November 7, 2012 by Abdullah Mohammad
- What are the ways of encouraging believers?
- What important matters must believers bear in mind when calling on each other to do good?
A believer regards himself as having a responsibility, not just to the people around him, but also to other people in society and all other communities. That responsibility is instrumental in everyone living in the awareness of Islamic moral values. People are free to choose the lifestyle they like but since they are unacquainted with Allah and Islamic moral values, the majority may choose irreligion. Many of them may make mistakes or be unable to resolve their problems because they do not know religious moral values. There may be millions of people leading unhappy and hopeless lives because they are unfamiliar with the commandments our Lord has revealed in the Qur’an. The responsibility toward these masses that Allah places on believers means they can teach them about Islamic moral values and then make their own choices because since believers are aware of the verses of the Qur’an, they know how the problems that these people cannot resolve can be settled. It is therefore a religious obligation for those who know to tell those who do not. One verse tells us:
“So struggle in the way of Allah – you are only answerable for yourself – andspur on the believers. It may well be that Allah will curb the force of the unbelievers. Allah has greater force and greater power to punish.” (Surat an Nisa’, 84)
Emphasizing the Importance of Preaching
Being aware of the ways in which people can be rid of their troubles and yet deciding to keep these ways hidden and not tell anyone about them is like having prior knowledge of a disaster but not telling people how to avoid it. If a disaster takes place and people die, then the person who never mentioned it has a heavy responsibility to bear.
For that reason, believers have a grave and great responsibility to all mankind. The seriousness of that responsibility is increased by believers being few in number and unbelievers making up a great part of the world. It is therefore very important for the fervor in believers’ hearts to be kept constantly on the boil, that they should not be allowed to fall into heedlessness, and that they should be supported materially and psychologically in all they do. Allah makes “spurring the believers to fight” obligatory in verse 65 of Surat al-Anfal:
“O Prophet! Spur on the believers to struggle. If there are twenty of you who are steadfast, they will overcome two hundred; and if there are a hundred of you, they will overcome a thousand of those who are unbelievers, because they are people who do not understand.” (Surat al-Anfal, 65)
Warning Believers with Kind Words and Speaking Effectively So As to Spur Their Consciences:
It is certain that in discharging their duty to preach the words, believers can make many errors and exhibit flaws stemming from ignorance or error. They may say a wrong thing, produce an incorrect interpretation, or do something wrong from an intention to do good. In that event, it is essential they be warned and learn the truth Preaching the moral values of Islam and calling people to faith is a most important service calling for the greatest care; many people will decide whether or not to live by the moral values of Islam on the basis of the language, attitudes and behavior of the person describing them. If they love and trust the person describing religious moral values, then their hearts will begin warming toward the morals of Islam. That is why preaching religious moral values is the most serious responsibility in the world. Therefore, believers who act with the aim of Islamic moral values becoming known to, and lived by, more people need to be warned and trained to address people better every day because such advice can overcome deficiencies in a person’s knowledge, manners, language, vocabulary, gestures, clothing and many other such matters and we thus obey Allah’s command regarding preparing believers. However, in the Qur’an Allah reveals that as we prepare believers, we must also encourage and enthuse them. That is why it is of the greatest importance for the advice to be given to be constructive, encouraging and respectful.
Believers Must Be Given Advice without Discouraging, Offending or Damaging Their Enthusiasm
The person giving advice must be very pure. Advice can only be expected to benefit the other party if it is offered for Allah’s approval, with affection and compassion and without involving earthly desires. But criticism given out of envy, anger and hatred will be harsh and hurtful. Instead of helping people, it will confuse them and leave them wondering what to do. It will reduce these people’s fervor for what they are doing, and deprive them of joy or strength. The other person should rather be encouraged, his good services mentioned, his well-intentioned activities appreciated and the defect needing to be corrected should be emphasized using kindly words, and the solutions to resolving it should also be shown. A person who speaks incorrectly must be shown how he can speak properly, and if he uses inappropriate language he can be shown what kind of language he should be using. Kindly and sincere criticism can thus be of great use in the preparation and encouragement of believers.
