Saturday, 24 October 2009

Who Does Any Da'wah?

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Da’wah’ means ‘an invitation’ or the ‘issuing of summonses’.  In general, this is the Muslim equivalent of missionary activity.  Before I was Muslim, I was with a Catholic missionary group.  It is there that I learnt about the methodology and the means of calling.  I studied Islam before I became a Muslim.  One cannot preach to the Muslims if he does not know their religion.  When I came to Islam and studied under my shaykh, I learnt that much of Christian missionary methodology was the sunnah of our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.).  And the Christians are a lot better at it than we are.

It is incumbent upon Muslims to spread the message, even if only a word.  But we do not do it.  Far from it.  Many Muslims are reluctant to speak of their faith.  There are even Muslims who seem ashamed of being part of the ummah.  One of the mission statements of a Muslim organisation I once belonged to is to spread the message of Islam.  This includes outreach, education and events.  In times past, that organisation used to have a staff whose sole purpose was to go out and invite people to Islam, and engage members of the public.

It can be said that this organisation is the only Muslim organisation that actually doe da’wah and engage non-Muslims.  Other Muslim organisations, as is their purpose, address the needs of the community.  This organisation was for a long time, the only Muslim da’wah organisation.  But in truth, it has stopped doing da’wah for a long time.  It has lost its way and become merely a corporate entity.  It is a shell of what it was envisioned to be.  In terms of classes for new Muslims and non-Muslims, the attendance has dropped tremendously.  In the period just after September 11th, the class for those interested in Islam was so full that some people sat on the steps in the auditorium.  Now, it is a different reality.  The barakah has been Taken.

For a long while, this organisation was known for the quality of their public talk programme.  That too, has changed.  They recently had the debacle of trying to bring in Zakir Naik, who is nothing more than a Salafi fire-brand.  He is not a scholar and he has nothing to do with converts.  But by now, there is very little to pretend that they are even a converts’ organisation.  To further embarrassment, they even promoted his son, at 16 years old, giving a talk on Christianity.  What does a 16 year old know about Christianity?  It was no surprise when the Public Entertainment License was rejected.  The Internal Security Department did the ummah a favour.

Ultimately, the best da’wah is how we represent the ummah.  It is important to be conscious with out actions so that we do not disgrace our Prophet (s.a.w.).  How people view Islam is by their experiences with us.  Man may think he can move mountains, but it is Allah (s.w.t.) that Moves hearts.

Habib 'Umar ibn al-Hafizh (q.s.) - How Muslims Represent Islam to Non-Muslims



11 comments:

  1. Salaamun 'alaykum,

    I'm glad you bring-up Ustadz Zhulkeflee. Even now, he has set up several blogsites with many resource / information to be shared in matters of Islam & Muslim.

    There is a paper he delivered on Da'wah. Perhaps this can be useful, e.g. his comment in this article which he pointed out :

    "However, some Muslims today may only refer to the literal meaning of the word “Da’wah” (meaning “call or invite” generally), and may thus even extended their understanding of Da’wah to include every effort of calling (both non-Muslim and Muslim), without understanding that there is a distinguishing difference concerning “calling” (educating or improving plight of) the Muslims towards their adhering to the teachings of Islam, which have already been given another technical terminology i.e. “Islah” instead of the term “Da’wah.”

    Because of this confusion, Muslims (especially in Darul Arqam) have disregarded the outreach work towards non-Muslims which is the actual "Da'wah", erroneously assuming "Islah" as Da'wah.

    To read this paper (also the powerpoint which he had used), got to :

    http://zhulkeflee-archive.blogspot.com/2008/04/our-dawah-and-social-initiatives.html

    Thank you brother for bringing this issue up for discussion.BTW, do Darul intend to bring back Ustadz Zhul? Just a thought.


    Jazaakallaahu khayr
    May Allah reward you with every goodness.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wa'Alaikumus Salaam,

    Thank you for your feedback.

    Personally, Darul Arqam can do much more than what is done for da'wah wa islah considering the resources it has. They need to get their house in order.

    Ustadz Zul is already a regular speaker at Darul Arqam, especially for in-house talks, sessions with the volunteers and other activities. This is mainly through the efforts of Dr. Siti Mariam from CDD. We would like to have him more but for the concerns for his health.

    Wassalam

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  3. I think you shouldn't use his health as an excuse. While we are concerned about his health, we are also concerned that he has been marginalized. We also know that he is more than happy to be involved in even more da'wah work. Call him and you will him ready to serve insya'Allah.

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  4. Assalamu 'Alaikum,

    Personally, I would love to have Ustadz Zul back. I feel we need more people of his knowledge here. But it is not my call.

