Youth leadership2005(amended)a
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Youth leadership2005(amended)a Document Transcript

  • 1. “Inspiration and Motivation – the Driven force”In the Name of Allah Most gracious, Most MercifulAll Rights reserved©2005 Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail @wwwfacetotaceconsultants.com. Thispaper was prepared for Youth Leadership Seminar2005@RELC International HotelSingapore.1““Inspiration and MotivationInspiration and Motivation– the driven force”– the driven force”Presentation byPresentation byUstaz Zhulkeflee Hj IsmailUstaz Zhulkeflee Hj IsmailFor Youth Leadership SeminarFor Youth Leadership SeminarTheme: Da’wahpreneur: “Incubating Social Initiatives”Theme: Da’wahpreneur: “Incubating Social Initiatives”15 May 200515 May 2005RELC International HotelRELC International HotelSingaporeSingapore
  • 2. “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 HisMessenger (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 thoughthe 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 inallegiance.(Wa-ba’d)Seminar Theme: Da’wahpreneur: “Incubating Social Initiatives”Firstly, when I was approached, I was quite hesitant, but sensing a genuine needof our community and for Islam, I humbly avail myself to share what I can in thisseminar - out of a sense of duty as a Muslim. That invitation has inspired me toprepare a write-up, although I do not know whether this can be accommodated inthis seminar – but still I hope to share it with all aspiring Du’at. I admit of beingmuch unaware of what has already been planned for this seminar, I was onlyable to scan through some of the materials given to me; discuss with a few of theorganizers 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 incongruent with the organizers plans and expectations, please I sincerely begforgiveness.All Rights reserved©2005 Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail @wwwfacetotaceconsultants.com. Thispaper was prepared for Youth Leadership Seminar2005@RELC International HotelSingapore.2
  • 3. “Inspiration and Motivation – the Driven force”For those who know me will attest, that at times I may appear too passionate withmy views, and some may even regard it as being too critical. Therefore, if theseseem 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 aboutthe subject of Da’wah (an area of interest and concern for me since the late1970’s), this article on my thoughts on the subject of “Our Da’wah and Socialinitiatives” is herewith appended. Whether I am able to present everything duringthe Seminar or not, depends on the circumstances of the Seminar, but I hopethat participants can still refer and reflect to what has been written and share itwith 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 toda’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 workerknows what his work is about? Some may say: “why not both?” then let us bereminded that “A scalpel in the hands of a surgeon will have different meaningand 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 mayonly be able to cover some aspects of my thoughts on the subject.Topic given: “Inspiration and Motivation – the Driven force”All Rights reserved©2005 Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail @wwwfacetotaceconsultants.com. Thispaper was prepared for Youth Leadership Seminar2005@RELC International HotelSingapore.3
  • 4. “Inspiration and Motivation – the Driven force”What approach should I take? (Maybe to relate story of JoHa-MullaNasruddin?)Firstly maybe it is useful for me to relate some aspects that have been source ofmy 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:All Rights reserved©2005 Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail @wwwfacetotaceconsultants.com. Thispaper was prepared for Youth Leadership Seminar2005@RELC International HotelSingapore.4
  • 5. “Inspiration and Motivation – the Driven force”• “Da’wah has 3 pillars: - ‘ilm (knowledge); tarbiyyah / ta’dibiyyah(training/education); and Jihaad (striving with utmost).”• Knowledge – “parable of the circle”.• What I learn from the ways of my teachers: “Sometimes a way to motivateaction 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 toindicate) for I do not wish to exceed the limits of the organizers (hosts’)hospitality. But if circumstance allows, i.e. with organizers permission andparticipants 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 raisedwanting explanations regarding it. Allow me (at the risk of repeating what otherspeakers 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 andgoodly 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 knowsHe as to who are the right-guided.”All Rights reserved©2005 Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail @wwwfacetotaceconsultants.com. Thispaper was prepared for Youth Leadership Seminar2005@RELC International HotelSingapore.5
  • 6. “Inspiration and Motivation – the Driven force”(1Qur’an: an-Nahlu: 16: 125)“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, refersspecifically to efforts for proselytizing non-Muslim i.e. its connotation ismissionary; viz. “to call and invite them all who are not Muslims towards the wayof thy Lord i.e. al-Islam.” This is implied furthermore since in that verse, theapproach even stipulates the possibility of ‘wa jaa-dil-hum’ (“and dispute withthem”) which positions the one who calls or invites (i.e. the da’i) distinctly in thecategory of “bil-Muhtadiin” (those who are on the path of guidance) as opposedto 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 demarcatebetween 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 differencebetween Wisdom and knowledge? For that matter, even betweenknowledge 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 kindlymanner (not disputation or argument understood generally).From these, I believe that such Da’wah requires one to be appropriatelyequipped.1I have mostly used English translation from Muhammad Asad’s “The Message of the Quran”- (Dar-al-Andalus)All Rights reserved©2005 Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail @wwwfacetotaceconsultants.com. Thispaper was prepared for Youth Leadership Seminar2005@RELC International HotelSingapore.6
  • 7. “Inspiration and Motivation – the Driven force”Granted that our Prophet s.a.w. was sent (as a Mercy) to all mankind, and thatevery people, since his time until the end of the world, is the ummah ofMuhammad, yet there is a distinction made between the ummah of his da’wah(every non-believers) and the Muslim ummah (those that have accepted al-Islam.)“Indeed, there has come unto you (O mankind) a Messenger (ProphetMuhammad s.a.w.) from among yourselves: heavily weighs upon him [thethought] 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 (ifwe assume “da’wah” in the general sense), i.e. towards both non-Muslims andMuslims, yet it alludes to difference in his approach, attitude and method for eachgroup. In yet another passage Allah s.w.t. describes our Prophet s.a.w. andthose 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 thetruth, [yet] full of mercy towards one another (ru-Hamaa-u-bay-nahum.) Youcan see them bowing down, prostrating themselves [in prayer], seeking favourwith Allah and [His] goodly acceptance: their marks are on their faces, traced byprostration.”(Qur’an: al-Fath: 48: 29)All Rights reserved©2005 Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail @wwwfacetotaceconsultants.com. Thispaper was prepared for Youth Leadership Seminar2005@RELC International HotelSingapore.7
  • 8. “Inspiration and Motivation – the Driven force”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 theirunderstanding of Da’wah to include every effort of calling (both non-Muslim andMuslim), without understanding that there is a distinguishing differenceconcerning “calling” (educating or improving plight of) the Muslims towards theiradhering to the teachings of Islam, which have already been given anothertechnical terminology i.e. “Islah” instead of the term “Da’wah.”The appellation (title) of “Da-‘i” – a reflectionIn my readings and learning of the life of our Islamic scholars, I realized that thetitle “Da’i” is such a high station that, only those who met certain standards intheir lives (their immense knowledge, their exemplary character and sincerereligious devotions, their life commitment to Islam and proven works forspreading the teachings of Islam etc.) are accorded such appellation. It is notself-claimed or conferred by institutes or learning centres, but recognition by theirpeers 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 thatthe appellation of a Da’i cannot be carelessly used just because a Muslimis doing or helping in work of Da’wah.All Rights reserved©2005 Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail @wwwfacetotaceconsultants.com. Thispaper was prepared for Youth Leadership Seminar2005@RELC International HotelSingapore.8
  • 9. “Inspiration and Motivation – the Driven force”I detect some indication that many amongst da’wah activists may have differentunderstanding of what “da’wah” and what a “da’i” is – which then may lead topossibility of differences in perspectives, methods and approaches. Allow me tocomment.Confusion in terms2, a concern that must be corrected:“The learned and wise among Muslims must use constant vigilance in detectingerroneous usage in language which impinges upon semantic change in major keyelements and creates general confusion and error in the understanding of Islam and ofits worldview.”Quote: Prof. S M Naquib al-Attas “The Concept of Education in Islam” pp. 37-38I beg to differ to certain suggestion made that: “every Muslim is a Da’i”. Rather Iwould agree if we actually mean “potential da’i”. And if we do mean this, then letus not perpetuate or prolong this pretension.Da’wah (technically) and terms used in da’wah have specialized denotation andconnotation. The title of “Da’i” (plural is “Du’at”) is almost equivalent to that of “anemissary or ambassador” of Islam. Criteria, especially with regard to his havingwide and profound knowledge of the Deen ( [sing] ‘aleem’ - “’ulamaa’ [pl.]