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In this chapter, I will quote certain sayings of the Holy Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) that explain the meaning of the above-mentioned verses of the Holy Qur'an. It is not the intention to encompass all the relevant ahaa-dith. If I quote all the verses and the ahaadith on this subject, I fear no one will read them, for now-a-days people hardly spare time for such things. So. to place before you how important Tabligh is in the eyes of the Holy Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam), and what serious consequences follow from its neglect, I give below a few sayings of the Holy Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam):

It is reported by Abu Sa'eed Khudri (Radhiyallaho anho) that the Holy Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) said: "Whoever sees a forbidden thing being done, he must prevent it by the use of his hand; and if he has no power for this action, then he should prevent it with his tongue; and if he cannot do this even, then he should at least consider it a vice in his heart, and this is a very low level of one's faith."

In another hadith, it has been said that if a person can prevent evil with his tongue then he should so prevent it; otherwise, he should at least think it evil in his heart and thus stand exonerated. Another hadith says that if anyone hates sin within his heart, he is a true believer, but this is the weakest form of faith. This topic has occurred in many other sayings of the Prophet.

Now think well how many Muslims there are who act upon this hadith in a practical way. How many of us prevent evil forcibly, how many with the tongue, and how many seriously hate it within our heart? We have to take stock of ourselves on these issues.

It has been reported by Nu'maan bin Basheer (Radhiyallaho anho) that the Holy Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) said: "There are people who do not transgress the limits (laws) of Allah, and there are others who do so. They are like two groups who boarded a ship; one of them settled on the upper deck, and the other, on the lower deck of the ship.

So, when the people of the lower deck needed water, they said: 'Why should we cause trouble to the people of the upper deck when we can easily have plenty of water by making a hole in our deck.' Now if the people of the upper deck do not prevent this group from such foolishness, all of them will perish - but if they stop them then they all will be saved." (Bukhari & Tirmizi)

Once the Companions of the Holy Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) asked him: *'0 Messenger of Allah! (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) can we people be destroyed even when there are certain pious God-fearing persons among us?" He answered: "Yes, when evil deeds predominate in a society."

Nowadays the Muslims are generally anxious about the decline and fall of this Ummah, and they suggest certain plans to stop this decline, but they never consider as to what is the main cause of our decline. They fail to identify the true reason of our spiritual and moral decline, particularly when the proper remedy has been told by Allah and the Holy Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam).

It is a pity that because of the wrong diagnosis, incorrect remedies, including continued neglect of Tabligh, are leading to the further decline of the Ummah. In fact, the main cause of our decline is that we do not pay attention to Tabligh nor do we help those who devote themselves to this sacred mission.

It has been reported by Ibn Mas'ood (Radhiyallaho anha) that the Holy Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasal-lam) said: "The decline and fall of Bani Israa-eel started thus: when the pious among them saw certain sins being committed by the transgressors, they forbade them from doing the same; but when the sinners did not repent, the pious because of their relationship and friendship continued to mix with them. So, when this state of affairs began to prevail, Allah caused their hearts to be accursed in the same manner." (i.e. the hearts were also affected with the disobedience of the transgressors).

Then in support of this, the Holy Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) recited a verse of the Holy Qur'an, which says: 'The disobedient and the transgressors among the Bani Israa-eel were accursed by Allah.' On this, the Holy Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) emphatically instructed his Companions: "(To avoid such decline) you people must enjoin upon others to do good deeds and prevent them from doing forbidden things; you should restrain every tyrant from tyranny and invite him towards truth and justice.*'

Another hadith says that the Holy Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) was reclining comfortably when, suddenly overcome with emotion, he sat up and said: tt! swear by Allah that you people cannot attain salvation, unless you prevent the tyrants from tyranny."

Another hadith says that the Holy Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) said: "You people must preach truth, and prevent the sinners from doing forbidden things, and check the tyrants, to bring them towards the right path, otherwise you will be accursed and your hearts will be corrupted, just as Allah did with Bani Israa-eel." The Holy Prophet (Sallal-laho alaihe wasallam) read certain relevant verses of the Holy Qur'an to emphasize this subject. Bani Israa-eel were condemned because among other things, they did not prevent others from doing forbidden things.

