Youth Leadership2005(Amended)


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Youth Leadership2005(Amended)

  1. 1. “Inspiration and Motivation – the Driven force” (Bis-mil-laah-hir-raH-maa-nir-ra-Hiim) In the Name of Allah Most gracious, Most Merciful (Al-Hamdu-lil-laah) “All praises be to Allah, it is He Who has sent unto His Messenger (Muhammad s.a.w.) with the Guidance, the religion of Truth (a- dee-nil Haq), So that it may be established over all other ways, even though the unbelievers may detest it.” Salutations and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah, to his family, his Companions, and whoever follows, and assist and obey him in allegiance. (Wa-ba‟d) Seminar Theme: Da‟wahpreneur: “Incubating Social Initiatives” Firstly, when I was approached, I was quite hesitant, but sensing a genuine need of our community and for Islam, I humbly avail myself to share what I can in this seminar - out of a sense of duty as a Muslim. That invitation has inspired me to prepare a write-up, although I do not know whether this can be accommodated in this seminar – but still I hope to share it with all aspiring Du‟at. I admit of being much unaware of what has already been planned for this seminar, I was only able to scan through some of the materials given to me; discuss with a few of the organizers and resolve perhaps to attend the opening lecture. So if what I deliver (this paper and remarks made, given the time constraint) which may not be in congruent with the organizers plans and expectations, please I sincerely beg forgiveness. For those who know me will attest, that at times I may appear too passionate with my views, and some may even regard it as being too critical. Therefore, if these All Rights reserved©2005 Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail 1 This paper was prepared for Youth Leadership Seminar2005@RELC International Hotel Singapore.
  2. 2. “Inspiration and Motivation – the Driven force” seem to be so to any one, please do not take it wrongly or think of it negatively, for my intentions are sincere, only towards enjoining one another to the truth. After receiving the invitation, and wanting to share whatever little I know about the subject of Da‟wah (an area of interest and concern for me since the late 1970‟s), this article on my thoughts on the subject of “Our Da‟wah and Social initiatives” is herewith appended. Whether I am able to present everything during the Seminar or not, depends on the circumstances of the Seminar, but I hope that participants can still refer and reflect to what has been written and share it with other activist if it can benefit our Da‟wah efforts. Point that I pondered: What are we incubating? Da‟wah or Social initiatives?  “Da‟wah itself demands social initiatives, but are all social initiatives committed to da‟wah?”  the suffix “-preneur” (if I may assume, perhaps) is derived from term “entrepreneur”- but what has been the consideration for linking it to da‟wah? What was implied?  If the aim is to equip worker with tools, have we considered whether the worker knows what his work is about? Some may say: “why not both?” then let us be reminded that “A scalpel in the hands of a surgeon will have different meaning and utility if merely placed in the hands of a cook (or even a butcher)”. Sincerely, I do not quite know what is really expected of me when given the topic, with a time slot of just one hour. And that too for a closing remark! Perhaps I may only be able to cover some aspects of my thoughts on the subject. Topic given: “Inspiration and Motivation – the Driven force” What approach should I take? (Maybe to relate story of JoHa-Mulla Nasruddin?) All Rights reserved©2005 Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail 2 This paper was prepared for Youth Leadership Seminar2005@RELC International Hotel Singapore.
  3. 3. “Inspiration and Motivation – the Driven force” Firstly maybe it is useful for me to relate some aspects that have been source of my inspiration and motivation. Inspirational for Da‟wah  the Truth and Beauty of Islam  the model of our Prophet s.a.w.  “mu-bash-shiran wa nadzii-ra wa da-‟i-yan-ilallaahi bi-idz-nihi wasi-raa-jan mu-nii- raa”.  The message of Islam for all – RaH-matan lil-„aa-lameen  Some examples in Shahabah – Imam al-Haddad – Sunan Ampel - Sheikh al- Maqasari - Hassan al-Banna – Maulana Abul „Aleem as-Siddiqy – etc.  Personal encounter in mission school, threat of evangelism, secularism, involvement with converts etc. Motivational  to become witnesses unto nations  Shahadatain – self-activation  “Ma-„aas-sodiqeen” - peers and like-minded Muslims  My teachers and our own Ulama‟  Of our past history  “Fa-aHsin ka-maa-aH-sa-naAllaaha ilayk”  “Wa-man aHsanu qaw-lanm-mim-man da-‟aa -ilallaahi wa-„ami-las-so- lihan, wa-qaa-luu in-nanii-minal muslimiin…” Important lessons:  “Da‟wah has 3 pillars: - „ilm (knowledge); tarbiyyah / tadhibiyyah (training/education); and Jihaad (striving with utmost).”  Knowledge – “parable of the circle”. All Rights reserved©2005 Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail 3 This paper was prepared for Youth Leadership Seminar2005@RELC International Hotel Singapore.
  4. 4. “Inspiration and Motivation – the Driven force”  What I learn from the ways of my teachers: “Sometimes a way to motivate action in students is to tolerate their childish fantasy in high sense of self- esteem; but do not overlook to remind them of Adab*” * “Adab” – sense of proportion and knowledge of their rightful place in the order of things, the Absence of which indicates injustice (zulm).” (My presentation may only cover this part… (to meet what the topic seem to indicate) for I do not wish to exceed the limits of the organizers (hosts‟) hospitality. But if circumstance allows, i.e. with organizers permission and participants indulgence, the rest will follow. insyaAllaah!). “OUR DA’WAH AND SOCIAL INITIATIVES” (Reflections on the state of Da’wah in Singapore) As the key subject in this Seminar is Da‟wah, and there were questions raised wanting explanations regarding it. Allow me (at the risk of repeating what other speakers may have already said) to go over again the subject: What “Da‟wah” means to me? “Call thou (all mankind) unto the way of thy Sustainer (Lord), with wisdom and goodly exhortation, and argue with them in the most kindly manner: for, behold, thy Sustainer (Lord) knows best as to who strays from His path, and best knows He as to who are the right-guided.” (1Qur‟an: an-Nahlu: 16: 125) 1 I have mostly used English translation from Muhammad Asad‟s “The Message of the Quran”- (Dar-al- Andalus) All Rights reserved©2005 Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail 4 This paper was prepared for Youth Leadership Seminar2005@RELC International Hotel Singapore.
  5. 5. “Inspiration and Motivation – the Driven force” “Da‟wah” – (from the commanding verb “ud-„uu”) meaning “to call or to invite”, in the context used in Islam (refer Qur‟an: an-Nahlu: 16: 125) technically, refers specifically to efforts for proselytizing non-Muslim i.e. its connotation is missionary; viz. “to call and invite them all who are not Muslims towards the way of thy Lord i.e. al-Islam.” This is implied furthermore since in that verse, the approach even stipulates the possibility of „wa jaa-dil-hum‟ (“and dispute with them”) which positions the one who calls or invites (i.e. the da‟i) distinctly in the category of “bil-Muhtadiin” (those who are on the path of guidance) as opposed to those (mad‟u) being called to here but who rejects, as “bi-man-Dhal-la an-sa- bii-lihi” (from those who are astray from the path of Allah s.w.t.). “Huda” (guidance) and “Dhal-la” (astray) are strong terminologies which demarcate between the “believers” and the “non-believers”. Also, the command for Da‟wah (“Calling”) here carries with it conditions:  that it be with Wisdom (not just knowledge. Is there not a great difference between Wisdom and knowledge? For that matter, even between knowledge and information?).  that it be with goodly exhortation (not just any kind of exhortation).  that if arguments and disputation is required it must be in the most kindly manner (not disputation or argument understood generally). From these, I believe that such Da‟wah requires one to be appropriately equipped. Granted that our Prophet s.a.w. was sent (as a Mercy) to all mankind, and that every people, since his time until the end of the world, is the ummah of Muhammad, yet there is a distinction made between the ummah of his da‟wah All Rights reserved©2005 Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail 5 This paper was prepared for Youth Leadership Seminar2005@RELC International Hotel Singapore.
