The Missionary's Education
"…; why should not then a company from every party of them go forth that they may acquire (proper) unders-tanding in religion, and that they may warn their people when they return unto them…" Holy Qur'an (Tawba 9: 122)
This verse discusses about the obligation of acquiring religious knowledge, as well as, spreading it to others. It establishes the connection between the imperative nature of studying Islam, being aware of its thoughts and concepts and assimilating its culture, on the one hand, and inviting to it, propagating it and presenting it to others, on the other hand. This is because acquiring knowledge `tafaqquh', which is mentioned in the verse, means understanding, ideological and intellectual awareness, as well as, grasping the Islamic rules, aims and objectives.
This is how this holy verse made it compulsory upon all Muslims to acquire knowledge, as well as, calling people to Allah. Allah, the Most High says:
"Say (O Our Apostle Muhammad): `This is my way, I invite (you all) unto Allah; with clear sight, (which) I and he who follows me (possesses); anad glory be to Allah, and I am not of the polytheists." Holy Qur'an (Yusuf 12: 108)
Indeed, if this Qur'anic exposition talks on acquiring religious knowledge in its capacity as a collective responsibility which must be discharged to the level of sufficiency, and that the propagator should invite others with clear awareness, comprehension and insight, then, other verses teach the missionaries and propagators the method to be used in calling people to Islam. For instance, His saying:
"And call unto the way of you r Lord with wisdom and kindly exhortation and dispute with them in the manner which is the best." Holy Qur'an (Nahl 16: 125)
"…Repel you (evil) with what is the best, when lo! He between whom and you was enimty, shall be as though he were a warm friend." Holy Qur'an (Fussilat 41: 34)
We can see that learning the methods and knowing the means by which to invite people to Islam is part of acquiring religious knowledge and grasping its content and purposes.
If the Qur'an requires those propagating Allah's word to dispute with their opponent scientifically and with the best and most effective methods, then, it means that the Qur'an requires the callers to be more acquainted with the thoughts, culture, beliefs and ideology of the opponent. This will empower them to enter into disputation and dialogue with the opponent with full power and strength.
Thus, it is imperative that a propagator should be acquainted with the culture of his time and grasp the ideas, theories and concepts of the civilization which prevails in the world, for the ideological battle is similar, to a large extent to, the armed one. To explore the forces of the enemy and his capabilities is surely a precondition for engaging him in the battle. It makes no difference whether these forces and capabilities are human, economic, information and publicity, arms, technology, planning or other factors, such as, natural conditions and political set up. Likewise, the Muslims cannot enter the battle field of ideology without first ascertaining the nature of thought of the enemy or opponent or the others' view, as a preparation for ideological warfare.
From the Qur'anic exposition, investigation and practical experience of the course of the missionaries and propagators over the ages, we can highlight on the culture and education that is necessary for them to acquire and the level of that education in terms of comprehension, differentiation and constructing the ideal form of education.
A. Ideological Education: It is necessary for a Muslim missionary to study a complete course on beliefs which covers the fundamentals of Islamic belief and the important issues thereof. Such issues as Monotheisim (the oneness of Allah), prophethood, the next world, fate and destiny, determinism `jabr' and the free choice `ikhtiyar'...etc. Along the way he must grasp the most prominent views of Islamic sects and schools of thoughts, philosophers and the people of hadith to such a level as to furnish him with a clear picture of the main areas of ideological conflicts between the different Islamic approaches.
It is also required of the caller to distinguish himself by being conscious and objective and accept the onerous responsibility of inviting people to the right opinion and pure understanding. He must in no way be a bigot nor surrender to wrong understanding, for he is answerable to Allah, the Almighty, should he engage in calling people towards the wrong way and distort Islam.
A successful propagator should be able to present the Islamic views in a scientific and comparat-ive way without prejudice or bigotry. His duty is to explore the way of uniting the Muslims, call for a scientific investigation and refrain from denouncing his opponent as a renegade or maltreating him or insulting his ideology and understanding, so long as the other party believes in the fundamentals of faiths and testifies with the two testifications. On the other hand, the missionary should always expose perverted ideas and make the Muslims cognizant of them by presenting facts, scientifically.
