Make a Difference-Akhlaq

 Make a difference – Akhlaq

As you walk along the road of life, you see things you don’t want to see. Things disrupting the society. Things that you wish to change, to be part of the change. An individual making a small change which may seem insignificant can make a big difference.Be the change you want to see. Allah says in the Quraan, “Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is within themselves.” (13:11) This indicates that the change begins within the individual. We must change ourselves before expecting society around us to change.

You must have heard of the saying, “the first impression is a lasting impression”. As a da’ee, your Akhlaq (the practice of virtue, morality, manners in Islamic theology) matters the most, as you will be representing your deen. It is the utmost priority that one sets a good image of our religion through his/her behaviour.

Allah says in the Holy Quran; “He has succeeded who purifies the soul, and he has failed who corrupts the soul.” (91 :9-10)

We learn from this verse that our success in the world and hereafter is by purifying our character, cleansing ourselves of traits such as greed, envy, arrogance etc; and in place of these we must adorn the heart with compassion, generosity, benevolence, humility and asceticism.

Our Prophet Muhammad (saw) had the best akhlaq. In a hadith he (saw) is reported to have said “I was sent to perfect and complete noble character.” (Muslim) We see that most successful daees are ones with the best akhlaq.

In a hadith the Prophet said ” The best among you are those who have the best manners and character ” (Sahih Bukhari: Vol. 8 ; Hadith no. 56)

In order to acquire good Akhlaq, we first need to acquire knowledge of Tawheed because Tawheed helps us understand who Allah is and what Allah wants from us. By knowing these we can easily and most efficiently follow the way of the Prophet in regards to Akhlaq and also other matters. In shaa Allah.

Discussing some of the most important qualities you should have includes having a smile and not a frown on your face at all times, having patience , being trustworthy, desiring what you want for yourself also for others, having a feeling of empathy etc. These are just a few examples but the chapter of Akhlaq is vast and needs to be studied carefully. As da’ee such traits are of utmost importance when dealing with others who do not share the same beliefs or values as you. Da’ees need to be considerate and respectable to the person you are dealing with.

So let’s start making a change by perfecting our Akhlaq.

A good muslim is a good human whom everybody loves.

Fatima Damad

Admin Assistant, AAT

Strictly following the Sunnah, or not?

In the name of Allah,

I have received a lot of questions; can we do this, can we do that, why should we do this and why shouldn’t we. This is the time of fitna, in which everyone claims to be upon the truth. There are people who neglect the sunnah and advocate those which are innovated in the deen. I was once asked, why bother about these things? If the action is good, why shouldn’t we do it? I find myself constantly reminding everyone to follow the Sunnah.

Seemingly, everyone we meet says “we follow the Quraan and Sunnah,” even though their actions are completely contradictory to it. How, I ask myself, can we follow the sunnah? Through the understanding of the Salaf-as-saalih. Everytime we do an act of worship, we ask ourselves these questions: “Is this a sunnah?” “Is there a daleel for this?” “Did the Salaf-as-saalih do this?” Why? Why is it important to adhere to the Sunnah? Why is it important to find the daleel? Why is it important to follow the Salaf-as-saalih?

On the authority of Abu Najeeh al-’Irbaad ibn Saariyah (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) gave us a sermon by which our hearts were filled with fear and tears came to our eyes. So we said, “O Messenger of Allah! It is as though this is a farewell sermon, so counsel us.” He (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “I counsel you to have taqwa (fear) of Allah, and to listen and obey [your leader], even if a slave were to become your ameer. Verily he among you who lives long will see great controversy, so you must keep to my Sunnah and to the Sunnah of the Khulafa ar-Rashideen (the rightly guided caliphs), those who guide to the right way. Cling to it you’re your molar teeth (i.e. firmly). Beware of newly invented matters [in the religion], for verily every bidah (innovation) is misguidance.” (Abu Dawud (4607) and at-Tirmidhi (266))