  6. 6. “Inspiration and Motivation – the Driven force” (every non-believers) and the Muslim ummah (those that have accepted al- Islam.) “Indeed, there has come unto you (O mankind) a Messenger (Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.) from among yourselves: heavily weighs upon him [the thought] that you might suffer [in the life to come]: full of concern for you [is he, and] full of compassion and mercy towards the believers.” (Qur‟an: at-Tawbah: 9: 128) This would indicate a different manner of his “calling” all people to Allah‟s way (if we assume “da‟wah” in the general sense), i.e. towards both non-Muslims and Muslims, yet it alludes to difference in his approach, attitude and method for each group. In yet another passage Allah s.w.t. describes our Prophet s.a.w. and those who are with him thus: “Muhammad is Allah‟s Messenger; and those who are [truly] with him are (a- shid-daa-u- „alal-kuf-faar) firm and unyielding towards all [kuffar] deniers of the truth, [yet] full of mercy towards one another (ru-Hamaa-u-bay-nahum.) You can see them bowing down, prostrating themselves [in prayer], seeking favour with Allah and [His] goodly acceptance: their marks are on their faces, traced by prostration.” (Qur‟an: al-Fath: 48: 29) However, some Muslims today may only refer to the literal meaning of the word “Da‟wah” (meaning “call or invite” generally), and may thus even extended their All Rights reserved©2005 Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail 6 This paper was prepared for Youth Leadership Seminar2005@RELC International Hotel Singapore.
  7. 7. “Inspiration and Motivation – the Driven force” understanding of Da‟wah to include every effort of calling (both non-Muslim and Muslim), without understanding that there is a distinguishing difference concerning “calling” (educating or improving plight of) the Muslims towards their adhering to the teachings of Islam, which have already been given another technical terminology i.e. “Islah” instead of the term “Da‟wah.” The appellation (title) of “Da-„i” – a reflection In my readings and learning of the life of our Islamic scholars, I realized that the title “Da‟i” is such a high station that, only those who met certain standards in their lives (their immense knowledge, their exemplary character and sincere religious devotions, their life commitment to Islam and proven works for spreading the teachings of Islam etc.) are accorded such appellation. It is not self-claimed or conferred by institutes or learning centres, but recognition by their peers amongst Islamic scholars in the field of Da‟wah and education. After all, our Prophet Muhammad s.a.w., as described by Allah s.w.t. as “Ad-daa-‟iyan- ilallaah bi-idz-nihi” (the caller towards Allah‟s way by His permission – Qur‟an: al- Ahzab: 33: 46), is their ultimate model for being a Da‟i. (So that I am not to be misunderstood, let me qualify) Here, I am not saying that “Da‟wah is only to be done by a Da‟i, or that other Muslims (who are not a da‟i) therefore cannot do or assist in work of da‟wah”. What I am saying is only that the appellation of a Da‟i cannot be carelessly used just because a Muslim is doing or helping in work of Da‟wah. I detect some indication that many amongst da‟wah activists may have different understanding of what “da‟wah” and what a “da‟i” is – which then may lead to possibility of differences in perspectives, methods and approaches. Allow me to comment. All Rights reserved©2005 Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail 7 This paper was prepared for Youth Leadership Seminar2005@RELC International Hotel Singapore.
  8. 8. “Inspiration and Motivation – the Driven force” Confusion in terms2, a concern that must be corrected: “The learned and wise among Muslims must use constant vigilance in detecting erroneous usage in language which impinges upon semantic change in major key elements and creates general confusion and error in the understanding of Islam and of its worldview.” Quote: Prof. S M Naquib al-Attas “The Concept of Education in Islam” pp. 37-38 I beg to differ to certain suggestion made that: “every Muslim is a Da‟i”. Rather I would agree if we actually mean “potential da‟i”. And if we do mean this, then let us not perpetuate or prolong this pretension. Da‟wah (technically) and terms used in da‟wah have specialized denotation and connotation. The title of “Da‟i” (plural is “Du‟at”) is almost equivalent to that of “an emissary or ambassador” of Islam. Criteria, especially with regard to his having wide and profound knowledge of the Deen ( [sing] „aleem‟ - “‟ulamaa‟ [pl.] “Islamic scholars” ), particularly in the science of Da‟wah (Fiqh and Usul of Da‟wah); his akhlaq, his commitment to elevating the words of Allah s.w.t.; etc.; are prerequisite conditions. Although ordinary Muslims with certain capabilities to assist in some of the work of a Da‟i are encouraged or even at times obligated to do so, but his doing so does not therefore make him a da‟i, yet, (although we may encourage him to aspire to be one by him pursuing further Islamic development for du‟at). His education and development towards becoming a da‟i must be seriously looked into by our community, and not left to their individual assumptions as to their preparedness in Da‟wah. To thus confer upon him this 2 It seems that our community‟s apparent confusion may be traced to our general laxity in understanding profound meanings and definitions of terms (amongst many reasons). It is further compounded by careless coinage of new or „stylish‟ terms without concern as to how it can affect general understanding of accepted terminologies already in placed within our worldview. Refer to my write-up “Melayu Baru?” (Risalah Pergas 2003). All Rights reserved©2005 Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail 8 This paper was prepared for Youth Leadership Seminar2005@RELC International Hotel Singapore.
