Sunday, 4 March 2012


I recently had the opportunity to join a Islamic course and since i was pretty familiar with the place and the environment because of previous similar courses I had taken there, I felt right at home. There was no fear or hesitation that one usually experiences when joining a new place or starting a new course/class. However, I guess it's an inbuilt trait amongst the people of our society or maybe that's just how people are around the globe that in their attempt to make one feel comfortable they actually end up scaring the poor new entrant. The instructors are pretty normal and lenient but the other students take it on themselves to prove their authority and seniority. My first day in the new class and i was greeted by what NOT to do, a list of rules and strict reprimands regarding the rules and policies. The surprising thing was that they all focused on the 'NOTs" of the rules.No one bothered telling me about the relaxations, flexibilities and the alternatives, rather they acted as if none existed and only one rule applied, even when that was not the case. Since i was already aware of the rules and the relaxations as well, so their reprimands did not scare me. However, if it had been someone else in place of me who would have had the first experience with the place through that course, then that person would have surely disappeared after the very first class. And it's sad to note that the reason behind that disappearance would have been those very same students who apparently had been studying about Islam in that very course. No matter what the duration of their presence in that course, those students failed to grasp one important aspect that the way of preaching in Islam has always been slow, steady and gentle. Even in the revelation of Quran, each and every law regarding the forbidden and Haraam were sent down slowly and not at once. If Allah had directly revealed that don't you dare go near wine, then people would have labelled Islam as the religion of ' Do Nots' and actually this is what is happening today as well because of the way Islam is being portrayed and preached. We focus on preaching what's forbidden, we emphasize on what are the 'do nots' in islam and in the process we fail to mention the beautiful freedom Islam provides, the logics behind every law, the relaxations and flexibilities. So many people actually want to come to this religion but they turn away from it because people scare them off by telling them how everything they do is a sin and how they will burn in Hell for it. That is not the way of preaching taught to us is it? Arent we supposed to call people to islam by telling them how merciful Allah is and how He forgives our sins when we sincerely repent and beg for His forgiveness? Why cant we tell people the Halal way of doing things and the benefit of adopting the permissible methods rather than telling them that their current haraam practices will earn them the wrath of Allah. We need to call people to Islam gently we need to make them see the good in islam but we get so aggressive in our preaching that we end up portraying our beautiful religion as a religion of rules, reprimands and do-nots. If we read the Quran carefully then we will notice that with every do-not there is a very beautiful 'do' as well. Where we are forbidden to consume wine then we are reminded of the fact that our abstinence from it in this world will earn us the reward of delicious and permissible wines in the Jannah. Where adultery is cursed, immediately the beauty of nikah is emphasized.  Many more such examples exist in the Quran but the point to be emphasized is that new entrants to religion, mosques or islamic courses should be welcomed with positivity rather than scaring them away with do-nots on the very first day. Slow and steady is the key to preaching.
we need to learn not only the meaning of the Quran but also it's way of preaching so that we can adopt similar means of preaching in our life. May Allah give us the ability to preach His religion in the best possible way and to be amongst those who call people to Islam rather than being among those unfortunate ones who scare them away.

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