Moreover, Jabir b. Abdullah said: When Allah’s Messenger (may peace he upon him) delivered the sermon, his eyes became red, his voice rose, and his anger increased so that he was like one giving a warning against the enemy and saying: “The enemy has made a morning attack on you and in the evening too.” He would also say: “The Last Hour and I have been sent like these two.” And he would join his forefinger and middle finger; and would further say: “The best of the speech is embodied in the Book of Allah, and the best of the guidance is the guidance given by Muhammad. And the most evil affairs are their innovations; and every innovation is error.” He would further say:, I am more dear to a Muslim even than his self; and he who left behind property that is for his family; and he who dies under debt or leaves children (in helplessness), the responsibility (of paying his debt and bringing up his children) lies on me.” (Muslim 867)

Both hadith clearly illustrate the importance of adhering to the sunnah. The prophet (saw) emphasized it on multiple occasions to embed it in us. He also noted the importance of the early generations, as being the best of people, they were the embodiment of the sunnah. They lived with prophet (saw), and understood his sunnah and instructions in the clearest ways.

Narrated `Abdullah: The Prophet Salallahu Alayhi Wassalam said, “The best people are those of my generation, and then those who will come after them (the next generation), and then those who will come after them (i.e. the next generation), and then after them, there will come people whose witness will precede their oaths, and whose oaths will precede their witness.” (Bukhari 6429)

‘A’isha reported that a person asked Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) as to who amongst the people were the best. He said: “Of the generation to which I belong, then of the second generation (generation adjacent to my generation), then of the third generation (generation adjacent to the second generation)”. (Muslim 2536)

The Almighty Allah has said, in the Quraan; “And the first forerunners [in the faith] among the Muhajireen and the Ansar and those who followed them with good conduct – Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him, and He has prepared for them gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever. That is the great attainment.” (9:100)

Thus showing the importance of following the salaf-as-saalih.

Whatever act of worship,that did not come from Rasulullah (saw), which weren’t practiced by the Salaf-as-saalih, and have no authentic daleel for the act should be rejected. The hadith above shows the danger of innovating an act of worship in the deen. Do we want that?

Some people come up with answers; “but our superior says this and that”, “but isn’t that… ”, “but the ustadh said this…”  bla bla bla. Ask yourselves this. Who do you fear the most? The creation or THE CREATOR?

Ask ourselves this, why are we created and breathing in this world?

“And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.” (51:56)

If we fear Our Creator, if our purpose in this world is for worshipping Our Creator, why go against HIS prophet? Isn’t Allah’s reminder in the Al Quraan clear enough?

The Day their faces will be turned about in the Fire, they will say, “How we wish we had obeyed Allah and obeyed the Messenger.” And they will say, “Our Lord, indeed we obeyed our masters and our dignitaries, and they led us astray from the [right] way. Our Lord, give them double the punishment and curse them with a great curse.” (33:66-68)

“And let those who oppose the Messenger’s commandment (i.e. his Sunnah: legal way, orders, acts of worship, statements, etc.), (from among the sects) beware, lest some Fitnah (disbelief, trials, afflictions, earthquakes, killing, overpowered by a tyrant, etc.) befall them of a painful torment be inflicted on them.” (24:63)

O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. And if you disagree over anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is the best [way] and best in result. (4:59)

Why is it so hard to adhere to the Sunnah, without giving way to any kind of innovations? Why will we not strictly follow the sunnah? Why is it that when it comes to the sunnah, some say “Oh! But it is just a sunnah”, but go extra length and effort for innovations. Why are we hesitating to do an act of Sunnah, but having no doubt when it comes to innovation? Where does our love to the Prophet that we keep on proclaiming, lies?

Quoting what Imam Malik said regarding innovation: “He who innovates an innovation in Islam regarding it as something good, has claimed that Muhammad has betrayed his trust to deliver the message as Allah says, “This day I have perfected for you your religion.” And whatsoever was not part of the religion then, is not part of the religion today.” (Al-I’tisam)

Performing an act of Sunnah shows our love for the Prophet. No. Qaseedah and nasheed doesn’t show our love. No. proclaiming “I miss The Prophet” on Facebook doesn’t mean anything. None of these mean anything if we do not perform or love the sunnah.

