VIRTUES OF TABLIGH
VERSES OF THE HOLY QUR'AN CONCERNING TABLIGH
First of all, I want to mention a few verses of the Holy Qur'an
concerning Tabligh. From these verses, the readers can easily see
how important Allah considers the preaching of Islam. I have come
across as many as sixty verses on this particular subject, and Allah
knows how many more verses could be found by another keen observer.
I quote here a few of them for the benefit of every true believer.
"And whose words can be better than his, who calls
(people) towards Allah, and performs good deeds. and says: 'I
am one of those who submit to Allah!'"
Certain commentators have written that whoever invites people to
Allah through any means deserves the honour mentioned in the above
For instance, the prophets call people to Allah by means of miracles,
and supernatural actions, the scholars invite them by preaching
and arguments, the Muslim warriors (mujahids) call them by means
of the sword; and the muazzins call them by means of the azaan.
In short, whoever invites people to good deeds deserves this reward,
whether he calls them to the formal observances of Islam or to the
internal improvements of the spirit, like the mystics who stress
the purification of the heart and the realization of Allah's attributes.
In the concluding verse quoted above some commentators say such
a person should also be proud of the honour bestowed on him by Allah,
of being categorised as a Muslim, and he should proclaim this honour
Some other commentators interpret that he should not be proud of
being a preacher, but should consider himself as an ordinary Muslim.
"(O Prophet! SALLALLAHU ALAIHI WASALLAM) preach
to them (the Truth), for preaching proves very beneficial for
The commentators have written that by preaching is meant instructing
the believers through the verses of the Holy Qur'an, for these would
guide them to the Right Path. But such a preaching can be useful
for the disbelievers also, for thereby they may become believers.
Alas! in this age, preaching is not performed regularly and properly.
Generally the object of the preachers is to show off their ability
and eloquence to the listeners, whereas the Holy Prophet (SALLALLAHU
ALAIHI WASALLAM) has said:
"Whoever learns the art of declamation in order to attract
the people towards himself, his prayers and observances, whether
obligatory or optional, will not be accepted on the Day of Judgment."
"And command your family to observe the prayers,
and also perform these yourself regularly. We do not ask you for
sustenance. We will give you sustenance; and the ultimate success
is for the God-fearing."
Numerous traditions say that whenever anyone complained of poverty
to the Holy Prophet (SALLALLAHU ALAIHI WASALLAM), he recited this
verse, and advised him to perform his prayers regularly, as though
pointing to the fact that regularity in prayers will lead to ample
It has been stressed in this verse to do a thing yourself before
giving instructions to other, because this is a more effective and
successful method of preaching. That is why all the prophets themselves
first did what they preached to others. Thus they became examples
for their followers, who would not then think that the teaching
of their religion are so difficult to carry out.
Moreover, Allah has promised ample provision for those who perform
the prayers regularly, so that they should never feel that prayers
can interfere with the earning of their livelihood, whether through
trade, service, etc. Thereafter it is stated as a rule, that ultimate
success and salvation will be attained by the God-fearing only.
"0 son! Perform thy prayers regularly; and command
people to do good deeds, and prevent them from forbidden things,
and bear patiently whatever befalls you (in the preaching of Truth):
undoubtedly this demands courage!" (Surah Luqmaan: 17)
In this verse, several important things for a Muslim have been
mentioned, which can be a means for our salvation; but we have neglected
these very badly. Not to speak of the lack of preaching the truth,
we have neglected even the prayers, which is a basic principle of
Islam, in fact the most important after faith. There are so many
people who do not perform their prayers at all; but even those who
do, hardly perform it with all its requisites, such as congregational
prayers. It is the poor only who perform the prayers with congregation
in the mosque, while the rich feel it below their dignity to be
present in the mosque. Ah! my complaint is only to Allah!
"0 careless person! What is an insult for you, is a matter
of pride for me."