  9. 9. “Inspiration and Motivation – the Driven force” appellation although he does not possess the required preparedness of a Da‟i, would be callous and may be considered breach of Adab in Islam; and an injustice to those concern who may be oblivious to this. We should even fear that this can lead to leveling where the hierarchy of knowledge and ranking of Islamic scholars, would inevitably be seriously undermined. To suggest that whoever has knowledge about Islam he can do da‟wah (justifying it by quoting Hadith “bal-li-ghu an-ni wa-lau- aa-yah” – i.e. “convey from me even if it be one sign”) is to confuse “da‟wah” with “tabligh” (to convey). A Da‟i„s role may require him to convey (as a “muballigh”), but not every one who can convey is therefore a Da‟i; or even the title “muballigh” (from the verb “tabligh”) in the context of Da‟wah, for this requires that the person concerned must possess certain knowledge of da‟wah, skills and preparedness. Some may have suggested that the command for “al-„amru bil-ma‟-ruf, nah-yu „anil-munkar” (“enjoining the doing of good and forbidding wrong”) as therefore referring to “ad-da‟wah” as an obligation upon every Muslim. I do not disagree that it pertains to the general command towards all Muslims as a collective responsibility placed upon the community, but when it is carried out (enjoining / forbidding) towards non-Muslim I would deem it as “Da‟wah”, but within or amongst Muslims it is “Islah” (in fact here “Islah” is the imperative to preserve the well-being of the community). And this being regarded as Fardhu Kifaa-yah, it would indicate that it is for those capable of doing it, not simply just any one. As it is, I believe, direct da‟wah3 (which is towards non-Muslims), have been sadly neglected (from perspective of my understanding the difference between “da‟wah” and “islah”). We may have insulated our community from the actual 3 I apologize for having to use the qualification (i.e. “direct”) because of the presence in some peoples‟ understanding of “indirect Da‟wah” when actually what they are referring to is ”Islah”. All Rights reserved©2005 Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail 9 This paper was prepared for Youth Leadership Seminar2005@RELC International Hotel Singapore.
  10. 10. “Inspiration and Motivation – the Driven force” da‟wah work when we continue to attach label of “da‟wah” for works which are in fact “islah” initiatives. Why the need for further differentiation in this? Perhaps some may think that this is somewhat petty, but please bear in mind that only with such differentiation, can we hope to extricate our community from many shortcomings in terms of our Da‟wah efforts and improve activist management efficiently. Compare for example the following differences (let‟s analyze it from human resource perspective4): ISLAH PROGRAMS DA‟WAH PROGRAMS (a) Objectives are towards our own (a) Objectives are towards non- people; we can easily determine Muslims; we have to develop their needs which usually are of their need for Islam; immediate nature, short term; programs usually have to be tends to become seasonal. long-term and prioritize towards a long-term objective and require commitment for „long hauls‟. (b) “Clients5” generally (b) “Clients” are diverse with homogeneous since they are all differing values, cultural 4 Actually useful in terms of not just human resource alone, but for other purposes too. 5 For the sake of accommodating participants familiarity with sociologist‟ jargon, this term is here used. In “Da’wah” and “Islah”, this term is in fact offensive; the term “brothers/sisters” has always been used to manifest warmth, closeness, empathy and idea of inclusiveness that is what “ukhuwwah Islamiyyah” for the people being called ( i.e. mad’uun). Brothers/sisters in faith, and if not in humanity. All Rights reserved©2005 Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail 10 This paper was prepared for Youth Leadership Seminar2005@RELC International Hotel Singapore.