I am ending this post, with an ayah. An ayah that shows Islam is perfect as it is. We do not need innovations, for Allah has blesses us with a beautiful and perfect deen.

“This day I have perfected for you your religion and have completed My Favour upon you and have chosen for you Islam as a religion.” Surah Mai’dah (05:03)

Anisah Mutasim,

Writer, AAT

 

I Was Wronged!

 

Working in da’wah is never easy; you will be wounded a lot when approaching the public with the truth, but you’ll get used to it after a while if you don’t give up. My personal experience was no different. My journey into the creation of AAT, had its ups and downs, lows and highs. There were times when I felt exhausted and wanted it all to end, and others when my imaan was sky high and there was no stopping me.

I was disliked by many da’ees when I entered this field of work, Islamic centre admins were hateful to me, and close friends would go on Da’wah trips and wouldn’t invite me.

I tasted a lot of rejection, and endured much pain, but Allah kept me patient and gave me the courage to carry on.

I started by delivering Bi-weekly speeches to up to 300 people (face to face not online). I was criticized quite often and was requested to stop. In 2011, I took a walk with Dr. Zakir Naik and sought his advice, he shook my hand and was very polite. Soon after, I submitted my Tawheed book to Dr. Bilal Phillips in 2012, he advised me not to publish it until it was edited. I then contacted the translator of SAHEEH INT’L Interpretation, a 70 year old gentle lady; she took all my books and wanted nothing in return. I enjoyed the company of Sheikh Assim Al Hakeem in 2013 for about 4 hours, he showed me some love and gave me reasons to persevere with my efforts. These were some of my positive experiences. However, Allah sends us tests in all forms and shapes, and my positive encounters were overshadowed with negative ones.

I was kicked out of Islamic Education Foundation and was prevented from presenting and giving speeches to their audience for 7 months. It was really hard because I was highly motivated, and optimistic about spreading the message of Islam. All of this for no reason mentioned, it was never explained to me why. I asked the reason so that I could rectify my mistake-if any, but all I was told is, ‘I don’t need you right now’.

After 7 long months, I decided to return and deliver a lecture.  Before, I went back, I raised my hands to Allah, asking Him to do justice to me. I asked that the individual, who for no reason had me removed; ‘O Allah, kick him out just as he kicked me out’, one week later the man was out!

Perhaps that was one of my worst encounters, though I have borne many similar ones. The hurt you feel when your own brother/sister in the deen, striving for the same end as you rejects you, is unbearable. Nevertheless, when following the footsteps of the prophets, hurt and pain is to be expected. We must simply withstand it all with patience, forbearance and persist in our efforts.

Allah works in the most amazing ways; once you put your trust in Him, He will look after you in ways you never expected. Allah, not only removed the person, but He also granted me sincerity and gave me large audiences, no need to mention the numbers, he allowed them to benefit from me and allowed me to benefit from them, and he replaced my bad days with a lot of good.

When entering the world of Da’wah you get the complete package depending on how far you want to go, so whenever you get wounded remember our dear Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him and the pains he went through and that will give you reasons for you to proceed and never to stop.

May Allah preserve you and help you in the field of Da’wah. This is all temporary, one day you’ll feel like you’re on your own, but keep your faith high and Allah will make you strong.

Your brother,

Rayan Arab

CEO, AAT

 

Da’wah From My Desk

Some of us, are unfortunately not gifted with the ability to naturally give da’wah. The words will not flow from our tongues, nor will we think fast enough to grab the opportunity before us. For others, we are too busy wasting hours browsing online, scrolling through endless unimportant posts on Facebook, playing games and too addicted to technology to give it up and take a moment to speak to our non-muslim acquaintance. As much as I hate to admit it, there are even some of us who are merely too lazy, not bothered and could not care less about da’wah, claiming it is not their duty.

