Monday, February 14, 2011

The Soft Approach

A friend of mine mentioned about verse 125 in Surah An-Nahl in one of her email correspondence when YMP was discussing about da'wah.
“Invite (all) to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for thy Lord knows best who have strayed from His Path and who receive guidance.” (Qur’an, 16:125)
I remembered learning about this verse back when I was in IIUM. I straight away went to get the translation of this verse and read the commentary given by Abdullah Yusuf Ali. After all, reading the commentary is a good way to understand about the verse. Abdullah Yusuf Ali had some very enlightening commentary regarding this verse. He said:
“In this wonderful passage are laid down principles of religious teaching, which are good
for all time. But where are the Teachers with such qualifications? We must invite all to the Way of God and expound His Universal Will; we must do it with wisdom and discretion, meeting people on their own ground and convincing them with illustrations from their own knowledge and experience, which may be very narrow or very wide. Our preaching must be, not dogmatic not self-regarding not offensive but gentle, considerate, and such as would attract their attention. Our manner and our arguments should not be acrimonious, but modeled on the most courteous and the most gracious example, so that the hearer may say to himself, "This man is not dealing merely with dialectics; he is not trying to get a rise out of me; he is sincerely expounding the faith that is in him and his motive is the love of man and the love of God."

Masha Allah, such beautiful nasihah to compliment the verse.
Whenever I read this verse, I would usually associate it with the story of Prophet Moses a.s. and Pharoah as mentioned in the Quran.
We all know about the Pharoah at the time of Prophet Moses a.s. A clear disbeliever who arrogantly thought he was god himself. When Allah instructed Moses to confront Pharoah. In surah Taha (20:43), Allah said:
"Go, both of you (referring to Moses and Aaron), to Pharoah, for he has indeed Transgressed all bounds."
Here is an instruction to go to Pharoah and to tell him that what he did is wrong beyond any reasonable doubt.
Interestingly, in the next verse, verse 44, Allah said:
 "But speak to him mildly; perchance he may take warning of fear (of God)".
Someone ulama mentioned that this verse about Prophet Moses a.s. and Pharoah is the best example that in doing da’wah, we must have a gentle approach. Some mention that the attitude we should have towards anyone would be the same particularly when we are doing da’wah be it to a drunkard, fornicator, gay, lesbian, gambler etc. I mean, if Allah wants us to speak mildly to an arrogant individual like Pharoah, who not only
disbelieved in Allah but associated himself as a partner to the Divine
Throne, I think we should adopt the same approach to others who merely
commits sins just like we all do.
Holier than thou attitude is a big No-No in the realm of da’wah.
So remember, we should always invite people to do good deeds but we must do so with wisdom and beautiful preaching.
Sometimes, the softest words can tame the wildest hearts…
(Sometimes, we just need to *dushum* and knock some sense into their heads. That is why Allah mentions wisdom first, then beautiful preaching. Hehe.)
Such modus operandi is how YMP works. Come and meet us in any of our events and get to know our YMP Council Members. Hence the reason why I personally love YMP. From the moment it was mooted by a few of us to our current organized structure and status, YMP has managed to touch so many hearts and invited them towards Allah. May Allah allow us to contribute even more in the future.
God knows best.
Since tomorrow is the Maulud of Prophet Muhammad SAW, I would like to take this opportunity to remind myself and to all of you to make plenty of salutation to the Prophet SAW.
Try to do it in Arabic. It sounds and means a lot better. :)
Blog adjourned.

0 obiter dictum: