got back from Wales on Monday. Alhamdulilah it was fun. Beautiful place. The people, well some of them were really nice, helpful and all that, whilst others were the opposite. The one thing that got to me was how people just stare. It's like they've never seen a niqaabi before, actually I don't think they ever have. One lady stared right at me, and said, ‘Blimey, what's the world coming to?’ *rolls eyes*. Whatever I did, I just got a whole load of stares, it was sooo unnerving. But I think the reason why people stared sooo much is more to do with the fact they’ve never encountered a ‘ninja’. They might have seen one on T.V but that’s about it. Not many Asians in North Wales.

We, as Muslims, have this duty to educate people about Islam and Muslims. There are loads of people out there ignorant about our beliefs. The only info they get of us is via the TV etc and we know what a distorted image some programmes have given Muslims especially post Sept 11. They regard us all as ‘terrorists’, unfortunately. And this lack of knowledge causes them to act hostile towards us. In Wales we even had one teenager spitting at us. Yuck. I was thinking, what sort of person is this guy going to become…, so consumed with hate for us when he doesn’t even have a clue about us. But khair some people are just like that. I reckon that it’s our fault as well as theirs for them being so ignorant about us, our fault because we fail to articulate our cause and theirs because they don’t seek to find out about Muslims and what Islam is really about.

I was reading a publication by Shaykh Muhammad Saleem Dhorat Hafizahullah. In it he talked of how we, as Muslims should increase our knowledge so that we can explain to the world what Islam truly is. At this point in time, we are victims of an inferiority complex because the criticisms against Islam that abound from all directions, via TV, radio newspapers, magazines and statements made by leaders, leave us browbeaten due to lack of knowledge about our own religion. Shaykh went on to talk about how those who work in hospitals, offices, students at college and university have this great opportunity to spread Islam and talk about the beautiful teachings of Islam. But what is it that stops us from doing so? It is our lack of knowledge, we don't want to put ourselves in the embarrassing situation where if we are asked a question we are unable to give an answer. If this is the case then further your knowledge on the aspects where you feel your knowledge is lacking, consult the Ulama. And armed with this knowledge you will, Insha-Allah, be able to tackle all the questions you are asked. Insha-Allah in this way, within five to six months you will become a da'ee (caller) towards Islam.

Lastly, Shaykh Saleem Dhorat ended saying: To dispel the misunderstandings being created about Islam is an essential duty of Muslims. If we fail in this duty, the non-Muslims will draw further and further away from Islam, making it all the more impossible for us to survive in any corner of the world because a hostile attitude is being raised against us.

And today you can see that happening. Non-Muslims are adopting a hostile attitude towards us because they do not understand us. When anything bad occurs it is attributed to Muslims and Islam, and thus the negative attitude already present towards us is all the more heightened. And this is when the attacks against Muslims start. In order to safeguard ourselves and Islam, we need to portray the correct picture of Islam and Insha-Allah in this way we will be successful in not only stopping the attacks against Muslims and educating the non-Muslims, but also in bringing more people towards the path of Islam.

May Allah (SWT) grant us all the ability to seek knowledge and spread it. Ameen.

'Rabbana la tuzigh qulubana ba'da idh hadaitana, wahab lana min ladunka rahmatan, innaka Antal Wahab - O Allah! Let our hearts never go astray after You have guided us to the right path; endow us with Your mercy. You are the Most Generous.' Ameen.

Wassalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.