“Islamic scholars” ), particularly in the science of Da’wah (Fiqh and Usul ofDa’wah); his akhlaq, his commitment to elevating the words of Allah s.w.t.; etc.;are prerequisite conditions. Although ordinary Muslims with certain capabilities toassist in some of the work of a Da’i are encouraged or even at times obligated todo so, but his doing so does not therefore make him a da’i, yet, (although we2It seems that our community’s apparent confusion may be traced to our general laxity in understandingprofound meanings and definitions of terms (amongst many reasons). It is further compounded by carelesscoinage of new or ‘stylish’ terms without concern as to how it can affect general understanding of acceptedterminologies already in placed within our worldview. Refer to my write-up “Melayu Baru?” (RisalahPergas 2003).All Rights reserved©2005 Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail @wwwfacetotaceconsultants.com. Thispaper was prepared for Youth Leadership Seminar2005@RELC International HotelSingapore.9
  • 10. “Inspiration and Motivation – the Driven force”may encourage him to aspire to be one by him pursuing further Islamicdevelopment for du’at). His education and development towards becoming a da’imust be seriously looked into by our community, and not left to their individualassumptions as to their preparedness in Da’wah. To thus confer upon him thisappellation 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 aninjustice to those concern who may be oblivious to this. We should even fear thatthis can lead to leveling where the hierarchy of knowledge and ranking of Islamicscholars, would inevitably be seriously undermined.To suggest that whoever has knowledge about Islam he can do da’wah (justifyingit by quoting Hadith “bal-li-ghu an-ni wa-lau- aa-yah” – i.e. “convey from me evenif it be one sign”) is to confuse “da’wah” with “tabligh” (to convey). A Da’i‘s rolemay require him to convey (as a “muballigh”), but not every one who can conveyis therefore a Da’i; or even the title “muballigh” (from the verb “tabligh”) in thecontext of Da’wah, for this requires that the person concerned must possesscertain 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 thereforereferring to “ad-da’wah” as an obligation upon every Muslim. I do not disagreethat it pertains to the general command towards all Muslims as a collectiveresponsibility placed upon the community, but when it is carried out (enjoining /forbidding) towards non-Muslim I would deem it as “Da’wah”, but within oramongst Muslims it is “Islah” (in fact here “Islah” is the imperative to preserve thewell-being of the community). And this being regarded as Fardhu Kifaa-yah, itwould indicate that it is for those capable of doing it, not simply just any one.All Rights reserved©2005 Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail @wwwfacetotaceconsultants.com. Thispaper was prepared for Youth Leadership Seminar2005@RELC International HotelSingapore.10
  • 11. “Inspiration and Motivation – the Driven force”As it is, I believe, direct da’wah3(which is towards non-Muslims), have beensadly neglected (from perspective of my understanding the difference between“da’wah” and “islah”). We may have insulated our community from the actualda’wah work when we continue to attach label of “da’wah” for works which are infact “islah” initiatives.Why the need for further differentiation in this?Perhaps some may think that this is somewhat petty, but please bear in mind thatonly with such differentiation, can we hope to extricate our community from manyshortcomings in terms of our Da’wah efforts and improve activist managementefficiently. Compare for example the following differences (let’s analyze it fromhuman resource perspective4):ISLAH PROGRAMS(a) Objectives are towards our ownpeople; we can easily determinetheir needs which usually are ofimmediate nature, short term;tends to become seasonal.(b) “Clients5” generallyDA’WAH PROGRAMS(a) Objectives are towards non-Muslims; we have to developtheir need for Islam;programs usually have to belong-term and prioritizetowards a long-termobjective and requirecommitment for ‘long hauls’.(b) “Clients” are diverse with3I 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”.4Actually useful in terms of not just human resource alone, but for other purposes too.5All Rights reserved©2005 Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail @wwwfacetotaceconsultants.com. Thispaper was prepared for Youth Leadership Seminar2005@RELC International HotelSingapore.11