The prophet Muhammad (Saw) used every opportunity before him to convey the message of Islam. When Allah revealed the verses, “And warn your tribe of near kindred[1],” He (saw) threw off the blanket which he was enveloped in and went on to deliver the message. He (saw) tried to secure an audience and went out to the Mount of Safa, and called out to his people[2]. He had no microphone, no megaphone, no speakers. He had no easy method of passing on the message with a simple ‘click’ of a button, as we do today. Yet, he still warned them. Despite, Waraqah bin Nawfil’s forewarning[3] that his people would cast him out, the prophet (saw) still fought to preserve Tawheed. He devoted all his energies into delivering the message so that we have it ‘on a tray’ presented to us. He (saw) was beaten by the children of Ta’if until his feet bled and he was forced to flee[4], just because he taught the Oneness of Allah. He lost his molar tooth on the day of Uhud[5], because he struggled to ensure that Allah would be worshipped. How many of us, are willing to sacrifice one minute of the millions of minutes that Allah has blessed us with, to convey this beautiful message?

With the advancement of technology and its invasion of every household, not knowing how to give da’wah is no excuse. The internet is scattered with da’wah training, Muslim television and radio channels have da’wah advertisements and now, social networking sites are brimming with it.

Perhaps the easiest way to become involved is to donate to a da’wah organisation. This can be done in various ways; through the post, in da’wah collection boxes at your local mosque… But this is not a way of truly being involved, nor will you be able to convey the message to your non-muslim acquaintance directly through this method.

Next up on the list is to give your non-muslim acquaintance a Quraan, or some da’wah material (which are available for free). You can drop it through their letter box, wrap it up as an Eid gift, or pair it with a box of chocolates. However this may be troublesome and hassling for those who cannot move an inch from their desk, though the free resources can be ordered online.

No fuss necessary, this is about da’wah from my desk, so I’ll move straight back to it….so what can we do using the screen in front of us? All of us reading this will have a webpage open, most of us may have our social network page also open. Some of us will even have a mobile beside us within arm’s reach. That’s a start.

With all the available material, da’wah has never been easier.

If you have a social network account, follow or like a world-renowned da’ee. That way you can ‘like’ or ‘share’ their thought-provoking posts on your own page. You can also share their posts on to a friend’s page; thereby fulfilling your obligation of da’wah, without really having to do much work yourself. Sharing videos and video links is another simple method of doing da’wah. It can easily be done on social networking sites or mobile chat applications.

A different technique; is to come up with your own inspirational quote and post it as a ‘status’ or tweet, etc… Your friends are more than likely to read it, and Inshallah it will get them thinking. This is an easy way to prepare yourself beforehand for da’wah, rather than thinking on the spot. If you cannot think up a quote, why not choose your favourite ayah from the Qura’an? To have a bigger impact, research the tafseer of the ayah (again this can be found online) and post it together.

As I mentioned earlier, donations are the simplest way. Though not the most effective; it is an effort, nonetheless. These can also be done online, right on the screen in front of you. For example, ‘AAT’ has a ‘go fund me’ page where you can easily donate as much or as little as you want to help us to produce da’wah material, and maintain a da’wah friendly site.

Forums, are another good way to get involved in da’wah. You can either answer participants questions about Islam (after you have sought out authentic information), or you can spark a discussion about any important da’wah topic, such as “what is the purpose of life?”

Blogs and Vlogs can also be used to spread the message. You can research the information you will be presenting in advance and phrase it in a way which suits you. You don’t have to worry about awkward situations or answering questions. In addition, you can inform your non-muslim acquaintance about your blog or vlog, and ask them for their opinion about your grammar for example. They will have no idea of the content of your Blog or Vlog, and will be surprised, yet intrigued when they check it out. You can also be smart and upload the video on to Youtube.

Similarly presentations can be used in the same way. If you are uncomfortable with talking, don’t present it, simply send your acquaintance the slides and ask them to double check it for you.

