The Methods of Propagation and Missionary Work


In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

All praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon Muhammad, his pure Household and the righteous among his companions. Indeed people's enthusiasm towards Islam and embracing it in overwhelming numbers is indisputable. This great phenomenon is drawing the attention of observers everywhere, whether they believe in Islam or not.

It is appropriate to ask: Is this the result of efforts exerted by Muslim missionaries? Has the means of communication, at the disposal of Islam, reached the level of those of its rivals? To say the least, the answers are doubtful, particularly to the second question.

A great number of Muslims still do not see the necessary connection between being a Muslim and a missionary, conveying the message of Islam; unlike the first generation of Muslims who worked under the banner of the Messenger (s.a.w.). In the same vein, a large number of Muslims do not consider themselves responsible for exemplifying Islam and the practicing of it in terms of personal behaviour, ethics and tens of other aspects of good conduct. Consequently, some Muslims would do a great damage to Islam or even distance many people from it by acting contrary to their religion.

But, it is obvious that the means of communica-tion are at the disposal of others, especially by the West, both in its religious and civil sense, surpassed what is obtained in Islamic media, in the same way, the West's industry and technology surpasses that of the East.

People' turning towards Islam, being in the West or in the East, and from different classes of society, preceded by the educated people, is due to the empti-ness of the ideologies of Western materialism, on the one hand, and shows the richness of the Islam in its thought, belief and tenets of behavior, on the other.

The Western man has no doubt attained all the means of material comfort. What he lacks is a tranquil heart, a blissful mind, a noble soul and an intellect that can relate with profound matters and lofty objectivees. Thus, whenever the Muslims gain the opportunity to play the role of the deliverers of the Message of Islam and become the missionaries bearing its word to the world surrounding them, then the Promised Day on which Islam shall overwhelm all religions and ideolog-ies will definitely be near, Allah willing: And give glad news to the faithful.

However, as Islam has its own principles, bases, concepts and rules, therefore, the issue of propagation is also given special attention and the verses of the Holy Qur'an and the noble texts have defined and explained the features of propagation and cited its milestones. The evolution of societies, coupled with the progress of knowledge and the flourishing of the arts, all have a great influence on the methods of Islamic propagation, and are closely interconnected with a number of social sciences.

We are glad to present this study to our dear readers, beseeching Allah, the Most High, to make our community the best of communities selected for mankind commanding what is right and forbidding what is wrong and believe in Allah. All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds.

Al-Balagh Foundation

The Divine Message - A Transformation Movement

"…verily Allah changes not the condition of a people until they change what is in theirsel-ves;…" Holy Qur'an (Ra`d 13 : 11)

"O my people! how is that I invite you unto salvation and you call me unto fire? You call me that I should disbelieve in Allah and associate with Him that I have no knowledge of, and I invite you unto the Almmighty, and the Oft-Forgiving (Lord)". Holy Qur'an (Mu'min 40: 41- 42)

The study and analysis of the form of the divine call, its thought, composition, constituents and objecti-ves make us conclude that it is a movement for transformation, whose main objective is to change man's social and intellectual conditions, and is not a syncretic call that accepts compromises or corrupt situations contrary to its principles. This call rests on the foundation of the belief in Allah, the One, the Unique, calling people to Him so that His Divine unity will be confessed to and worshipping Him be establish-ed on the earth.

This great foundation and broad mode of thought clearly espouses the transformative nature of the Islamic message. It is really a call for the transforma-tion of concepts and reforming what the pertain to, such as feelings and sentiments, and for redirecting the mental powers and faculties. This is regarded as the fundamental principle for bringing about a comprehen-sive change in behaviour, relationships, coordination, civilization and way of life. The Holy Qur'an makes it clear by saying:

"…verily Allah changes not the condition of a people until they change what is in theirselves;…" Holy Qur'an (Ra`d 13 : 11)

A sound heart is the very foundation of a sound and healthy formation, the uprightness of both individ-ual and society and the deserving of divine recompense. "The Day when will avail not wealth or sons, save him who comes unto Allah with a heart submissive." Holy Qur'an (Shu`ara 88-89)

For this reason, the Qur'an builds the move-ment of social changes, including politics, economy, and social behaviour, on the foundation of changing the nature of the human self and its inner realm.

So, this change starts from the depths of the mind and the purification of the self and sentiments, so as to attain the sound and healthy heart which is free from evil tendencies and does not accede to straying, corruption or the penetration of the perverted inner intellect. From studying the verses of the Qur'an which talk about the form of the Islamic message and its principles, one will understand that it is a transformative message, whose aim is to eradicate the condition of pre-Islamic period of ignorance and uproot all its dimentions.

