By Imam Amin Muhammad
I want to mention some thoughts that came to my mind that I thought would be beneficial for all of us. They are thoughts related to the sayings of the great scholars of our religion in which they advised their students on the terms of daw'ah and calling to Allah ta'ala. Among them was Sayyiduna Imam Abdullah ibn Alawi Al-Haddad. He mentioned how one should relate with the common people (those who are not scholars) when talking to them about the religious knowledge.
He said the scholars should only speak with the common people on three matters.
Imam Abdul Wahhab Ash-Sha'rani has written an entire book of the endowments of Allah upon him. By this, he has given us a means to reflect on these endowments, call them to mind, and have gratitude for them.
Secondly, we must encourage the people to fulfill their obligations. We live in a time when people are busy with their worldly lives and gaining sustenance that they sometimes forget to do daily obligations. Therefore, we should remind the people of the rewards that come with fulfilling their obligations.
A man came to the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, and asked him, "What did Allah make obligatory upon him in relation to the Salah (prayer)?"
The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, told him "Five prayers throughout the day and night." And then, he asked about the Zakah (charity), As-Sawm (fasting), and other matters, and the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) replied by conveying just the basic obligations.
The man left, saying, "By Allah, I will not do any more than this and I will not decrease in this."
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) heard the man and stated that if he is truthful, if he were to just do the obligations, he would be successful.
We should just remind the people. That is what the scholars of Hadramauwt, Yemen would do, may Allah be pleased with them all. Whenever there was sedition or trouble in Hadramauwt, they would revive the aspiration of the people by encouraging them to fulfill their obligations and teaching them the essential matters of the religion.
The third advice is to encourage the common person to refrain from the prohibitions and to at least keep the people from committing the major sins. If you can be successful in inspiring the people to not commit major sins, then Alhamdulillah, that would be a great act. Remember, the minor sins are removed and wiped out by the daily prayer. Therefore, if a person is fulfilling their obligations, praying five times a day, and refraining from the major sins, then their minor sins are being wiped out from each prayer and, in sha Allah, they will be winners. If we are successful in encouraging others to do that, then we would be winners, because we would get the reward of encouraging people to do good.
As the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, "The one who indicates to good is as the one who did it." This means that their reward is equal. Whoever calls to goodness or guidance, they should have the reward for everyone who follows in that without decreasing their reward in the least.
May Allah help us to implement these three things when advising the common person. We must remind each other of the favors Allah upon us, encourage each other to fulfill the obligations and remind each other to stay away from the sins. Ameen.
Masjid Muhammad of Atlantic City, NJ
Masjid Muhammad is a multi-cultural religious community established in the City of Atlantic City, New Jersey. Our mission is to spread the beautiful teachings of Al Islam to the citizens of Atlantic County and the surrounding areas. We serve our community by providing many needed services such as a Food Pantry, Interfaith activities, Social and Marital counseling, and much more. We hold the five daily prayers in our 10,000 Sq ft facility. In addition, we conduct daily classes in the various Islamic disciplines.