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Thursday, January 2, 2014

THE SOCIAL LIFE OF A MUSLIM WORKER (DA’IYAH)

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of incomparable Majesty. May His peace and Blessing be upon the noble prophet Muhammad (SAW), his household members, companions and those who follow the exemplary path of truth till the Day of Judgment (Amin). Introduction The life of a typical Muslim is divided into three dimensions – the intellectual/professional life, spiritual life and social life. By assessment, several Muslims are struggling with the intellectual and spiritual dimensions, but their social life is often neglected or poorly enhanced. The need to enhance our social life necessitated this lecture. Thematic Clarifications Social life of a Muslim (SLOM): This can be defined as a segment of a Muslim’s life that covers family issues, professional dealings, business dealings, inter-personal relations with the community and the society at large. It extends to our participation in our mosque, neighborhood, business, clubs, unions, civil societies, parents-teachers association, vigilante group et cetera. We are born into society, we are nurtured in society, we shall die in society, and we shall be buried in society. Then, make the best of your social life. Da’iyah: Simplistically, da’iyah is a person who calls to the way of Allah otherwise called path of Islam. The plural is du’at. A da’iyah influences the society with his mouth, character, knowledge, wealth, honour, beautify, fame, life and death. Allah describes such balanced Muslim as the one who says: قُلْ إِنَّ صَلاَتِى وَنُسُكِى وَمَحْيَاىَ وَمَمَاتِى للَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَـلَمِينَ - لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ وَبِذَلِكَ أُمِرْتُ وَأَنَاْ أَوَّلُ الْمُسْلِمِينَ “Say: "Verily, my Salah, my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of all that exists.'' "He has no partner. And of this I have been commanded, and I am the first of the Muslims." Q6:161-162. Why the Discourse: Social life of a Muslim Worker? We are discussing social life of Muslim workers because in the contemporary times, the social lives of several Muslims are today are plagued by crisis, dissension and breakdown. Many could not balance the challenge of propagation with family, community and profession. Several callers are victims of negative externalities arising from women, fame, money, position, cult and other social malaise. It is not uncommon to see callers with wayward, wives, children and lifestyles. The situation calls for serious solution. Allah says: ظَهَرَ الْفَسَادُ فِى الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِى النَّاسِ لِيُذِيقَهُمْ بَعْضَ الَّذِى عَمِلُواْ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ Evil has appeared in Al-Barr and Al-Bahr because of what the hands of men have earned, that He may make them taste a part of that which they have done, in order that they may return. Q30: 41 We seek to draw inspiration from the fountain of Islam (Qur’an and Hadith) because of their comprehensiveness (shummul) in tackling all social problems. There are many verses of the Qur’an that lend credence to the assertion. Specifically, Allah counsels: وَنَزَّلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَـبَ تِبْيَانًا لِّكُلِّ شَىْءٍ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةً وَبُشْرَى لِلْمُسْلِمِينَ “And We have revealed the Book (the Qur'an) to you as an explanation of everything, a guidance, a mercy, and good news for the Muslims.”Q16:89 وَقُلِ اعْمَلُواْ فَسَيَرَى اللَّهُ عَمَلَكُمْ وَرَسُولُهُ وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَسَتُرَدُّونَ إِلَى عَـلِمِ الْغَيْبِ وَالشَّهَـدَةِ فَيُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ And say "Do deeds! Allah will see your deeds, and (so will) His Messenger and the believers. And you will be brought back to the All-Knower of the unseen and the seen. Then He will inform you of what you used to do.Q9:105 There is need for Muslim worker to enhance their social lives to earn good livelihood, better educational attainment and ambitions. Allah says: وَأَن لَّيْسَ لِلإِنسَـنِ إِلاَّ مَا سَعَى - وَأَنَّ سَعْيَهُ سَوْفَ يُرَى - ثُمَّ يُجْزَاهُ الْجَزَآءَ الأَوْفَى “And that man can have nothing but what he does. And that his deeds will be seen. Then he will be recompensed with a full and the best recompense” Q53; 39-41 Muslim workers must use their social lives to secure the hereafter. Allah says: وَابْتَغِ فِيمَآ ءَاتَاكَ اللَّهُ الدَّارَ الاٌّخِرَةَ وَلاَ تَنسَ نَصِيبَكَ مِنَ الدُّنْيَا وَأَحْسِن كَمَآ أَحْسَنَ اللَّهُ إِلَيْكَ وَلاَ تَبْغِ الْفَسَادَ فِى الاٌّرْضِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يُحِبُّ الْمُفْسِدِينَ "But seek, with that which Allah has bestowed on you, the home of the Hereafter, and forget not your portion of lawful enjoyment in this world; and be generous as Allah has been generous to you, and seek not mischief in the land. Verily, Allah likes not the