B. Jurisprudential Education: This is among the fundamental elements of Islamic education. Knowing Islamic legislation, both the principles and the details, open up the ideological horizons before the Muslim. It will help him in propagating the Shari'a, teaching the society, comparing the Islamic legislation with other forms of positive legislation and to illustrate the greatness of the former and its ability to organize the society and develop it. Because of all this, the missionary has to study a course on jurisprudence `fiqh' and the basics in principles of jurisprudence `usul al-Fiqh' so as to empower his ability of undestanding.
C. Studying the Prophetic Biography: A full study of the Prophet's (s.a.w.) biography, especially the section of his da'awa and jihad, and a grasp of Islamic history, plays a great role in educating a Muslim, developing his ability to carry the message and understanding its methods and problems. Therefore, a missionary must read a complete course on the prophetic biography and at least a summary of Islamic history so that he can appreciate the historical experience and comprehend the biography of the Messenger (s.a.w.).
D. Social and Political Education: To understand the society and have enough awareness politically and socially, is a fundamental element in educating a Muslim missionary. Studying the society through reading the specialized social, political and psychologi-cal subjects will definitely furnish him with the required knowledge. Cultural awareness in the political and social fields can also be improved by following up the news, political analyses and societal studies concerned with social issues. This follow up will make the propagator be always in touch with the events and happenings especially that which affects the Muslims and the Islamic question world wide.
E. Methodological Education: The missionary needs the knowledge of means, methods and ways of executing his work. He can find these in the experiences of other Islamic workers and the experiences of a propagator of other ideologies, also. Another source of this form of education is psychological studies, writings about world famous figures, leadership and administration. It must be mentioned that the caller must be heedful and exercise caution concerning the experiences of non-Muslims, by observing the values and yardstick of Islam. A noble hadith states: "It is not possible to obey Allah by disobeying him."
Problems and Obsticales
1- External Poblems and Obstacles:
The course of the Divine Call, in all its dimen-sions and various facets and scopes, be they ideologi-cal, psychological, political, social, ethical or other-wise, is that of struggle, confrontation and reform etc. This is why the Holy Qur'an calls this way "The Thorny One". This name is more appropriate for it in that it is a way of difficulties and obstacles. This is because the hostile forces, throughout the confrontation stage, use whatever is at their disposal to destroy Islam and its ideology.
And when the Qur'an discusses the difficulties and impediments faced by the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) and the first generation of Muslims, it is really speak-ing about the most critical part of the history of the tussle between the two opposite approaches. This picture wanted to create a clear view, a complete awareness and a mental and practical preparation for facing those difficulties and impediments. In that period, the Islamic call faced all dimensions of the conflicts with the pre-Islamic period of ignorance `jahiliyya' while the latter employed all what it had.
Studying this particular period will present us with a complete view of the course taken by Islam over the ages. It will also reveal the norms and laws governing the course of history and reform. By subjecting the history of the divine call, and particularly that of the Muhammadan call to studies and analysis, summoning witnesses as handed down to us by the Qur'an or other means of confirmation, we can identify the methods of war and opposition resorted to by the tyrants and the enemies of Allah and humanity, throughout the history and stages of the tussle, past and present.
We can identify the most dangerous areas of opposition and obstruction imposed by the `jahiliyya' movement on the message and its bearers. They are:
A. Ideological Opposition: The pivotal element around which all tussels and conflicts are centered is that of thought and belief, though the level of though and belief of the former `jahili' people was indeed primitive. Despite their primitive nature, they were employed in opposing the message that called mankind to the unity of Allah, belief in Him, the revelation, prophethood, the hereafter, regards the intellect as a means of cognition and faith and employed the purity of human nature and mental reasoning in the material world in order to reach that faith and belief.
The ideological tussels, through the efforts of the `jahili' intellect, was directed toward casting doubt on the call of the Prophets (s.a.w.), the principles of faith in Allah, the Glorious, the methods and organization of the divine thought and the ability of the Islamic enterprise in uplifting and developing human life. That opposition has indeed evolved from its primitive stage to the stage of theories with scientific and philosophi-cal coloration. These includs the founding of schools, theories, philosophies and methods of investigation and thought, all for the purpose of continuing the fight against faith in Allah and in the everlasting divine message, on a planned and organized platform. There-fore, the two paths are:
The path of belief in Allah, the Glorious, and that of disbelief and perversion.
Surely, to face the war of thought equipped with modern theories and means is the responsibility of the Muslim scholars, intellectuals and writers, missionaries and Islamic organizations such as the centres for studies, libraries, schools, universities, publishing houses, mass medias and the Islamic states. This war will entail establishing a permanent presence in the ideological battle field that is launched by organizations and mass mobilization agencies against Islamic thought. It is also in need of an ideological work planned and theorized according to well studied and practical foundations.
Perhaps, the most prominent foundations to consider before entering the battle field at this level are:
1-The Muslims should be equipped with the original Islamic thought by resorting to its first principles; the Qur'an, the `sunna' and the Prophetic biography. They must also study the secondary sources of the Islamic knowledge namely; the ideological sources, jurisprudence and the principles of jurisprud-ence and studies in the Islamic history, sciences of the Qur'an and hadith and contemporary Islamic culture. In order to achieve all this, it is necessary to establish institutes, schools, study circles, research centres and special libraries where missionaries can be specially trained on the issue of Islamic propagation.
2- To provide the missionaries with the knowle-dge of modern culture and methods such as psychol-ogy, publicity and studies on public opinion, sociology, English and French languages, and the mastering of the Arabic language for the non-Arab missionaries. Acq-uiring these branches of knowledge will enable the propagator to understand man and his society and the method of interacting with him. It is imperative to train the missionary on the procedures of `tabligh' and association with others and how to enter into intellec-tual dialogue…etc.
In order for a propagator to acquire knowledge and information, it is most desirable for us to prepare them so as to specialize on the issue of `tabligh' in a particular region of the world, so that all his efforts will be concentrated in the region for which he is trained. It is therefore, necessary for each missionary to study the situation, condition and language of his appointed region. 3- To provide the missionaries with scientific and practical means needed for their task.
Method of Ideological Confrontation:
Throughout the duration of ideolgical confronta-tion between Islam and its rival, the contest had its ups and downs; ultimately Islamic thought had the upper hand. The vitality of Islam and the greatness of its principles were the source of strength that brings about victory, time-testedness and superiority. Unfortunately, the method of conveying Islamic thought is often mis-applied or impaired and its thoughts, concepts and rules meddled with or misunderstood or presented in a primitive and unrefined way.
The method, programme and language of discourse inevitably has its effect on the success of Islamic thought and its civilizational enterprises in its role as leader of humanity.
Perhaps the most prominent methods through which authors, orators and men of letters present the Islamic thought are three:
1- The method of defence and refuting arguments. This a method which portrays the condition of psych-ological crises that the Islamic condition suffers from. It can be justly said that the stage of scientific and technological advancement of Europe, America and Japan which started at the beginning of the twentieth century, was the factor that instilled an inferiority complex into the minds of the Muslims of that period. This generation of Muslims grew up in the guidance of materialistic thought which fed the Islamic world via the universities, perverted political parties and the intrusion of foreign cultures. This phenomenon prompted the Islamic authors and thinkers to resort to the method of defence and refuting arguments.
This method, no doubt, was fruitful. It enlightened the contemporary generation, but all the same, it was not able to present Islamic ideology, theories, values and principles in an encompassing manner.
2- The method of attacking and criticizing the perverted and deviated ideologies. This method portrays self-confidence and a shift to challenge, casting away foreign thoughts and revealing the defects and scientific and methodological discrepancies found in them.
3- The third method which necessity dictates in expousing Islamic knowledge is the level of propound-ing Islamic theories covering numerous fields such as politics, social, economic, educational, psychological, behavioural, historical and the methodology of science, arts, literary, law…etc. The Islamic cultural and ideological project must cover all the fields of culture, education and the need for organizing the society and the state and play its role in leading the life and civilization of mankind. It must, therefore, be a pioneering thought and a complete scheme as expected.