Nowadays it is considered a virtue to be at peace with all, and to please everyone on every occasion. They say it is a requirement of good manners with the evildoers.

Obviously, this is a wrong policy, because at most there may be some religious sanction for keeping quiet in extreme case, but never for falling in line with the tyrants and transgressors. At the very least, every one must instruct those people to do good whom he easily can influence for instance: his subordinates, his servants, his wife, his children, and his relations. In such circumstances, to be absolutely silent about Tabligh is unpardonable before Allah.

Hadhrat Sufyaan Thowri says: "Whoever is very popular with his relations and neighbours, we suspect him to be compromising in preaching the true teachings of religion."

Numerous traditions say that when a sin is committed secretly, its harm is generally limited to the sinner only; but when a sin is committed openly, and those possessing the capability do not prevent it, then it ultimately affects all the people around.

Now everyone can see for himself, how many sins are committed before him every day, and he, in spite of having the power to prevent them neglects to do so. And it is a pity that, if anyone gets up to put the wrong down, the ignorant and shameless people oppose him instead of co-operating with him.

Those who do wrong will come to know by what a great reverse they will be overturned.

Hadhrat Jareer bin Abdullah (Radhiyallaho anho) says, "I heard the Messenger of Allah (Sallallaho alaihe wa-sallam) saying: "When a sin is committed before an individual or a group and they do not prevent it, in spite of having the capability, then Allah inflicts a severe punishment on them before their death.'' (Targheeb)

0 my friends who desire the improvement of Islam and the Muslims! now you have clearly seen the causes of our decline. Not to speak of strangers, we generally do not prevent even our own family and our subordinates from wrong-doing.

We do not even make up our minds to prevent evil, much less doing something practical about it. Whatever our own son does against the Commandments of Allah, we do not check him even; but if he takes some interest in politics, or mixes up in a certain political party, we are seriously anxious not only about him, but about our own safety and honour. Then we warn him and also think about some plans to be safe and secure from any harm; but on the other hand, when he transgresses against Allah's Commandments, we are never anxious about the life in the Hereafter, and about the Reckoning of the Day of Judgement.

Sometimes you know full well that your son is addicted to some idle pursuits and is very lax in his prayers, but you have no courage to prevent him from such habits, or to chastise him, although Allah has clearly commanded you to be severe in uprooting such evils and even sever relations with the transgressor.

There is many a father who would be angry with his son, because he is lazy and does not attend to his studies or services or business properly, but is there anyone who is angry with his son, because he does not perform the fundamental observances of Islam?

As a matter of fact, the adverse effect of this negligence is not limited to the great loss in the Hereafter but it is a pity this evidently extends to our worldly affairs and interests also, which are so dear to us. This blindness of ours is horrible, for Allah says:

"Whoever is blind in this world, he will be surely blind in the Hereafter."

And such transgressors have taken leave of their senses because "Allah has sealed up their hearts, and on
their ears and eyes there are veils (so they neither hear nor see the truth)."

It has been reported by Hadhrat Anas (Radhiyal-laho anho) that the Holy Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wa-sallam) said: "So long as a person says "La ilaaha iilallaah" (no one is worthy of worship but Allah), he receives spiritual benefits, and is saved from miseries and calamities, unless he neglects its rights." His Companions said: "0 Messenger of Allah (Sallaho alaihe wasallam)! how are its rights neglected?" He answered: "When sins are committed openly, and the person who recites the kalimah does not prevent the sinners from wrongdoings." (Targheeb)

Now you can yourself consider how very often sins are committed during these times, yet there is no serious attempt to check or prevent them. In such a dangerous and ungodly atmosphere, the very existence of the Muslims in the world is a great blessing of Allah, otherwise we are inviting ruination through all possible means.

Hadhrat Aa-ishah (Radhiyallaho anha) asked the Holy Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam), "When the punishment of Allah befalls the inhabitants of any locality, does it affect the pious, just as it affects the guilty?" The Holy Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) answered: "Yes, it does affect all of them in this world, but at the Resurrection the pious will be separated from the guilty." Therefore, those people who are simply satisfied with their own piety, and do not participate in improving others should not rest assured that they are safe from the punishment of the Almighty. If any chastisement is inflicted by Allah, they too will be involved in it.

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