  • 12. “Inspiration and Motivation – the Driven force”homogeneous since they are allMuslims and therefore generallyassume to have many similarvalues and they may already beready to receive interventionand easily supportive ofprogram.(c) Exclusive6(i.e. tends to beinward looking primarily forMuslim community.) Thusactivists’ knowledge, comfortlevel and confidence in dealingwith their clients easilydeveloped to suit their work withclients or audience.(d) Activists’ developmental needsdiffering values, culturalbackground and may evenhave ‘hostile’ attitudes. Needto be sensitive and wecannot assume receptivity.(c) Inclusive (i.e. must lookoutward). Thus activistknowledge, comfort level andconfidence in dealing withtheir clients cannot beassumed but require specificand intensive preparation,especially their knowledge ofother community and how tointeract with them7.(d) Activists’ developmentalFor 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 tomanifest warmth, closeness, empathy and idea of inclusiveness that is what “ukhuwwah Islamiyyah” forthe people being called ( i.e. mad’uun). Brothers/sisters in faith, and if not in humanity.6“Islah” which concerns initiatives to improve our own community tends to be exclusive. With almostevery Muslim’s organizations focusing on this which they then regard as Da’wah, non-Muslims (or eventhe Muslims themselves) may see Islam as being an exclusive religion, when message of Islam are onlyseen as being directed within the community in these “Islah” initiatves and activities. They the non-Muslims may wonder, “Does Islam have anything for me?”7When 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 thesevisitors about Islam, even though they are regarded by our community to be the “Da’wah” activists. Unlesswe realize that “Da’wah” is actually meant to be towards non-Muslims, our current approach in developingso-called “Dua’t” will remain inadequate and not seriously reviewed and focused to produce the desiredoutcome for “Da’wah”.All Rights reserved©2005 Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail @wwwfacetotaceconsultants.com. Thispaper was prepared for Youth Leadership Seminar2005@RELC International HotelSingapore.12
  • 13. “Inspiration and Motivation – the Driven force”can be only focused on theproject at hand; need not haveto know bigger picture. Canhave different activist. Canharness their personalprofessional expertise, as highlevel of religious knowledgeneed not be so crucial arequirement.(e) Program can have a generalapproach; can assume wideand ready catchments ofaudience.needs must all be focused onDa’wah and therefore requirecommitment for continuousand specialized training.Need to utilize sameactivists’ involvement invarious projects8. Relativelyhigh level of religiousknowledge and good inter-personal skill, is crucial.(e) Program must be carefullyplanned, specific and mustbe sensitive in approach; noready audience.* These are just only some of the examples (not exhaustive) important to consider….. without which there might be possible occurrence of: over / under utilizationof human resource, blurring specific/general needs into one, mismatch, etc.8Especially in the follow-up services to be given, when from being hostile and indifferent mode, the mad’umoves to become interested; and then perhaps to embraced Islam. This does not end here because we haveto ensure their education and aspects of adjustment, assimilation etc. Activists whom they are familiar withcan do a better task in these follow-up services because of the bonding already achieved and preparednessof the ‘service provider’.All Rights reserved©2005 Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail @wwwfacetotaceconsultants.com. Thispaper was prepared for Youth Leadership Seminar2005@RELC International HotelSingapore.13
  • 14. “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 ofeffective Da’wah?”If (a) Remedy for lack of social initiatives, it is by inculcating concept of collectiveresponsibility 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 separatelyassessed. Whereas under Fardhu Kifayah, and using “Islah” as the appropriateterminology, it is clearly focused towards initiatives for improving our Muslimcommunity, without need for some underlying motives directed towards others. Ifit 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 generalMuslims can be excused for having such perception, but as Islamic activists, isthis understanding correct?” How many organizations here have Da’wah as theirmain 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 thatthe aim and objective (mad’u) i.e. target of this so-called “da’wah” is not directedtowards non-Muslims but inwardly within Muslim community. Why the need toqualify 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) towardsIslam, and we are not doing it. And we unashamedly allowed this neglect toAll Rights reserved©2005 Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail @wwwfacetotaceconsultants.com. Thispaper was prepared for Youth Leadership Seminar2005@RELC International HotelSingapore.14