  11. 11. “Inspiration and Motivation – the Driven force” Muslims and therefore generally background and may even assume to have many similar have „hostile‟ attitudes. Need values and they may already be to be sensitive and we ready to receive intervention cannot assume receptivity. and easily supportive of program. (c) Exclusive6 (i.e. tends to be (c) Inclusive (i.e. must look inward looking primarily for outward). Thus activist Muslim community.) Thus knowledge, comfort level and activists‟ knowledge, comfort confidence in dealing with level and confidence in dealing their clients cannot be with their clients easily assumed but require specific developed to suit their work with and intensive preparation, clients or audience. especially their knowledge of other community and how to interact with them7. (d) Activists‟ developmental needs (d) Activists‟ developmental can be only focused on the needs must all be focused project at hand; need not have on Da‟wah and therefore to know bigger picture. Can require commitment for 6 “Islah” which concerns initiatives to improve our own community tends to be exclusive. With almost every Muslim‟s organizations focusing on this which they then regard as Da‟wah, non-Muslims (or even the Muslims themselves) may see Islam as being an exclusive religion, when message of Islam are only seen as being directed within the community in these “Islah” initiatves and activities. They the non- Muslims may wonder, “Does Islam have anything for me?” 7 When non-Muslims began to approach Muslims after the “Sept 11”– initiatives towards building inter- racial confidence circle – many Muslim activists found themselves inadequately prepared to speak to these visitors about Islam, even though they are regarded by our community to be the “Da‟wah” activists. Unless we realize that “Da‟wah” is actually meant to be towards non-Muslims, our current approach in developing so-called “Dua‟t” will remain inadequate and not seriously reviewed and focused to produce the desired outcome for “Da‟wah”. All Rights reserved©2005 Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail 11 This paper was prepared for Youth Leadership Seminar2005@RELC International Hotel Singapore.
  12. 12. “Inspiration and Motivation – the Driven force” have different activist. Can continuous and specialized harness their personal training. Need to utilize same professional expertise, as high activists‟ involvement in level of religious knowledge various projects8. Relatively need not be so crucial a high level of religious requirement. knowledge and good inter- personal skill, is crucial. (e) Program can have a general (e) Program must be carefully approach; can assume wide planned, specific and must and ready catchments of be sensitive in approach; no audience. ready audience. * These are just only some of the examples (not exhaustive) important to consider ….. without which there might be possible occurrence of: over / under utilization of human resource, blurring specific/general needs into one, mismatch, etc. 8 Especially in the follow-up services to be given, when from being hostile and indifferent mode, the mad’u moves to become interested; and then perhaps to embraced Islam. This does not end here because we have to ensure their education and aspects of adjustment, assimilation etc. Activists whom they are familiar with can do a better task in these follow-up services because of the bonding already achieved and preparedness of the „service provider‟. All Rights reserved©2005 Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail 12 This paper was prepared for Youth Leadership Seminar2005@RELC International Hotel Singapore.
