April 23, 2001

The Distinct Position of Muslims



[This is an abridged version of a speech delivered
by the late Maulana Sayyid Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi (rahimahullah) on 13th June
1999 to a congregation of around 100,000 people in Lucknow, India. The lecture
was given while the Maulana was critically ill, and some six months later he
passed away. The address constitutes his call and mission, urging Muslims to
cultivate and strive for the position of distinction as exhorted by Almighty
Allah in the Holy Qur’an. Edited by Sulaiman Kazi]

Praise be to Allah and blessings and peace be upon His Messenger

In the Name of Allah, the Most Magnificent, the Most Merciful

“O you who believe! If you fear Allah, He will grant you
(a position of distinction) and will expiate for you your sins, and forgive
you. Allah is the Owner of Mighty Grace.” (Holy Qur’an: 8:29)

In the verse I have just recited Almighty Allah’s order is thought
provoking. It is a jolting verse which can revolutionize the whole world. Almighty
Allah alone is worthy of worship. He is Master of all and He is the One who
created the universe. He is the creator of Jinns and human beings. Nothing can
happen without His will. He can bring revolution in countries. He transforms
the circumstances, and He can free the slaves and enslave the free.

Any thing which is repeatedly recited is not usually pondered
over deeply. If the Holy Qur’an is recited and pondered over it would make your
nights sleepless. It can provide stimulus not only to the body but also to the
mind and soul. Almighty Allah says: “O you who believe! If you fear Allah”;
this word “God-fearing” is not an ordinary one. If somebody fears
Allah he is known as Muttaqi (God-fearing). One who refrains from back biting
and slander, people say he is God-fearing. But Taqwa, according to the language
and definition of the Holy Qur’an, has a very broad and revolutionary meaning.
It can reverse the systems of the whole world. Almighty Allah says if you become
God-fearing – it does not literally mean fear of God – it means fear of God in
your beliefs and actions, aims and objectives, morals and behavior, and in
your dealing with fellow human beings. If you thus fear Allah, He will elevate
you to a position of distinction.?

From wherever a God-fearing Muslim would pass
by, one who obeys the orders of Allah and His Rasool, one who is a well-wisher
of humanity, one who is compliant to the will of Allah, one who keeps his gaze
down, one who controls his tongue, one whose heart is devoid of material gains,
and one whose mind is pure from intrigues and conspiracies, then people will
look at such a Muslim curiously. “Look! there goes an obedient servant
of Allah”. When this becomes your means of recognition Almighty Allah will
grant you a place of honor and distinction (I can not but translate the Arabic
word Furqan as distinctive position because it has various meanings and its
translation in any other language is not easy).

People will point towards you and they will look up to you.
Thinking of you at times people will loose their sleep and at other times they
will wake up from their slumber. “Look! there goes a Muslim”, “Look!
Muslims are so pious” will be their comments. A Muslim is someone who does
not gaze at strange women (non-Mahram), he does not hinder a thoroughfare or
hurt anyone. A Muslim moves about with a purpose and is dignified. He is a well-wisher
and sympathizer of humanity. With such a description only a few, may be just
a family who could be counted on fingers, if they reached an area, time is witness
almost the whole area embraced Islam just by seeing those Muslims as if swept
by a wave. This wave of Islam prevailed over material greed, desire for position
and other evils prevalent in the society.

Almighty Allah has given human beings the power to impress and
emulate. I can say as student of history, as one who knows human psychology
and as a counselor, that in spite of dark deeds, infidelity and idol worship,
intemperance, worship of wealth, barbarism and injustice, it is due to this
factor of receiving impression – the inherent element for reform and adopting
what is good – this world is not shattered and ruined. Let me open up my heart
to you, to this huge assembly, and say that the desire in man to emulate impressions
and improve is the real secret behind the existence of this world and it is
for this reason the world is still vibrant. Almighty Allah who created this
world knows that man still possesses this capacity.

I am going to tell you something which no other person may say.
I do not have any misconceptions about them but I fear that they may not say
this after all they are humans. In the country you are living, you should live
a life which mirrors the honor you have been accorded, that is, Furqan, position
of distinction. Your distinctive position should be so impressive that it changes
the belief, behavior and morals, outlook, feelings, emotions, relations and
dealings of the people around you. Such a large number of Muslims live in a
country yet fail to carve out a definite impression is unbelievable. Almighty
Allah says if you will fear Allah He will bestow upon you a distinctive position.
Such an honor will be completely novel and will change the beliefs, morals
and relationships of people. Such a large population of Muslims have not brought
any revolution is sad proof that we have not followed the order of “fear
Allah” fully.

If you “fear Allah” and live according to the teachings
of Allah’s messenger, the outcome will be a “position of distinction”
for you. People will consider you an object of emulation, and people will be
attracted towards you. You will be a role model for people. There will be such
an uncontrollable flow of people accepting Islam that you may not be able to
withstand the pressure leading to the propagation of Islam. The life of people
will thereafter change for good. Materialism, moral dissipation, thirst for
power and position, worship of authority and politics – all these social maladies
will be lessened if not erased totally. It will be difficult for people to hold
on to their mis-beliefs, their desires and their yearn for unfair gains. Seeing
the Muslims with typical Islamic characteristics, people will be attracted towards
Islam. Great national leaders, known politicians, reputed writers, eloquent
orators, poetic speakers, will not be able to stick to their beliefs, their
ideas, their leadership and their politics.?