  • 15. “Inspiration and Motivation – the Driven force”persist. And through usage, the actual da’wah now becomes almost totallyneglected. Are we not concern for others to receive the message of our belovedProphet Muhammad s.a.w. who has been sent as “raH-matan lil-‘aa-la-meen” (aMercy for the whole world)? Is the message of “al-Islam” meant to be exclusiveonly for the Muslims?As far as non-Muslims are concern, they can sense and will be able to confirmthat the term “da’wah” denote missionary initiatives. And when they do, the non-Muslims who are ever suspicious of any activity that suggests proselytizingothers, may even regard the continuous label of da’wah for our social reformprogram (specific to our Muslim community need) as a threat to them. So toremove this misconception viz. public education for the Muslims, is exactly whatis “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 generalperception and future leaders and activists in our community.Perhaps, the ‘perceived lack of social initiatives’ here is not that there are toolittle 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 socialinitiatives since it can be included as social self-help project to improve ourcommunity? Why then would it still be viewed as being inadequate? Perhaps tosome, by ‘social initiatives’ they would want to measure it in the wider context ofour nation in which our Muslim community is in the minority. Furthermore,because our social programs are mostly “inward-looking”, they are seen byothers as being too exclusive and therefore do not count for much in the contextof national social initiatives. Also, by our own design, Muslim community mayhave deprived our selves from tapping into the available national funding andamenities provided for all social initiatives, perhaps mainly due to lack ofknowledge/skills amongst Muslim activists on how to tap in to get them. AnotherAll Rights reserved©2005 Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail @wwwfacetotaceconsultants.com. Thispaper was prepared for Youth Leadership Seminar2005@RELC International HotelSingapore.15
  • 16. “Inspiration and Motivation – the Driven force”factor is because, when our community ‘social initiatives’ are already perceivedby us as “Da’wah” program, we ourselves would not identify it as those that canqualify to get (national) state funding and assistance. This is further compoundedwith the thinking that being a secular state, some believe that any such socialinitiatives funded by the government is required to be totally devoid of anyreligious connotations – whereas the effectiveness of our social programs forMuslims hinges upon (our) their adherence to the religious teachings itself9. ByMuslims not receiving national funding allocated for social initiatives, statisticallyour community may be thus perceived to be lacking in carrying out any. Maybethis 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 ratherthan “Da’wah”, perhaps can help remove many misperceptions and possibleconfusion.(b) Remedy for lack of effective Da’wah, it is for us to seriously review our Muslimcommunity’s collective understanding concerning its definition, methodology,planning, approach, our community’s priority regarding it’s imperatives and focusvis-à-vis other agendas, the quality of resource and availability in the field ofda’wah, etc. To only assume that any social initiatives can boost or heightenedeffectiveness of our Da’wah, we need to be convinced as to how this can bedirectly possible and not hope for it indirectly (coincidentally) because then weare 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 differencebetween “Islah” and “Da’wah”.9Trained social workers, counselors and those who sincerely wish to assist Muslims must note this. Westrongly believe that the social dysfunction amongst Muslims today has a direct link to their detachmentfrom adhering to their religious faith and practices. Contemporary tools in social intervention (usingWestern models) may not be of much relevance without considering Islam. Refer to works by Dr. MalikBadri of ISTAC (Malaysia).All Rights reserved©2005 Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail @wwwfacetotaceconsultants.com. Thispaper was prepared for Youth Leadership Seminar2005@RELC International HotelSingapore.16