  13. 13. “Inspiration and Motivation – the Driven force” My humble suggestions for the organizers: What is the real concern – “(a) lack of social initiatives or (b) lack of effective Da‟wah?” If (a) Remedy for lack of social initiatives, it is by inculcating concept of collective responsibility i.e. “Fardhu kifaa-yah” which offers variety of approaches under “Islah” rather than “da‟wah”. Although da‟wah is amongst one of the Fardh kifaa- yah, it is considered a specialized and distinct field that needs to be separately assessed. Whereas under Fardhu Kifayah, and using “Islah” as the appropriate terminology, it is clearly focused towards initiatives for improving our Muslim community, without need for some underlying motives directed towards others. If it has positive effect for Da‟wah then it is merely coincidental. Someone may say: ”But our community has already accepted the loose label of ”da‟wah” for activities having Islamic orientation!” My respond is “the general Muslims can be excused for having such perception, but as Islamic activists, is this understanding correct?” How many organizations here have Da‟wah as their main activity? Yet when their Muslim activists were asked to explain this kind of “da‟wah” will admit that it is “indirect da‟wah”, because they know fully well that the aim and objective (mad‟u) i.e. target of this so-called “da‟wah” is not directed towards non-Muslims but inwardly within Muslim community. Why the need to qualify with the word „indirect‟? Is it to still claim that it is da‟wah, when it is in fact „Islah‟? Because no matter how we may console ourselves, we know that “da‟wah” as the term denotes, is the efforts to call others (non-Muslims) towards Islam, and we are not doing it. And we unashamedly allowed this neglect to persist. And through usage, the actual da‟wah now becomes almost totally neglected. Are we not concern for others to receive the message of our beloved All Rights reserved©2005 Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail 13 This paper was prepared for Youth Leadership Seminar2005@RELC International Hotel Singapore.
  14. 14. “Inspiration and Motivation – the Driven force” Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. who has been sent as “raH-matan lil-„aa-la-meen” (a Mercy for the whole world)? Is the message of “al-Islam” meant to be exclusive only for the Muslims? As far as non-Muslims are concern, they can sense and will be able to confirm that the term “da‟wah” denote missionary initiatives. And when they do, the non- Muslims who are ever suspicious of any activity that suggests proselytizing others, may even regard the continuous label of da‟wah for our social reform program (specific to our Muslim community need) as a threat to them. So to remove this misconception viz. public education for the Muslims, is exactly what is “Islah” – (you see this need?) and not “da‟wah”. Yes, it may be a long process, but it must begin with educating, firstly people who may influence general perception and future leaders and activists in our community. Perhaps, the „perceived lack of social initiatives‟ here is not that there are too little of it being done by Muslim activists. After all, are not all these so-called “Da‟wah” (albeit “indirect”) programs already being done, are regarded as social initiatives since it can be included as social self-help project to improve our community? Why then would it still be viewed as being inadequate? Perhaps to some, by „social initiatives‟ they would want to measure it in the wider context of our nation in which our Muslim community is in the minority. Furthermore, because our social programs are mostly “inward-looking”, they are seen by others as being too exclusive and therefore do not count for much in the context of national social initiatives. Also, by our own design, Muslim community may have deprived our selves from tapping into the available national funding and amenities provided for all social initiatives, perhaps mainly due to lack of knowledge/skills amongst Muslim activists on how to tap in to get them. Another factor is because, when our community „social initiatives‟ are already perceived by us as “Da‟wah” program, we ourselves would not identify it as those that can All Rights reserved©2005 Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail 14 This paper was prepared for Youth Leadership Seminar2005@RELC International Hotel Singapore.
  15. 15. “Inspiration and Motivation – the Driven force” qualify to get (national) state funding and assistance. This is further compounded with the thinking that being a secular state, some believe that any such social initiatives funded by the government is required to be totally devoid of any religious connotations – whereas the effectiveness of our social programs for Muslims hinges upon (our) their adherence to the religious teachings itself9. By Muslims not receiving national funding allocated for social initiatives, statistically our community may be thus perceived to be lacking in carrying out any. Maybe this is the worry that some may have. Therefore to differentiate and explain “Islah” as the social initiatives, that it is to improve the plight of Muslims rather than “Da‟wah”, perhaps can help remove many misperceptions and possible confusion. (b) Remedy for lack of effective Da‟wah, it is for us to seriously review our Muslim community‟s collective understanding concerning its definition, methodology, planning, approach, our community‟s priority regarding it‟s imperatives and focus vis-à-vis other agendas, the quality of resource and availability in the field of da‟wah, etc. To only assume that any social initiatives can boost or heightened effectiveness of our Da‟wah, we need to be convinced as to how this can be directly possible and not hope for it indirectly (coincidentally) because then we are only kidding ourselves by this approach in wanting our da‟wah to be effective – when the focus or main agenda here i.e. “Islah” it seems is other than da‟wah. Any Dua‟t training and development program must already know the difference between “Islah” and “Da‟wah”. 9 Trained social workers, counselors and those who sincerely wish to assist Muslims must note this. We strongly believe that the social dysfunction amongst Muslims today has a direct link to their detachment from adhering to their religious faith and practices. Contemporary tools in social intervention (using Western models) may not be of much relevance without considering Islam. Refer to works by Dr. Malik Badri of ISTAC (Malaysia). All Rights reserved©2005 Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail 15 This paper was prepared for Youth Leadership Seminar2005@RELC International Hotel Singapore.
