There are many people in this world who would like to see the revival of
Islam reduced to a program, rather than have it develop into a full-fledged
movement springing naturally from a vital and personal sense of mission.
But human life is just too vast - and complex - to be confined within such
narrow limits. It is indeed unfortunate that they feel they cannot
understand what has to be done unless they have a definite plan outlined for
them by someone else, for this, ultimately, means substituting the bare bones
of a program for a real flesh-and-blood movement. It also means underestimating
the potential magnitude of any such movement. The truth is that if individuals
must have a program, they themselves must actively become its makers, as opposed to
being passive recipients.. They themselves must breathe life into it.
This is the true function of Islamic d`awah: to arouse the minds of individuals,
and to inspire them to become the program-makers. We must remember that all
that the Prophet Muhammad, upon whom be peace, did was to call the people of
Mecca to worship on God. He did not give the people a "program" as it is
understood in modern times. Yet, whoever was influenced by that D`awah call,
was able to fabricate the whole "program" for himself. After imbibing the
concept of monotheism from the Prophet, he would himself discover all
the forms of practical action required. It is especially noteworthy that
although those Muslim who left Mecca for Abyssinia were given no actual
"program", they were so successful in representing Islam in Abyssinia that,
from there, the Islamic call became international in its scope. Those Muslims
who left Mecca for Medina before the Prophet`s emigration were likewise
able to launch the Islamic d`awah movement so effectively - with
nothing other than the verses of the Quran to support them - that Medina
eventually became the greatest focal point for Islam.
Religion as a conscious option, as opposed to an inherited tradition.
The spreading of religion is the greatest revolutionary undertaking. It brings
into existence such people as are in themselves a complete program. Such a
mission makes its impact on a man`s whole existence. It stimulates his nature
in such a way that a whole fountain of divine wisdom springs up within him.
Once the Prophet had awakened this divine wisdom in his companions, they had
no need of anything else in this world. Its effect is such as to make
people hold God by the hand, walk with God`s feet, hear with God`s ears, see
with God`s eyes. In the words of the Hadith, they became limitless, profound
human beings, unsurpassed in wisdom.
Such men become substitute for everything else. No matter how difficult
a problem they can always be relied upon to produce the best solution.
Whatever the occasion, they can decide upon the most propitious course of
action. One should rightly tremble before the insight of a believer, for it is
through God`s eyes that he sees.
God has indeed imbued human nature with everything that man needs in life.
But it is only when man responds to the call of Islam that God`s bounties stand
revealed. Before that, they remain concealed behind an impenetrable veil,
causing man to be a prey to mental and moral stagnation, prejudice and
thoughtlessness. But once Islam removes these imperfections from
man`s psyche, human nature is at once illumined by that divine light which
radiates upon the heavens and the earth. After that man sees everything as it
actually is. And for one who can see things as they are, the problem of
having no "program" is as easily solved as taking an elevator - and not a
staircase - to the top of a very tall building.
The following incident is an apt illustration of this point.
An Indian woman living in Tripoli with her husband once found herself in a
terrible predicament. One night her husband told her that he had a severe
pain in the stomach and obviously needed a doctor. Now, in Tripoli, there
is no arrangement for a house telephone by means of which a doctor can be
directly summoned from the house or the hospital. Even if there had been,
the wife knew no Arabic, and being a simple housewife, had no contact
with anyone outside her own home. But the sight of her own dear husband
writhing in agony was enough to make her overcome all her drawbacks. Out she
went into the night, ignorant of the streets, and with no idea even of the
names or addresses of any of the local doctors. Her determination to save her
husband drove her on and despite her unfamiliarity with the local language and
topography, she eventually found herself on the doorstep of a
Pakistani doctor to whom she could speak in Urdu. To her great relief,
he promptly agreed to come and see her husband. On examining him, he found
that it was