Madrasah Education:

My exposure to the privately run chain of Islamic education in Qawmi Madaaress, in the South Asian context, was the driving force behind me nourishing the zeal to promote the message of the Qur’an. This system of education had instilled in me a pride of identity that was later reinforced to be a conviction. 

Having had travelled far and wide across the academic field of university education, I realised that no glitter was strong enough to dazzle my earlier glow with the Qur’an. Later on, having been exposed to more and more of both the West and the East, this conviction had in fact coalesced further.

The conviction that I now carry as to the worth of the Book’s message is deeply rooted and truly unshakeable. I am grateful to all my teachers, who helped me maintain and foster this childhood identity with pride.

There were few cases of disillusionment by which, my earlier understanding of the Book had to be corrected. The perception that the Book promotes leading a dry and chaste life, as opposed to enjoying it legally, with all the means that fulfil it, is one of such corrections.

On the contrary, there has never been a bewilderment by which, I found the Qur’an to defeat its objective that the believers in it should lead a decent and attractive life, both in this world and the next.

I cannot help admiring this system of disseminating Islamic knowledge mostly in South Asia. I do ‘wish well’, on the basis that, “religion as an advice”, for the well-intentioned millions associated with it.

This system however, needs updating and reinvigorating, with an aim of being benefitted by the human skills and innovations that are constantly changing. They need to be used both wisely and beneficially in presenting the eternal message of God to the ever-changing mortal humans. The call to review and fundamentally overhaul this system of education is long overdue.

The mission of Da’wah ila Allaah must be delivered in a garb, style and language that the audience can readily understand.

The objective behind God’s decision to assign each and every Prophet with His mission, only after they have mastered the language of their own people was “To clearly explain to them the mission of God” [1].

The system of Qawmi Madaris, needs to comprehend this verse and their realities in their true meanings and contexts. Short of this, the mission may fail, not because of its own fault rather due to the setback in those who convey it.

The assertion of the Qur’an that ‘the Prophet has a zero relationship with those who divided their religion’,  necessarily means that there is no blank cheque waiting for anyone to the heaven.

Without an exception, this applies to all groups who discriminate others in the name of upholding true Islam![2] It may sound harsh, but bitterly true, at the same time.

The Islamic Da’wah and Tableegh:

The mission of delivering the cause of Islam to the unaware, but who is willing to consider it at the same time, is known as an act of Da’wah and Tableegh.

The Qur’an identifies this task, as ‘the call to the path of Your Lord’ [3]. The ‘Path of the Lord’ signifies the revealed lifestyle, which is much wider than the ceremonial acts of worship alone.

According to the Qur’an, this noble duty must only be delivered both ‘by wise and appealing means’ [4]. In practice thus, this mission must only be undertaken by those who have obtained both holistic and professional knowledge of Islam as a lifestyle. Operationally however, such a professional must also practice what he promotes.

Achieving the socio-political reform of life has always been the core mission of Islam. The Prophet Muhammad (s), has established Islam as a comprehensive way of life, of which, the socio-political reform was the peak and pinnacle.

The affairs of worship and individual rectitude, is no doubt, an important part of Islamic lifestyle. Logically thus, Da’wah & Tableegh in traditional sense, as practised widely, in today’s South Asia and gradually spreading in other parts of the world, is only one part of Islamic lifestyle. But to promote it as a Da’wah to Islam, in its holistic meaning of Islamic lifestyle, is a gross distortion!

From our observation however, at times, this claim has been made in public or implied so by those who champion the mission of Da’wah and Tableegh today.

It is not a comfort to see the secularist regimes that otherwise wage war against Islam as a lifestyle, tolerate or even promote the activities of Da’wah and Tableegh as above. This indeed, is a bad sign!

Worse still, the mission of Da’wah as above, does neither promote the Qur’anic obligation of ‘enjoining the good’, nor does it dare to ‘prohibit evil’[5] on socio-political settings.

For the Qur’anic mission of the ‘Call to the Path of Your Lord’, to sit in the lap of evil forces, is the definite sign of cancerous tumour!

We therefore, urge that a 6th Principle be added to the main objectives of Da’wah and Tableegh today. The narrative of it may read as: ‘To carry out the Socio-Political reform of life within the dictums of the Qur’an and Sunnah’!

[1]  The Qur’an 14:04.

[2] The Qru’an 06:159.

[3]  The Qur’an 16:125.

[4]  The Qur’an 16:125.

[5]  The Qura’n 03:110