B. Skepticism and Lying: Among the method of confronting the Prophets, Messengers and callers to Allah and ruining their divine thought is casting doubts on the truthfulness of their call, the soundness of their principles, thinking and the chastity of their persons so as to shake the trust the audience has in them and render, sceptical, those who have already embraced the ideology. In this way, detractors expect to create a sort of schizophrenia in the callers themselves and a gulf between the callers and the society. The Holy Qur'an exposes this vicious method and those disguising themselves in it, saying:
"…and whenever (thereafter) and apostle came unto you with that which your selves desired not, swelled you with pride, some (of the apostle) you belied (as imposters) and some you slew." Holy Qur'an (Baqara 2: 87)
In other places, their statements, which they made in order to inspire scepticism concerning the truthful-ness of the message and the soundness of its objectives, are reported:
"We heard not of this in the former creed. This is nothing but an imposture. (What) has the reminder been sent down (only) unto him among us? Nay! They are in doubt about My reminder, Nay! They have yet tasted not My chastisement!" Holy Qur'an (Sad 38: 7-8)
Then it states:
"But said the chiefs of those who disbelieved, from among his people: `This is a man like unto yourselves who intends to exalt himself above you; but had Allah will (to send any apostle) He would certainly have sent angels. We have heard not of this among our fathers did. Verily his is not but a man maniac so bear you with him for some time." Holy Qur'an (Mu'minun 23: 24-25)
"Said the chiefs of the people of Pharaoh: `Verily this indeed is an enchanter (most) learn-ed'. He intends to turn your out of your land; What is it then your counself?" Holy Qur'an (A'raf 7: 109-110)
In this way, the Prophets (s.a.w.) and reformers are accused of lying, insanity, greed for power and name and for worldly gains so as to cast doubts on their noble, human objectives and guiding, divine call.
C. Psychological Warfare: The psychological war is considered, one of the most dangerous weapons used by the enemy against his opponent. The `Jahiliyya' often have taken recourse to psychological warfare, in its different forms against the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.), the message and its bearers, throughout the ages, past and present. They spread rumours and slanders against the personality of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.), they mock his companions, disparage them and belittle their social standing.
They spread fear and terror among the ranks of the Islamic group, the callers to Allah, the Glorious, so as to weaken the morale and shake the Islamic personality from within. Their aim is to create psych-ological defeat which will strip the followers of the Divine Message of their self-confidence and instill uneasiness and tension in their lives. As the organization crumbles and fear and terror rules the individual and the believing group, its struggle and resistance fizzles out.
The Qur'an speaks about the psychological war launched by the opponent against the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.), the Message and those who call toward it, in order to place before them the reality of the war in all its dimensions, thereby establishing its stand thereof and provide the followers with psychological immun-ity. It says:
"And all that We relate unto you of the accounts of the apostles is to confirm with it you heart…" Holy Qur'an (Hud 11: 120)
The Glorious Qur'an mentions the conditions of psychological warfare employed by those hostile to the divine call throughout the ages: "And certainly you shall hear from those who have been given the Book before you and those who join other gods with Allah, much annoy-ance…" Holy Qur'an (Al-e-Imran 3: 186)
"…Is this he whom Allah has raised to be an aposlte." Holy Qur'an (Furqan 25: 41)
"…And we see not any have followed you but those who are the meanest of us,…" Holy Qur'an (Hud 11: 27)
"…And said: `(He is) tutored (by others), a mad man." Holy Qur'an (Dukhan 44: 14)
"Verily he is not but a man maniac so bear with him for some time." Holy Qur'an (Mu'minun 24: 25)
"…and said the disbelievers: `This is a sorcerer, a great liar.'" Holy Qur'an (Sad 38: 4)
"…`Hearken you not unto this Qur'an, make noise in it,…" Holy Qur'an (Fussilat 41: 26)
"And say they: `Why was not this Qur'an sent down unto a man in the two cities, (who is) great?'" Holy Qur'an (Zukhruf 43: 31)
"The life of this world has been made alluring to those who disbelieve and tthey scoff at those who believe…" Holy Qur'an (Baqara 2: 212)
"And indeed were (also) ridiculed (some) of the apostle before you, but surrounded those who ridiculed that (very torment) which they had been ridiculing." Holy Qur'an (Anbiya' 21: 41)
"…and say I not about those whom your eyes hold in contempt (that) Allah will never bestow on them (any) good…" Holy Qur'an (Hud 11: 31)
"If he hypocrites and those in whose hearts is a disease and the agitators in the city desist not, We shall certainly rouse youup against them, they shall not be allowed to be your neighbour in it, but a little while." Holy Qur'an (Ahzab (33: 60)
Apart from revealing the methods employed in psychological warfare and defining most of its issues, the Qur'an also enjoins the Messenger (s.a.w.) and the believers to be steadfast and raise themselves high above what their detractors try to instill in their minds of the weakness of their camp, their social position and their inability to empower the Jahiliyya movement and its fortress. The Qur'an addresses the believers in a general way, stressing these commands: "And be patient against whatever they say and avoid them with a decorous avoidance." Holy Qur'an (Muzammil 73: 10)
"And lose not heart and grieve not, for you shall gain the upper land, if you (only) be (true) believers." Holy Qur'an (Al-e-Imran 3: 139)
"Indeed, successful are the believers. Those who in their prayers are humble. And those who, from what is vain, keep (themselves) aloof." Holy Qur'an (Mu'minun 23: 1-3)
The instrument of threat, spreading fear and terror in the midst of the believer's ranks represents an important part of the activities of arrogant `Jahili' forces carried out to hem in the bright oasis of Islam and prevent its light from spreading to the darkness of unbelief.