In this sense, it is a call that demolishes, rebuilds and changes the mode of thinking and the method of material thought, as well as, a way of properly unders-tanding things.

It is a call for a change in belief and the foundation of thought in life, and a transformation of feelings, sentiments and human emotions. It is also a call for change in the human relation-ships and ties and an exposition of the nature of human behaviour in addition to social and historical changes. It is a call for change in organisation and laws; for changing the course of life.

It is a movement which persists in building the individual, the society and the state in a distinctive manner and a continuous change based on the principl-es of demolition and reconstruction.

A perusal of the verses previously mentioned will reveal the method of transformation carried by the Islamic Message and the fact that it rejects the com-promising stand, vis-à-vis pre-Islamic period of Jahiliyyah, with all its diverse denominations, schools of thought and social behaviour. Nowadays, this Jahiliyyah has, no doubt, taken on new theoretical forms and trends of philosophical,

political, economi-cal and mental schools aiming to explain the nature, thought and behaviour of man and his social life, in a manner which contradicts the Islamic approach. The latter starts with changing the mode of thinking and belief and building a principle of thought based on firm, rational and scientific foundations. The following verses of the Holy Qur'an portray a clear picture of this by the transformation in thought and belief. Allah, the Most High, says:

"You call me that I should disbelieve in Allah and associate with Him that I have no knowledge of, and I invite you unto the Almighty, and the Oft-Forgiving (Lord)". Holy Qur'an (Mu'min 40: 41- 42)

"I withdraw from you and what you call up-on other than Allah, and I call upon (only) my Lord…" Holy Qur'an (Maryam 19: 48)

"…and whoever disbelieves the rebels (false deities) and believes in Allah, has indeed laid hold on the strongest handle no break is for it…" Holy Qur'an (Bqara 2:256)

Thus, the Divine Message of Islam starts with thought and belief to be the base that carries the edifices and deliniates the course for life. It is a call to the unity of Allah as the basis on which civilization is built, and the social and psych-ological condition is established.

Then, it stats to purify the self and change the inner realm of man, ranging from his feelings and his sentiments, like those of love, hate, anger, pleasure, etc., and construct it on the basis of the belief in Allah, the Glorious.

The Holy Qur'an establishes this fact:

"And the believes men and the believer women, they are guardians to one another..." Holy Qur'an (Tawba 9: 71)

"Verily, your guardian is (none else but) Allah and His Apostle (Muhammad) and those who believe,…" Holy Qur'an (Ma'ida 5: 55)

"…Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah, and those who are with him are vehement against the infidels, compassionate among themselves…" H oly Qur'an Fath 48:29)

"O you who believe! Take not the disbeliev-ers for friends rather than the believers; …" Holy Qur'an (Nisa 4: 144)

"You shall find not a people who believe in Allah and the Hereafter befriending, those who oppose Allah and His Apostle, …" Holy Qur'an (Mujadala 58: 22)

The noble Messenger, Muhammad (s.a.w.), has firmly established the nature of emotional and mental relationships between the believers, says: "The strongest bond of belief is to love for the sake of Allah and hate for the sake of Allah" "None of you will be a (true) believer until he likes for his brother what he likes for himself."

"The most accomplished in belief from among the believers is the best of them in morals." "The best of mankind is he who benefits others."

It is within these foundations and principles that Islam changed the feelings, sentiments and drives, both mental and moral, and coordinated and strengthened them on the basis of loyalty to the Almighty Allah, His Messenger and the believers as well as, disassociation from the enemies of Allah. In the following verses, the Holy Qur'an portrays the strong emotions and the interplay of belief and sentiment, and the feelings that bestow such mental urges and aroused emotions upon the one contented in thought:

"And when they hear (the Holy Qur'an) what has been sent to (Our) Apostle (Muham-mad) you will see their eyes overflowing with tears on account of what they recognize of the truth; say they;: `O Our Lord! We believe, so write us down with the witness (of the truth).'" Holy Qur'an (Ma'ida 5: 83)

"Allah has sent down the best recital, a Book consistent (in its parts) with iteration, at which do shudder the skins of those who fear their Lord, then get softened their skins and their hearts unto the remembrance of Allah; This is Allah's guidance, guides He with it whomseover He wills; and whomsoever allows Allah to stray, for him there is no guide." Holy Qur'an (Zumur 39:23)