Immediately after being elected Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV advised the members of the Community to devote their lives in the spirit of the Daiee illallah. He called upon the Ahmadi Muslims to undertake the responsibility of conveying the message of Islam to every country, every city and every house of the entire universe. He also urged them to ensure that there was not a corner on this earth where the seed of Islam and Ahmadiyyat had not been planted.
This task no doubt, is difficult and momentous. But its importance should not he minimised as a result of our mortal difficulties or apprehensions. The Almighty God commanded our lord and master, Hazrat Muhammad Mustapha (s.a.w):
O Messenger! convey to the people what has been revealed to thee from the Lord. (5:68)
In strict obedience to the command of his Lord, our beloved Prophet (s.a.w) sacrificed every breath of his life to accomplish the task that was required of him. He was insulted and derided; he was humiliated and persecuted: and finally he was forced into exile by his own people. Yet his dedication and zeal to preach the message of the Lord did not diminish.
The practice and example of our beloved master, Hazrat Muhammad Mustapha Sallalla hu alayhe Wassallam stands as a beacon of light unto the Muslims of all generations. In the early years of his ministry, the Ahle Quraish approached his blessed uncle Hazrat Abu Talib with a request that if he would stop his nephew from preaching the message of Islam, they would be prepared to acknowledge his nephews as their king and they would also he prepared to offer him any woman he desired as a wife and as much money as he demanded. When Hazrat Abu Talib conveyed the message of the Meccans to our beloved Prophet (s.a.w), he replied:
‘O my uncle! There is not a power in this world which can stop me from preaching the truth. If the people of Mecca were to place the sun in one of my hands and the moon in the other, I shall still not desist from proclaiming the truth.’
It is our faith that whatever commandments were enjoined upon our blessed master (s.a.w), these were equally enjoined upon all Muslims. It is hence an integral part of the Islamic faith that all Muslims continue to observe the injunctions of the Holy Quran and keep alive the blessed practice of our master (s.a.w) through constantly preaching the message of truth unto mankind. There is not another comparable service to humanity which has a greater importance in the sight of Allah than guiding mankind unto a path which eventually leads to its Creator. A person who leads another to the truth, not only earns the prayers of those led to the truth but also wins the pleasure of his Lord and Master, the Almighty Allah. Traditions report that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) while counselling Hazrat Ali, stated:
O Ali! It is a greater blessing for you to bring into the fold of Islam, one single soul in search of truth than to acquire one hundred white camels. (Muslim: Kitab-al-Fazail: Bab Fazail-e-Ali & Bukhari: Kitab-al-Jehad).
It should he borne in mind however, that preaching is a very blessed undertaking and hence should he conducted in a manner most pleasing to the Lord. The following guidelines could be of benefit to every daiee illallah missionary.
1. It is practically impossible for any mortal being to convince another on the strength of one's personal knowledge or verbal articulation. To open the heart of the listener is a sole prerogative of Almighty Allah. Our personal obligation is to convey the message only and hence one should always supplicate the Lord to reward one's efforts.
2. Preaching can only bear fruits when that which is being preached is also being practiced. A dedicated preacher is required to set an example unto others and hence one should always strive to improve one's own conduct and character. The holy Quran demands that the actions of the Muslims correspond to their practice when it states: O ye who believe! Why do you say what ye do not. It is hateful in the sight of Allah that you say what you do not. (61:3/4)
3. The Holy Quran lays down some very strict conditions upon Muslims and while advising them on the procedure of preaching, it states: Call unto the way of the Lord with wisdom and goodly exhortation and argue with them in a way which is best. It is hence necessary that while preaching, one should conduct a dialogue in a kind and a civil manner. One should neither tread upon the sensitivities of others, nor should one make any offensive remark or show disrespect for either the faith of others or the founders of their faiths. Kindness and civility of language is an essential ingredient in the field of preaching. When the Almighty Allah directed Prophet Moses a.s. to convey His message to Pharaoh, He commanded: Go, both of you, to Pharaoh, for he has transgressed all bounds. But speak to him a gentle word, haply he might take heed or fear. (20: 44/45)
4. It is also essential that whenever a reference is quoted from the Scriptures of other faiths, such references are first verified for authenticity.
5. And finally one should always bear in mind that continuity is extremely important in the field of preaching. Those who have once been selected for preaching should be kept in touch with and their need for constant guidance should not be neglected.
ALL PRAISE BELONGS TO ALLAH!