  16. 16. “Inspiration and Motivation – the Driven force” Some may bring up the point about “Da‟wah-bil-haal” My understanding of this term is that even in this – Da‟wah through providing assistance to alleviate their problems in life – still the (mad‟u) people which this initiatives is directed to is very clear i.e. the non-Muslims and those whose hearts are inclined to Islam (mu- allafah-quluu-buhum). Thus it is that a portion of “zakah” collective is allocated for10. Social initiatives towards improving our own Muslim community using “da‟wah” label is not wise, bearing in mind that this term denotes proselytizing (see my previous explanation). Actually social initiatives can be activated by Muslims in general, who are not necessarily a da‟i. Perhaps the approach should use the Islamic (Qur‟anic) concept with themes which is not directly link to the work of Da‟wah but a general command for our community to fulfill (Fardh Kifaa-yah). So when we present these as projects, present it using themes which reflect our community social initiatives rather than Da‟wah:  Um-matan wasotaa - “…..ummatan – wasotan – li-ta-kuu-nuu shu-ha-daa - „alan-naas…” (Q: al-Baqarah: 2: 143) Theme: “Building a balanced and just society”  Ee-man wa – „amalan-Swo-li-haat - “In-nal-ladzii-na – aa-ma-nuu wa – „amiluus- Swo-li-haat …” (Q: al-Kahf: 18:107) Theme: “Moulding of a citizen: upon conviction and good deeds”  Al-birr- wat-taq-waa – 10 I am referring to the (asnaf) allocation for “muallaf”. And misunderstanding of this concept may lead to possible misallocation of the funds and resources specific to that which is intended for. As it is now, we need to find out how converts to Islam are coping. Have we really provided for them sufficiently? We need to study and learn from the manner of its utilization for Da‟wah as seen in the Seerah of our Prophets.a.w. and the ways of the Khulafa’ Raashiduun. All Rights reserved©2005 Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail 16 This paper was prepared for Youth Leadership Seminar2005@RELC International Hotel Singapore.
  17. 17. “Inspiration and Motivation – the Driven force” “…wa-.ta-„aa-wanu „alal-birr….” (Q: al-Maa-idah: 5: 2) Theme: “Let us help in every good works and in piety”  Al-khayraat – “….Fas-ta-biqul-khay-raat…..” (Q: al-Baqarah: 2: 148) Theme: “Let us compete in charity and good works”  Al-Ihsan – “…. Fa-aH-sin ka-maa aH-sanaAllaahi - ilayk” (Q: al-Qashash: 28) Theme: “A Society that exude benevolence and righteous conduct”  „Amr ma‟ruf Nahi munkar – “ …. Ta;-mu-ruu-na bil-ma‟-ruu-fi wa-tan-haw-na „anil-munkaar ..”(Q: aa-li „Imran: 3: 110) Theme: “Vigilance through community service”  Taw-Swi bil-Haqq was- Swobr. “ .. wa-ta-waa-Swau-bil-Haq-qi wa-ta-waa- Swau-bis-Swobr” (Q: al-„Asr: 103: 3) Theme: “A civil society that up hold Truth and display steadfastness with Patience.” These are all the collective concern of every Muslims in the community to consider (admittedly, these are not exhaustive), termed as Fardh kifaa-yah. If it can assist to present positive image of the community, well and good (al- Hamdulillaah!) but, we must realize (in the sense of insaf) that its da‟wah effect (insha-Allaah! if Allah permits), is only incidental. More importantly by this approach we, the Muslim community (and our social initiatives) would not then be accused of attempting at proselytizing. And our resources (if any) specific to da‟wah and development of du‟at (which prepares them for direct work of calling non-Muslims to Islam) would not be unduly All Rights reserved©2005 Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail 17 This paper was prepared for Youth Leadership Seminar2005@RELC International Hotel Singapore.
