Monday 14 February 2022

Believers!! Be Ambassadors of Islam

Over the years the spread of Islamophobia is gaining momentum and the minds of a large segment of non Muslims is being polluted by the world media, mostly in hands of the non Muslims, to belittle the Muslims and created hatred against them. There have been many instances in which derogatory caricatures of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ have been published to tarnish the image of the last of the prophets of Allah.

Likewise, much too often cartoons appear in the press and social media showing Muslims displaying unbecoming behaviour. Even the hijab of Muslim women is made fun of and is projected as a curb on the freedom of Muslim women.

The target audience which is mostly unaware of the otherwise true and peaceful Islam due to their insufficient knowledge about Islam and Qur'an, often get infused with anti Islamic feelings and an intrinsic hatred takes place in their minds about Islam and Muslims.

In order to undo the effects of the Islamophobia and the hate game against Islam and Muslims, each Muslim must represent the true face of Islam by acting as an ambassador of Islam. And this something that is not easy to do but at the same time very easy as well.

As mentioned before that many non Muslims do not know what Islam is and how Qur'an is a Divine Book of guidance for the entire mankind and humanity, we as Muslim must become the ambassadors of Islam by our actions and behaviour which must be embodiment of teachings of Islam.

Starting from Hijab, the Muslim women should first of all know themselves why Hijab is mandatory for women of Islam and how this makes them more modest and respectful as compared to almost naked dress of so many non Muslim women, and even many Muslim sisters as well who are shy of wearing Hijab either by being influenced by the free and easy life of non Muslims or not observing Hijab for being singled out, easily spotted and targeted by Islamophobes.
The recent display of defiance by a lone Muslim girl, Bibi Muskan Khan, in India and standing up to her right to wear Hijab by boldly countering a mob of radical Hindus who were intimidating and harassing. However, she stood her ground and continued walking towards her college boldly, chanting slogan of Allah hu Akbar. Her boldness has brought her laurels from all over the world and even moderate Hindus in India are defending her stand for Hijab as a right and not as religious radicalism, as many in the west portray Hijab as such.
As ambassadors f Islam, we must do following to attract Non Muslims to Islam rather being repulsive and drawing them away from us and Islam:
  • Humility: Whenever confronted with a hostile anti Muslim opponent, we must exhibit extreme humility for it is the basic ingredient of a true faithful Muslim. We should not forget how our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was subject to horrible insults and hate crimes in his lifetime. Yet he remained steadfast, patient and tolerant in the face of toughest of the opposition. Even when people of Taif stoned him and Angel Gabriel wanted a nod from the Prophet to destroy the entire community, the bleeding Prophet did not opt for the extreme action, for He was confidant that one day his opponents would understand the truth He was spreading. And so did it happen, and world witnessed it. So let us be prepared for the worst and with our steadfastness and conviction persuade those on the opposing end that Islam is a religion of peace and we as Muslims would never support any act of terror for it goes against our very basic ethos. So exhibit humility while remaining steadfast to teachings of Islam so as to not to cave in to intimidation.
  • Helping others in distress even Non Muslims:  Whenever we see any human being in trouble, we must go all out to help him out as a fellow human being would do. We must win hearts by our participation in community matters, rather than staying aloof to problems faced by non Muslims around.
  • Don't be reactive to Islamophobia - But be Persuasive: The caricatures of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and other Muslims are basically aimed at playing with the sentiments of Muslims for Muslims cannot and will not tolerate any degrading and ill meaning caricatures of our beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. Yet whenever it is done, instead of being emotionally reactive and taking law and order in hand would further tarnish our image and allow the non Muslims to label us as reactionaries, intolerant and  irrational. Non Muslims find it hard to see our reaction as for them freedom of speech is more important to air one's positive or negative sentiment. However, they fail to distinguish between ordinary freedom of speech and its relevance to religious sentiment. Sinc ewe Muslim never tarnish the image of earlier prophets for Islam teaches us to be respectful to all prophets of Allah. Since non Muslims have never came across degradation of their prophets and religious people, they do not know how one's religious sentiments are hurt. So instead of showing outright hostility, we must persuade our non Muslim audience how much do we respect all earlier prophets and how they should similarly reciprocate. ere I would like to quote efforts of Pakistan's prime minister Imran Khan's persuasive efforts to  shun the targeted campaign to tarnish image of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ which has yielded positive response from the world over and now it is believed that tarnishing religious personalities does not fall under freedom of speech and will be taken as an offense.  