Unfortunately this is not happening!
Why? Please examine your own lives and see whether it is Islamically moulded.
Therefore, to bring a change in the world, first of all your Faith must be correct,
your dealings must be right, your goals and aims must be right. These should
be different and distinct. People should notice that a Muslim removes any hindrance
from wherever he passes by and he is always helpful. The difference in your
material desires and your natural human weaknesses should be apparently lesser
than the rest. “He is a Muslim” should be ascribed above all qualities
to describe you. It is a historical fact that a handful of such Muslims wherever
they reached have revolutionized and changed nations.

Just think of the Arabian peninsula, the cradle of Islam, and
of Spain where countless masses accepted Islam. Think of Turkey, think of Algeria,
Morocco and West Asia where Islam was accepted and Islam is still the way of
life, with the exception of Spain where a systematic annihilation of Islam and
the Arabic language was carried out under a conspiracy for which the Muslims
are also to be blamed.

If you consider the distances by land and passage of time, the
differences of languages and ideas, you will realize that these are as wide
apart as earth and sky, yet nations after nations embraced Islam, impressed
by the character shown by Muslims, by their Da’wa and Tableegh. The
and conduct of Muslims became an example for all. Compare that with the present
day position of Muslims. I urge you to adopt the life of a true Muslim and start
today to practise Islam in its totality and according to the orders of Almighty
Allah: “If you fear Allah” and “This day have I perfected your
religion for you, completed My Favour upon you and chosen for you Islam as your
religion” (Holy Qur’an: 5:3) and “O you who believe! Enter into Islam
wholeheartedly and follow not the footsteps of Satan. He is you avowed enemy.”
(Holy Qur’an: 2:208)

Almighty Allah urges the believers to enter into Islam wholly
and obey Him unquestioningly. The Arabic word kaaffa encompasses all – literally,
mentally, practically, collectively and legally. It is a word with a varied
and vast meaning. It applies to the people who are entering Islam and also applies
to what they are entering in. It requires Muslims to enter into Islam one hundred
percent, it allows no laxity. Muslims should enter into Islam completely.

Inheritance and shares must be distributed correctly, rights
and obligations must be fulfilled, the rights of parents, the rights of wife,
the rights of husband, the rights of brothers, the rights of relatives, the
rights of your fellow citizens, the rights of your country and your duty to
the country all need to be honored and fulfilled. Almighty Allah says that
first enter into Islam fully with all the attributes of a Muslim and then be
mindful and do not be misguided by Satan. You have an example in the life of
the Messenger, follow the exemplary simple life and strong character of the

My dear brothers, in spite of my physical weakness I say it
with conviction that if you go back with a firm resolve that “I will practice
Islam fully and I will lead such a life as to leave an impression on the whole
environment, on the people around me, on the whole neighbourhood, towns and
cities,” people will then be compelled to say that such is the life of
a Muslim, where others falter a Muslim remains steadfast, where others tend
to weaken a Muslim remains balanced, where others go astray a Muslim follows
the right path, where others sell their conscience a Muslim remains unmoved
and nobody – no government, no political party, no individual howsoever powerful
or wealthy – can buy the conscience of these Muslims. Neither beauty nor grace,
nor lure of power and position can weaken these Muslims. Almighty Allah has
created and bestowed upon them the gift of their Deen. Had our character been
according to Islam the whole country would have benefited. Whenever and wherever
this has happened, people including even enemies have accepted Islam as their
way of life. They have accepted Muslims as men of principle, kind and charitable.
They have accepted their belief in afterlife and considered them righteous.

Whatever Islam is left not only in this country but anywhere
in the world it is because of the example presented by its seers. At times only
a single personality has changed the whole country. Here in our country
Moinuddin Chishti (rahimahullah) came and millions embraced Islam. Similarly
Sayyid Ali Hamdani (rahimahullah) went to Kashmir and the majority of people there
accepted Islam. So let us mould our life in the pattern desired by Almighty
Allah. He will bestow upon you that promised position of distinction. People
will make you their role model, they will make you the symbol of goodness, they
will listen to your words, they will look towards you for guidance, they will
say these are Muslims who have such true belief and correct actions, their emotions
and desires are so high. They are worthy of emulation.

Take this message from here. Let me remind you that your life
should be distinctive for which there is no appropriate word than Furqan. You
should depart from here with a firm resolve in your heart that you will mould
your life in such a way that people will look up to you. You should become an
example for people.

The need of the hour is that your life should be revolutionized.
The revolution should not be an individual one but a collective one. The change
should be concerning your belief, your morals, your actions, your dealings,
your decisions, and your efforts. Your life in every way should become a beacon
of guidance and it should become a means for Da’wa. It should become a magnet.
A magnet attracts a lifeless piece of iron, and human beings are not lifeless.
Can a Muslim, full of Islamic life, not become powerful enough to attract another
human being, people around him, and civilization at large?

The power of attraction of a Muslim is a thousand times more
than the most powerful magnet. If you do not have that power you do not have
the magnetism, you have to generate that power and you should build that magnetism.
May Almighty Allah grant us the power and the will to become
true Muslims in our desires, in our morals and in our aims.?

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Universe.

(courtesy of http://www.jamiat.org.za/

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