The Holy Qur'an registers these hostile stands taken and the psychological warfare launched by the haughty powers over the ages, saying:
"And sit not in every path, threatening and hindering from the path of Allah, him who believes in Him, and seeking to make it crooked…" Holy Qur'an ((A`raf 7: 86)
D. Killings and Bodily Extermination:
In order for the arrogant powers, the protectors of the `jahili' existence, to confront the Divine Call and that the psychological war would succeed and no mental resistance is exhibited by the persevering believers, these tyrants resort to imprisonment, torture and physical and bodily extermination. They also launch bloody wars to wipe out the bearers of the Divine Message, those who defend the values of truth and faith. This is one of the natures of conflict and confrontation in its worst and most violent forms. With this form of confrontation the arrogant forces wish to extricate itself from and terminate the activities and all traces of the existence of its opponent.
The Qur'an recorded this kind of resistance to the truth, by bringing tens of verses discussing about torture and killing, fighting, jihad and defending the truth. For example, His saying:
"How many a prophet has fought with whom were myriads of Godly men, and they lost not heart at what befell them in the way of Allah nor did they weaken, nor did they demean themselves (before their enemies); and Allah loves the steadfast ones." Holy Qur'an (Al-e-Imran 3: 146)
And His saying:
"…and their slaying the Prophets unjust-ly…" Holy Qur'an (Al-e-Imran 3: 181)
And His saying:
"And when planned they against you, those who disbelieved, that they might imprison you, or slay you or drive you away…" Holy Qur'aan (Anfal 8: 30)
And His saying:
"And Pharoah the owner of the stakes. Who (all) transgressed in the cities. And multip-lied wickedness therein." Holy Qur'an (Fajr 89: 10-12)
In this way, the Qur'an records those scenes and pictures and presents it to the first generation of the Qur'anic message to inspire them with patience and perseverance for the obstacles on the way and the sacrifices for it. The Qur'an mentions the story of the companions of the trenches who were burnt alive in ditches full of fire.
It mentioned how Pharoah `Fir'aun' killed the believers.
It referred to the greatest crime perpetrated in human history at the hands of the Jews, condemning them to the wrath of Allah and ignominy, in the following words: "…and humilation and wretchedness were stamped upon them and they drew unto themselves the Wrath from Allah; This because they used to reject the signs of Allah and slay his apostles un-justly; this because they disobeyed and were wont to transgress." Holy Qur'an (Baqara 2: 61)
In the same way, the Qur'an discusses about those terrible and bloody scenes and encounters, history has handed down to us pictures portraying struggle, fight-ing and bloody confrontations which caused the down-fall of arrogant powers and the leaders of the `jahili' camp who control the fates and destinies of the people. It speaks about the wars of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) and his battles, in Badr, Uhud, Khaibar, Khandaq, Hunain and tens of other battles and confrontations. It also mentions the forms of torture and fighting which his companions and the followers of his message encountered.
E. Imprisonment and Torture: Among the methods adopted by the tyrants and enemies of guidance is imprisonment and torture, in order to obstruct the activities of the believers and stand in their way of spreading the principles to which they call the people to. The callers are imprisoned and various means of torture and terrorization are applied to them so as to wipe their activities out.