  • Persons deputed for Da'wah (preaching of Islam) be well read and embodiment of all qualities of a true Muslims: It is generally reported that Muslims deputed to Da'wah to foreign lands are ill equipped with desired religious knowledge and are ignorant of the customs and cultures of the target audience. The inadequacy of education makes them short tempered when confronted with well read target audience, and thus they leave a bad impression of Islam rather than attracting non Muslims to Islam. There are reports that some countries have even banned the Da'wah groups for their ill mannered approach to preach religion. When missionaries went to foreign lands, they exhibited a high level of personal conduct and even helped and supported the local population in establishing schools and indulging in community works. Remember, it is the soft image that attracts others to your view point rather than hardened illogical stance and fiery speeches. So appear as humble, yet persuasive, teachers that should attract others to listen to you.
  • Exhibitive of Islamic Values: You cannot tell someone to offer five times prayers or fast for thirty days in the month of Ramad or abstain from drinking and not wearing hijab (in case of women) if the person indulged in Da'wah is not seen observing these. People learn more from exhibitive behaviour and appearance rather than lectures and sermons. A true Muslim should not appear to be living a lavish life and asking other to be humble and caring. Today the lavish lifestyle of some of the monarchs of Muslim world often comes under criticism by non Muslims. There were times when great Muslim leaders like Prophet Muhammad and his companions lived a life of utter poverty, and yet commanded respect of their brethren. Remember when a  messenger came to meet Caliph Omar, he was amazed to see him sleeping on bare ground with a stone under his head as pillow. Such should be the character of the people of da'wah so that people around really get the true message of Islam.
  • Be Logical rather than Emotional: It is normally seen that Muslims flare up too early and become emotional when a religious matter is discussed. It happens when one runs out of logic. One can be only logical if one is adequately educated and has full grasp over religious matters. A working knowledge of other religions should serve as an additional bonus to hold discussions with non Muslims. Emotionalisms much too often turn a healthy discussion in rowdy argumentation and one loses one's ground easily. So be very calculated when discussing a religious matter. and if you think you are ill equipped with requisite knowledge, refrain from exposing yourself or even conveying a wrong reference or point of view which may go against Islam.
  • Discussion of Jihad: One of the favourite topics that non Muslims want to discuss with Muslims is that of Jihad. For most of the non Muslims, Jihad only means killing the non Muslims - a notion that needs to be dispelled. Remember, "The literal meaning of Jihad is struggle or effort, and it means much more than holy war. Muslims use the word Jihad to describe three different kinds of struggle: A believer's internal struggle to live out the Muslim faith as well as possible. The struggle to build a good Muslim society." And we should let others to understand this very clearly. It has become a fashion to think of war mongering no sooner the word jihad is heard. Anyone who is using jihad for own designs should be discouraged with firm hand so that he does not bring bad name to the community and religion as a whole.. lit must be emphasized that no individuals or bands of mercenaries can order the waging of Jihad. In recent times vagabonds and mercenaries like ISIS or Daish cannot be allowed to order their follower to wage Jihad. And such groups lo not have moral and religious authority to kill people on the pretext of Jihad.  And if at all Jihad is to be undertaken to fight those threatening Islam or an Islamic government, it is to be ordered by a legitimate Islamic government ruling a country. This is the stand of Islam teachings.
These are some of the guidelines to be ambassadors of Islam. Please see to it that you exhibit all qualities of a true Muslim if you really want to impress upon someone as a Muslim or call him/her to the fold of Islam. Know Islam well and be humble about yourself as a Muslim.

Photo | Also read our previous posts | 1 | 2 |
Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully. It will also help the Muslims to have grasp over social issues and their answers discussed in the Qur'an and other matter related to inter faith so  that they are able to discuss issues with Non Muslims with authority based on refences from Qur'an.

For more posts, please refer to our reference page: Islam and the rest of the WorldYou may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.
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