  18. 18. “Inspiration and Motivation – the Driven force” distracted or overburdened from attaining to its objective. And in the light of what have been presented here, I sincerely hope that our community may need to be focused and give just proportion on issue of Da‟wah (as differentiated from “Islah”) and the development of our present and future Du‟at, and not leave this to be vaguely interpreted to give us a false sense of achievement in Da‟wah, but which is not Da‟wah. Da‟wah in social initiatives Though every Muslim aspiring to be a Da‟i can be involved in social initiatives, they must already know how to utilize social initiatives for attainment of Da‟wah objective. If not, their social activism may distract them, from being Da‟i of Islam into merely becoming a social activist. Another point of concern is that, despite every stress towards greater professionalism today, yet when it comes to Da‟wah the approach seems to be the exception. Reliance on part-time or „volunteer‟11 involvement in Da‟wah work seems to be the norm. In the past our Du‟at (from amongst the Ulama‟) has been able to carry it out when the community accord the proper respect and place for them. Yet sadly, today our community does not regard or think of such people as the professionals in Da‟wah. Perhaps, some may question the quality in such people today (as compared to previous ulama‟). Well, if this be the concern, it becomes a community obligation that we assist in their development towards attaining the quality we hope for. Our understanding of professionalism may be flawed to our own detriment when such people are excluded or not placed in their rightful position in Da‟wah. Having professionals (usually based on academic qualification and with certain 11 I am not comfortable in the usage of this term for a reason. Please refer to my write up– “Volunteerism and the Islamic perspective” (Risalah Pergas, 2005) - adapted from speech in AMP. All Rights reserved©2005 Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail 18 This paper was prepared for Youth Leadership Seminar2005@RELC International Hotel Singapore.
  19. 19. “Inspiration and Motivation – the Driven force” profession only, whose main strength may not be in Islam) in doing Da‟wah, does not necessarily mean that therefore Da‟wah is done professionally (it depends on what profession the professionals heading the Da‟wah are competent in). Remember, this is the field of Da‟wah. If we have created a position of a Da‟i (one doing full-time in Da‟wah as a profession) we must have trust in his taking the lead in this. His input and direction, based on his knowledge and competency in Da‟wah has to be respected, supported or complemented, and assisted in his development as Da‟i – not to be usurped, manipulated or undermined. Da‟wah is not a hobby or extra-curricula activity but a life-long vocation and serious commitment to Allah s.w.t. and His Messenger s.a.w. Remember that one who aspires in it must bear in mind that this role, as Du‟at, is amongst the role and legacy of our Prophet s.a.w. And he, our Prophet s.a.w. has reminded us: “I-dzaa-wu-sidal- „amr- ilaa –ghay-ri- ah-lihi, fan-ta-zi-rus-sa-„ah” “When the affair is given to one who is not its rightful person for it [ahli-ha], then wait for the time (of its destruction).” - (Hadith reported by Bukhary)) WaAllaahu a‟lam O Our Lord! Take us not to task if we forget or unwittingly do wrong! O Our Lord! Lay not on us a burden such as Thou didst lay upon those who lived before us! O Our Lord! Make us not bear burdens which we have no strength to bear! And efface Thou our sins, and grant us forgiveness, and bestow Thy mercy upon us! Thou art our Lord Supreme: Help us against people who deny the truth! Wabil-laa-hil-Hidaa-yah wa-at-tau-fiq. Was-salaam. All Rights reserved©2005 Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail 19 This paper was prepared for Youth Leadership Seminar2005@RELC International Hotel Singapore.
  20. 20. “Inspiration and Motivation – the Driven force” (for Youth Leadership Seminar “Dakwahpreneur: “Incubating Social Initiatives” - 15 May 2005 – RELC International Hotel, Singapore) All Rights reserved©2005 Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail 20 This paper was prepared for Youth Leadership Seminar2005@RELC International Hotel Singapore.