It Is Very Important to Encourage Believers by Mentioning Their Successes and Raising Their Levels of Happiness
Someone who hopes that appreciation for his services will come from Allah, and who works for His approval alone, will not expect any appreciation from those around him; but if believers see his purity and industry and duly appreciate these, that will be a great blessing and encouragement for him. He will be even keener to work. Allah will increase the strength in his heart, his determination and his love for believers. Knowing that he is loved and supported, he will work in great ease because he hopes that believers’ love and appreciation means the love and appreciation of Allah. And Allah’s love is a great blessing for a believer.
The following verse clearly reveals the fervor that believers feel in their hearts:
“The believers are only those who have had faith in Allah and His Messenger and then have had no doubt and have struggled with their wealth and themselves in the Way of Allah. They are the ones who are true to their word.” (Surat al-Hujurat, 15)
Muslims Possess Lofty Ideals
Religion imposes a responsibility on the believers both to live virtuously and to remind people around them of those moral virtues. Yet it is not only verbal expression that needs to be borne in mind when describing or reminding people of religious moral values because one can still remind people of Allah and the true faith through one’s behavior, appearance and expression. As Bediüzzaman Said Nursi says, sometimes “The language of appearance may be more powerful and clearer than the spoken word.” (Rays, Thirteeth Ray)
From that perspective, a believer must also be a role model for everyone with his appearance and behavior. There is no doubt that in addition to possessing fine moral values, one must have an elevated objective and seek to enjoy constant development and progress. What best befits a Muslim therefore, as someone who represents the religious moral values revealed by Allah, is to aim to reflect the superior characteristics bestowed by those moral values, and to earn as much of Allah’s approval as possible. Another verse tells us that:
“They believe in Allah and the Last Day, and enjoin the right and forbid the wrong, and compete in doing good. They are among the good people.” (Surat Al-‘Imran, 114)
There are various ways of preparing and encouraging believers. Each one is an act of observance to be performed for Allah’s sake. Encouraging someone to perform good works may perhaps lead to us enjoying the reward for that good work in the Sight of Allah (Allah knows the truth). Therefore, doing all we can to support believers and encouraging them to work harder and strive even further is an observance for which the believer will be rewarded in the hereafter.
Believers are people who make earning Allah’s approval the true aim in their lives and who strive for that end with all their might. Allah speaks in the Qur’an of “those who have struggled with their wealth and themselves in the Way of Allah.“ (Surat al-Hujurat, 15), in other words, those who “spend and strive.” Because they dedicate their entire lives to Allah and give all they have, materially and psychologically, for Allah’s approval in return for paradise.
Mr. Adnan Oktar describes how Hazrat Mahdi (pbuh) will prepare all Muslims for the intellectual struggle, regardless of sects:
ADNAN OKTAR: …“ So struggle in the way of Allah – you are only answerable for yourself – and spur on the believers. It may well be that Allah will curb the force of the unbelievers. Allah has greater force and greater power to punish.” (Surat an-Nisa’, 84) Which believers? Not the Ahli-Bayt, not Shiites, not Wahhabis, but all the Muslims of the world. Allah is addressing all the Muslims of the world here, not the Ahli-Bayt or Shiites or Jaferis, not Alawites or Bektashis. Who is this addressed to? All the Muslims of the world. And what does Almighty Allah say? “And spur on the believers.” To prepare and encourage all the Muslims of the world is one duty of the way of the Mahdi. To prepare them and ready them intellectually and culturally. To prepare them and encourage them with books and films and CDs. To encourage them in the direction of Turkish-Islamic Union, Islamic Union, beauty, love, science, art and democracy. “It may well be that Allah will curb the force of the unbelievers.” He will repulse the heavy pressure from Darwinists, materialists, communists and fascists, and the alleged terror organization Ergenekon. “Allah has greater force and greater power to punish,” says Allah. What are we seeing at the moment? The devastating power of Allah. They are now losing their footing. They held out and refused to open the door. Then when it was pushed, they lost their footing and the door flew wide open. “Whoever obeys the Messenger has obeyed Allah.” Look, “Whoever obeys the Messenger of Allah.” Whoever obeys the Prophet (saas)“has obeyed Allah. If anyone turns away, we did not send you to them as their keeper..”