The tyrants and oppressive forces hostile to Islam, have indeed specialized in inventing different methods of mental and bodily torture. If a researcher will take the opportunity to undertake an investigative study on the believers suffering at the hands of the enemies of guidance, the arrogant tyrants, he would have been able to produce evidences of millions of them in prisons undergoing different methods of torture. This kind of treatment was meted to them, not because of any crime, but, as a result of an ideology they believe in, a true belief they embraced and a call to goodness to which they invited people to. How clearly the Holy Qur'an depicts this reality when it states that:
"They tormented (them) for naught but that they believe in Allah, the Ever-Prevalent, the Most Praised." Holy Qur'aan (Buruj 85: 8)
"O my people! how is it that I invite you unto slavation and you call me unto fire?" Holy Qur'an (Ghafir 40: 41)
The prison was one of the ways followed by the Quraish after the Prophet's patience and steadfastness wore them out. They planned to imprison or kill or exile him, so that they could isolate him from the society and bar the people from his speech and invita-tion. The Holy Qur'an, addressing the patient Prophet (s.a.w.), says:
"And when planned they against you, those who disbelieved, that they might imprison you, or slay you or drive you away…" Holy Qur'an (Anfal 8: 30)
F. Sanctions and Economic Warfare: Among the hostile methods employed by the `jahiliyya' against the Noble Messenger, Muhammad (s.a.w.) and his follow-ers, and up to this time the arrogant powers are using it so as to weaken Islam and force the believers to accept and submit to the devilish `jahili' status quo, was economic and social sanctions. The three years Quraish's boycott of the Prophet (s.a.w.) and his comp-anions and uncles who accepted and supported his call, is the most conspicuous evidence of this hostile method. That savage economic confrontation exposed the inability of this method in shaking the principled stand of the Holy Messenger (s.a.w.) and his disciples and the failure of such malicious efforts.
The pagan Quraish employed this deterrent eco-nomic and social boycott in Mecca while the hypcrites of Medina, at another time, resorted to the same system of pressure against the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) and his disciples. Their aim was to subject his followers to hunger, thereby, forcing them to disperse from around the Honourable Messenger (s.a.w.).
The Holy Qur'an has recorded this base action so as to be a reminder and a lesson to subsequent generations of believers. It is also an everlasting deterrent for any person intending to follow this Islamic way, for the arrogant powers are ever intent on employing this evil means of pressure and economic sanctions. Allah, the Most High, says:
"They are the ones who say (unto those who help the believer- refugees): `Spend you not aught upon those who are with the Apostle of Allah untill they break up; And Allah's are the treasures of the heavens and the earth, but the hypocrites understand (it) not." Holy Qir'an (Munafiqun 63: 7)
In another place, the Holy Qur'an exposes, to the Muslims, the failure of economic war or its withdrawal in the face of the stand of true faith, saying: "Verily those who disbelieve spend of their wealth to obstruct (men)) from the way of Allah, so will they spend it, then (in the end) it shall be against them (a matter of) regret…" Holy Qur'an (Anfal 8: 36)
Allah, the Almighty, has indeed said the truth; surely the will of truth has gained victory while the polytheists and the hypocrites lost the battle. The treasures and resources of the earth have indeed flowed for the Muslims. This was the result of economic sanctions impos-ed on the Messenger (s.a.w.) and his call and, thus, was how the system of economic blockade was vanquished in the face of resistance and resolution of believing man.
G. Allurement with Wealth, Women and Position: The same way as the arrogant powers and enemies of Allah and the humanity employed economic boycotts, they also used and they are still using, the method of alluring the callers with wealth, women and position in order to seduce those whose spirits are weak and suffering from anxiety.
The Holy Qur'an has paid great attention to fortifying the Islamic personality from falling prey to forbidden desires and pleasures so as to create spiritual defence and the power to resist allurements. `Jahiliyya' had indeed clashed with the firmest will and power of resolution any human ever carried; the will and resolution of the Guide Prophet, Muhammad (s.a.w.). They foolishly tried to seduce the Noble Prophet (s.a.w.) with wealth, women and investing him with authority, but, he rose above those inconsequential proposals proclaiming his eternal statements:
"Oh Uncle! I swear by Allah that if they place the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left hand so as to abandon this affair, I would never have abandoned it…" He said this firm statement after the Quraish sent him his uncle with the proposals of the leaders of the Quraish. The proposals were that they would amass such wealth for him till he became the richest man among them, that they would give him, in marriage, the most beautiful women he liked and that they would make him their king with the condition that he abandon his principles and call. He rejected and uttered his famous statement, which is still a guide to those who take the prophetic path, the bearers of the banner of Islam.
H. Exile and Banishment: Exile and banishment was - and still is - one of the means by which the tyrants confront the Prophets, Messengers and the bearers of the Message to isolate them from the society and raise a barrier between the divine call and the souls listening to it. Indeed, the Noble Prophet (s.a.w.), and the believers, had taken recourse to migration, leave behind their kinsmen, their wealth and houses, to save their religion, continue along their course and spread the principles of truth and goodness in other lands. They migrated from their birth places because the chances for answering their call had been blocked and their movements curtailed.