    Ustadz Zul is not the only person marginalized at Darul Arqam. There are major issues. Even Council members are out of the loop. Example, when our President decided to give SGD 50,000 of our zakat money to Indonesia. It was a good cause but he failed to see the consequences of his actions.

    We have an inexperienced Council and a compliant ExCo supporting an insecure President. We have some staff with a sense of entitlement without realizing the amanah.

    I would welcome any help, comments, suggestions and support.

    Wassalam

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  5. Assalamualaikum bro,

    So you were in Ust Zhul's era? I am his student but only after he left Darul. Since he doesn't need any introduction to his background, i certainly agree with (both hands up)bro Amran that Darul needs someone like him to rectify da'wah issues in Darul.

    But of course, many of us, do have eyes and ears to see and hear what has happened over these yearssss... and indeed Darul got a lot of 'work' to do.

    Whenever's Darul ready for changes, I'm sure Ust Zhul and whoever supports him, including me will be ever Ready to lend our support. :)

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  6. Assalamu'Alaikum,

    I converted just after Ustadz Zul left. I was a student of Shaykh Zakaria Bagharib (q.s.) amongst others. Not Ustadz Zul although I give him the highest respect due to those amongst us who are 'alim with amal.

    I met Ustadz Zul in Pergas, not Darul Arqam.

    Wassalam

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  7. Salaam,Brothers and Sisters.

    I wonder whether you'd like to place (embed) 2 slideshare on subject of "Da'awah" by Ustadz Zul - delivered in 2005, which is quite instructive and may be beneficial.

    I've seen it from his slideshare powerpoint collection. Below the link to his slideshare. You can copy code to embed both the pdf & powerpoint onto your blog:

    -----------------------
    http://www.slideshare.net/zhulkeflee/youth-leadership2005amended

    --------------------------------

    Then perhaps we can discuss this.

    May Allah bless & reward you with every goodness Brothers/Sisters.

    wassalaam

    ReplyDelete
  8. Assalamu'Alaikum,

    Thank you for the offer. That is very kind of you.

    We actually have a dedicated channel for slideshows: http://www.youtube.com/user/BeginnersClassInIsla.

    You can subscribe to it and put up the slides. We welcome contributions.

    Wassalam

    ReplyDelete
  9. Assalamu'alaikum wrb

    It has been a long while since I left Darul as a Senior Executive Officer (Da'wah) and I believe in my era, our team - Nassir and Feisal supported by Nana did our best through our public lectures and publications which was supported by good writers such as yourself, Terence.

    I have not been following Darul's progress or decline but probably the hey days was at Pheng Geck where I was a student of Ust Dzul and Ustazah Fatimah, may Allah bless both of their beautiful souls.

    During my time the missionary zeal was still very palpable....I think 1998 - 2001 when we were fresh at The Galaxy.

    I am sad to know here that this spirit is much lacking today.

    I would like to contribute if not for my limited self - resources, time and health as Darul is somehow in my blood.

    Maybe inshaallah there is a time and place for everything and I will find a way to help in a way that I can.

    Really I did not know, even as I have always kept in touch with Terence, of the extent of the declining state that Darul is in now.

    Certainly then I was concerned with some leaders and staff who are merely there for a rice bowl or status in society.

    It was not for the Da'wah Division even though I felt that the head of the division was the most lacklustre of all, pleasant as he was. And I guess it quietly went downhill after that.

    Genuinely calling people to Islam requires sincerity, dedication and courage three attributes possibly lacking in the current team.

    I pray that it will come into their hearts or as there are seasons, a new season will breath new life into The Galaxy.

    Darul Arqam was or is an important pillar in missionary work in Singapore and should cherish its initial aims and goals.

    There are many people not just Ustaz Dzul who contributed to its greatness, not least the founding members.

    I am just curious to know the scene there now. Where is Bro Ridzuan Wu in this scenario, he was synonympous with Darul and I believe he had the missionary zeal then and I respected his leadership.

    How is he, and my salam to him and all at Darul. Bro. Edwin Ignatious is the current leader, yes I know, but he surely has to answer for his leadership or lack of thereof.

    May Allah protect Darul Arqam which should be the home to converts who draw others to convert in droves because Islam is the answer for all life's longings.

    May the current and future leaders of Darul search in their souls why they are in Darul, what they can contribute to it and Islam in Singapore and more.

    May there be a time when people embrace Islam at its doors in droves and Muslims renew their love for Islam and live with a missionary zeal that is the fruit of their search for Truth and Love.

    Wassalam

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