This verse emphasizes obedience to the Prophet (saas) not because of any feature of greatness in him, but rather because he is a servant and a messenger who preaches the divine truth. At the same time the verse is also an important warning for those who restrict the Prophet (saas) to preaching alone, and claim he cannot issue commands and those who would bring the Sunnah down to the level of a very ordinary matter “Whoever obeys the Messenger has obeyed Allah.” If our Prophet (saas) tells us to spread the good news of Hazrat Mahdi (pbuh) you cannot say, “That is of no concern to me.” If he tells us to look for Hazrat Mahdi (pbuh) you cannot again say, “That is of no concern to me.” When he says, “Go to Hazrat Mahdi (pbuh) even if you have to crawl over snow to do so, and swear allegiance to him,” you cannot say, “That is of no concern to me.” What does Allah say? “Whoever obeys the Messenger has obeyed Allah”
Allah says.“ If anyone turns away, we did not send you to them as their keeper..”Do you know what this verse means? “I will take revenge,” Allah is saying. And Allah’s vengeance is very terrible. They cannot stand the pain of it, let me tell you that. “You will find others who desire to be safe from you and safe from their own people.” Look, “You will find others who desire to be safe from you and safe from their own people. Each time they are returned to disorder they are overwhelmed by it..” Allah is referring to the hypocrites. They want themselves and their people to be safe. The hypocrites say, “Do not harm us or say anything.” “They must not say anything, either.” Fine, so what do you want? “We want security. We want to live in comfort,” they say. “But” Allah says, “Each time they are returned to disorder they are overwhelmed by it.” So would you denounce Muslims? “We would do that,” they say. Would you spread corruption? “We would do that too,” they say. Would you build a secret alliance with unbelievers? “We would also do that.” Would you strike at Muslims the moment you see a weak spot in their armor? “Oh yes,” they say. So what do you want from us? We ask. “We want security,” they say. “You must treat us very well,” they say. But that is total hypocrisy, isn’t it? You want all the benefits. Allah reveals this character of the hypocrite in the Qur’an. Look, He says, “Each time they are returned to disorder they are overwhelmed by it “They are involved in all kinds of filth,” He is saying. Denunciations, false accusations, cheating, deceiving Muslims, taking advantage of Muslims’ weak points. They write things against Muslims on Facebook and other places. “If they do not keep away from you or submit to you or refrain from fighting, ,” in other words, if they continue to behave so vilely, to cheat and slander, “seize them and make them ineffective wherever you find them. Over such people We have given you clear authority.” Says Allah. “They would like you to be unbelievers as they are unbelievers.” What do you want?” we ask the hypocrites. “You abide by the Qur’an,” they say. “But why do you regard the Qur’an as sufficient?” “What should we do?” we inquire. “There is all this later nonsense,” they say, “You should be going along with that.” “There are also these people who claim to have revelation, you must also follow them,” they say. In essence they are saying that, “The Qur’an is not sufficient.” But that is totally wrong, Allah tells us that “the Qur’an is sufficient” and that we will be held to account for the Qur’an alone. No hypocrite can deceive us. We will act on the basis of however our Prophet (saas) interpreted the Qur’an. “They would like you to be unbelievers as they are unbelievers so that you will all be the same.” These people want you to be hypocrites like them. “Do not take any of them as friends until they have made hegira (immigration) in the Way of Allah..” “If they are not with you, if they are not your friends, then do not take them as your friends. Do not watch over, protect or support them,” Almighty Allah is saying.(Samsun Aks TV, 27 January 2011)