Prophets Abraham, Lot, Moses, Muhammad (s.a.w.) and other prophets had taken recourse to migration. Abraham (a.s.) fled from the terror and arrogance of Ninrod, Moses from that of Pharoah and Muhammad (s.a.w.) from Quraish's terrorism and arrogance. Those migrations brought about great ideological changes in human history, established great landmarks on man's road to civilization and ushered in a mighty victory for the principles of guidance and faith, contrary to the plans of the tyrants and what they hoped to achieve by exiling these men of religion.
The Qur'an has narrated about the exiling and banishing of the Prophets from their homes by the arrogant powers; it has also enjoined to undertake migration and the search for a new land and a new society ready to accept the divine thought and act its principles, where the way is open for the Muslims to proclaim their faith and practice their religion.
Let us ponder on some Qur'anic verses that discuss this phenomenon which is very important in the course of the divine call, so as to gain more understanding of the acts of migrations and banishment during the various stages of conflict. Allah, the Most High says: "…Certainly we will turn you out O Shu`aib, and those who believe with you, from our town…" Holy Qur'an (A`raf 8: 88)
"And said those who disbelieved unto their apostles: `Certainly will we drive you out of our land…" Holy Qur'an (Ibrahim 14: 13)
"And how many a twon which was mighter in power than you town which has driven you out; We destroyed them, and no helper was there for them." Holy Qur'an Muhammad ( 47: 13)
"Those who have been expelled from their homes unjustly save that they say: `Our Lord is Allah.'" Holy Qur'an (Hajj 22:40)
In these verses, the Qur'an presents the acts of hostile banishment meted out to the Prophets (s.a.w.) and their followers. In other places, the Qur'an commands the believers to migrate and look for new lands and societies to continue their work of propagating Islam and establishing the society of Monotheism. Allah, the Most High says:
"…They, therefore, who did migrate and were turned out of their homes and suffered in My way and who fought and were slain, I will morst certainly blot out their sins from them,…" Holy Qur'an (Al-e-Imran 3: 195)
"Verily those whom the angels taake away (at death) while they are unjust to their (own) selves (in sin), They (the angels) shall ask (the sinner souls) `In what state were you?' They shall reply `Weakened (and oppresed) were we in the land,;' They (angles) will say `Was not the land of Allah vast (enough) for you to migrate therein?' So these (are those) whose refuge shall be Hell; and what a bad resort it is." Holy Qur'an (Nisa' 4: 97)
"…therefore, take not friends from among them until they migrate in Allah's way…" Holy Qur'ann (Nisa' 4: 89)
"And (as for) the foremost, the first of the (Meccan) immigrannts and the (Madinites) supporters and those who followed them in goodness, Allah is well-pleased with them…" Holy Qur'an (Tawba 9: 100)
2- Internal Problems and Obsticles:
The external problems and impediments were not only obstacles faced by the Divine Call and the Prophets and their disciples, and which had to endure throughout the continuity of this noble course. The Divine cause, especially during the time of Muhammad (s.a.w.), faced internal problems, also. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) and a group of his faithful companions, were able to overcome internal problems. The Islamic course contained those obstacles and uprooting them thanks to the wisdom, sagacity and loftiness of the personality of the leader, the holy Prophet (s.a.w.).
The Qur'an has recorded for us the internal problems of the Islamic group, pointing to its danger and guiding us as to the way of solving them and uprooting the negative impact they would have on the Muslim society, by way of wise methods. This concise study cannot treat this wide topic by discussing those problems and analyzing them. We can only present those which are most dangerous and most recurring in the domain of collective or individual missionary work. Perhaps this can portray the Qur'anic view to the missionaries and Islamic workers, who face collective problems or are active in propgation Organizations.
The most important issues around which the Qur'an concentrates when discussing problems and internal threats to the Islamic group during the time of revelation and prophethood are the following:
A- Hypocrisy: The activities of hypocrites are carried out with planning and intelligence and are aimed at destroying the Islamic framework and spreading division, conflict and internal scepticism within the ranks of the Islamic group and society.