mischief-makers.''Q28:77 Muslim workers are urged to be competitive and ambitious even while worshipping: Allah says: فَإِذَا قُضِيَتِ الصَّلَوةُ فَانتَشِرُواْ فِى الاٌّرْضِ وَابْتَغُواْ مِن فَضْلِ اللَّهِ وَاذْكُرُواْ اللَّهَ كَثِيراً لَّعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ “Then when the Salah is complete, you may disperse through the land, and seek the bounty of Allah, and remember Allah much, that you may be successful” Q61:10 Pillar of Social Life of Muslims The social life of Muslims constitutes the bulk of their actions and inactions popularly called mahamalat, which invariably represent their deeds before Allah. The concept of social life of Muslims is based upon the highest principles and designed to secure happiness with prosperity for the individuals as well as for the society at large. It is therefore important that Muslims’ social life is strictly dictated by Shari’ah of Islam. A Muslim social life needs to take into account the followings: 1) Universal brotherhood as epitomized by Adam and Hawau 2) Equality of mankind irrespective of creeds and race 3) To live with all human beings (wife, husband, child, friends and foes) bis-salam (with peace). Islam envisages peace and it is not by coincidence that one of the names of Allah is As-SALAM (Source of peace). We greet ourselves using a salutation tagged Taslim and we chant after every salat Adhkar reflecting peace. The ideal society that Islam envisages on earth is Dar us-Salam. Allah says: وَالمَلَـئِكَةُ يَدْخُلُونَ عَلَيْهِمْ مِّن كُلِّ بَابٍ - سَلَـمٌ عَلَيْكُم بِمَا صَبَرْتُمْ فَنِعْمَ عُقْبَى الدَّارِ And angels shall enter unto them from every gate (saying): Salamun `Alaykum for you persevered in patience! Excellent indeed is the final home!''Q13:22-23 وَعِبَادُ الرَّحْمَـنِ الَّذِينَ يَمْشُونَ عَلَى الاٌّرْضِ هَوْناً وَإِذَا خَاطَبَهُمُ الجَـهِلُونَ قَالُواْ سَلاَماً And the servants of the Most Gracious are those who walk on the earth Hawna, and when the foolish address them they say; "Salama.'' Q25:63-65 Social life of a Muslim worker covers relations with FAMILY, FRIENDS, ENEMIES, FELLOW WORKERS, COMMUNITY, MUSLIMS, NON-MUSLIMS, MOSQUES, CLUBS, MARKETS et cetera. Let us see practical examples from the life of our mentor – Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him). PRACTICAL EXAMPLES OF SOCIAL LIFE OF PROPHET MUHAMMAD (SAW) We have the best model in our Prophet (SAW) when it comes to social life. Below are a dozen (12) examples of what a social life of Muslim should reflect: 1) Muhammad (SAW) was caring for his wives The noble Prophet (SAW) has several wives, yet he was caring for all. He assisted in the household chores; he joked with them and engaged them in sporting activities. He said: "The most perfect of the believers is the best of you in character, and the best of you are those among you who are best to their wives" (Tirimidhi) 2) He had time for nurturing and caring for children Abu Huraira narrated that Allah's Apostle kissed Al-Hasan bin Ali while Al-Aqra' bin Habis At-Tamim was sitting beside him. Al-Aqra said, "I have ten children and I have never kissed anyone of them," Allah's Apostle cast a look at him and said, "Whoever is not merciful to others will not be treated mercifully" (Bukhari). 3) He visited the sick irrespective of creeds. The Prophet said: “On the Day of Resurrection, God the Mighty and Majestic will say: ‘O child of Adam! I became sick and you did not visit me!’ The person will say, ‘O Lord, how can I visit you and you are the Lord of all that Exists!’ God will say, ‘Did you not know that my slave ‘so and so’ became sick, and you did not visit him? Did you not know that if you visited him, you would have found me with him?” (Sahih Muslim) Prophet Muhammad (SAW) while in Mecca visited a pagan woman who throws filth and garbage upon the Prophet whenever he passed her house. She was so taken aback by his merciful concern and that she embraced Islam. Anas b. Malik, also related that: “A Jewish boy who serve the Prophet fell sick, so the Prophet said: ‘Let us go and visit him.’ They (the Prophet and his illustrious Companions) went to visit him and found his father sitting by his head. The Messenger of God said: ‘Proclaim that there is no true deity worthy of being worshipped except God alone, and I will intercede on your behalf on account of it on the Day of Resurrection.’ The boy looked at his father and the father said: ‘Obey Abul-Qasim (Muhammad)!’ So the boy uttered: ‘There is no true deity worthy of being worshipped except God alone, and Muhammad is the last Messenger.’ The Messenger of God then said: ‘All praise is due to God Who saved him from the Fire of Hell. (Ibn Hibban). 