  • 17. “Inspiration and Motivation – the Driven force”Some may bring up the point about “Da’wah-bil-haal” My understanding of thisterm is that even in this – Da’wah through providing assistance to alleviate theirproblems in life – still the (mad’u) people which this initiatives is directed to isvery 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 isallocated 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 myprevious explanation). Actually social initiatives can be activated by Muslims ingeneral, who are not necessarily a da’i. Perhaps the approach should use theIslamic (Qur’anic) concept with themes which is not directly link to the work ofDa’wah but a general command for our community to fulfill (Fardh Kifaa-yah). Sowhen we present these as projects, present it using themes which reflect ourcommunity 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 –10I am referring to the (asnaf) allocation for “muallaf”. And misunderstanding of this concept may lead topossible misallocation of the funds and resources specific to that which is intended for. As it is now, weneed to find out how converts to Islam are coping. Have we really provided for them sufficiently? We needto 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 @wwwfacetotaceconsultants.com. Thispaper was prepared for Youth Leadership Seminar2005@RELC International HotelSingapore.17
  • 18. “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 withPatience.”These are all the collective concern of every Muslims in the community toconsider (admittedly, these are not exhaustive), termed as Fardh kifaa-yah. If itcan 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 socialinitiatives) would not then be accused of attempting at proselytizing. And ourresources (if any) specific to da’wah and development of du’at (which preparesthem for direct work of calling non-Muslims to Islam) would not be undulyAll Rights reserved©2005 Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail @wwwfacetotaceconsultants.com. Thispaper was prepared for Youth Leadership Seminar2005@RELC International HotelSingapore.18
  • 19. “Inspiration and Motivation – the Driven force”distracted or overburdened from attaining to its objective. And in the light of whathave been presented here, I sincerely hope that our community may need to befocused 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 thisto be vaguely interpreted to give us a false sense of achievement in Da’wah, butwhich is not Da’wah.Da’wah in social initiativesThough 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’wahobjective. If not, their social activism may distract them, from being Da’i of Islaminto merely becoming a social activist.Another point of concern is that, despite every stress towards greaterprofessionalism today, yet when it comes to Da’wah the approach seems to bethe exception. Reliance on part-time or ‘volunteer’11involvement in Da’wah workseems to be the norm. In the past our Du’at (from amongst the Ulama’) has beenable to carry it out when the community accord the proper respect and place forthem. Yet sadly, today our community does not regard or think of such people asthe professionals in Da’wah. Perhaps, some may question the quality in suchpeople today (as compared to previous ulama’). Well, if this be the concern, itbecomes a community obligation that we assist in their development towardsattaining the quality we hope for.Our understanding of professionalism may be flawed to our own detriment whensuch people are excluded or not placed in their rightful position in Da’wah.Having professionals (usually based on academic qualification and with certain11I am not comfortable in the usage of this term for a reason. Please refer to my write up– “Volunteerismand the Islamic perspective” (Risalah Pergas, 2005) - adapted from speech in AMP.All Rights reserved©2005 Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail @wwwfacetotaceconsultants.com. Thispaper was prepared for Youth Leadership Seminar2005@RELC International HotelSingapore.19
  • 20. “Inspiration and Motivation – the Driven force”profession only, whose main strength may not be in Islam) in doing Da’wah, doesnot necessarily mean that therefore Da’wah is done professionally (it depends onwhat 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 takingthe lead in this. His input and direction, based on his knowledge and competencyin Da’wah has to be respected, supported or complemented, and assisted in hisdevelopment as Da’i – not to be usurped, manipulated or undermined. Da’wah isnot a hobby or extra-curricula activity but a life-long vocation and seriouscommitment to Allah s.w.t. and His Messenger s.a.w. Remember that one whoaspires in it must bear in mind that this role, as Du’at, is amongst the role andlegacy 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’lamO 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 livedbefore 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 @wwwfacetotaceconsultants.com. Thispaper was prepared for Youth Leadership Seminar2005@RELC International HotelSingapore.20
  • 21. “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 @wwwfacetotaceconsultants.com. Thispaper was prepared for Youth Leadership Seminar2005@RELC International HotelSingapore.21