"0 Muslims! there must be a group among you who would invite
people to Good; and would command them to do good deeds, and would
prevent them from forbidden things; and these are the people who
will attain salvation.*' (Surah Aaliimraan: 105)
In this verse, Allah has clearly commanded the Muslims to prepare
a group or party which would preach Islam throughout the world:
but we see that the so-called Muslims have totally neglected this
commandment. On the other hand, the non-Muslims, are preaching their
religion day and night. For instance, parties of Christian missionaries
have been specially assigned to propagate their religion in the
whole world; similarly other communities are trying their best to
preach their own religions. But the question is, is there such an
organization among the Muslims? The answer, if not in the negative,
cannot be in the affirmative either.
If any individual or any party among the so-called Muslims arises
for the preaching of Islam, unreasonable objections are raised against
them, instead of giving them help and co-operation, whereas it is
the duty of every true Muslim to help those who preach Islam, and
to remove shortcomings where necessary; but these people neither
do anything themselves to preach Islam, nor help those who have
devoted their lives to this sacred cause. Thus the result is that
even the sincere and unselfish preachers are disappointed, and give
up their efforts in this regard.
"0 Muslims! you are the best of peoples, who have
been selected for the guidance of mankind; you enjoin them to
do good deeds, and prevent them from forbidden things; and you
have firm faith in Allah." (Surah Aali Imraan: 10)
That the Muslims are the best of all nations, has been asserted
in certain sayings of the Holy Prophet (SALLALLAHU ALAIHI WASALLAM)
also; and there are some verses of the Holy Qur'an that corroborate
this. Even the above-mentioned verse bestows the honour of 'Best
Nation' on us, provided we preach Islam, command people to do good
and prevent them from evil.
The commentators have written that in this verse, the preaching
of truth and prevention of evil has been mentioned before faith
even, whereas faith (Imaan) is the root of all Islamic beliefs and
actions. The reason is that faith has been a common factor among
all the nations of the world, but the special thing that has particularly
distinguished the Muslims is the mandate enjoining people to do
good, and to prevent them from evil.
So, this is the real basis for the superiority of the Muslims,
whenever they fulfilled it; and since in Islam good actions are
of little value without faith, it is therefore specifically mentioned
at the end of the verse. In fact, the real object in this verse
is to emphasise the importance of enjoining people to do good deeds,
and this is the distinguishing feature of the Muslim Ummah. It is
not sufficient to enjoin good and to prevent from evil only now
and then, but this practice should continue at all times and on
all occasions regularly.
Reference to the task of preaching the truth are found in earlier
religions, but the distinguishing merit of the Muslim Ummah lies
in taking it up as a regular assignment. This is not a temporary
work, but a permanent one.
"In the talk of an assembly of common folk there
is no good at all, except those who command people to give charity
(to the poor) or instruct them to do good things, or make peace
between people (they will be rewarded by Allah). And whoever does
this only to please Allah, soon he will receive a great reward
from Allah." (Surah Nisaa: 114)
In this verse, Allah has promised a great reward for those who
preach truth; and how great and honourable can be the reward that
has been called 'great' by Allah.
In this context, the Holy Prophet (SALLALLAHU ALAIHI WASALLAM)
has said, "A man's words may be a burden (sin) for him, except
those that he has spoken for giving instructions for good deeds,
and preventing others from forbidden things, or for remembering
In another Hadith, the Holy Prophet (SALLALLAHU ALAIHI WASALLAM)
has said, "Shall I tell you a virtue better than optional prayer,
fasting and charity?" His Companions said, "You must tell
us that virtue, 0 Messenger of Allah!" (SALLALLAHU ALAIHI WASALLAM).
He said: "To make peace between people, for hate and mutual
conflict uproot good deeds, just as a razor removes the hair."
There are many more verses of the Holy Qur'an and sayings of the
Holy Prophet (SALLALLAHU ALAIHI WASALLAM) that instruct us to make
peace between people. What we mean to emphasise here is that to
make peace between people is also another form of instructing them
to do good and preventing them from evil. To introduce peace and
cooperation in the society should therefore be given due importance.
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