4) He stood up for corpses as signs of honour and continued social interaction with the dead It is narrated on the authority of Jabir Ibn 'Abdullah: There passed a bier and the Holy Prophet (May peace be upon him) stood up for it and we also stood up along with him. We said: Messenger of Allah that was the bier of a Jewess. Upon this he remarked: Verily, death is a matter of consternation, so whenever you come across a bier stand up (Sahih Muslim, 2095) 5) Praying for the sick Muslims and non-Muslims in Hospitals/Clinics Sheikh Mohamed El-Moctar El-Shinqiti, Islamic Center of South Plains, Lubbock, Texas, US, states, Imam Al-Bukhari reports that Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) used to say this du`a' for people who are sick, whether he was visiting the sick person or the person was brought to him, whether Muslims or non-Muslims. Adh-hibi al-ba’sa, Rabba an-nas, ishfi wa anta ash-shafi, la shifaa’ illa shifa’uka, shifa’an la yughadiru saqaman (Remove the affliction, O Lord of Humankind, and send down cure and healing, for no one can cure but You; so cure in such a way that no trace of illness is left). 6) He engaged in sporting competition (wrestling) with Rukaanah It may be astonishing to many to hear that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) loved sports and encouraged companions to be physically strong partaking in sporting activities. Prophet (SAW) once passed by a group of his Companions who were competing in archery (modern javelin). He encouraged them saying, "Shoot and I am with you."(Bukhari) The prophet (Peace be upon him) said: "Teach your sons swimming and archery and teach your daughters sewing."(Baihaqi) On the authority of Muhammad Ibn ’Alee Ibn Rukaanah, who said, “Verily Rukaanah wrestled the Prophet (SAW), and the Prophet (SAW) took him down.” (Sunan of Abu Dawud) Shaykh, Abul-Hajjaaj al-Haafidh in his book Tahdheebul-Kaamil mentions: ‘‘Rukaanah Ibn ’Abd-Yazeed al-Qurayshee was from those who accepted Islam upon the conquering of Makkah. And he was the one who wrestled the Prophet (SAW), and the Prophet (SAW) took him down twice or three times. That was before he accepted Islam. It is said that this was without a doubt the reason he accepted Islam. This hadeeth is the most firmly established report of the Prophet’s (SAW) wrestling. Az-Zubayr Ibn Bukkaar said in his book an-Nasab, ‘‘Rukaanah Ibn ’Abd-Yazeed said, “If you can take me down, I will believe in you.” So the Prophet (SAW) wrestled him and took him down. He then proclaimed, “I testify that you are a magician!” Later he accepted Islam. 7) He visited people in time of calamities Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim in his well-known book ‘Ahkam Ahl-Adhimmah’ said: it is permissible to offer condolences to non-Muslims at times of bereavement, to visit them when they are sick, and to console them when calamity strikes. 8) He hosted Christian from Najran in the mosque The Prophet ((SAW) accommodated the Christian deputation from Najran in the year 10 A.H. They were given free access to the Prophet’s mosque where they stayed for three days and had a religious discussion with him on Holy Spirit. The mercy, kindness and gentleness of the Messenger of Allah (SAW) was the reason why people entered the religion of Allah. 9) He accepted gifts from all and allow people into his house The messenger of Allah (SAW) used to accept gifts and give gifts in return (Bukhari). He instructed: "Give gifts to one another, for gifts take away malice." (Mishkat) Imam Ahmad recorded that Abdullah bin Zubair said, “Qutaylah came visiting her daughter, Asma Bint Abi Bakr, with some gifts such as Dibab, cheese and clarified (cooking) butter, but she was an idolatress at that time. Asma refused to accept her mother’s gifts and did not let her enter her house. Aisha asked the prophet about his verdict and Allah sent down the Ayah [Surah Mumtahinah 60:8]. Allah’s messenger ordered Asma to accept her mother’s gifts and to let her enter her house. [Ahmad 4:4, Vol.3 Hadith No.16111]. 10) He supported Social Advocacy, Human rights and Community Development Prophet Muhammad (SAW) joined a coalition called Hilf-ul-Fudul. It was a body formed by people of different faiths and ideological posturing to fight against injustice and engender fair commercial dealings in Makkah. He joined before his Prophethood and never regretted his participation when he was ordained as a messenger by Allah. According to Anthony Sullivan, the Hilf-ul-Fudil represents Islam's interest in human rights and protection of fundamental human rights of people in the society. Another instance is animal rights, in Volume 8, Book 73, Number 38: Abu Huraira (RA) narrated that: Allah's Apostle said, "While a man was walking on a road. he became very thirsty. Then he came across a well, got down into it, drank (of its water) and then came out. Meanwhile he saw a dog panting and licking mud because of excessive thirst. The man said to himself "This dog is suffering from the same state of thirst as I did." So he went down the well (again) and filled his shoe (with water) and held it in his mouth and watered the dog. Allah thanked him for that deed and forgave him." The people asked, "O Allah's Apostle! Is there a reward for us in serving the animals?" He said, "(Yes) There is a reward for serving any animate (living being)" (Bukhari). 