Subscribing to da’wah newsletters and websites is a helpful way to learn more about da’wah. But, make sure you read the newsletters/articles and remember their advice, or it will be of no benefit, apart from taking up space in your inbox.

E-books are also widely available on the topic of da’wah. Many Muslim publishers are transcribing their works into electronic form, to make access even easier. Please, save the excuse of ‘I don’t like reading,’ because the first word revealed to Muhammad (saw) from Allah, was the command to “Read!” Check out Br Rayan’s e-publications available on his website www.rayanarab.com

In conclusion, we have no reason not pass on the message. Allah has facilitated it and made it easy for us in so many different ways. It is not a painstaking nor exhaustive task, as can be gathered from the methods above. Rather, it is an almost effortless, yet effective way of fulfilling our duty and obligation of doing da’wah.

On the day of Resurrection we will all be judged about everything we did, whether small or big; a day on which we will be standing for fifty thousand years[6]. Imagine the scene. You will be questioned about your time and how you spent it, and how you utilised the resources available to you. How will we answer to Allah for time and opportunities that were placed right before us, but we wasted them away?

May Allah make us of those able to deliver His message, and may He forgive us for our shortcomings.

Bibi Zainab Dowlut

Editor-in-Chief, AAT

 



[1] 26:214

[2] Bukhari

[3] Bukhari

[4] Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtoum, pg 136

[5] Bukhari, Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtoum, pg 268

[6] Sahih Muslim

How it all Began-The story of AAT

aat logo

How Assalamu Alaykum Team began

It all began with a deadly dose of dengue fever.

On a serious note, it really did…

Having the dream of starting a da’wah group to lead the way in spreading Islam and training future da’ees had always been on brother Rayan’s mind, especially after doing da’wah on a day-to-day basis. He thought up many names but none was as suitable as “Assalamu Alaykum Team” (May Peace be upon you), a great name, and message for introducing people to Islam. And so it all began. The very day the name was chosen, Br Rayan contracted the ‘deadly’ dengue fever whilst at work. Unaware Br. Rayan continued on with his work and even visited a printing shop to get the ball rolling for his new founded team.

Six hours later and he was on the verge of ‘death.’ Regardless he had tawakkul in Allah that he would be fine, but the fever got worse. Finally, after much persuasion from his wife he agreed to go to the hospital. The Doctors diagnosed him with nothing much wrong, gave him some medicine and sent him on his way. However, Br. Rayan’s condition deteriorated. His wife convinced him to go to another hospital, where the doctor carried out several blood tests, and informed him he had contracted dengue fever. In this moment of need and realising the severity of the situation Br. Rayan called out to Allah.

The doctors confined him to a room in the hospital, where he remained for 6 days. These 6 days were the worst of his life. Not only was he experiencing the effects of the deadly fever but he was missing out on fasting, Taraweeh and Qiyaam-ul-layl, as it was the first few days of Ramadaan. For anyone whose heart is attached to Allah, would feel that the pain of missing such prayers is possibly worse than that of dengue fever. Nonetheless, it was all a test from Allah.  After his recovery Allah blessed Br Rayan with the gift of Assalamu Alaykum Team, which by the grace of Allah is continually growing. Spurred on by his illness and the thought of leaving the dunya, Br Rayan put all his efforts into establishing the team and setting it up.

Br Rayan continuously holds seminars, lectures and webinars to train future da’ees. He also certifies and licenses them by equipping them with lifelong skills which are applicable to any da’wah circumstance, whether one-on-one or with a large public audience. Assalamu Alaykum Team are eager to get this ummah back on its toes, and have an unshakable devotion to spreading the message of Islam. The team is continually developing, and working on new projects. Inshallah it will soon have its own website, children’s activities, beginners, intermediate and advanced training for da’ees as well as its own Islamic knowledge curriculum.

May Allah grant him success, and accept the team’s efforts. Ameen.

 

The story in Br Rayan’s own words can be found on his youtube channel, in the video entitled Training of Daees-Day 2. The story begins at 02:09:00.

Bibi Zainab Dowlut,

Editor-in-Chief, AAT