The Qur'an made much mention of the hypocrites and seriously warned us of them because of the danger of their activities and their far-reaching influence. Similarly, the Qur'an directed its warning, admonition and threat to them, saying:
"And when began to say the hypocrites and those in whose hearts was disease that: `Promised us not Allah and His Apostle but (it was only) a deception.'" Holy Qur'an (Ahzab 33: 12)
"…They are the enemy (of yours), so beware you of them! May Allah annihilate them, whence do they deviate." Holy Qur'an (Munaafiqun 63: 4)
"If the hypocrites and those in whose hearts is a disease and the agitators in the city desist not, We shall certainly rouse you up against them, they shall not be allowed to be your neighbour in it, but a little while." Holy Qur'an (Ahzab 33: 60)
It is very important that we should study the phrase "they are the enemies" which occurred in the last verse. This is obviously an identification and an emphasis for implementing danger, the source of which is that this covert disgruntled element is trying to disguise itself and infiltrate into the ranks of the Islamic group, spread its poisonous utterances and set its snares.
B- Differences and Conflicts:
If the issue of hypocrisy is a case of an external body living within the community of Muslims, then, the dissention and conflict from within the Islamic community and or between individual members arises because of different causes, which includes ignorance and misunderstand-ing, difference of opinion and multiplicity of views and selfish interests and love of the worldly vanities such as power, popularity, position, material gains, tribal feelings and other causes of conflicts and differences.
During the time of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.), the Islamic society and the Muslims had faced different problems and conflicts in various situations. The most dangerous were what the Muslims encountered during the battle of Uhud, the conflict between the (Meccan) Emigrants and the (Madinites) Helpers, the efforts exterted by the hypocrites and the Jews to incite ancient tribal feuds and other similar situations. The Holy Qur'an made mention of these incidents and warned and enjoined the Muslims to safeguard themselves gainst political, social and ideological differences.
"…and quarrel you not, for then you will be weakened in heart, and will depart your power". Holy Qur'an (anfal 8: 46)
"And in whatever thing you differ, its decision is unto Allah." Holy Qur'an (Shura 42: 10)
The danger of conflicts becomes even more seri-ous when it arises from personal aggrandizement, selfish desire, love of the world and bigotry, which has been disapproved by Islam; and then disguised as a thought, theorized about and presented as a matter of viewpoint and an issue of academic or practical conviction. The Holy Qur'an not only disallowed conflict and dissension, but, also enjoined unity, loyalty and hold-ing fast to the rope of Allah, saying: "And hold you fast by the cord of Allah alltoge-ther, and be not divided (among yourselves)." Holy Qur'an (Al-e-Imran 3: 103)
"And the believer men and the believer women, they are guardians to one another." Holy Qur'an (Tawba: 9: 71)
C- Failure to obey the Commands of the Leadership: Islam considers the issue of leadership, also known as `Imamah' (leadership) and `Wilayah' (guardianship), as one of the foundations in building the Islamic group, society or state. It also fosters the relationship between the group and its guardian or Imam based on mutual love and loyalty. It commands the Muslims to obey the leader of the group, state or ummah with the condition that he must be suitable and equal to the task, dedicated to the rules and values of the Shari'a and worthy of emulation in the model course of realizing the objectives and expectations of the Islamic group.
Despite all the training and direction that Islam dedicated for inculcating these concepts, the problem of disobeying the qualified leadership and failing to abide by its directions is a palpable phenomenon in the life of the Muslims. The existence of this problem in the Islamic community has no doubt impeded the course, ushered in a condition of fragmenting the fabric standing in the way of achieving its goals.
D- The Problem of Weakness of Stance and Being Influenced by Psychological Warfare and Opposing Publicity: After depending on the Almighty Allah, the foremost pillar of building the community and its strength, both individual and collectively, is self-confidence, having high spirits and having the feeling of power and ability to overcome the enemy, which equipped the Ummah with protection against psychological warfare, thereby, qualifying it for carrying on with the arduous tasks of reform and confronting the enemies.
By the time weakness penetrates the ranks of the community, disenchantment and retraction ensues. This is why the Qur'an attacked this phenomenon and enjoined it to be remedied and gotten rid of. The Holy Qur'an commanded the Muslims in many places and directives to raise their spirits and morale, foster self confidence and create a true picture of the nature of internal forces in the field of struggle.
"And lose your not heart and grieve you not, for you shall gain the upper hand, if you (only) be (ture) believer." Holy Qur'an (Al-e-Imran 3: 139)
"…If you suffer pain, assuredly they also sufer as you suffer; but you hope from Allah what they hope not;..." Holy Qur'an (Nisa' 4: 104)