11) He signed and honoured peace agreement with non-Muslims He stated further that Prophet Muhammad (SAW), later as a Muslim leader, accepted the substance of the agreement made by non-Muslims Hudaibiyyah with Pagans and in Madinah with the Jews of Banu Qanuqah, Nadir and Qurayzah. 12) He partook in Literary/Intellectual displays Islamic history revealed that the disbelievers of Qurayshi wrote ugly poems vilifying Prophet Muhammad (SAW), Islam and his companions (RA). The prophet responded instructing the companions to respond with well-composed rejoinders Hassan Bin Thabit is a seasoned poet who abused the Prophet (SAW) and Islam. He sought repentance and was forgiven. He became the literary icon of Islam. The Prophet said to Hassan on one occasion (RA), "Ridicule them (with your poems), and Gabriel is with you." Besides, Al-Bara bin Azib said, "On the day of Quraiza’s (besiege), Allah's Apostle said to Hassan bin Thabit, ‘Lampoon them (with your poems), and Gabriel is with you (i.e. supports you)’ (Bukhari). The learned scholars of Islam, Imam Al-Ghazali (Rahimahullah) gave the following as principles of social relations with all human beings irrespective of religion: (i) Be weary of harming him; (ii) Greet him first; (iii) Do not bore him with lengthy conversation, (iv) Visit him when he is sick, (v) Condole him when he is bereaved; (vi) Not to commit Zina (fornication/adultery) with neighbour’s spouse; (vii) Not to steal neighbour’s belongings, (viii) Congratulate him when he achieves a success; (ix) Overlook his follies, (x) Do not poke into his privacies; (xi) Do not inconvenience him by erecting walls, (xii) Do not poke your eyes into his luggage; (xiii) Do not eavesdrop his conversation; (xiv) Lower your gaze from his influence; and (xv) You show concern for his family in his absence. The social life of the true Muslim is based upon the highest principles and designed to secure happiness with prosperity for the individual as well as for the society. Social Life of Muslim Workers is epitomized, in the last sermon of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him). Addressing the tens of thousands of pilgrims, he said, among other things: “O people! Listen to my words, for I do not know whether another year will be vouchsafed to me after this to find myself amongst you at this place. Your lives and properties are sacred and inviolable amongst one another until you appear before the Lord, as this day of this month is sacred for all. And remember that you shall have to appear before your Lord Who shall demand from you an account of all your actions. O people! You have right over your wives and your wives have rights over you. Treat your wives with love and kindness. Truly you have taken them as the trust of God. Keep always faithful to the trust reposed to you, and avoid sins. Henceforth, the vengeance of blood practiced in the days of ignorance and paganism is prohibited and all blood feuds abolished. And your slave, see that you feed them with such food as you eat yourselves, and clothe them with the stuff you wear; and if they commit a fault which you are not inclined to forgive, then part from them, for they are the servants of the Lord, and are not to be harshly treated. O people, listen to my words and understand them. Know that all Muslims are brothers to one another. You are one brotherhood. Nothing which belongs to another is lawful unto his brother unless freely given out of good will. Guard yourselves from committing injustice. Like this day of this month in this territory sacred and inviolable, God has made the life and property and honor of each of you [inviolable] to the other, until you meet your Lord. Let him that is present tell it to him that is absent. It may be that he shall be told it [later] may comprehend better than him who has heard it [now]. Truly, I have fulfilled my mission. I have left that amongst you, a plain command, the Book of God, and manifest ordinances which if you hold fast to, you shall never go astray.” Conclusion I wish to conclude stating that we are only opportune to come to the world once, let us make the best of this singular opportunity by enhancing our social interaction with fellow humans. That was exactly what the social life of Muhammad (SAW) exemplified. Mahatma Gandhi, statement published in “Young India”, 1924 lent credence to my submission above. He said: “I wanted to know the best of the life of one who holds today an undisputed sway over the hearts of millions of mankind… I became more than ever convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the Prophet the scrupulous regard for pledges, his intense devotion to his friends and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and in his own mission. These and not the sword carried everything before them and surmounted every obstacle. When I closed the second volume (of the Prophet’s biography), I was sorry there was not more for me to read of that great life.”

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